|Some of the feedback I receive from my crew is clearer than at other times...|
First off, while I do run TT/TO, only one train is on a particular line at any one time. So signing a register isn't really necessary - who are you telling? And also, it turns out on the Valley Line only Wethersfield, Middletown, East Haddam(?), Essex, and Old Saybrook were order stations - so I think those would be the only register locations (I'm not positive about East Haddam yet). And interestingly, Middletown, East Haddam, and Old Saybrook also happen to be the only places on my layout where trains exchange cars with each other. So the registers are prototypical at those stations - and also useful to let a subsequent train know you've been there.
And so I've eliminated the registers everywhere else, including at the staging yards (which will no doubt make Tom happy!)
Now, this reassessing the registers has prompted a reassessment of my paperwork generally. Here's a link to an overview of how I currently do may paperwork. And here's a link to a discussion between model railroaders and real railroaders, who also happen to be model railroaders too. That thread is particularly interesting in that it started as a CC&WB vs. Switchlist discussion, but then evolved into a more in-depth discussion of how the real railroads deal/dealt with paperwork and the best way to adapt those practices to a model railroad that you want to operate prototypically.
So I'm going to spend some time reviewing that thread and evaluating my ops in light of what's most prototypical and also adaptable to a model railroad. In the meantime, I hope you'll weigh in with how YOU replicate prototypical operations on your layouts and/or point me to some more good resources.