HELP! I'm a builder not a designer.

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by kashman, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. kashman

    kashman New Member

    Jan 8, 2007
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    I have received the structures as Xmas gifts, but now I need design and track plan help.

    The scale is HO.

    The theme is an early 1950's transition Steam/Diesel Locomotive Terminal in a North East US location, probably NYC and probably not prototypical to any exact location.

    The structures that I have been presented with include but are not limited to:

    Cornerstone 130' turntable
    " 3 stall Modern Roundhouse
    " 3 stall add-on roundhouse
    " Machine Shop
    " Sand House and Towers
    " Modern Coaling tower (3 track)
    " Cinder Conveyor and Ash Pit (can service up to 3 tracks)
    " Steel Water Tank
    " Backshop (3 stall Diesel Shop)

    This terminal will also have outdoor inspections pits, wash racks and blow down drains for the steam side. An outside two track diesel service platform is also in the works.

    I have the space in a 12 foot by 18 foot room for the entire layout. The layout will be done in sections, starting with the Loco Terminal. The terminal can be located in a corner or on a center pennsula. Only one level, no passenger equipment, just freight and industry with the a lot of switching and maybe a mid size yard to be added AFTER the loco terminal is finished.

    I am looking for some ideas as to a terminal track plan that could be realistic in its operation and format as to not only the proper servicing of the steam and diesel Locomotives, but also coal cars arriving and departing the coaling tower, sand hopper arriving and departing for the sand house and ash hoppers arriving to be filled and then moved to supply ballast.

    Hopefully some of you out there have some good ideas for an operating Locomotive Service Terminal of this magnitude. I will accept off line e-mails as this type of layout may not be of interest to all. But I do believe it is acceptable to this thread and just may be of interest to others.

    Thaks in advance.


  2. Palmisano

    Palmisano Member

    Apr 3, 2006
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    I would start by checking out some of Kalmbach Publishing Company's many railroad books for information about yards and engine facilities. They publish Model Railroader but have recently introduced a whole series of books about prototype aspects of trains as they relate to modeling. They actually have a book specifically about engine servicing facilities.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Oct 31, 2002
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    Nice collection of stuff...! :thumb:

    I agree with the above suggestion - that you check out anything published on steam or transition era servicing facilities. There are a lot of articles over the years in MR as well, so you might check the "Index of Magazines" at Many of the articles may have ended up in the books by Kalmbach, but you might find some other useful info.

    A great representation of a prototypical yard with a small servicing facility is Richard Wakefield's CPR Bruce Sub. Look at his track plan and photos of Orangeville here:

  4. nosweat

    nosweat New Member

    Dec 30, 2006
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    It is nice to see that Santa is alive and well!

    I have been building a similar size layout during the last year. You may see a record of the steps I went through at . If you replace my track plan for a classification yard with your ideas for a terminal yard, you may have something that you can modify to suit your own interests.

    As I say on the website, and have learned from my own efforts, be sure to avoid duck-unders.

    Best wishes.[​IMG]