Road Show



Texas Express 2023 NMRA International Convention

Gateway 2022 NMRA National Convention

As seen on
Trainmasters TV

Black Swamp Junction 2021 NCR NMRA Convention Participant

Lansing Lashup 2018 NCR NMRA Convention Participant

NMRA Kansas City 2018 participant

North Central Express 2016 participant

Highball to Indy 2016 participant

Cleveland 2014 participant

Maumee Express 2014 participant

Grand Rails 2012 participant

The Model Railway Show Episode #37
Episode 37

Dork Forest Podcast
As heard on The Dork Forest podcast #92
Episode 92

Hartford National 2009 participant

Fast Freight '08 participant

Great Lakes Express 2007 participant

Cincinnati Limited 2005 participant

Maple Leaf 2003 participant

The Paper Flagman

       Updated: 21-MAR-2021

One of the things that surprised us the most about the reception we had at the Maple Leaf 2003 convention was the interest in the paper flagmen we brought along.

The paper flagmen were made up prior to our first operating session in April, 2003 as a quick-and-dirty solution to our being unable to find suitable plastic or cast metal figures to "flag" trains stopped on the mainline as required under timetable and train order rules. They have an advantage over cast metal figures in that they lack a metal base that could cause shorting if they're set out between the rails. The figure we used was taken from a CorelDraw! clip art CD, with its arms modified to hold a flag. We laid out fourteen to a sheet and printed them on heavy cardstock.

During our operating sessions at the Convention, there was strong interest in these figures. Unfortunately, we hadn't brought along enough to give many away, so we promised to make them available for download from our web site. Here they are.

Since we first posted these in 2003 we have been delighted to see that they are being used by quite a number of operations-oriented modelers on their model railroads.

The artwork we are providing on this page is in HO scale. If there are enough requests, we will consider making it available in other scales.

Creating Flagmen from this Artwork

The procedure is pretty simple:

  1. Download the graphics file (488K Adobe Acrobat PDF file ).
  2. From the Adobe Acrobat reader, print the graphic on plain paper or cardstock. We recommend using a color ink jet or color laser printer.
  3. Cut out the individual flagmen. Cut on the dotted lines.
  4. Fold the flagmen at the solid lines and tape the base together. There are two typical ways to do this, as shown below.

Assembling the Flagman

Once you've printed the flagman and cut him out of the sheet, you can fold him in either of two ways.

"T" Shape

  1. Make the first fold so that the two flagmen on the strip are back to back.

  2. At the lines below the flagman's feet, fold the flaps outward as shown below.
  3. Fold the square flap back under to make the base.

  4. Use transparent tape to hold the whole assembly in a shape that looks like a "T" when viewed from the side.



Tent Shape

Bill Jewett came up with this variation.

  1. Cut the square flap off of the end of the strip.

  2. Make the first fold so that the two flagmen on the strip are back to back.
  3. Fold the small rectangular flaps inward.

  4. Use transparent tape to hold the whole assembly together in a shape that looks like a tent when viewed from the side.


Using the Flagman

During our operating sessions, we use a flagman to protect the rear of any train stopped outside of yard limits on the main track, per prototype Rule 99. We place it alongside the track, 18 to 24 inches behind the caboose. Trains are prohibited by the rules from passing a flagman unless or until they have consulted with the crew that set the flagman out and have agreement that it is safe to proceed, or the crew calls the flagman back. When a train is ready to move again, it's important not to leave the flagman behind.

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