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Structure question N-Scale Industries/Mountain

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    April 2003
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Structure question N-Scale Industries/Mountain
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 21, 2003 1:15 PM
Hi guys,

I am finally finishing up the track on my layout. I have two main spurs/industry feeders and a decent size year. I am roughly modelling the rockies...as well you can't say it is prototypical because there is WAY too much track in such a small area...anyhows...

1) What industries should I use that would likely be in such an area? Natural resources I imagine...as not many coal fired power plants up north.
2) What cars are plentiful as, for example, timber would be awesome...but finding cars has proved difficult...
3) Any ideas on realism. I am having a major problem envisioning how I have two industries and they don't go anyware. I store them in the yard and then where do they go? I can build a fake spur to create the aurora that the line connects to the main system...I don't know...thinking too much?

Thanks guys...any input is helpful. I'm used to HO where you can practically build ANYTHING and there are tonnes of bldg and cars...N is a bit...no a lot more limited...

Justin
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  • From: US
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Posted by AltonFan on Friday, November 21, 2003 3:10 PM
QUOTE: I am having a major problem envisioning how I have two industries and they don't go anyware. I store them in the yard and then where do they go? I can build a fake spur to create the aurora that the line connects to the main system...I don't know...thinking too much?


No, you've got the right idea.

Designate a track in your yard for an imaginary outbound train that takes the cars from your layout somewhere else. Use this track to have imaginary trains bring in cars from everywhere else.

Keep in mind, a yard is not a place to store cars, but a place to sort cars.

Build the "fake spur" and designate it an interchange track with another railroad. Have your trains pick up and deliver cars to this track. Interchange tracks can serve as a "universal industry" where just about any car can go.

You might want to look for articles in Model Railroader, etc. about fiddle yards.

There are plenty of cars and buildings in N scale. You need to decide what kind of equipment you like, what roads you want to model, and what era interests you.

There is also nothing that prevents two industries from sharing a spur.

Dan

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  • From: Nova Scotia, Northumberland Shore
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Posted by der5997 on Friday, November 21, 2003 9:25 PM
In fact, if the industry further from the main line generates more traffic than the one closer to the main, there are additional operating chalenges to enjoy. :D

"There are always alternatives, Captain" - Spock.

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 21, 2003 9:40 PM
Primarily, the Rocky Mountains yield various ores such as coal, lead, precious metals, even uranium, but the industries that produce such ladings are rarely in town; rather, they are in some of the most remote locations imaginable. If you are modeling an urban area, then the industries in that town would likely be related to the processing of such ores, like a smelter or a big stockpile of graded and sorted stone. Also, there might be industries that are related to the kinds of activities that occur in the not-so-rockies, such as livestock and dairy farming or other agriculture. Meat packing plants come to mind, as well as cattle corrals. I'm sure, though, that there are representatives of almost every type of industry, just as there is all across the country, though in greater or lesser degrees. I suggest picking up a book or two at the next train show in your area (or else online) which has your region as subject matter. You'll be surprised how much good information is out there; I model northern Virginia, and found a book that is specifically about my railroad's Shenandoah branch through Front Royal, which I am modeling. A whole coffee-table-sized 150-page book about the 200+ miles of railroad that I'm modeling, and nothing else! From it, I learned about the iron mining and smelters that I didn't know were in Virginia, as well as livestock transportation to serve some tanneries, two industry types that I had not thought about including before.

The "fake spur" concept is very valid and is the kind of ingeniuty that was behind the development of "staging yards", which is an unmodeled portion of layout, usually hidden from view, where trains are parked, waiting to make their appearance on the layout. My pike is set up so that a local runs out of my major town's yard, switches all the coal mines, then returns to that same yard. Then, the cars in that yard are sorted into trains that will make the long trip down to Roanoke, which is really only a staging yard. I assemble the Roanoke-bound train, then send it off; it promptly exits the layout and enters the staging yard, and that's all there is to it. In the real world, those cars would continue beyond Roanoke, likely to the piers at Lambert's Point in Norfolk, where they'll be emptied into boats that are bound for all sorts of places... I'm sure eventually someone is gonna burn that coal, but I'm not bothering to model it. An accessible staging track is all I need.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 23, 2003 7:58 AM
Industries in the mountains served by rail would include
Timber processing plants(champion near missoula Montana is an example)
Iron Mining(Butte Montana is a large iron ore center second only to Northern Minnesota i believe in the lower 48)
Coal Mining (mostly in Wyoming and more in the foothills but those are some big foothills)
Quarries(found in various locations)
Wood Pellet Plants(big industry out in montana and Idaho with Large shipments of hoppers and smaller palletized Bagged shipments being sent out of state)
Meat processing plants,Stock Yards( a centralized location for moving livestock from Montana would be absolutly Huge)
Coming into the area from out of State:
Machinery-Industrial logging and mining equipment and also Farming equipment
Fuel Oil and LP
Building Materials such as sheetrock,roofing,steel panels,steel beams,Cement
Stock equipment-Including feeders and watering tanks etc
Automobiles & related-Trucks-Semi trucks,Tires for cars and Lg mining trucks and logging vehicles.(ever see a tire of an electrahaul Mining truck?I can stand inside the rim with room to spare)
Well if you scratchbuild all of this i think its enough to keep you busy for a few years!! ;o)
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 6:32 PM
Scratchbuilding may be the cure for the skilled modellers<grin>...having never scratch built any models...perhaps it limits my industries<grin> :)

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