Uncoupling: If black boxes appear on the track, those are magnet uncoupling locations, and you must stop the train with the coupler over them to unhook (couplers turn red). If there are no magnets visible, just click on the coupler to unhook a car.
Turnouts: Click on the gray circle to move the turnout. They will not operate if blocked. They may also be linked with other turnouts.
Locations: A green dot appears on a car when it is in the correct place (or spot). Click on a car to see where it needs to be spotted.
'h' - toggles stat display if you don't want the pressure.
'n' - toggles car names.
's' - shows spot locations (where to park the cars).
'd' - shows debug information (for me!).
'+/-' - scales in or out (only some layouts).
Arrow keys will move the display layout (only some layouts).
Specific Puzzle Instructions:
Inglenook: My favorite, and the one Dawson Station is based on. Originally built by Alan Wright in 1978 on a 1' x 4' board. "5:3:3" refers to the capacities of the sidings. To complete the puzzle, build a train on the main (top) siding in the correct order shown by the colors. The cut-down versions require smaller consists, but also reduce the siding capacities. Dawson Station is more like the 3:2:2 "micro" version because the rolling stock is so long (60 ft for the gondolas and centerbeams).
Timesaver: This is the
Passing with a Spur: Straight from the pages of Carl Arendt's website is the classic passing puzzle, which is a lot harder than it looks: Can you get the blue train car past the one? The siding only holds one car. It is possible! Once you master that, add some cars. The same technique works for longer trains.
New Castle Industrial Railroad: This is a layout and setup designed by Jack Hill that I wanted to try out. He uses a waybill system, but you can do it by just clicking on the cars to see where they go. See his website for the instructions and background (there are some interesting considerations about loading and unloading cars). Designed by a real railroader for realistic operations. You can't beat that.