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Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Quinn222, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    One square = 1 ft. HO scale. The straight line across the top will actually be a yard, I didn't put in all the tracks. Any opinions, suggestions etc. would be appreciated. I have no idea what the elevations are going to be. Where track might go up and where it will go down. On the lower part of the picture I thought I might take the black track to the outside and the blue inside and then have the black running on a level graqde all the way with the blue going up to a 4" height and then back down. But I'm not sure where.

  2. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Let me get this straight:

    -Two loops, black and blue.

    -One connection between the loops.

    -Yard on the black loop.

    -One reversing connection on the black loop.

    Operationally (or just for running trains), this is a bad arrangement. Trains leaving the yard can't use the reverse loop to turn without backing up. A train transferring from the black loop to the blue loop can't transfer back without backing up.
  3. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    Can you point out where or offer a solution? I followed the plan around and there are two reversing loops and the black and blue connect in two places. I'm not thrilled with the plan, what do you suggest to improve it?
  4. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    Don't know if it of interest to you but I am working on a plan that has two stacked reversing loops. I wanted to be able to run one train through both loops or split them and have two separate tracks for two trains. The plan I can up with might be helpful. My plan is 26 & 30" radius so I scaled it down to 18 & 21" and flipped it. Feel free to use all or none of it as it hasn't been built or tested.

    Of course the passing tracks, turntable & yard are not needed for just running two trains.

  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You do have 2 reversing loops, one on the end of the black loop near the yard lead. There is a second formed by the crossover track joining the blue line to the black line in the lower left corner of the layout. Your problems are going to be finding cross overs that will be at the correct angles for all of the places you have the 2 tracks crossing. The angles wouldn't matter if there was a grade separation between the blue and black tracks, but some of the crossings are too close to switches connecting the two tracks to get a separation without totally impossible grades. I think this layout is easily fixed.

    First, if the switch that starts the reverse loop in the black track at the end of the yard lead is the same size as the switch inside the reverse loop that starts the blue track, I think it will line up to allow a commercial crossover to fit in between the 2 switches. If a commercial crossover won't fit there, the easy fix is to move the start of the blue track just outside of the reverse loop.

    The next fix, is to take the crossover connection between the blue line and the black line out of the plan at the lower left side of the layout. Then remove the black line from the left end of the table that runs roughly parrallel to the "free space", and instead make the black track loop around into a reverse loop where you have the blue track shown joining thew black line.

    Now what you should have is the black line going from a reverse loop at the end of the yard to a reverse loop at the other end of the layout with the blue line just coming off the black line at the reverse loop near the yard. Now we can have the full length of the table for the blue line to gain elevation to cross over the black line and then the other side for it to come back down. Leave the black line on table grade, and start the blue line climbing just past the crossing or right off of the switch if it is moved out of the return loop. Redirect the left side reverse loop a little so that the blue line runs inside the black line to allow room for the blue line to gain elevation. If I am figuring correctly, you should have about 4 feet from where the blue line comes off of the black line to where it turns and then another 6-8 feet where it can run along the inside of the black line before it would have to cross over the black line. I think that grade might be a little steep, but workable.

    You could then use a tunnel for the black line to go through under the blue line, or a bridge for the blue line to go over the black line, or a combination there of. The blue line will probably cross the black line 2 or 3 times at that end of the layout. Ultimately the blue lin will go around the left end of the layout, and the summit will be in the middle of the curve at the left end. The blue line will then descend to meet the black line again back at the right end reverse loop. I would make the blue line move away from the "free space" walkway and back towards the back drop and then sweep out and perhaps rejoin the black line in the "ten o'clock" position of the right reverse loop with a curved turnout. Essentially, the curved switch would be located where you are showing a crossing at the 10 o'clock position of the right reverse loop.

    By making a big sweeping "S" curve off the end of the table to go in close to the back drop and then back to the right side reverse loop, you leave and open area between the "free space" access and the blue line where you can bring off a switch to an industrial switching area in front of the blue line right at the front of the benchwork in the access area across from the yard.

    By the way, if a curved switch won't fit without putting the tracks too close to the edge, you could put a #6 tunout anywhere that is convenient along the left side of the right reverse loop and use the curved route as partof the reverse loop and the straight route leading into the blue line.
  6. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    Thanks Russ, I'll try your suggestions tonight and see what I can come up with.
  7. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    I tried to draw it with your suggestiosn Russ, is this what you meant?


    I think this has possibilities. I'm concerned about the fact that the blue is pretty much just an oval. I suppose though with spurs and industries that will not matter. Should I continue the black around on the other side of the divider as well do you think?

    Thanks for the help, Christina
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    That is close, on the right side of the layout where the blue line comes off the black line behind the back drop (center drop?) the blue line should come off to the inside so it can begin to climb immediately before crossing over the black line at the other return loop. I think some elevation changes with a few gentle "S" curves, and perhaps some rocks or tunnels to hide part of the blue line will make it look less like an oval.

    Also the Blue line won't work crossing the black line at grade near the yard because you will have to hand lay a crossing to get that tight an angle as well as a double curved crossing. I would put the switch connecting the blue line to the black line on the outside of the right side reverse loop right at the end of the walk in access space.

    You would also have room to put a couple of sidings/industries off the black line in the back possibly if the blue line ran over closer to the center scenery divider. I would not continue the black line in front of the divider, I would utilize the open space in front of the blue line just to the bottom of the walk in access space for industries. Immediately after you come off the reverse loop on the blue line by the walk in access as the blue line starts to climb up to go over the black line at the end of the layout, you would bring a siding into an industrial area in that open area. Those industries would be kept at table top level while the blue line started climbing behind them.

    I just copied your drawing into "Microsoft Paint" and made the changes I was suggesting above, and tried to send it as an attachment in an email from your profile page, but I can't attach anything. I have the result saved in a file on my computer. I also sent a second email giving you my email address. If you just send a reply to either one, I'll reply with the attachment. I hope the drawing is somewhat decipherable. I have enough trouble drawing with a pen or pencil, drawing with a mouse is almost impossible!
  9. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    Like this? The red would be where I'd have spurs etc. (haven't planned those out, I just stuck some lines in.)


  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    That's it. I think that gives you the maximum operating potential while still leaving room to do structures and scenery. Some of the track work may have to move about a bit to fit things in, if it isn't exactly to scale.
  11. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    Is there access to the layout at the bottom of the drawing? Otherwise it looks like a 5' reachover to get to the back tracks.
  12. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    Yes, there is access all the way around except along the top, which is against a wall. It's half of a garage. I'm going to try and place the track so that there is no more than a 24" reach as much as I can.
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Although you have a reverse loop at each end of the black liine already, you might want to add a "leg" in the upper right to complete a wye at the entrance to the yard. While not strictly necessary, it would be useful so that trains can "head in" to the yard from either side of the reversing loop at the top right.

  14. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    Thanks Andrew, that's a good idea.
    The biggest problem I see now is that by starting the blue line so much further down the table I not longer have the 16 feet I need to go up 4" at 2%. I'm going to have to play with it and see how it works out. I'm wondering if I could take the blue line around twice. That would give me plenty of length for a 2% grade up and then run it level for a while and then a 2% grade back down. It would cross over the reverse loop by the yard several times and run along near the backdrop for a bit before moving out and crossing to the outside to begin a descent outside itself in the walk in before rejoining the black at grade near the suggested wye.
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The problem with trying to go around twice is you won't gain enough elevation the first time to clear the tracks you will have to cross on the first loop.

    What you can do is raise the yard and the right side reverse loop by 2 inches off the benchwork, but level. The after the switch at the end of the reverse loop, start the black line going down, so that the other reverse loop is at table top level. If the black line is going down out of the yard end reverse loop while the blue line is climbing out of the reverse loop, you can keep both grades at 2% or less and still gain your grade separation where the blue line crosses the black line at the end of the tables.

    Just remember that anywhere you put a switch, you have to level out the roadbed so the switch is not put in any sort of bind. Also any sidings where you would want to work an industry has to be level so that the cars won't roll when uncoupled.

    Note, a switch can be place on a grade, if the grade is perfectly flat at a constant angle so that there is no twist in the switch. With this in mind the red stub siding at the lower right corner could come out of a switch on the down grade, and then level out the siding after the track leaves the switch. the red siding that leaves the track at one end and rejoins at the other reverse loop might be a bit trickier because you are going to have to change elevation without having all of the sidings on a slope so that you can drop cars and not have them roll away. I think what I would reccomend there is to run the siding off the mainline from one end or the other, and then put in a run around track and you idustry sidings off of it.
  16. Quinn222

    Quinn222 Member

    Thanks Russ, I like that better than going around twice, that would have made things way too crowded.
  17. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The turnouts don't have to be level per se they just have to be "not bent" over the crest of a hill or forced into the concave section at the bottom. They can be on a slope - just a straight and true slope ;) :)


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