Designing A Layout Based On A Single Industry

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Drew1125, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    That sounds like a good idea, Clark! :thumb:

    I had an industry something like that on a switching layout I built...
    The idea started out because I had some old engines that didn't run, & some old freight cars that had broken stirrup steps, couplers, etc, & I thought it would be cool to have a scrapyard for old RR equipment...then it evolved into a scrapyard that received all kinds of srap metal in gondolas...Then I incorporated that into a foundry complex, with sort of the scetchy idea that this could be an industry that received scrap metal, & then re-forged it into such things as machine parts, auto parts, tools & hardwre, which would then be shipped out in boxcars, & heavy flatcar loads...They would also receive tankers with chemicals needed for processing, & coal to fuel the forge...
  2. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    That is the kind of thing I'm talking about, Jay...

    But you wouldn't necessarily have to physically represent all the supporting industries on the layout, just the rail traffic...

    Then again, if you have the space...go for it! :thumb:
  3. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Has anyone ever modeled the industries that support the railroad itself? Could that be considered a single industry layout?
  4. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    Good point. Kind of like a car repair facility.


  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    A locomotive shops/repair/rebuilding facility could be a superdetailer's dream--or nightmare. The perfect layout for someone who keeps buying engines and not enough freight cars...
  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    One thing is for sure...there would be no limit to the variety of rolling stock! :cool:
  7. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    I modeled mine utilizing an engine/car repair facility, general machine shop buildings, a 18wheeler shipping/transfer company and a bakery..all modest companies that would have a flow of items on a set schedule. I know that may not justify the kinds and types of cars I purchased, but it's nice to see something else besides the same cars loop the layout on a "just visiting" basis(UP and Santa Fe passenger excursion trains, unit coal train, for example).

    On a gee whiz about interesting things companies ship...I worked at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Corp in St Louis many years ago and we shipped completed tail assemblies for the F-18 Hornet by boxcar. They fit inside on a special tilted assembly structure that would roll on/roll off when they made it to Northrop in California. Now THAT would be an interesting load to model into a boxcar with an open door. I don't remember anything special about the boxcars, the road name or size. Sorry I can't help you there. But they weren't "special" cars with the company name on them, I'm sure for security reasons.

    Oh yes, Jetrock, you described me perfectly. I'm that guy that keeps buying engines for no layout reason except I like 'em. I guess the first thing I should do is admit I have a diesel problem, then start the recovery process...maybe a family intervention...never mind.:thumb:

    Attached Files:

  8. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

    well the first step is admiting you have a problem, the second is to solve it by buying Steam!:D
  9. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I think the only problem you have is you don't post enough of those FANTASTIC layout photos!
    Let's see some more of those diesels!
    announce1 :thumb: :thumb: announce1
  10. JAyers

    JAyers Member

    Hey, uh, I think your car repair facilities on fire!
  11. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

    I visited a layout that modeled the Van Nuys CA area where he had 2 major industries and little else. One was Budweiser brewery and the other the now gone General Motors (Cheverolet) Gemco assembly plant. Both were geared for a high volume of traffic and variety of incoming goods based on the industry. I don't remember if both or only one had its own "industry yard" which was a focal point for operations.
  12. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Another industry I don't think anyone mentioned is a paper mill. There was a series of articles a few years back in one of the mags, It is an industry I'd like to include but is too large for my layout, which is not designrd to be dominated by any single industry. To decide to build such a model railroad would, I think, require quite a strong liking for a particular industry, enough to engage in the research required. It would be quite an admiral undertaking, one that wouldn't be for me! The closest I came to thinking about such a project was consideration of building a model of the NYC yards in New Jersey. They were quite small really, wedged between the Hudson River and the Palisade cliffs. Reached by tunneling thru the cliffs to gain access to the meadows to the west. And car float operations bringing all the freight required by a massive city such as New York. The appeal lay in the car float operations and modeling, as well as the commuter passenger station/yard with ferry service. My thought was to just have the west (north) bound tracks which entered the tunnel go to a staging return loop. The variety of cars here was enormous! And tracks ran both north and south along the river to connect with the multitude of other railroads with similar yards. Ultimately I decided against it, but just writing about it makes me ponder the possibility...
  13. ZeldaTheSwordsman

    ZeldaTheSwordsman Thomas Modeler

    What about the tourist industry?
  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I saw a plan for a great small layout based on an early 20th cebntury small specialty steel company. It had everything one could want, including switching opportunities and the need to haul in loads of coke, limestone and iron ore on a regular basis while hauling out finished steel.
  15. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    A long time in Model Railroader (1960s?), there was a sidebar on a layout design for a logging or mining layout about, "After I build the gem, then what?"

    Building a realistic one industry layout is certainly more challenging than loosely free-lancing a common carrier. It takes much more research to convincingly model a single large industry, the associated rolling stock, track layouts, and surrounding scenery, even if free-lancing. Often these layouts are truly a testament to the modeler's skill.

    But a lot of these beautiful single industry layouts are quickly given up on operationally. Even if operations were planned for in the track layouts and patterns (in many cases it's an afterthought), the standard operating routine which results in maximum profitability in the prototype world is dullsville to many would-be operators.

    Fact is that the more different industries there are with varying car needs, frequencies, and loading/unloading patterns, the more variety there will be in operations and switching challenges. The variability in traffic and train consists, which is a profit-killer in the real world, is what generates operating interest on an on-going basis in the model world. Would an Inglenook be as satisfying if there weren't as many possible problems and solutions? Isn't the 5-3-3 Inglenook configuration favored over smaller versions because of the huge increase in permutations of the switching problem and solutions?

    There are a few model railroaders who do appreciate replicating the day-to-day routine of a smooth-running industrial operation. But make sure you are one of them before you drive youself down that operational path. Or, recognize that you are a layout builder and not all that interested in operations.

    my thoughts, your choices
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    It's for this reason too that even real world examples of TimeSavers or Inglenooks are quickly learned and efficiently switched by "real world operators"... ;)

    Great post Fred. I think it comes down to the difference between railroad modelling, or model railroading - which is the action/verb depends on what you really want to do and where your interests lie...

  17. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    And rubber! For those giant rubber bands!
  18. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Zelda, I think the biggest problem with tourist railroads is the limited operational interest. Most are probably like the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento or the one in Jamestown where a train runs 5 miles or so down a straight track, stops and returns. There are 4 railroads that come to mind that might be more interesting at least to build. The Verde Canyon Railroad starts in Clarksville, Az. (I think that was the town's name-near Cottonwood) and goes down the Verde Canyon about 25 or 30 miles. At the end of the run, there is a run around siding, and the f-units pulling the train uncouple, run around the train, and couple to the other end. They are 2 "A" units hooked back to back, so the crew changes cabs and brings the train back up the canyon to the station. Modeling the Verde Canyon on an around the walls shelf might be interesting, but running the train from one end to the other, unhooking, and running around the train to couple to the other end and returning might get boring after a couple of trips.The other 3 tourist railroads that come to mind are the Grand Canyon Railroad running from Williams Az. to the South rim of the Grand Canyon. It uses a wye at each end for turning the train, I think; but they may use something different at Williams. The other 2 are narrow gauge railroads, The Durango and Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec.
  19. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    If you have a town on your single industry layout, you can increase variety by remembering to freight in the major needs of the towns people as well as materials for the industry, and run a small passenger, mail and parcel delivery service as well.

    This provides a reason to switch single boxcars onto sidings in town, collect them later and move trains "off stage" besides delivering and picking up the primary industry. Townspeople need food, heating oil or coal, construction materials, clothing, reefer goods, frozen meats, gasoline for cars (if time frame is suitable) and a host of other common commodities, which can give the operator the chance to do more switching and operations by combining the daily runs in and out of the industry with the passenger service and freight service that supplies the town. Maybe you can even ship in that brand new Hupmobile the mayor ordered six months ago direct from the factory back East!

    Of course, if you don't have a town, but only an industry, none of this matters.

    It's not strictly 'single industry', but cottage industries can also add interest and generate odd loads in and out - say, someone who makes custom furniture in a shop behind his house. He would get odd lots of wood from time to time, and ship his finished products out periodically to a distant market. Or perhaps a small pottery shop. These can complement the single industry and ad variety and interest to shipping operations.

    Just my random thoughts.
  20. steve.i456

    steve.i456 New Member

    How about an industry that allows you to use boxcars, tankers, covered hoppers, and even coal hoppers? Would that give you enough variety of rolling stock? If so, model a Paper Mill, they receive a variety of materials in boxcars, tankers and covered hoppers and ship by rail and truck. And if you want, some even generate their own power, thus the need for coal delivery.

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