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Interesting plan, Tupper Lake & Faust Junction

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 1:45 PM

I had doubts about calling it a 'helix' also, but since it fit in that spot where I intended to put a helix, and it had circular trackage like a helix, I just had to go with that nomenclature .

 

 

Here is what the fellow who made that new trackplan suggestion had to say about the helix area...

Yes, the helix is double tracked and all trains would travel up to the upper deck on each run. Since both yards are off of the main line then trains could be running continuously while you work one or both yards. 

The yards are about 2-3” lower than the mainline as well. That would allow a curved turnout at “A” for a continuation of the helix down a couple turns (or more) to the staging below Tuper Lake. The inner track of the helix could also continue down to staging as well but would require a mock-up to see how that works in three dimensions as it would require another turn.

Some of the layout planning software allows three dimensions and would be neat to see someone draw this for you.
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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 5:17 PM

railandsail

I had doubts about calling it a 'helix' also, but since it fit in that spot where I intended to put a helix, and it had circular trackage like a helix, I just had to go with that nomenclature .

 

 

Here is what the fellow who made that new trackplan suggestion had to say about the helix area...

 
Yes, the helix is double tracked and all trains would travel up to the upper deck on each run. Since both yards are off of the main line then trains could be running continuously while you work one or both yards. 

The yards are about 2-3” lower than the mainline as well. That would allow a curved turnout at “A” for a continuation of the helix down a couple turns (or more) to the staging below Tuper Lake. The inner track of the helix could also continue down to staging as well but would require a mock-up to see how that works in three dimensions as it would require another turn.

Some of the layout planning software allows three dimensions and would be neat to see someone draw this for you.
 

I agree.  I can't tell for sure what's going on in the helix area, but try this:  Train leaves peninsula terminal and loops AROUND the helix to the outside track on the left side, around the layout to enter the helix, spirals up the helix then around the upper deck, then decends the helix on a second track and pops out near the peninsula lead and over to the second track on the left side, then around the layout to the second terminal.

I'm not sure about the grades and any crossings without devoting more time than I have. 

I think he was trying to make the left side a crossover of sorts to offer continuous running and bypass the terminals.  

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, November 02, 2017 11:07 PM

New Helix Configuration

I think I have worked out a way to do this layout with a single track helix, and concurrently allow for continuous running around both loops on the bottom deck without having to absolutely go to the upper deck,...thus an option. Since understanding the internals of a helix, where tracks are stacked on top of one another can be confusing some times, I present this helix structure broken down into its 3 major levels.

 

Access to the staging area below the peninsula is via a single track loop of perhaps 3% grade around the 30" radius. This track dives down below the main deck level by at least 4 inches at the edge of the layout in order to provide clearance under the 'flat loop' above it.

 

This is just a 'flat loop' of track that has a spur off of it leading to that peninsula that was part of the original plan. These 2 mainline(s) have a central 'siding' running between them.  That siding is accessed here by a Y turnout combined with 2 dbl-radius turnouts.

 

Here the two mainlines come to join together in their own 'loop,& helix' combination. If the train arrives at bottom of the helix loop (B) it will go down 3/4 of the way around then exit off at (A) and back onto the 'other mainline'. But if it arrives on that other mainline that joins the helix at (A) it can either go 3/4 round and exit at (B),....or continue on up the helix to the second deck 18" above.

NOTE 1: I have not filled in the rest of the trackplan yet as it is still open to new design. But I did make this plan one (1) foot wider (added 6" to each deck on either side), as my shed is 1 foot wider than the original plan. I also tried to add the extra length to the original plan (shed length 15' inside dimension), but my drawing paper was not long enough.

NOTE 2: I made the helix structure/track a full 30" radius rather than the original plan that seem to hint at 24"r. And I put in a larger turntable (for big steam locos).

NOTE 3: That center peninsula might be made a little longer with my longer space? And I will take that train station out of there, and replace it with more freight/port structure(s). The second train station (destination) will be the Santa Fe one I mentioned before, and located in the upper deck peninsula.

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Posted by railandsail on Thursday, November 02, 2017 11:14 PM

The 2 mainline(s) have a central 'siding' running between them.  That siding is accessed here by a Y turnout combined with 2 dbl-radius turnouts.

Here is a photo of what I had in mind for the  unusual turnout grouping for that 'center siding line'

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, November 03, 2017 12:17 AM

railandsail
Access to the staging area below the peninsula is via a single track loop of perhaps 3% grade around the 30" radius.

Hi Brian:

I did the math. A 30" radius 180 degree curve that drops 3 1/2" will have a grade of 3.38%. If it drops 4" the grade will be 3.81 %. Neither of those is the effective grade because the curve increases the force required to get up the slope. I can't remember the formula but I going to guess that the effective grade at a 3 1/2" rise would be around 4.5% or maybe more. Maybe Byron can do the math more accurately. In any case, unless you are running a logging railroad, I'm pretty sure that 4.5% won't work.

Sorry to send you back to the drawing board Brian, but you always have to keep one thing in mind when you are building your railway - it has to work! Don't waste your time thinking that you can beat the laws of physics.

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, November 03, 2017 8:19 AM

You would need to do a 1 1/2 turn helix, not just a half turn. Then you could drop 6" on a approximately 2.1% grade, not accountingf or the curve effects. Can't go much shallower without compromising the railhead to railhead distances where the spiral overlaps.

                            --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, November 03, 2017 8:27 AM

Randy, are you addressing my drop to the staging area?

Did you notice that I dropped from (minus) -4" to -7" in that half turn of the helix,....thats about 3% grade?

BTW I needed to have that initial drop at the edge in the track feeding the staging area so it would clear under that zero grade loop above it.

I think that is acceptable for pulling trains out of staging thru only a half a loop turn??

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, November 03, 2017 12:12 PM

Overall, the plan has some grade issues in part because of the need for both terminals to be on the same level...which is due solely for the need (or gimmick) of having them share a turntable.  The plan is trying to fit three passes around the room and also have the trains go up and down the layout while ending up at the same height as where they started.  That invites more grade challenges and building complexity than what I would normally think a 10 x 13 multi-level layout needs to have.  They tend to have enough as they are.

 

- Douglas

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Posted by cuyama on Friday, November 03, 2017 2:31 PM

The rough rule-of-thumb for additional effective grade in HO is 32/R, where R is the radius in inches. This is added to the nominal grade for the total effective grade. So a 30" radius curve adds 1.07% to the nominal grade.

As others have said, the original published plan and these modifications create possibly unworkable grades to preserve the use of a single turntable for both "ends" of the line, especially when one considers the need for transitions from level-to-grade and back and the need to avoid grade changes within or too near a turnout.

Many published speculative plans are not buildable as drawn. Most freehand sketches are not buildable as drawn.

Good luck with your layout.

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, November 03, 2017 4:31 PM

cuyama
avoid grade changes within or too near a turnout.

Hi Byron:

Can I ask for your advice using a specific example? If I am using a #6 Atlas Code 83 turnout and a 2% grade, how much flat track should I have between the grade and the turnout? I'm guessing it should the length of the longest locomotive so that the locomotive is level as it enters the turnout.

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by cuyama on Friday, November 03, 2017 5:04 PM

hon30critter
Can I ask for your advice using a specific example? If I am using a #6 Atlas Code 83 turnout and a 2% grade, how much flat track should I have between the grade and the turnout? I'm guessing it should the length of the longest locomotive so that the locomotive is level as it enters the turnout.

That's what I usually do. One (longest) car length on all legs of the turnout with no grade changes. (Turnout can be on a grade, of course, it’s the change in grade that matters.)

Then I usually try to include one car length of vertical transition (vertical easement) for each per cent of grade (going from level-to-grade and back), but that may be slightly conservative. Since I am designing for others to build, I err on the side of reliability -- since I won't be there to do quality control.

So far, no one who has built with those specs has had performance issues related to a too-abrupt grade change.

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, November 03, 2017 8:06 PM

Thanks Byron.

Dave

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 04, 2017 11:37 AM

Staging Area Access Trackage

hon30critter

railandsail
Access to the staging area below the peninsula is via a single track loop of perhaps 3% grade around the 30" radius.

Hi Brian:

I did the math. A 30" radius 180 degree curve that drops 3 1/2" will have a grade of 3.38%. If it drops 4" the grade will be 3.81 %. Neither of those is the effective grade because the curve increases the force required to get up the slope. I can't remember the formula but I going to guess that the effective grade at a 3 1/2" rise would be around 4.5% or maybe more. Maybe Byron can do the math more accurately. In any case, unless you are running a logging railroad, I'm pretty sure that 4.5% won't work.

Sorry to send you back to the drawing board Brian, but you always have to keep one thing in mind when you are building your railway - it has to work! Don't waste your time thinking that you can beat the laws of physics.

Dave

I was pushing the laws there just a bit....ha...ha.

Let me take you through some of my thinking. As I first presented it here I have the track dropping 3-4 inches in approx 2/3 of that circle (or we could even say 1/2 of that circle)

I had a similar challenge once on my old 'Central Midland" layout,....a Connecting Ramp between two levels of track that were at least 8-9 inches apart, ...and I accompolished it with a half a circle of track. And I ran fairly long trains both up and down that ramp !! (but not steam locos)
Connecting Ramp

I made another significant modification to the trackplan that would allow for continuous double train operation without regards for the original single-track bridge restriction. This consists of a curved ramp that shortcut-links the upper inner mainline with the lower inner mainline in the ‘access hole’ area destined to be hidden by a removable foam mountain structure. This link rail is a steep grade, but I have been able to run long trains both up and down the grade without derailing. I also included protective barriers on the sides of the ramp to contain any derailments. Two long trains running in the same direction get out of phase due to the difference in the length of the two loops. Two trains in opposite directions is quite photogenic as well.

This was quite a challenge to get right as the 'on & off' access to this ramp occurred at a fairly steep inclination, and at the turnout locations both top and bottom.. I got it to work, even for a 6 axle diesel with small wheel flanges.

The point I am trying to make here is that a 4% grade to this staging area may not be all that life threatening. I have read a number of other opinions about bigger grades than the alter praising 2%.

Back to my other thinking when I first drew this up,...
1) Its entirely possible to put another loop going down another level to the staging...nothing in the way.

2) It's possible that the track first exiting off the edge of the bottom deck/shelf be made 'deeper',...perhaps 6" inches instead of 4" I show.

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, November 04, 2017 11:51 AM

 If the track that branches off the left side and crosses over where the staging throat will be ALSO climbs, then you do have about 3/4 of a circle to get the needed clearance, instead of just 1/2. Or if the track going to the half loop to staging starts descending well back from the edge of the curve, you have that extra length to reduce the total grade as well. You don't really want to begin and end a grade right at the transistion from tangent to curved track. Change direction in the horizontal or vertical direction alone, one at a time. That's how you make it reliable and able to run anything.

                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 04, 2017 11:53 AM

Doughless

Overall, the plan has some grade issues in part because of the need for both terminals to be on the same level...which is due solely for the need (or gimmick) of having them share a turntable.


I have abandoned that 'gimmick' of the orginal plan. I want to have my 'Baltimore terminal' on the lower level (and not in the peninsula BTW),...then a Santa Fe terminal on the upper level.

Doughless
The plan is trying to fit three passes around the room and also have the trains go up and down the layout while ending up at the same height as where they started.  That invites more grade challenges and building complexity than what I would normally think a 10 x 13 multi-level layout needs to have.  They tend to have enough as they are.


My goal was to have the option that the trains could continue to make loops on the lower level without the neccessity that they climb the helix each time.

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 04, 2017 12:02 PM

rrinker

 If the track that branches off the left side and crosses over where the staging throat will be ALSO climbs, then you do have about 3/4 of a circle to get the needed clearance, instead of just 1/2. Or if the track going to the half loop to staging starts descending well back from the edge of the curve, you have that extra length to reduce the total grade as well. You don't really want to begin and end a grade right at the transistion from tangent to curved track. Change direction in the horizontal or vertical direction alone, one at a time. That's how you make it reliable and able to run anything.

                               --Randy

 

I'm not sure I understand you?

BTW you do realize that I have ONLY 2 turnouts in the helix structure,....

1) the one that exits off the level loop of track at the bottom deck) ('second level' as I termed it in my sketches of the 3 helix 'regions'),...
the one leading to the peninsula industry. So no difference in grading there,..its all level.

2) the one at point (B) that is on a 2% grade.

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Posted by GraniteRailroader on Saturday, November 04, 2017 12:28 PM

I would propose this to you...

Instead of trying to modify, hack up, and contort someone else's plan, sit back down with your graph paper and drafting tools and draw out the elements that you want. 

Passing sidings, double track main, turn back loops, are all fairly easy to draw out. That'll take care of "running trains" to observe. 

Pick out the next design elements that you want to include. Santa Fe passenger station? Where that may go, widen the bench a little, add in another pair of tracks for the platforms, this can overlap another element such as your passing sidings giving them multiple purposes while cleverly disguised. 

Your container terminal? Bring one of the double tracks to the front of your bench, using the scene to disguise the track behind it. It'll help with the feeling of a longer run, as well as breaking up the "straight line" feel. 

If you're still interested in a peninsula, you could disguise a staging yard for freight trains by working it into the port and wharf. Product can be both shipped and received from your port, so having a "yard" there would help instill the sense of activity for the freight. Having this accessible from your intermodal facility gives it a purpose and ties it together. Your freight trains now have a purpose, even if the primary goal is to watch meets and sit back to enjoy them running. 

You can easily hide staging underneath accessed by one of the turn back loops. 

One of the corners (where the loops aren't located) becomes a junction with another railroad - trackage from the junction can include another passing siding disguised as an interchange, with the other railroads main line leading into a helix to the upper level... 

I really think you're going to end up disappointed once you build the plan you've posted, or the first one with the peninsula. 

(Previous) 1:1 Scale railroader - N Scale Modeler

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 04, 2017 11:01 PM

I would propose this to you...

Instead of trying to modify, hack up, and contort someone else's plan, sit back down with your graph paper and drafting tools and draw out the elements that you want.

I don't seem to be able to draw up a entire plan from scratch. I need some inspiration from something I like, but of course I have to modify it to fit my space. And I try to add in some mods that others feel needed to improve the original design.

The current one I am working on (this one) more fully matches my shed's space than does the other one I was working on, and it includes a fair bit of mainline running, multiple train running, some switching possibilities, some yard stowage, and a reasonable turntable scene.

I do have to figure out some more industrial scenes, etc to add in along the mainlines which will help to disguise their relatively straight, terraced loops around the perimeter. I'll likely take some inspiration from the great variety of module-railroad dioramas. I like trains running thru scenes, and I am NOT that concerned that it minics a real railroad with pick-ups and deliveries, lots of switching, etc.

 

BTW, there are a number of folks that have said this original track plan appealed to them also.

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 04, 2017 11:17 PM

I made a few changes to this dwg I posted earlier,....

....this one modifies the benchwork over near the roundhouse and the freight yard area It also lengthens the center peninsula a little bit (hi-lited)

I've also lightly sketched in a few buildings ideas....

 

BTW, it does not depicit my latest thoughts on moving the helix loops totally to the outside of the main shed,...due to the fact that this 'partial situation' that is shown would just be to difficult to build, and service.

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, November 06, 2017 11:27 AM

Interesting New Idea
from another forum

 

Long Trains

If my goal was to be able to run several long trains, to watch them pass each other and not to emphasize switching or industry work, here's what I would do.  

The layout would be two laps of double track around the room , one on each level.  At the bump out one end on each level would go into a balloon loop, and the other end would go into a double track helix.  On the top level on two sides I would put a double ended yard with 2-6 train length tracks.  Since its high on the upper level, I could hide it behind a very low backdrop (4-6 in high) , row of buildings or row of trees.

 

Optionally could put a connection track on the one or both mains at the bump out to create a continuous run on each level.  Optionally I could put the peninsula in and use it for a little switching or an engine terminal to display or swap out engines.

 

I would shoot for 4 tracks in the staging yard.  I would put a passenger train, a bulk train and a couple freights in the staging yards, all facing the same way, then I could let some or all of the trains out of the staging yard to run.  Since its a glorified dogbone, once the trains are speed matched, they can run forever around the loop.  Since its a dogbone, every train will appear to operate in both directions, so I could constantly have the trains passing each other.

 

If I put in the optional connection by the bump out, I could run trains on the upper level on that loop, and leave the lift out open on the lower level for visitors to enter leave without stopping all the trains.

 

With the optional engine facility, I could stop one train and swap out engines and with a couple crossovers, route other trains around it.

 

With only a double track main around the room, the benchwork can be as wide or as narrow as I liked.  It will leave a lot of room for scenery or buildings.  It I wanted to add a few industries along the main, I could have some switching  and still run a train around the larger loop, once again using a few crossovers.


The balloon loops would go above (top) and below (bottom) the helix.  Nothing would stop you from going down another 2 or 3 turns and putting a larger storage staging level below the bottom deck. 

Another option would be to put a generic stub out onto the peninsula.  You could then build very detailed "dioramas" that would have a standard footprint and could sit on the peninsula and be "plugged" into the stub track, then stored on shelves below the peninsula or layout.  Want a big lumber mill?  Do it.  Want a town scene?  Do it, then swap out the lumber mill.  Want a coal mine?  Build it it then swap out for the city.  Feeling like the lumber mill today? Put the lumber mill back.

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, November 06, 2017 11:31 AM

With the design Dave suggested, the only limit to train length would be your motive power and the ability of your cars to track reliably. You might have trains longer than any yard tracks you can fit into the layout. In fact if your equipment is reliable enough in both power and tracking you could have a train so long the caboose could be just in front of the engines and still hooked to the rear of the train. Figure your layout would have about 40 feet of visible track around the room on any level times 2 gives you 80 feet or a about a mile and a third in HO scale. Consider the same for the top and there is almost 3 miles of mainline in a continuous configuration not counting your helix. If you make your perimiter laps narrow say 6 to 12 inches you could also stack a couple of branches for switching down the center and still have aisles that were 3 feet wide at minimum. If you were to drop your minimum radius on the branches you could even have a turnback curve that would allow you to run the length of the peninsula twice at each level.

Might be just the thing to give you scenery with realism, some operation, lots of running, and be simple (relatively) to build and maintain. Looks like it might work better for your space than anything you have considered so far, and offer the things you like best. With the more detailed scenes in the center of the room you would be able to access them from both sides and have interesting scenes and get to them.

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Posted by Doughless on Monday, November 06, 2017 2:58 PM

This is similar to the basic concept I was alluding to before.  If you have a small helix and the perimeter tracks act as a nolix of sorts, you can have enough separation between the decks to have two terminal decks down the center, provided everything is kept narrow and fairly minimus as far as scenery and buildings.  One terminal can have a back drop on one side, and the other have the backdrop on the other side to give you the sense you went somewhere.  Building flats could save space.

You can also have some staging tracks on the inside of each loop, probably only two, maybe 3.  You would want to run short cars.  The corners of the cars sitting on the staging tracks would catch the center of a passing car if the passing cars are too long or the tracks too close together.

To save more space, you dont need a double mainline.  Making the turnback loops reversing loops can be done with a dcc autoreverser.  It would save about 3 inches of shelf depth, but you would lose the opportunity to run two trains at the same time.

Also, you dont need the connecting track since the loops create continuous running already. ( and the way its presently drawn suggests it would have to be built with a horrible grade)

Operating plan would be to have trains originate at one terminal and finish at the other.  Since the terminals are in the peninsulas and away from the loops, you could run as many laps up an down the layout as you want before pulling into the destination.   It might be possible to sneak a skinny industry onto one of the perimeter shelves to give the train something to do besides run around the shed terminal to terminal.

Personally, I would have the theme of the layout be logging, ore, or coal as to keep the cars short to handle the radius of any staging tracks in the loop.  The top terminal would be the camp/mine and bottom terminal port or marshalling yard/interchange.  

Now, whether or not the necessities of space saving will make the final product desireable and whether the whole thing will create a clostrophobic reaction is a matter of personal taste.

- Douglas

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, November 06, 2017 6:11 PM

I've been thinking on and off over the weekend about your submission Dave, and there is a lot to like about your  & Rob's ideas. 

Two things come to mind,...
1) Can I really get a lot of interesting scenery (industries) in those relatively narrow shelfs around the majority of the room?

2) Could I get that turntable, steam facility, roundhouse, and maybe abbreviated yard that the original plan & I  show, into your plan?

I think I can by eliminating that 'dip' in your dble tracks that enter the helix in the center of that end of the shed. I am NOT married to the idea that the outside box that contains the helix be a 'square shape' . In other words how about if those dbl tracks 'cut-the-corner' to enter the helix rather than dip down, then up, to get to the helix. The helix 'box' would have a bit of an angled side to it.

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Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 11:36 AM

Modification to Dave's idea

 

As I've indicated Dave I like some of your ideas. So here is my first modification to your suggestions. I have basically taken your top level and bottom level and reversed their loop ends somewhat.

 

On the bottom level I have the 'balloon loop' ,as you termed it, attached to the tracks on the left hand side of the layout, and the 'double trackage to the helix' attached to the tracks on the right hand side. Naturally this 'reversal' would also take place on the upper level where the dble tracks from the helix would enter on the left side and do their 'balloon loop from the right hand tracks. For brevity I only included a sketch for the lower level,...

 

 

 

I've also moved those balloon loops & the double track helix totally outside the main shed walls, and anticipate its outer radius to be 32" and inner radius 29"

 

Nothing wrong with this,..correct?

 

 

 

PS: I threw in the hint of the turntable to be located very near where it was in the original plan.

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, November 10, 2017 9:32 AM

Undersatanding Wye Style Turnarounds

I've been concentrating on the lower level of this dbl-deck design I want to build, and somewhat ignoring the upper level so far. At present I have two approaches to getting to the upper level, ....1) the single track helix I came up with, and 2) the double track helix that Neil and Dave have suggested.

Dbl track configuration
I can see where this arrangement readily allows for the train to go forward up the helix, and forward down the helix.

Single track configuration
With my single track arrangement the train arrives at the upper level of track that loops around the perimeter of the shed, but does not allow for it to change direction for heading back down the helix. I had thoughts that some sort of 'wye track arrangement' could be utilized to solve this problem?,...and I had thoughts that the wye could be a part of a center peninsula on this upper level right over that peninsula shape on the  lower level??

But I have a couple of questions, as I don't fully understand all the mannerisms of wye trackage. Do any real life wyes turn whole trains around,...or just the locos? If they only turn the locos around that means the cars that follow are in the reverse order,...passenger trains as well??

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, November 10, 2017 10:04 AM

 It all depends. Usually just locos are turned. A train length wye could eb foudn in some places around passenger stations to turn the whole train, but it was more a factor of approach to the station - the train would go through oen leg of the wye and then back into the station, rather than sending out a train to be turned around to go the other way. Or int he case of Penn STation in NY - the whole train wne over to Sunnyside Yard on Long Island and ran around a big balloon loop. Outside of observation cars, passenger cars aren;t all that directional. Reading solved that for the Crusader by having an observation on each end. At each terminal, the loco would be turned and moved to the opposite end, no rearrangement of the cars needed. Once the steam went away and the same consist was pulled by an A-A pair of FP7s, they didn;t even have to turn anything, just run the locos around the train and couple up.

A wye tkes up a lot of space. A wye that can handle a whole train  would be a HUGE waste of space on a model railroad, if theonly reason it was there would eb to turn trains. A wye at a junction point wouldn;t be a bad thing. Like at the base of the penninsula, you would have a line straight across the root and then the third leg woudl lead out on to the penninsula. You could double up the functiona nd use it to turn locos to get them on the right end to head off the penninsula and then back down the way they came.

                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1,686 posts
Posted by JoeinPA on Friday, November 10, 2017 10:05 AM

The Grand Canyon Railway uses a wye to turn an entire passenger train for its return trip from the canyon back to Williams, AZ. An interesting part of a very nice trip.

Joe

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 344 posts
Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 11, 2017 6:47 AM

Manual Intervention & 'Optional Continuous Connections'

 

 
Dave wrote,
The design of the "double track" helix is so you can keep multiple trains running. If you use a single track portion, especially in the helix or have to wye a train, on a small layout like this, everything else has to stop. That's because the runs are so short the other train will reach a spot where it will conflict with the other train before the other train can make it thru the helix or turn.

The real choice is, do you want to be able to run multiple trains at once, hands free, where you can just sit back and watch or do you want to run one train at a time and have to stop things to control a train turning or navigating a looooooooooong single track portion (about 1/3 the run). There is no right answer, its your preference. But it is a choice. If you go with the single track version you will give up watching multiple trains run without having to manually intervene. You can add some form of automated control to handle switches in the single track portion, but any of the other trains will most likely have to stop while the other train turns or navigates the single track.

The basic idea of my design is to support your desire to see trains passing each other and watching trains run. If you get rid of that aspect you greatly reduce the ability to meet that goal and the railroad will require a great deal more manual intervention.

And yes railroad do use wyes to turn trains, primarily passenger trains, but its a very long, slow process, that is usually done at a terminal. There is really no need to turn a freight train on a wye. It is quicker, cheaper and requires less railroad to just turn the engines and runaround the train.
I responded,
I get your point Dave, and yes I would like to avoid that need to constantly intervene. So I will include the double helix.

I had been trying to avoid having the trains climbing/descending the helix so often, So I believe what I need to do is give more considerations as to how to provide that "optional continuous connection" (as you labeled it on your dwg) for both the upper deck and the lower deck.

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