SP in Texas track plan and operating plan, what do you think?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by hubba90bubba, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. hubba90bubba

    hubba90bubba New Member

    What do you think about this track plan? It’s supposed to represent SP running through the outskirts of a big city in southeast Texas in the 90:ies. The plan is for an N scale layout.


    The black track is SP and the red track is an industrial railroad for the chemical plant. The interchange at the bottom of the plan is with a short line serving an industrial park. Minimum radius on the SP: 14 inch, minimum radius on the industrial railroad: 11 inch. There will only small cosmetic grades. The left entrance to staging will be screened by trees and the right entrance by a highway overpass.

    I’m planning to store the layout in one place and have it set up for operation in another. It will come apart in two pieces, the scenic and staging, for easier moving and for me to easier be able to work on the layout. My initial plan is for the staging area to be in the corner of a room after setup, making it a bit difficult to reach during operation. I might rethink it and rotate the layout 900. The staging will be passive though so I think it could work having it in the corner.

    I’m thinking of operating the layout as follows. There will be through trains on the SP, general freight and intermodal, running from staging to staging. A SP local, working as a turn, is going to run from staging (entering from upper left) to the siding switching the rock crusher, the warehouse and the interchange with the short line. SP is also going to have a hauler coming from a SIT yard (staging, entering from upper left) delivering empty cars to the chemical plant and picking up outbound loads (chemicals in tank cars, chemicals in covered hoppers and plastic pellets in covered hoppers) before heading back to the SIT yard. The chemical plant will have it’s own in house switcher spotting the empty cars and pulling the cars when they’ve been loaded. On the SP I’m going to run both 6 axle and 4 axle units. The chemical plant switcher will be a GP38-2 with truckmounted couplers.

  2. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I see a 3-way switch at the left end of staging, and many other turnouts have a continuous curve on the diverging route. What brand of track is this... Fleischmann?
  3. hubba90bubba

    hubba90bubba New Member

    The layout is drawn with Atlas Right track software, but I won't use their tracks. I'll be using Peco track and turnouts except for the 3-way switch, which is made by Fleischmann. The diverging route of the turnouts I’m going to use has a radius of at least 18 inch. The Peco turnouts have been tested thoroughly, and I’ve had no problems even with long 6 axle engines. As the Fleischmann turnout has a geometry that resembles the Peco track, I’ll think it will work too.

  4. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

    I would change the rock crusher to a rock distributor, and aggregate plant that recieves carloads of rock and distributes them to construction sites. Much more common around chemical plants than a crusher. The crushers are mostly in the San Antonio-Austin area and the chemical plants along the Gulf coast.

    You can use gondolas, hoppers cars (large twin hoppers) or ore jennies for hauling the rock. the SP used all three.

  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That's the advantage of European-style turnout geometry: they don't take up as much space for a given closure radius. The disadvantage is that they worsen the S-curve in crossovers compared to straight-frog turnouts. Have you tested the Peco's in such a setup?
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think I would move the programing track to the outside of the layout rather than inside the staging yard where you have to reach over to program. In fact, I think I would remove the programing track from the layout entirely and make it a separate plug in either on a shelf on the wall, or a small portable table that could be rolled up to the layout, plugged in, locos programed, and then the programing track put away. You could even make it a foot lower than the table height and roll it under the layout for storage when not in use.

    Regarding Triplex's concerns of "S" curves in cross overs, we have found in our ho scale modular club that using Peco "Longs" for crossovers solves the problem of "S" curves in that situation. We still have an "S" curve, but we have found that passenger trains going through at slow speeds will handle the "S" curves without problems.

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