Trackplan Challenge

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Mountain Man, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Thankis, MJ. Much obliged for your thoughts and your help.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Managed to work in some doodle time... ;) :D

    Without any sidings, it looks a little sparse, but I did try to suggest where the wyes might fit. It depends on how long the trains are, but this location will give you a maximum of about two or two & a half feet if you go straight to the corner. Other configurations may give you more...

    The red arrows indicate where the track would decend at 2 - 3% to staging and a continuous run loop under the shelf at the top of the picture. Where the track is doubled in the lower right, I have elected to leave it open to allow for more interesting scenery and bridges where track crosses track.

    I have widened the shelves where there is access on both sides to allow for more scenery and "wandering" track. I have also increased the size of the area allowed for Origin and Terminus. Midpointville remains a small shelf, which would allow you to model the railway portion of town, and simply suggest the rest as needed.

    I hope this triggers some more discussion - I am having fun with this... Now I need to get some real planning software running...! ;)


    Attached Files:

  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I just had some thoughts about the wyes. Although in your other thread you talk about representing a poor narrow gauge line, there are very, very basic "armstrong" turntables that existed all over the place in both the US and Canada. If you are not modelling a specific prototype, there's no reason not to use one of these "low tech" turntables.

    Here's a picture of a European one, but you get the idea... turntable.JPG

  4. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    That plan is looking good!

    I have heard of - and seen photos of - something called a Laws turntable, braced by a frame and cables and muscle powered. It looks simple enough to be avaialable to the cash strapped lines, so I am (reluctantly) considering substituting three of those at Origin, Midpoint and Terminus. It just takes to @#$%&*! much room for those pesky wyes!

    Midpoint, BTW - probably to be named Superstition - was in real life equipped with a depot, a hotel on the other side of the crrek connected by a boardwalk - didn't anyone ever hear of flash floods? - and a passing siding with a small spur. There was a crude coal bunker, a water tower, a lineman's cabin and a tent. My plan is to use the extra spur to connect to a local mine which ships its ore to the loading point by aerial tramway. I am designiong the tramway at this time. I plan to have it actually transport stuff up and down the mountain,and I think I have that part figured out! :)

    The really useful thing about using one of these turntables at midpoint is that it would fit easily into the spur line for the helper loco, enabling it to be turned in between assignments on the final 6% climb to the gold mines at terminus.

    Interested to see what else you come up with.

    i have been playing with XTrkCad, trying to get a better feel for planning with it, but it still feels very awkward and I constantly make mistakes - meaning I need a lot more practice!

    Thanks for all you are doing. I realy appreciate it. :thumb:
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Didn't have much time over the weekend, but will try and do a few more sketches this week. With respect to turntables, why not mix it up a bit - put a turntable in where there's not much room, and leave the wyes where possible. One spot that might easily take the wye is the "upper right" corner, as you may be able to extend a leg out to the right and/or inside the landforms.

  6. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I thought about leaving the wye at the origin, the oldest town historically, and the one that has a connect to the D&RGS mainline. It can be laid out right through the town, as this what happened historically in many towns.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I agree that the wye could become an interchange as well, as was prototypical with many railroads. The easiest place to do it would still be in the upper right.

    I would substitute a turntable for at least one wye, just for variety.

    I have played with XTrkCAD, but also found it had a steep learning curve. That is rather irrelevant now, as I have three Macs at home... hamr. I am going to have to find some Mac compatible planning software.

  8. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Level real estate was at a steep premium in the mountain gold towns, so a turntable there would be sensible, as well as a turn table at the midpoint in the canyons, enabling helper engines to be turned for their next assist.

    Somewhere I saw an ad for Mac trackplanning software, and it looked a lot easier to use than XTC. I'll see if I can find it again.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    There's nothing that says a wye has to be on level ground - as long as the turnouts are not bent over a change is grade, you should be fine. But a little rickety old "armstrong" TT would be a good substitute.

    Could you tell me more about "Terminus"? Can the tracks extend past there, or is it truly "the end of the line". It will make a difference how the loop back for continuous run appears - or I suppose it can be eliminated. It may also take the storage tracks with it if it disappears, but not necessarily...

  10. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Purgatory, currently the tentative name for the terminus town ( CRiiple Creek historically), became a stepping off point for mines further up the mountain slopes, eventually giving birth in real life to The Gold Belt Line, built to service the higher mines and beyond as a wholely-owned subsidiary of the F&CCRR.
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That's good news, as trains leaving Purgatory/Terminus can then go to staging, and trains from staging can be "coming down for the mountain". It can also be run as a true end point, with trains being turned and sent back the way they came.

    I am going to sketch some more when I can find time. I may have to resurrect the old Pentium I to do some planning...!

  12. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    coal trains will also be coming in from "south" - the origin town, on their way to the various industries and stops along the way, and to feed the mahcinery of the gold towns, although a continous loop is going to be tricky. Perhaps a small hidden staging yard at the origin end as well for coal, bulk lumber, bulk supplies and so forth to "arrive" on before being manifested to various destinations?
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I am thinking about having "double ended" staging on a lower level, taking advantage of the continuous runnning loop. If continuous run is really not desired, then I agree that a small staging yard at each end would be a good idea.

  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    MJ: I was thinking of the way you had it laid out in a G. Continuous loop would mean bactracking all the way around to the origin terminal, right?

    Looking at what you laid out initially, it looks feasible; I just hadn't thought of it in terms of continuous loop. Truthfully, I think cont loop would be more functional and allow for a more realistic "appearance" of loads and empties at either end, if it can be worked in.
  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The only caveat (if you want to call it that) is in order to give the appearance of a true point-to-point is that you'll have to hide the return loop. If the towns are supposed to really be the end of the line, you have to leave town the same way you came in... ;)

    If however, the layout represents (for example) town B, C, and D of the real life (or imagined) railroad between A and E, then there is no problem. Staging at either end or on the return loop represents towns A and E.

    So I guess the question is whether Origin and Terminus are equivalent to B and D, or A and E...! :)

    But track that doubles back can be hidden a number of ways, not the least of which is to actually hide it in a tunnel or some other covered way. It can also be visually separated. That is what I would recommend for you - especially given the chance to use some spectacular mountain/canyon scenery to do it. What do you think of Malcolm Furlow's work? It is also possible to use buildings and so on (this is the "Art Curren" approach), but given your setting I can't see it working well.

    I will try to work in the staging under the top wall (i.e. the wall at the top of the diagram), allowing for double sided scenery along the right, with Terminus in the middle of the "G" and Origin at the left as you walk in.

    I may have to draw/scan this the old fashioned way, as my plans for computer software are not coming together as I'd like... :(

  16. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Ok - I've heard that when all else fails, fall back on the prototype! :)

    This is based on the opriginal Florence & Cripple Creek, s-o-o-o...

    Florence (origgin) had connections west and east as well as south to the coal mines and north to CC.

    CC had a southern connection to Florence, the F&CC, and a western line upwards to later mines ghigher up to the west. Later,thjere were also lines to the est that eventually rached Denver and Colorado Springs, but I'm staying pretty much late 1890's, so those don't apply too much and I'd rather stasy primarily with a line based on the F&CC.

    If I have all this steraight in my head, and I'm not so sure that I do without a diagram in front of me, there should be ample justification for tracks leading "off-stage" at either end, with the primary focus the day-to-day point-to-point operations of the modeled railroad.

    I had a kind of real crazy thought the other day - copuld someone actually end a track against a cribbed retaining wall that swung inward to allow cars to be sghuntwed oof stage onto a hidden staging? Seems to me it wouldn't be hard to do - a switch motor and a small spring would do it, and the track could be easily camouflaged to disguise it.Track comes up to crib wall where it encounters solid railway tie bumper, which is attached to crib wall but sits on track. Wall swings in along with bumper, cars enter, or whole train - max at the time was maybe five - six ore cars and caboose in those days - swings shut and full or empty train is now out of sight and ready for something else, or even on a long lower return loop to become another train at the other end, or cars could uncouple and sit in small astaging area hiddeen under mountain side or something. Confuse things even more with a few structures and other set dressing and...? Like I say - a very crazy concept.
    You're looking for Mac software, right? Let me see if I can find my way back to that Mac site. I don't remember if it had a free demo or not, but a lot of those trackplan sites do.
  17. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

  18. zedob

    zedob Member


    The Goldbelt line had two ballon loops. One in Goldfield and the other at Midway, so if you want to use them you have the prototype's permission. The F&CC had a wye in Cripple Creek, but no turntables. In fact, I haven't found any mention of any TTs on the F&CC, the Colorado Springs & CC District RR, or the Midland Teminal. All used wyes, but there were also a lot of passenger trains on all three RRs, so I guess they pulled in, did a 3-point turn and hauled butt down the hill.

    BTW, that's such a great area to model. If you like standard, narrow guage, traction and Colorado the CC District is it.:thumb: It's too bad the place is a pit now. No, literally, it's becoming a big pit mine. When I went up there in the 80's the area was still pretty much the same as it was 60 yrs ealier, but there is a big pit and leaching operation going on up there right now that has wiped out the north side of Squaw Mtn just north of Victor and a lot of the old roadbeds are disappearing.:cry:
  19. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Thanks for those links. The overview is good, and I'll have to spend a bit of time reading the other web sites to see what will work.


    Thanks for that extra prototype info. Too bad about the mine :(. That's "progress", I guess... ;)

  20. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Past tense, Zedob. That whole area has disappeared. There is a huge auto bridge to by-pass the tailings pile, which has reached the satus of a mountain itself. The only mine unchanged is probably the Molly Kathleen, which makes the hulk of it's money off of tourism. Neat tour, too!

    CC alone would be a good project, with it's six RR's and an electric trolley line to boot. I knew about the Gold Belt Line encompassing Bull Mountain and all and even as far as Altman. At the zenith of operations there were 400 gold mines going full blast!

    I fell in love with the area the first time I drove the Phantom Canyon Road to Victor and Cripple Creek. CC has been ruined by the Casinos, whose huge buildings dominate the skyline and the entire town. Vixtor, oddly enough, remains virtually unhanged.

    I plan to use F&CC as my basis, but it isn't completely protoypical because I also want to pay homage to the ingenuity and determination of the track builders and others by including a number of well known icons in the layout, and I want to take a few liberties as well, so it will be freelance based on prototype F&CC.

    The really interesting thing, however, is that after a century of miniing, two mines are still in operation. The richest find in America...

Share This Page