Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Passing Sidings on an HO Scale Layout

1216 views
14 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August, 2019
  • 2 posts
Passing Sidings on an HO Scale Layout
Posted by Trainguy1988 on Friday, August 30, 2019 9:48 PM

Hello,

I'm in the process of expanding my current 4 x 8 layout in AnyRail, with plans to set it up in my basement.  My expansion plan includes two 151 cm (4.97 feet) passing sidings to accommodate a seven-car passenger train, a straight spur line (which includes one of the passing sidings), and a freight yard.  Due to size restrictions, however (I had neglected to factor door clearance into layout space), it will have to be at least 3 feet (91.44 cm) shorter width- and lengthwise.  I'm wondering, then, if anyone has found a workaround to operating trains with passing sidings of unequal length.

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • From: Nashville, TN area
  • 478 posts
Posted by hardcoalcase on Tuesday, September 03, 2019 10:06 AM

Obviously, as long as one train fits on the longer of the main or siding, its not an issue.  If both trains are too long, they can pass by each other by doing what is referred to as a "saw-by".  But, as the wise sage say-ith, after you've completed the saw-by maneuver, you'll feel like you've done a full day's work.  Its more practical to restrict the length of the lower priority train so that it will fit on the siding, followed by a second section if needed.

Jim

  • Member since
    April, 2019
  • From: Pacific Northwest
  • 560 posts
Posted by SPSOT fan on Tuesday, September 03, 2019 10:58 AM

I personally feel that the unequal length of passing sidings could add some operational interest to you layout. Operators would have to work very carefully to work with the shorter passing siding which will provide some challenge to operations. The maneuvers required to perform a see-saw meat would add some time to train movement in what sounds like a relatively small layout.

Of course as previously stated restricting certain trains could also work, and will also add to operations. I will not that to me it seems restricting train length won’t completely prevent issues.

I sounds to me like you will have a few time in which a full length train will have to wait awile at the longer siding to meet another full length train, it really seems unavoidable.

I will note that often yard tracks can temporarily be called to be used as a passing siding. Yes this prevent a switcher from going about it’s business but that is a compromise you’ll have to make.

Whatever you do you will have to make compromises that may hinder one aspect of you layout but I think that it is okay to have a bit or a limitation to add challenger, interest, and time to operations.

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,425 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, September 03, 2019 6:53 PM

Have you considered using curved turnouts on the passing sidings?  I have done that in a couple of places and it allowed me to create longer passing sidings without compromising anything else.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: AU
  • 581 posts
Posted by xdford on Tuesday, September 03, 2019 10:58 PM

Trainguy1988

... My expansion plan includes two 151 cm (4.97 feet) passing sidings to accommodate a seven-car passenger train, a straight spur line (which includes one of the passing sidings), and a freight yard...

Hi there,

 

I would take it you are using European stock as I can only fit a loco and three passenger cars in a metre/metre/39 inches of track and I have short Athearn passenger cars, not full length ones so I don't think 7 US cars plus a loco would "go".  

I'm with Mr Beasley on the curved turnout suggestion to help you out and also agree that saw by moves can be repetitive and wear you a bit thin.  

I did contribute to another thread in the British YMR web site which may be of interest to you at  http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=10671&forum_id=6&highlight=sunil#p203627 but the whole thread bears reading for those among us with big dreams but less space than we would like ... which is most of us really!

Cheers from Australia

Trevor

https://sites.google.com/view/stagnesrailway for your interest!

 

 

  • Member since
    April, 2019
  • From: Pacific Northwest
  • 560 posts
Posted by SPSOT fan on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 3:12 AM

xdford

I would take it you are using European stock as I can only fit a loco and three passenger cars in a metre/metre/39 inches of track and I have short Athearn passenger cars, not full length ones so I don't think 7 US cars plus a loco would "go".  

I wonder if the OP ment freight cars, you could fit about 7 or 8 forty foot freight cars and a smaller engine (i.e. Geep or RS) in 4.97 feet. A three car full lenght passenger train is however quite typically on shorter runs and non-name trains from the 50s and 60s.

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
  • 6,927 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 6:36 AM

Trainguy1988
I'm in the process of expanding my current 4 x 8 layout in AnyRail, with plans to set it up in my basement.  My expansion plan includes two 151 cm (4.97 feet) passing sidings to accommodate a seven-car passenger train,

So considering HO passenger cars are roughly 1 foot long each, and your siding is planned to be about 5 feet long, I'm wondering what trickery you are going to use to fit a 7 car passenger train into a 5 foot siding?  And assuming it has an engine...

Ok, even if you are using "shorty" passenger cars, it still sounds like a no-go plan.  A 4x8 foot is only going to fit a roundy round oval layout so you should just give into the schwartz and do a double track oval, and put in cross-overs to allow trains to travel from one loop to the other.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • 807 posts
Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 8:31 AM

I also think that the 8X4 is an important parameter here. There is only so much you can do with a layout that size, especially with respect to passenger service. Short, three car trains would definitely look better. So if I were you, I would not worry about the length of the sidings. If you like long passenger trains, I would suggest you find a club with a large layout. That's what I do to enjoy my larger steam and longer passenger trains, until I build my dream layout Smile.

Simon

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 9,522 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 9:02 AM

Trainguy1988
...Due to size restrictions, however (I had neglected to factor door clearance into layout space), it will have to be at least 3 feet (91.44 cm) shorter width- and lengthwise....

If you're referring to a door that opens into the layout space, in most cases it's not too difficult to change the door to open out, rather than into the room.

Another thing to remember is that you usually need to "scale" your train lengths to suit the layout you have.  You can run a train on a 4'x8' oval where the locomotive is only inches behind the caboose, but why would you?  It looks silly and it really limits your operating options.

Wayne

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 11,193 posts
Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 9:46 AM

Note that the OP says he is expanding his current 4' x 8' layout, although I'm not clear from the exactly how much larger the new layout will be....

Stix
  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • 807 posts
Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 9:56 AM

wjstix

Note that the OP says he is expanding his current 4' x 8' layout, although I'm not clear from the exactly how much larger the new layout will be....

 

Yes, some kind of picture would help to understand what is being expanded. I was assuming that the trains would go around a loop on the 4X8 and that sidings were being added to store cars.

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 10,041 posts
Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 10:53 AM

I guess my feeling is that if a layout is fairly small, a double ended passing siding eats up a heck of a lot of valuable real estate that could be used for more industrial switching.  It is true that meets and passes are reasonable interesting things to see and they create a challenge for the dispatcher - assuming you have one.  For the crews it is more a matter of following rules and orders and then sitting and waiting, a fairly mechanical task compared to local switching.  

On a smaller layout I think creating interest for the crews is more important. 

In this case perhaps the OP should be considering a single ended passing siding so the train being passed has to back out.  That is (or was) prototypical by the way.

In an ideal world the passenger train holds the main and the other trains take siding of course.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
  • 6,927 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 11:04 AM

wjstix

Note that the OP says he is expanding his current 4' x 8' layout, although I'm not clear from the exactly how much larger the new layout will be....

 

 
Riiiiight.  But he gives a clue here: 
 
My expansion plan includes two 151 cm (4.97 feet) passing sidings to accommodate a seven-car passenger train, 
[
 
Soooo.....

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • From: Richmond, VA
  • 1,719 posts
Posted by carl425 on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 4:15 PM

Maybe since his measurements are in metric, he's running something like this Roco:

which is 160mm long.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

  • Member since
    August, 2019
  • 2 posts
Posted by Trainguy1988 on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 8:22 PM

Above is a rough plan of my layout expansion, with measurements in centimeters.  The width is just under 9 feet, and the length is just under 14 feet, though with space restrictions, I may have to reduce the size of the vertical passing siding.  I've also measured the passenger coaches I'd be using, and they are about 21 cm. (8.27 inches) in length from coupler to coupler.  I'm planning on the bottom portion being a sort of freight yard, but wanted to allow enough space on the vertical passing siding so a locomotive can run around its train, turn on the wye, and bring it back up to the main line at top.  If need be, I can reduce the amount of sidings in the middle yard to allow for more space.  Thank you everyone for your replies so far!!

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!