Point to point branch line?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by MOPHEAD, Mar 23, 2006.


    MOPHEAD New Member

    I'm in the planning stage of an N scale layout and was wondering who else runs "point to point"? My thoughts are to build a 14'x10' 3 wall layout of the Warsaw Branch of the Missouri Pacific from Warsaw, Mo. to Sedalia, Mo. Sedalia would be a hidden stub end yard and Warsaw would have a stub end yard with a Wye engine turn around.

    What I would like to know/see is who else has a layout like this? What are the plus/minus's of such a layout, and who uses a Wye and how do you wire it?

  2. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    I'm a big fan of point-to-point. My current plan is to build a similar U-shaped layout in HO, which will go around three walls of my 8' wide by 18' deep garage. The long-range plan is to have a stub-end yard on either end--currently I am two-thirds of the way around the room, with a stub-end yard on one end. I have no wye or turntable, since I run diesels (and eventually electric steeplecabs) that do not need to be turned around.

    The pluses: Realistic operation, easy access (shelf layouts mean no duckunders, rabbit holes, or orangutan-arm reaches), easy construction, less impact on the layout room, and great flexibility in track planning.

    The minuses: Not being able to sit back and watch the trains go round and round. For many this is the deal-breaker for shelf layouts.

    MOPHEAD New Member

    Thanks Jetrock

    That's kind of what I thought. I'm hoping to have a helix at one end and add another self around the wali, ended with a stub end yard. The real Warsaw Branch edned with a Wye, that's why I thought I'd do one. The Warsaw Branch was abandoned in 1946, but I plan on modeling it into the mid-sixties.

  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hi Mophead. I had a point to point but I converted it to continuous run. My wife says that I run trains more frequently now (She runs the trains more frequently now!) but I do a lot more running in circles.
    A wye is wired like a reverse loop. Just make the gaps after the first switch and treat the two switches with the stub ends as the reversing section.
    Or you could make just one switch and its stub the reversing section. In that case, you could use the switch machine contacts for the spare reversing switch.
  5. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

    Are you using DC or DCC? If the latter, there are auto reversing switches available although many wire a Wye like in DC as the crossover into the opposite polarity section is not a continuous movement like a loop. Not the same branch but there's a nice site on the Bagnell Br http://www.nimblewillnomad.com/mopac_2005_photo_albums.htm out of Jefferson City. You can follow the Warsaw Br line out of Sedalia where it shares the wye with the MKT on TopoZone starting at http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=38.70444&lon=-93.22806 It is shown as "old railroad grade" and is a little difficult to follow. I'm modeling the main a little east of you - see link on my sig line.
  6. isboris4449

    isboris4449 Member

    My Duwamish Terminal, which was along three walls but which will soon be along all four with a 2' opening for the entrance, is a point to point design but will have a "continuous run" connection. At 10X12, in HO, I can't justify running manifests, but once in awhile it would be nice to have a train going around and around. Being the end of a branch line means trains, actually cuts of cars , coming from a large nearby yard, arrive from the east and depart to the east, so there is no "continuing on westward" needed.
  7. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    One consideration for a mixture of continuous run and point to point: the Sacramento Northern's line through the Bay Area included a 4% grade through the Oakland Hills. In order to prevent the ristk of runaway trains, and provide extra power on grades, all trains included locomotives at either end of the train. In conjunction with a reversing module, such a "double-headed" train could travel back and forth on a point-to-point layout with realistic action in both directions!

    My own layout is a switcher's dream: although Sacramento was in the middle of Sacramento Northern's mainline run, all trains were broken down when they reached the northern or southern edge of town (there was a yard at both ends) and cars were carried through by local switch engines assigned to the task. Trains were reconstructed at the other end of town, after being suitably shuffled, interchanged, and/or spotted or picked up from industries in town, and sent southward. Thus, through trains are not prototype on my railroad! I may eventually decide to complete the fourth wall for a loop, but I'm not in any hurry to do so.
  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    My "someday" plan is basically a series of shelf layout sections connected to a peninsula (5'x8' ideally in HO). The peninsula has one of the terminals, and the end of the shelf layout has the other for point-to-point running. The peninsula also has a continuous run connection, because I don't think that just point-to-point is always the answer for me. As David says, if I have to make up/break dwon the train at the terminals evey time, I will probably run trains less than if I had some provision for continuous running for when I just feel like sitting back and watching them run.

    But that's me. Your desires and inclinations will be different. Since I don't have room for the peninusla part at present, I am strictly switching. But I did build a small HO loop on the kids Lionel loop, and I have a portable test oval for break-in and testing that stands against the wall when not in use. These give me enough for continuous running when I need a fix.

    If I really ever get the space I want, I will use a wye for one terminal of the HOn3 section where it interchanges with standard gauge. The terminal would be loosely based on a Model Railroader track plan, Sierra Pintada, featured Dec '65 through June (?) '66.

    my thoughts, your choices
  9. zedob

    zedob Member

    This is kinda sorta OT, but shelf layout related.

    I'm working on a plan for my room ( 7 x 16 ), which will be both P2P and continuous loop. I would prefer a folded dogbone because I wanted trains to go out and return, but it's not going to happen. I was looking into train elevators as an option for staging/holding and came across this page. It's worth considering for a point to point operation, especially for a loads-in and empties-out set up.

    Might be cheaper and less of a head-ache to buy a complete system, but for the tinkerer it is an option.


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