How about those modules?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by MasonJar, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I am thinking about giving up on the old standard - the 4x8 - and going modular, in part so I can participate in the local modular club (modules are not mandatory for this club, but I like the idea of building something).

    My preliminary idea is to do something set int the late 20s. Orangeville (Ontario) had fairly extensive loco service facilities along with a yard and several industries located at or near the yard. There was a 76' turntable, 50 ton coal tower, water column (and presumably a tank) passenger station, frieght station, and (my favourite) a 5 stall roundhouse. Most of this was brand new in the 1920s after a complete overhaul to the facility and yard.

    Does this type of scenario lend itself well to a module (or several)? Am I too ambitious?

    Any thoughts? Comments? Concerns? Advice? Experience good or bad? Although I have been very impressed with the work of these people (see links below), and the modular idea seems really great, I find I am getting "cold feet" or maybe "analysis-paralysis" as I consider the idea for myself...



    Note: Here are a few links -

    This is what inspired me to think about loco servicing in steam:

    A beautiful layout of Orangeville:

    My local HOTrak modular club:

    Railway Bob's info on module construction:

    A modular setup belonging to a HOTrak member that is integrated with his home layout:
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Thinking out loud here...

    If a module was to contain a turntable, how deep should the "subroadbed" be? If I was to use 1.5" foam (as per Railway Bob's how-to above) will this provide the required thickness for a turntable? How deep are they anyway?

    Thanks again.

  3. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member


    I think that my Walthers TT is about 3" deep. It just fits in a hole in the layout. I use 1/2" blue foam.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    What scale? In n scale there would be lots of room to do what you want. In ho it gets more restricted.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Andrew: the Peco turntable is about 1.5 - 2" deep, but any mechanism will go down farther. (It can be hand powered). I don't know if you need subroadbed that far, but a few pieces of wood to protect the pit.
    Was just in Orangeville yesterday. The station still exists, but has been moved and is now a restaurant.
    How many through tracks do you need on your module?
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the input so far!

    Jim - If your turntable is deeper than the subroad, do you just rig something up to keep it in place, or would you increase the depth of the entire subroadbed for the whole module?

    Russ - I am contemplating this in HO scale.

    David - I think the standard is two, although Orangeville was on one. It would be easy enough to "fudge it", since there is a long siding the goes south from the yard, and there are at least 5 tracks that cross Townline.

    I was actually in Orangeville the day they were moving the station. It was quite the sight to see the witch's hat appear at the crest of the hill - I was watching from the bottom of Townline Road at the big corner where it turns to meet Broadway (at the Canadian Tire, if it is still there...).

    I did not pay too much attention to the railway at that time, but I did cross it up to 4 times per day going to school at Princess Margaret PS, and I lived further up the line where it crosses John Street on its way out of town. I think that a lot of the facilities were gone by then anyway. I do remember a number of snow plows stitting in the west side of the yard north of Townline though.

    Please keep the comments and thoughts coming!


  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The problem you run into in ho in using a turntable and roundhouse is that the turntable and roundhouse take so much space that it won't fit on a typical module. A branchline style turntable that leads to a 2 or 3 stall engine house can work on a module because it can be arrainged long ways rather than accross the module where space becomes limited.

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