Preliminary Design - Suggestions Needed!

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Gary S., Dec 30, 2006.

  1. zedob

    zedob Member

    What kind of industry is the blue building with the two tracks running inside in the first pic? It sure looks like a good candidate for an engine house. Since diesel locos don't need much more than a tank of fuel, water hose, a toolbox and a pile of rags to maintain, there's not much more to an engine facility for this size of operation. This is not to say that the scene can't be intruiging.
  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Err... it is an engine house! :) The blue building and the red building right there are for the engine shops. The blue one would be for minor maintenance and a place to get the engines out of the weather, the red building is a walther's machine shop, where they could do more serious work. There are some refueling tanks there too.

    I just threw down some track to get some spurs into the buildings. Any thoughts on a better arrangement would be appreciated. What else might a small facility like this have?
  3. zedob

    zedob Member

    Ok, I wasn't sure. AS for general positioning it looks fine. It's basic and exactly what a small line would use. If the shops are right there, you may want to add a RIP track for those surprise repairs. If you run that track right by the machine shop add a jib crane to the side of the building, near a double door, to unload heavy items.

    I'd check out as many small engine facilities that you can through some searches to give you an idea of how trashy you need to make the outside.
  4. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Reality is that sometimes railroads had to improvise. My uncle was an engineer and fireman on C&O. He has told me of times they would get to speed un couple car and then out run it to clear a switch then throw it to put car into siding where desired using car brake to stop it. I know in modeling we cant do that. So we need to find another solution. You have given yourself a real challenge. Think out how to eliminate it as is. I have a district run for coal mines & timber which is single track no passing sidings and opposing switches. It is real life as real estate is a premium in mountains. I figured out how to do it but not saying right now. It is a challenge. How do you switch opposite directions? give it some thought :D
  5. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Les, I don't have a clue how to do it without a run-around.

    Now, I was looking at the LA Junction and the Empire and Modesto, and there are a few instances of facing point spurs off of yards, so I guess they would runaround at a different place and then push the cars ahead of them to get to the spur.

    I'm not satisfied that my design is making the best use of the space for operations. I've been pouring over the mentioned shortlines to get new ideas.
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Facing point spurs without runarounds

    You can almost always switch a facing point spur without a runaround by using 2 locomotives. The locomotives have to be positioned (but not necessarily directly connected to) opposite ends of the car in question. The Gum Stump and Snowshoe layout was the most famous switching layout design I know of without a runaround. In the original configuration, it takes 2 locomotives to make up a train, and take it up the switchback in the proper order for switching the spurs on the upper level. Not necessarily a prototypical practice, but it works.

    my thoughts, your choices
  7. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

    Gary, On the M&ET most facing point maneuvers were handled at the end of the shift by the process of "dropping" the car which is what Les was describing. It certainly gets the heart beat going :). Sometimes we would take the cars to an intermediate location to be switched by another crew, a handoff of sorts. For example a set of locos sitting in a trailing point spur would have the car or cars dropped onto them and then after that train left the locos could pull out and back up to the facing point spur much like pgandw was explaining. You ask the best questions it makes my mind think of all sorts of cool operations :D.
  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Oh now, I kind of like that! I intend to have a couple or three CF7s running around this layout and the facing point spurs could be done just like you mentioned. They could work the difficult areas together.

    I've heard of that "flying drop" before, I thought that was something abandoned a long time ago for safety reasons.

    As for the questions, I am sure I'll have several more as time goes by. I definitely appreciate your and everyone's responses.

  9. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    OK now the way I do it is with one locomotive and 2 cabooses. When the train leaves the yard the loco is in the middle of the train and a caboose on each end. Now I model late 40s early 50s so I don't have radio communication. That means i can only have a limited number of cars as the engineer must be able to see caboose at all times. The train must stop at all RXR for a flagman to get off and stop traffic. Then the trains moves through crossing slowly so the brakeman can get back on. There are 2 crossings and then the train must reverse direction through a switch to get to district track where it goes through another crossing then the fun begins. The crew is responsible for having the correct car in the correct place in the train to make proper drops and pick ups. It is a very interesting operation. There are also some steep grades to deal with which requires leaving part of the train behind before going in or you will not be able to get out. It takes real thought. I have had one operating session with 3 other people but no one went to that area. They are looking forward to the next time for the challenge.
  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Okay, I finally decided to go with the layout. I am laying roadbed as we speak.

    wish me luck!
  11. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I like the plan after some of the minor modifications discussed above. Your mock up photos make it seem like it would be fun and visually appealing as well with those great structures. I am really impressed with your neat wiring work underneath the shelves. A good example for all of us!
  12. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thank you sir for the kind remarks. I'm back at it this morning. And really enjoying the work/fun.
  13. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    Good luck, Gary. I really like your layout. I think you don’t need a runaround for every spur if you like a switching challenge. I saw some old pictures of industrial areas in LA recently and compared to that, switching the spurs on your layout is relatively easy. Hope to see some pictures of your progress :wave: .
  14. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I'm really interested in that bracket shelving. Looking to do the same for my next layout. It looks like you have the benchwork flush with the wall and sitting on the top of bracket rail and bracket itself. How's the support on that? I've been trying to figure out how much rail is actually needed on the wall to distribute the weight on it. (ie: Use a rail just enough to go from 30" height to 48", or rail from floor to bottom edge of layout. make sense? I'm thinking the latter.)

    I was thinking of doing my layout at about 48" high, with a second bracket shelf at about 30" on the same rails to act as a workbench/desk. I came across these they say it can hold up to 300lbs.
  15. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    The first two product photos in your link look like what I have. I got mine at Home Depot. They were pretty expensive... I didn't even think to look them up on the internet for cheaper prices. In my opinion, those brackets make excellent supports for a shelf layout.

    I put them on 16" centers around the room because the wall studs are on 16" centers. I used 2.5 inch and 3 inch sheetrock screws to fasten them to the studs, I used 3 screws per bracket. The 16" centers may be overkill, but I figure that too many is better than not enough. If you put them on every other stud, that would be 32" between them, which seems too far. And if you used some other distance, then there wouldn't be a stud for mounting them too. Keep in mind that sometimes wall framing is done on 24" centers which would work also in my opinion.

    I used long pieces of shelf rail on the walls, don't remember the exact length, but I think you will do fine by using 24" pieces so they extend somewhat down below your 30" shelf. I made my long so I could put shelves at whatever height I wanted for storage.

    To have the layout butt up against the wall, you will have to cut each rail through the center of the slots, because when you attach the shelf bracket to the rail, the top of the bracket sits below the holes in the rails. This wasn't a big deal, just put a bracket in the rail before it is mounted, mark the top of the bracket on the rail, then cut the rail off.

    When mounting the rails/brackets, use a long level to make everything the same height. Also, you will have to do some "modifications" on the longer brackets because they are manufatured with a slight rise from back to front. At first, I was using a file to adjust the angle of the brackets, then I discovered that you could simply take a rag, grab ahold of the bracket, and put some weight on it, this will bend the rail in slightly and allow you to level the shelves. If you go too far, you can take a screw driver and pry the rail back out and try again. It takes some pretty good "oomph" to bend the rails like this, probably over 100 pounds.

    There is a thread here at the gauge with good discussion on this, I'll find it and post a link.
  16. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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