Layout: the size of the layout is determined by the size of the rolling stock used. So the use of 50 ft. cars results in a longer track as the use of 40 ft. cars. See layout.
Turnouts / Switches: hand thrown.
Control and power supply: speed set to 7 (scale) miles per hour. Forward, stop, reverse. The speed control is not changed.
Motive power: any switcher will do; either steam or diesel. But not too large... (+/- 40 ft.)
Rolling stock: Boxcar, Reefer, Tank car, Flatcar, Gondola and Hopper. As long as they are all the same length.
Coupling / uncoupling: coupling is automatic (
Uncoupling either by 11 strategically placed magnets or by hand. Hand uncoupling averts the dreaded Kadee shuffle...
Note: virtual uncoupling by hand only...
Timing: "A stopwatch is started when you begin the operation and is clicked off at completion. Time for stopping to think counts against you just as much as moving time. If you can make several short moves faster than one or two long ones, do so: it's time that counts."
"lf a car is derailed by pushing it over a misaligned switchpoint,
there is a 1-minute penalty plus the time taken to rerail it."
There's no penalty for pushing a locomotive over a misaligned switchpoint - it just stops...
Note: a 1-minute penalty seemed a little harsh to me so I implemented a 15-sec one instead.
Note: running out of track is also penalized.
Moves: yes, I know - John didn't count moves. But some people can get rather nervous by the sound of a ticking clock - so a move-counter has been added...