My Modular Plan - Industrial Branch

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Colton_modeler, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Hi all. I'm posting the plan I've been working on for a closely prototypical UP / former SP industrial branch and team track along Live Oak Ave. in Fontana, CA. I'm going modular with this, probably to Freemo standards (but maybe not quite - I'll save the reasons why for another day).
    Anywho, at the top of the plan is a short segment of main line (and the 10 Fwy, for those familiar with the area) and the adjacent passing siding - the ends of the passing siding are just to bring this back to single track for Freemo, and could be moved along with future expansion of those modules, as the two tracks don't come together for quite some distance.
    The wye doesn't connect on both ends - one now serves a Boral materials plant, served by covered cement hoppers. There are several other industries with spurs - some sort of chemical company that receives tank cars, two companies that receive plastic pellet hoppers, an autorack unloading platform that's out of use, and a structural steel dealer that receives and sends out steel on bulkhead flats and gondolas. But the industries that use some of my favorite rolling stock are located across the street from the team track, and are always loading and unloading a variety of cars including lumber from centerbeam flats, various products from box cars, and steel shapes, rod, and rolls from coil cars, flats, and gondolas. Small cranes and large forklifts do the work.
    I'm still tweaking the plan, but this is pretty close to what I'll be starting construction on soon.
    And yes, I do have room to set up the whole shebang in my house for operating sessions:thumb: Just not the kind of room to leave it that way for extended periods of time (actually, I'd be fine with that, but my wife probably wouldn't be:rolleyes:
    Here's a pic (not taken by me) from along the team track area:

    I look forward to you're comments.

    - Chris

    Attached Files:

  2. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I'm more of a sit'n watch'em go round'n'round type of person but this idea looks appealing. It also looks very..... accurate.
  3. Yes, I'm obviously a fan of linear switching type layouts.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi Chris,

    Nice! I have some comments based on what I have seen at HOTrak, my local modular club.

    - If you are going to pack this away and/or transport it, make sure that the modules can be paired together. I see a few odd shaped ones, and odd sized ones (3'6" versus standard 4'). These oddities will either need fillers to make them a standard size, find a suitable "mate", or be transported/stored separately.

    - The drop in elevation is not needed (I assume that's what the negative numbers are along the left side). Creating a slope like that will be very tricky, especially since you will need flat spots along the way to spot cars.

    - The run-around at the top is not functional without either more track to the left and right, or moving the turnouts onto the 4 footers (from their current location on the 2 footers).

    - Do you need any additional trackage for staging, or will trains "appear fully formed" right on the layout?

    - Some of the modules have turnouts very close or right at the edge/interface. If you are planning joiner tracks, you may need to set them back a bit. Even if no joiner tracks will be used, it would be safer to have regular track run to the edge. It is easier and less expensive to replace in case of mishap.

    - If you intend to use some or all of these modules at Freemo meets, can they be used individually, or does the entire setup have to be assembled the same way every time?

    Hope that helps! You are lucky to have the space to set this up. It will be lots of fun!

  5. Andrew, Thanks for the pointers.
    Yes, I'll need to come up with a way to transport and store the odd shaped modules - I was thinking of some sort of a rack system, like a bakers rack, where they rested on the end plates - maybe this could have wider shelves with blocking to hold the smaller modules; the reason some are shorter (like the 3'6" unit) is because they're wider & I don't want them to get too heavy - but maybe 4'x3' isn't much heavier than 3'6"x3'?...

    I do want to include a grade, but you're right about flatness for spotting cars - I think if it was flat from the top / north through the double track area, where most spotting is done, and had a slight downgrade on the single track line, I'd be better off. The sidings would be flat as well.

    I will need some simple staging, connecting to the left of the 'T' at the top. Two tracks to hold a train 10 cars long.

    The switches should be further from module ends. I'll shift things around a bit to do this.

    As far as using modules individually, the top of the 'T' will be aligned for Freemo interface, and then I'll build southward, so I can assemble the layout sooner, and not always need to build the whole thing.

    As far as having enough space to set it up, like I said, that would only be on a very temporary basis (and I'll probably have to let my wife go shopping while I do so) - I'll post a sketch of what I mean.

    - Chris
  6. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    That looks like something a dedicated 'operator' type could have a lot of fun with!

    I like some switching to meet the realistic needs of a layout, but I'm more of a scenicking kind of guy who wants to watch the little choo-choos go 'round and 'round! An hour of exacting switching duties would drive me permanently out of what little remains of my mind! :mrgreen:
  7. Here's a quick plan of the layout assembled in my house - note I say in my house, not in my model RR room or garage....

    I've shown the staging tracks as well :thumb:

    Attached Files:

  8. Mountain Man - I'm actually a big scenery guy myself - hence the high surface area-to-track ratio. Lots of scenery - gritty, dirty, urban, southern California scenery....
  9. jesso

    jesso Member

    Looking at that house plan with the layout, I can tell that your wife really loves you or you at least buy really nice gifts.sign1
  10. I'm luck - its the former.

    Well, sometimes the latter, too...
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Rather than a rack (although that's a popular idea), just make sure that every module has a like sized mate. So if your 3'6" module matches another, you can pair them together.

    Take a look at - he has a section on building modules. They generally are 2x4, but can go to 2x6 or even 30"x4 and be light enough to carry in pairs. You will likely want to have some help, not because of the weight, but because of the bulkiness. So two people can easily handle a pair of modules.

    The other advantage of pairing them is that they are protected and stackable. With the "good sides in", you trackwork and scenery is protected. The pairs can be stacked like building blocks, without a rack.

  12. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Ye Gads!
  13. I like that stackable paired module idea, Andrew - and with minimal changes to just a few pieces, I can do it. All I need is .... time.....

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