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turntable and a wye

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  • Member since
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turntable and a wye
Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, March 28, 2021 8:40 AM

I just finished reading the article about Jack Burgess' Yosemite Valley Railroad in the April edition of RMC. It is obviously a well thought out and well executed plan. The railroad runs from Merced to El Portal at the entrance to Yosemite National Park. At each town, he used compressed versions of the actual track plans. West of El Portal, passenger trains enter a wye at Moss Canyon and then back into the depot at El Portal. I was curious to see there was also a turntable at El Portal. There is no roundhouse there so it appears the only purpose would be to turn locos. I'm wondering why the prototype would have gone to the trouble of building and maintaining a turntable with a wye track a short distance away. You can't really tell from the track plan what the actual distance from the wye to El Portal was, but since a passenger train was backed into the station from the wye, I can't believe it could have been much of a distance. The only thing I can think of is they built the turntable first and later added the wye to turn the entire consist of their passenger trains. Does anyone have any other thoughts?

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, March 28, 2021 10:08 AM

On his web site, he talks about the operations of the prototype.

Freight trains ran straight into El Portal, so I guess they felt the need for a TT , where passenger trains used the Y and backed the 2.5 miles into the station at El Portal.

http://www.yosemitevalleyrr.com/modeling/layout-plans

Mike.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, March 28, 2021 10:43 AM

mbinsewi

On his web site, he talks about the operations of the prototype.

Freight trains ran straight into El Portal, so I guess they felt the need for a TT , where passenger trains used the Y and backed the 2.5 miles into the station at El Portal.

http://www.yosemitevalleyrr.com/modeling/layout-plans

Mike.

 

OK, it was 2.5 miles from the wye to El Portal. That would make the TT more convenient. That seems like a long way for a backing move by a passenger train but apparently that's what they did. 

The loco from the freight train would need to use an escape track and once that was done, theoretically the loco could be turned on the TT or go 2.5 miles west to the wye. Apparently the railroad decided it was better to have a means of turning the loco at the El Portal yard rather than making a five mile round trip. If the line was busy as it might be during tourist season, I can see how they might not want to foul the main with a loco heading to the wye and back. 

 

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Posted by jjdamnit on Sunday, March 28, 2021 2:15 PM

Hello All,

When entering the Denver Union Station the Amtrak California Zypher backs down the spur track to the station.

This move seems to take quite a while and I would estimate it's more than 2-1/2 miles.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, March 28, 2021 4:33 PM

jjdamnit

Hello All,

When entering the Denver Union Station the Amtrak California Zypher backs down the spur track to the station.

This move seems to take quite a while and I would estimate it's more than 2-1/2 miles.

Hope this helps.

 

I've been on that train and I remember the backing move into the station but I don't remember it being that long. It's been at least ten years ago a so my memory might not be as sharp. 

The train was suppposed to take the D&RGW route through the Moffet Tunnel to Salt Lake City and Ogden but because of UP track maintenance we got rerouted through the original Amtrak route through Wyoming which was a major disappointment. I had been on that train back in the early 1980s. Maybe it was because we were going that route instead of the scheduled route that our backing move wasn't as long. 

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, March 29, 2021 10:56 AM

FWIW St.Paul (MN) Union Depot is located off one leg of a wye, and in pre-Amtrak days there was a roundhouse and turntable located inside of the wye. It was used by SPUD for it's switch engines, and by Great Northern.

Stix

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