G.E.C's layout pictures

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by green_elite_cab, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I think i'll mix the two. The red track i think will have to take an immediate dive into a helix. The blue track though i think i can slowly transition it down then get it into a helix under the automobile transfer facility at the top. Hopefully though i can get longer staging tracks then just 5 feet. Maybe i can use some stub ended tracks. I was hoping to have SD60Ms and C40-8Ws double headed and with a respectable train behind them.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Use the "oval" shaped helix and then put you staging yard inside of the helix at the bottom. Even if you stick to 34 inch and 36 inch radius for the curves on the ends of the helix oval, you will still have room to put a 32 inch, 30 inch, and 28 inch radius "U" shaped staging tracks inside the helix. That will allow the 32 inch radius staging "U" on the outside to have an 8 foot long leg at the end with a 8 foot leg less the space for a 3 track ladder at the entrance. The 32 inch radius curve would add an additional 8 1/3 feet around the curve. If my calculations are correct, you would have room to store 3 trains 20 feet long on such a staging yard. You could put a 4th staging track with 26 inch radius inside the other three, but you will need to have an access hole in the middle of the staging yard because you will have to stage from the inside because the helix will block access from the outside. Put in a masonite "retaining wall" to the inside of the staging yard to keep trains from falling to the floor there as well. The number of staging tracks will be limited by the size needed for your access it and your reach to rerail a derailment on the helix.

    If you go with the traditional helix on the end, and put in 2 access pits, one in the center of the helix and one in the center of the staging yard. Make the staging yard in a "U" shape. You have a space of approx. 5 feet x 6-7 feet depending on the width of your bench work. You could probably put in 6 tracks with radius's graduating from 26 to 38 inches. Make the longest track the outside track and run the ladder to the inside, with each successive track being a switch length shorter. The longest track would be @ 14 feet long less the length of the switch in the ladder. If you make it double ended then subtract two switches. I'm thinking that with those big locomotives you would need to use #6 switches, your shortest track would be almost 7 feet long less the accumulated length of the switches. If you are using some locomotives smaller than the big power that would negotiate a #4 or #5 switch, you could lengthen the available staging by restricting the big power to the outside staging tracks and smaller power to the inside tracks.
  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I have to admit i'm having a hard time visualizing it, but you did that math so i'm going to assume it works. What you describe seems to fit my goal. I envisioned.

    when you say oval helix, do you mean directly under the current oval going around the layout as it goes down?

    I'll try to sketch things out to see if i can understand your ideas.

    Also, a larger locomotive won't fit on those turnouts? I mean, i have som bachmann Number 5 switches, and the longer trains roll through them fine. I figure that staging doesn't need the longer switches because its not really open.

    I don't have any Number 4 switches, but i'll experiment with the 5s to be sure.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't model anything that would require the newer longer locomotives, so I don't have any experience with them. Also since I model Santa Fe in the 1950's most of my locomotives are Gp7's & 9's, F-units, a smattering of Alco Rs1's, and a Sw-7. The biggest power I run are E-8's and Alco Pa's. Since I run on a modular layout with a 36 inch minimum radius and a #6 minimum standard for switches, but most are #8, I don't really have a lot of experience testing long locomotives on tight switches. I had a couple of Athearn Sd45's at one time, and on a previous layout I ran #4 switches and it worked ok. When I did a #4 switch into a 15 inch radius stub siding, the Sd45 would go through, but if a car was coupled to it, the car would go up on "two wheels" through the curve and then drop back on the track when it came out of the curve. I used a Gp9 to switch that siding. The thing to check on before you decide on the size of your switches is to couple your longest cars to your longest diesel locomotive with the most overhang (if that means 2 different engines, try both) and run the combination through the #5 switch. If the longest locomotive coupled to the longest car will negotiate a #5 switch without problems, then you can use #5's.

    I meant a helix running directly under the current oval as it goes down. It may need to run just inside the end of the oval near the top of its descent until it gets enough vertical clearance to go under the mainline oval, but it would give you the maximum descent, while losing the least amount of space.
  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Yeah, that makes sense, i'll start sketching the staging level to see how it works out.

    I did just hooked up my autorack to my SD80MAC, and it seemed to work through the #5s. I think i want to test some other stuff, but since the autorack is the largest car that will be used, i'm sure it will be fine. I think i want to couple a shorter car to a longer car and see how it rolls. I think i'll buy a pair of #4s to just to try it out (besides, i'll probably use them on an industrial spur somewhere, so i won't be wasting track.
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Well,i got the #4s, and i had no problem running my largest trains through. the worst was the Challenger i have, but thats only because the cab swung far out from the tender. Everything else looks fine and runs fine through it. If i just use these to increase space in staging, I don't think it would bother me that much. I'm curious as to why people think larger stuff won't go through?

    I mean, i wouldn't use them right there in the open on the layout, but for the purposes of staging and maybe an industrial spur, they work fine.
  7. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    I also use #4's for staging, and they work jus fine, but you need to leave larger "fouling areas" (less overall cars in the yard, one per track) than a #6 or #8, but I agree they work great.
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    so basically i should work out which switch will give me the greatest capacity?

    I assume by fowling area, you mean places where the train is still "overhaning" the track and not over the middle to couple? I wish i had put that into account when i made my layout, lol, because i have trouble with that.

    Thats why i'm loving these GP15-1s i bought. they can do the job without trouble!
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    There are really 2 reasons why people recommend against the smaller turnouts with larger locomotives. The first is that it just doesn't look as good as it would going through a broader radius curve. This may not be an issue if your layout space restricts you from the ideal or in the case of hidden staging yards. The second issue is either they will derail trying to get through the tighter radius of the smaller switches or derail the car immediately following the locomotive, or the overhang is such that you will have fouling problems with adjacent tracks. If your locomotives will negotiate the #4 switches with a train coupled to them and not derail, then the only problem is the fouling point where a part of the locomotive with overhang the neighboring track. You can space your tracks farther apart, but if you don't have anything sticking up enough to interfere with your train, increase spacing may not be necessary. What you will need to do is mark the fouling point where your long locomotives will interfere with trains on the adjacent track and then make sure any train parked on the adjacent track is at least 1 inch beyond the point where the offending locomotive quits fouling the adjacent track.
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Well, i got more of my plan completed. I worked it out so that i have a small yard for my tank cars, and a loading track with a capacity for about 5 cars per track. I've also squeezed Walthers lumber yard, Magic pan bakery and lakeville shipping in there, giving me a nice wide variety of industries.

    My only concern is that it will require some curved switches that i'm not sure exist, but i used 24" curves on most of it, so if i need a tighter curve to fit, i can either scratchbuild my own turnouts, or just use a tighter radius on the diverging track. Does anyone know the exact radius of commonly offered curved switches?

    as part of the industrial district, there is an industrial track with a run around that is seperate from the mainline, so that mainline trains don't get fouled by switching moves (although the locals still need to travel over the main to get to the local industries). both ends of the industrial track connect to the mainline for now. I don't know if that is a realistic practice, but we will see. Once again, i really need to upload the modified plan.

    My only concern is that it is to cluttered. It doesn't look like that on paper (i even sketched out the footprints of the buildings) but i don't want another situation like what happened to american hardware supply on my layout, where the trucks could not get into the loading docks. So far though, its looking like i have space for all the structures. The only structures i'm still worried about are the oil refinery scenes. I hope i have enough room for a reasonable tank farm.
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Walthers code 83 (Shinohara) has #6 1/2, #7, #7 1/2, & #8. # 6 1/2 uses 20" & 24" radii, #8 is 32" & 36". The others are in between. Peco lists curved turnouts, but they don't give very clear radius info in the Walthers catalog. I think you can use CVT tie strips with the code of rail of choice to make "flex" turnouts that can be curved to fit your space. You should also consider "Y" switches to save space if they are appropriate for an industry. A 4 "Y" turnout consists of a #2 right and a #2 left, The radii are the same as a #4 I believe, but the space they take up is 1/2. The same formula is true for a #6, #7, or #8 "Y"as well, but you would probably need to lay bigger "Y" turnouts by hand. You can also use tighter radius industrial spurs if you use 4 axle power for local switching and restrict your 6 axle power for mainline duty.

    If you can put your refinery near the back or side edge of the layout near a backdrop, put the tank farm on the backdrop.
  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Allright, prepare yourselves for the rainbow railroad, lol

    I started putting in some of the rough spots for roads. I put the building foot prints, although its all likely the change.

    This time, i had the "regular" blue track go outside so that it can wrap around the layout going down to staging. The red track will stick inside at a slightly reduced radius. The light Blue track is the wye that goes back to the old layout.

    The two big industries, the oil refinery and the automobile transfer facility are green and orange respectively. In the case of the oil refinery, the light green is where the loading tracks are. the dark green is the yard where empties and loaded cars are stored. I think i might change the ladder tracks in the refinery yard so there is no S-curve. that would also increase the space on the yard tracks. I think each loading track has a 5 car capacity. The yard should fit about twice that much per track.

    Scenery wise, i am concerned about the tank farm. I think i will need to make some tanks a partial tank, as part of the back drop, but i'm not sure of the best way to do this. I'm considering painting a back drop of an "aisle" of tanks that are painted in such a way as to make it look likethey are in rows. Currently, with the berms and that, even the tall tanks (which are smaller in diameter) take up a foot per tank more or less. I'm thinking about inhabiting the bottom left corner with a tank or two as well, and having a pipe-line pass over or under the right of way.

    Like wise, the automobile transfer facility also has a small yard for inbound and out bound autoracks as per the prototype. I'm prettysure i can get about 4 of the single autoracks, and maybe three of those flexible type autoracks per stub track. the yard tracks are a bit longer, but thats fine considering i have to be able to couple to these longer cars. Either way, there should be enough space to have a reasonable number of them sitting there.

    I have added about 3-4 other industries. Most are on the Magenta track that you see running on the inside of the oval.

    I've figured i could fit Lakeville Warehousing in there, with the dark purple track. It seems like a very boring structure, but it adds operation. That way, i get the extra traffic, but it doesn't distract from the big industries it is sandwhiched between. I didn't want to put magic pan bakery there, as i figured it would be to much overload in that area. Its big, but its simple.

    I've decided to instead place Magic Pan in the back with a brown track. It might not be so visible from the front, but its there in the back if people want to go walk around the layout (one of my stations on the old layout is just around the corner, so i figure some people would walk back that way, just gotta hide the staging tracks for visitors). I also figure that it by itself would do better that way. The only major issue i'm having is the space for the industrial tracks. I might need a tighter curve to get the lengths of tracks i need. i'm not to familiar with the structure, but it has i think one freight loading door for box cars (maybe two), and then a pneumatic piping system similar to that of the plastic pellet transfer for the grains or sugars used in the baking process, which i figure deserved its own track. I'm also considering trying to sqeeze an extra track for corn syrup tank cars, but i'll have to revise that section.

    the dark blue track on the bottom right corner will be George Robert's printing. Its an interesting structure in my opinion, so i chose to put it up front where people can look at it. Its small enough that there is still enout space for trucks and things to park in front of it. The only problem is that i think i'd need a single slip diamond switch righ there, unless i wanted to end the blue wye track earlier, and instead pull onto the auto rack yard's lead. However, i figured it would be better to leave that open.

    there are two dashed purple stubs. These i'm not sure if i'll actually use. the one on the right side of the layout looked good for a lumber yard until i realize just how little space i had between that run around, and the oil refinery yard. I'll probably not put a track there, unless i can think of a good reason (maybe a locomotive layover track? i've seen random short tracks with locomotives parked there for seemingly no reason in this region i'm modeling). A lot of space was also taken up when i decided to place the refinery cracking towers up close to the front where it could be better seen (and left the tanks in back as russ suggested), so that track might not go in.

    the dashed purple line at the top left would work for another industry as far as space goes, unless i decide to run my highway over that way (currently, i put the highway straight across, as you can see from the black lines). I was considering something like medusa cement, but it also occurred to me that magic pan could better fit there, and that Medusa cement being a smaller structure would be better off in the spot where I currently placed magic pan. It will depend in the end on what i feel like when i start building it.

    I think that about covers the track plan. I'm thinking some industries might get eliminated.

    I also figure the red mainline track can start going down grad even "on stage", with the magenta industrial track going up grade a little steeper to stay level with the rest of the layout. It seems prototypical to me in some cases for an insutrial track to have a few short steep hills. I'm sure my GP15-1s and GP38-2s can handle it.

  13. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That's backward. A #2 Y has about the same radius on each side as a #4 conventional. You won't find commercial Y turnouts with numbers as high as 6.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Thanks for clarifying what I was trying to say Triplex. I'm glad somebody understood what I was trying to say, even as garbled as my description was!
  15. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Yeah, i've been working a bit more on it. I'm thinking i might be able to get more space length wise, so i might "extend" the plan. It also makes it possible to model the NEC again, but i feel i developed this plan so much more, so i might stick to it. I'll see if i can successfully aquire more space.
  16. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Curse my lack of a camera!


    I've got one functioning, hung, ready to electrify segment of Catenary!

    For as long as i've been here, i've been trying to get some overhead going. I've decided to settle for a sturdy scratchbuilt plan, rather than building expensive Model Memories kits.

    I took some hold Code 100 rail, and som 1/32 steel wire, and built a pair of Catenary pole with a Wire cross span, as opposed to the original solid cross beam. The original cross beam would to easily be wiggles apart. The wires are bent into the catenary poles so that they cannot pull free. Once the cross span was full assembled, it turned out to be very sturdy.

    I still needto add the major details to the catenary poles and wire (right now it is the bear bones contact/Auxiliary wire, and the cross span, no other wires, transmission lines, or insulators installed), but nothing was quite so satisfying as rolling my Bachman Acela underneath to check for wire imperfections (acela pantographs are unforgiving) and then not finding a single problem!

    This is an older picture. I wish i had current pictures. the location is the same as the closest bridge in the below picture. The bridge and the one going towards the station are catenary poles with a wire cross-span rather than a catenary bridge.

  17. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    AWESOME!!!! That looks really Cool Chris!!!!! Now for the rest of the layout hehehehe :thumb: :thumb:
  18. platypus1217

    platypus1217 Member

    Very cool. I can't wait to see more!
  19. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    I salute you!!! :thumb:
  20. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    WTG!! Jus' plain awesome!! :thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb:

Share This Page