The Condensed Code of Operating Rules

Edition of 1951

Now available!

Purchase from

A revised edition of the Condensed Code of Operating Rules, Edition of 1951 is now available. Previous editions are in use by hundreds of model railroaders across North America and Australia.

An essential element of operating a model railroad in a prototypical manner is adherence to the railroad's operating rules. Many different collections of rules exist, from the Consolidated Code to the Uniform Code to railroad specific rules. This variety makes operating sessions unsafe because crew members will be more familiar with their own railroad's practices -- practices which might differ considerably from the host railroad's rules.

The Condensed Code offers a uniform, joint set of rules that are applicable to most model railroads. They are a distillation of the Consolidated Code of Operating Rule 1967 edition with rules that are rarely or never applicable to model railroads removed. The Consolidated Code was used by many Midwestern and Western US railroads.

As an added benefit, the Condensed Code includes Train Dispatcher's rules from the Chicago & NorthWestern that were written to accompany the 1967 Consolidated Code. These rules explain correct procedures for communicating with Operators and for maintaining dispatcher's records such as trainsheet and train order book.

The Condensed Code of Operating Rules, edition of 1951 is available for $15 plus shipping from

Go to to buy the Condensed Code of Operating Rules

Example pages:
Page 14
RULE 6(A): The following letters placed in the columns provided in the timetable indicate:
A automatic or remote interlocking;
B bulletins; general orders;
C continuous office;
D day office;
F fuel;
I manual interlocking;
J junction;
K standard clock;
M railroad crossing protected by signals or gates;
N night office;
O agent operator;
P dispatchers telephone;
Q radio installation;
R train register;
T turntable or wye;
U railroad crossing not protected by signals or gates;
W water;
X crossover;
Y yard limits;
Z track scales.

RULE 7: Employees, whose duties may require them to give hand signals, must provide themselves with the proper appliances, keep them in good order and ready for immedi-ate use.

Page 25

RULE 98(A): When a train, either on main track or sid-ing, is to stop to be met or passed by another train, or is to stop for a signal at the end of a siding, stop must be made not less than ten (10) feet from the signal or fouling point if length of train will permit.

RULE S-89: Unless otherwise provided, the inferior train must take siding at meeting points. The train taking siding must pull in when practicable. If necessary to back in, the movement must first be protected as prescribed by Rule 99.

RULE S-89(A): At train order meeting points, the train holding the main track must stop clear of the switch used by the train taking siding unless the train to be met is clear of the main track and switch is properly lined.

RULE 91: In Non-ABS territory, trains in the same direc-tion must keep not less than ten minutes apart when passed by another train or before following a train which has been overtaken.

RULE 93: Yard limits will be indicated by yard limit signs and in the timetable or by train order. Within yard limits the main track may be used, clearing first class trains when due to leave the last station where time is shown. Protection against second and third class trains, extra trains and engines is not required.
In Non-ABS territory, in case of failure to clear the time of first class trains, protection must be provided as prescribed by Rule 99.
Second and third class trains, extra trains and engines must move within yard limits at restricted speed unless the main track is known to be clear.

The Condensed Code of Operating Rules is a RailGroup Project. RailGroup has been hosting prototypical model railroad operating sessions since 1972. Over the years a variety of model railroad operating projects have been made available ranging from car cards, trainsheets and train dispatcher's books.