Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Hump Yards

3692 views
21 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,704 posts
Hump Yards
Posted by caldreamer on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:40 AM

Has anyone else built a hump yard on their layout?  My hump yard is 19 feet long. It has 3 arrivla, 3 departure, a through train track and 10 classification tracks.  The longest two are ten feel tlong.  I also have all of the the other tracks associated with a hump yard (e.g. no hump track, caboose track, bypass track, rehump track, etc.(.  The railroads main service facility is at one end and the car shops are at the other.

   Ira

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 6,389 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:41 AM

CoolSounds pretty neat! How about some pictures?

Ed

  • Member since
    July, 2013
  • From: Stagecoach Nevada
  • 496 posts
Posted by crhostler61 on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:50 AM

I've always wanted to build one. Just never had the space to do anything decent. I have wondered though...how would you make retarders functional in scale since model physics and dynamics are so radically different than that of the real thing?

Yes...please. Post some photos.

Mark H

Modeling in HO...Reading and Conrail together in an alternate history. 

  • Member since
    May, 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
  • 2,567 posts
Posted by Paul3 on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 9:34 AM

I've only ever seen one hump yard model.  Years ago at the Springfield show, there was an HO hump yard modular set up with the main layout actually humping cars during the show.  The owner had built it to use a tethered DC throttle custom made with an extra button.  This button controlled air jets that blew out of small nozzles pointed up the hill on all tracks.

He had an under the track Kadee magnet at the crest of the hump and slowly pushed the cars over the top.  As each car uncoupled and rolled away, it would head down the bowl tracks only to be retarded by the use of the air jet by push button.  The air was strong enough to blow the car back up the hill (I saw him do this).

I gather that the cars being humped were all his cars specially tuned to be humped, with free wheeling trucks and perfectly adjusted Kadees...otherwise it wouldn't have worked.

I don't know what the grade was, but it was pretty steep.  I know it was tall enough for a train tunnel under the hump, so that's at least 3" right there, plus another 1" or so for track, roadbed, etc.  IIRC, the whole thing fit on three modular pieces with the hump in the middle.

Paul A. Cutler III

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,704 posts
Posted by caldreamer on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 10:11 AM

Mine is N scale.  The top of the hump 1.375 inches high.  I do not use retarders.  All of my cars have MT trucks with Atlas metal wheels and are very free rolling.  The bottom of the hum has a wye which splits the classification tracks into 5 east and 5 west classification trcks.  When rollied over the hump cars will roll well into the bowl before stopping.  It seems to work pretty well.  The grade up the hump is 6 percent, I do not care what the grade is into the classification tracks since engines do not use it, but it is about the same as the inbound side of the hump.

   Ira

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 1,595 posts
Posted by angelob6660 on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 1:26 PM

Since this is somewhat hard to model I'm going to represent the departure tracks next to fueling stations and main lines and have the hump in the background. This could be easier to simulate with a working hump yard.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • From: Chi-Town
  • 7,224 posts
Posted by zstripe on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 1:53 PM

When I was a crane operator for CSX Intermodal, right next to our property, which was a 16 track double ended yard, was The Belt Railway, classification/hump yard, 5&1/2 miles long. One of the largest Hump yards in existance today. Works 24/7. Check out some of the Video's and more. Rail fanning from Your PC:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndryMwF41Kk

Frank

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Weymouth, Ma.
  • 5,199 posts
Posted by bogp40 on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 3:50 PM

Modeling a hump yard requires an enormous amout of space. I have seen the hump yard Paul3 mentions @ W. Springfield. A considerable amout of design, trial and error and specific rolling stock is needed for reliable operation. The air blast "retarders" are probable the best method of slowing cars. Others have tried all sorts of means to do this, actuacing series of wire or plastic bristles popping up to snag axles etc. Cars need to be free rolling and weighted properly, even then various designs may not work as well ie: flats, gons etc. Although it may seem like a great thing to model, even if you have the space to use, all the issues and devices to have work correcly just don't seem worth the effort.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Southwest US
  • 12,914 posts
Posted by tomikawaTT on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:49 PM

The late Ed Ravenscroft was a pioneer hump yard builder.  I saw his second one, in Phoenix, about 35 years ago.  It was totally automated, with the air jet retarders timed to rein in fast cars but be off before slow-rollers reached them.  The hump switcher would move one car length after the retarders cut off, launching the next car in his 10 car hump cut.

Believe it or not, he used NMRA X2F couplers (the despised horn hooks) and they worked flawlessly.  Of course he had accurately dimensioned items - he had been NMRA President when they were developed.  I believe his hump yard was a driving force behind the NMRA's car weight RP - heavy enough to roll, light enough to roll easily.

The down side was the electropneumatic monster under the benchwork.  Seeing that pulled the pin on my own half-formed plan to build a hump yard.  My rather small subdivision yard is flat-switched.  (I'm considering adding air-jet anti-retarders to get the push-switched cars all the way into the body tracks.)

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,704 posts
Posted by caldreamer on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:59 PM

With ALL cars, including flats and gondolas wighted to th eNMRA standard and free rolling wheels th ecars wil lget down th ehum withou any problem.  My cars roll through the wye and then four #5 switches and roll at least three feet down the classificaton tracks.  the trick is weight and free rolling trucks.  It atkes time to ensure that the cars meet the standards,but ultimatley it is worth it.

  Ira

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • 36 posts
Posted by trevorsmith3489 on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 6:04 PM

Hi guys

thought you might be interested in this

http://www.btmrs.co.uk/hazlebury-yard.html

There is a small push button panel on the front where children can push a button corresponding to a track to "control" the hump.

Trevor

http://roundtreessidings.wordpress.com/

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
  • 3,879 posts
Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 6:17 PM

What happens after you have a few cars in one body track? Doesn't the next car down hit them with a lot of force? Some video of your hump yard in operation would be interesting. Getting one car to roll down a hump is not difficult. Being able to manage the different speeds needed as the tracks fill is where most folks building hump yards discover the need for retarders -- or for ways to speed up the cars. 

I only know of a couple of successful model hump yards -- and none without retarders (compressed air jets in the cases I know of). Just like on the prototype, slamming cars together as the cut grows is suboptimal.

  • Member since
    April, 2007
  • From: Clearlake, California. USA
  • 869 posts
Posted by Lake on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 9:53 PM

Ira, I also do N-Scale with Atlas metal wheel sets.

I have done some practice for a hump yard and also know that it would work in N-Scale. Since my layout is not of a major division, or even sub division I do not do a hump yard.

It will be on my, win the lotto, layout though.boast.gif

Ken G Price   My N-Scale Layout

Digitrax Super Empire Builder Radio System. South Valley Texas Railroad. SVTRR

N-Scale out west. 1996-1998 or so! UP, SP, Missouri Pacific, C&NW.

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 3,882 posts
Posted by Medina1128 on Thursday, March 20, 2014 9:58 AM

I haven't built a hump yard for my layout, but I would think that some grass clumps glued between the rails, sticking up just far enough for the axles to drag on would work.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,704 posts
Posted by caldreamer on Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:52 PM

The string of cars run over hump push the standing cars down the trck.  I have tested this using various combinations of cars.

  Ira

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
  • 3,879 posts
Posted by cuyama on Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:24 PM

It may be that some folks do not know how hump yards work in the real world. A "string of cars" does not roll down the hump together, typically only a single car at a time. That is the whole point, so that each car may be individually classified into a separate track.

Also, using toothbrush bristles or some other means to slow all cars equally does not help, as the first car into a track must roll faster to have enough momentum to travel well down the bowl track. The next car bound for that track must have a little less momentum, and so on as the track fills. Otherwise (as I noted before), the fourth or fifth car bound for that track will be rolling so fast that it will slam into the already-parked cars with a lot of force.

That’s why a realistic hump yard requires varying degrees of retarding of cars – and why they are so hard to build in the model.

I encourage the OP to post video of individual cars rolling down his hump and rolling into class tracks with varying numbers of cars already there so that others may see how it works without retarders.

 

  • Member since
    April, 2010
  • 150 posts
Posted by denveroutlaws06 on Thursday, March 20, 2014 5:37 PM

i found video that prove you wrong about a sting of cars going down a hump go to 4:22 of this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0l4v9z5-oI

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,704 posts
Posted by caldreamer on Thursday, March 20, 2014 6:34 PM

It works for me.  I will b humping either the 5 weasbound or 5 west bound tracks a one time.  The other one will be pulling cars to make up a train.  Since each side of the classifcation tracks will hold 106 cars at one time and I not be humping that many before going to the other 5 tracks, I will have plenty of room to hump a train into the bowl.  The longest train that I plan to have that is not a unit train is 25 cars..

   Ira  .

 

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
  • 3,879 posts
Posted by cuyama on Thursday, March 20, 2014 8:40 PM

denveroutlaws06
i found video that prove you wrong about a sting of cars going down a hump go to 4:22 of this video.

The preceding 4 minutes of the video prove me right. Yes, occasionally a block of cars go over the hump bound for the same destination. That exception proves the rule.

Apparently folks don't care to understand how things really work and wish to call something that doesn't work like a hump yard a "hump yard". Asimov was right.

The orignal poster may call it whatever he likes. Doesn't change what the yard does (and doesn't do), but it's his layout, of course. But one modeler's opinion also does not change what "hump yard" means in the real world. 

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • From: Chi-Town
  • 7,224 posts
Posted by zstripe on Thursday, March 20, 2014 9:53 PM

It's amazing sometimes. It appears that some never even looked at the video's that I posted in the beginning of this thread, with ''hump yards'' in operation.

You can lead a horse to water, but!!

Frank

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Alabama
  • 1,076 posts
Posted by cjcrescent on Friday, March 21, 2014 10:30 AM

Chuck,

While I never saw Ed's layout in person, it was fascinating to read about it in MR, the couple of times it appeared there.

What I found so fascinating was his use of the XF2 couplers. Didn't he use one specific brand that relied on a coil spring to keep the couplers in position? IIRC, I think the ones he used were Rail Line couplers? I do remember that he did equip all of his cars with an "uncoupling lever", set up in such a way that all he needed to do to uncouple was to squeeze the levers on the cars to be uncoupled and the "levers" would just push the couplers aside and uncouple the cars.

I thought for the time, (a kid in college), that until I could really afford KD's, that Ed's system would work just great on my cars, since the majority at the time were BB kits and as such came with the X2Fs. I never really got to see if it was a good system to use or not, with the BB versions of those couplers, as I started into my clinical rotations at school, and railroading had to take a back seat for a couple of years.

When I emerged from clinicals, graduated and passed the boards, I had a real job and then could afford those KD's.

Carey

Keep it between the Rails

Alabama Central Homepage

Nara member #128

NMRA &SER Life member

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Alabama
  • 1,076 posts
Posted by cjcrescent on Friday, March 21, 2014 10:40 AM

cuyama

I remember reading that column! I didn't remember exactly what he had said, but as you said, He was right! The curse with remembering articles and columns like you quoted is that I can never remember enough to stay out of trouble when talking about it, 35 years later.

Carey

Keep it between the Rails

Alabama Central Homepage

Nara member #128

NMRA &SER Life member

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!