Author Topic: One Person Operations...  (Read 1518 times)

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ljudice

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One Person Operations...
« on: April 07, 2014, 09:17:45 PM »
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I have my fairly large layout subroadbed and roadbed complete - at least for the mainline.  Occupying around 23x17 feet it is around three walls and a center island with blobs on each end.  I went ahead and laid cork for double track - figuring I would either go double track or former, cut down to single track.  Locale is Appalachian, modern  NS,  largely protofreelanced, borrowing from the Pocoahontas District, Clinchfield and probably some other lines I've seen.

Decision time is whether to do double or ex-double track.  I am much more used to railfanning on the latter lines and the scarcity of double track railroads these days makes me wonder if I choosing that route would push me towards flat out modeling the Pokey or something.  I think cut down double has more flexibility for industries, towns, scenery, etc...   But realistically can one person meet trains?   I  could probably pull off about three 12 foot or so sidings plus at least one short one. 

For both concepts I had an operational concept of a major mine to coal processing plant and then to a yard movement to work in.

Another thought is to do a post Conrail "through central PA" line, which I've thought about for many years,  sort of a Pennsy subsidiary from Allentown to Williamsport and then west to Ohio - under CR and NS a valuable northern alternative to the former PRR, perhaps with state supported passenger service and maybe clinging to lower tunnel clearances...?  This could logically also be either double or probably former double track.

The other option is anyone want to move to New Jersey to help operate this thing???   :)  ha....

Any thoughts???
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 09:22:48 PM by ljudice »

C855B

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 09:30:31 PM »
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FWIW, the way I'm trying to design the GC&W is to allow at least one train to operate independently while I play ops. Aside from double track or pseudo-double track, this would include wiring the mainlines with brake-on-DC sub-blocks so trains will stop for red signals should my switching work foul the main as the free-runner approaches.

IOW, I'd say double track if your plan allows you to loop a train for hands-off operation while you do something else.
...mike

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We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

ljudice

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 09:37:00 PM »
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I should have mentioned, layout allows for fully continuous operation - the island is center divided and the walls have a return "double track" roadbed in place.


ljudice

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 09:38:35 PM »
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eric220

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 10:12:29 PM »
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I can't see the video, since I don't have a Facebook account. In any case, I'd say give the double track option serious consideration. It means committing to modeling a high traffic line, but it also means having the capacity to model that traffic much more simply. As with so many thing in this hobby, it comes down to what do you want out of your railroad?
-Eric

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C855B

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 11:12:54 PM »
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I should have mentioned, layout allows for fully continuous operation - the island is center divided and the walls have a return "double track" roadbed in place.

OK.

That said, I agree with Eric. If you have a plan which allows for denser operation without compromising your desired ambiance, I'd go for it. If you make the choice in favor of "forcing" more complex ops, it sort of throws a wrench into those occasions when your mood is to sit back and mostly railfan.
...mike

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rsn48

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 01:07:03 AM »
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I went through the same quandary myself, double or single track.  My layout at most will have three operators but I think the third operator is wishful thinking on my part as space is limited.

As a single operator you will most likely be operating in "sequence" so in this scenario I decided for myself that single tracking and relying on meets made the operations side of things more interesting, with double track you have eliminated meets pretty much.

I still have continuous running in a loop to loop situation, the loops thrown automatically (when I put them in that mode when I am by myself) to give me a continuous run.  So even though I have single track, I can have a train running continuously while I switch and of course have to be out of the way when the train rolls through.
Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

crrcoal

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 08:58:25 AM »
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I'm down near Cape May. Where are you?

While double track is cool ( I love watching NS cruise past my daughters college on the Harrisburg line when I visit), single track is awesome. Especially if you are thinking Appalachian coal. The Clinchfield from Elkhorn City to Dante is single track with some passing sidings here n there. And Elkhorn City to Shelby yard the other direction. Yeah its all CSX Big Sandy now but you mentioned Clinchfield and your interest in Appalachia. If that is the case then single track is where its at.

And as you mentioned there is the Pokey; NS double track in West Virginia with several coal branches that could kill two birds with one stone for you. Go to Williamson yard on google earth and follow the line north. Very cool.

 
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 09:10:59 AM by crrcoal »

Scottl

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 09:42:54 AM »
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Quote
And as you mentioned there is the Pokey; NS double track in West Virginia with several coal branches that could kill two birds with one stone for you. Go to Williamson yard on google earth and follow the line north. Very cool.

You are not kidding.  What a great line to model.  Are any of those lines mains that get other traffic besides coal?

Jeff AKA St0rm

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2014, 10:14:08 AM »
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I have about the same space and i went with double track because i like to run trains and lots of them. Here is my Layout https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=27866.msg359331#msg359331. If i am alone i will be able to run 3 trains on one main and operate on the other. When i have people over to operate i can close down parts of the main line for repairs and that will create single track parts of the layout.

ljudice

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2014, 10:18:15 AM »
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You are not kidding.  What a great line to model.  Are any of those lines mains that get other traffic besides coal?

Can't speak for the old Clinchfield, but the Pokey was recently rebuilt for double stack clearances and sees a variety of trains...

Scottl

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2014, 10:20:57 AM »
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Nice.  Great potential for modelling!

Ron McF

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2014, 10:53:43 AM »
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If your main interest is watching long trains run around the layout then you'll probably get more out of having a double track mainline. Since you mention three 12 foot sidings, this seems to me where your interest lies.

OTOH, if you're like me, and you like to run the local freight and switching cars, then you might get more enjoyment from a single track mainline with several passing sidings.

My train room is similar in area to yours.  For normal ops sessions (when the guys come over) we operate from staging yard to staging yard.  But when I'm running the layout alone I throw two turnouts which then allows continuous running around the layout without entering staging.  The complete run in this mode is about 175'.  There are two yards; and four towns each with a passing siding approximately 6' to 7' long, together with an assortment of industry sidings.

When operating solo, I will typically bring a through freight up from staging to the yard, where I switch out any cars that are arriving, and add in any cars that are departing.  Then I set that train running around the layout in 'continuous run' mode, while I build the local freight in the yard, and then take it out to switch the industries in the neighbouring towns.  The through train takes several minutes to complete a lap around the layout, which requires me to make sure that I keep the main clear, and only use it when I have sufficient time available.

Regards,
Ron


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garethashenden

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2014, 12:22:24 PM »
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Have the through trains computer controlled and operate the local yourself. Just make sure you get out of way in time...

ljudice

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Re: One Person Operations...
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2014, 12:50:59 PM »
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I'm down near Cape May. Where are you?

While double track is cool ( I love watching NS cruise past my daughters college on the Harrisburg line when I visit), single track is awesome. Especially if you are thinking Appalachian coal. The Clinchfield from Elkhorn City to Dante is single track with some passing sidings here n there. And Elkhorn City to Shelby yard the other direction. Yeah its all CSX Big Sandy now but you mentioned Clinchfield and your interest in Appalachia. If that is the case then single track is where its at.

And as you mentioned there is the Pokey; NS double track in West Virginia with several coal branches that could kill two birds with one stone for you. Go to Williamson yard on google earth and follow the line north. Very cool.

I'm up in Hunterdon, near the old Lehigh Valley...  :) 

I've been studying these lines for YEARS, probably have every modern video out, etc....   Actually my younger son and I are planning to take a trip to railfan in late June, around the N-scale convention.

I've been in love with both the Pokey and the Clinchfield for a long time - the tunnels, back and forth over creeks,  the "hollers" and tight spacing in the valleys.   The new Highball Productions Pokey Video has one scene in Keystone, shot from up a hill that almost makes an N-scale layout look TOO BIG and 24" curves TOO BROAD.

Going double track is probably the logical approach.  I have quite a stock of flex track (Peco C55) and oddly a ton of concrete flex to use in the hidden return section (NS would not be using concrete ties). 

There is something appealing though about single track though - which is why I am still pondering this...