Holiday Run Info

Updated: Jan 1, 2024 @ 5:37 PM

The information below is intended for CPR&SS club members and holiday run volunteers and provides additional details covering safety, operations, maintenance, etc.

Train Run Information Sheet: Train Run Info

Below are more detailed information sheets for riders and train run support personnel:

Upper & Lower Level Loader Duties:   There is an upper level loader and a lower level loader.  See this link for detail actions for each position:  Loaders duties

Conductor’s Duties:   The conductor rides on the very last car and watches all passengers during the run to make sure they are following all safety rules.  If a violation occurs, he/she stops the train and corrects the issue.  See this link for more details:     Conductor’s duties

Rider Safety Rules:  The link here states rules that riders must follow to have a safe ride.  The conductor is constantly watching all riders and will stop the train if an unsafe situation occurs.  Rider Safety rules.

 For the Carillon Christmas train runs, we are loading and unloading passengers at the north west door of the Dicke Transportation building.   

Loading area – passengers come out of this northwest corner of the Transportation building. The locomotive is positioned at the far end of the long bridge with passenger cars extending back past the red maintenance bldg.

Conductor’s Emergency Button:  The conductor has a big red button he/she should depress to tell the engineer to stop the train.  Depressing the button sounds a warning siren in the engineer’s car.  The siren will also sound if any of the cars become separated and detach the cable between the passenger cars.  To release the red button and stop the siren, the red button needs to be rotated clockwise a quarter turn in order for the button to be released upward (off).  Turn the knob clockwise 1/4 turn then LET GO – DO NOT PULL THE KNOB UP !  The button will pop up on its own. If you pull it up, it will come off.  The button has now been installed in the conductor car but works the same.  Top button picture shows button depressed.  Bottom picture shows button raised – note 1/8 inch gap under head of button in the bottom picture.


Cables Between Cars:  Below is a picture of the cable between each of the cars.  One end should be screwed onto a car and the other end JUST PUSHED in.  If cars separate then the cable will disconnect without damaging the cable or socket.  The end with the green tape (or red on some cables) is the “push in” end and the tape should not be removed.  During operations when the car is stopped, push each cable back into the plug since vibration can cause the plug to work loose. 


Loco 7695 has an alternator that charges the engine’s battery while running and the ENGINE battery does not need to be plugged in.  The ENGINEER’S CAR still needs to be plugged in to charge the battery inside that car.  That battery powers the brake’s air compressor and lights on the passenger cars.

For Loco 9615 (the Pennsy F7), after the night’s run, make sure the battery charger is plugged in and shows the “Charging” light is on.  This engine and it’s engineer’s car are stored in the long storage table by the steaming bay.

9615 being worked on.  It gets rolled back into the “Long Dog House” for storing.

Passenger cars are stored in the tarp tunnel by the steaming bay.  Locomotives 7695 and 1932 will be stored inside the Yoder Engine House (YEH) as usual.  When rolling locos into the engine house, make sure the wheels of EACH axle engage the rails of the support stand.  This is especially true for 7695 since it has a higher tendency to ride up on one of the rails.  TWO people should roll engines in – one outside and one inside who ensures wheels are on the rails properly. 

TRAIN:  Check the oil and gas levels before each night’s run.  Add SAE 10W-30 oil if needed (Not straight SAE 30 weight oil which is for summer running) – See picture below of acceptable oil – it’s in the YEH on the north wall.  The jug with the 10W-30 may be a different color – use 10W-30. 

After the run make sure the battery charger is plugged in and shows “Charging” light is on.  

If the engines are hard to start in the cold, try choking them.  On 1932, the choke lever is under the engine shell just out of sight to the left in the picture below.    Unchoke it slowly as the engine warms up in a minute or 2.  Then run full UNCHOKED !  Make sure the IGNITION switch is on (up).  Note:  The starter motor will run with the ignition switch off – make sure ignition is ON.  On loco 9615 (Pennsy loco), there is a choke control on the backhead of the engine.  Pull it out to choke the engine.  Push in as the engine warms and full in during operations.


1932’s controls – starting from the upper left in the right hand picture above:  Horn button, loco’s headlight switch, little black box is Xmas lights on the Loco only – push round button to cycle through flashing options, black T-handle at bottom right is the throttle – twist and pull out to increase engine RPM, bottom silver toggle switch is IGNITION (Up is ON), next toggle switch up is the starter switch – push UP to run starter motor – this is a momentary switch so let go to release.  Round black knob above starter switch is the hydraulic flow lockout knob – Push IN to stop flow and lock the train’s wheels; pull out to run;  use the long angled lever to move the train forward or backward – push the lever to the left or right – see direction markings on loco’s shell.  Always LOCK the engine’s hydraulics when the train is stopped otherwise it will tend to move.

Loco 7695’s choke is shown below.  Inside the right hand window is the wire ring.  Pull to choke and push it in to unchoke.  When cold you will need to pull the choke ring outward.  Run the engine at higher RPM (not idle) for a couple of minutes until it is warmed up some and then you can push the ring back inward to unchoke the engine.    

Choke ring in right hand window.
ON/OFF is located inside the right hand window. Vertical is OFF. Turn to side for “ON”.
7695’s gauge panel

Gauges top row right to left – Train Speed – keep below 25 MPH; Engine RPM – keep between 16 to 20; Siren Switch – put to left to “OPER” operate so siren is audible – If you mute, switch back to OPER when emergency is over; Fuel – you don’t want to run out on the track with passengers – refuel when below 1/4 (or sooner when opportunity presents itself); COACH LIGHTS – passenger car lights;  WATER gauge is actually hydraulic fluid temp – learn what is normal so you know what is not normal (info to be added later);  PSI is the brake pressure;  the little Brass Handle controls brake line pressure to the passenger cars – turn the handle clockwise (CW) to increase brake pressure to stop the cars – turn CCW to lower pressure and release the brakes – 5 to 10 seconds are needed for the brake lines to bleed air pressure down and actually release the brakes.

Hand Controller

The upper right dial controls train speed – N is NEUTRAL; R is REVERSE and F is FORWARD.  NOTE: The dial must be returned to N by the engineer – it will NOT return to N on its own;  Red switch at bottom is the KILL switch – switch to KILL to stop the engine in an emergency – this kills most (if not all) electrical power on the engine (Ed Note: This needs verification – will be updated later).  To start the engine (key at front of cab must be on) – put knob to N, switch to RUN, push START switch up – release once engine starts.  Let engine warm up if not warm already – push choke in if engine is warmed up.  PARK BRAKE – This works just like a car’s parking brake – stop rolling BEFORE you push it to ON;  Switch OFF before moving.  When at the LOADING AREA put the PARK BRAKE AND TRAIN BRAKES ON.

Red knob – Push in and latch to engage hydraulic system for running. Pull out to disengage hydraulic system so the loco can be rolled easily.

TRACK:  Switch handles should ALL be set to the YELLOW position.  See pictures below.  We are running the “School Route” for the night runs – remember: yellow for school buses.  For spring switches the lever should be towards the yellow mark.  For stub switches the lever needs to be positioned so the yellow paint mark is facing upwards.

LOADERS:  Passengers should be positioned in the MIDDLE of the cars to prevent derailing.  Also, cars closest to the locomotive should be loaded before those in back to also prevent derailing of the unloaded front cars – this is called “string lining”.

OPERATIONS:  This is what has worked well:  The station loaders seat people on the cars and when done announce “All Aboard” to the Conductor.  The Conductor blows his whistle TWICE – the Engineer then knows he can move the train and blows the horn TWICE to indicate the train is going to be moving forward.  At the end of the train ride, the Engineer blows the horn ONCE to indicate he has stopped the train.  ENGINEERS – DO NOT MOVE THE TRAIN AFTER YOU HAVE BLOWN THE HORN ONE TIME SINCE PEOPLE WILL IMMEDIATELY BE GETTING OFF.  DO NOT MOVE THE TRAIN TO PUT IT IN A “BETTER SPOT” – PEOPLE WILL GET HURT !!!!!   On 7695, put the parking brake on THEN blow the horn one time.  All trains carrying passengers MUST have a Conductor at the rear of the train.  Please get a whistle, keep it as your own personal whistle, and use it your next times at the track.

During the run, the conductor can stop the train for any reason by pushing the RED BUTTON or blowing his whistle.   Engineers:  If you hear the siren or ANY whistle while running – STOP THE TRAIN !!!    Conductors:  Blow your whistle as loud as you can – it is difficult for the engineer to hear over the engine and track noise.  It is better to push the siren button to stop the train – use it!  Radios should also be carried to call for any needed assistance.

Switch Signal Lights:  The two stub switches by the corner of the Transportation building have working signal lights.  RED means STOP !  GREEN means GO.  If the lights are not GREEN, then Engineers need to STOP  and make sure the switch is positioned properly.   Each switch should be set to the mainline position with the switch handle seated in the keeper blocks.  Make sure both mainline rails are aligned through the switch.  The switch signal lights are powered by a timer in the YEH and will be programmed to come on at 4:30 PM and go off at 10:30 PM.  The timer is on the left side of the refrigerator and is plugged into a power strip.  Wires from the YEH to outside to the signal lights are 12 Volts DC.  All of this should be previously set up and you should not need to mess with it.

Refueling 7695.  ONLY REFUEL OUTSIDE!

7695 has an electric fuel pump that draws gasoline out of the gas can.  There is a cap on the hose from the engine that must be removed then the hose put to the bottom of the gas can.  The key in the front of the engine must be on and the KILL switch set to RUN.  Turn on the pump switch and gas will be sucked into the engine’s gas tank.  It will shut off automatically when the tank is full – but you need to shut the pump toggle switch OFF.  Put the cap back on and coil the hose on top around the fan.

The electric fuel pump is in the lower right of the picture above.  The pump toggle switch is right above it.  Remember to switch it off when the pump stops when the gas tank is full.   

YELLOW PAINT was put on all of the switches indicating which direction the switch needs to be positioned for the train run.  For SPRING switches (first picture below), move the switch handle TOWARD the yellow mark.  For the STUB switches (2nd picture below), flip the handle so the yellow paint mark is UP.  If the switch does not have yellow paint on it somewhere then it is not on the yellow route.  The route is the same as the School Run’s and is yellow like the school buses.  When riding past the Yoder Engine house, the train should be on the CENTER TRACK.

For the stub switches, there is yellow paint on the side of the switch handle that needs to be facing up.  (Picture coming soon.)

Decoration and building lights:   The decoration lights are set to come on at DUSK and be on for 8 hours.  The switch signal lights are on a timer in the Engine House and are on from 4:30 to 10:30 PMDo not unplug or re-program the timer.

ALL of the lights in the CPR&SS holiday run track area will turn on and off automatically, EXCEPT the lights on the Yoder Engine House (YEH).  The YEH building lights should be tuned off manually EACH night – either by flipping the brown toggle switch inside on the South wall or by unplugging the lights outside at the Southwest corner near the roof.


Switch signal light power – On timer beside the refrigerator in the engine house.  A backup 12 volt transformer is by the outlet if needed.  The decoration lights are set to come on at DUSK and be on for 8 hours.  The switch signal lights are on a timer in the YEH and are on from 4:30 to 10:30 PM.  A 12 volt DC power transformer is plugged into the side of the timer.

Yellow re-railer is stored on the blue car on the west side of the engine house.

If the locomotive gets derailed, you will likely need to use this re-railed to get the loco back on the track.  Hook the short end under the loco’s coupler and lift the loco over to the track.  A second person will likely be needed to position the wheels on the track.  If the rear wheels derail, you will need to separate the tender first.  This is when you need a flashlight and a radio (to call for help)!