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Looking for honest suggestions and opinions

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 10:31 AM

If you're going to "operate" your layout, that should include the engine facilities, too.

I expect the roundhouse and environs to be quite busy on the subject layout.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 9:16 AM

richhotrain
 
dehusman

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

  

I could not agree more. I have an entire 7' x 11' peninsula devoted to an engine servicing facility. It holds a 9-stall roundhouse, 130' turntable, a coaling tower and two back shops. 

IMHO, it looks great but, for all practical purposes, it is a static diorama. I am seriously considering removing it altogether and replacing it with something more functional.

Rich

I'd think about that a bit before you take that step, Rich.

I agree that diesel-era layouts may not have much need for an elaborate engine terminal. But a steam era layout is a different animal.

In the prototype world, steam locos were maintenance nightmares. Steamers would generally go only a few hundred miles before requiring some work, so locos were swapped out on trains pretty frequently. That means a lot of terminal activity even in a smallish facility.

On my own layout the Casper engine terminal is the only one for a couple hundred "miles" in either direction (just as in real life). So with very few exceptions, every train passing through Casper requires an engine change. Something like that makes the terminal an integral part of yard operations, and not just a scenic element.

Od course our models don't need all that maintenance, but it's about simulating the prototype.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 8:58 AM

richhotrain

 

 
dehusman

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

 

 

I could not agree more. I have an entire 7' x 11' peninsula devoted to an engine servicing facility. It holds a 9-stall roundhouse, 130' turntable, a coaling tower and two back shops.

 

IMHO, it looks great but, for all practical purposes, it is a static diorama. I am seriously considering removing it altogether and replacing it with something more functional.

Rich

 

I will agree that engine terminals are only useful if they are "planned" into the operating scheme, and generally only for layouts operated by multiple crews, not so much for lone wolf operations.

My plan for my engine facilities is pretty minimal, separate steam and diesel areas to store extra power, add to the scene, but most importantly to facilitate power change operations on thru trains.

That will be the whole deal for some trains, come out of staging, run around the first half of the layout, pull in the yard, get new power, continue on thru the rest of the layout, return to staging.

Other trains may also set out, or pick up blocks of cars as well as getting a power change.

So I need just enough engine terminal to park four or five diesel lash ups and eight to ten steam locos on ready tracks.

If I was going to find something wrong with the OP's plan, it would be the short length of the yard, but he only has the space he has.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by JDawg on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 8:49 AM

hon30critter

 

 
JDawg
I think that the OPs track plan is a solid one, but in my opinion it is too cluttered. It is a spaghetti bowl, albeit an organized one. That being said, if you (the OP) really like this type of operations, I would say go for it. But I would definitely thin out some trackage.

 

Hi JDawg,

I think the OP should keep his track plan intact. Suggesting that it is an 'organized spaghetti bowl' is a somewhat contradictory statement IMHO (no offense intended JDawg). My understanding of spaghetti bowls is that they are neither organized nor well thought out. I agree with others who have said that it is a well designed plan. I think that simplifying it would be counterproductive. The OP wanted a complex plan and that is what he has, and apparently the plan will work. I think it would be fun to operate on.

My 2 Cents

Dave

 

 

Sorry by the contradictory statement. I just meant that there is a lot of trackage. In my opinion, it's too much track. Again, that's just my opinion. I comple agree that the layout would be a blast to operate on. I just really feel there is too much track for the given space. No offense taken HOn30, the OP asked for helpful suggestions, and that is what we each offered, though on different sides of the operations isle. 

JJF


Prototypically modeling the Great Northern in Minnesota with just a hint of freelancing. Smile, Wink & Grin

Yesterday is History.

Tomorrow is a Mystery.

But today is a Gift, that is why it is called the Present. 

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 7:36 AM

There is a 36 inch wide aisle on the backside of the yard "accessible by a door", what ever that means.

Its going to take a another person to operate that side of the yard.  Since the other shelves of the layout are against the wall, I don't see an easy way for the person in the middle to get to the backside of the yard.

There is probably a way to cut out some of the railroad maintenance functional tracks and narrow the yard by 6 to 8 inches, making it an easier reach from the pit.  

- Douglas

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 6:13 AM

dehusman

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

I could not agree more. I have an entire 7' x 11' peninsula devoted to an engine servicing facility. It holds a 9-stall roundhouse, 130' turntable, a coaling tower and two back shops.

IMHO, it looks great but, for all practical purposes, it is a static diorama. I am seriously considering removing it altogether and replacing it with something more functional.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 26, 2021 11:05 PM

JDawg
I think that the OPs track plan is a solid one, but in my opinion it is too cluttered. It is a spaghetti bowl, albeit an organized one. That being said, if you (the OP) really like this type of operations, I would say go for it. But I would definitely thin out some trackage.

Hi JDawg,

I think the OP should keep his track plan intact. Suggesting that it is an 'organized spaghetti bowl' is a somewhat contradictory statement IMHO (no offense intended JDawg). My understanding of spaghetti bowls is that they are neither organized nor well thought out. I agree with others who have said that it is a well designed plan. I think that simplifying it would be counterproductive. The OP wanted a complex plan and that is what he has, and apparently the plan will work. I think it would be fun to operate on.

My 2 Cents

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, July 26, 2021 10:45 PM

Thank you Kevin.

    

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Posted by JDawg on Monday, July 26, 2021 10:29 PM

I think that the OPs track plan is a solid one, but in my opinion it is too cluttered. It is a spaghetti bowl, albeit an organized one. That being said, if you (the OP) really like this type of operations, I would say go for it. But I would definitely thin out some trackage. Again, just my opinion, others will have different ones.   

JJF


Prototypically modeling the Great Northern in Minnesota with just a hint of freelancing. Smile, Wink & Grin

Yesterday is History.

Tomorrow is a Mystery.

But today is a Gift, that is why it is called the Present. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 26, 2021 10:15 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
I would link to it, but I lost the secret code for doing that

I have the secrect code! I will use my powers to post a link to the ATLANTIC CENTRAL Track Plan for Sheldon.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, July 26, 2021 10:05 PM

dehusman

I have several problems with it.

The yard is buried back in the layout with means anybody switching will have to reach, see over the engine facilities or RIP track to the switching lead.  Very inconvenient and risks knocking stuff over.

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

If you do have a hostler there may be issues with them trying to work the engine facilites at the same time the yard job is working the left end of the yard.  Two bodies competing for the same floor space.

Also consider that you can't depart out of the bowl of the yard.  EVERYTHING has to go thru the R&D tracks.  That makes them the chokepoint.  I much prefer a crossover scheme where you can depart out of any track in the yard, that gives way more flexibility to the yardmaster, especially if he is running a lot of short locals.

As far as your questions, I prefer the large square under the track magnets, just marj the location with a tie painted yellow or white.

Switch control, I prefer manual in a yard, but reach issues could be a problem, with all the stuff between the yard and aisle.  Powered switches would require a large footprint for a control panel.

Otherwise its a very complete yard and generally, should be very workable.

 

 

You obviously studied it a little hard than I did. But I do seem to remember something from the old posts about access to both sides? I could be wrong, but I think the fine prints says "36" aisle" behind the yard.

Yes there are a number features that I chose to leave out or minimize on my track plan, I guess it does depend on your goals and interests.

I had a hard time reading all fine print..... But clicking on my track plan is not much better I suppose.

But I now see the layout space is 24 x 24 - not sure I would devote that much of the room to the "terminal" if I only had that much space. But then again not everyone would use 1500 sq ft the way I plan to.

I think in these days of "prototype modeling" it is easy to get caught up in having all the "correct" stuff even for freelance modeling.

And the OP does state in his info on the plan, in the fine print, that the yard operations are the focus of the layout. Unlike mine where the thirty staged mainline trains are the focus, but there still are opertunities for switching and such.

Maybe the OP would benefit from reading my layout thread? Or maybe he has?

I would link to it, but I lost the secret code for doing that and I'm just not that much of a computer geek since so much ofthis site is not user friendly.....

Dave, I would be interested in your thoughts about my track plan, construction starts soon.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 26, 2021 9:57 PM

dehusman
n my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

Laugh You are exactly right about that Dave.

My engine facility only will exist as a show-place for my brass locomotives. I will probably take one out for a run every once in a while.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by dehusman on Monday, July 26, 2021 9:43 PM

I have several problems with it.

The yard is buried back in the layout with means anybody switching will have to reach, see over the engine facilities or RIP track to the switching lead.  Very inconvenient and risks knocking stuff over.

I personally have issues with devoting huge swaths of layout to RIP tracks and engine facilities.  RIP tracks are switched once, maybe twice a day.  In my experience very few people actually "operate" an engine facility.  Other than a ready track for engines and turning a engine during a session, most cases they are purely a scenic thing to display equipment or a detailed scene.

If you do have a hostler there may be issues with them trying to work the engine facilites at the same time the yard job is working the left end of the yard.  Two bodies competing for the same floor space.

Also consider that you can't depart out of the bowl of the yard.  EVERYTHING has to go thru the R&D tracks.  That makes them the chokepoint.  I much prefer a crossover scheme where you can depart out of any track in the yard, that gives way more flexibility to the yardmaster, especially if he is running a lot of short locals.

As far as your questions, I prefer the large square under the track magnets, just marj the location with a tie painted yellow or white.

Switch control, I prefer manual in a yard, but reach issues could be a problem, with all the stuff between the yard and aisle.  Powered switches would require a large footprint for a control panel.

Otherwise its a very complete yard and generally, should be very workable.

 

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

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, July 26, 2021 7:47 PM

As I told you before when you had it posted, I think it is a very good yard/terminal design.

It has similarities to mine:

 

I would be intersted to know how much additional space you have and how you plan to use it.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, July 26, 2021 7:09 PM

Hello All,

MSM
Looking for honest suggestions and opinions

That's a lot of track in a small space.

Hope this helps.

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

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, July 26, 2021 6:43 PM

Welcome back!

 

Ed

MSM
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Looking for honest suggestions and opinions
Posted by MSM on Monday, July 26, 2021 11:45 AM

I'm reposting after my MR account was hacked earlier this month, sorry if this caused anyone elses account to incur any problems.

Thanks in advance...

 

 

 

 

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