Working Industry

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Pitchwife, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    I have been working on my quarry layout (see came up against something that I have never heard or read of before. In the articles in MR I read about the operations of some of the most gorgeous layouts you can imagine, picking up a load of ore cars here and delivering a load of logs there and so forth.
    My question is where do the loaded cars come from and do they get unloaded at their destination. Does anyone have a setup where empty cars get loaded and loaded cars get unloaded.
    I can see a box car pulling up to a freight station and then pulling out again, presumably with a fresh load. Or a passenger train stopping at a station for passengers to get on or off, but what about gondolas and other open cars?
    I was working out how to handle the cars in my quarry when I realized that I had no real way to load them. Are all of the mine, logging and other similar industries I see in the layouts nothing more than a diorama or is there some way to actually run an operation like that?
    If they don't actually work then why worry about clearances, switches and other details that are important to the running of the actual railroad as long as they appear to work?
    I understand that there are limitations to running prototypical layouts and if I am stepping on anyone's toes I appologize, but how does everyone else handle this? :confused: :confused: :confused:
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah


    There are two ways this can be done.
    You can have removable loads. This can be done by gluing a block of (say) wood under the mid-point of a coal load. To remove, push down on one end, the other pops up and it can be picked up. Load is then moved back to the loading point.
    The other method is called "loads in-empties out pairs". You build two industries -- mine and power plant. Each has a pair of sidings that disappear into them. The mine sidings are connected to the power plant so that when a string of loaded hoppers goes into the powerplant, it can be picked up at the mine. The empties that go into the mine are retrieved from the power plant. You need some very reliable hidden trackage to make this work. Sometimes it can be done with a short piece of track through a partition/backdrop/divider. For best appearances, you need two identical trains -- one full, one empty.
    John Armstrong illustrates this in some of his track planning books.
  3. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    The location of the quarry would make it difficult to use the removable load method, also it would take some very imaginative trackwork to use the "empty in full out" method. You have given me some things to think about though, where before I was drawing a total blank. That's the nice thing about The Gauge. It may not totally solve your problem, but with the good input you can get ideas to solve them yourself. :)
  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I remember someone telling me about a coal operation, in HO, where live loads were dumped into the hoppers at the mine, and a working rotary dump emptied the cars at the coal dock, into an awaiting coal ship.
    The coal in the ship was then dumped back into the tipple at the mine to repeat the process.
  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    David's thoughts are practical ones. Along the lines of Pete's reply, the club I belonged to had operating loading/unloading of coal hoppers. The concept was very cool, but in practice we wound up abandoning it. There is (was) a line of hoppers sold which featured opening hopper doors, they were kept closed with a spring arraingement of some sort I cannot remember (this was a pet project of another member) and they opened when over a ramp installed between the rails. Sorry, don't know who made these cars. Anyway, the mine tipple had a bin which was accessable from behind and it was loaded with "coal" A pipe with an auger in it would bring the coal from the bin and deposit it in the hopper. This part worked well. Operation of the mine was fun, with a yard for empties and loads. The coals destination was a power plant and the track at the plant had said ramp in place. The coal would come thru the hopper doors and empty into a 2 litre bottle screwed into a bottle cap with a hole drilled in it and mounted below the roadbed. This worked fairly well, and we had it set up so kids could operate during shows, they loved it. The problem was that the hopper doors didn't always close well, and a trail of coal would be left along the mainline, and of course would at some point prevent a turnouts points from closing correctly, resulting in derailments, which is why the operation was abandoned. Removable eoads would be my choice.

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