My Future Milwaukee Road Iowa Division Layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by stevechurch2222, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. Hello!,I an working on coming up with a track plan for my future Milwaukee Road Iowa Division layout.It will be 20ft by 20ft u shaped with 30" radius for the mainline.I am modeling from Perry,Iowa to Savanna,Illinois from 1979-1980 at the time of shutdown of the Iowa Division.I am going to run 25-30 car freights with auto racks,piggyback flats and cars from 35ft 3inches to 60 ft.I am running SD40-2 s,MP15AC s.and two GP38-2 s along with 4 bay window cabooses.I plan on a roster of 75 freight cars with the two GP38-2 s, 4 SD40-2 s and 4 MP15AC s.I am working on the plan now and will post it as soon as I get it finished.The wife and I are hoping to move into a house to rent later this year with a basement. I am still fighting my disability and trying to get it for lower back pain which may be deteriating discs or curveature of the spine,no x rays or MRI have been done yet,that is what is holding it up.I will have an update hopefully in a day or two and I will post the plan then. Steve Church Milwaukee Road Iowa Division
  2. Sarge_7

    Sarge_7 Member

    Sounds great. Hope everything works out for you.
  3. Thanks,Sarge I hope so too.A lot of nice HO Scale products coming and the manufacturers are doing a lot of Milwaukee Road compared to years past.I will keep you all updated. Steve Church Milwaukee Road Iowa Division
  4. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Steve:wav: , i too am a Milwaukee Road fan:mrgreen: , looking forward to seeing your updates:thumb::mrgreen: . the Milwaukee Road had a mainline that run right through the city i live in:winki: , the tracks are still there, though they are now used by Union Pacific & ICE.

    :deano: -Deano
  5. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I like the sound of your plan! Best wishes with the house and the back issues!
  6. I am working on the track plan and hope to have it ready to post today or tomorrow. Steve Church Milwaukee Road Iowa Division
  7. I am going to try to post the original plan that I really like,it is 24'x24' and drawn in X Trax Cad by Dwyane Ward.The double ended spurs are for the 4 industries I am going switch,I am going to use the longest tracks off the main yard for the auto racks and piggyback flats,and 60' Box Car switching yet leave room for engine movements.The other 4 tracks will be for cars beside the 8 track double ended yard,The layout will be U shaped 30" radius on the mainline.

    Attached Files:

  8. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Hey Steve.

    Your attached file comes out really sketch. Any chance you could upload the file to the Gallery and then link it to the board? I'd love to see it.
  9. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    Hi, Steve! It's nice to know that someone else is familiar with the Milwaukee Road, Iowa Division. I'm originally from Bettendorf, Ia. and had the Milwaukee tracks outside my back door. Literally! My dad worked for the old DRI Line for a number of years. Also enjoyed the Rock Island lines.
  10. I have uploaded the track plan that is 20'x20' Let me know what you think.
    Steve Church Milwaukee Road Iowa Division

    Attached Files:

  11. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    You REALLY need industrial sidings, somewhere for your local freight to put all your cars after it leaves the yard. That to me just looks like a racetrack. A railroad is a Transportation System taking each and every freight car from point A to point B, neither of them being yards, but industries. Give some thought to Iowa industries. Grain Elevators, Mills, Bakeries, Brick factories, whathaveyou... Having industries to switch will certianly hold your intrest during an operating session, and maximize your layout space and realism.

    If you have any other questions, just ask them right here, and I'll help you if you wish. :wave:
  12. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Some of the things I look for in a layout plan:

    1) will it even begin to fit? Unless curves and turnouts are drawn to scale, most sketches don't leave enough room for them. A 30" radius is 5ft across the semi-circle on the track centerlines. So a "blob" for turning around with 30" radius has to be a minimum of 64" across to leave some space between the track and the great abyss. An Atlas #6 turnout is 12" long over the straight section, and has a divergent angle of 9.5 degrees.

    Even though your drawing states XtrkCad was used, it doesn't look like 30" radius curves in the SE corner. Nor do your turnout ladders look long enough. But this could be my eye.

    2) if the drawing is true to scale, are the aisles and access sufficient. Many of us start getting uncomfortable with long aisles between walls and/or benchwork of less than 30". If you are perpendicular to the axis of a 24" aisle, stuff at the edge of the benchwork becomes susceptible to being hit, knocked, or jostled.

    At the same time, maximum reach is 36" or less. Tends to be less as we get older and/or the layout gets higher. Try reaching across several tracks of trains to rerail a car 36" away without catching any of the closer ones or scenery with your shirt sleeves or elbows. It's not easy unless you have a limber back and a layout down at waist level.

    I see some real reach issues on both the upper and lower blobs. Even if you put an aisle in the center of the blob, it's going to be inconvenient to duck into the aisle every time to access and build the stuff against the wall.

    3) Symmetry looks artificial and toy-like. Nature is not symmetrical. Exclusive use of double-ended spurs for serving industries is boring to operate.

    4) Length of trains is as important as minimum radius in planning. Passing sidings, at least arrival/departure and one yard track need to be a train length long, or yard work is going to be seriously delayed. Passing sidings that are too short prevent operation of more than one normal length train on the main.

    A 60ft car in HO is about 8" long over the couplers. A relatively short 10 car train is 80" plus 16" for 2 diesels plus 5" for a caboose. Total length is 96" (8ft) if we leave off the caboose. A more realistic 20 car train for 2 locomotives is 15ft long. Your passing sidings are way too short. But you need to decide what a good train length for you is. I would recommend about 10 to 13ft in your case and space.

    Take a look at the track planning forum on this site, especially the sticky thread on Givens and Druthers. It may help you get more of a sense of what you are trying to achieve.
  13. Miles Western,feel free to draw the plan on what you would have for industrial sidings ans I will be happy to look at it. Steve Church Milwaukee Road Iowa Division
  14. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Ok, is the layout space reallly 20X20 feet? That's a goodenough space for a dream layout! Let me take a look into it and I'll see if I can whip up a trackplan.
  15. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Here's a preliminary sketch. You have one large yard (Council Bluffs? Clinton? IDK) with enough car capacity to serve the rest of the layout. Each "Module" is an easy-to-build 2X4 feet, and a cuple of 4X8's can store the yard. There's access on both sides for the yard.
    If you want, I can add a branchline off any of the major towns going into the center of the room.

    -What year you're modeling-
    -What other RR's were in the area, and if you'd like to portray any of them on your layout

  16. Miles Western The layout was originally to be 24'x24' the era is 1979-1980 at the time of the Iowa Division shutdown,The Milwaukee Road is the only railroad on the layout,I need a yard big enough to hold 80 cars,4 cabooses,4 MP15AC's,4 SD40-2's and 2 GP38-2's and space for a diesel and caboose facility.I am not using a turntable,a branch line would work so some of the industries could be switched from that,the yard would be for Perry,Iowa and Savanna,Illinois and I will include the swing truss drawbridge at Sabula,Iowa at 364' in scale length.What info on the Iowa Division do you need and I will get it for.I would like an 10-12 track yard and a place to simulate operations for the auto racks,piggy back flats and 60' box cars.Thanks, Steve Church Milwaukee Road Iowa Division
  17. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Steve, If you have photos of any locations along the line, such as the bridge, or the yards, or other points of interest, post them here for me to look at and see if I can capture it in the trackplan.

    Does any of the former trackage of the old MILW iowa division exist today? Where?
  18. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Oh, and as a further note, is there any map of the IOWA division I could see, or have you post here?
  19. Miles Western,This is what I have so far,e-mail me at and I can get more pictures for you.I do not have an Iowa map of the Milwaukee Road Iowa Division. Steve Church Milwaukee Road Iowa Division

    Attached Files:

  20. Miles Western, I have uploaded the map of Iowa that includes the Iowa Division including the part I am modeling from Perry,Iowa to Savanna,Illlinois from 1979-1980.I am going to run 2 GP 38-2's for some locals,SD40-2's for mainline freights and MP15AC's for the other locals.yard classification and to switch the industries.The motive power will total 2-GP38-2's,4-SD40-2's and 4 MP15AC's along with 4- bay window cabooses,and 80 freight cars from auto racks,piggyback flats,cement hoppers open side,grain hoppers 4740 and 4750 cu ft,the 4750 cu ft hoppers will be PSCD-2,tank cars 50' and 50' and 60' box cars,60' bulkhead flats,50' and 57' reefers,50' and 52' gondolas.The auto racks will be fully enclosed tri levels and bi levels. A for the Iowa Division there were about 6-8 trains each way until the mid 70's when traffic volumes were down due to deferred maintenance was catching up with the Milwaukee.Then the railroad was down to 2 trains a day no more than 3 from the mid 70's till the end.On December11,1978 the Milwaukee Road went on C&NW rails from Tama,Iowa to Clinton,Iowa due to poor track conditions on the Milwaukee,also C&NW units were required to be the lead locomotive due to the signaling on the C&NW. The C&NW used SD45 at the point and in return the Milwaukee leased SD45's on the Northwestern.On March 23,1980 the last Milwaukee Road train left Perry,Iowa for the last time.The Milwaukee Roda also ran a coal train with the BN on Milwaukee rails,this lasted until Jan,1980,Milwaukee and BN SD40-2's were the common power for these coal trains.SD40-2's did run on the Iowa Division though the common power on the line was GP30's,GP35's,GP40's,SD9's,SD7's SD10's,U boats could be sen on occasion.
    the C&NW ran the Iowa Division from Perry,Iowa to Slater,Iowa from the time of the shutdown until the UP took over the C&&NW in 1995.Today only the Bayard,Iowa to Council Bluffs,Iowa section is ran under the BNSF. Steve Church Milwaukee Road Iowa Division

    Attached Files:

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