A little more than a year in the making

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by 91rioja, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Second Glance - consider moving the mine into the corner.

    If this is nothing new, please forgive the rambling. I've spent alot of time with a great mining reference book...can't think of the title right now - I'll find it for you later...anyway, I remember reading that many mine runs shove mt's up past the mine and let gravity do the rest. This sets it up like an hourglass, with the mine at the middle. There's basically an mt yard and a loaded yard, depending on how large the mine is and what it's production capacity is.

    Smaller mines worked the same way, but sometimes with only a single track that extended well past the mine to allow for mt storage. As a mine was ready to loadout the hoppers, a miner would cut loose a hopper and ride the brake to position it beneath the chute. Then as it filled it was allowed to roll a bit and afterward it was allowed to roll onto a storage track until the next run came along to swap loads for mts.

    The model railroad mine with just enough room for one car - period, just isn't all that realistic. Now I'm sure there's a prototype for nearly everything, but I'm just saying it's more likely (especially with a mine the size of Walthers offing) that there'd be much more track involved.
  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Chris, have you considered N-scale? sign1

    I've been fooling around a bit with your space, and it's tough to fit in what you're looking for and a continuous run.

    Can you tell me a bit more about the room? What's in the lower left corner that you keep avoiding? Where's the door?

    Also, is there a reason you're sticking to a single-level plan? How do you feel about hidden trackage (staging for interchange, continuous run behind backdrop, stuff like that)?

    Oh... I should add, your latest plan isn't bad, but that continuous run liftout looks like it could be a bit long and spindly... :)
  3. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    I think it was in John Armstrong's Track Planning for Realistic Operation; I remember reading about it. You're thinking of something like this:


    I keep trying to fit the large Walthers Tipple into this layout; it is just too darn big. I think I will use either the Slack Loading House, or just have to bash the mine tipple. I'll sketch is out and see what it brings.
  4. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Just say No to N-Scale

    I have considered it. For the space I have, it would have been perfect. But, I have always been an HO'er, and will continue to be. As I get older, my eyesight deteriorates, my fingers get fatter, and my head gets balder (not sure what that has to do with trains). With the investment I have in what I now own, to start over would be painful to the wallet.

    Welcome to my world. I think I've done a pretty good job, if I do say so myself (*patting self on back)*

    The door is in the lower left corner. It is a double inward swinging French door. This is looking inside the room:


    I have looked at it, and with the space I have and trying to keep to 24" minimum radius on the main line, a helix is out of the question. I've looked at a nolix, but I would have to circle the room twice to gain any kind of useful change in elevation (like for my arm and fat fingers).

    Did you ever see the old Virginian trestle over the New River at Glen Lynn? It looked kinda long and spindly as well sign1 . All joking aside, I thinking about using 1x4 wood, and building is like an upsidedown "U" for support. It *should* be OK.

    Feel free to play with this; it is much smaller than last years MRR small trackplanning contest. I'd love to see what you come up with.
  5. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Perhaps you can kitbash the tipple into a low-relief background structure, using a canopy of surrounding trees to disguise the lack of depth?

    Aluminum L or channel bracket is good stuff and can be fastened to a board to add stiffness as well as provide a safety fence. It can even be a substitute for the rails if it is gauged properly. Paint it and put a logo across the side and it can look like a through-girder bridge.

    Be sure and use an alignment peg or pegs at each end of the 'bridge'. If it lifts out and is heavy enough to hold itself in place that's fine, otherwise some sort of clasp from below or on the sides is needed to keep the rail ends aligned vertically.

    Also, if you fashion 'bumpers' for the sidings to put in place of the bridge when its not in use, then the whole electrical interlocking mess can be avoided (not that it's all that difficult to begin with, depending on how you do it). Piles of balast or hefty Atlas bumpers can be useful, and there's no truly reliable substitute for a physical impediment to the sheer drop into the chasm below.
  6. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    I think this was what you were trying to explain to me in post #20. I took your advice and eliminated the "S" curves. I also like the idea of a low relief mine structure; that was kinda what I was thinking as well. The Walthers kit is great bashing fodder.


    As for the mine area itself, I was thinking about giving it some rise above the rest of the track level. Since this mine is going to be gravity fed, the slope will be from the empty side, down to the branch coming off of the main, leaving a level spot on the loaded side. This plan really stands out to me because I have a run-around on the loaded side to push the cars to the empty side. But, the bottleneck is the tipple itself; I cannot move in empties while loading. But, since it is a small mine, that should not be a problem. It will add just a little more operational focus.

    I will certainly say that this has been an interesting trip from the 4x8 loop I had a year ago. I've certainly had some great advice to come from you guys!
  7. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Yes, that's exactly what I was suggesting for eliminating the S curves. And what an interesting opportunity for a small mining community beneath the mine along the main line.
  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    That looks a lot better! I was wondering, you've labelled your yard as an "interchange" yard, but what's it interchanging with? I wondered if you could run a staging track behind your buildings on the north wall, so that you could run a transfer job into the yard, and have a dummy main that either crosses yours in the curve on the left, or comes off the main there and wanders off the layout?
  9. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    I read a article in MR Magazine sometime last year about a series of layouts that were not physically connected, but the owners banded together and decided that they would use each others layouts as one large layout. They would move rolling stock between each others layouts to allow for a longer visual run. I thought that was a neat idea, so my interchange is just that; it is an interchange with an off-layout railroad that I am not modelling here. Cars will appear and disappear on the layout from the interchange area. Since the lack of room, the only swtiching in the interchange will be provided by the trusty 0-5-0.

    Somewhere along the line, I tried out your idea of hidden storage/trackage along the north wall. I felt that is just wasn't reachable due to the height of my layout (48") and the height of the backdrop I was going to be using (18"). It would have required a step stool to gain any kind of access to the back tracks.

    I'm toying around with the idea of a dummy main crossing somewhere. I've always liked the additional operational interest it provided.

    I'm glad you like the new arrangement; 95 sq ft is just not a lot of room to work with.
  10. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    I like to plan non-functioning crossings near interchanges, since they can imply another railroad crossing your line.

    But, you could also use a funcioning crossing in the industrial area just for funsies. Maybe for the Imperial foods or the Printer sidings...just relocate the turnout onto the other passing track closer to the aisle.
  11. phoneguy

    phoneguy member

    I've been watching this thread since you began. I like this layout much better than the one you started to build, it had too much hidden track. I looked at a couple of things you might want to try.

    Frist I would put a backdrop along the side of your yard in the aisle where the line crosses to the mine. Make a hole in it where the line crosses and place building on backdrop to hide the hole.

    The yard now becomes a real yard; you have an A/D track, a yard lead, and an engine escape in your yard now.

    The track that crosses the aisle now becomes your interchange and 0-5-0 hidden track. You switch out the cars that are leaving the layout and the switcher moves them into the hole in the backdrop between the buildings. Now you can make up a new train with the 0-5-0 behind the backdrop and the switcher can come back later to pick them up and move them into the yard to be sorted and sent to your on line industries.

    Next thing is that track that crosses the aisle. It's almost 5 feet long. If you make a leg on the end where the yard is that is well supported to that side you could make a swing gate to cross, instead of a lift out. I was thinking if you used a hollow core door on its side. You could get a 3 ft door and place hinges on the end; then cut to length to span the openning. When you needed to open the gate it would swing up to the back of the backdrop. You would need a board on the edge of the top of the door to make wide enough to run track accross; make sure it's flush on the side that will be againest the backdrop.

    I hope this has made sense. Now you have a PTP with an interchange and a branch to the mine. When you want to just run trains around the circle take the cars off the interchange train and let the trains run.

  12. 91rioja

    91rioja Member


    Thanks for visiting. I was planning on placing a backdrop on the south side of the interchange, and cutting a hole in it. I haven't gotten around to the layout doodle with all of the roads, mountains, etc. yet; maybe this week.

    As for the swing door, I like the idea. I'll have to look into it some more.

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