Preliminary Design - Suggestions Needed!

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Gary S., Dec 30, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I would appreciate some reviews and comments on my preliminary layout design. I filled out the Givens and Druthers form to give some background on what I want. I've got some track laid out, I'll post some pics of the layout and the diagrams of what I have so far.

    Givens and Druthers

    Scale: Gauge: HO standard
    Era: 1970s
    Region: Southeast Texas
    Railroad: Industrial shortline/beltline, interchange with ATSF and SP
    Space: shelf layout in 27 x 21 area. (see diagram)
    Governing Rolling Stock: 40 footers and 4 axle diesels
    Relative Emphasis:
    |______V______________________________________|
    Track/Operation............................................................Scenic realism
    |_______________________________________V_____|
    Mainline Running..................................................................Switching

    Operation Priorities:
    Local Freight Operations

    So far, I have designed one of the 21 foot walls and the 27 foot wall. Here are the diagrams and some pics of the track and mock-ups I have done so far.

    First, a diagram of the shelving.

    Attached Files:

  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Here are the layout diagrams, so far I only have the upper and left sections done, will save the bottom side for later.

    Attached Files:

  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Here are some photos of the mock-ups. The photo numbers match the numbers on the diagrams above. The track is only pinned down for now. Once a final plan is decided, I'll pull it all up and put down roadbed, etc.

    Attached Files:

  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Last 2 photos

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  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Gary, the first thing I see is that you have a lot of facing point industries leaving the interchange at 1, but no way to spot cars. I would try to put in runaround tracks along the line. Also, save the ties and track you cut out. You can use the ties to fill in the gaps, and the track pieces make a great scrap pile:D . Just my thoughts on it.
    Loren
  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Grewsome, I left out a crossover in the original diagram. I corrected it above.

    Considereing the first 2 facing point spurs, do you see a problem there?
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Gary, I'm afraid I do. I know from experience that if you can't operate your layout satisfactorly, you will get frustrated and bored. I've done it. I don't know what your time schedule is for the bottom interchange, but if you can not run another train from the bottom interchange any time soon, I would go ahead and put a runaround for those first industries. On the other hand, that crossover was a great idea.
    Loren
  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Thanks for the insight. Do you have any suggestions on what to do in that area?

    I am by no means married to this arrangement, and a face lift or even a total makeover wouldn't hurt my feelings. As you mentioned, I need a layout that operates well, for future enjoyment.

    Anyone else have suggestions?
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Gary, I am by no means a track planning guru, there are other people on this forum that are a lot better at this than I am, these are just my thoughts, ok? What I did was look at your track plan and tried to operate it in my head. If you try that, there is no way to get cars to those first two spurs without going all the way down to that crossover and then runaround your train. I did a couple rough drawings in xtrk with ideas I have. You can put in a runaround track for those two spurs, or maybe run two different trains. Train 1 could leave the interchange and switch the spurs on it's way to 4. At 4 you could break up the train, rearrange the cars, and switch going back up to 1. I don't know if that's protypical or not, but if you want to operate the layout, that would give you a lot more switching.
    Loren
    P.S. Maybe put a small switching yard at 4 for now.

    Attached Files:

  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Loren,

    Thanks for your effort and time. I thought about both your suggestions and I think number 2 may actually add some operational interest. But as you mention, it may or may not be prototypical. I have read where some shortlines would only switch the trailing point spurs as they headed out, taking the cars for the facing point spurs with them. Then they would either turn around or give the cars to a train heading the opposite way, and the cars would be switched on the way back.

    Another option would be to pull the cars for those 2 spurs out of the interchange yard, get behind them using the interchange yard engine-escape track, and then push them to those industries. For some reason to me, this is the least tasteful of the options.

    Since my interest is in operations, and this is an industrial shortline, I think that not every spur would necessarily have a run-around due to financial and real estate constraints, but again, I'm not sure if this is prototypical and I would like to be at least reasonably within the realm of what a real railroad would do.

    Any other thoughts or suggestions on the layout?

    Anyone else see anything that needs to be changed? Like I said, a total do-over wouldn't hurt my feelings. I just want to be assured that whatever layour design I end up with is going to work and uses my space well.

    Thanks again Loren!
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Gary, I hope I helped you. Yes, switching out of the interchange seemed like a bad idea to me to. That's why I did not suggest it. Good luck with your layout.
    Loren
  12. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Any other thoughts from anyone?

    I'm anxious to get started but I'm not sure whether the lack of comments is a good thing or a bad thing :confused:
  13. kirkendale

    kirkendale Member

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    Gary S, looks good so far. Like grewsome I have been running this plan in my head, but like you am not that experienced. Other than the team track are you thinking of having any buildings or sidings along the outer edge ? What kind of industries are you doing? will there be switching between them or just to / from the interchange?
    Your mock-ups are good and I like your bench work. Are you using shelf brackets? Could you maybe post a pic or two of the under side ?
    thanks kj
  14. zedob

    zedob Member

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    That's going to be a really nice layout once you get the scenery on it's way. Except for the previous addressed issues I don't see any outstanding conflicts. If the layout is operational I would run it to death by switching cars in and out by trying different switching scenareos. Maybe even set up a temporary card system to simulate as much as you can. If you plan on street trackage, make sure everything is the way you want it before commiting to the paving.
  15. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    the layout is 58" above the floor, so I don't want too much stuff at the front edge. I will put some kind of low profile industry at the spur on the front edge at photo #3. Any suggestions for what industry should be there?

    Haven't decided the exact industries yet, but a packing house, furniture factory, potato processing facility, a warehouse or two, and the big processing industry in the corner. Any suggestions?

    I will have a plastic molding factory, a grain elevator, and an interchange yard on the other part of the layout that hasn't been designed yet.

    Everything will come from and go to the interchanges.

    Absolutely:

    Attached Files:

  16. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    zedob, it isn't operational at the moment, I didn't put track feeders anywhere, but I could runs some trains around with the 0-5-0 switcher to see how it operates.

    Do you see those first two spurs with no run-around as being an issue?
  17. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    One other thing, there will be another interchange/fiddle yard on the other end of the layout.
  18. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Gary, you don't really need feeders just to test the track. Just test leads hooked to the track in one spot is enough,as long as you don't have insulated joiners in there. At least, that works for me.
    Loren
  19. zedob

    zedob Member

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    I'd hook the layout up to run and do some actual switching from train to industry or industry to train to help find out switching conflicts. I wouldn't worry so much about mechanical fidelity of your track until you are making it permanent.

    If the two sidings you are talking are in photo 1 I'd take that track that parallels the yard ladder and connect it with the mainline with a turnout, right there.

    You may find it better to add those two sidings farther down the line to a run-around as mentioned before.
  20. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I'll get the track working over the next few days and play with it.

    I was also wondering if the track you mentioned should be connected to the "main". I was thinking about using it for caboose storage. I have a crossover between the lower two yard tracks that are not shown in the pictures or diagrams. I was going to use that crossover to run around cars at the yard. I know there is usually a track connected as you mention. So you would go ahead and hook it to the main?

    Also, if anyone has thoughts on that small engine terminal area, i could use some help there.

    I'm not satisfied with the building arrangement. They seem too evenly spaced. Not that I hate it, but does anyone see something better?