Need Help make my track plan

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by KentBy, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    I tried figuring out a couple of the track planning software programs, but could not get them to behave. So I bought the KISS system. Plastic circles for hand drawing. I drew up a plan and then built my bench.

    Now I am looking closer at my plan and think that I may have a number of problems. The 'table_diagram' is draw on 2 ft squares and I used 24" main line curves. My plan is to stay less then 2% grades. This an HO layout and it is my second RR. The first one was over 30 years ago and was 8X4 ft sheet of plywood.

    The bench work goes around the wall in a U shape and then connects to the island in the middle of the room. You can walk around the island and between the table along the wall and the island. The island is 7 inches higher than the bench work along the wall.

    Looking at the image you can see that I placed a 4 track freight yard in the middle and the passenger yard with engine services on the left wall. The track would start increasing in elevation as it goes around the left wall section and be about 2 inches higher when it becomes double main line behind the freight yard. There would be a gully at the right corner of the wall section as the track continued to raise. I'll need to build a trestle to make this transition. The track will have reach the 7" rise by the time it gets to the island section.

    The island will have a mountain in the middle do the double main line enters the mountain by one large tunnel and out the other side by two smaller tunnel exits. Track continues to elevate enough to cross back over the line entering the island and then drops back to match the other side of the double main line and the back down the hill.

    I have drawn a few freight business along the main line.
    If this is not clear I will try to explain better.

    Now to my questions:

    I am concerned that the curve out the the freight yard that goes around the passenger terminal (the main line) will not allow correct easements and have room for a straight section between the two curves. This is the dreaded S curve problem.

    Also I don't how I would operated the passenger train with this arrangement. Assuming that I just came into town on the main line, I would need to pull into the freight yard and then back into the terminal. So far so good. Now the passengers load. How do I get the train going back around the main loop? The engine is on the wrong end, which I could fix by running it around and turning on the turntable. But what do I do about the observation car?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. If I need to abandon this plan, then so be it. My goals are to have a long main line so that I could watch the train run through scenery. I want some switching work too. At some point I think that I may expand the layout to go around the island mountain and then back along the wall on an upper deck and then back to the island across a duck under bridge next the passenger yard part of the layout. I might put in some logging operation on the upper deck (above the mountain on the island).


    Attached Files:

  2. platypus1217

    platypus1217 Member

    The line coming into the freight yard looks like it comes in at too sharp an angle.

    Maybe if you made it a simple U shape. The incoming/outgoing track would be against the edge of the platform and against the wall and the yard would be on the inside. It would probably require a bit of tweaking to be able to reach over to the back track though.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Kent: In Toronto we used to have a reverse loop that ran around the roundhouse and coach yard. The entire consist of the Canadian was turned on that. Since that facility was destroyed they have used a wye at the coach yard a dozen miles west.
    I know some observation cars were turned on turntables; the only one I can cite is the Devon Belle in England.
    Some railroads had the observation car squared off so it could be run in the middle of the train. Other roads just abandoned them.
    Turning it on the turntable could be fun if you can rig an uncoupler in the right place.
  4. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Exactly. Your curves may work, because they're drawn to scale, but your turnouts won't. The frog angles are too sharp, and you also haven't allowed room beyond the ends of the crossovers in the yard.

    I also think the "pinch point" in the aisle is probably too narrow. I'm not sure if this configuration can be made to work with these curves in this size room.
  5. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    Should I reduce the radius? Will going to 23 or 22 inch radius give me enough room to make the trains work correct on this track?

  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Aside from those radii being really tight for passenger cars, I'm still not sure it would work. My question remains how much capacity can be fitted in the yard.
  7. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    revised plan

    I have been playing around with the yard and terminal area and have come up with this modification.

    The main line is now a dog bone and can run continuously. The access to the passenger terminal will be by backing in from the back main line. I will need to learn how to make a curved crossing to get access to the engine shop and turntable. Also the freight yard will access to the main line through a double turnout.

    Does the freight yard look like it would work correctly?

    I will need to delay start of the incline to the island until the middle of the center section of the wall. The grade may need to go to 3% to make the change to the island.

    Any comments or suggestions?


    Attached Files:

  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    As I said, the crossovers in the right of the yard won't fit as shown. But why do you need crossovers between all yard tracks?

    It'll require the curved crossing you mention (not commercially available) and a double-slip. Worse, only three of the four yard tracks are easily accessible from the lead. Actually, the yard has no separate switching lead.

    Going back to the previous version, what I thought of was to make the track climb around the loop at left, so the track above the yard crosses over the main, putting the yard above and behind the main.
  9. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    Triplex, thanks for helping me with this.

    I thought that I would need them for the yard engine to escape when positioning cars. Please keep in mind that I know almost nothing about real railroads.
    Not sure that I understand this. The third track from the front connects to the main, is this the switching lead?
    That sounds promising. I'll work on a new drawing trying to do that.

  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    The yard engine will always be working from the ladder end (the left, in this case). The only reson for crossovers is for the road engine to escape, and you don't need them on all tracks.

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