Dogbones and Folded Dogbones

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Agatheron, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Me again... I apologize for asking so many questions, but since my own household space for a layout won't be freed up until at least the new year, I can dream and fool around with options until I actually start putting some benchwork up.

    What sort of experience/pitfalls are there when using a folded Dogbone pattern? I'm still conceptualizing this on a 36"x80" door, trying to keep track turns to a minimum 13.5" radius... I'll do 11" if I have to. I would imagine that because of the shape, I would necessarily have to include grades... Hopefully not more than 2%...

    The advantage I see of the folded dogbone is it would have the illusion of a double-track, while not actually being a double track layout...

    Thoughts for this newbie?
  2. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Personally...and this is just me....I prefer the looks of a single main. It is more prototypical for the area I live in and I just think it looks better. However, if you look at my track plan, you'll notice I have a double main. Even though I like the looks of a single main better, I want the operational advantages that a double main offers. While I have nothing against dogbones, doing a dogbone to create the illusion of a double main is not something I would do. Heck, I'm trying to find ways to make my double main LOOK like a single main. :D

    Then again, I recall you saying in another post that a double main runs near I can see why you would want it. Personally, I don't think I've ever seen a double main in real life...although I know they exist.
  3. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member

    I put a folded dogbone layout into a 33" X 62" layout. (some pictures and a plan can be found here ) It requires a bit of finagling but can be done.

    I will add at this point that I am restricted in the length and height of the cars I can run.
  4. Urban

    Urban New Member

    And here I think you have one thing which may require extra planning, depending on how the prototype is operated. In many cases the double track is two unidirectional tracks next to each other, but it could also be the case they're two bidirectional tracks and if that's what you want to replicate you'll have to add some turnouts and signals, in the right places. Or you'll just model a stretch of the railway where there are no crossover turnouts, which may be the logical thing to do in a somewhat limited space, which will get you away from the electrical problem.
  5. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    The double-track main on the nearby CN line is a pair of bi-directional tracks with frequent crossovers... They're every few kilometres on the track.

    Interestingly enough, one of the places that trains actually wait for traffic to clear is just shy of the first level crossing inside the city limits here. It's a good place to get an up-close look at some of the big mainline locomotives that pull through here...

    I do have a double-track oval plan as well, but as I said, I'm trying to exercise as many options as possible before I actually start physically building my layout.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you put crossovers in a folded dogbone to get the bidirectional double track feel, every crossover will be a reversing section. The wiring could get very complicated. On the other hand the folded dogbone allows for scenery or an industrial switching section in a location that doesn't look to be in the middle of a circle of track. I like folded dogbones better than an oval unless there is a way to hide the turnback curves at each end and one of the runs as with a diagonal center divider backdrop for a viewblock. One of the challenges for Western modelers is to hide one track so we don't get the look of a multitrack mainline. Most double or more track mains are in the Northeast. In our modular club we had a member once who was a rabid S.P. fan looking for a place to model in Southern Ca. with a double track main. He finally modeled San Timateo (spelling?) Canyon because it was the only place in Southern Cal where the S.P. had a double track main.
  7. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    My concern with the Dogbone is the inherent dangers in a reversing loop, especially for someone as inexperienced as me. As a result, I've also been playing with a double-track oval using a scenic divider up the middle to break things up substantially.

    For your edification, here is a picture of the CN Yard in London from the east end looking west. The double-track main is on the far right side, with the arrival departure tracks towards the middle, and the actual storage/classification tracks towards the left.

    You can see CN4129, a GP9 Chop Nose in a neutral position after having moved some cars around on the left hand side, mid-way up the ladder tracks.

    I'll be posting more of these pics in the Canadian Trains section...

    Attached Files:

  8. double dogbones

    My own trackplan is a double-folded dogbone. Its big advantage is the HUGE track distance in a small space. My own, using sectional 9.75 and 11" curves, has a mainline of over 1.25 scale miles. the long distances mean running trains at scale speeds of 45-60 MPH take well over a minute to run a circuit.

    I like them also because watching a train snake through curves and mountains.

    As long as you don;t have turnouts connecting the fake double main, there are no reversing loop troubles on the mainline
  9. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Yep, I'll reiterate SS's comments. You get an impression of double track with a folded dogbone but you also double your mainline run! My U-shaped folded dogbone layout in a 20 X 12.5 foot space has a mainline run that takes a reasonably paced freight literally five full minutes to complete a circuit.

    I decided to avoid crossovers that created reverse loops. There are crossovers though because I added a long "siding" that follows part of the main line around the layout. This lets me run local switching independent of the main, or if I want, trains can cross onto and "foul" the main to switch industies on the other side of the track...

    The main is long enough that I can run two short trains at the same time and create the illusion of freights approaching eachother on the double main from opposite direstions.

    Here's a crude sketch of my trackplan...not to scale. The siding is represented in red.

    Attached Files:

  10. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Thanks for the comments guys. I've been fooling around with more trackplan designs, and I am going to give the folded dogbone a serious kick, depending on what space I do end up negotiating...

    That having been said, I also have standard oval plans that I'm also fooling around with as well... we'll see what comes out in the wash...

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