Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Xaniel, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    I'm planning to build on intermodal station on my layout. As it's a free lanced layout, I think I can do what ever I want, isn't that right?

    But my problem is...


    Do you think here is too tight for that? Even for a small station...

    How is it built.... I mean... SHould I remove the ballast? I've seen in many modelling pics that the ground is in concrest with the rails in it.

    And what about the crane? I've on Walthers that they have a crane that could suit me well. MI-JACK. What do you think?

    I'm planning to use double stacks and perhaps some trailer carrying flat cars.

    tell me everything. How is it built, With what should I be carefull, bla bla bla.
  2. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Xaniel, I wrote an article about our local CN intermodal facility that would fit just nicely in there, I think. I submitted it to the Canadian Model Railroader (or whatever they call their magazine), never heard anything again.

    At any rate, I'll dig it out and post it here, and the pics as well. There's more than enuf room there for what you need. The local facility has two Mi-Jacks, and they look really kewl; I'm gonna get 'em for my intermodal facility when I build it.

    I'll post the article/pics when I get home tonite.
  3. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    As a child of the prairies, my favorite train memory was watching mile upon mile of grain cars speeding across the Canadian grasslands. Today, my interests are much more diverse, so, when CN opened up their new intermodal terminal in Edmonton, it was only a matter of days before I checked it out. Both CN and CP are rapidly expanding their network of terminals across the continent, decentralizing intermodal transportation to make it more attractive to potential clients. The new terminal, which occupies 370 acres west of Edmonton, dwarfs CP Rail’s facility in south Edmonton, which occupies only 30 acres, and more than doubles CN’s previous capacity in Edmonton, from 70,000 units per annum to 150,000. This dramatically increases the possibilities for Edmonton clients to transport goods to and from almost any destination in North America, including the ports of Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal, New Orleans, and Mobile, Alabama.

    Having never seen an inland intermodal terminal before, there were only two things I truly expected: an extraordinary amount of noise, and eye-dizzying movement from all manner of equipment. However, upon turning into the terminal’s parking lot, I was immediately awestruck by the serene calmness of the scene. No hustle, no bustle, no deafening noise, but instead a long, narrow “strip of efficiency”. The only sounds were from the constant barrage of trucks entering and exiting the terminal, and three front-lift mobile container loaders, commonly referred to as “reachstackers” (this terminal depends solely on these small loaders, with no gantry cranes to speak of).

    After becoming accustomed to the lack of “hubbub”, a rainbow of colors quickly grabbed my attention. A center aisle between the terminal’s main tracks was filled with all manner of containers, stretching as far as the eye can see. Stacked two, three, even four high in places, the containers probably numbered well into the thousands. Every length and every color imaginable was represented – the orange of Hapag-Lloyd, the unmistakable green of Evergreen’s containers, silver Maersk, Hyundai’s orange, and blue Cho Yang to name just a few. While stacks were frequently composed of containers from the same company, an even greater number of stacks seemed to be randomly assembled. In the midst of the containers was a small section devoted to piggyback trailers. This center aisle was also the area where the reachstackers operated, and where trucks were loaded and unloaded. Truck traffic in and out of the terminal was constant, but not a single truck left or entered without a container-laden chassis.

    The container area is bordered on both sides by two tracks - two on the near side, and their mirror image on the opposite side. Each of these tracks runs the entire length of the terminal, about 7,000 feet. There are an additional five smaller tracks in the northeast corner of the terminal, out of view of the parking area. Well cars were plentiful on both main tracks, again stretching far into the distance, with an even mix both full and empty. Although I did not witness any locomotives on site during my three visits to the terminal, CN’s east-west transcontinental mainline is less than 100 metres south of the terminal. Access from the mainline is handled by a double wye, allowing trains in either direction to efficiently use any of the tracks inside the terminal, while the terminal itself is positioned at a 60-degree angle to the mainline. Trains may also enter or leave the terminal at the north end, which connects to CN’s Sangudo Subdivision.

    A small building at the southern end of the facility holds the necessary offices for terminal employees. The only other buildings within the facility were two gate booths, and a large storage shed.

    Many of us were drawn into model railroading by the sheer romance we experienced as children growing up around trains. While the word intermodal was a foreign concept to us as children, modeling a current-day railroad without the inclusion of at least a few containers and well cars would be just as alien. Visiting a modern intermodal terminal, and watching how it operates smoothly and efficiently, quickly grabs our emotions just as the massive freight trains did as youngsters. It has certainly changed my plans for my layout, which will now undoubtedly include an intermodal terminal in the near future.
  4. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    I can't find it anymore, but if you want, I could draw a quick sketch of the terminal layout. Basically, there's a central corridor with doubletracks down either side; on one side, there are additional tracks in the far corner.

    For yours, you could just reverse that, with the doubletrack down the center, and intermodal containers and Mi-Jacks on either side (or one side if you'd prefer). I'm quite jazzed about adding mine - eventually.

    Feel free to ask any q's about the photos. I have shrunken them down to save bandwidth.


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