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Small town passenger station on curve?

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Small town passenger station on curve?
Posted by northeast_train_guy_1965 on Friday, April 21, 2017 11:37 AM

I am modeling a fictional representation of the railroads and industries in my home town and surrounding area. My town is the city hub of the rural region. On my layout I am limited for space but want to have a small to midsize passenger depot. I only have space for the passenger depot on a curve.

 

1. Are passenger stations or depots ever on a curve?

 

2. If so, what type of switching and/or sidings would be appropriate? How should I approach this scene?

 

I have an HO layout, 4'x8' with two ovals connected with crossovers. There is a freight yard in the fron center and two intersecting sidings, one facing and one trailing intersecting with a crossing on the back side of the layout.

 

Focusing on maintaining operational approach.

 

This will become the Mill River division of a larger layout when my home addition is complete.

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, April 21, 2017 11:57 AM

northeast_train_guy_1965

I am modeling a fictional representation of the railroads and industries in my home town and surrounding area. My town is the city hub of the rural region. On my layout I am limited for space but want to have a small to midsize passenger depot. I only have space for the passenger depot on a curve.

 

1. Are passenger stations or depots ever on a curve?

 

2. If so, what type of switching and/or sidings would be appropriate? How should I approach this scene?

 

 

 

From a search "passenger depot on curve":

 

 

There is no reason there shouldn't be one on a curve, except perhaps if there's a train order signal there.  Note that there IS one in the photo.  But it's a little hard to see around a "corner", so it's not ideal.

The switching possibilities would likely be the same as for a depot on straight tracks.  Note the two switches, also in the photo.

Generally, depots on curves will be smallish, I think.  So there might be one track for a team track/freight house.  But that track could be located elsewhere.

 

Ed

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, April 21, 2017 12:03 PM

I don't see why you couldn't put a station on a curve.  There are some prototypes out there.  Just make the platform follow the curve and the station back far enough to give the clearances you need on each end.  The station itself, doesn't need to be built curved.

This could work with the station on the inside or outside of the curve.

Mike.

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, April 21, 2017 12:04 PM

I suspect it is rare but am certain it has been done - nearly everything has, somewhere, sometime.  I would say that we have many curves on our layouts that we "pretend" are not really curves at all, in terms of locating industries and such.  

If this is purely a passenger station (presumably also an operator on duty at least in the old days of train orders and timetable operation), then perhaps no siding is needed, unless that is to also be the location for a passing siding.  

If it is a small town station then even if there is no freight house a siding behind the depot could well be the local team track.  That was the situation in my home town.  It was a stub ended sidind, not a double ended siding.  

One thing to think about -- is there going to be a train order signal at that station?  (Semaphore or light?).  There would be issues of visability if the lantern lens had its focal point in the usual way because the crew would fail to see it due to the curve.  Usually one signal mast holds the semaphores for both directions but that would not seem to work real well on a curve

 It was not at a depot or station but I did come across a dwarf signal protecting the switch at a Y and the signal was on a very sharp curve, so it actually was mounted at a a rather sharp angle to the usual (i.e. it was not parallel to the tracks) so the crews could see it in time to obey the indication.

If a real railroad did locate a station on a curve and needed to indicate train orders to trains coming from either direction, I wonder if they would erect two such signal masts and place both at the appropriate angle for the respective semaphores.  If it is a light type signal, perhaps one mast but the signals would be mounted at angles.  

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, April 21, 2017 12:13 PM

Dave,

You were probably writing your reply when I posted, but my sample photo shows a straightforward train order signal at that location.

 

Ed

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Posted by DrW on Friday, April 21, 2017 1:19 PM

This might not help the OP much (sorry!), but two interesting examples:

Even with a curved platform shelter - Gardiner, MT

http://www.yellowstone-notebook.com/gardiner2.html

Big city station in a curve - Bern, Switzerland

https://www.sbb.ch/content/dam/infrastruktur/trafimage/bahnhofplaene/plan-bern-a4.pdf#?lang=de

JW

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Posted by ACY Tom on Friday, April 21, 2017 1:30 PM

The question reminded me of a very unusual situation on the AC&Y at Pandora, Ohio. The railroad was originally projected as a narrow gauge line to run east from Columbus Grove to Findlay, but was rerouted because the railroad got better terms from the folks in Bluffton. As a result, the road made a sharp turn in Pandora and headed straight for Bluffton. The station was located inside the curve, on the south side of the mainline. There may have been some minor relocations over the years, but this is undocumented conjecture. With the track curving behind and away from the station in both directions, visibility for the operator, from the depot's bay window, was severely limited. This may be the reason that the depot was turned with its bay window facing to the south, away from the tracks, so that approaching trains could be seen.

Across from the depot, on the outside (north) of the curve, was a large feed mill and livestock track. I believe there were other tracks there too, possibly including a coal yard.  In the 1940's, a new industry was built east of the curve, on the north side of the track. That plant made aluminum windows and doors.

Tom  

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, April 21, 2017 2:24 PM

7j43k

Dave,

You were probably writing your reply when I posted, but my sample photo shows a straightforward train order signal at that location.

 

Ed   

Ed that is exactly what I was doing.  I also posted before remembering that one of the most famous, historic, and photographed stations in the whole darned country, Hinton, W. Va., is on a curve!  Duh! 

I studied that photo but cannot tell if the boards were mounted at angles to match the curves.  Perhaps not.  At least blades are more visible at angles than lantern lights are.  Regarding the station in your photo I assume the timetable contained either a general or specific instruction that trains approaching that station (or any station displaying train order signals) were not to exceed the maximum speed needed for a train to safely obey any possible indication for that train order signal.  Depending on the curve that could be quite a slow speed.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, April 21, 2017 7:14 PM

And here we have a depot on TWO curves:

 

 

You COULD put that at an outside corner of a layout, and have the "other" track go off the edge.

 

Ed

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, April 21, 2017 9:14 PM

northeast_train_guy_1965
 

1. Are passenger stations or depots ever on a curve?

Yes, very common.

 

2. If so, what type of switching and/or sidings would be appropriate? How should I approach this scene?

What would you do if the station were on tangent track?  Do that same thing.  A curve makes absolutely no difference in what goes on at the station.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, April 21, 2017 9:19 PM

dknelson
I studied that photo but cannot tell if the boards were mounted at angles to match the curves. Perhaps not.

Most likely not.

Regarding the station in your photo I assume the timetable contained either a general or specific instruction that trains approaching that station (or any station displaying train order signals) were not to exceed the maximum speed needed for a train to safely obey any possible indication for that train order signal. Depending on the curve that could be quite a slow speed.

Why?  Why is everybody so afraid of curves?  They would not make any allowance for curves because signals are on curves all over the place.  ANY train on ANY track, curved, straight, CTC, ABS, dark, whatever, has to approach an open train order station prepared to stop and recieve orders.  There would be no restriction in the timetable, the engineer would have to comply with the regular rules. 

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by northeast_train_guy_1965 on Friday, April 21, 2017 10:26 PM

Thanks everyone for the input. Prior to posting the initial question I had done a Google search and found a handful of depots on curves, but it didn't seem like they were very prevalent in the U.S. I then tried searching for curved platform and only found them produced by U.K. Peco so it left a bigger question mark in regards to U.S. use of depots on curves.

 

But obviously they did exist and there will be on in my Mill River district.

 

Thanks again everyone for the input.

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Posted by pajrr on Saturday, April 22, 2017 5:26 AM

Go on Google Earth and Google Danbury, CT. Find the railyard. (ex-New Haven). The station (on a curve) appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. The Danbury branch forms a horseshoe. Station on a curve on the outside. Insidethe loop is a small yard and engine facility with turntable inside the horseshoe. All of this is now part of the Danbury Railroad Museum. If you Goole Earth the Metro-North commuter station that is the bottom of the horseshoe. You will find the original station and facilities directly north of that. Metro-North uses a couple sidings for train storage. The rest of the yard is the museum.

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Posted by dehusman on Saturday, April 22, 2017 7:23 AM

northeast_train_guy_1965
Prior to posting the initial question I had done a Google search and found a handful of depots on curves, but it didn't seem like they were very prevalent in the U.S.

One reason is that there is probably more straight track in the US than in a country like the UK.  For example when you leave Houston going North on the UP, there is a stretch of tangent track over 40 miles long.  Obviously all those depots are going to be on tangent track. 

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, April 22, 2017 8:40 AM

Well here in the east:

Harpers Ferry, WV

Oakland, MD

Point of Rocks, MD (inside a wye)

Havre de Grace, MD (station now gone)

Sykesville, MD

Frederick, MD

 

Just to name a few within a few hours or so of me here in the Mid Atlantic.

Not all of these are still in use today.......

And many more may not have the actual sation located on curved track, but have curves so close that platforms extend onto a curve.

Depending on the era you want to model, the size of the town/city, and the region of the country, I suspect there are thousands of US examples.

Here in the Mid Atlantic, were the piedmont plateau actually meets the Chesapeake Bay, few railroad lines have long tangents, especially those lines running east-west.

When these rail lines were built, mountains, hills, rivers, existing towns, all required some rather "curvy" routes. As close as 10 miles from the tidal water of the Chesapeake Bay, the land is "hilly", requiring lots of cuts, fills, bridges and curves for railroad to built with exceptable grades.

Unlike the prairies out west, where it was easy to just "go striaght" on flat land.

I suspect a detailed search of the Mid Atlantic, New England, and even the upper Mid West would provide endless examples of stations on curves.

But again, region and era are likely everything to this question.

One more note - our model curves are sharp. I suspect that many real life stations on curves in the US are large enough radius as to be barely noticable standing at the station platform..........but many of the examples I gave are very obvious, by map or in person.

Sheldon 

 

 

    

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Posted by dehusman on Saturday, April 22, 2017 9:26 AM

Going west out of Philadelphia on the Main Line, you can't get a heavier trafficed or more industrial strength line than that, at least half the stations are on curves:

  • Overbrook
  • Merion
  • Narberth
  • Rosemont
  • Radnor
  • Strafford
  • Berwyn
  • Dalesford

That doesn't count the stations that have a curve immediately past the station.

By the way, the Narberth station had an industrial siding that cut through the station platform on the outside of the curve, its gone now but was there back in the '70's when I commuted on the Main Line.

 

 

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by Enzoamps on Sunday, April 23, 2017 10:57 PM

I once got off the train in Harper's Ferry, not only is the station on a curve, it is superelevated quite a bit, so on the station side the car is tilted up.  The floor of the car is quite a lot higher than usual.  I could barely reach down to the stool, and in fact my wife could not reach.  She wound up sitting down on the doorway and being helped onto the stool. (Sorry, I am sure there is an official name for the boarding stool)

 

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Posted by ACY Tom on Monday, April 24, 2017 10:55 AM

Enzoamps:

It's a step box. You're certainly not the only one who didn't know that. The problem of mismatched heights of steps vs. platforms has been troublesome for years. Recent legislation has attempted to resolve the worst problems by raising platform heights, but there are locations where the fix is easier said than done.

By the way, it's not unusual to call it a stool. Years ago, I wrote a poem that contained the lines, "As you descend from the vestibule, and plant your feet on the old step stool...." 

Tom

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, April 24, 2017 12:38 PM

Brantford, Ontario...

Wayne

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Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 8:21 AM

Natural Bridge Station, Va.

Looking north.

Looking south.

 

.

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Posted by joe323 on Friday, April 28, 2017 6:19 AM

The old South Ferry Subway Station in lower Manhattan is built on a loop thus requiring platfo extensions to reach the cars.

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Thursday, May 04, 2017 8:16 PM

More stations on a curve some are listed with a railroad:

Johnstown, PA (PRR)

New London, CT (New Haven) (large town)

Mystic, CT (there was a tinplate model of this station made once, and now hosts an excellent coffee shop).  (NH)  (small town)

Westerly, RI (NH) (small town)

Providence, RI (NH) (large city, but on a curve)

North Conway, NH (Boston and Maine)

Greenfield, MA (station is now gone) (BM) (not all that small of a town)

Staunton, VA (relatively small city)

Culpeper, VA (small)

Crawfordsville, IN (small)

Rensselaer, IN (small)

White River Junction, VT (somewhat small)

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.

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