Yard that needs to curve 90 degrees

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Gary S., Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Comments please....

    HO scale shelf layout, 40 foot cars and 2 axle diesels, min radius 20 inches, Code 83 Atlas track

    I need a yard to make a 90 degree curve to get the necessary length. Curved turn-outs would be great, but I am considering using #4 turnouts, all left handers to get the arrangement shown in the drawing. I have layed this out on the shelves to see if it is a go... it works fine, except there is a bit of "snakie-ness" as the cars go through the turn-outs, straight-curve-straight-curve-straight-curve.

    On the drawing, trains will enter the yard on the "mainline" track #1, the engine will escape by coming back over the crossover to track#2, then pull the cars out of track #1 and push them into track #3, #4, or #5.

    I would rather have the "mainline" and "escape" track on the front side of the shelf, but then this puts the entering train going through all the turn-outs, around the sharpest curve, and on the shortest yard track.

    Anyone see any problems here? Or a better solution?

    Attached Files:

  2. webmaster

    webmaster Member

  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I made this on RTS. it should work, you just need to use Flextrack after the switches. Then it should all straigten out.

    Attached Files:

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Is there any way you can start the yard further "up"? That would allow you to use the standard approach to building the "ladder". This would mean more curved track, but you would not be relying on the turnouts to also make the curve for you, if you see what I am saying...

  5. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    I think Green Elite Cab has the answer - and it's called a pinwheel ladder. Pinwheel ladders have been featured in some more recent layouts and track plans. They do save space. The only drawback I see is that you will be unlikely to be to do any uncoupling (save of the 0-5-0 lift and clear) on the curved portion, and automatic coupling on the curve will be questionable too.

    You can safely cut back the straight parts of Atlas turnouts beyond the points and frogs if it will help your track flow better - just like you would trim flex track.

    Walters/Shinohara make some nice Code 83 curved turnouts, but they are quite a bit more expensive than Atlas.

    yours in curved yarding
  6. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Two Axle diesels? :eek: :eek:

    like the EMD model 40? :confused: :D
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    oops, I meant to say 4 axle diesels!

    Andrew, I could extend the yard further "up" on the drawing, but would eat into my industrial space and mainline run.

    Fred, I can't quite make out the diagram of the pinwheel yard. I saw that in a jack armstrong book but have misplaced my copy. Also, glad you mentioned about the uncoupling on the curves.

    Maybe curved turnouts are the answer.
  8. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    I think you want to leave the incoming train on track 2, rather than foul the mainline. I would also make your second switch a double slip switch, and extend a lead track up the layout for the switcher to use to further avoid fouling the main. The switcher would then set out the cars on tracks 3,4,5. I would also use Peco curved switches (if available in code 83), I love them (I'm using code 100).
  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That's often said in books, but pay attention to context. That assumes the mainline is "through" - that it continues beyond the yard. In an end-of-line stub yard, it's not a concern. Essentially, none of the tracks is a mainline.
  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Exactly... it is more of a pseudo-mainline that theoretically extends to another line and is the source of incoming cars at an interchange.

    The more I learn about these things, the more i realize I don't know very much.:oops:
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That may be true, but if it is the only way in and out of the yard, you might want to consider a lead track that can be used for switching, and does not have to be cleared if another train is arriving/departing.

    Gary - can you show us in the context of your overall layout where this yard will go?

  12. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member


    I will post a scaled drawing of my shelves and what I am thinking. I definitely need help with ideas. Hopefully I can get something done this afternoon and post it.

  13. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Okay, here is a scaled drawing of what I have. We had previously discussed my layout back when it was going to be two levels. Once I started on the shelves, the thought of having a helix just became too much for me, considering this is my first layout. So, I now have only one level.

    I am doing a freelance shortline railroad that is connected to other railroads on each end. This is industrial traffic only. I won't have steam. Will be using Geeps and 40 foot cars, maybe 1960's era? Possibly 70's? As for a theme, I recently found some "Texas Central" rolling stock at a show and this sparked my interest. I could freelance a Texas Central shortline. My trains would be, say, 10 cars long so about 6 to 7 feet?

    And, I really don't know much about this stuff although I am learning....

    What i figure is to haul cars back and forth from the interchanges to my industries located around the layout.

    Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. Any layout elements which could be put in would be great, industrial track arrangements, the interchange yards, ideas for the era, operation, anything...

    Attached Files:

  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Just some thoughts...

    If you moved the yard up to the 15 foot section (or even across the bridge to the 21' section) you would be able to use it as a operational yard that made up trains to go in each direction.

    You could then tuck a nice industrial sector with lots of tight turns (and maybe a dedicated switcher) into that "L" shape in the lower left.

    Did you plan on running this little yard as a yard, or was it really staging?

    Again, just thinking "out loud" so to speak (write...:confused: ;))

  15. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    The yard was going to be for staging, but I had been entertaining the idea of moving it up to the 15 foot area and use the end as an industrial area. Even if it was moved up, it could still be used as staging for an operating session I suppose.

    Perhaps you could make a rough drawing of your thoughts? Pretty please...:)
  16. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    If this is to be a staging yard only, then none of the advice usually given matters, because it's for classification yards. You won't need a dedicated lead, probably not an engine-escape crossover, nothing but body tracks. In a classification yard, arrival tracks need only be as long as the typical train - it's possible to handle a longer train than any one yard track, as long as the overall car capacity of the yard is sufficiently large. Staging tracks have to be long enough for all trains without dividing them. Period.
  17. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    This works for me and gets my vote.


  18. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I do not have a drawing yet, but this is what I am thinking...

    Split the 15 foot section by running some sort of view block along the length, far enough out from the wall that you could fit two or three tracks behind. Put at least one cross over near the end to allow for an engine escape.

    In front of the viewblock, you can have your "operational" yard. If you have a double track coming across the bridge, then you will be able to use one of them for the switching lead (with appropriate placement of cross-overs).

    On the "L", you can create a little industrial area with tight turns and so on. I would run the track across at a bit of an angle to make it more interesting.

    On the other side, you could do the same sort of thing with a view block, but in front have your interchange with another railroad.

    I hope this makes sense. Anyone else with track planning experience, please add your comments!

  19. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    You currently have two staging areas (fiddle yards), one at each end of your layout. That is a great idea. Putting a single switch yard in the middle (24' section) and having industries at the edges is also a great idea, and that is probably what I would do. But whatever you decide, you can always scenic your staging areas if that is what you want, and you can also use those areas in an operating session, complete with loco runarounds, or turntables, or anything else that strikes your fancy. You make up the rules, and don't worry if no one else has ever done it before.

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