How this ops newbee is staging for switching

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Ralph, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    My layout is U shaped with modelled towns on each side of the room. I'm hoping to send trains from one side to the other to create work for me and, some day, maybe a second operator.

    At West Mill Jct. there is a small yard across the tracks from Hudson Cement. I imagine an operating session beginning with equipment positioned as seen below; cars on spurs, and loco with caboose on a runaround siding. I've identified the eight cars (gondolas, box cars, and tankers) that will be dropped at Kings Port for a switcher to spot at local industries. These will be presorted according to switching moves needed at Kings Port.

    I could have a continuously running train on the main at this time to increase interest.

    Attached Files:

  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    The loco would push the caboose out of the yard near the interchange track turnout so it would be in position to be at the rear of the train. Then through a series of pulling out the two cuts of cars, pushing them forward between the runaround turnouts, running around them, and pushing them back toward the caboose the train would take shape like this:

    Attached Files:

  3. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    The train rolls on to Kings Port where it is stopped, the cars for the local industries are uncoupled from the rest of the train, and pulled just passed the turnout that will allow them to be backed into a siding.

    Attached Files:

  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    The cars for Kings Port industries are spotted in two groups to avoid blocking Ulster Ave., a street just to the left of where Boxcar 2 is sitting. The locomotive backs up and couples with the remainder of the train and heads down the line....

    Attached Files:

  5. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    A switcher from Kings Port Yard (actually just a hidden siding) arrives on the track the cars are spotted and pushes them toward some of the local businesses. Pre-sorting makes this job easier since the gondolas in the front are destined to be dropped off at the scrap yard....

    Attached Files:

  6. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    The switcher continues a series of moves to push Boxcars 1,2 and 3 up to the loading doors on either side of LaRoche Manufacturing. Then it will back up and pull the two tank cars and the remaining boxcar to Vandelay Industries. Once the cars are spotted the switcher can uncouple and head for home.....

    Attached Files:

  7. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi;
    Nice visual Ralph. Thanks for showing us how you're doing it on your route.

    Ted
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's the idea, Ralph. Depending on how big the town is and how important the train is, the train engine might do the switching as well.
  9. Tad

    Tad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good job with the visual, Ralph. It's cool to see that you figured this out, I remember you discussing it earlier.

    Another twist that could be added is to leave the cars unblocked in staging. I could see it happening as a result of the crew back up the line running out of time and just having to put the cars out for the train so that it could leave on time.

    Looking at the sidings it appears that the switch crew could do it. It wouldn't be near as easy, though. :eek: It might be interesting to do occasionally.
  10. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tad,
    Yep! Unstaged, that train would take some effort to switch! Actually I have been thinking of adding a collection of "situation cards", sort of like the "Chance" cards in Monopoly that would throw occasional kinks into an otherwise easily switched job. Maybe one siding is undergoing track repair or perhaps a car cannot be moved from a loading dock for some reason. In the March MR, Tony Koester's "Trains of Thought" column talked about generating enough work for local trains. He included suggestions such as having to spot freight cars at particular doors at an industry. My LaRoche Manufacturing has doors on either side of the building so extra moves might be needed if the cut of cars wasn't staged with that in mind.

    Thanks for the feedback everybody!
    Ralph
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ralph:
    Leave off the complications until the gang comes over to operate, or you get bored with the simple stuff.
    Samples of extra problems:
    "You can't pick up that car ; they haven't unloaded it yet." (got me once)
    There's a car being unloaded that's at the front of the siding and you can't get past it.
    The siding's 120' long but there's only 2 doors and you have 3 40' boxcars. or there's 3 doors and 2 60' boxcars.
    Maybe you can get decals that say "unload from this/other side".
    Locally, there's a warehouse with 2 sidings. One loops around the end of the building to doors on the other side. GO Transit is adding a platform to their station and using this siding (coming in from the other end, yet) for the extra layouver platform they're adding.
  12. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good stuff David! Thanks! I'm still working out the bugs in plain old switching. Planned complications can wait as you suggested.
    :)
    Ralph
  13. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,767
    Likes Received:
    0
    A good thought process Ralph. Looks like you are well underway.
  14. chipmonk

    chipmonk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ralph,
    I was wondering if you could post a ruff drawing of your whole layout as it seems well designed for operations which is what i would like to do!

    Nice design:thumb:
    Chris
  15. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Chris,
    I think I may have gotten lucky as I wasn't really planning the layout for as much operation as I've become interested in lately, but it seems to be working out. My original wish was to have a long mainline so I made a dogbone and folded it so the return loops are superimposed on top of each other. It takes five full minutes for a train to complete a circuit on the layout.

    I did create two switching areas on opposite sides of the room, thinking someday it might be fun to get someone else interested in operating the layout with me.

    I also wanted to be able to continously run a train w/o interference by switching so I made a long siding (highlighted in red below) that follows the main from one side of the room to the other. This way I can send a local back and forth while another train rolls by on the main. I still like doing that but am now sending locals on the main as well. Using the hidden siding lets me arrange meets on both sides of the layout where one train must wait for another.

    The sketch below omits the detailed track plan for West Mill Jct. and Kings Port (which are described above) but gives you and idea of how it all fits in.

    Personally I wish I had a staging yard, a place where trains can come and go off the layout. I currently stage by making trains at the small yard at West Mill Jct. and then, when they "leave" the layout, hide them on the hidden passing siding. If I want to make room for a new train I need to pull cars off by hand at the small yard. I'm kicking around a possible cassette staging scheme for the interchange track that runs off the edge of the layout.

    Hope this and the sketch make sense. I'm not sure how much an example of an operations layout this is...I've been doing it backward...developing an ops scheme with an existing trackplan. I recommend doing it the other way around! :)
    Ralph

    Attached Files:

  16. chipmonk

    chipmonk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ralph,
    Thanks for posting the drawing i really like the idea of having switching that doesnt interfere with the main and the hidden siding idea seems like just the way to do it. something ill have to consider for my layout.

    Thanks again for the inspiration!
    Chris