Industry lines: Off a siding or the main?

Discussion in 'Trackside Photos & Details' started by nolatron, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Are industry branch lines typically off a siding? Is it not uncommon on prototypes to see industry lines branch right off the main?

    Here's a little section of railroad on my layout I'm trying to figure out how to layout. At first I just had the branches come right of the main, but I think it makes more sense to add a siding on each side of the main.

    With the siding a train could just drop some cars off for a local to come spot later, or for local runaround, etc...

    or all the sidings overkill? I'm thinking the lower siding would/could also be used as an additional passing siding for mainline trains.

    Attached Files:

  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Shaun: I think you can find both. Just think of all the times you've read of a train being run into a siding because the switch was turned the wrong way; that usually requires a spur straight off the main.
    I think the siding off the main usually happens when there is less traffic on the line and they don't care if it gets tied up for a while. Otherwise they put a track in that can take the local freight out of the way.
    We have an industrial area where an extra track wanders along beside the double-track main, maybe a boxcar length or more, and follows the ground contours more than the mainline does.
  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I agree with Sixty-103. Depends on how much traffic generally comes down the main. If you have a little shortline or a branchline, the first would be common. You may also see the "main" with a run-around on only one side of the main, and industry spurs off the run-around on one side and off the main on the other. It just all depends on what exactly you are modeling.
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    On the CN mainline through the Niagara Peninsula, at least locally, in Stoney Creek, Grimsby, and Jordan Station, the industrial sidings are right off the mainline. There are several in Stoney Creek, a John Deere plant in Grimsby, and a fruit packing house in Jordan Station. The formerly double-tracked main is now single track with long passing sidings and is CTC-controlled. This is a busy route with a direct connection to the U.S., and through trains are frequent.

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I think it will depend in part on the railroad in quesiton, the location, and the era you are modelling.

    Ian Wilson's Steam... series of books about Canadian National in the mid-1950s in southern Ontario show all kinds of combinations. He's drawn track plans for virtually every town in southern Ontario with a CN connection. I would say that generally, the lines considered "branch" have much simpler track than the lines considered "main".

    Hope that helps,

  6. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander

    Google Earth...

    If some of the track, yards and sidings still exist from the prototype, you can get some good ideas by following the track with "Google Earth" too...

    Here is a shot of the "Providence & Worcester" yard in Worcester, MA as an example:

    PWRR Worcester MA Yards from Google Earth.jpg

    I also found that "Providence & Worcester" has no fear of 'S turns' as there are a lot of them in the smaller towns the track snakes through on its way to Providence, RI and New Haven, CT...
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Actually, there's no reason to fear them on a model railroad, either. ;)
    The key to preventing unsightly scenic effects such as derailments is to keep the curves as broad as possible. The one shown below uses curves around 48" radius, and the only mishaps that could occur would be caused by a failure to apply the brakes in time. :lol::-D

  8. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander


    DW - At that radius and length, those are more like 'following the contours of the land' than 's turns'. The ones I am talking about are where the train is heading into a opposite direction curve three or four cars later or inside a city block (like in Norwich, CT).

    Anyhow, for those that have never used 'Google Earth', the picture I posted is from a higher point than you can zoom in at so you could see the entire yard and facilities. Maybe pique someone's interest to try it out if they have never heard of 'Google Earth'.

    PS: No, you cannot read license plates off cars but you can make out people and larger signs if you zoom in :grin:
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You will find the sidings and spurs done both ways. If the mainline is not busy, they may run the industrial sidings off of the main. If it is really busy (BNSF main from Hobart Yard out through the Santa Ana Canyon, passed San Bernardino Yard, and up Cajon Pass for insatance) they will more likely have a passing siding off the main and bring the industrial tracks off the siding. In the case of the BNSF main mentioned above, there is so much traffic that it is double tracked all the way to
    Chicago I think, although I'm not sure about it beyond Albuquerque. Where they have industrial spurs off of that main, it is triple tracked to allow a local switch run to operate without fouling East or West bound mains.
  10. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Thanks for the info yall. I think I'm gonna go with a single siding with a branch, and then the other branch off the main.
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    For anyone else reading this thread with a similar question, one point not covered concerns what sort of model railroad and operations of same are you doing. I have tried to run 2 trains simultaneously, and discovered that I can't focus on 2 trains at the same time. If you are the only operator on your layout, and you don't have a train running on the mainline that you can ignore while switching industries, then running spurs off the mainline will probably not cause problems because you will not be running more than one train at a time. If your railroad is set up for multiple operators, then you need to think about how busy each mainline is before deciding how to locate industries. If you will have multiple operators running high density traffic on the railroad, you will need to do your industrial spurs off passing sidings.
  12. You can also use the mapping tool from MicroSoft (Live Local Search) that give you a 3D birds eye view of the land. I'm not sure if google earth has that since I've not used that mapping tool in some time.

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