Don't laugh too hard...It's my first attempt!

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Nazgul, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Actually, that was a permissible procedure in reality. Look at the difference between a UP FEF Northern and a NYC Niagara. The NYC engine has a shorter wheelbase including the tender so it can be turned on a 100' turntable despite its 115' length.
  2. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    I've been runnin' my train for a couple of weeks and I would like to take the time to thank everyone who has helped. If I forget anyone, please forgive me! RUSS,FRED,CID,G.E.C,ROLAND,KURT and anyone I've missed...
    T H A N K Y O U !!!
    Of course a special thanks to OCALICREEK (Galen)! I want you to know this... I would not have had any layout nearly as good as this. I know you took a lot of time out of more important things in your life to help me. Do you know how much my boys love this layout that you have created!Thank You GALEN...I O W E Y O U...BIG TIME! I OWE ALL of you! THE GAUGE IS THE greatest!!!! YOUR FRIEND...
  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    thats some great work. 3 and half months ago i never could have imagined you layout the way it is. it looks very very promising. keep us updated with scenery and such!
  4. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Hey everybody,
    I finally finished wiring the turntable and tracks around it. I thought I needed a reversing unit for it, but the TT takes care of shorts on its own. Works great! I guess I'll keep the RU as a spare. on a different note...If this new belt driven motor is much quieter that the old one, it must have sounded like a jack hammer!!! I am now done with all the wiring on the layout and I believe all the trouble spots have been taken care of. After reading here and other places, I realize that some people prefer to ballast first and then do the scenery and others do the opposite. I believe I will do the scenery first and ballast later. If any one wants to tell me how they like to do it, I would gladly listen.....We had a small train show in the area over the weekend but I had prior commitments and I could only get there for the last hour or so. Some vendors packed up early :curse: but I managed to find a couple of things at a good price. I bought a freight station, coal mine and a couple of NP freight cars (see pics). The buildings look better (not shiny) in person. I think I will follow Russ's suggestion and make at least some structures removable so I can model different eras. I still want to build the Campbell mine, so when I "go back in time" I can bring it out and change the the trains and rolling stock. I'll be talkin' to you...

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  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Steve: There are a number of era-varying techniques you can try. If you can find matches for your buildings, you could paint the later eras in drabber colours, then replace the wood buildings with something more fireproof. A replaceable backdrop that changes from a rural scene through a small town to a big city. I won't suggest that you modernize by ripping out sidings! (I've sometimes thought of working the other way -- backdating by adding sidings to a single mainline.)
  6. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Hello all,
    I've been doing a lot of reading about operations...trying to get a handle on the way a railroad works. I've learn a lot and have at least a basic understanding of the fundamentals. I'll keep on reading. In between reading and running trains, I decided on a few things. First of all... name, era, and a purpose for the layout. This will be a model of the fictitious "Twin River" division of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Time frame: transition (1950's) or there abouts. It's purpose: Haul coal, what else! The Twin River Mining company will have It's own SMALL railroad to supply local industries and NP will deliver to long distance destinations. NP will also handle passenger and most of the freight runs. You can see in the pics, that I added 2 sidings, for a total of 3, at the newly renamed mine. Question: what industry(s) besides a power plant would be good choices for receiving the coal? I'm also kicking around some ideas for the other parts of the layout. When I figure anything out...I'll let you know....Thanks

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  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You could also model a coal yard. That would probably handle two or three car loads a week. If you have some off railroad staging, or have some space that could be used for a logging operation, you could add that industry as well. Also in N.P. country depending on what part of the system you are on, you could model a produce warehouse shipping reefer loads of apples and cherries, or you could model a cattle pen along side of the tracks and ship a bunch of cattle to market in cattle cars.
  8. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    How about the steel industry as a coal customer? Your layout and mine are looking great, by the way!
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Steve: remember that you don't have to have your customer on the layout. Anything that close wuld probably not be served by rail.
    Check out what you need for incoming supplies. The British railways used to have gunpowder vans (some of the first all steel cars, I suspect), so you might have some sort of explosives going to the mine.
    Another British example: many of their coal wagons went directly to local retailers/distributors. They used wagons of about 15 tons -- think how long it would take to distribute a wagonful when you had to hand shovel it all.
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You would have all sorts of incoming loads for the mine. If it is an open pit mine, you would have all of the various pieces of heavy equipment that would be used to work the mine coming in by rail. You would be receiving various supplies by boxcar. If the mine is modeled in a remote location, you might have food being brought in for the mess hall by rail. If it is an underground mine, you would still have equipment coming in, it would just be of a different design from what would be used in open pit mining.
  11. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    how 'bout a mining town?

    Perhaps instead of trying to fit two different industries in the upper level, consider putting a small station and mining town in the loop opposite the mine. The spur could be for a company store/team track.

    Also, if you're going the NP route, check out CC Crow's offerings. I think he's got some NP structures that might work. Yeah, just checked and here's a link:

    There seem to be 4 NP kits...not sure if they're in stock, check his availability pages. But his other kits seem to be impressive too. (I've seen the prototype for the Minden Flour inlaws live near it...would love to have one of those someday)

    OH yeah, I also remembered that AMB makes a laser kit for a standard NP depot. Your passenger cars would look great pulling up next to this. Go to and look under HO structures for kit no. 149. They also have a neat little miner's cabin. A row of these along a hill above town could be neat.

    Lookin' great! Keep up the great work, and thanks again for sharing (and your kind words...)

  12. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Hey guys,
    you all got me thinking (it hurts) about the distance (or the lack there of) between industries on the layout. Would a scenic divider between the two industries solve or at least help with the problem? The thought of 2 industries on this layout, dependent on each other, really appeals to me. Losing the chance to see the coal delivered and then empties picked up and returned to the mine, not to mention delivering the product that was made with the help of that coal, seems like I'd be missing a lot of the fun. If I use the yard as an interchange and bring my coal there and "pretend" it has moved on to other places, why can't I pick the coal up, run it around the loop a few times, hide in the tunnel,and then "pretend" I went a long way to deliver it to the on layout industry? Will this take away from the integrity of the model? Is this layout just too small to do this? I know that this is my railroad and I can do what I want, but I want it to be the best it can be. Just because I want something doesn't mean it's the best thing to do. Thoughts, comments?.......I've been toying with the idea of adding another track (see photo). Much of it is hidden and could be used as staging at times. It also gives a train a place to go to allow a higher priority train pass. I'll keep it clear of the edge of the bench. Does this track seem worth it?.........Am I over-thinking all this?

    hamr.........................I think I'll just go run some trains...............
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There is the layout design concept called "loads in/empties out pair".
    The example is a coal mine/power plant. They are put on opposite sides of a divider and each has two sidings which go through the divider. Coal loads come from the mine and are delivered to the power plant; empties are picked up at the power plant's other siding and taken to the mine. At the mine the loco goes through the backdrop and picks up the loads from behind the power plant. The empties reappear on the other siding at the power plant.
    Model railroader did something like this on their Clinchfield project about 25 years ago -- they had a long hidden run between the industries.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It has been a common practice to "run laps" around a layout to make for a longer run between industries for many years. Most layouts are probably no bigger than the ones found in the various Atlas track plan books, meaning the the largest common size for a layout is probably 2 4x8 boards in an "L" configuration. Most layouts are probably on a 4x8 or 5x9 and the only way to get a long run is to run a few laps between industries. If you want to simulate a prototypical operation, you should probably bring the coal loads to the yard, and then have them put into another train to go to the power plant. The empties would be brought back to the yard and then made in a train to be delivered to the mine. The exception to this is the modern unit train that picks up loads at the mine and goes to the power plant, steel mill, etc to unload the entire train and then head back to the mine. Some of these unit trains only stop to change crews or for mael breaks.
  15. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I was just reading MR planning and they had loads in empties out ona UP track plan. its possible, but i don't know how it would work on your layout.
  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    One neat trick with loads in/empties out: you can buy cars with the same road number in pairs. Build one loaded, one empty.
  17. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Thanks everbody, for all the ideas and the encouragement. I'm going to think about everything for a while.... and work on scenery. As I progress, I'll keep you posted! Here's a few pics of the "twin rivers" and water falls...

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  18. wickman

    wickman Member

    Thats looking great I love the use of the WS inclines to get your elevation Great Job
  19. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Scenery is looking great! As for the additional track (drawn in blue)...a couple thoughts. One, it would serve as a layover/staging area, but so would a straight stub-end track in the same place, without curving around to reconnect. An inbound train arrives in town from that track, drops off empty hoppers, then the loco is serviced, turned if necessary, and the outbound train made up with loaded hoppers collected before. It departs into that staging track and is rearranged between operating sessions by backing it out into the yard and fiddling it by hand, or reversing the process. But this doesn't accomplish your goal of seeing coal from mine to destination. Still, I don't see running it all the way around alongside the curve as giving you that much more operationally.

    Two, the additional track (descending) would run very close to the ascending track already in place and you'd need a long retaining wall between them. As it stands now you may only need cribbing or retaining wall along beneath the mine.

    I think it was mentioned before, but putting a coal dealer in town somewhere, perhaps in place of the spur along the yard tracks (with the layer of foam it'd be easy to install), or in addition to that spur if there's room, would be a good destination for a few of the hoppers. That tipple looks large enough to load coal in various that could add to the challenge of making up trains and delivering the right grade of coal to the dealer. Certain grades were better for home furnaces, for example.

    Also, the factory/warehouse flat along the wall could take a load of coal. I'd put a grate or hole between the rails with coal down in it (assuming there'd be an auger down there to carry it into the building's boiler room).

    AND, if there's room, there could be another spot for a hopper near the turntable. You don't need a coaling tower, necessarily, for many small terminals just loaded the coal right out of the hopper into the engine with either a conveyor or crane. Just a spur long enough to hold a hopper running parallel to the turntable lead.

    Just a few ideas.

  20. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    Thanks Galen, there's so much to learn and think about (that's the fun). I've decided to leave the track plan as is and GET ON WITH IT!!! So much is going on with summer approaching that I've been going at a snail's pace. Any way, here's a few pictures to show I haven't completely stopped. I'm going to try and pick up the pace here in the next few weeks...(I hope)

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