Engine service section?....

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Chesticus, May 19, 2008.

  1. Chesticus

    Chesticus New Member

    I have never really desighned a layout before (beyond loops etc...). So when I set out to design my layout (perminent) I had to really read a great deal on what tracks go where and what thye are for. Beyond that I have read a great deal about "Yards." by far they have been the hardest to design.

    I need complete ides for a engine facility (service) that would make sense. I am modeling the "transition era." So I need structures that will cover both steam and desiel. The space I have on the layout is about 2.5' by 15' with main lines running out of both ends. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Chesticus here is something that might help with the yards.
    Yard Design
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    I would keep an eye out for John Armstrong's book "Track Planning for Realistic Operation". In it he details how engine servicing tracks are laid out for both steam and diesel facilities, and what functions the different tracks serve.
  4. acsoosub

    acsoosub Member

    In your space you'll be building a smaller terminal; if you're doing transition era, just include a roundhouse and steam servicing facilities (coal tower, ash pits, water, sand) and add diesel fuel tanks and fueling stands on one of the approach tracks to the turntable. If you have any other tracks running alongside the approach and servicing tracks, some diesels can be parked outside, or run into the roundhouse for light servicing.

    The prototype might eventually upgrade and replace things like sand towers, water stands (passenger units with steam generators still need water, but filled using a hose setup, not from a huge spout off a small water tank) and tear down obsolete coaling towers and fill in ash pits, but wouldn't be likely to completely rebuild the entire complex, just add the bits they need. Unless the structure needed replacing, they'd keep using the existing roundhouse and service buildings.

    So for your facilities, you'll want to include
    - coal tower
    - ash pit
    - water tower and stand pipes
    - sand house & tower
    - turntable or wye for turning steam engines
    - enginehouse
    - diesel fuel tanks and fueling stands
    - misc. little tool sheds and shacks

    Coal, water, sand and fuel would be located on the outbound track(s) of the turntable. The ash pit would be on an inbound track.
    Optionally include additional tracks parallel to the TT leads to use as diesel parking/ready tracks. Depending on how much traffic you're intending to have coming out of your terminal tracks can be combined or added to handle more engines or less space. Also consider a "RIP" (Repair-in-place) track for minor repairs to freight cars.

    MR had a really great article on modelling a steam servicing facility about ten years ago; I've got a copy of the issue, I'd have to look through my stack to see which one it was. As diesels came on the scene they'd just add the required bits to the existing facilities.
  5. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    if you go to the model railroader site they have an article called "the maumee turna a mike" which gives a very detailed veiw on a small steam era terminal.but the operations could be redone a little to include diesels as well.--josh
  6. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    oh an i forgot,it also has another article on diesel servicing,though im not sure what it's called.--josh
  7. Chesticus

    Chesticus New Member

    Thanks very much. this really helped
  8. Chesticus

    Chesticus New Member

    thanks. This has been a very good source. I am reading it as we speak. Thank you
  9. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    I have a 134' turntable and it is 19" in diameter. Keep that in mind when looking for one.
  10. Chesticus

    Chesticus New Member

    I especially have to keep this in mind as I have a Challenger and I need a turn table of this size on my lay out. The book has helped me with my plannning, but I am going to have to redesign one of the yard sections of my layout using my software.
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Chesticus, when you have a plan in mind, post it in the "Track Planning for the Future" forum to allow Gauge members to comment and make suggestions. You do not need to take all of the advice given, but it is much easier to change a plan on paper than it is to modify a section of the layout that has been built and doesn't work the way you want it to operate.
  12. mentor63

    mentor63 Member


    I have just done a transition era engine service area. You might want to check thread "turntable".

    From my experience on this project, it looks to me as if the 2.5' width is your biggest problem. I doubt if that will permit a wye and, as RonP mentioned, the TT takes up a lot of space too. I used the new Walthers 130" indexed TT which is about 20" in diameter, it requires 2" from TT to roundhouse and the roundhouse is almost 20" deep too. Thw Walthers TT is fantastic, I highly recommend!

    Would it be possible to add a bulge in the middle or a wider area at one end to accommodate these. A small TT and and engine house rather than a roundhouse would save some space, but would not work for a Challenger. I had the same problem trying to get my Big Boy to fit.

    I also found two books extremely helpful in learning how these facitlies worked and how all the facilities would be arranged: Model Railroaders books, The Model Railroaders Guide to Locomotice Servicing Terminals by Marty Mc Guirk and TLC Publishing's Steam Locomotive Coaling Stations and Diesel Locomotive Fueling Facilities by Thomas W. Dixon, Jr. They are both about $15-$20 at hobby stores and well worth it.

    Hope that helps some. Gary
  13. Chesticus

    Chesticus New Member

    I have actually decided to have a section that will bulge. But I am going to make sure I am really happy with the running of the track in the back before I add it. I am also going to buy the "creeper" that I have seen from micro marx. I think this will help me get to the sections that are a little more out of reach. I am reading a mdel railroader book right now on engine terminals. When I get a track plan together I will post it. I am using RRtrack software, so it will not be long.

    I am pretty new to alot of the design part to this hobby, so all of the input I have got from these sites has been of great help.



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