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Yard and departure track advice

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Yard and departure track advice
Posted by restorator on Friday, July 28, 2017 10:34 PM

This is my current layout plan for the yard and arrival departure area on my around the walls layout.

When building a train headed south its prettty easy on the yard crew as they do the moves then add the caboose and drag the whole thing to the a/d track and then the road engine couples up and away they go onto the main and beyond.

However when building a northbound on the a/d track there is no easy way for the road engine to runaround to the head end. 

Without a major redesign, the way I see it these are my choices:

I could make a change to the engine terminal entry and put it off the main, however that will require a double slip switch due to space constraints and with that the road engines would have to traverse the main to run around and couple up to the head end of the train.

The other option is for the road engine to make a shortcut through the yard ladder.

Or a third option I see that is much easier is to build the train in the yard and have the road engine take off directly from the classification track. That is how I am currently operating.

My questions are: In the model railroading world how acceptable are any of these choices and of them what do you feel is the best one? Or do you see a better way than what I have listed?

(P.S. Is there anyone that can convert my layout plan from just images and measurements to a program like scarm or similar? I would be willing to pay a reasonable fee of course.)

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Posted by j. c. on Saturday, July 29, 2017 12:18 AM

don't know if you have the room but you could put a switch just in front of the y from the a/d track to the yard lead then the road engine could come in behind the  made up train switch over to yard lead run up past a/d track switch and back into train.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, July 29, 2017 11:22 AM

Your diagram looks unrealistically tight, and the turnouts simply can't be configured like that.  Make some paper copies of turnouts, cut them out and play with them to get an idea of what will actually work.  You can get XtrakCad for free if you want to use a computer program.  I use a lot of curved and three-way turnouts to compress yard ladders to save space.

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

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Posted by cuyama on Saturday, July 29, 2017 12:25 PM

Without an idea of the size of the space and modeling scale, it’s hard to know if this would even fit. As others have noted, real-life turnouts angle less sharply and take up more room than you have sketched.

A different yard design from scratch would likely be more flexible and efficient in handling traffic from both directions.

To me, the other important issue is what you want the yard to do – that would drive the track arrangement. What does the rest of the layout look like? Is this yard to make up/tear down trains? How much traffic? How long is the typical train? Without knowing at least some of this information, it’s not really possible to say if a yard design is “good” or “bad.”

John Armstrong’s Track Planning for Realistic Operation is a great resource for anyone designing their own layout. For serious yard design, Andy Sperandeo’s The Model Railroader's Guide to Freight Yards is very useful. (Unfortunately the latter is out-of-print and the resale prices are kind of crazy right now. Resale prices do vary over time.)

Good luck with your layout.

Byron

Tags: Yard design , yard
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Posted by restorator on Saturday, July 29, 2017 12:32 PM

That is just a quick sketch of what I have already actually built. Right now I am planning on changing two turnouts to curved to ease a tight curve, but the operational schematic is the same. And the engine service is going to be completely changed. The turntable is going out. We have moved up to 1966 so we dont need it anymore.

Here are a couple pics and at this link

( http://www.rossbelovich.com/trains/layout/ ) are pics of the current layout. Plans were made from the begining for a penninsula, expansion into the next room, and staging. For the time being there is a dropdown for continuous running.

EDIT: The scale is HO. The concept is that of a section of a large class 1 and this is a somewhat less used mainline, more akin to a bridge line or alterante route. Expected train length (and current sidings) is in the 5 foot range give or take a couple inches, with most often single diesels at the head. 

To explain further how I got here. I was tired of going over plan after plan, and trying to get track design software to work for me. So I jumped in with some sketches and various track pieces and laid things out until I was reasonably satisfied, fully well knowing I would be changing things as time went on. My logic is if I keep waiting and working on paper I will be too old to actually do anything. Right now I am having a lot of fun, even with a less than perfect design. I figure as I expand the layout my skills will improve and by the time I get the other end done I can come back and revamp this whole side if I choose to. But for now, I am asking how "bad" this is in the model railroad world and overall opinions on how to solve the engine runaround issue, that probably really isnt an issue and I am making too much out of it. Operationally it works just great, but I think I will lose the spurs against the far wall eventually as they seem out of place in the long run.

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Posted by wp8thsub on Monday, July 31, 2017 10:10 PM

The hobby trend toward including arrival/departure tracks is something I wish would just go away.  Very few of our model yards are large enough for their prototype equivalents to have any kind of dedicated a/d tracks, and we waste precious space trying to accommodate unrealistic traffic patterns around them.  

A yard the size the OP is trying to represent would most likely have no a/d tracks, and have ladders that make every body/class track accessible directly from the main.  Arriving and departing trains could be built or torn down on any track.

With the diagram shown in the OP, I'd suggest eliminating the a/d track altogether, and rearranging the engine terminal somewhat to allow more efficient traffic flow into and out of the service rack.  You could also relocate the caboose track to the area previously allocated to the a/d track to allow better utilization of class track space.

restorator
Or a third option I see that is much easier is to build the train in the yard and have the road engine take off directly from the classification track. That is how I am currently operating.

That's the most realistic option anyway since you aren't running a major terminal/hump yard complex, so keep doing that.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by restorator on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 11:27 AM

I renamed the A/D track to interchange track / passing siding. The relatively short trains will either pull in or back down into the ladder or yard lead tracks. Problem solved.

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Posted by carl425 on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 12:21 PM

wp8thsub
The hobby trend toward including arrival/departure tracks is something I wish would just go away.

In the case of a model yard that only has one or two double ended tracks wouldn't their use as A/D tracks make sense?

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.

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Posted by wp8thsub on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 6:55 PM

carl425
In the case of a model yard that only has one or two double ended tracks wouldn't their use as A/D tracks make sense?

In the case of a small prototype yard, whatever track works at the time makes sense.  Keep them clear for such use if that's what makes the yard work best.  Have a train arrive or depart via a stub end track if that's the most workable solution at the time you need it.

Since dedicated a/d tracks outside of major terminals (e.g. hump yards and large classification yards) are very rare, we just need to remember that having such things on most layouts isn't necessarily realistic.  Using whatever track for whatever purpose works at any given time is far more typical.  Most layouts don't seem to handle yard operations very realistically, hence the trend toward assigned a/d tracks where the prototype wouldn't consider them.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by carl425 on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 10:17 PM

wp8thsub
Most layouts don't seem to handle yard operations very realistically, hence the trend toward assigned a/d tracks where the prototype wouldn't consider them.

Be satisfied that we're not assembling/breaking down trains on the main line and just using the yard for classification. Smile

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.

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Posted by wp8thsub on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 10:48 PM

carl425
Be satisfied that we're not assembling/breaking down trains on the main line and just using the yard for classification.

Good point.Cool

Rob Spangler

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Posted by restorator on Friday, August 11, 2017 9:36 PM

Well, I added the curved turnouts at the yard entrance, totally revamped the engine yard, lengthened the "a/d/interchange/passing siding/utility track" and yard lead another 16", and added the 5'x6' penninsula. Right now all I did was lay out where the max outer curve (26" radius) has to be on the pennisula and I am open to suggestions for the track plan. Any Ideas and suggestions?

Currently layout has a 24" min radius, #6 turnouts on the mainline, and atlas #4(4.5) in the yards and industrial spurs. Not planning on too much long equipment, but I have some 85' passenger cars and 89' trailer train cars and an auto parts boxcar for testing trackwork and they do push the limits but did go around the main and all passing sidings behind an E-8/9 at full speed. I figure if it can do that I'm plenty good with the 40'-50' cars.

I am mostly interested in switching, So I am looking at many industries. I thought I would go with a theme of recognizable industries from the era of about 1963-1966. The current industries on the layout are: coal mine, scrapyard, coal dealer, two team tracks, appliance mfg. (Admiral), toy mfg.(Mattel), brewery(Shlitz,Schaeffer?), and furniture mfg.(Broyhill). Industries I think would like to add (but not all) include glass mfg.(PPG), grocery warehouse(A&P), merchanise warehouse(Sears,Woolworth,Grants), telephone company(Bell), publisher(not sure), film mfg.(Kodak), Electronics(Philco,Motorola?)

http://www.rossbelovich.com/trains/layout/

 

 

 

 

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Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, August 14, 2017 10:52 AM

How far are the stub tracks from the large curve in the picture?  I worry about cars hitting each other if they are too close. Please dont' fall into my fatal flaw with a yard: having too many tracks that get confusing.  While that looks cool in pictures, it can get confusing when operating.

Also, might I suggest changing the background a bit?  You can keep the clouds at the top but paint a slightly lighter shade of blue at the bottom.  By no means am I an artist, but capturing a 3-D design is easier when using two different colors. 

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Posted by RobertSchuknecht on Monday, August 14, 2017 1:01 PM

kasskaboose

 

Also, might I suggest changing the background a bit?  You can keep the clouds at the top but paint a slightly lighter shade of blue at the bottom.  By no means am I an artist, but capturing a 3-D design is easier when using two different colors. 

 

That looks like wall paper. Notice the repetition in the cloud design.

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Posted by restorator on Monday, August 14, 2017 6:53 PM

kasskaboose

How far are the stub tracks from the large curve in the picture?  I worry about cars hitting each other if they are too close. Please dont' fall into my fatal flaw with a yard: having too many tracks that get confusing.  While that looks cool in pictures, it can get confusing when operating.

Also, might I suggest changing the background a bit?  You can keep the clouds at the top but paint a slightly lighter shade of blue at the bottom.  By no means am I an artist, but capturing a 3-D design is easier when using two different colors. 

 

The ends of the stubs in the engine yard will be trimmed back as necessary. The 4 main tracks are for the locos and some will eventually have a small engine shop for minor repairs. The 2 tracks on the end will be for fuel, sand, and other supplies. The double ended track furthest away was designed as the caboose track and should hold 4. The middle track was planned as a runaround or all purpose track but I may make that the caboose track and change the rear ones to more service. Either way it seems to me it should have smooth operation, much better than before.

Also you can see behind the curve I have a crossing planned where there will be staging behind those walls. Entering foriegn trains can interchange and others can run through.

The background is something I found at the craft store and was cheap. I was planning on printing out some background buildings and hills to lay on top of that once things start to take shape and I decide what looks best where. For now it's better than the bare walls. There will also be some foam/plaster hills that rise up over the bottom of the cloud paper eventually.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 11:42 AM

restorator
For now it's better than the bare walls. There will also be some foam/plaster hills that rise up over the bottom of the cloud paper eventually.

My solution to bare walls was to paint the walls a compromise color of sky blue and assuming I didn't move out first, I'd add clouds later.  That cloud wallpaper really stands out in the photo's.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Contrarian's contrarian

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