Question concerning team track

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by foulrift, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

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    On my switching layout I have a team track.The track itself is rather long,approx 36".My thinking behind this was to have a number of spots along the track for unloading various types of cars and adding more switching possibilities.There is room for an overhead crane for unloading gondolas,a platform for box cars,tank cars for my oil company and possibly a coal dump for a small coal distributor.
    What I would like is some input as the weather this is possible or too much for one track.If that's the case the track can be shortened.
    Thanks in advance-Bob:confused:
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    36" is 6 40ft cars, or 5 comfortably. 2 spurs with 2-3 cars each would be a more logical, efficient arrangement for a railroad to get the cars loaded and unloaded. It really depends on your scheme for operating the team track. Is it mostly LCL in boxcars, or is it intermodal, or is it (in earlier times) gondolas of bulk stuff like coal unloaded by shovels?

    Cranes, depending on the era, could be used to transfer everything from logs to large machinery.

    hope this helps
  3. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

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    Thanks Fred-The layout is only 2'x8' so space is limited.I'm modeling in the 50's. Box cars would be at a platform(lcl),gondola-crane,tank car-unloaded and pumped to tanks at oil dealer.Here's a copy of the plan to give you a better idea.Bob
    [​IMG]
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Bob, most LCL moved between freight houses or express buildings, as each car usually contained shipments for multiple consignees: the individual shipments would either be picked up at the freight house or delivered from there by truck.
    The team track was usually for customers who had carload lots to ship or receive, but no direct access to a siding. It would probably be more usual for tank cars or hoppers to be loaded directly into trucks at the team track, rather than have storage space available. Depending on the traffic patterns, for instance, an oil dealer who picks up a truckload of oil only once a day would likely see the tank car unloading machinery, if any, at the stub-end of the teamtrack, where a car could sit for several days. Ditto for coal or other bulk commodities. For boxcars or reefers, the general preference would be to back the trucks right up to the door of the car, then load or unload directly.
    A platform is useful for loading or unloading wheeled vehicles and equipment - a car dealer might receive new autos in a boxcar, unloading them onto a platform, then driving them down a ramp.
    The crane is a useful (and interesting) option, but probably not too common unless there was sufficient traffic to warrant its use - a city location, but perhaps not a town.
    Here's a link to A useful and easy to model... industry that shows some examples.

    Wayne
  5. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

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    Team track

    Thanks Wayne-Looking at my plan you will see that the oil dealer track and coal dealer track are separate from the actual team track so it wouldn't matter how long they sat.The oil dealer handles both heating and lubricating oil and I have a 3 dome tank car for that and plan to run pipes from the track to the dealer.I'm modeling in the 50's and there are still those heating with coal and I think that justifies a coal tower. You may remember my layout is only 2'x8' so space is at a premium. As far as a crane goes,Walthers makes a gantry crane which I can trim to fit the space and use it to load/unload heavy stuff for either shipping or storage.With the track arrangement that I have for the team track I was trying to add a little more switching possibilities.The platform would be for trucks to back up to and either load/unload.I also added a clean out track.I got this idea from one of MR's Realistic Railroad books.Box cars coming from the team track could now either be sent back out empty as is or sent to clean out track where the inside would be steam cleaned prior to re-loading.
    I hope from this description you get a better idea of what it is I am trying to do.Any more ideas will be appreciated.Bob :mrgreen:
  6. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    Won't unloading on the near end block access to the far end?
  7. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    Since its the '50's, the coal dealer and oil dealer could be the one and same company(Massive Coal and Oil Co.). When people started switching to oil to heat their homes, a lot of coal dealers, dealt in both oil and coal. Eventually, when coal fell out of favor for oil(Gee...if only we knew then), a lot of coal/oil dealers switched to just plain oil, though in some communities, straight coal dealers remained.(Also, some coal and oil dealers sold ice, for you guessed it...ICEBOXES......Go figure)
    So, having a spur, with a couple of oil tanks, next to a coal unloading pit belonging to one company could be possible. And would save space on your real estate starved layout.
  8. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

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    Thanks for the replies and info,I appreciate it.
  9. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

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    It not too much, but it not a team track. A team track is a public track, which means that any customer can use it. If there is a coal dump that belongs to a specific customer or a oil dealer's unloading spots and equipment then it isn't a public track. If its actually a team track then pretty much any car can be loaded or unloaded at any equivalent place on the track.

    Dave H.
  10. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

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    Dave-I know what a team track is and if you re-read my post I used the word possible use for-also if you look at my track plan you will see that the tank car unloading track and track for coal dealer were moved.Thanks for the reply
  11. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Hi Bob,

    Neat track plan and lots going on! I had a track somewhat similar to what you are talking about on my layout for a while. I called the collection of services Allied Bulk Commodities and included a traveling overheard crane with a bucket shovel for moving coal from car to river barge, a silo and conveyor arrangement for moving gravel from barge to hopper or gon, and a tank for off loading oil from tank cars.

    It was a bit of a switching challenge sometimes when I needed to pull a car at the end of the spur and replace the rest! I think Mountain Man's comment addresses some of the operational possibilities if you found a car being loaded when it was time to set out or pick up one beyond it on the track.

    After a while I modified the area and turned it into an oil/fuel transfer industry only with tanks cars alone on the track. Personal preference...and the result of snagging my sleeve one time too many on the overheard crane that was at the front edge of the layout! :)

    Ralph
  12. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

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    Ralph-Thanks for the reply.As you can see from my plan,I have a separate track for off loading petro products to the deader.I guessing from what you described about your layout I could have an overhead crane for unloading gons and flat cars,a platform for truck loads and a coal silo and call it something other than a team track.As far a switching out cars,the coal dealer is small so a hopper could sit for a while,the other cars would be no problem.Then I could take the track that I have labeled coal dealer and convert it into a clean out where box cars if necessary would be steam cleaned prior to reloading-I got that idea from one of MR's special issues.
    I think what I am proposing makes more sense-Thanks for the insight-Bob
  13. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Sounds good to me! A clean out track is an interesting and seldom modeled idea, I'd think.
    What sort of equipment would be appropriate for steam cleaning? A small shack and some pipes, or a special truck parked nearby?
    Ralph
  14. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

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    Ralph- My clean out track has a small boiler house with smoke stack,an overhead pipe running from the boiler house to along the track with two steam hoses attached, a few ladders and a moveable platform.There will also be a platform along side the track for the platform etc. Given the fact that this type of area is as you say seldom modeled if at all (I've never seen one on a layout) I just thought it would be something different and would add some switching variety because the clean out track is away from the unloading area and would require a switching move to get the cars there and then to the rest of the outbound cars.Bob
  15. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

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    What are they loading in the boxcars? I'm not saying that they don't steam clean boxcars, but I've never seen a cleaning track (other than one for tank cars) that used steam. All of the cleaning tracks I have been associated with over the years were just guys with shovels and push brooms.

    Dave H.
  16. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

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    Does it really matter that much? I took my idea from an MR article which was set in the 50's which is the era I'm modeling.I liked the idea which is why I;m putting it in my layout.
  17. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

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    Doesn't matter, it was unusual and thought it might point towards an interesting industry that used the cleaned boxcars.

    Dave H.
  18. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

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    I'll check the article that this idea came from and see if there is any info
  19. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    Since a boxcar can haul any comodity, a clean track is a good idea. A boxcar can haul paper one run, then chemiclas in drums the next. I read an article written last year in Trains magazine, that Smurfit Stone palnt in Florida, still cleans the boxcars out before having the local switch crews, spot them in the plant. So even modeling a railroad today, an industry could still have a "clean track".
  20. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

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    Ed-Thanks for the reply.That was the whole idea to having the clean out track besides adding some more switching.Just a point of interest-born and raised in New Haven.Thanks again-Bob