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Castleville County RR

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Castleville County RR
Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 2:09 PM

Interesting track plan of a layout that just appeared on ebay. There is a lot of train running possibilities on this relatively small layout (9.7 x  10.8).  Thought it might be interesting to post, and solicit comments on the trackplan itself.

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 2:10 PM

https://www.ebay.com/itm/302585844473?ul_noapp=true
 

I began this layout in 1995. I had a table layout, but the 1994 earthquake damaged it beyond repair. I decided to build a strong open frame layout with a hard shell. This approach aloud me to create mountains and valleys.
I am an electro-mechanical engineer by trade and have always liked trains. There is over 90 square feet of area and about 2.76 scale miles of track. There is a drawing of the layout in the gallery. My goal was to be as realistic as possible. I named the layout Castle County Railroad, but that name doesn't appear anywhere on the layout, so you are free to choose your own name.
There is a downtown area and plenty of industry. The downtown and the area around is lighted. (See Pictures)
I am retired now at 72, and it is too difficult for me to work on the layout.
My wish is that someone will continue to enjoy this layout as much as I did. There are some unfinished areas. The system was designed for block control, but today DCC is the popular train control. All the switches are working. I was in the process of converting some to slow motion switches using tiny servo motors.

There are a number of photos on that listing page. I've made an inquiry to possible obtain individual photos of those 'grouped photos'

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 5:32 PM

Lots of 18" radius. From the pictures it looks like thanfully he had access on at least some of the outside, because no way can you reach the top from within that operating pit. Not to mention I am 20 years younger than the seller and wouldn't be able to squeeze through that 15" space to even get in there.

 Zero operation, unless all you want to do is run mainline through trains. Is thre even a single siding anywhere besides the engine service?

 It looks nice, and it may run well, but I know I would quickly grow tired of it the way it is. I like switching too much. 

                            --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by GraniteRailroader on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 6:16 PM

Zero operation, unless all you want to do is run mainline through trains. Is thre even a single siding anywhere besides the engine service?

 It looks nice, and it may run well, but I know I would quickly grow tired of it the way it is. I like switching too much.

Agreed. It's a nice "roundy roundy" plan but I don't see much for operations interested people. 

Even for the roundy roundy types theres not really any space for any staged trains.

This space reserved for SpaceMouse's future presidential candidacy advertisements

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Posted by gregc on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 7:03 PM

railandsail
There is a lot of train running possibilities on this relatively small layout

layouts better suited for operation create distance by having a single route between destinations (e.g. industry spurs) not having multiple possibilites.

this trackplan has several redundant tracks.   I think it would be more interesting if that space were used to create a track plan that requires a train to go around the layout more than once and serving different industries on each loop, before returning to the same point.

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 10:00 PM

My first thought, is if you can't walk around the outside of this layout, it's not anything I would want.

Maybe great for continuous running, MAYBE, as others have said, as long as nothing goes wrong, and you have to reach across 50" of benchwork and scenery to fix it.  And where the switch controls are, it looks even farther to reach ?

Actually, most of this layout is "unreachable".

I would come up with something more efficient to operate, and to allow more operations, in a 10'8" x 9'7" room, with an around the wall layout.

As I mentioned before, if you can walk around the outside of this layout, along with the inside, maybe.

Mike.

EDIT:  I totally agree with Greg's post, above mine.  Too much redundant track.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, January 03, 2018 1:11 AM

I have to echo Mike's reach in distance concerns. When I designed our club's new (under construction) permanent layout I got a little over enthusiastic with the reach in distances. The result is that about 20' of feet of track is slightly more than 30" from the fascia. We have a few tall guys in the club who will be able to retrieve a derailed train on those tracks once everything is built, but we have already realized that we will have to get creative when we are building the layout. We have managed to separate that part of the layout into a 'front' and a 'back'. We will do as much of the work on the 'back' as we can before we install the plywood and roadbed in the 'front'. Otherwise, doing the scenery for the 'back' portion would be backbreaking (pardon the pun) if we had to reach over the front part of the section. For now we can stand between the framing members to reach the back (at least the skinny ones can!).

Dave

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, January 03, 2018 3:22 PM

It has an abundance of opportunity to run trains in multiple directions over redundant tracks, yet not really go anywhere.  Not to mention it looks crowded to me.

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, January 05, 2018 9:46 AM

rrinker

Lots of 18" radius. From the pictures it looks like thanfully he had access on at least some of the outside, because no way can you reach the top from within that operating pit. Not to mention I am 20 years younger than the seller and wouldn't be able to squeeze through that 15" space to even get in there.

 Zero operation, unless all you want to do is run mainline through trains. Is thre even a single siding anywhere besides the engine service?

 It looks nice, and it may run well, but I know I would quickly grow tired of it the way it is. I like switching too much. 

                            --Randy

 

I understand your criticism Randy, and agree with most of it. But lets see if I can offer another view point.

This is a relately small layout ( only 9'7" wide x 10' long) into which he has tried to place a lot of mainline running. So of couuse there are ging to be some small radiuses included, (many of our modern diesel loco models will be able to run these curves).

What caught my attention was the dble tracks that would allow for running 2 seperate trains at one time without interference with one another,...and if DCC was being used there could be at least 3 trains running simultanously without intereference. I've included this little sketch that denotes the 2 lines in yellow and blue hi-lite.



Note also that there is a LOT of double mainline that offers a lot of side-by-side, and opposing direction, passing situations. There are also provisions for those trains to turn around on their own tracks and run the opposite direction. So the comments about excessive trackage might take this into account.

There are a couple of other sidings for the sawmill,..did you see those? When I looked at some of the other open spots on the layout I thought I saw opportunites for other sidings that he had just not chosen to make?

When I first viewed this plan perhaps it was with a favorable stance of having proposed a similar double blob lower level shelf layout  myself,..
WWW.
I thought what if this plan was enlarged to 11x15. That extra 1.5 feet of width might allow a more generous radius to thos 2 blobs, and a more generous asile to squeeze thru to the center operating area. Then neck down that portion of the layout above the right had blob while still retaining his original plan ?

Granted those very wide(deep) 'shelfs' at the blob loops would be a problem to work over.

I guess I was seeing some similarlities with my Anon & Muss style plan without that central peninsula.
http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/264616.aspx?page=2

 

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 05, 2018 10:28 AM

 The other bit is what a bunch of others also pointed out - there are tracks just going all over the place. If you reduce it to just those two mains, and cut out all the extra reverse connections, you might have a starting point for something.

The thing is, if you make it 18" wider, now the choke point is more acceptable, 33" instead of 15" - but that allows no widening of the loops. Taking out some of the extra track may allow the top part to be thinner - as is, with no access to the back side, the reach is far too much to be comfortable. With the somewhat unecessary diagonals out of the way on the right hand side, you could put a liftout hatch back there to aid with access, but the left side is tough. 

 It all comes back to the same thing - an 11 foot wide space and anything much more than 22" radius curves simply does not support a C shaped plan with both legs the same length. Going up to 24" radius (which still won't run really large locos), means you need at least 52" wide lobes. That only allows 2" clearance between the track and the edge. ANd that takes 104" of the 132" of width, allowing just 28" of space to squeeze through the narrow point.

 I have any number of scribbles on any number of pages all over the place where I plotted just how big a basement I would need to have around the walls plus 1 penninsula at a desired 32" radius. Or two penninsulas. And various other variations. I thought about this for a long time. ANd then ended up with a house not at all suitable for that sort of plan.

                        --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by cuyama on Friday, January 05, 2018 10:35 AM

One of the things many folks miss when they say “You can add more industry sidings in lots of places” is that the grades are often working against you. It can be challenging to shove cars up into a spur on a steep grade and keep them there. And where do you leave the rest of the train without it rolling away while switching? 

[By the way, this is a fault of many, many published speculative plans with grades. And it’s an aspect that takes up a lot of time when I am working on a custom plan.]

Also, adding more turnouts to the main line limits locations where grades can change, since changing grade within or too close to a turnout can be unreliable. This has the effect of making the remaining grades much steeper.

The access and reach issues on this layout are obvious and may be part of the reason the seller is leaving the hobby. Even in the given space, there are perhaps better ways to incorporate multiple independent laps for orbiting trains, if that is primarily what one wishes to accomplish.

Byron

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, January 05, 2018 10:41 AM

.... just 28" of space to squeeze through the narrow point.


How big of a guy are you?...ha...ha

I'm 6-4 220 lbs and I get thru (quite easily) some of the interior doors of my trailer home that are 24 inches wide.

Brian

 

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, January 05, 2018 10:54 AM

I think you are correct Byron,...

I am retired now at 72, and it is too difficult for me to work on the layout.

I'm 75 now, and hope I don't experience that too soon. Those wide/deep shelfs do concern me. I'm hoping I can lay that track in the back so smoothly that I rarely need to go retrive trains there. And in those real deep areas,..almost no switching operations.

Perhaps I will need to rig up one of those old arcade crane machines,....ha...ha

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 05, 2018 4:02 PM

railandsail

 

.... just 28" of space to squeeze through the narrow point.

 


How big of a guy are you?...ha...ha

 

I'm 6-4 220 lbs and I get thru (quite easily) some of the interior doors of my trailer home that are 24 inches wide.

Brian

 

 

A lot more than 220, let's just say that. I cna easily get through a 24" space, but I wouldn;t want to have to be there for an extended period of time. ALong the lines of "you go through there once to get in, and once when you are done" it would be OK, as an operating space, no way. Because even if YOU can get through there, what about operator #2?

 So you can comfotable make that brief squeeze 24". That nets us 4" more. Sicne at 28" passage with 24" radius curves only left 2" from the edge of the layout to the rails, I think i twould be best to add those inches all around and not alter the radius, so now there would be 3" clearance all around from the center of the rails to the edge of the benchwork. Much more comfortable, but still at a 24" radius curve. 4 axle diesels, shorter cars, small steam locos - if that's what you are looking at, then this shoudl work fine.

 But still, much wrong with that plan. Take your idea to widen the whole thing to your space, and make those sectiosn narrower so you can actually reach things, and you may have something. Combine your idea of a helix bump out the back so the helix does not consume valuable layout space, and you could have 2 levels far enough apart that the on-stage track can be more level, which then would allow more room to place sidings. Stacked turnback curves (at least one mostly hidden) at one and, and stacked but offset curves on the other side (both mostly visible, sort of like what is shown in this plan) would probably get the most use out of the space.  

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, January 05, 2018 6:44 PM

The right side double mainline isn't really a double mainline.  The inside main rises to cross over the outside main near the top, causing the dreaded long retaining wall.  And since there is another track to the inside of it, there needs to be retaining walls on both sides of the middle track.  Yuk.

I don't see the point of having different runs on track that's three inches from another track.  The designer seems to think that just because the train is traveling on a different track than a few moments before, it means there is more mainline run.

And why would he want to run three whole trains at the same time on a 10 x 9 layout?

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, January 05, 2018 6:51 PM

I just thought it was an interesting 'train runners' plan. I don't think I am interested in it necessarily for myself, as I already have two pretty good plans I am considering. And I'm waiting for one other suggestion from a fellow who has done, and loves to do layout designs.

Meantime I going to finish up my room's interior and set up a little temp layout to play with some of those locos I've collected over the years, and see if I can learn how to operate DCC.

I hope to get my eventual plan as correct as I can for what I'm looking for,....just need to further define that ....ha...ha

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, January 07, 2018 10:50 AM

Doughless

And why would he want to run three whole trains at the same time on a 10 x 9 layout?

 

 
I would,... I use to run two long trains concurrently, both in same direction and opposing directions, around this 10x12 L shaped layout.
http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/31007?page=1
 
Then at the same time I could do switching operations in my turntable area / freight yard areas. So at least 3 trains moving at the same time.
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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, January 07, 2018 10:54 AM

BTW, how does one make a proper link on this forum. I look at the box provided, and insert the proper target address, then click 'open in new window'. Doesn't that make 'intuitive sense'?

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Posted by Doughless on Sunday, January 07, 2018 12:00 PM

railandsail

BTW, how does one make a proper link on this forum. I look at the box provided, and insert the proper target address, then click 'open in new window'. Doesn't that make 'intuitive sense'?

 

I simply highlight the address, copy, paste into this forum's reply box, then hit enter to activate it.

- Douglas

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Posted by Doughless on Sunday, January 07, 2018 12:13 PM

railandsail

 

Doughless

And why would he want to run three whole trains at the same time on a 10 x 9 layout?

 
 
I would,... I use to run two long trains concurrently, both in same direction and opposing directions, around this 10x12 L shaped layout.
http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/31007?page=1
 
Then at the same time I could do switching operations in my turntable area / freight yard areas. So at least 3 trains moving at the same time.
 

What you described is not what I was referring too, and there is no opportunites to switch cars in original plan above, nor much opportunity to do so in a 10x9 plan that has as much "mainline" running opportunities as the plan being discussed.

Running three whole trains on a plan with multiple reversing loops and the opportunity to have trains potentially be on the same track, would be a hassle to manage and would tax anybody's interpretation of what fun is.

If we're talking a true double mainline where both trains stay on their separate tracks unattended (excluding the offhand times they use the cross overs), the above plan would reflect that simplicity.

In a 10x9 space, a plan that has the ability to run two trains while doing switching would have to be, almost without exception that I can think of, waterwings shaped with a yard in the middle.  Far more simple than the plan being discussed.

- Douglas

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