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Yard configuration?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Omaha, NE
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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 10:14 PM

If you want the textbook on yards, go to Google Books:

https://books.google.com

and search for Freight Terminals and Trains by John Droege.  Its free and its a early 1900's treatise on designing and operating prototype yards.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by cv_acr on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 3:09 PM

The "Ten Commandments of Yard Design" is also a good starting point for yard concepts, although they should be treated as "more like what you call guidelines than actual rules".

http://www.housatonicrr.com/yard_des.html

Understand *why* a yard has any of those features, and you'll also understand how and why you can violate pretty much any of them.

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Posted by cv_acr on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 3:05 PM

cuyama

A modest caution about Sanborn maps: These were published for the insurance industry, so that insurers could judge the risks of a particular building based on its construction, location of gas lines and other hazards, construction of adjacent buildings, etc. Railroads tended to be self-insured, so the Sanborn map-makers paid less attention to the precise arrangement of tracks in a yard, for example.

I’ve seen situations where the Sanborn showed a weird (or impossible) configuration for the yard but the railroad-published track chart for the same area was correct.  

The insurance map for the city our club is modeling simply has an outline and the notation "Full of tracks" where the Canadian Pacific's main yard is.

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Posted by cv_acr on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 3:03 PM

Also keep in mind every yard was unique - built to the particular local operating requirements.

Also remember that every track on the prototype is built for a purpose (even if that purpose existed 50 years ago when the track was first laid and has since changed) - nothing is laid down at random.

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 11:44 AM

dknelson
I suggest acquiring a copy of the late Andy Sperandeo's book (out of print but seen at swap meets) "The Model Railroader's Guide to Freight Yards."

+1

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 11:42 AM

A modest caution about Sanborn maps: These were published for the insurance industry, so that insurers could judge the risks of a particular building based on its construction, location of gas lines and other hazards, construction of adjacent buildings, etc. Railroads tended to be self-insured, so the Sanborn map-makers paid less attention to the precise arrangement of tracks in a yard, for example.

I’ve seen situations where the Sanborn showed a weird (or impossible) configuration for the yard but the railroad-published track chart for the same area was correct. 

For the OP’s generic yard inquiry, perhaps it’s not so critical. But this can be an issue for those trying to replicate an actual location.

Byron

Tags: Sanborn Maps
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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 11:42 AM

I suggest acquiring a copy of the late Andy Sperandeo's book (out of print but seen at swap meets) "The Model Railroader's Guide to Freight Yards."  He goes into some detail about why prototype yards, large and small, are designed the way they were, and also shows some model railroad yards that he finds to be well designed from an operating standpoint, and he goes into detail about why.  A classic division point yard that he spends quite a bit of time on was on Frank Ellison's famous "Delta Lines."  He also created a version of it for David Barrow's layout, and again he goes into detail about why it looks like it does.  

Things like caboose tracks (important in a steam era division point), engine pockets for when power is exchanged together with a crew at a division point, and so on.  Special services, too, such as watering animals in stock cars and re-icing reefers.  Trains were blocked to facilitate those services.

Another famous model layout's yard was on Whit Towers' Alturas & Lone Pine - an end of railroad yard where everything north is actually connected to the Western Pacific, so it acts like a division point but also terminal yard, yet it is a through yard not stub ended.  Modelers have been marveling at photos of that yard since the 1960s at least and Sperandeo goes into why it looks that way and what it does.  

Sperandeo's book is a good way to expand on the knowledge gleaned from John Armstrong's Track Planning for Realistic Operation.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by Pennsy_I1 on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 3:38 AM

The yards in my modeling area and within the scheme of operations (long list, stars next to the ones I'm directly modeling:

East Altoona, PA

Tyrone, PA*

Milesburg, PA*

Bellefonte, PA*

Renovo, PA

Lock Haven, PA*

Newberry, PA*

Williamsport, PA

Ralston, PA*

Southport, NY

Enola, PA

There was a reefer hotshot, CSBY-1 and 2, that went to Wilkes-Barre.

For a freelanced route in a train sim, what would a generic division point yard look like?

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 2:34 AM

Hi,

It can be fun and interesting to try to sort out where former railroad lines once ran and to find remnants of them today or to use as a resource for modeling information.

Track charts are helpful but they don't tell the whole story. Many are in a linear format and even though they show elevations and cruvature they really don't give you the full "lay-of-the-land".

This site has many maps and track charts, mostly Ohio but some outlying areas as well.

http://railsandtrails.com/default.htm

One of the best sources of more detailed information are the articles in railroad historical society publications. The Keystone Magazine from the PRR T&HS is a very good publication but finding a useful index for a specific article can be a chore. They have a brief but incomplete index here:

http://www.prrths.com/Keystone/The%20Keystone%20Index.pdf

http://www.prrths.com/index.html

Some back issues are available from their site and others can sometimes be found on eBay. Having an article such as these will give you a history and purpose for the branch line and often have actual maps rather than a diagram.

If you have a specific area you're interested in I can look to see if I have an issue with more information in it.

Generally the engines and cabooses were changed at division points, roughly a hundred miles apart (basically a day's work) where the crew and sometimes the equipment would be changed out or another crew would continue on.

For specific track and industry arrangements in towns the Sanborn Fire Maps are a good resource. The Library of Congress is beginning to scan many of these but they have a long way to go.

https://www.loc.gov/collections/sanborn-maps/about-this-collection/

Here's an example of a Sanborn map for Allegheny County, PA in 1893:

 Sanborn_Allegheny by Edmund, on Flickr

The LOC site takes some practice to navigate but there's lots there to see. 

Good Luck, Ed 

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Yard configuration?
Posted by Pennsy_I1 on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 11:54 PM

Hello,

I have been looking for information and track charts of smaller yards between about 1900 and 1930. By that, I mean single track lines, maybe a place where engines and cabooses are changed, along with classification. I'm thinking a place with a long siding, branchline junction, small engine terminal, and any other facilities required for operation.

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