Author Topic: Amtrak 70's-present switcher operations  (Read 686 times)

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nuno81291

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Amtrak 70's-present switcher operations
« on: April 16, 2014, 09:12:39 PM »
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Hey gang,

I have been on the fence on building an industrial switching layout, or pandering to my love of passenger equipment.

What I want specifically is information on amtrak's car operations that may be reasonable to turn into a shelf switching layout. Obviously there is the idea of modeling a terminal, but I thought it would be more entertaining to model something less modeled such as maintenance. I have researched the local Boston area Southampton st yard and see that cars can go to the Service + Inspection building. I haven't seen any video or description of how switching/this is handled though. Aerial shots revealed a track that had diesels primarily, and two outer tracks of the facility for coaches.

Aside from light service and inspection I am also interested in the heavier work facilities such as Beech Grove or Wilmington. I saw a tour of BG that showed a car shop for a certain level of overhaul, but I did not see what was pushing cars through the facility (the 44 tonner, mp15/sw1/whatever they have there).

Can anyone describe some of the moves that could be modeled. I don't have space for a massive coach yard to build trains and loco servicing etc, so I am ultimatly trying to find some other interesting aspect to passenger operations/support operations that could solve my hankering for an interesting switching operation.

Perhaps something like southampton yard where I could have trains go through S+I, a small layover yard, and 2 exits to staging, one representing south station for trains being set up for departure or 2 could be trains going to heavier service/mainline out of boston etc.

Anyone want to point me in the right direction? I am going to post on an industry forum to see if anyone knows first hand of what goes on that could be a good base to model.

Regards,

Mike
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Amtrak 70's-present switcher operations
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2014, 01:36:56 PM »
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I don't have anything to contribute, but I will say that an Amtrak themed passenger terminal switching layout is something I haven't seen anywhere, and would be really cool.

I think you might want to look into the New Haven CT area. I believe there was a fair amount of switching there, at one time, of trains headed up toward Hartford and stuff heading toward Boston.

3rdboxcar

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Re: Amtrak 70's-present switcher operations
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 05:34:20 PM »
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I would go for something resembling 12th street coach yard in Chicago, you could switch nearly any permutation of cars as nearly everything Amtrak has owned has passed through 12th street at some time, even if it was only for dead heading to get to Beech Grove. Opportunity to add a small locomotive shed, small repair / inspection shed, wheel turning shed, car wash facility etc, you can add as many of these buildings as space permits. Tons of pictures on the internet.

nuno81291

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Re: Amtrak 70's-present switcher operations
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2014, 09:50:42 PM »
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Thanks for the suggestions guys, Ed: That is what I was thinking. I love ISL's and simplicity ala Lance Mindheim, I am merely trying to take his principles to 'the back story' of passenger operations. I don't have the room to model a nice main line run with station stops, but I can envision something of a coach yard with light maintenance/car wash etc. I have been alerted to many facilities across the US, my only issue is I haven't found much operational description of how trains were brought into the facility, who/what was responsible for the various tasks each of these facilities would represent.

I could see modeling a commissary to restock dining cars, a service/inspection building, car wash, perhaps go back to the Baggage car/Mail car days and model a small siding for that. A car wash track and some storage/coach yard..trains being broken down for service/inspection, perhaps layovers, perhaps MOW gear sitting off to a side.

I just wish I could again, find someone who has documented a sort of 'this is what happens in described steps' for some of these facilities.

Gotta do more homework before I sit in Anyrail playing with this...

Thanks!

Mike
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

seusscaboose

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Re: Amtrak 70's-present switcher operations
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2014, 11:19:08 PM »
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My dad interviewed for the BG job before deciding to take the Detroit Super. job 40 years ago
He would know all the moves from the 70's there, as well as most others along the East coast from 1970-2000 while he was with Amtrak or MARC or moving PV around for RPCA.

Next time you're in DelMarVa let me know, you can pick his brain.

Could be worth spending an extra day if your flying into the area for the Rail BQ

PM me

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Amtrak 70's-present switcher operations
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 05:20:14 PM »
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There was an excellent article in one of the old Model Railroad Planning magazines about ATSF ops in Argentine that explains all the passenger car switching for that facility as modeled in the 50s. It was very inspirational.
http://www.amazon.com/Model-Railroad-Planning-Railroader-Special/dp/B000KGO08M

There was a more recent version in this year's MRP, but I don't think it was as good or in-depth.
http://mrr.trains.com/issues/2013/model-railroad-planning-2014