2017-10.4: Start Small, THINK BIG: Operation (pt.10)

30 Oct 2017

Average: 4.8 (14 votes)
34:31 - Oct 2017 Act IV - Start Small, THINK BIG: Operation (2017)

In the final segment in our TOMA project-layout series, Miles Hale and guest Bob Fallowfield review some principles of operation and enjoy spending some time switching cars at the East Pittsfield Industrial Park.

Also see:
- Episode 1: Intro - watch now!
- Episode 2: Design - watch now!
- Episode 3: Benchwork - watch now!
- Episode 4: Trackwork - watch now!
- Episode 5: Wiring - watch now!
- Episode 6: Structures - watch now!
- Episode 7: Scenery, pt 1 - watch now!

- Episode 8: Scenery, pt 2 - watch now!
- Episode 9: Adding details - watch now!
- Episode10: Operation (this episode)
- Bonus: Making grass tufts - watch now!

Bonus:  TIP: Improving a swinging lift out ...

Go to Bonus video


coyoteww's picture

Primary video down again. Alternative works. All other episode play fine in primary.


Bob is very well spoken.  I hope to see him on future videos.

Primary video down again. Alternative works. All other episode play fine in primary.

What type of device and browser is this? When reporting an issue, please provide these details.

In the primary player, and to a lesser degree in the alternate, my PC (Windows 10, Chrome) jumps to 100% RAM useage and freezes. This does not happen with any other video on TMTV or any other video source. I have no clue what could cause such a thing but, it seems to be related to the TOMA Episode 10 video.

coyoteww's picture

Windows 7 Pro / Firefox

Last 2 videos are the ones affected. All other videos are fine.


coyoteww's picture

Additional info : After about 4 minutes the black video screen says :

Playlist could not be loaded. Playlist file did not contain a valid playlist.

Hope this helps.

coyoteww's picture

Installed Chrome....works now. So it appears to be a Firefox issue with the latest update. Bummer !

We don't recommend Firefox. It has always seemed to be the worst browser to use with our player. See our playback tips page (you get to this page by clicking the troubleshooting tips link below every video player):


Notice the comment at the top of the page:

NOTE: The latest release of the Firefox browser has broken the player playback on some of our videos. Please try a different browser: Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer all still work fine. We keep studying the problem to determine what they did that broke our player -- if we find any solutions, we'll let you know.

This comment has been on this page for well over a year -- whenever someone has a playback problem, 90% of the time they're using Firefox. That's too bad because Firefox is a decent browser otherwise. But they sure are not video player friendly once you get outside of YouTube. So far, we've not been able to determine *why* Firefox has so many problems with our video player.

coyoteww's picture

Still wonder why it still works fine for all the other videos except for the past two.....curios....

Something else has had to change. Works with all other videos on the web....no issues with those.


I'm having the same problems as Coyoteww, this video and the one prior won't play.  I'm also using Firefox, but as mentioned above, all videos prior to these last two play just fine.  I've tried 3 Windows computers, 2 running Windows XPsp3 and 1 running Windows 7.  Each has the latest version of Firefox (which is different on the XP machines and the Win7 machine).  I usually use one of the XP machines to watch TMTV, and unfortunately, Chrome won't work with XP (and apparently you can't get an older version of Chrome that will).  I won't use IE with XP because it's limited to release 8 (way too out of date).  I haven't downloaded and tried Chrome with the Win7 machine, though I may be forced to now.  Hopefully, this problem won't be carried forward to all the future videos.

We don't know what's going on, but we're planning to retire the current website in early 2018.

We have a new site under construction here: https://trainmasters.uscreen.io

It uses an all new more robust video player, so there's no need for a primary/alternate setup. Go ahead and give it a try if you like. 

coyoteww's picture

Very high tech...but navigation is a little strange. I like the idea of catagorizing the videos so you can easily search for what you are looking for. I could not log in...so I can't comment on the video quality. Looks like a smaller box from the pre-view, but I am guessing that you can expand it to full screen.


philw2015's picture

Thanks, TMTV for the series it was outstanding. Making me rethink my layout.

I like the idea of catagorizing the videos so you can easily search for what you are looking for.

The categories listed in the video description are clickable ... see:

Video type: 



You get a reverse chronological list of all the videos in that category, with the most recently posted video at the top.

Regarding playback issues in a browser, it's come to our attention that browsers are disabling auto-play on videos. We set all our videos to auto-play, but with this change in browsers, it looks like you'll need to click on the play button before anything will happen as browsers get updated.

The reason for disabling auto-play is all the auto-play video ads starting to showup on websites. People hate 'em, so the browser vendors are disabling auto-play completely. There's nothing we can do about it if the browser vendors turn auto-play off. That means any video player will just sit there until you actually click on it to make it do something.

It's a bummer that the ad junkyard producers are ruining the web for the rest of us, but that's the way it goes. Not nearly as convenient and it can make the video player seem "broken" if the video does not just start playing like you're used to.

I have enjoyed watching Bob interact with Miles. I enjoyed watching Miles demonstrate the hand signals he is familiar with. I have not had the luxury of "true" operating sessions. My first time at an operating railroad, I was green all around. My visit was to learn about  DCC. The owner instructed me to take a train out on the main. I guess he forgot I had no clue what I was doing. My experience was Roundy -Round in N trak. The owner was my conductor and he got distracted. So, I continued on my way. I ran a red signal. (the only signal on the railroad at the time.) I knew nothing about signals at the time.   The Dispather had a fit as did the apposing train I was about to have a cornfield meet with. I mean these guys were genuinly upset. Needlees to say I lost interest in operating any railroad for a long time. Move ahead 15 years,  I moved to south Texas. While attending a train show, I was invited to run on the SAMRA layout in San Antonio Texas. With some reservation I joined in. What fun I had. sadly Model railroading is not a popular hobby where I live. I am alone wolf modeler but I am embarking on a build of my own.


I loved this series overall, but I really would have liked to have seen more. I am fairly new to the hobby, and I felt like a lot of large portions where glazed over, or skipped completely. For example, how did you go about connecting the rails exactly. How did you fasten the module to the benchwork (this I really wanted to know). 

I love this TOMA approach, and I hope we see more of it. Overall, I would have loved to see each video broken down even more and seen more of a step-by-step approach. Are you planning any videos for new comers to the hobby in the near future? 

I love this TOMA approach, and I hope we see more of it. Overall, I would have loved to see each video broken down even more and seen more of a step-by-step approach. Are you planning any videos for new comers to the hobby in the near future? 

Joe Fugate expects to be starting his new Siskiyou Line 2 (SL2) in 2018 and it's using TOMA. Joe wants to cover the SL2 design and building process in detail, both in the pages of MRH and in videos. Some of those videos will likely be on TMTV.

So yes, would be the short answer.

would love to see a series on setting up and operating a layout with a car card or switch list system. From start to finish!

Georonn's picture


Fine episode guys.  The interaction between Bob and Miles was fantastic.  And both men are awesome modelers and true leaders in the industry.  Thank you for sharing your expertise and all the interesting operating tidbits (hand signals, nomenclature, etc.).  


Just finished watching this series and it has been so inspirational for me. I puchased my home five years ago; I have a dedicated train room 14' by 20' with a 10' by 5' closet. I have drawn countless track plans again and again, tried to build my dream model railroad, only to become so frustrated and paralyzed with the process. Nothing to show for it after five years of 'spinning my wheels". The TOMA concept will save me from going through another frustrating round of 're-design paralysis' plus I can operate my module quickly without having to wait to finish the whole thing. Thank you so much for providing this information, I'm beginning construction on my first TOMA module and hope to have the benchwork completed in the next couple of weeks (after college finals week is over, that is!)

We used to say that the F was so that when the electricians were trying to figure out which TM was number 4, they just had to count from the from of the locomotive!