Author Topic: A Little Design Help  (Read 3323 times)

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conrail98

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A Little Design Help
« on: July 05, 2010, 07:11:56 PM »
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Since I'm pretty much at a point I can start building benchwork specific to a plan, I've run into a little design conundrum. In the plan I have below, I've got the Hershey complex, which includes its yard, the main plant and the silos, on one wall of the layout, the Reese's and Hershey West plants on across the aisle. On the other wall, I have "Harrisburg" yard with the station and CP Capitol (not completed) at the end of the aisle.

Larger pic here

While I really like the makeup of the Hershey side of the plan, I'm not 100% thrilled with the yard/station side. One thing I've thought about doing is putting the station on the peninsula to give some more room for the yard and fuel pad area (I hope to model this aspect of Harrisburg yard). Operationally, this yard, under Conrail, did not do much in the way of building trains or major classification. Any of that work was pretty much done at Enola, if any were required in the Harrisburg area. It had more emphasis as an intermediate point to switch blocks of cars, about 75% intermodal and 25% regular freight. It does/did have an intermodal loading facility, which I was going to represent as a single siding close to the aisle in the yard. As of right now, the yard area has 2 A/D tracks, 3 double-sided class tracks, 3 stub ended class tracks, and 3 locomotive tracks, 2 with fuel pad between. If I were to move the station area to the aisle, then my first level is really just Hershey (and Swatara/Brownstone) and Harrisburg, with a turnback that separates them. If I leave it as is, I'm not 100% sure the yard will flow as well as I'd like. Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Thanks,

Phil
- Phil

wm3798

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 07:39:25 PM »
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My interpretation is always going to be colored by the question "What do you want the trains to do?"

The answer often leads to monumental compromises when it comes to "What do you want the layout to look like?"

What I see is an enormous yard that makes the thing very track heavy on the right.  While this may be prototypically more accurate, it's consuming a ton of room.  So, back to the trains...

If you're limited to train lengths of 20 cars, then do you really need yard tracks that are 20+ car lengths long?  Why not compress that a bit, and pull the station around the corner to be in line with the yard/fuel rack thing.  That gives you that elbow at the top of the drawing to include a little empty running room to enhance the illusion of distance.

On my layout, trains will emerge from staging, get worked in the yard, then proceed to their destination.  The surface yard is not about storing cars, so it doesn't have to be all that big.  But it does have to be functional, so it will be double ended with four thru A/D slash Main tracks, and 4 long thru bowl tracks that can be worked from either end, effectively creating 8 classification tracks.  Once the train leaves the yard, There are a number of flips and twists it will take before leaving the visible layout and returning to staging.  Again, the illusion of distance.

Sometimes I think people get too hung up on following the ZTS chart to the letter, and forget that they're running model trains in a model environment.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

conrail98

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 07:51:29 PM »
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Lee, you're right on the train lengths. I did forget to mention that. After some mock-ups, I was looking at between 9 and 10 1/2 foot trains. This would allow for a few engines (2-3) plus 4 5-car articulated double stacks. I also played around with other types of train makeups and everything was at most 10 1/2 foot. Also, the one thing I haven't drawn are the tracks into Harrisburg, CP Capitol. I'd *like* to have the Lurgan live, I think that would add to the operational interest of the layout. So in essence, you'd have a wye right before the station. I have made the decision not to model the part coming from Lurgan into the yard to avoid this. I guess what I really want to have is a representation of the Amtrak station with the block switching/crew changing/refueling that goes on in the yard. I had added those extra 3 double-ended to act as A/D tracks if need be. Maybe I need to concentrate more on A/D trackage with a few tracks to set out cars that aren't that long. I've also thought of just concentrating on intermodal for the yard with nothing more than the fueling for manifests. As for prototype fidelity, the fuel pad is actually the half-way point of the yard, with the class yard on one side and intermodal facility on the other,

Phil
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DKS

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 08:53:15 PM »
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Are the width and shape of the benchwork locked in? Why not, toward the top right, widen the benchwork at the right and narrow it at the left (essentially shifting the aisle to the left). Then you might be able to swing the station around to the right, parallel to the yard throat, and keep the yard length intact by having it side-by-side with the station (assuming you don't mind giving the yard a gentle curve).
 


This arrangement also gives you the room to dummy in the wye.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2010, 09:16:12 PM by David K. Smith »
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conrail98

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 09:02:47 PM »
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No, I'm not locked into the benchwork, I just had it an equal amount around the room to keep aisles and such the same throughout the layout, about 33", with flexing it in and out an option,

Phil
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conrail98

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 09:15:52 PM »
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One other thing I should mention on how I foresee the yard operating based off of conversations with Ed and others in the CRHS, plus reading up on the line itself and in videos, the train movement into and out of the yard comes out to something like this:

- Train pulls into A/D track
- Loco's hostle to fuel rack
- Yard job pulls off block, Yard job puts on block
- Loco's come back from fuel rack (not necessarily the same set)
- Train departs yard

For those that don't do blocks or swap power, they refuel at the fuel pad located along the main line. Probably the best way to put this is to look at 2 trains and how they prototypically came into the Harrisburg terminal.

Mail-9, Morrisville to Chicago - Sets out blocks for UP transfer (Salem-MP) and Indianapolis for Mail-3 and picks up Chicago bound trailvans from Harrisburg's intermodal and its engines get refueled, possibly swapped
Mail-3, Kearny to St. Louis - Sets out a block for Chicago to be part of a train, Mail-9H, which originates in Harrisburg, and picks up the two blocks from Mail-9, its engines refuel.

and on it goes. So really, what I guess Harrisburg's yard comes to is really a swap meet of cars with the occasional block delivered or picked up at the "intermodal facility",

Phil
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2-8-8-0

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 09:38:33 PM »
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The yard on the right side seems to eat mucho room. Then on the other side of the layout, there is yet another yard at Hershey. Do you need so much yard space? A loco fueling dock is neat though, and a yard is prototypical (I dont like yards much, but thats me)...but do you need two of them?

I love your layout tho, centered around one of my favorite things...chocolate. Especially Reese's cups...mmm.
Just say no to dummy couplers.

conrail98

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 09:50:12 PM »
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The one on the left is strictly for the Hershey businesses. One train, one of the ALHB ones, I think, drops about half of itself on the siding while getting pickups also. The local, WPHE02, then uses the two other tracks to sort out silos and everything else, main plant, Reese's, and Hershey West, blocking them in that order. It then proceeds to switch all four plants, essentially a complete day job since it has time limits on when it can use the crossovers on the main line. There was a thread in the Railway Ops Yahoo group on it which describes how the plants are switched. I don't think it'll be as large as I have it once the complex is put in use, I probably over designed it to make sure I had enough capacity for the cars delivered,

Phil
- Phil

Bruce Bird

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 10:43:17 PM »
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I'm big on flexing the benchwork to fit things in.  Those 32" aisles look very operator-friendly, and that's something that I think a lot of people look past when they design their layouts.  Don't be afraid to flex the benchwork to help keep the aisles usable.

Also, look at what is on the opposite side of the aisle.  If you have the ability to alternate towns, and thus the places where operators are going to stand, you will have a layout that is comfortable and fun to operate.  I've been to several op sessions where aisles are narrow and operator areas are stacked in the same spot.  It's hard to concentrate on your local when you're butt cheek to butt cheek!

Bruce

John

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2010, 08:56:05 AM »
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- Train pulls into A/D track
- Loco's hostle to fuel rack
- Yard job pulls off block, Yard job puts on block
- Loco's come back from fuel rack (not necessarily the same set)
- Train departs yard


Most trains on modern railroads seem to pull thru the fuel rack ala UP .. or bring a fuel truck to the loco .. its more efficient that way .. I would think that the railroad would limit cutting power and bringing it back .. I could be wrong ..

Hyperion

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 09:17:53 AM »
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- Train pulls into A/D track
- Loco's hostle to fuel rack
- Yard job pulls off block, Yard job puts on block
- Loco's come back from fuel rack (not necessarily the same set)
- Train departs yard


Most trains on modern railroads seem to pull thru the fuel rack ala UP .. or bring a fuel truck to the loco .. its more efficient that way .. I would think that the railroad would limit cutting power and bringing it back .. I could be wrong ..

If the train isn't going to be worked at all then, yes, power isn't normally cut off.  However, he's describing operations where blocks are pulled and put onto the train.  Depending on the terminal this was being done at, it may be serviced as thru-power (mainline fueling or DTL as you described) or the opportunity may be taken to cut the power, take it to SFS, and replace it with a refreshed set.
-Mark

conrail98

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2010, 09:18:38 AM »
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- Train pulls into A/D track
- Loco's hostle to fuel rack
- Yard job pulls off block, Yard job puts on block
- Loco's come back from fuel rack (not necessarily the same set)
- Train departs yard


Most trains on modern railroads seem to pull thru the fuel rack ala UP .. or bring a fuel truck to the loco .. its more efficient that way .. I would think that the railroad would limit cutting power and bringing it back .. I could be wrong ..

It seemed to only happen if there were cuts to be brought on. Looking at old freight schedules, I can tell the ones where that happened. The ones with 15-20 minutes between arrival and departure most likely were thru trains whereas the others have an hour to an hour and half separation,

Phil
- Phil

John

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2010, 09:35:40 AM »
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Good points .. but then again, this is model railroading, so efficiency is not to interfere with play value :) .. I think making the engineer cut power to run thru a refueling rack is a good move .. keeps that person busy while someone else is switching ..


wm3798

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2010, 09:58:12 AM »
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And that's why Ridgeley is a full blown division point yard.  Power is cut off because the needs of the east end are different from the west end, plus you have interchange and run-through power to deal with.  The terminal hostler will be a full time job!

Plus, in terms of efficiency, is it more efficient to have 7,000 tons of freight sitting still while you pump your own gas?  Or is it better to cut off power and bring in fresh horses and keep those cars moving?

Lee
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 10:00:49 AM by wm3798 »
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: A Little Design Help
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2010, 10:08:46 AM »
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Plus, in terms of efficiency, is it more efficient to have 7,000 tons of freight sitting still while you pump your own gas?  Or is it better to cut off power and bring in fresh horses and keep those cars moving?

Lee

It's more efficient to leave the power on the train and fill it up. It saves air tests, crew costs, etc...

That's why the Harrisburg Fuel Pad exists on the main the way it does.