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More industries on bigger layout?

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More industries on bigger layout?
Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, August 31, 2017 11:58 AM

Since I'm going to soon build a larger layout, would it look too odd having only five small industires on a 14x12' HO design?  If I should add more, what one(s) in a Virginia layout in the 1980s? 

I currenlty have coal, junk hauling, intermodal (in the yard), grain, oil, and food processing spread out on the 13x7 HO layout.  There was PLENTY of room between them since they occupy small footprints (e.g., a small machine shop and gantry crane for junk operations, etc..)

Yes, it's my layout, but can't decide about what makes the most sense.

Thanks! 

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Posted by j. c. on Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:43 PM

don't know what you mean by VA, but a truss plant, somthing like a AG warehouse,  box plant  or a cement plant.

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:59 PM

IMO, a layout looks more realistic if the rail served buildings are large, rather than small.  Most kits produced are smaller than what it would take to justify real rail service, so what you can do to make the industries larger would LOOK better, IMO.

Of course, if the industries are larger, that reduces the space between them.  If your layout is trying to depict a lot of distance to travel between industires, the LOOk of the layout might not be consistent with how you want to OPERATE it.  Meaning, a layout that depicts several miles of track serving small building might have to be changed to depict only a few miles serving larger buildings.

I suspect the operations of your layout would be the same regardless, so for appearence purposes, I would always lean towards having larger industries, not more industries, and have the layout of your size depict more of a industrial park or small town/suburban area.

You could also load up the layout with a lot of large buildings and model a small section of downtown Milwaukee, for example.

My simple answer is, when you expand the layout, I would make the industires larger and not increase the number of industries.

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Posted by cuyama on Thursday, August 31, 2017 1:59 PM

Doughless
My simple answer is, when you expand the layout, I would make the industires larger and not increase the number of industries.

+1

Larger industries with multiple car spots (or even multiple tracks to each) are more reflective of real-life railroading and are often more realistic than a larger number of smaller industries.

“Spots” include individual doors on a building, dumps or spouts for commodity loading, etc.

Team tracks may take a wide variety of cars and require no structure beyond (perhaps) a loading dock.

An interchange track with another "imagined" railroad can increase operating options in minimal space.

A "clean-out" track is another “no structure” car spotting location and creates extra movements.

Byron

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, August 31, 2017 2:01 PM

I don't hear OP yearning to add industries.  That says something.  Unusual, perhaps.

The responses have been quite clear, too.  I would also add "very useful".

So I'll stop adding.

 

Ed

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Thursday, August 31, 2017 2:26 PM

cuyama

 

 
Doughless
My simple answer is, when you expand the layout, I would make the industires larger and not increase the number of industries.

+1

+2

Locomotives are big. Buildings are bigger. Much bigger.

Robert

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, August 31, 2017 8:29 PM

Thanks all for the helpful suggestions.  I might combine some small buildings to make larger footprints. Putting buildings along the same spur opens up more locations.

Yes, I am planning on doing an interchange b/c that offers even more operating opportunities.

Some want to have many industries, but I like the idea of conveying distance with space between places.  To each their own.

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Posted by SouthPenn on Thursday, August 31, 2017 10:57 PM

You could mock up some large industries and more small industries by making them from card board. Then try them out before commiting to one or the other.

South Penn
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Posted by kasskaboose on Friday, September 01, 2017 7:08 AM

MR had an article about using cardboard or even space holders for structures.  Great idea! They require adhering to certain dimensions and I hate having to redo track b/c strctures don't fit.  Not doing that again! 

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, September 01, 2017 7:09 AM

kasskaboose

Thanks all for the helpful suggestions.  I might combine some small buildings to make larger footprints. Putting buildings along the same spur opens up more locations.

Yes, I am planning on doing an interchange b/c that offers even more operating opportunities.

Some want to have many industries, but I like the idea of conveying distance with space between places.  To each their own.

 

If you're like me and I think most modelers, you like to have as many variety of freight cars as possible.  So when combining smaller buildings into one larger industry, try to think of what type of business would support a variety of cars.  

That may be more detail or plausibility than you want to mess with, but its a good way to have both large realistic looking industries and a variety of cars.

On my new layout, a major business is an asphalt shingle producer.  Such a business is here locally, and it receives tank cars of asphalt and small hoppers of coarse sand granuals.  Another business is a poultry bedding producer.  It receives boxcars of recyclable paper and tank cars of clay slurry, as well as occaisonal hoppers of powdered clay.  That's two large industries supporting five different freight cars.  And then there is the farm supply dealer who gets fertilizer and feed in two different types of cars, as well as a team track that can get a number of different cars.

- Douglas

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Posted by Lonnie Utah on Friday, September 01, 2017 8:58 AM

I'm not sure that folks are going to like this comment, and it's not really directed at anyone at all (particularly not anyone here). But it's been on my mind for awhile and I feel like in need to get it off my chest. Please note it's just observational and editorial in nature. 

 

Each year my family takes a long cross country road trip. This year we did 5000+ miles and 17 states. Last year we did about the same mileage and 18 states. Of course, trains and train watching play a pretty big part of it (in as much as seeing a moving trains counts for 100,000 points in our "I spy" game (Second only to Airstream trailers at 1,000,000 points.)) 

 

Anyway, most of the trains we observe are nowhere near any industry. They're near agriculture (well I guess technically agriculture IS industry).  I'd dare say that 85-90% of the (mainline) trackage in this country is through, corn (or wheat or soy bean) fields, forests and cow pastures.  If folks wanted to be truly prototypical with their railroads, they'd model mostly those type of landscapes. 

 

Now with that being said, that sort of scene really wouldn't be that visually appealing or very fun to model and wouldn't be that much fun to operate on.  So please ignore the previous comments. 

 

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Posted by selector on Friday, September 01, 2017 10:09 AM

I understand your observation, Lonnie, and agree.  Trains with many cars carrying milled lumber under plastic run through urban settings, and also along miles and miles of treeless prairie.  Potash-laden hoppers run through the Canadian Rockies on their way by coal mines, coal trains, and winding mountains and tunnels where nobody mines potash.  Japanese cars, by the thousands on ready tracks at the Port of Vancouver where none of them are made.

I don't know if Byron would agree with this, but I think he might partly: too many people ignore the opportunities for staging and for a functional yard/classification facility.  Those two items require thought, skill in building, and provide a lot of satisfying building while constructing the layout. Later, the yard can provide hours of interest if it isn't just a ladder of parking tracks for trains not being run at the moment. Think of your yard, and you should have one, as a type of industry...a railroad industry.  Not lumber, or automobiles per se, but compiling through-freight that has to get to a customer whose finger has begun to tap on the desk top.

My last comment is that, in a confined space of yon typical layout, building interest and variety never hurts.  By all means, do make grander scale and more realistic rail-served industries and tracks that provide the service.  That's actually a very good idea in my opinion. Build that larger footprint into your plan now.  But, do it later.  Meanwhile, if you are adding another 30% or more trackage and surface area to model, my advice would be to add one other spur, even a switchback if you have the stomach for some hills, and place a couple, not one, small industries there.  Be it a sawmill, a modest coal extraction facility (AKA a "mine"), or cabinet factory that needs a couple of flat cars of milled lumber each week...you'll want more to do occasionally than to just set cars at your large industry.  

Or, build a locomotive servicing facility near that more-developed yard.  At least you can fiddle with some things going on there once in a while.

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, September 01, 2017 10:21 AM

If OP is wanting to run trains only and not switch, any type of background scenery will do.  With or without buildings. With or without classification yards.  Doesn't matter.  You don't have to have buildings to have a layout.

- Douglas

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, September 01, 2017 10:37 AM

kasskaboose

Since I'm going to soon build a larger layout, would it look too odd having only five small industires on a 14x12' HO design?  If I should add more, what one(s) in a Virginia layout in the 1980s? 

I currenlty have coal, junk hauling, intermodal (in the yard), grain, oil, and food processing spread out on the 13x7 HO layout.  There was PLENTY of room between them since they occupy small footprints (e.g., a small machine shop and gantry crane for junk operations, etc..)

Yes, it's my layout, but can't decide about what makes the most sense.

Thanks! 

 
Based on the layout sizes which you mention, I'm guessing that you're referring to an around-the-room type of layout, rather than an island-style.
If that's the case, you can double the size of an industry built from a kit simply by using the two long walls spliced together on the side that will be visible, and replacing the unseen side with sheet styrene.  Most of the industries on my layout are built in this manner, and I buy .060" styrene in 4'x8' sheets to make the back walls and, in many cases, new roofs for the expanded industry.  It's also useful for adding foundations and loading docks, along with road surfaces and retaining walls.
For any industry served by rail, bigger is usually better (more believeable).

This is Walthers Vulcan Manufacturing, built with both long walls facing the aisle.  I added the foundation and new roof using plain sheet styrene, as mentioned...
 

To increase the size even further, I added a powerhouse and loading dock for trucks, made from leftover parts from several MDC 3-in-1 kits, along with a company office building.  The latter is a re-arranged LifeLike "Bottling Plant"...
 
 
It's served mainly by boxcars, with an occasional hopper delivering coal.

Another boxcar-served factory is this one, using most of two Walthers "Waterfront Warehouse" kits...
 

...in this example, only two sides are modelled...
 
 
...interior bracing, cut from .060" sheet styrene, keeps the walls straight.  The structure is tapered, as the siding which serves it is parallel to neither the layout's fascia nor to the room's wall against which it abuts.  This is the normally unseen end...
 
 
National Grocers is served mostly by boxcars and reefers, and was made from DPM modular walls...
 
 
As usual, the unseen walls, roofs, and internal bracing are all .060" sheet styrene...
 
 
 
 
I have several other large industries on other areas of the layout, but most of them are also served predominately by boxcars.
 
For varieties of cars, there are probably not to many layout-sized industries that can compete with GERN...
 
While the warehouse area sees mostly boxcars...
 
 
...flat cars and gondolas regularly trundle by the loading dock and into the plant itself, usually carrying parts and machinery for the refining processes...
 
 
Covered hoppers are the choice for the area beneath the storage silos...
 
 
...and they're also seen, along with these converted boxcars, at another loading area of the complex...
 
 
Tank cars are seen at another area, which both ships and receives liquid products...
 
 
The quantity and variety of cars serving this industry is only one of the reasons that their slogan is so apt...
 
 
...but they also offer and endless array of useful products...
 
 
 
 
I do have smaller rail-served industries, too, but they're suited to the late '30s era of my layout, such as coal dealers...
 
 
 
...stockyards...
 
 
...and team tracks (which can receive cars of most types)...
 
 
 
 
On a more modern layout, this these would be transloads, and could also be served by a wide variety of cars without taking up too much real estate.

My operations also include very large industries, such as steel plants, bridge and crane manufacturers, auto plants, tire makers, refineries, and rail-served scrapyards, but none are modelled.  Instead, they're represented by staging yards, as seen here at top and immediately below....
 
 
 
Beneath the lower staging yard, there are two tracks which represent industries....as many and as varied as I wish. 
On the lowest level are two tracks (adjacent to the aisle) which represent an interchange with another railroad...and all of the industries which it serves.  
These tracks allow use of just about any kind of rolling stock you can imagine, yet take up very little layout space.
 
Wayne
 
 
 
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Posted by Doughless on Friday, September 01, 2017 10:47 AM

As always, great contribution Wayne.  Kitbashing styrene structures and scratchbuilding additions and details to those structures is one of my favorite parts of the hobby.

- Douglas

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Posted by Lonnie Utah on Friday, September 01, 2017 11:02 AM

selector
My last comment is that, in a confined space of yon typical layout, building interest and variety never hurts.

 

In a hobby where we are modeling a miniature world as a starting point, some belief has to be suspended to begin with. Yes 

 

selector
oo many people ignore the opportunities for staging and for a functional yard/classification facility.  Those two items require thought, skill in building, and provide a lot of satisfying building while constructing the layout.

 

One of the coolest stops of this years trip was Bailey Yard in North Platte, NE.  I couldn't begin to imagine how to even start to build a "functional" hump yard on a layout.  

Cheers!! 

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Posted by cuyama on Friday, September 01, 2017 11:14 AM

Lonnie Utah
I couldn't begin to imagine how to even start to build a "functional" hump yard on a layout.  

You don't need a hump yard to model a classification yard. Hundreds (maybe thousands) of smaller flat-switched examples.

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Posted by cuyama on Friday, September 01, 2017 11:18 AM

selector
I don't know if Byron would agree with this, but I think he might partly: too many people ignore the opportunities for staging and for a functional yard/classification facility. 

Agree, each is often a good idea, and the function can be combined, where one or two tracks of a yard are modeled as interchange points with a connecting railroad. Without a track plan from the Original Poster, hard to know what makes sense to suggest as additions.

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Posted by Lonnie Utah on Friday, September 01, 2017 11:18 AM

cuyama
You don't need a hump yard to model a classification yard

 

I know. But wouldn't it be cool?!? :) 

 

I actually pass a small classification yard everyday on the way home. 

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6224306,-111.9044794,3a,75y,348.8h,79.9t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssso8X_lFCESl0YcgSkJFqQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, September 01, 2017 2:36 PM

Great job on those buildings Wayne. I'm going to have to mark that posting to rememver to look back when I am building my new layout. Actually I need to be considering what industries and buildings i can use,...in the planning stage right now.

Planning is important as my space in limited. I have tons of kits I bought over the years, and I will likely only be able to utilize a small number of them.
http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/264616.aspx?page=1

BTW are you in a big enough city that you can source large sheets of styrene plastic? there use to be a specility plastics dealer in Rockville MD (just outside DC), but they closed their doors. I'm living in Florida now and the town has no such plastics dealers.

The hobby shops use to carry a good supply of Evergreen or Plastruct products, but it seems this is thinning out as well.

Brian

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, September 01, 2017 2:45 PM

Interesting you bring up the "Gern" industry. I was just last night thumbing thru some google images of structures and ran across that one. I had trouble saving the image to my computer as it either was a Photobucket one, or something similar that I had to explore alternative means to copy the image to a file on my computer.

Brian

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Posted by Troys Trains on Friday, September 01, 2017 3:09 PM

I assume you're modeling a coal mine, junk yard, intermodal yard, grain elevator, oil distributor, and food processor; what I'm about to say is probably going to be unpopular, but you don't need more industries. In fact, you may need less if your prototypes are huge; if so, you would be better off concentrating on a couple of industries, and detailing them to make them look prototypical. I have an oil refinery occupying my entire two by six feet N-scale layout, and plan to replace it with an oil distributor on my next layout because I barely think two by six feet does it justice; keep in mind that I use a backdrop help with the realism as well!

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, September 01, 2017 3:43 PM

Brian, there were a couple of plastics suppliers not too far from my location, but I think only one of them is still around. I've gone through at least four or five 4'x8' sheets - much cheaper than regular hobbyshop stock, although you do need to have enough projects to justify the outlay.  

The first time I bought a sheet, I was a little worried that it would be blown out of the box of my small pick-up on the drive home, but the guy simply rolled it fairly tightly, then taped it...it rode home standing on the floor of the cab, leaning against the passenger   seat.  If I'd been riding the bus or on a bicycle, I still could have easily carried it home. 

As for GERN, or any of the photos which I post here, yeah, they're all on photobucket, at least until the end of 2018.

You'll find many of the same photos (and possibly others) at GERN Industries Gibson Works

...and some GERN Industries rolling stock, too.  

All of these photos are done as attachments, so should be easy to "save as". 

Wayne

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, September 01, 2017 6:09 PM

railandsail
BTW are you in a big enough city that you can source large sheets of styrene plastic? there use to be a specility plastics dealer in Rockville MD (just outside DC), but they closed their doors.

I'm close enough to SE Baltimore. 

The plastics distributor brought out my 4x8' sheet on a fork lift, put on latex gloves to roll it up .  Since I would be painting most of it, I did'nt care, but apparently those who use it for signs do.  It rolls up to about 1x4

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, September 01, 2017 7:12 PM

Troys Trains

I assume you're modeling a coal mine, junk yard, intermodal yard, grain elevator, oil distributor, and food processor; what I'm about to say is probably going to be unpopular, but you don't need more industries. In fact, you may need less if your prototypes are huge; if so, you would be better off concentrating on a couple of industries, and detailing them to make them look prototypical. I have an oil refinery occupying my entire two by six feet N-scale layout, and plan to replace it with an oil distributor on my next layout because I barely think two by six feet does it justice; keep in mind that I use a backdrop help with the realism as well!

 

If the OP would take your suggestion and reduce the number of industries in order to make the remaining ones larger, I'd suggest eliminating the coal mine or the intermodal yard.  Only because those industries generally requires more than a few hopper cars to properly honor the prototype, and 14 x 12 may still be somewhat confining for several other large industries. 

The other industries can generally be adequately modeled with space for just a few cars.  Although, if the setting is 1980s Virginia, maybe coal is a priority for the layout.

- Douglas

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Posted by chorister on Friday, September 01, 2017 10:18 PM

One thing I used on my layout was to make long spurs to industries which is prototypical. Some layouts may not have this kind of room, but it has made operation more fun and realistic. The extra track length allows storage space for extra cars. Try it.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, September 02, 2017 9:55 AM

kasskaboose
Since I'm going to soon build a larger layout, would it look too odd having only five small industires on a 14x12' HO design?

.

What you do not make clear is if you plan to run the layout alone, or with a group of operators. I think that will influence the answer.

.

I am designing my layout for a single operator, me. I will only have one switching area, but it will be long, about 30 inches by 14 feet. I will also have two ways for "locals" to leave the layout and return, adding to switching fun. Also, the swucthing area is far away from the yard, so locmotives will need to be turned for the return trip.

.

I plan to have six-eight modelled industries on the layout, with car spotting locations for at least ten more "suggested" industries. In my oppinion, if you are running the layout alone, more spotting locations equals more fun.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by wp8thsub on Saturday, September 02, 2017 10:04 AM

kasskaboose
I might combine some small buildings to make larger footprints. Putting buildings along the same spur opens up more locations.

I do this a lot.  Structure complexes concentrate interest in a reduced area, leaving additional space in between so scenes can feel larger.

Salt plant.

Lime plant.

Grain facility.

Cement plant.

Drilling mud plant.

All of these use combinations of kits and scratchbuilt elements.  The different structures can depict separate functions, emphasizing why multiple spots are needed.

Customers that load in bulk can occupy less space as cars can be moved past a loading point alonmg a spur that's much longer than the structure.  Depending on how you handle scenery, that can allow for more open space on the layout.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, September 02, 2017 11:14 AM

wp8thsub

 

 

 

Lime plant.

Trying to think of who made that 4 cylinder 'distribution structure' in your diaorama? Wasn't it a gravel model like this?

https://www.hobbylinc.com/kibri-construction-gravel-works-ho-scale-model-railroad-building-kit-39805

Actually I think it was another kit with smooth sided silos and structure on top of those silos, but can't recall name or maker of kit?

 

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Posted by wp8thsub on Saturday, September 02, 2017 12:23 PM

railandsail
Trying to think of who made that 4 cylinder 'distribution structure' in your diaorama?

Mine was sold as a gravel facility under the Revell label.  I know the same kit has appeared with different packaging.

Here's one example of the stock kit.

Rob Spangler

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