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Logging Locos, Logging Track Plan, Logging Mill, then Mainline Pick-up

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Logging Locos, Logging Track Plan, Logging Mill, then Mainline Pick-up
Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:21 AM

Quite awhile back I set aside some spaces on my new double-deck layout plan to have some logging scenes.

I labeled them Logging Tracks & Logging Interchange

 

Even though both of these 'scenes' are interconnected, they both require individual design attention:

  1. to the logging trains that gather up the downed trees and deliver them to the lumber mill,

  2. the mill itself,

  3. and finally placement of finished product on mainline cars for retail distribution.

 

On this upper level I am proposing to put some logging tracks and trains running out the peninsula to its tip. There might be a very tight loop at the free end of the peninsula for the short logging locos to run. Or it might be just a back and forth operation for them. They will bring logs back to the saw mill scene at the trunk end of the peninsula (logging interchange). I have the whole Walthers saw mill kit(s) and would like to make this scene some sort of transfer of logs to cut/finished product that would be loaded onto mainline log cars and center-beam loaded cars, and a number of other wood carrying cars

 

 

 

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:52 AM

I started out thinking I might be able to put a loop of track at the outer end of the peninsula,...or a gallows turntable. Those were NOT workable ideas.

I don't have room at the tip of my 18" wide peninsula to have a sawmill plus a turntable, and/or loop back to the root of the peninsula.

Perhaps I could have 2 different logging routes out into the forrest,..along the length of the peninsula? Then both of those routes return to the cutting mill at the root of the peninsula,...and perhaps my gallows/a-frame turntable down in the vicinity of that saw mill? And maybe my little yard loco could transfer the cut wood over to another site where it would be packaged up and loaded onto big centerbeam cars, etc, for connection to mainline trains.

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:26 AM

I spent a few days thinking about this 'deck plan' for my logging scene. I went back and forth with the idea of constructing the deck of foam or plywood, what thicknesses of either, what strength I needed from either material if I cut a hole in it for my logging pond, etc, etc. I was having a little trouble 'visualizing' the combinations of varying elevations of the helix accessing tracks, the pond and sawmill, that steel beam across the room, the possible coal mine over the dbl crossover, etc

 

I finally decided to cut the 'basic deck piece' out of the 1/2” plywood sheet I already had,..and it was already primed. It had a little bit of warp-age from having set around for long periods of time before I inherited it and primed it. But that would not really present many problems as it was going to be bolted down to two long metal beams, spaced only 2 feet apart, and stretching across the room. Plus what would it matter if it did a little warping as that are of the logging scene would have some uneven terrain.

So I hand sketched out some semi-circular cut outs that would form the ends of the 2 aisles, and moved the piece out to my carport work table.

(those white alum tubes are there to hold things down in the breezy conditions of the day)

 

Took it back inside and put it up on those metal beams that would support it


Now I have laid my temp paper pattern for my trackplan down onto the deck piece, and will proceed with some rough mocking up on track elevations/turnout fittings, etc.

The elevations and ground terrain will be built of foam.

The sawmill will likely be raised up some, so I may not have to 'dig a pit' (cut out some plywood) for the pond, but rather just build the logging pond on the plywood surface itself??

 

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 10:19 AM

 

I have now laid my temp paper pattern for my trackplan down onto that upper deck plywood, and will proceed with some rough mocking-up of track elevations/fitting turnouts, etc.

 

There is a fair amount of elevated track in this area, and I am imagining that it will be riding over variable ground terrain,...NOT up on visible risers of any sort. But, for purposes of sorting out the grades, etc I am placing the track up on these cheap plastic risers for this planning exercise..



 

Of course I was concerned about the bridges proximity to the wall opening and its own grade, and the fitting of that spur line leading back down the left side.
4413

 

 

 

 



 

I actually became quite concerned about the possible steepness of some of my incline grades when I first looked at the heights of those helix openings combined with the needs to get back down to 'ground levels' fairly quickly. After playing around with it today, I'm not so concerned now.

 


At first I just laid out some long alum tubes I had to see what sort of grades I was dealing with. I then did some height measurements at the ends of those tubes, and the approx lengths of those inclines, then calculated the grades.

My biggest grade was only 2.7%, over on the far left as it comes down the left side from that Y-turnout at the end of that bridge over the stream/pond area.

 

I think my saw mill and those log dumping tracks are going to have to be raised up about ¾ to 1 inch off the plywood deck. That will provide for a pond without cutting any of the plywood deck

There are no longer any holding tracks, nor finishing mill on the back wall. Rather this has been moved over to that far right corner/wall

 




 

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:58 AM

 

Gallows Style Turntable

 

 

Ever since I saw one of the 'backwoods' types I've wanted to include one on my layout,....and why not in a logging scene?

 

 

I started out considering one out in the woods at the end of my upper logging peninsula. I became convinced by forum members that this just wasn't reality at all,....and besides that most logging locos didn't require turning around to operate,..they were happy just backing up in reverse.

Then I began to think of where and why one might be located down near the sawmill base of operations? Lets say I have a fairly well-off lumber mill operations that sees a need to have a variety of steam logging locos. And as such they may need a small turntable to jockey them around and/or perform some maintenance on them. ( I have some nice ones,...a few here)

 


That pie plate size 8+3/4” will fit them all.

 

Well I found a spot of that turntable just behind the sawmill, and near the edge of that upper deck for both viewing and manual operation. I could even provide several stowage tracks linked to it.

 


PHOTO 4502

 

Then I had to complicate matters. Perhaps I could provide a 'straight-thru' track as well where a whole new logging train could be inserted to the woods operation all at one time.

 

 

 

The location of this turntable with respect to the mainline tracks that would feed it, in addition to that desire to have a straight thru connection meant I was going to have to have a few sections of 15”radius track. Could the logging locos make this short radius? Yes it turns out they can.

 

I spent a couple days on and off trying to see if I could increase this radius along with making the other trackage fit in. I was unsuccessful,...just going to have to deal with two short sections of 15” radius, ...one for any trains enter this logging area from the mainline, and one section as it leaves the turntable to enter the logging tracks of the peninsula.

 

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 4:04 PM

Did the photos show up here correctly? I found a new hosting site that seems pretty easy to use,...once I get the hang of it.

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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 5:09 PM

Shows up on my smartphone...

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 10:51 PM

railandsail
Did the photos show up here correctly? I found a new hosting site that seems pretty easy to use,...once I get the hang of it.

Hi Brian,

Yes, the photos showed up just fine.

As usual, your planning is very precise. I think your logging operation will work out well.

Dave

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:54 AM

Congested Interchange & Logging Track Plan
 

I've been tackling a combination problem with my track plan. It primarily involves the 'intersection' of 2 mainlines with the container yard and the logging area. Originally it was a bit simpler,... involving a crossover between the 2 mainlines at the base of a reversing loop of track that extends out into the helix. Thus a train could go either way around that loop, and when it came back to this crossover it could take either of 2 routes back thru the container area. It utilized a pair of Peco double curve turnouts.

 

...clean look...

 

Then I came along and added some complication,...3 more tracks connecting with the mainlines right in this same area. Two of those tracks are for container cars to enter and load in the container yard, and the third (if wanted) is a parking track for a pair of Santa Fe diesels dedicated to working the container area. Then at the bottom there is the access turnout/track leading off to the left to the logging saw mill and logging turntable.

...cluttered up....

 

With all of this extra congestion and tight grouping of turnouts I had to depend not only in lining up the paper templates, but also on physically getting the actual turnouts out and connected them together to assure that I could make this plan a reality. I was dealing in angled tracks (non-straight) and double curves, and each little twist here was an awkward twist somewhere else. It was a puzzle. I ended up making good use of those Peco dbl-curves. I also discovered one spot that was better off with a std turnout.

 

Since two of the tracks running thru this congestion are 'mainlines' I wanted to keep the curved tracks as broad as possible. The use of the dbl-curve Pecos and the large radius std Pecos does that, and the connecting tracks are in the range of 26”-29” radius. The container track feeders have some 24” spots in them, but generally that is the smallest radius curve in any of this area.
 

There are 4 dbl-curve Pecos in this photo,....nice flowing configuration

 

This next photo shows some of that same 'congestion', plus 2 tracks off to the left. The one with the logging engine siting on it is a holding track for the gallows turntable.

That other track is the entrance track to the logging area. It comes off the mainline with another dbl-curve then makes a 15”r curve around to that 'Y'.

 

That little switcher engine...

will be servicing the chip loader, and will be picking up rough-sawn lumber and taking it on a zig-zag route over to the milling plant in that corner ('flat structure' or a photo on that wall) where it will be packaged and loaded onto mainline lumber cars ….centerbeams, thralls, etc.

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:31 AM

I've been following your thread with interest as I too am working on a logging layout. That little 0-4-2 is nice little engine, but it may have a tough time going through these switches without stalling. Do you have a keep-alive decoder? I have a similar tank engine for a small mining branch, and the TCS keep-alive fried on me. It had a 1 amp capacity, and the engine only pushed two ore cars, but I guess the original motor still pulled too much current. I should have tested the motor first... Does yours still have its original motor?

Simon

PS: I also use the good ol' paper-pencil system to draw my plans, but I use the paper with the square grids. The math is a lot easier with the squares...

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:58 AM

I think mine has the original motor, and it is currently not running (estate sale item).

I'm planning on a nice upgrade to repower it for DCC operation and the addition of keep alive. It already has some nice custom detailing,...just needs a repainting as well.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:59 AM

Brian.  I think you are taking the right approach by designing the plan as you build it.  Using a lot of curved turnouts in clusters makes extensive planning on paper or CAD difficult, IMO.  I'm sure its possible, but the amount of adjustments needed to get those angles correct seems like it would use up a lot of time either by CAD or by designing it in the flesh like you're doing.  

As you probably know, it is possible to trim the turnout itself to help facilitate the proper angle for the next curve.  Of course, once you trim it, there is no adding it back, so you need to be certain about it.

Its not the same as trimming a striaght turnout, to where the next straight section just needs to be cut to account for a shortened turnout.  With a curved turnout, one miss trim throws off the angles of all of the other abutting curved turnouts.

One thing I see:  It looks like you can replace that severe Y turnout with a normal LH turnout and not lose any function.  You have the space to the right.  It would look more flowing and would remove that nasty S curve you've got brewing. 

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 10:09 AM

Doughless

Its not the same as trimming a striaght turnout, to where the next straight section just needs to be cut to account for a shortened turnout.  With a curved turnout, one miss trim throws off the successive angles of all of the other abutting curved turnout.

 

Tell me about that !!

I often found it was difficult to get the full size paper templates correctly oriented. In a number of cases I had to get the actual track/turnouts out and couple them together, then tape the paper templates together according to the real thing.

As I look back over things I do like and appreciate what 'full scale' track planning can offer,... over the computer programs. But of course it is much more time consuming, etc when one is just trying to look at alternative track planning that computer design programs offer.

 

One thing I see:  It looks like you can replace that severe Y turnout with a normal LH turnout and not lose any function.  You have the space to the right.  It would look more flowing and would remove that nasty S curve you've got brewing.


I'll have to look into that

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 6:31 PM

Doughless

Brian.  I think you are taking the right approach by designing the plan as you build it.  Using a lot of curved turnouts in clusters makes extensive planning on paper or CAD difficult, IMO.  I'm sure its possible, but the amount of adjustments needed to get those angles correct seems like it would use up a lot of time either by CAD or by designing it in the flesh like you're doing. 

.........................

One thing I see:  It looks like you can replace that severe Y turnout with a normal LH turnout and not lose any function.  You have the space to the right.  It would look more flowing and would remove that nasty S curve you've got brewing. 

 

 

I'm glad you brought this to my attention, and made me re-evaluate this track plan AGAIN. I think I have arrived at a better solution by removing that short 'Y' turnout, and replacing it with another Peco variation.

 


At first I thought, how about a Peco 'set-track' small turnout with curving divergent route of approx 17” radius. But I didn't have a physical one of these on hand to play with.

 


What I did have at hand was a Peco 'set-track' double-curve turnout. The inside curve of this turnout is similar if not identical to that of the small set track one. I got one out and placed it into that curving track leading from the mainline to the turntable.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I chose its placement such that the outer curve of that dbl-curve would mate up with my rough-wood cut lumber loading track. I found that the section of track between the turnout and the turntable could now be an 18” radius track rather then a 15” track. The track from the mainline connection that feeds that dbl-curve still needs to be 15” r.

 

 

 

I think I have cut down on that 'S' curve flaw, and now it only exist on the chip loading track.

 

A big benefit of this new arrangement is that both the lumber loading and chip loading tracks are significantly longer.

 

 

 

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:20 PM

Looks a lot better.  

You might be able to tweek it even more.  If you slid the new turnout down the mainline (to the right), that would change the angle of the track heading into the spur which might allow you to use a LH turnout to form the second spur instead of the RH turnout.  That would eliminate that slight S curve in the spur joint.  It would make the spurs slightly longer too.

Might not fit.  Maybe worth a try.

And in the end, you might have to slide the TT a half an inch or a little more to accomodate the new curve heading to it.

Overall, I wouldn't describe this process as reevaluating the track plan.  I think this is a natural progression of what happens when you build a layout.  At least it is for me.  All of these little adjustments sort of appear as you see the plan come into shape.  Some of it simply isn't seen when you draw things on paper.

Edit:  That S curve in the spurs can't normally be eliminated.  You could slid the RH turnout to the left and install a bit more straight track in between that turnout and the new curved turnout.  Sections of straight track in between two opposing curves tend to eliminate S curve problems.  It would shorten the spurs by that much however.

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:47 PM

Thanks for your help Douglas, I'll have ANOTHER look at it tomorrow.

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, October 17, 2019 9:04 AM

Doughless

Edit:  That S curve in the spurs can't normally be eliminated.  You could slid the RH turnout to the left and install a bit more straight track in between that turnout and the new curved turnout.  Sections of straight track in between two opposing curves tend to eliminate S curve problems.  It would shorten the spurs by that much however.

 

Changing from a right to a left turnout didn't work out so well, so I adopted a concept similar to your suggestion. I put a more gradual diverging turnout (Peco med rather than Peco small), plus a short piece of straight track.

 

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, October 17, 2019 12:42 PM

Trains move slowly on spurs.  The S curve shouldn't be a problem.

- Douglas

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Posted by emdmike on Sunday, October 20, 2019 5:55 PM

Nice roster of logging lokies.  I to have a brass 2-6-6-2t, same one you have, Booth Kelly Lumber #2.  I also had the Mantua and AHM/Rivarossi Heisler at one time.  I now buy only brass motive power as I start over in logging myself.  I only wish I had your space to build a layout in.  Mine will be much smaller.  Keep the pics coming, gives me lots of inspiration to get off the couch and get back in the layout room to dust off the benchwork.    Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, October 20, 2019 7:27 PM

Latest Mods

That last modification resulted in even longer lumber loading track and chip loading track. In fact the chip loading track can now easily handle 2 cars at one time, plus another flat car being exchanged in the lumber loading track.

 


 

I'm now thinking that I can trim the roof edge off of the sawmill structure (brown paper mock-up) that will allow for a longer loading platform for the forklifts to operate on loading the rough cut lumber onto flats to be delivered to the finishing mill over in the corner.

 

 

I was playing around with another of those tight double-curve Pecos I have, and I think I have identified a spot that I can use one, along with a Peco 'set track' turnout to provide a link between the two longing pond drop off tracks.

 


 

 

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, October 21, 2019 6:55 AM

emdmike

Nice roster of logging lokies.  I to have a brass 2-6-6-2t, same one you have, Booth Kelly Lumber #2.  I also had the Mantua and AHM/Rivarossi Heisler at one time.  I now buy only brass motive power as I start over in logging myself.  I only wish I had your space to build a layout in.  Mine will be much smaller.  Keep the pics coming, gives me lots of inspiration to get off the couch and get back in the layout room to dust off the benchwork.    Mike the Aspie

 

I've got a few more than those shown,...and a few of those are brass. I sold off a few unusually brass ones I had when I anticipated moving to Thailand full time. I figured the very high humidity over there wouldn't be too kind on brass. 

But I did think a nice big open house sort of layout in northern Thailand university town would have been a big unusual hit.

My total logging area has turned out a little bit larger than I originally anticipated, but it just sort of evolved this way. I think fitting a gallows style turntable into the scene really pushed me to make it bigger.

Glad you are enjoying the trip.

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 8:30 AM

Track CODE going out peninsula into the woods?

 

In the box of misc stuff I picked up last weekend there were some CODE70 Shinohara turnouts. That smaller code track got me to thinking about using smaller code track for the 2 lines I'll have going out into the woods of the upper peninsula deck.

I wonder if this CODE 70 rail is OK with most of my logging locos.

Perhaps I should consider this On30 code 83 track, particularly with its wider and random ties?

 


 

 

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