Author Topic: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw  (Read 3511 times)

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wm3798

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Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« on: July 14, 2008, 07:26:21 PM »
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Houston, we have a problem...

I've been working on getting my car cards and waybills situated, and I'm really pleased with the scheme I've come up with, but in the process of running the trains over my temporary track plan, I've discovered that my final plan has a pretty significant flaw.

The staging yard I've installed is part of the permanent plan, and the idea was to have trains enter the layout from either the east or west, then traverse the layout, and re-enter the same staging yard at the opposite end of staging...  Run-through staging, I believe it's called.

The problem is that a westbound train that leaves the layout will re-emerge at the east end with the same consist and same power.  The trouble is that there's usually a power change at Hagerstown, where Reading engines arriving from the east will be pulled and replaced with WM and/or N&W equipment for the trip to Connellsville.  This means that in order to put things back right, I'll have to do a power change in staging so the train will look right when it continues back onto the layout, again from the east.

What I really need is loop staging, where a train headed west goes into the fifth dimension at Connellsville, goes around a reverse loop, then comes back onto the layout as if it were arriving FROM Connellsville, and likewise at the east end.  This makes it physically a lot easier to run trains, because a train returning from Rutherford could use the same consist as the train that left for the Reading during the last session.  It also makes it a lot easier to write waybills.  As an example, a car headed to, say, Allentown, would leave the layout going east, so it's next logical move would be to arrive from the east, headed west.  The way staging is currently designed, the car would be perpetually moving east, so every move on the waybill, save for any local switching, would have to be west to east.

On the other hand, and I have another hand, too..., coal traffic works fine for the through staging, because, generally speaking, loads always move east, and empties always move west...

In the perfect world, I would have through staging to work the coal traffic, and loops to handle the merchandisers.  The perfect world, unfortunately, has about 300 more square feet than I have to work with...  It's nominally possible to install some new approaches to additional staging (the temporary track actually provides for turnback staging, but only for the east end), but it would take some pretty major surgery to the layout.  If I'm tearing anything up, I'd also like to add more staging to represent the B&O interchange at Cherry Run, a real Hagerstown interchange for the N&W, and separate staging for the East Sub to Baltimore, and the Dutch Line to Gettysburg, York and Hanover...  I'm not asking much, am I?

If any of this makes any sense at all to you, I'd appreciate your thoughts...  I think what I really need is a 65' rancher with a full basement... :(

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 07:46:26 PM »
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Man I can't even begin to think how I will aproach staging. My layout will have three seperate carriers funneling cars eastward, but virtually nothing going west. The Worcester area intechanges with P&W, Guilford and Grafton & Upton. The Boston area excludes Guilford (operates only into Cambridge - too far north) and only one terminus yard (Beacon Park). While this isn't an issue for passenger trains (they all terminate at South Station and run to Worcester and back), I can't imagine how I will be able to create a run-through senario that would be both logical and realistic.

How far along are you in building? Will this be a deal-breaker?
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wm3798

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2008, 08:02:29 PM »
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Not a deal breaker, the problem is I had an idea about how staging would work when I started planning, but in practice, the operating sessions have pointed in another direction entirely.  The good news is the existing staging yard can function purely as the east end staging, and all I have to do is extend the temporary return loop to make it more permanent.  The trick will be finding a place for staging the west end.

But even that's not impossible, since the peninsula where the west end ties in has yet to be built.  I might be able to bury some trackage under Cumberland...  I need to accommodate fewer trains at the west end, so it looks to be do-able.  The key will be the elevations and grades getting in and out.

I'll just have John come down with his chain saw and hockey mask... he goes through major rebuilds about every other month or so... ;D

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

John

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2008, 08:13:39 PM »
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The trick will be finding a place for staging the west end.


Hey .. Gracie .. you know you always talked about your own apartment .. it's time ;)

AlkemScaleModels

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2008, 09:10:14 PM »
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Not a deal breaker, the problem is I had an idea about how staging would work when I started planning, but in practice, the operating sessions have pointed in another direction entirely.  The good news is the existing staging yard can function purely as the east end staging, and all I have to do is extend the temporary return loop to make it more permanent.  The trick will be finding a place for staging the west end.

But even that's not impossible, since the peninsula where the west end ties in has yet to be built.  I might be able to bury some trackage under Cumberland...  I need to accommodate fewer trains at the west end, so it looks to be do-able.  The key will be the elevations and grades getting in and out.

I'll just have John come down with his chain saw and hockey mask... he goes through major rebuilds about every other month or so... ;D

Lee

Lee,
Sounds like you've found a reasonable solution to your dilemma.

Is it possible to stage your trains so that a train that enters staging is not reused in that session?  If that's the case, then you could just live with your current arrangement.  To achieve this you might slow your fast clock and run fewer trains in a session.  That is an approach that I am taking on my layout.

If you do decide to "bury" the next staging yard under a peninsula, I would be very careful to insure that you have good access. I have found that hidden or hard to reach staging on a layout is rarely worth the trouble.  I'd make sure you can get your hands in there to re-rail, inspect and clean track.

I recently operated as a boomer on a wonderful layout with totally hidden staging. He had electronic sensors to detect trains and automated routing of turnouts. Foolproof right?  I picked my wireless throttle, hit the forward button and waited for my train to come out of the hidden staging. After a pregnant pause I asked the host if I had the right throttle. He verified that, and that I had all the yard switches set properly. All those were OK. Unfortunately, the decoders in the locos were programmed in reverse. The train had dutifully backed out of the staging track, derailed in the opposite yard ladder and thoroughly hosed up things for quite a while. The host had to crawl under the layout, remove several panels to rerail and find the errant cars. He was quite cheerful about it, while I felt like a hosehead. If I could have had an eyeball on the train, the mistake could have been easily avoided. This reinforces why I really think staging tracks should be accessible, even at the expense of mainline running.

BCK





up1950s

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2008, 09:13:27 PM »
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Quasi-duplicity . 2 trains with the same cars but different power . It would seem the train swapped power , but in-fact except for power its a double-ganger (sp)  leaving . It will cost volume of trains , but  " you can't always get what you want , but if you try sometimes , you just might find , you get what you need " .

sizemore

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2008, 10:58:12 PM »
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KISS method swap power. Add motive power stagining tracks. Add a crossover (which creates a reverse loop, somewhere underground), assuming that youre mains get close enough to do that.... 

I see a Red Door and I want it painted Black...no colors anymore I want it painted Black.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2008, 11:25:36 PM »
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I'm with sizemore, pull the thing out onto the staging "apron" and just 0-5-0 it.

asciibaron

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2008, 12:10:53 AM »
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I'm with sizemore, pull the thing out onto the staging "apron" and just 0-5-0 it.

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wm3798

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2008, 12:14:25 AM »
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Bernie,
Believe me, underground staging was my last option, but it ended up being my only option.  To make it as functional as possible, I have all the turnouts visible from the aisle through windows cut in the fascia.  In the finished plan, there are 4 tracks pointed in each direction, but the way it's set up now, I have a reversing loop that cuts off of track one, then loops around to the west end throat, (east end of staging) so I have access to all 8 tracks, well, 7 because track 1 becomes the lead into the back end of the yard.  So far, it's worked pretty seamlessly, once we got through the first session when a certain T. Mann kept running trains in the wrong way...

Richie,
No way on the doppleganger method.  I already have close to 400 freight cars... doubling that number for the sake of illusion is pointless.  Besides, in the real world, you're not likely to see the same consist heading west that you saw going east, with the possible exception of a unit coal train.

Ed,
For the here and now, that's what I'm doing.  But I'm thinking out loud in the event that a WMRY phase 2.0 ever comes along...

John,
I'm applying for a job over at Meade...  Any foreclosures in the neighborhood I can pick up cheap?  Hooray for BRAC!

Brian,
You better get a break soon... I need you to come clean up that mill!  I'm way behind getting that switched!

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

John

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2008, 07:53:43 AM »
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There are plenty of foreclosures over this way .. and they have basements ...

seusscaboose

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2008, 09:09:13 AM »
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Bernie,
Believe me, underground staging was my last option, but it ended up being my only option.  To make it as functional as possible, I have all the turnouts visible from the aisle through windows cut in the fascia.  In the finished plan, there are 4 tracks pointed in each direction, but the way it's set up now, I have a reversing loop that cuts off of track one, then loops around to the west end throat, (east end of staging) so I have access to all 8 tracks, well, 7 because track 1 becomes the lead into the back end of the yard.  So far, it's worked pretty seamlessly, once we got through the first session when a certain T. Mann kept running trains in the wrong way...

Richie,
No way on the doppleganger method.  I already have close to 400 freight cars... doubling that number for the sake of illusion is pointless.  Besides, in the real world, you're not likely to see the same consist heading west that you saw going east, with the possible exception of a unit coal train.

Ed,
For the here and now, that's what I'm doing.  But I'm thinking out loud in the event that a WMRY phase 2.0 ever comes along...

John,
I'm applying for a job over at Meade...  Any foreclosures in the neighborhood I can pick up cheap?  Hooray for BRAC!

Brian,
You better get a break soon... I need you to come clean up that mill!  I'm way behind getting that switched!

Lee

Lee,
Good luck with BRAC!!!

although, i too am with Ed and prefer the 0-5-0 method at times...... :)

when is your next run session.... i have a BL-2 for you i wanna swap for something....
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3rdrail

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2008, 10:13:18 AM »
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BRAC?? Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks?? That's the only BRAC I am familiar with.

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2008, 10:29:52 AM »
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Base Realighment and Closures.  Downsizing the military in other words.  Been there done that several times.  Bunch of folks here in the Navy Yard are moving to Ft Meade.  Consolidation of commands does sometimes make sense and save money.

wm3798

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Re: Staging: Discovering a Design Flaw
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2008, 10:40:22 AM »
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I've got a new (to me) BL-2 split frame drive on its way already...  Thanks.
Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net