Critique my yard design?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by TrainNut, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    So my wife's been talking about moving her office out of the house and into a real office. If she does, I get her old office space here in the house for my trains. I've been dinkin' around with a design and would like some feedback. The layout will be an out and back with another town outback... in essence a giant folded dog bone. As you can see in the scale bar, the main section of the yard is roughly 5-6' long... N scale mind you.
    The blue area is for freight and will hold 43 4" box cars.
    The red area is for passenger staging.
    The green area is engine maintenance facilities.

    On the top left, the double main line does not stop, but will continue on around the layout for a total of 78 linear feet of mainline running. I'm not real big into switching but enjoy it every so often. The tightest radius is 12" (mostly in the yard areas) with the loop around the back of the roundhouse and the rest of the mainline ranging between 14 - 18".

    Please feel free to ask questions or make recommendations. I don't have a caboose track but could stick it in somewhere. Space is tight.

  2. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    TrainNut, i am NOT a track planning expert by any means:oops: , BUT I LIKE IT!!!:thumb::thumb::thumb:

    i like the mainline running between the two yards:thumb: , and i really like the fact an engine can come out and make up a train in the blue yard without ever hitting the mainline:thumb: . i think its a good plan:winki::mrgreen: .
    :deano: -Deano
  3. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I like it. :thumb:

    I might have a suggestion. If you are not planning a reversing loop at the other end. At the top left where the two opposite mainlines are you could throw in a double x-over a little further on so you have the trains running in different directions for variety. Instead of always clockwise or vice-versa. Just a thought. A reversing loop would accomplish the same of course...probably easier to wire up too. :mrgreen:

    What does the dotted line represent? I was wondering if you could shove the mainline track at the top out just a couple of inches and stick one more yard track in for your caboose track.

    Just some thoughts...otherwise...I'm thinking when the kids give up the toy room in another ten years I might be building a nice sized N-scale layout in that 12x14 room. :twisted:
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Thank you guys, I like it too. This is about the fifth version before I finally came up with something that contained pretty much everything I wanted and "flowed together" (if that make any sense). Having the main line cruise down through the middle of the yard is something that I really like as well. I can't wait to see that in action.
    I agree that the top left end is still clunky and needs some finessing. I will probably put a crossover of some sort at the other end of the layout enhancing the ability to travel in either direction.
    The dotted line marks the edge of an elevation change. This is actually going to be a triple gauge layout. It will have HO, HOn3 and N with the N part occupying the lions share. The HO will be down lower and just around the edges for my boys while the HOn3 will be up a little from that and will give me something to run my narrow gauge on. So, in this case, above the dotted line, but slightly lower in elevation, will be two narrow gauge tracks that disappear into a loop underneath the N scale roundhouse. I guess this would better be illustrated with a picture...

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    You might consider putting a turnout in at about the 3 o'clock position of the roundhouse. This would allow you to run the main "south" of both yards. The you could reconfigure the left end of the yard to have a long lead come up between the two main tracks. Currently, I don't think the leads are long enough to avoid interfering with the main during switching.

    Hope that helps.

  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Yes, I agree... Hmmm, I could do that. You also gave me an idea on where to put the caboose track. Out comes the eraser!!!! I was thinking about putting some sort of a chicagoish skyline backdrop on the wall to the south.
  7. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Andrew are you saying put a switch on the main at 3 oclock then bring it down and to the left to tie into the passenger tracks?
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    No, I am suggesting that it go from about the 3 o'clock on the roundhouse, alll the way past the coach yard, and tie back in to the left main on the left side of the drawing (or in fact, become the main).

    Then, with a little bit of rearranging, TrainNut can make a common yard lead that can be used by both the freight and coach yards.
  9. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    OK, here are some thoughts, I'm no expert, but I'm trying to see how this works....

    I'll prett much ignore the red, as it is staging, and almost sperate from the rest of the yard. In fact, I would finish the job, and make it completely seperate, and get more space in it, by widening the turn around the roundhouse, and having the through track in the back, and making the red tracks longer. I'd get rid of the connection between the back sid eof the loop and the green area.

    Now, on to the yard. I don't see a good way to get a loco onto a train heading out to the left without driving all the way out of the yard, and onto the main in the next county. Also, I don't see a yard lead. Any classification you try to do will either block the turntable, or access to the yard, or both. With the space constraints you might be able to get a more functional yard by going single ended. Have you looked at this:
    Yard Design You don't have to agree with it all, but it has some good ideas in it. Also this: Wayne Roderick's Teton Short Line, Malfunction Junction, An HO Scale Model Railroad featuring do-it-yourself electronics, computers, DCC and operations is a pretty good example of a yard. I also found Andy Sperandeo's Freight Yards book to be pretty helpful.

    I appreciate where you are headed, I'm just not sure the yard works right like it is!
  10. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    And that's exactly why I put it on here for review by you fine folks. I'd hate to get this thing all built to find out that what looked like it would work on paper, in fact, won't. I appreciate the ideas. Each one you suggested made sense and while I may not use them all, they sparked some more ideas of my own. Thank you for the links as well.... time to go check'em out!
  11. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    First off, a thank you to those select few that take the time to read all that I write. Onward! I think I about got this design figured out!
    Well, I spent some time and studied up on the rules, information, and commandments of designing a yard facility for a model railroad and revamped my design (several more times). While my original design contained a lot of the fundamental elements, it was not put together correctly. Basically, I had a big parking lot for trains.

    Rule #1 states that the main line should remain clear and operable at all times. My previous design did not allow that as my main line was also my arrival and departure track. This design now has a main line with only three switches off of it (two for the yard and one to hidden parking). I also have inserted a lengthy arrival/departure track. In an interim design, the part of the loop to be controlled by the modulator was only 5' long. I rearranged some things and I now have a 7' section that will be controlled by the modulator. My longest passenger train (Amtrak) is 6'6. Also, 7' will allow me to run a double header pulling 18 4" cars. I feel for the size of this layout, that will be more than adequate.

    Rule #2 states that the yard should have a dedicated lead. I had no such thing before. Now I do. Again, in an interim design, my yard lead was only 2'7. I rearranged and it is now a healthy 4'... a little short in my opinion so I dropped a switch down to the south side of the arrival/departure track if the need arose for a longer run

    Rule #5 states that there should be a caboose track which there now is and
    Rule #6 suggests the need for a run-around. I had no idea where to squeeze that in but finally, an opportunity arose and in it went.
    Rule #8 suggested some auxilliary tracks of which I put in two.

    As I mentioned before, I want some sort of a city skyline along the back walls and I also will build and place halves of buildings up against the wall. It is behind and under these buldings that the Hidden parking will reside.


  12. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I like it.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I haven't had time to visit much lately. I usually have time to look at a couple of posts in a single forum before I have to go do some work , "honey do's, etc., but that revised layout looks like a lot of fun!

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