Author Topic: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout  (Read 2770 times)

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robwill84

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Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« on: February 13, 2014, 11:28:53 PM »
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Over the past several months I have been slowly refining and working on this small layout. For now, I am calling it the Pacific Terminal. The setting will be based on the Bunker Hill area of Los Angeles, during the mid 1950's. The last days of this victorian era neighborhood were fast approaching, "urban renewal" was in full effect, and historic buildings were being bulldozed for parking lots. The Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railway both ran in this area.









This is an amazing video of the area in the 1940's


So, here is the track plan I have come up with:



It is somewhat hard to picture from the plan, but all of the track shown in alternating light and dark grey is hidden track. The inside 9 3/4 inch radius curve climbs a very steep (around ten percent) grade up 2 1/4 inches to the industries on the upper level. I left room for slopes on both sides of this curve. I have a pic that shows exactly what I want to do with this area, complete with a billboard recessed into the slope somewhere, I will post it in an update. The plan should have shown both upper tracks running to the edge of the layout, forgot to change that. The long road in the middle will slope down, under and overpass on the 9 3/4 curve, to track level.

Anyway, this is where I'm at so far, any questions or criticisms let me know!

DKS

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 11:48:10 PM »
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Cool looking plan. That 10% grade will be a real killer, though. I'd recommend perhaps doing the following to reduce it:

1. Reduce the clearance between levels. You're using period rolling stock, which won't have the headroom requirements of, say, modern double-stacks.

2. Run the loop higher on the side connected to the upper level, so that the loop is basically tilted. You'd then probably need to raise the upper level more on one side as well, which could add interest.

robwill84

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 12:21:09 AM »
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I think I might be able to drop it to 2 inches, and keep it at about 8 percent. I have a Chooch concrete tunnel portal I want to use that has a clearance of 1 15/16, I think I will remove a bit from the bottom and make it 1 7/8, then cut it down for a total height of 2 inches. This will be as much for cosmetic reasons, as I was mocking it up and the height seems very tall, when you factor in all the undersized buildings.

Chris333

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 12:28:00 AM »
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I'd try for 1.75" grade. You can keep that portal and raise the L shaped block of buildings in the lower right. I like the plan, just ease the grade.

DKS

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 07:34:15 AM »
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FWIW, the clearance on my Hoboken layout is 1.5".

robwill84

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 12:20:51 PM »
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Found that overpass pic I was looking for, it was on my laptop:



Thanks for the tips, Chris and David. I'll do some mockups this weekend and see how lowwwww I can goooooo.

Chris333

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 12:24:58 PM »
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You can cut access along the sides of the lower track and be able to get in there from under the layout instead of the sides.

Also where it says "tunnel portal" you have 2 switch points in the middle of the road.

robwill84

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 12:59:40 PM »
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Chris, that road is actually above the tunnel. Picture the third image in my first post, with a road extended above and in front of the tunnel, and the angled retaining wall straight as a support. The road that runs front to back is all level, and elevated above the tracks below. The road that meets it at 45 degrees slopes down to the lower track level.

I was going to have the road in front of the buildings labeled "DPM kits" slope up to meet this road, but now I'm thinking it would look cool going into a small tunnel like this one:



Like I say, the whole thing is hard to visualize. I'll try to get some shots of mock ups I am working on.

np1969

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2014, 12:08:43 AM »
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Wow! That is neat. I don't think I'd be satisfied with a small layout like that but I really want to see what you can do with it. I'd be tempted to expand the size a bit to 48 inches by 30 inches, but we all have to deal with the reality of what size space we have. The location seems like it would work with great industries, whether real or imagined. I will try to keep up with your progress. It reminds me a little bit of a Los Angeles layout I saw in Model Railroader a few years ago. It's such a rich location for great model railroading.


railnerd

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 02:40:58 AM »
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Found that overpass pic I was looking for, it was on my laptop:



That picture would be the Southern Pacific main crossing Army Street (now Cesar Chavez) in San Francisco.  Google Maps can show you what it looks like today by searching for "Cesar Chavez & Mississippi Street San Francisco"

robwill84

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2014, 01:12:40 PM »
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Wow! That is neat. I don't think I'd be satisfied with a small layout like that but I really want to see what you can do with it. I'd be tempted to expand the size a bit to 48 inches by 30 inches, but we all have to deal with the reality of what size space we have. The location seems like it would work with great industries, whether real or imagined. I will try to keep up with your progress. It reminds me a little bit of a Los Angeles layout I saw in Model Railroader a few years ago. It's such a rich location for great model railroading.

The compact size will keep it easily transportable, and equally important keep it within budget, as the list of figures, buildings, vehicles, details, fire escapes, fire hydrants, etc goes on and on for a city layout. My other goal is to actually FINISH this one, as I have built four other layouts over the years that never made it to the scenery phase. Expansion plans include a shelf extension with a small yard and some more industries.

The industries shown will all be warehouses, loosely based off the "rathole" district in los angeles. The spur that goes off the left hand side of the layout will either be an interchange track or an oil collection terminal with a horsehead pump nearby.

robwill84

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 01:22:00 PM »
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That picture would be the Southern Pacific main crossing Army Street (now Cesar Chavez) in San Francisco.  Google Maps can show you what it looks like today by searching for "Cesar Chavez & Mississippi Street San Francisco"

Thanks, the street view is really nice to see how the overpass is built. Mine will of course be much narrower, but still wider than this one!



The only info I have on that pic is that it is Washington Blvd.

railnerd

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 12:25:07 AM »
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speaking over overpasses, don't forget http://11foot8.com

OldEastRR

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Re: Pacific Terminal 2x3 layout
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 06:42:17 AM »
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I notice that the industrial area sits over only one corner of the lowel level. Why not put that industrial district in the lower right corner instead, angle the track to miss covering any of the lower level, so as to extend the length of your grade and thus make it less steep? You wouldn't have to reach your vertical clearance point until where the Roberts building is right now. If you set the outer walls of the factories right out to the edge of the layout and use similar crowded complex trackage as you have now you could probably get all those industries in that lower R corner. Then the buildings from that corner can all be butted up in the upper right corner (or in the center, right across the  street from the industrial area), while sitting on a higher elevation than the rest of the upper level so you can have steep backyard slopes down to the tracks, or even high enough to put the tunnel entrance in the middle of the upper RH corner curve. The picture you have of the round tunnel into the high hill is a good example. I notice you have some tall buildings; they would look even taller if they were on an embankment above a depressed track.
This change would also open up the switches you now have hidden, eliminating possible maintenance problems. And you should think about putting a runaround track on the that elevated part, even if it's part of a loading track for an industry, otherwise switching different-facing switches will be a pain.