Thursday, January 23, 2020

Handout for new waybill talk

Over the last decade I have given a number of talks at model railroad meetings, about the linked topics of prototype waybills and how to model those waybills. This material has also been presented to a series of magazine articles in the same period. My old handout for this series of talks, dating back to 2012, is now somewhat outmoded, and accordingly is being updated with this post. (Here is a link to the old handout, if you’re interested: .)
    At one time, it was my practice to distribute paper handouts at talks, but a multi-page handout, though not excessively expensive to reproduce, does get a bit cumbersome and bulky to transport. Sometimes I have run out of enough copies if I haven’t correctly predicted the audience, and in some cases people who weren’t able to attend the talk in person would like to get a copy afterward. For all these reasons, it seems to me that what might be called a “back-up electronic copy” on the Internet is a sensible idea.
     For my current waybill talk, I have made a PDF version of my edited handout, and have placed it on Google Docs, where you are free to download it if you like. Here is the link:

     The handout document contains a brief text summary of several points which are made in the talk, has a summary Car Service Rules page, and a few examples of my current waybills, along with a fairly complete bibliography. (Many topics in the talk and in the handout are developed much more fully in my series of magazine articles listed in the handout bibliography.) The handout also contains copies of two prototype waybills, one of which is the Illinois Central one with all the stamps and handwriting on it.
     It is worth mentioning that all the material in this handout and this talk has also been discussed in a series of posts to this blog, so regular readers will find nothing new. The handout also cannot measure in length and extent what has been offered in the series of magazine articles — as I said, fully cited in the handout. But it does collect the core topics of the oral talk in one place. Hopefully this is an added convenience for some readers.
Tony Thompson


  1. I've downloaded the 'TELETYPE 1945-1985' font from somewhere on the web which may satisfy your search for a 'dirty' teletype font.

  2. Thanks, Bill, and I have looked at this font too, courtesy of Jeff Aley sending it to me. The biggest distinction of actual Teletype documents is that the characters frequently did not lie on the same baseline as their neighbors. This is captured in the "Random TELETYPE" font, which I think exaggerates this vertical variation but does give a very familiar feel. Now if we could just get BOTH qualities together . . .
    Tony Thompson

  3. Hey, Tony - here's a link to a few more free typewriter style fonts, most with varying degrees of wear:

    It includes the Teletype 1945-1985 font that Bill mentions above.