Help untangle my prototype's mess

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by AlienKing, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. AlienKing

    AlienKing New Member

    The layout is based on the Green Bay & Western in the mid 60's. It interchanges with CNW, Milwaukee Road, and SOO Line on the party I want to model.

    The GB&W was primarily a fast freight road. It ran 2-4 fast freights a day between Kewaunee (boat slips on Lake Michigan connecting with AA and C&O) and Winona (interchange with the CB&Q). It also had a large number of local industries along the entire line. Paper mills and Coops (grain, corn, etc) were 2 of the most common local industries. The GB&W ran only 4-axle Alco locomotives, usually 2-3 engines for fast freights.

    I will have an entire basement to play with. A minimum 24' x 50', but probably bigger. However, I won't plan the longer runs around the outside since they are just flat and mostly strait. It's just a few of the more complicated sections I need help with.

    I'm currently planning a continuous loop on a lower deck around outside of the basement that would simulate the other 3 roads. There will probably be a staging yard or 2 along the continuous run, hidden under the main line. It would have grade changes to interchange with mainline (GB&W) at strategic points representing the actual prototype interchanges. I will be using random equipment from SOO, CNW, and Milwaukee Road.

    At this point, I only plan to model from Kewaunee to Black Creek or New London (about 1/3 of the total mainline). This part of the state is flat. A large hill is about 100 feet. The trains usually traveled at 50+ mph from Green Bay to New London without much effort, except for Oneida hill just west of Green Bay. So, I'm aiming for 1% or lower grades for most of the layout. The exception to the grade changes is between the main deck and lower deck, but I’d like to keep that and 2.5% max.

    I’m planning on using code 83 HO Flex track for the bulk of the layout. It will be operated using DCC with a computer controlled AI. Or at least it will cause catastrophic train accidents depending on how well I implement the AI and block detection. I’m going to use JRMI to interface with loconet. I’m a software engineer, so I’ll do the actual AI and control myself.

    My wife will being doing most of the landscaping, painting, and all the other artsy stuff I’m not very good at.

    I’m having troubles turning the actual track in Green Bay into a feasible layout. I really want to incorporate the GB&W yard into my model. It’s a very interesting yard, but small enough that you can almost do it to scale in HO on a 16x4 area. I’m not too concerned with accuracy to the nearest foot or anything, but I do want to use the general layout of the yard.

    The first picture is the actual prototype design. The blue line is the GBW mainline. The green is the A/D tracks. Black is the main yard, engine tracks, caboose tracks, and RIP tracks. Purple is the CNW yard and mainline. Red is the Milwaukee Road mainline and yard. The orange was used to connect to the old GBW yard along the river (just west of the purple/red mainline) and to interchange with the Milwaukee Road yard. It will be used as the drill track in the model. Most trains did not by-pass the yard on the blue mainline, but stopped at the yard to drop-off or pickup cars, refuel, etc.

    I don’t plan on modeling the Milwaukee road yard, except possibly as lower deck staging. I would like to have a small yard (4-6 tracks) in the approximate location of the CNW yard to interchange cars between the 2 yards.

    I attached one of the possible designs I drew up. The red and orange lines drop down to the lower level before going under the yard, but I'm not sure of their grade to get the needed clearance.

    Lastly, I'm not sure how I would setup the reversing district in the yard, since its a giant wye.


    The peninsula in my design is was supposed to be close to 16'x5', with the wrap around shelves of about 2.5'-3' wide.

    Attached Files:

  2. heli

    heli New Member

    Is there software you are using to control these trains? Are you writing your own code?

    I want to control my layout with software as well and was wondering what to purchase.
  3. AlienKing

    AlienKing New Member

    I'm going to be programming it myself, unless I come across a good framework or set of libraries to use. If I find anything, I'll update the thread with more info.

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