The Orientation Program gives new HOTRAK club members the knowledge and skills required to operate safely and professionally as an Engineer of Ottawa Valley HOTRAK. The Orientation Handbook contains knowledge in four areas: Setup and disassembly of the modules; Train Operations; Ancillary operations, and Records. An Orientation Coordinator will help you navigate the training, develop a customized training plan to account for prior experience and pair you with mentors until program completion.

Orientation Documents

Orientation Program Flow

1 Club Familiarization

You will get to know how the club brings modules together to form the layout during set ups and how the modules are dismantled and stored during disassembly. All the while you will meet the other club members. You will need to attend three set ups and three disassenblies.

2 Train Familiarization

This is where the fun starts. We have large layouts with multiple trains running simultaneously, so in this phase you will learn the “rules of road” for running trains. Your title will be brakeman and you will be assisting the club engineer in running the train getting to see the handbook rules put into practice.

3 Driving Trains

You get to put theory into practise. It’s your turn to drive the trains now. You will start off as a Supervised Engineer, still under the mentorship of a club engineer, but after as little as 4 trains (mixture of passenger and freight trains) you can become an Interim Engineer and run trains independently

4 Club Exploration

The last part of the program is to gain a basic understanding of all the jobs that occur to bring a layout to life and provide an enjoyable experience for all. You will shadow various roles like the Yardmaster, Traffic Supervisor and Storage Foreman to understand how it all works and one day be able to take on one of these roles.

Orientation Process

1 Meet Coordinator

You will meet with the coordinator to review your model railroad experience and develop a tailored program if needed. The process will be explained as will be the Handbook and log/record form. You will be paired with different mentors until you get to know the members. We will get you off to a great start!

2 Prepare for training

Before starting, it will be very beneficial for you to pre-read the Orientation Handbook and gain some familiarity of the concepts so that you can more easily understand and grasp the main principles of operating on our model railroad. You will need to print the Task Completion Log and Task Completion Record.

3 Conduct Training

In this phase you will get exposure and training in the various aspects as described in the operating checklist of the Task Completion Record. As you complete each section you will gain experience and privileges culminating in becoming a qualified engineed within the club.

4 Record & Report

As you progess through the training you will need to complete your task log and record by annotating the date and name of the supervising engineer. To help the Coordinator monitor your progress you will need to submit the information electronically through the link below.

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