scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

View From The Signal Box

During the Christmas period when train movements were at a low level and my view from the signal box was obscured by swirling snow and the windows were frosted over I decided catch up on some reading.

Whilst tidying up my Trix Twin model railway collection, prior to my trying to sell it, I came across an issue of TRIX GAZETTE, Issue 13, Autumn 1955. What memories it brought back especially the shunting competition which I reproduce below for your pleasure. We are not offering any prizes for a solution because I do not know what was the 'official' correct solution, but I have managed to complete the shunting exercise in 26 moves.

The original article had the following definition "A move in a shunting competition means: the loco, moving from its original position, performing one operation and returning to its original position." which wasn't very clear to me. For the purpose of this competition I have based a move on "the loco moving from start to stop, prior to changing direction at some stage in the future of the shunting operations."

Shunting Puzzle

The object of the competition is for the double headed train to pick up wagon 4 and drop wagon 3 in its place. The siding, which serves a factory, has room only to hold one wagon or one locomotive. The two engines can be separated whilst shunting is taking place but when the train is ready for departure the two engines must be in their original positions.

Please let me know how you get on and if anyone is interested I will publish the shortest solution. Best of luck.

Roger Piercy