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Yard Design

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Yard Design
Posted by rrebell on Saturday, February 1, 2020 8:13 PM

Trying to come up with a yard design for my layout. I only have 30"x96" area. I have a Volmer roundhouse and a Walthers 90" turntabe which take up a wedge aprox. 14"x 18"x 30". This dimention includes the roundhouse, turntable and the conecting tracks. I also need a service track for steam, a run around, rip track and of course the yard tracks which includes the departure track. I have played with this awhile but just not happy with my design. Thought maybe some imput would open me up to alturnitive plans.

 

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Posted by Canalligators on Saturday, February 1, 2020 8:24 PM

HO scale?  8 feet long doesn't leave much room, probably not feasible to make a double-ended yard.  What operating scheme do you want your yard to support?  Is your road an out-and-back?

Genesee Terminal, freelanced HO in Upstate NY
  ...hosting Loon Bay Transit Authority, run through Amtrak and CSX Intermodal

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Posted by cuyama on Saturday, February 1, 2020 9:19 PM

As noted, 8 feet in length does not offer a lot of options in HO. Here's an 8-foot-long yard from a custom project. It would actually need to be a little longer to accommodate the tail track for the runaround

The turntable is PECO's roughly 1-foot-diameter version and turnouts are mostly PECO C75 "Mediums" with one "Small" in the engine service area. Minimum radius in the yard is 24 inches; 20 inches in the engine terminal. The water tank is from Walthers, the compact coaling tower from JV models, the ashpit is scratchbuilt, the enginehouse was the client's existing scratchbuilt model, but many commercial models will fit. The station was the client's AMB Type 23 SP station with a modified freight platform/dock.

Edit: This is not intended to be a standalone layout, just an example of a small yard from a larger layout to give an idea of what could be done with eight feet for the yard itself. The layout this design came from extended in each direction.

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, February 1, 2020 11:30 PM

Nice design, 18" radius would be fine, rest of my layout (like my last layout) is this, run mainly 40' or less cars in HO scale. Run small steam and very early diesels.

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, February 1, 2020 11:37 PM

I use #4 switches and have a double crossover and threeways I could use along with curved. Track is Shinohara code 70. Seven car train would be my limit in most cases.

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Posted by snjroy on Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:35 AM

cuyama

As noted, 8 feet in length does not offer a lot of options in HO. Here's an 8-foot-long yard from a custom project. It would actually need to be a little longer to accommodate the tail track for the runaround

The turntable is PECO's roughly 1-foot-diameter version and turnouts are mostly PECO C75 "Mediums" with one "Small" in the engine service area. Minimum radius in the yard is 24 inches; 20 inches in the engine terminal. The water tank is from Walthers, the compact coaling tower from JV models, the ashpit is scratchbuilt, the enginehouse was the client's existing scratchbuilt model, but many commercial models will fit. The station was the client's AMB Type 23 SP station with a modified freight platform/dock.

 

I don't have a layout that small, but if I did I would really try to focus it on my main interests in the hobby. The layout above would probably be great for someone who likes to build and show cars, but doing actual switching would be difficult as there is very little space to back up from the yards. In my case, I like building and collecting locos, so I would put more storage space for them and leave space for maintenance buildings. If buildings were my thing, I would leave more space for an industrial district. 

Simon

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Posted by cuyama on Sunday, February 2, 2020 9:53 AM

snjroy
I don't have a layout that small, but if I did I would really try to focus it on my main interests in the hobby. The layout above would probably be great for someone who likes to build and show cars, but doing actual switching would be difficult as there is very little space to back up from the yards.

What I posted is not intended to be a standalone layout, but just the yard portion of a larger layout which extends in either direction.

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, February 2, 2020 10:27 AM

THis is just an extention of a larger layout, only 7x11 though. I also have an interchange with the world via a carfloat, a Walthers carfloat made in two sections instead of three. There are accually going to be three carfloats that I can exchange on a fold up area that butts up to a carefloat apron on the main layout. As far as the yard goes 5 actual yard tracks would be fine, though was hoping for more as I have a very large collection that I put together for my last layout which was 15x30 with carfloat interchange and two yards. What I am really looking for is inspiration as there are conflicts between wants an space and trying to get a happey medium.

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, February 2, 2020 10:46 AM

If anyone wants to see the basic layout plan, it is very similar to the San Juan Central but the crossover is at the other side and the center swithing area is a very small yard with some switching added too (lot of space there once the crossover was moved. Also of note this layout is standard gauge HO and 18" radius curves. Also the setting is the 1930's  urban areas instead of the mountains.

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, February 2, 2020 12:47 PM

You know just talking to you guys has made me look at alternative plans

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Posted by dknelson on Sunday, February 2, 2020 1:27 PM

If you can find it - it's been out of print for a few years now -- try to get ahold of Andy Sperandeo's book for Kalmbach on yards and yard design.  There is also stuff on yard design in john Armstrong's evergeen Track Planning for Realistic Opeation, but Sperandeo gets more specific and in some ways, perhaps more practical.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by snjroy on Sunday, February 2, 2020 6:44 PM

Hey no worries Cuyama.

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, February 3, 2020 12:28 PM

I found Amstongs book, all but useless. Lots of proto type and stuff for large layouts but not usefull on small.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 3, 2020 2:59 PM

 The info's all there - how much space the ladder takes, how wide the yard would be for X number of tracks, how long each track would be. The various tables cover everythign from a #4 on up. The very first edition, which I don't have, may not have the Atlas Custom Line #4 (which is really a #4 1/2) listed, but the second and third editions, I have both, does have it listed.

 It's not a track plan book. Neither is Andy Sperandeo's yard design book. Both explain why certain tracks are placed where they are in a yard and what purpose they server, adn why you would want them, and how to selectively compress.

 You may be trying to stuff 10 pounds of fertilizer in a 5 pound bag here. To hold a 6 or 7 car train, the SHORTEST track has to be almost 4 feet long. that makes the entire ladder somewhere around 5-6 feet long. Before we've added any sort of A/D track, caboose track, or a throughfare track to get locos to the service area. Not to mention the size of the service area, plus turntable and roundhouse. Double ending the yard is flat out not possible in your space.

                                                  --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, February 3, 2020 4:01 PM

Oh I hear you about double ended, never had that much space. 4' will hold 8 40' cars. I can fit in a 4 track yard with a total of about 15 to 16' or about 30 cars. Able to switch two cars max at a time. Downsizing sucks when it comes to model railroading. On the plus size a 150'+ mainline would have never become super detailed but the new but 35' might because only about 24' is in the open.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 3, 2020 4:11 PM

 Yes, that's 4' of track AFTER the turnout - plus then the ladder length to link all 4 tracks. WHich gives you a lot more than a total of 16' of track - the SHORTEST track would be 4'. Unless you mean making the longest track 4' - the shortest then even using #4 turnouts, which are pretty sharp even for 40' cars, unless they are Atlas, the shortest track will be maybe 2 1/2 feet long, total yard length maybe 12 to 13 feet of track, in a bit under 5' of total length.

 I thought I had a lot of space, with a 22' wall to locate my yard. Think again, even making it single ended. 

                                --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by cuyama on Monday, February 3, 2020 6:04 PM

rrebell
Able to switch two cars max at a time.

That sounds tedious, to be honest. I'd personally try to find an alternative that allowed for switching more cars at once, even if it meant reducing the number and/or length of the yard tracks.

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, February 3, 2020 11:55 PM

cuyama

 

 
rrebell
Able to switch two cars max at a time.

 

That sounds tedious, to be honest. I'd personally try to find an alternative that allowed for switching more cars at once, even if it meant reducing the number and/or length of the yard tracks.

 

That is what would happen, I would lose 4 cars in the yard for every car on the tail. Average train on this layout will be between 5 and 7 cars.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 7:18 AM

Put a long passing siding off the main down the whole length. The first turnout should be as close to the rest of the layout as possible. The last turnout, at the end of the yard stubs, needs to be back far enough to allow engine escape. That also becomes your A/D track. To the left of the yard ladder, you have the turntable and roundhouse, the main and this long siding run in front of it. Past there, one more turnout leads to the yard ladder. You now have a switch lead long enough for more than just 2 cars at a time.

You may have to leave out something to get all those things in the available space. Simplified service tracks, no RIP track, or only a 2 or 3 track yard instead of 4. The width is enough to have more than 4 tracks wide - if you add a 5th, it would be fairly short, but the far end could be the RIP track and if it connected to the ladder via another turnout instead of just running off the end of the last turnout, the other end could extend back towards the turntable and be the service track. 

                                  --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 10:32 AM

rrebell
That is what would happen, I would lose 4 cars in the yard for every car on the tail. Average train on this layout will be between 5 and 7 cars.

Seems to me it would be worth rethinking the overall layout design -- what you have so far seems to be constraining the yard unreasonably given your goals for train length and yard capacity.

Without seeing the full track plan, it's impossible to give useful suggestions.

Good luck with your layout.

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 2:03 PM

cuyama

 

 
rrebell
That is what would happen, I would lose 4 cars in the yard for every car on the tail. Average train on this layout will be between 5 and 7 cars.

 

Seems to me it would be worth rethinking the overall layout design -- what you have so far seems to be constraining the yard unreasonably given your goals for train length and yard capacity.

Without seeing the full track plan, it's impossible to give useful suggestions.

Good luck with your layout.

 

You should drop by, beleive I am fairly close to you, in Hayward.

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 10:50 AM

rrebell
You should drop by, beleive I am fairly close to you, in Hayward.

Thanks for the invitation; I'm not up that way too often. In the meantime, there are probably many folks here on the forum who could provide ideas much sooner. If you're just not able to post images of your track plan, I'd be happy to upload them for you -- or scan and post. You may send paper or electronic stuff to me via the contact information on this page.

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 2:27 PM

cuyama

 

 
rrebell
You should drop by, beleive I am fairly close to you, in Hayward.

 

Thanks for the invitation; I'm not up that way too often. In the meantime, there are probably many folks here on the forum who could provide ideas much sooner. If you're just not able to post images of your track plan, I'd be happy to upload them for you -- or scan and post. You may send paper or electronic stuff to me via the contact information on this page.

 

Thanks.

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 8:56 PM

.

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 11:36 AM

rrebell sent me images of his sketch for the layout and the yard area, which I am posting here at his request:

Based on his earlier posts, I thought that there must be some way to arrange the yard that would eliminate the “only two cars at a time” constraint. There aren’t a lot of degrees of freedom because the 30”X96” space is fixed, some elements like the turntable and roundhouse are must-haves, and the desire is for 7-car trains – about 420 scale feet (58”) with power and caboose. On the plus side, his equipment negotiates 18” HO curves and Shinohara Code 70 #4 turnouts well.

I took a quick and very rough pass at a working yard design. One of the keys in any track planning exercise is overlapping elements where possible. In this case, I used a pinwheel yard ladder along one curving leg of the wye. To coax the maximum length in the clear for the yard, I curved and angled it across the benchwork, which also carved-out a triangular space for turntable and roundhouse.

The resulting rough design could use some tweaking, but suggests that it might be possible to accommodate all of these elements. The double-ended tracks (1&2) are at least 445 scale feet in the clear. Operation is much more fluid, especially if a yard lead can be placed alongside the main (in blue here). By building or backing a train (up to 427 scale feet) on Track 1, it can depart through the wye counter-clockwise. Similarly, a train of this length can arrive on this track, but a switcher would be needed to pull the train off to release the engine. Operation will be much more fluid if used as a working yard (less than 50% full) rather than a storage yard. 

By the way, I didn’t use a crossover between tracks 1 and 2 because a straight crossover built from true #4s is pretty tight and #6s would have used too much length. The short pocket that could have been created there with a crossover might be handy, but wasn’t worth compromising the desired train length. The other crossover at the lower left between the main and the yard lead is angled so that there is no s-curve, even when using #4s.

There are some significant caveats: The curved tracks past the yard throat are pretty tight (18” to 25” radius). It would probably be necessary to nudge couplers manually to get them to line up for coupling on the inner tracks. I used rrebell’s estimates on dimensions and roughly guessed at the arrangement of the main line – obviously even minor discrepancies there will impact the viability of this plan.

I don’t usually respond to threads with a design, but I stubbornly thought that there must be some way it could work a bit better.

Byron

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 12:37 PM

I just realized that it would be easy to add at least three (relatively) long stub-ended storage tracks in place of the icing plant in my sketch. These would be inconvenient to switch, but fine for storage. Curving-in the benchwork where I noted the possibility would help with access for these.

This would leave the front tracks as the working yard.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 12:45 PM

 What about flipped over, with the roundhouse/turntable on the left, top (or even inside the wye?) and the end of the yard tracks to the right. Ice track at the lower right. 

Seems like this would give room to extend the switch lead onto the main part of the layout, preserves the required turntable and roundhouse, and maximizes the lengths of the yard tracks. Perhaps even makes room for a few more things besides just the icing track.

                                          --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 Wednesday, February 12, 2020 12:56 PM

rrinker
What about flipped over, with the roundhouse/turntable on the left, top (or even inside the wye?) and the end of the yard tracks to the right. Ice track at the lower right.  Seems like this would give room to extend the switch lead onto the main part of the layout, preserves the required turntable and roundhouse, and maximizes the lengths of the yard tracks. Perhaps even makes room for a few more things besides just the icing track.

Could well be -- I did this quickly, so I didn't look at all the possibilities (by any means) and just started with rrebell's general placement for the turntable and roundhouse. 

Your suggestion would certainly be worth his time to explore.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 1:07 PM

 Yeah I'm at work or I would throw it together and see what I got.

                                   --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 1:35 PM

Thanks again guys. As I explained to Byron the yard is the last area to be compleated, working on the main layout now which with the dry times, will take a long time. Two days or more for caulk to set up properly on the inclines (using Woodland Scenics inclines for this) and if I have to layer foam, you get the picture.

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