ok, planing my new modular, need help with yards.

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by ozzy, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    it is n scale 24" x 48" but i can put two 24" x 48" together if need be. all switch's will be remote, all atlas track.

    i have 3 main lines . i want all 3 lines to be able to run in and out of the yard. in ether direction. that way i can pull ant train or set of cars on to any line in both directions. i want a fairly big yard so i can spot cars and change up trains.

    i just cant come up with a good plan, i need to pick others brain on this one. anyone have any good plans?

    is there any good over head shots of the yard i want? ether real or of a layout?
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Ozzy, not to push my own thread, but take a look at this.
    Railohio and Mason Jar helped me design a great yard. And Brakie has some great ideas on yard design in other threads.
    Forgot to mention, mine is ho.

  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    A "fairly big yard" by my standards won't fit in an 8' long space. A double-ended yard for a triple main will be especially space-intensive.
  4. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    not in N scale? and i guess when i say big, i mean lots of "lanes"

    and i been thinking i could just have 2 of the main lines into the yard. and i could just switch the 3rd to one of the other mainlines on a different modular somewhere, then bring it into the yard.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Ozzy: the fastest way to cross over 3 tracks is one switch and two double (or single) slips. I figure a switch is about 4" and the slips about 6", so you lose a foot and a half at each end. (If you can't get slips, it'll require more space.) Putting another switch on the track closest to the yard will give you a bit of extra length for an outer track.
    How do you feel about a yard on each side? You can get the same number of tracks, but the outer ones will be longer.
  6. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    one on each side would be fine, was kinda planning on the mainlines going through the middle of the yard anyway.
  7. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    You weren't clear on whether the the 3 lines had to be loops or not. I am assuming they do. If you are building N modules where the 3 mains go straight through your modules, then disregard the rest. If you are building modules, you might check out the Ntrak specs - I think they feature the capability to have 3 mains. If Ntrak will work, I'm sure there are good examples of what you are looking for already built.

    But if you want 3 loops - 3 main lines aren't going to fit unless you use substandard radius curves. With 24" width, the outside loop can use 11" radius at best, and that's really close to the edges. That leaves 9-3/4" radius for the middle loop, and 7.5" radius for the inside loop. I'm not sure what equipment operates on 7.5" radius, but I know not all does.

    Next point - even if you did build the 3 loops as suggested, you would have no space for anything but a "3 lane race track". IMHO, boring. The yard would have to be less than 6ft long, including the ladders due to the turnback curves at either end.

    IMHO, either the 3 main line concept or continuous run needs to be thrown out unless you can get a wider space, while keeping the 96" length.

    my thoughts, your choices
  8. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    om my first modular i just made the 3 lines run straight through from one end to the other. a double main line on one side and a single main line on the other. i could go a little wider if need be, but i want to be able to move it on my own. i dont plan on moving the layout much, or hook mine to other peoples, im just building it as modulars so it i decide to move someday i can take it all with me.

    as far as space for the layout, i was planing on a L shape, with the long leg being 16 feet long, and the short one 8 feet long. and 4 feet wide, i will sit inside the middle of the layout to run trains.
  9. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Glad to hear I was out to lunch, and you've got a good overall plan. You might want to check out John Armstrong's Track Planning for Realistic Operation book for ideas on how yards work.

    Another source of good ideas for functional yard design is The Ten Commandments of Model Railroad Yard Design by Craig Bisgeier (Yard Design). I don't necessarily agree with his rules being hard and fast, but I don't do multi-operator timetable ops, either. The more trains the yard has to handle in a given time, the more the rules need to be followed. In a more laid-back operation, breaking the rules to create operating difficulty will work, but it will cause the yard to be a bottle neck if the ops tempo picks up. Also, keep in mind a built-in difficulty such as using the main as the yard lead may make operations interesting at first, but may get boring if you have to use the main every time you switch the yard. The same is true of doubling trains because arrival/departure or other tracks are too short. A/D tracks and at least one yard track, as well as staging and passing tracks need to be as long as your normal longest train.

    just my thoughts
  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    If this is N-Trak, track centers are 1.5". Thus, with #4 turnouts and slips (which I don't recommend), you lose 12" or more on each end. With #6s (more reasonable), you do lose 18" on each end. Note that these comparisons don't allow for the length of the switch points for the last switch; they're treating the track as a single line, like it would be on a track plan. However, that same length for the points would be necessary for a yard from a single track. Anyway, I've heard many modellers say that commercial slip switches are no reliable enough to use in a mainline.

    I just realized that I spoke too soon. This isn't N-Trak (my logical assumption for N-scale, modular, 3 mains).
    There's a terminology confusion here. If you don't intend to hook the layout to other people's, you don't have to follow anyone's standards. Then it's merely called sectional, not modular.

    The concerns about fitting the yard still apply, more or less.
  11. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    ok, i ordered a book " the model railroaders guide to freight yards" im hoping its what im looking for. im still going to look for a few more books tho.

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