Author Topic: Planning stage again  (Read 2534 times)

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MichaelT

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Planning stage again
« on: May 20, 2010, 02:12:51 PM »
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So I've been doodling again, working some plans for an N scale layout in the 11x10 spare room. I've come up with a bland idea so far, thought I'd see what some of you thought or might suggest?
Basically have pretty much a clean slate to work with. I do have some benchwork screwed into the walls, but it will come down so I can repaint the room before I start over, so now might be a good time for some more ideas or thoughts.



The idea is a class III shortline railroad, loosely modeled after the Little Rock & Western line here in central Arkansas. It runs about 70 miles from Little Rock to Danville, servicing a small paper mill, sawmill, grainery, and a few other products, salt, limestone slurry, and cornstarch. So far I'm setting it up in the early 70's, will have three or four small hamlets and a small section of Little Rock near Union Station where the LR&W conencts with the UP. The track that I've put on the diagram is roughly 60 feet or so, with a 2.2% grade on the left side to overpass itself.

I haven't worked out the full railroad story but I'm starting to formulate some thoughts and ideas for the lines work. The current LR&W runs two locals a day, originating about 1/2 along the line at its' HQ in Perry, AR. One train works west to Danville and back, and the other works east to Little Rock and back. The eastbound train carries the westbound trains prior workdays cars to Little Rock and interchanges with the UP, while also working the few customers on the way. It's a single mainline operation with a few passing sidings along the way for specials, or added passenger service that I'll probably include.

So trains will be relatively small, maybe 14-18 cars max. Perry will more than likely be situated in the small peninsula top center, and Little Rock will be lower right. Left side will probably go through Danville and an interchange with the Kansas City Southern to the west and south. I might have room bottom right in the nook to situate a small yard and the LR&W will have rights to put trains together in that yard for the UP and another shortline, the Arkansas Midland.

2.2% should be the biggest grade.

I'm still throwing around the idea to build a couple of helix's on each blob, I've never built one but I think I can do it. Raising up to a second level would give me some added staging area plus help increase the lines work and could probably add the Arkansas Midland, or increase the LR&W's reach in the state.

So, any ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?

I'm planning code 55 rail, if I do build the helix's, I'll use code 80 in the helix's but would like to have c55 on the main parts of the layout.

Motive power will be one 2-8-0 Connie (for now), a couple GP38's, GP15, and a couple RS3's; more than enough for the line to use.

Any suggestions, questions, concerns would be greatly appreciated....or rather.... "Ok Lee.....what's on your mind!! " LOL
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2010, 02:37:32 PM »
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Ok, so here's my initial thought.

It's "insincere" in that it seems like track will be rolling through the same scene more than once.

What about stashing the one line all the way agains the wall (and maybe including a staging track or two), and just focusing on the one main?

That's actually the direction I'm moving myself.

MichaelT

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2010, 02:44:53 PM »
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Ok, so the line that goes along the wall is the "off stage" area for staging and continuous run? I hadn't thought of that but I've read it and heard it before...so then the concentration would be just the visible main. Ed where would you stop the scenery and work...1/2 way round the curves? after the curves straighten on the back?

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2010, 02:52:45 PM »
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I think the way I'd do it is where you can conveniently "hide" the disappearance. Many people use tunnels (but I think they're over-used and therefore lame). I'd suggest something like an overpass, trees, whatever looks natural.

By using something that's not a tunnel, you also can make the staging track still visible.

MichaelT

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2010, 03:30:51 PM »
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Ok Ed, doodling some more, I worked up a plan with hidden (somewhat) staging around the back...so I'll play with that idea as well. That seems it would also allow me a track to down or upgrade to another level if that comes into play later...?
The thick black line represents backdrop or hilly area; something to hide the staging tracks...



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wm3798

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 09:10:53 PM »
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I think before you start in with that, let us know if the railroad to be modeled is a point to point or what.  If there is only a terminal at one end, at the junction with the MP, then the other end doesn't necessarily need staging.  It only needs a cut-off to provide for roundy roundy running while you listen to Herb Alpert an enjoy a Margarita.  For the actual operations, all the staging would be based on the MP, with a junction terminal, then a bunch of car bumping between there and the end of the line.

If the Little Rock and Western has another interchange at the west end, then you'll need staging at both ends.

And really, Ed will only understand what you're doing if you put it in terms of late 80's Conrail.  Okay.  So let's say that Missouri Pacific was included in Conrail in 1976... ;)

Lee
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2010, 09:22:20 PM »
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It almost happened in the 80s...

wm3798

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2010, 09:27:16 PM »
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Can Opener meets Buzz Saw...  Watch your fingers!
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MichaelT

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2010, 10:20:16 PM »
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The way I understand it, the line terminates in Danville, i.e. end of tracks. All traffic eventually gets back to the Little Rock Junction with MP, to go to the netherworld places. For operation work I'll treat it as a PTP railroad from the Little Rock Junction to Danville, and then reverse course back to Little Rock. With the headquarters and main office in Perry, it's about 1/2 way between Little Rock and Danville.

So with that thought, the staging area would be Little Rock? As far as Danville, would I just take one track (the roundy round track) behind stage and meet it up to come back out in Little Rock Junction?
Jesus is my engineer! :)

MichaelT

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2010, 10:28:01 PM »
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You guys see any problems with the footprint as it is? I ask because I think tomorrow I'm going to take down the remaining benchwork, paint the room Saturday, then next week I can start putting the benchwork back on the walls with the leg extensions where needed.

I'm starting to gather a little steam with this, so I'm getting a little excited with it. Going to take the design to the hobby class Saturday morning and see what the group there thinks about it as well.

Jesus is my engineer! :)

MichaelT

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2010, 11:13:49 AM »
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Playing with the 3D rendering on RR Track. blue board is the view block...will more than likely be hilly area/forest, etc.

So have a sawmill, paper plant, grain/feed mill, furniture mfg., small chicken processing plant, and will have freight houses at three depots for LCL stuff.
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wm3798

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2010, 03:45:57 PM »
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Show some labels on the track plan so I can get my feet on the ground.  If your HQ (and I assume your short line's yard and engine house) are halfway up the line, there's a lot of examples like that, and it can make for fun operations.

Your morning crew leaves the HQ yard with whatever has to go to the interchange, where it gets swapped for the inbound cars.

The inbound cars come back to the yard, where they can be blocked for the rest of the voyage.  Some may be headed back toward the junction if there are industries along the way there.

Once sorted, you'd have either one local that takes care of all the switching duties for the day, or if traffic warrants it, one local east out of the yard, and another that goes west.  To keep things interesting, place one of your major industries at the far end of the line (this would justify the line remaining open in the 1970's) and another one between the junction and the yard.  This could be the paper mill, which would likely require a dedicated switcher out of the yard, which could be either the second local, or operated independently as a third train unto itself.

Make your yard about 4-5 tracks, and it can be about 4' long to keep it compact.  Sprinkle about 6 or 8 smaller industries along the line, and in combination with the two big shippers, you'll have a busy little railroad.

And yes, the staging tracks would represent the 5th dimension, where the MP scatters the cars to the wind.

I would be less concerned about the "insincerity" of the plan, and take advantage of the elevation change to provide some visual separation.  The Reid Brothers do this with excellent results, although the two lines there represent two separate railroads.  I try to get away with it myself...



More thoughts as they happen...
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MichaelT

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2010, 04:39:31 PM »
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Ok, a few additions since last thoughts. Even though the LR&W real RR doesn't have a yard at Perry, I thought I'd add a small one, and reading Lee's thoughts helped cement that for me as well.
Added the paper mill into the center peninsula, but access is via the switch just west of Bigelow. Grain company is at Roland (middle right), and the MP junction at Little Rock is bottom right.

Ola (not on this jpeg) gets the sawmill, that's where it is in the real world as well. Also added depots in Bigelow, Perry, Adona and Danville. Figuring for times sake, if a morning freight leaves Perry for Little Rock junction, I'll have the train make one lap around the loop, then stop at Bigelow to pickup up full carloads, then another lap, then stop at Roland to pickup cars, then another lap and then drop off at Little Rock. Seems that would help with the "distance" equation of this thing...(designer's license??). After thinking a bit, I might have the passenger train originate in Little Rock. It could go pick up folks and bring them back to Little Rock, then take them back to their "homes" after the day. Could have one morning run, and one early evening run.

The GP15 will more than likely be housed permanently at Perry, and it could be the dedicated switcher for the paper mill. Added another industry between Perry and Danville, not sure what yet, but will see what else is on the real line that I can somewhat copy.

Also still have an empty area between Roland and Little Rock Junction. Not quite sure what/if I can/should insert there, but will look at some other commodities that might be on the line that I missed, or maybe borrow one from the Arkansas Midland...maybe a meat processing plant or something. (Meat Processing has been placed in Adona, it's a small one, but looked applicable.)
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 05:12:52 PM by MichaelT »
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wm3798

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2010, 08:09:03 PM »
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I like it a lot.  Now show an image I can see!  Eep!

 ;)
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Planning stage again
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2010, 09:26:15 PM »
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Also still have an empty area between Roland and Little Rock Junction. Not quite sure what/if I can/should insert there, but will look at some other commodities that might be on the line that I missed, or maybe borrow one from the Arkansas Midland...maybe a meat processing plant or something. (Meat Processing has been placed in Adona, it's a small one, but looked applicable.)


Why not leave it open?

Not every inch of space needs to be covered with track.

That area would allow you to create a "signature" scenic spot.