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Which way is east?

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Which way is east?
Posted by ndbprr on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 8:34 AM

Since all US railroads use east and west for train direction all model railroads should run east and west.  So what is eastbound on your railroad? Trains running clockwise or trains running counter clockwise?  Counter clockwise for me.

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Posted by wrench567 on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 8:46 AM

   My layout consists of a few modules without continues running. If I really think about it I'm running mostly on the backside of the modules and the audience side is against the wall then East would be on my left or vice versa.

    Pete.

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 8:49 AM

ndbprr
Since all US railroads use east and west for train direction

Not correct.  Some prototype roads run N-S and some run N-S on some subs and E-W on other subs.

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

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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 9:03 AM

Clockwise is east bound on my layout.  Presently I face east facing my layout to run my trains.  My layout is HO Scale in our garage mounted on casters and can be rotated 360°.



The top of this drawing is toward the east wall of my garage.

My normal operation is counter clockwise or East to West on the Twice Around double loop.  Up the 3½% grade across the Howe Truss Bridge and Trestle then down the 3½% Helix to the main level.


Mel


 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California

Growing old is a bummer, aging is definitely not for wimps.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 10:43 AM

ndbprr

Since all US railroads use east and west for train direction all model railroads should run east and west.  So what is eastbound on your railroad? Trains running clockwise or trains running counter clockwise?  Counter clockwise for me. 

Interesting question and one that I often wonder about. I imagine for most of us, we cannot come up with a solid answer.

In my case, my layout runs from west to east on one wall of the basement, then turns south down a second wall, then back east to west along a third wall of the basement, and finally north onto a peninsula. 

That said, at the west end of my layout sits Dearborn Station which on the prototype faced north (not west). So, that is my orientation. If my layout did not make those various turns along the basement walls, a straightened layout would have the end of that peninsula facing south. That works for fine for me because the peninsula holds the Chicago North Western Station which faced south on the prototype.

That all said, my trains run north and south on a continuous loop double mainline. The outer mainline runs counter clockwise and the inner mainline runs clockwise.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 11:06 AM

My original layout was built as an east/west line, but when I finally got around to adding the partial upper level, I now also have a north/south line.
I can run the main level as a loop, but seldom do, as I prefer point-to-point operations.
I also have interchange at five different places (all basically staging tracks).  Four of them are in the layout room, while the fifth one is in my workshop via a hole in the wall, which, once the scenery is completed, won't be visible.

The east/west line has at least three areas where helpers might be required, while the north/south line almost always requires helpers when travelling north.

Wayne

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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 11:24 AM

I guess mine generally go anti-clockwise, however, I do have a decent size balloon track and can and do turn them around sometimes. If I am really on the ball I can run opposing trains taking advantage of a long siding and other strategically placed turnouts that let them pass. It does require full focus so as to avoid disaster.Laugh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbUhA2_F-7M&ab_channel=BATTRAIN1 

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1/videos 

You can never ever out-train poor nutrition.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 12:09 PM

The section of the STRATTON AND GILLETTE I model runs North-South.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by FRRYKid on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 1:16 PM

Counterclockwise for me. My layout is orientated with the proper cardinal directions due to the setup of my garage. 

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 1:21 PM

FRRYKid

Counterclockwise for me. My layout is orientated with the proper cardinal directions due to the setup of my garage.  

Cardinal directions! That's the term that I was looking for.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 1:33 PM

I've never thought about it.  The trains using the outside loop run counter-clockwise, and when the train comes by where I normally stand, in my head it seems to be going east.

York1 John       

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 2:38 PM

My old house was oriented facing north because the south roof used to have solar panels.  This was an old pumped hot water system, which unfortunately had a lot of plumbing and was not designed for easy repair.

So, the back side of the layout faced south.  The South Ferry subway station is on that wall.  I generally don't use compass points.  Most of the layout is a single track loop.  As a "reliable, bullet-proof track" fanatic, I don't have a preferred direction.  I have reverse loops facing either direction, so there's really no preference.

I also have a pair of passing sidings so trains going in opposite directions can pass.  It's a bit nerve-wracking, but I can run a train in each direction on the same loop, without stopping either train.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 2:44 PM

My layout is mostly around the walls and I purposely designd it so that east is to the right and west is to the left because that is how it is on the map. The same holds true for the center penisula. 

Allen McClelland briefly touched on this subject in the book about his Virginian and Ohio and if I remember, that ran just the opposite and he thought that was correct but I can't remember his reasoning. 

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 4:01 PM

East is counterclockwise. Far enough east and suddenly you're to the west!

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Posted by wp8thsub on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 6:45 PM

Eastbound on my layout is toward Ogden (UT) staging.  Orientation to the viewer changes depending on which deck you're on.  The main deck is oriented like a map, so east is to the right.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 7:00 PM

North is to the right and south is to the left.  No east or west.

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

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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 7:55 PM

John-NYBW
I purposely designd it so that east is to the right and west is to the left because that is how it is on the map.

Say what?

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1/videos 

You can never ever out-train poor nutrition.

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Posted by Tom Bryant_MR on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 8:51 PM

Nice layout!

Tom

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 8:54 PM

"Which way is East?" To the right of course.

I have never in 55 years in this hobby thought of it in terms of clockwise or counter clockwise - never had a layout that was a simple oval....

But all my more recent layouts (except one) have been designed so that the whole layout is viewed as if the viewer is facing north, so left is West and right is East.

The new layout:

 

This makes things much easier for operators to understand where they are, and where they are going, even on a continious layout. 

The new layout pictured above is continious in that it has thru staging - trains leaving the scene westbound will re-enter at the other end, still westbound, etc.

I guess you could say that East bound trains are "clockwise" and West bound trains "counter clockwise", but I never think of it that way. The oval is big and squiggly so it does not resemble a clock at all?

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Tom Bryant_MR on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 8:57 PM

My layout is around the wall with towns of Taylor Tx, Smithville Tx and La Grange Tx. On the map they are north - south. I'm running counter clockwise from Taylor (North).

Each to his own Smile

Tom

Tom

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Posted by jjdamnit on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 9:35 PM

Hello All,

On my pike east is opposite of west!

Hope this helps.

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

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Posted by dknelson on Thursday, May 5, 2022 10:15 AM

Geographically my linear railroad (C&NW) is north/south.  North (railroad west) is to the right.  I could have done the opposite I suppose but most of the largest rail served industries were on the east side of th double track main so I allowed for them to stick out into the aisles.  Since the CNW used left hand running through the town I model, the westward/northbound trains are on the far track from an operator's standpoint; the eastward/southbound trains are on the near track.  With a double track main I don't think in terms of clockwise and counter-clockwise even if I had reverse loops on the far ends, which I do not (strictly point to point).

Thinking of the layout in photography terms, the sun is at my back for morning shots and in my face for afternoon shots.  

BTW there are railroads which think in north/south terms, or at least what I hear on the scanner has the dispatcher referring to northbounds and southbounds.  I hear those references on the local CN line (ex Wisconsin Central, ex-Soo Line).  Whether their timetable or rulebook reflects that I do not know.  

In terms of train numbers on the CP, so that includes Amtrak locally, train heading towards Chicago are even numbered "eastbounds" and trains out of Chicago are odd numbered "westbounds" but there are plenty of instances where an even numbered train is definitely going geographic west, and so on.  I think our British friends think in terms of towards London ("up") and away from London ("down") and geographic direction has nothing to do with it.  I don't know how they handle trains that are on lines that do not go to London.  Maybe no such lines exist?

Slightly off topic when you visit the Quad Cities you have to become used to the idea that the Mississippi River, a north/south river if there ever was one, is for the most part an east/west river from a geographical standpoint.  

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Saturday, May 7, 2022 9:54 AM

 

On the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad Company Timetable No. 60 under SPECIAL INSRUCTIONS

ALL SOUTHBOUND trains will have absolute right over trains of the same class running in the opposite direction

 

So my version of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad also runs north/south, point to point.  As it happens left is north everywhere you face the layout.  Since the layout has a giant S shape north is counter clockwise for one curve and clockwise for the other.

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, May 12, 2022 10:31 AM

BATMAN
 
John-NYBW
I purposely designd it so that east is to the right and west is to the left because that is how it is on the map.

 

Say what?

 
I seem to recall reading somewhere that north being up at the top of maps and south down at the bottom wasn't standard until the discovery of the compass and magnetic north.
 
If my freelance railroad had actually existed, it's mainline would have run almost purely north-south, just a little bend towards the northeast in the upper part. However, I'm also modelling an iron ore division that runs east-west (ore dock on Lake Superior in the east, Cuyuna iron range to the west.)
 
Since I don't do schedules or train orders or anything I guess it doesn't really matter that much so I've never really designated a 'timetable direction' like real railroads.
Stix
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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, May 12, 2022 10:56 AM

wjstix
Since I don't do schedules or train orders or anything I guess it doesn't really matter that much so I've never really designated a 'timetable direction' like real railroads.

Real railroads use direction for all sorts of things, like which end of a siding (east end, west end), which rail (north rail, south rail), the order of cars in a track on a list (ordered east to west or west to east).

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

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Thursday, May 12, 2022 11:11 AM

The big traffic generator on my layout is an anthracite colliery which has a hidden loads-in/empties-out connection to a tidewater coal dock; the latter obviously being east.  Conveniently, east turned out to be on my right.

Jim

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Posted by Water Level Route on Thursday, May 12, 2022 11:33 AM

While I've loosely based my layout on actual locations, the track plan is based on an old plan from many years ago where tracks pass through one section not once, not twice, but *gasp!* three times.  A train leaving one staging yard will pass right to left through the first town, left to right through the second town, and right to left through the third town.  When pulling out of the main yard to the left is this way and to the right is that way.  Good enough.

Mike

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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, May 12, 2022 9:15 PM

wjstix
I seem to recall reading somewhere that north being up at the top of maps and south down at the bottom wasn't standard until the discovery of the compass and magnetic north.

In medieval times, when the known world was Europe, Asia, and Africa, maps showed the Holy Land at the top, that is, the east at the top.  It's where we get the term to "orient" a map.

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Posted by BATMAN on Thursday, May 12, 2022 9:31 PM

With all our layouts being flat(ish) Maybe those flat Earthers are on to something. I did lose a tank car once when it fell off the edge of the Earth, I was able to find it though, and replace the broken coupler it suffered. It needed a Kadee upgrade anyway.Laugh

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1/videos 

You can never ever out-train poor nutrition.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Thursday, May 12, 2022 10:20 PM

When I operated on a club railroad, we had a mental map of the line that was essentially either to New York or to Pittsburgh if you were at an intermediate station. Essential for routing cars. We also used hand signals between station agents/tower operators and engineers to tell the engineers what direction to move when switching. "Go East" was a circular motion while "Go West" was an up and down motion.  Intuitively, when you wanted the engineer to slow down or speed up, you just moved the hand slower or faster. We also had "Stop", which was a slashing motion meaning "Cut". Depending on which way the locomotive was facing, "Move East" could be "Go Forward" or "Go Back", but since the cabs' direction switches were labeled East and West, it got the job done.  

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