3x14 suggestions

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by kchronister, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Okay, here's a chance to play... I have a 3x14' peninsula on the layout I just can't quite decide what to do with. If anyone has thoughts, suggestions or otherwise, here's what I can tell you:

    1) HO
    2) Entry on one of the short ends. You do not need to account for curving in from the mainline (i.e. tracks can head straight in). The entry to this peninsula is such that tracks can enter about anwhere across the 3' width -- and pretty much any number of tracks within reason (e.g. from 1 to maybe 4-5) could enter reasonably.
    3) Terrain elevation on the peninsula can be about anything (hill, gully, canyon, etc.) but the tracks enter at 0" elevation. So they either have to bridge/tunnel any elevation changes or face some serious up/down grades to gain any altitude.
    4) The layout has a logging operation and coal mining operation which would like to have some customers in this area
    5) In an industrial/siding, etc. area, I have 18" min radius, #4 min turnout.

    I keep toying with the idea of this being a harborside scene (would be a river harbor, given my locality, not ocean)... I have precisely zero experience or knowledge of such a thing, though. I just know I've always found the ones I've seen in the train rags really intriguing.

    I'm not looking for you all to submit designs or anything (you're welcome to, of course), I'm looking more if folks could suggest existing layouts or books with layouts that are in "the neighborhood" of this and might be a source of ideas or easy to modify.


  2. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Oh yeah, 1930's-40's era.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you want to model a logging operation, 3 foot wide by 14 feet long would make plenty oof room for a switchback type of operation to gain altitude and still keep grades reasonable.
  4. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Yeah, that area seems made for a switchback branch, for logging or maybe mining. But you said you wanted customers for your logging and mining operations to ship to, right? That's less obvious. I certainly wouldn't think 'harbor' first.

    Most often, primary industries are out in the country and ship resources to secondary industries in cities and towns. I wonder if this area should be country or city?

    What region is this?
  5. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Oh, it's central pennsylvania, which makes logging rather a stretcher... But I never let that stop me before.

    Can anyone point me to examples of a switchback branch? If this space is tailor-made for it, it would be easy enough to reverse the current logging/mining location and this area, making it the logging/mining operation and the current location the "customer" area...
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You could use narrow gauge logging railroad on switch backs to the summit where the logs would be cut and loaded onto logging cars. Then put your sawmill at the end of the peninsula between the logging branch and the mainline. Now you have an opportunity to have loads of logs come in from one side and loads of cut lumber going out from the other side of the mill. I think in the 30's and 40's finished lumber was hauled in box cars. I think you would be looking at 10 car trains on the logging branch plus a "bobber" caboose. I think typical logging cars would be in the 30 foot length range. If your grades are kept gradual, you could use a small switch engine to work the logging branch. If the grades are steeper, a Shay or Heisler would be more appropriate. Hook up your locomotive of choice and 10 cars and measure the length. Your switches have to be level to work correctly, and you need to ease vertical curves as you would regular curves to keep the log cars from uncoupling. Bring the grade up as high as you can with your chosen gradient while leaving room for a switch and enough tail track to fit the complete train past the switch. If part of the train is sitting on the switch when the locomotive is at tracks end, you won't be able to throw the switch. Before you put in your switch, lower the level of the track by 1/2 inch to allow for easing the grade from a grade to level before it gets to the switch. Now repeat the process up to the next level. It is called a switch back because the train will pull forward past the switch, then the switch is thrown and the train backs up past the next switch, then that switch is thrown and the train pulls forward to the next switch until it gets to the top. Flatten the top enough to leave room for some sidings, steam loaders etc. By the way, if you haven't got a copy of Paul Templar's (Shamus) cd on how to build a model railroad, it is available for free to download from www.all-model-railroading.co.uk/forum/ go to the new modeler's forum to download it. Paul is the master of logging railroading.

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