Author Topic: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!  (Read 2207 times)

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Noah Lane

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Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« on: May 28, 2013, 01:02:01 AM »
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I have a severe lack of space around the yard on my developing freelanced layout. This is making it very difficult to plan much...of anything around it.

If you haven't read any of my posts, yes I am very much a newbie at this, and it is my first layout as an adult. I cut the bay/inlet water feature [shown below] with another track plan...then after several revisions and advice seeking, DKS & Paulus came up with this current plan that I really love. However, the result of the existing water feature and new track plan was little room around the yard.

I am open to any use for the yard that will work & look realistic, and use the space efficiently. The yard is a pretty prominent feature in my humble little layout, so it needs to be done just right!

As you see, I'm bringing the road in on the hill, which lands at-grade, right next to the yard. This could be changed, but I didn't like my other options for routing the road. However, I'm remaining open to suggestions. Also note, I have only spent one session shaping foam terrain, so it is pretty far from being final form.  To provide a bit more space around the yard, I could add fill with a retaining wall or cliff, next to the water. There is also about 5-6" at the end of the yard.

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ THE ABOVE: I need a purpose for my yard because it is severely lack space around it. Also, any other suggestions for the style of the yard, or tips are absolutely welcome! As I said: the layout freelanced. But I'm modeling a little pretend coastal town in Northern California that has an old fashioned feel. The industries I've considered: small intermodal, farming (grain-elevator), and a lumber yard.




The 30" ruler is next to the track for scale. The max width of the yard area is about 10" from toe of road, to edge of water.






Thanks in advance for helping out a new guy!

Cheers,
Noah

Noah Lane

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 01:03:41 AM »
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Also note:

Before you note the steep grade of the road, I am not done shaping it, and it will be brought out a bit more, resulting in a 9-10% grade. Not too uncommon around Nor Cal Coast roads.

And I'm not going to re-route the track, if I can help it. Feeders/Buss are completed as you can see:

wcfn100

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 01:21:47 AM »
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If you want your yard to have purpose, then you may need some sort of structure.  What first comes to mind is to remove the middle two tracks and put in their place a transfer warehouse with semi loading on the near end.  Then use the rear-most track as a switchback to a tank car unloading facility or maybe a cold storage building depending on the feel you're going for.


Jason

Leggy

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 01:32:32 AM »
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Coal loading yard?

Noah Lane

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 01:38:26 AM »
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Removing the middle two tracks...that's a start for an idea to create more space. Although, I like the four track yard because it makes me feel like I actually have [at least] a little yard, rather than just two spur tracks.

I am open to suggestions for specific structures/kits. Likely narrow footprints to fit in the space.


Leggy- I'm fine with a coal industry. But I'm looking for more specifics, namely, how I could fit such an industry in this small space.

Leggy

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 01:55:16 AM »
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Find one of those multi track coal loader kits and sit it over the yard to load hoppers, to make it 'fit' add a conveyor running from the loadout into the side of the mountain behind the yard.

Have a look here for a good article on Coal Loaders. http://appalachianrailroadmodeling.com/abcsofcoalloaders.html
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 01:57:40 AM by Leggy »

Noah Lane

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 02:04:37 AM »
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That could be cool. I'll search, but do you have any kits in mind?

Also, here is an older shot of the complete track plan:

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2013, 04:33:42 AM »
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Since you indicated a northern California coastal setting, this can only mean the fabled Northwestern Pacific line up near Eureka (in my mind, at least).   To that end, I think the purpose of your yard has to be to serve a lumber mill.  As inspiration, I recommend looking at the town of Scotia, along the banks of the Eel River, a few miles from where the river meets the Pacific (a few miles south of Eureka):

http://goo.gl/maps/xZcIH
http://binged.it/11tNtaY

Your bridge scene reminds me of the Eel River crossings north and south of town (zoom in for details):

http://goo.gl/maps/dsu9O
http://goo.gl/maps/EwAqw

or of crossings like these, further south:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=159168&nseq=9
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=361406&nseq=2

A few aspects of this scene don't quite mesh with your plan, especially the double track mainline, and the 3-track segment on the right side.  I would be tempted to make the mill large, and to have wood chip conveyor equipment head off layout over the 3-track segment.  This would hide the obvious 'loopiness' of the plan and you could make the 3-track segment a 1-track mainline with 2 industrial tracks used to serve the mill, along with the yard area.

Some example kits that might provide decent raw material are:

https://www.nscalesupply.com/Wal/WAL-933-3236.html
https://www.nscalesupply.com/Wal/WAL-933-3235.html
https://www.nscalesupply.com/Wal/WAL-933-3241.html
https://www.nscalesupply.com/wal/WAL-933-3265.htm

but you might have trouble finding some of them...  There are other options as well, like Traincat's wood chip loader:

http://www.traincat2.com/images/models/1001901.jpg

but this is more advanced and may be hard to come by.  That's my two cents.
-Gary

P.S. The following shots gives a great sense of what kind of line the NWP was in its heyday, serving the intensely remote north coast of California:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=408732&nseq=1
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=162679&nseq=8

« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 07:06:22 AM by GaryHinshaw »

mcjaco

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 10:06:50 AM »
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^ I was going to say the same thing.  Look at Willits or Eureka along the NWP line.  Lots of lumber. 

9-10% is still way too stiff of a grade even in that area though.

Fliegerin

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 10:21:58 AM »
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Coal loading yard?

Kind of thinking the same.  One could put a small coal bunker above with a conveyer/bridge leading into mountains to simulate an underground mine. 

Like this:




Modeling the PRR's River and Bayard Branches, 1947-1998

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 10:32:49 AM »
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Kind of thinking the same.  One could put a small coal bunker above with a conveyer/bridge leading into mountains to simulate an underground mine. 


Except I don't think there's much coal mining going on in Northern California.

Noah Lane

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 12:19:02 PM »
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The layout is more freelanced than it is actually Northern California based. I just use the Nor Cal coastal town reference, because it has a geography of what I hope to model (and it's where I'm from).  I've been to Willits, Eureka, Fort Bragg, Crescent City, etc. so I'm familiar with these areas.  A logging industry could be pretty cool.  Perhaps I could add back some foam where the bay/inlet is, to create more surface next to the yard tracks?

Gary- lots of great info there. Thank you!  As I said, I'm not exactly trying to prototype any one line -like the NWP. Not yet as a beginner anyways.  I do like the idea of the layout being largely based on one industry -likely logging/lumber. As for the track plan, a very experienced modeler designed it for me, based on my own (perhaps ignorant) requests. I now get that the double track main on a layout of this size is unrealistic. But ehh, I'm not gonna sweat it. I just liked the idea of running two trains, and simultaneously being able to build a third train on the yard/runaround.

mcjaco- even Hwy 80 has an 8% grade (Westbound past Emigrant Gap). My road is more of a country road than a major interstate. I was on roads yesterday near Point Reyes that had to have been over 10%. But truthfully, I'm not too worried about a couple percent as long as it doesn't look completely ridiculous  ;)

sdodge

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 01:05:45 PM »
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I have a similar situation with no real industries located in the area so I just designated one track as a team track with mobile unloading equipment (hoppers, lumber cars) and designated the other tracks as storage tracks 1-3 with cars being picked up and set out as part of normal operations.

dnhouston

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2013, 04:48:37 PM »
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The back track (closest to the road) is tied up with the switchback and really can't be used for much.
The center two can be for storage
The front track (closest to the river) can be used for river transport, add a crane and/or conveyor for barge loading.

Noah Lane

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Re: Help me Figure out a Purpose for my Yard!
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2013, 07:00:16 PM »
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Someone suggested that since the yard is rather small, that I just have it be a small general services railyard for outsourced repairs, storage, etc.  This would allow me to buy...well, whatever types of cars.  Thoughts?