Dispatcher:  The Board Game

Just as exciting as it sounds!

More info here.

     Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 30, 2022
     Category: Boredom | Games | Trains and Other Vehicles on Rails | 1950s

I'm sure something like this was published as a computer game as far back as the ZX Spectrum.

Yup, https://worldofspectrum.org/archive/software/games/the-train-game-microsphere for instance.
Posted by Richard Bos on 07/03/22 at 03:10 AM
Some people build model railroads as an artistic exercise: creating miniature landscapes for the same reason many people paint, garden, or do pottery.

Others build them so they can be dispatchers, going through the whole process of running an engine back and forth in the switchyard to assemble a train and then sending it on its way, picking up and dropping off cars at different points along its route. You can buy complete sets of the cards and sheets necessary to plan and run a complete operation. There are even guides on how to add rolling repair equipment to handle maintenance issues without disrupting the flow of cargo.

Some take their railroading very, very seriously. While they might be polite enough to ask if you want to join in during their next operation, it's best to just observe until you see how fixated they are in keeping to their timetables.
Posted by Phideaux on 07/03/22 at 03:55 AM
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