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Industrial trackage

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  • Member since
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  • From: Harrisburg, PA
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Industrial trackage
Posted by hbgatsf on Friday, January 8, 2021 8:50 AM

Rule of thumb is to make your mainline curves with the largest radius that you can.  Mine are 24" and I know many go with 30" or more.

Is there any consensus on curves in industrial complexes?  If you don't plan to take any 85' passenger cars or 4-8-4 Northerns in there I would think you can get away with 18".  Anybody have experience with this?

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, January 8, 2021 9:02 AM

I have some of that in my yard areas.

All the switches are #4, most are Atlas, some tight bends to get around, but switching speeds are low, as the prototype, and it works for me.

I made thing fit into what space I had to use for the overall layout.

I can pull and shove 4 or 5 cars with no problems.

Although, not ALL of the switches are Atlas.  Kind of a hodge-podge of what I had left over from other layouts.

I am considering a major rebuild of the yard areas using all new Atlas switches, and replacing some of the brass with NS track.

Mike.

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, January 8, 2021 10:07 AM

hbgatsf

Rule of thumb is to make your mainline curves with the largest radius that you can.  Mine are 24" and I know many go with 30" or more.

Is there any consensus on curves in industrial complexes?  If you don't plan to take any 85' passenger cars or 4-8-4 Northerns in there I would think you can get away with 18".  Anybody have experience with this?

 

What I have done is to match the minimum radius to the type of industry or car length I plan to switch.  Not all cars will be going onto all spurs, so the "minimum" radius for the layout is not the way I look at it. 

Example:  My lumber center will receive 73' center partition cars.  So the radius for that spur will be broad (unsure of the actual radius dimension) and the switch to the spur will be a #8.  The corn syrup spur, receiving 40' tank cars, will be a sharper curve accessed by a #5 turnout.

Just for adding manufactured complexity/interest to Ops, the SD40-2 can switch the lumber center but is not allowed to switch the corn syrup spur.  The crew must fire up an old ALCO S2 to switch that (and one other) industry.   

- Douglas

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, January 8, 2021 10:39 AM

My layout is designed with these guidelines:

Visible mainline: #6 minimum turnout, 36" minimum radius

Hidden mainline: #6 Minimum turnout, 24" minimum radius

Yard and secondary: #5 minimum turnout, 22" minimum radius

Industrial area: #4 minimum turnout, 18" minimum radius

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrebell on Friday, January 8, 2021 11:21 AM

It all boils down to what you run and how you run it. Most curves on my layout are 18", I run smaller engines and 40' or less boxcars (have a few flat cars that are a bit longer) and they look fine doing it, I also run short trains. Now if you run really long trains you might need something more or if you run up steaper grades on a long curve. Also on your layout do you have a dedicated engine to switch the area like I do in my carfloat area or is this something else, how big are your road engines ?

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, January 8, 2021 11:30 AM

Just an observation.  Nice broad curves on a mainline are great for looks.  But for most of us, we rarely run our trains backwards on the main, and could probably have tighter curves if we had to. 

We do run trains in both directions on our industrial trackage, so a case can be made that nice broad curves have their own benefits there too. Fewer derailments.  And derailments in a highly detailed industrial area are if anything even more hazardous to the layout than a derailment on the main. 

And since industries are focal points for visitors and layout photographers, there are purely visual advantages to not going too tight on the curves in your industrial areas.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by UNCLEBUTCH on Friday, January 8, 2021 11:39 AM

rrebell
It all boils down to what you run and how you run it.

 I had one siding, that came out to just over 15. With 40ft cars and a SW switcher and moving slow, I did spot cars there.

But I would say; just because you can,don't mean you should

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 8, 2021 12:13 PM

hbgatsf
Is there any consensus on curves in industrial complexes? 

Basically you can make them as sharp as you need to and still handle whatever cars you plan to service a siding with.  I'd probably suggest having curves that can handle a 60' freight car.  But if you only plan on short freight cars you can get away with sharper curves.

Rule of thumb?  Size to fit the need.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, January 8, 2021 12:36 PM

If you have cars longer than 60' for that siding, I would go with a broader curve than 18", especially if you need to couple-uncouple in the curve. What is the length of your rolling stock? Locos should not be an issue.

Simon

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 8, 2021 1:54 PM

My mainline minimum radius is 30 inches, and that applies most everywhere else too. But when necessary, I'll go down to 24 inch radius for industrial tracks.

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Posted by hbgatsf on Friday, January 8, 2021 2:21 PM

Thanks for the responses.  The area I am working on right now is a steel mill complex, and I might need to go to 18'' on some of the curves to make things fit.  The longest cars that will be there are 52' gondolas and the motive power will be yard switchers so I think I will be fine.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Friday, January 8, 2021 2:42 PM

It seems that going slow with the industrial tracks is a sound approach.  My industrial areas are fairly straight, so speed isn't really an issue. The problem I can see with any track is providing enough spacing between each for the cars.

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Posted by NorthBrit on Friday, January 8, 2021 2:42 PM

hbgatsf

Rule of thumb is to make your mainline curves with the largest radius that you can.  Mine are 24" and I know many go with 30" or more.

Is there any consensus on curves in industrial complexes?  If you don't plan to take any 85' passenger cars or 4-8-4 Northerns in there I would think you can get away with 18".  Anybody have experience with this?

 

 

Look at it as a real railroader.  What do you intend running?

The smaller the  radius then the smaller the engine.   Larger engines would be banned.  The same with freight vehicles.  Small is beautiful.  Smile

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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