tab on car system - repost

Kurt Youngmann

During yesterday’s conversation about tab-on-car systems I posted on the subject but I’m not sure it went through. Just in case, here it is again (with one correction):

Just for the record, I only saw the tab system used on one other railroad: Ed Ravenscroft’s Glencoe Skokie Valley lines. It was a predecessor of John’s but I don’t recall any details from my only visit. Nor were tabs yet in use on the G & D on those few visits I made in ’61. (Note: I’m not positive that John wasn’t already using the tabs but I don’ remember seeing them).

After retiring from his executive position at Abbott Labs, Ed moved to the Phoenix area - some high-end gated community, where he had a separate building for the layout. A search <ed ravenscroft model railroader> shows that he originated the tack system in the mid-60s and that there was an MR article about it in July of ’65.

One of the many links on the above site is to this youtube video: <>

He was an interesting guy and MMR #7. I haven’t looked at the site in depth yet (there’s a lot of material there), but I believe he was one of the founders of the NMRA.

Kurt Youngmann

On Jun 11, 2020, at 9:53 AM, wchrysam@... wrote:

Can someone help me with an operations question?
i understand the concept of tab on car operation, but am wondering how the first session begins. Are the cars for a particular train simply assigned by the crew arbitrarily? 
Ive runs few sessions on my little layout and once going, it seems to be a very enjoyable system, so am I simply overthinking it?
thanks to all


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