Track planning using prototype track charts?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by iis612, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Has anyone here done this before?
    I am going to, after I figure out what falls in the name of compression.

  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    I'm not sure what you mean... are you talking about actual track configurations, or engineering department drawings of various track structures?

    I've used fire insurance maps to get the lay of the land for several track plans I've drawn, and some historical topo maps, as well as railway car control diagrams.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Matt: I have the privilege of operation on this layout:
    The major station is a model of Windermere in the Lake District. I suspect it's been shortened a bit* and the engine shed area is much larger than the original and moved. We do have all the track formation of the original and operate (currently) the summer 1953 timetable.
    Windermere takes up a full room in the basement while the other room has a big roundy-roundy with a set of double-track junctions (based on Lostock). There are 3 "reverse" loops stacked under Windermere.
    * we can run round 8 car trains; I expect the prototype could take 12 cars.
  4. iis612

    iis612 Member

    They are the engeneering charts that show everything relating to the track, grade, roadbed, curvature, switch types, signal location and type, etc. I would scan a sample page, but it is too big for my scanner.

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I have a CNR maintenance of way book from the 1930s that lists these kinds of things. They also show how to stack spare ties and store lengths of rail, among other details.

    I would say I use these as a guide, but I do not (cannot?) stick to them because of the space required to do it true to scale... Not many people have room for a #20 turnout...!

  6. iis612

    iis612 Member

    It is to be devoutly wished that we all could have the space for a #20 turnout.
    These charts are the coolest thing since silly putty. They even show the ballast type, and the date of the last ballast cleaning/addition. Granted, mine is a 1984 chart, but it is the same line, rail, bridges (except for a highway overpass), and signals from the rebuild of the line in 1920. Which is perfect for my 1940's layout.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    A correction to my post. Mike tells me that his model of Windermere is as close to scale size as he could make it. He may have compromised to use Peco turnouts, but the length is prototype, in a 22' room.
    The model of the rest of England, in the other room, is not to scale.
  8. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

    I try to do this as much as possible. the key is to identify what is critical and then to get the "pieces" in the right relative position. You will have to make lots of compromises on the number of tracks and their length, but if you get most of the stuff in the right order you can make something that operates fairly close to the real thing and that people familiar with the area will recognize or will at least compare favourably with photos.

    Dave H.
  9. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    It's been awhile since this threads last posting but...

    I would (I will be) combining topographic maps with the charts. Depending on where you are modeling you will want to see what "if any" town sites and so on you have on the layout. So besides the raw but complete railway data you have there is the human factor. I'm sure that your charts show grade crossings and that's a good indication of where the population would be?

    What is the Road you are going to model BTW?

    I'm doing the C&O from Russell through the Big Sandy River valley. Don't know how far south I'll be able to go in Kentucky but I just did a bit of calculating...

    The Helix I'm going to need 90' of track to go from one level to the next and I have 3 operating levels (1 Staging). So not including the Staging level it's 180' of track at $5 a segment (3' atlas C100) 60 pieces or $300. I remember the store I worked for used to get them in boxes of 100 so I may just go with that. I'm sure I'll be able to use the other 40 pieces of flex on the layout. I'll need at least 11+ pieces for the visible main line then there is sidings/yards/industrial spurs to say nothing of the staging area.. I'm thinking it's just as well I get a box (could work out nearly perfect for the entire layout).

    Then there is the rest of the Helix hardware.

    I want to model the C&O and the Ohio River front as it passes by Russel before turning south on the Big Sandy. One of my difficulties is that the yard at Russell is on the Ohio and the helix is at the other end (East Bound out of Russell). If I put the Big Sandy there I can't have the yard. To put the Big Sandy where it should be the Helix will be right there.. :(

    The staging yard/trackage represents the C&O as it junctions between the two subs.

    East bound Staging (Russell Sub)
    ..Russell Sub (Cincinnati east to Russell => Kanawa Sub

    West bound Staging (Kanawa Sub)
    ..Kanawa Sub (Russell to Junction with Big Sandy Sub + Interchange NW)

    Big Sandy Sub (Kanawa Sub South to Elkhorn City). C&O line is south of Ohio and East of Big Sandy Rivers

    So to recap...
    As the C&O heads east out of Russell and on to the Big Sandy...

    I have the Helix..
    - Coming up from Staging (Kanway Sub/NW Interchange)
    - Going up to (Parts farther south on the Big Sandy Sub)

    +Big Sandy and or the Ohio River (Which the C&O does not cross)

    The river front and the Helix kind of bugger things up a bit. As the rails don't cross over till much farther south and the river plants the railway where it is. As it heads south the rail is on the west side of the river. So as the line exits the Helix on the second level the river is at the back of the layout.

    Back (Eastern Most) to Front (Western Most) C&O and NW pass north/south through this area

    West Virginia (NW Territory)
    ..Helix Tunnel portal
    ..NW Mainline
    ..Eastern Bank of the Big Sandy River

    Kentucky/West Virginia Border (Big Sandy River Center)

    Kentucky (C&O Territory)
    ..Western Bank of Big Sandy River (Kentucky)
    ..Big Sandy Sub (main)
    ..Front (control panel)

    That just gave me a thought. I could model the NW on the Eastern bank and run it down through the Helix to connect with the west bound staging..

    Oi... Lots to think about. Any thoughts or Ideas I would gladly welcome them...

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