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Rail road operation

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RLV
  • Member since
    October, 2013
  • 5 posts
Rail road operation
Posted by RLV on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:59 PM

Could someone tell me what the percentage of cars on a layout to the number of spots to place them would be? 

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
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Posted by cuyama on Monday, November 13, 2017 9:42 AM

RLV
Could someone tell me what the percentage of cars on a layout to the number of spots to place them would be?

Without more information, it’s difficult to say. There are many variables regarding track arrangements, types of trains and industries, presence or absence of staging tracks, presence or absence of a visible working classification yard, etc. But 50% or less of the total industry capacity might be a reasonable guesstimate. Note that one can (and probably should) begin with fewer cars than that while developing experience in ops. 

The Operations SIG is a great resource, as is Tony Koester’s Realistic Model Railroad Operation.

Byron

 

Tags: operation , Ops
  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 15,894 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, November 13, 2017 10:46 AM

To add to what Byron said you don't need to switch out car for car at a given industry and that too will play a roll on how many cars is needed another factor is train lenght and how many trains will be ran out of a yard,staging or as a loads in/empties out operation.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Southern California
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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Monday, November 13, 2017 11:34 AM

    If you use a car card system then it will automatically create the demand for your layout and you will know the amount of cars you need. If you have adequate staging or storage and depending on how you use it then it might be about a 3:1 ratio.
    If your widget factory loads 3 cars a day and it takes another day to process them in your yard and send them on their way beyond the basement (to staging) and it takes another day for the cars to return as empties then it takes 3 days so the answer is 9 cars, 3 to 1 or 300%. For every day additional day you hold them in staging it’s another 100%.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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  • 4,293 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Monday, November 13, 2017 2:36 PM

Let's suppose that your layout has 20 "spots" for industries.  One industry might have more than one spot.  Cars are never ALWAYS at spots.  For a start, I'd suggest a 50% fill.  So, at any one time, there will be 10 cars out at industries.  The percentage will vary, of course, depending on how things work out for YOU.

Now we examine the (freight) yard(s).  Let's suppose that when they are chock full, they will hold 40 cars.  It's a problem, though, when a yard is full--it's awfully hard to sort and build trains.  I would again go with 50% to start, and see how things go.

 

So:  10 cars spotted and 20 cars in the yard is 30 cars on they layout.

 

Those percentages are adjustable, of course.  The obvious upper limit is 20 + 40 = 60.  But that would entirely freeze up the railroad.  So that number is not acceptable.  Zero is even less acceptable 'cause there's then no trains to look at or run.

So somewhere between none and full is it.  And 50% is somewhere in the middle, depending on how you define middle.

 

Ed

 

Oh, yeah.  It's not unreasonable to argue for including cars-in-transit in the total number.  So you MIGHT add enough cars to make such a train.

RLV
  • Member since
    October, 2013
  • 5 posts
Posted by RLV on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 10:38 AM
Thanks for your reply. I have six staging tracks of about 15 ; 40 foot cars. This is off the end of my main yard. My railroad is an out and back branch line of the 1950s. Sorry for the lack of info but thanks so much for the advice.
  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 3:29 PM

OK, here is what you need to know...

.

1) How many car spotting locations are on the layout?

2) What are the capacity of your yard tracks?

3) What are the capacity of your staging tracks?

.

For the STRATTON & GILLETTE the numbers are as follows for freight cars:

.

1) 18

2) 60

3) 65

.

That is a total of 143 cars maximum capacity, however, I only plan to run with the yards and industries at about 60% capacity so I can keep things moving around. This means I only need 112 freight cars (and 10 cabooses).

.

I hope that helps.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • 475 posts
Posted by davidmurray on Thursday, November 16, 2017 12:52 PM

My home layout has:

63 industry spots

36 yard tracks, plus 22 departure track spots

18 staging track spots.

 

68 freight cars.

This gives a percentage 49.8 spots occupied.  I recently aquired three 50' boxcars and removed two older ones to keep things balanced.

Hope this helps.

Dave

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada

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