Designing For Industrial Switching (2 Spurs Are Better Than One)

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Drew1125, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    When I finalized the trackplan for my switching layout, & got the track laid, what I ended up with was a single track main, running the length of the layout, a runaround track with room for 5 40' cars, & turnouts coming off of these, leading to 2 double track spurs, & a switchback siding...This gave me a total of 6 stub-ended spur tracks.
    I hadn't really done any planning for structures, other than I knew I wanted to have an urban/industrial theme...
    I guess my original thought was - 6 spurs - 6 industries...but it didn't take much studying to realize that wasn't going to be feasible within the confines of the narrow, shelf-style layout...
    So while I was testing track, & running trains, I started to think of the layout as having 3 distinct areas...a double-track spur to the jeft, a double-track spur to the right, & a switchback spur to the rear of the layout, roughly parallel to the backdrop...
    I started to form a plan for each area to represent a large industry (selectivly compressed, of course) with multiple sidings (2 each in this case). A couple of advantages of this plan became apparent to me...

    *Even though this is a small layout, with a lot of scenic compression, I wanted to try & convey the look & feeling of fairly large industrial concerns.

    *Multiple tracks going to each industry not only provide twice the operating potential, but also allow you to represent different aspects of an industry...shipping & receiving of different types of commodities, in different types of rolling stock...

    The following photos will hopefully illustrate what I mean...
  2. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    This photo shows one end of the switchback siding...it serves a sprawling chemical, & mfg, concern called the EVM Corp.
    This shows 2 loading areas...the brick structure, & the corrugated metal bldg in the foreground, both ship & receive loads in boxcars...

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  3. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    The other end of the switchback is the tank loading/unloading facility, & there is another loading dock here at the metal shed, for boxcar shipments.

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  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    This is the S. Rose & M. Lenore Wrecking Co. This industry consists of a scrapyard, & a foundry complex, served by a double-track spur...
    The first picture shows the left spur, which receives scrap loads to the yard, & also provides for components & fuel deliveries directly into the foundry building...

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  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    This is the right spur, which also receives scrap, & provides access to the large overhead crane (the track on the far right here is a dummy track, which holds wrecked, & bad-order equipment)

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  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    To the rear of the overhead crane, the right spur also gives access to a loading dock, which ships & receives boxcar loads...
    (dummy track in foreground)

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  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    The third industry is the Leigh Foods processing plant...
    It is served by a double-track spur...the rails are imbedded in the pavement at the plant, so the area is accessible to both rail & road traffic...
    The large loading dock ships & receives reefers, & boxcars...the nearer track receives bulk shippments of grains, flour, etc in covered hoppers, & bulk liquids in tankers

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    • lf1.jpg
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  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    You desired effect is sucessful, I always thought your layout was huge :D
  9. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

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    Very nice modeling. Double tracks do make the industries look busier and increase the work. Nice division of car types too. Your layout is well thought out. Do you have a layout plan to show how this all lays down?

    Greg
  10. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Oh yeah! That's good stuff! Multiple spurs like that really do convey a sense of business and the need for rail! I know I've said this before but Leigh Foods is a neat structure! Love the paved track too!
    Ralph
  11. pttom

    pttom Member

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    Nice Charlie, Looks like business is boomin.:thumb:
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Charlie,There is no law stating you can't have more then one industry on your industrial siding.While I would not use more then 2 on a siding,there could be more if space permits.
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Charlie:
    There is a large warehouse beside the Bramalea GO stationWhich is served by a double spur. One part goes on a downhill S curve to serve the wall parallel to the mainline. The other part runs between the first spur and the main line and the curves around the end of the warehouse and (i assume) comes out on the far side - I've never seen it.
    Interesting detail: the fishplates (rail joiners) used come in both 4 bolt and 6 bolt versions; the 6 bolts are used on the smaller rail on the siding. There is even a pair of 5 bolt plates where the rail size changes!
  14. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    You're absolutly right brakie, & I've got a siding on my current layout that serves two industries from a single track, & I've seen many prototype examples of that configuation...
    That said, I guess the point I was trying to make in the above post was that, given the very limited space on that layout (it's N scale, on a 1x5 ft shelf) I thought that rather than having multiple small industries on those sidings, it would be a better use of the space to have a smaller number of larger industries...
    What I didn't realize until I had already set off in this direction, was that it also made for some very interesting, & IMHO, more realistic operations...In any operating session, several switching moves must be performed to serve a single industry...many times an industry is served by two trains in a single session, depending on how I've staged things. Add to this manual switches, & manual uncoupling, & a session can stretch into a goodly amount of time...numerous starts & stops, set-outs, & spotting...
    All in 5 square feet!
    So don't anyone think that because you have very limited space, that you can't enjoy realistic operations!
  15. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    You could take this to the extreme and make a whole layout based on ALCOA in Lafayette, IN:

    http://terraserver.microsoft.com/ad...40.4031065525769&w=2&ref=A|Lafayette, Indiana

    (left half of this view, you can zoom in and navigate with arrows)

    It has a track around it parimeter, a wye, a bunch of sidings that go into buildings. Trains don't come and go very often, but they move around internally all the time. They only have one switcher. There is a train inthe upper left corner of this view. About once a week I guess, I see their loaded cars at the NS yards. Actually never saw a train going to ALCOA, and only saw a train go down that branch once.
  16. Tad

    Tad Member

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  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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  18. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Hi Jon!
    I've seen track plans in MR of switching layouts designed around a single industry...paper mills, bottling plants, auto plants...
    I thin using that premise, along with maps & photos would be a great way to design a layout for realistic operation!:cool: :thumb:
  19. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Charlie, if your 2 tracks are close enough, your LPWs could put a ramp between two boxcars and move merchandise that way. It gives you operating instructions that:
    -cars must be spotted with their doors adjacent
    -cars must not be moved with the ramp in position
    -if you remove the car on track 1, you must either put another car in its place or move the car from track 2 to track 1.
  20. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

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    In Oakland California, the UP served a warehouse that took frozen chickens out of reefers and trans-loaded them into containers to ship overseas. We would spot two tracks of reefers side by side and they would unload the second reefer through the first reefer after it was emptied. We had four spots by the dock and would spot four next to the doors of the dock cars. There was about three feet between the two rows of cars and they dropped massive deck plates between the cars. The actual building itself wasn't very wide, and as long as the four reefers spotted. On the other side they had containers backed up to the warehouse and a truck goat to move the loads and spot empty containers.

    The building was corrugated metal siding and the dock was made form huge planks of wood IIRC. An industry building wouldn't pass code today if it were built like that. It was still in use as late as four years ago when I last worked into Oakland.

    Greg