Author Topic: PRR Track Plan  (Read 21311 times)

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eric220

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2010, 05:56:18 PM »
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It certainly seems that running the Curve the wrong way is not a popular idea.  David, I've thought about renaming it.  There were several other, smaller named curves in the area, so I could go with something like "Ponyshoe Curve" or "Dogshoe Curve".  I came to the conclusion that I have this great area to do the Curve, and I want Horseshoe Curve.  My original plan did not include a grade on the Curve, but when I realized how many turns my helix would have to make to get the upper level up high enough to clear River City, I went looking for other places on the layout where I could incorporate a grade.  The thought of actually using the Curve to gain needed elevation was appealing to me, even if it was backwards.  Even so, I have wondered about how much the grade being reversed would bother me.  Maybe the best thing to do is to go back to a flat Curve.

David - in replying to your comment, I got an idea.  Stand by for more images.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 12:22:57 AM by eric220 »
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Bob Bufkin

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2010, 06:00:39 PM »
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What direction did Muleshoe Curve go?  This old part of the PRR usually gets the short end of the stick when it comes to modeling.  I admit I don't even know that much about it, except that it's been gone for a long time.  How many tracks, gradient, etc.  Maybe this will be a better bet to call it.  Do know it was used during WWII and when the mainline was busy as a bypass around Horseshoe.

Zox

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2010, 09:29:13 PM »
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The thought of actually using the Curve to gain needed elevation was appealing to me, even if it was backwards.
Oddly enough, in my experience visiting several PRR-based layouts back in the 90's, the majority of modeled Horseshoe Curves have the slope running contrary to reality.

I've never been able to come up with a satisfactory explanation for this. You would think that people who aren't compelled by circumstance would usually choose to model it the "right way," and that people who don't have a choice would be divided about 50-50 "right" or "wrong."

Yet that certainly doesn't match my observation. Perhaps there's some facet of architectural design that gives most houses a preferred "handedness," that in turn forces a "handedness" on layout design that's incompatible with Horseshoe Curve...

(See Chirality in Residential System Design, by I. B. Kiddyn, Miskatonic University Press, 2072.)
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eric220

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2010, 02:09:50 PM »
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OK, after some major retooling:

Lower Level



Upper Level



Paradise Yard



Horseshoe Curve



I swapped the yard and the city, moving the former to the lower level and the latter to the upper level.  This has two major advantages.  First, the yard is more logically co-located with the engine terminal.  Second, the clearance from the upper level to the lower level is less of an issue because the tall buildings are now on the upper level.

In trying to fit the new yard in, I realized that I could just expand it out of the existing yard, giving me much longer yard tracks.  I know there have been many debates about the merits of curved yards, but in this case, it works.  When I redesigned the yard, I decided to split the mainline around it, so I lost my full four-track crossover.  I really wanted to include that scene, so I decided to move it over to the far side of the Curve.  The effect was that I was able to eliminate most of the "offending industrial track" at Panther Creek.  I was also able to extend the four-track mainline to a tunnel, where I could convert to double-track out of view.  Thoughts?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 02:16:48 PM by eric220 »
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DKS

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2010, 02:35:43 PM »
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Better, perhaps, but I think it might be awkward working the mine adjacent to Newark right from the curve/crossover area. Not sure what to do about that. Too bad there isn't enough real estate for a branchline to the mine...
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 02:37:43 PM by David K. Smith »
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eric220

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2010, 02:39:23 PM »
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Better, perhaps, but I think it might be awkward working the mine adjacent to Newark right from the curve/crossover area. Not sure what to do about that. Too bad there isn't enough real estate for a branchline to the mine...

Really, it's only a four-track main aesthetically.  Operationally, it's really still a double-track main.  The outside track serves as the yard lead for Panther Creek, and the fourth track serves as the main yard lead.  I'll admit that the operations around Panther Creek could get interesting, but I don't think it will be significantly different than the last iteration.

I agree about the branch line.  I gave serious consideration to completely eliminating the mine scene.  I may yet do it.
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eric220

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2010, 07:35:16 PM »
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I've been thinking more about that branch line idea.  There isn't enough room for a visible branch line (and I think Dave V. might stone me for DARING to suggest putting a branch line in the same scene as the Curve) ;) but I might be able to work in a concealed branch.  My thought is to reduce the radius of the Curve by an inch or two (the inner curve is 39.5 inch radius right now), and run a branch from the mine, behind the hills, and directly into the back of Paradise Yard.  That way the mine scene is basically just a glimpse of a mine up on the hill, with occasional trains running in empty, and coming out full.  There's just enough room to lift the mainline about an inch (at a 2% grade) between Panther Creek and Newark, so the mine could be elevated above the crossovers.
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John

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2010, 08:27:00 PM »
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I've been thinking more about that branch line idea.  There isn't enough room for a visible branch line (and I think Dave V. might stone me for DARING to suggest putting a branch line in the same scene as the Curve) ;)

well. you know that logging line that used to be there - I think it joined the curve

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2010, 08:36:56 PM »
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Believe that at one time there were 3 branches off the curve.  Coal and mining branches.  You could always do the wye where they turned helpers and run a branch off it.  Some use of scenery could hide the fact it's a branch.

Dave V

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2010, 08:52:19 PM »
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I've been thinking more about that branch line idea.  There isn't enough room for a visible branch line (and I think Dave V. might stone me for DARING to suggest putting a branch line in the same scene as the Curve) ;) but I might be able to work in a concealed branch. 

I can confirm what the others have said from my personal Pennsy library that a number of branches diverged from the Curve as late as the late 1930s.  In fact, here's one on the right:



I think as long as you maintain the rural, isolated character of the Curve you'll be just fine.
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eric220

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2010, 12:48:31 AM »
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I can confirm what the others have said from my personal Pennsy library that a number of branches diverged from the Curve as late as the late 1930s.  In fact, here's one on the right:



I think as long as you maintain the rural, isolated character of the Curve you'll be just fine.

I stand corrected!  I'll have to think on it more, but at this point I think I'm leaning toward the idea a branch line out of the yard that's at least partly obscured. With all the reworking I've done to clean up the scene, I think I want to keep it visually uncluttered.  I'll have to draw it out and see how it works.
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eric220

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2010, 03:45:17 AM »
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OK, I've spent a little more quality time with the computer, and here's what I've got.  The branchline itself is pretty unremarkable, but again, I plan on hiding it behind hills and trees.  Its closest clearance with the main is about five inches.



Just for clarification, I highlighted the mainlines through the yard in this image, which also shows the new branchline coming in from the top.  I also added a few crossovers in the yard to allow for direct access from the branch, as well as to increase operational flexibility.

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DKS

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2010, 06:19:48 AM »
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Why not take a cue from the photo Dave provided, and have the branch break off from Horseshoe from, say, the short straight section on the left?
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eric220

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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2010, 02:05:56 PM »
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Why not take a cue from the photo Dave provided, and have the branch break off from Horseshoe from, say, the short straight section on the left?

I could, but like I said before, if I'm going to unclutter the scene, I'd like to keep it uncluttered.  I don't really want a visible branch line running through the scene, but operationally I like the idea.  Is there an advantage to coming off the Curve as opposed to the yard that I'm just not seeing?
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Re: PRR Track Plan
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2010, 02:18:50 PM »
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Eric, I think you need to take a step back and think about what you're building.

The mention of "operational flexibility" in the yard wrt: the branchline  gave me the impression you really haven't thought through the operations of the layout.

Are you planning on actually "operating" it (ie, simulating car movements in a semi-prototypical function)? Or is it mainly designed to allow for over the road running through interesting scenes?

Talk to us a little bit about your philosophy there, as I think it'll greatly influence what the finished plan will look like (ie, yard design for "visible staging" is very different from yard design for car sorting).