Author Topic: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale  (Read 2426 times)

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Tad_T

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The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« on: April 29, 2014, 01:18:32 AM »
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So, I have this shop that I got three years ago with a new old house and an acre. I foolishly had delusions of being able to build an N scale layout in the back room of my shop before too long.




Well, after about three years of remodeling, updating, painting, roofing, landscaping, gardening, planting an orchard, and various other sundry projects and going through some serious health issues where I almost died a couple of times, I am finally starting to see that I may be able to start building a layout this fall or winter.

I got to start back doing some model railroading just a few months ago.

I model the Ashley Drew and Northern Railway Company, a 41 mile shortline that was in Southeast Arkansas where I grew up.



Some of y'all probably have seen or might even own an AD&N boxcar.



When we moved I tore down my old layout.



That was my first serious attempt and it was a good learning experience. I learned a lot of what not to do.

I have built a couple of small "learning lab" layouts since then and have learned a lot more. I am sure that I have a lot more to learn. That is why I am working on another "learning lab" layout now.

The reason that the AD&N existed was to service the large Georgia-Pacific Forest Products complex in Crossett, Arkansas.






I have studied a lot and thought a lot and am planning on building a double deck (mostly) layout that is connected by a nolix all the way around the room to extend the mainline run and trying to model the AD&N in it's entirety in the back room of my shop.

Grid is 12". Track is code 55. Turnouts will be #5 or larger. Command & Control will be DCC.

The first level:






The AD&N ran north to Monticello, Arkansas.






The second level:





Since I don't have to make a landgrab or negotiate for space, I plan on having double deck staging in the shop.

Staging:






Questions, suggestions, discussion, comments, criticisms, and "What the #@!! did you do that for?" are welcomed and desired.




Tad



MVW

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 01:40:05 AM »
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Welcome, Tad!

I'm too brain dead at the moment to work my way through the layout, but I gotta say that it sure looks like you've done your homework and crafted a plan that captures the essence of the AD&N. Seems like a commendable balance between industrial trackage and open country.

The one thing that leaped out at me was that it would make a lot of sense to start construction with the Crossett table. You could easily have an operational oval with a sizeable yard and plenty of switching. My experience has been that it's a good thing to get trains running relatively early in the construction process. Helps alleviate the tedium of endless construction with no payoff.

I look forward to seeing others' comments, as well as taking a closer look when I have time. Best of luck, and keep us posted!

Jim

Tad_T

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 11:04:16 AM »
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Thanks for looking and commenting, Jim.

I went and looked at a historical topo map from 1966 that I downloaded here:

USGS US Topo and Historical Topographic Map Collection

and then there was actually a spur that went in between two buildings at the elevator.

I also had the spur for the warehouse reversed.

So Monticello was actually more like this:


basementcalling

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 12:23:33 PM »
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Looks like a great candidate for a sectional approach. Pick an area with operational interest to start and get things going, then fill in the spaces between.

My first impression was that the staging yard seems overly complex for your needs, but I don't have the familiarity with the operational demands you plan to place on the layout.

I really like how you have enough space to let the industry dominate the trains or let them blend into the scenery.
Peter Pfotenhauer

Dave Schneider

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 01:03:54 PM »
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Tad,

Welcome to The Railwire and thanks for sharing your vision with us. It looks like you have a very nice space in which to work. The AD&N seems like a great prototype and I have always admired their stylish paint scheme on the boxcars. Who would have thought at the time that the 1970s would be a golden age of creative schemes?

One quick comment on your track plan. It looks like your yard ladders are laid out with the turnouts linked directly together without any short sections in between. I may be wrong, but I think that this will result in yard tracks that are too close together. Something to take a look early in the planning stage.

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Tad_T

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2014, 08:04:48 PM »
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Thanks for looking and commenting, Peter.

There is a reason for the staging being as it is. (Long explanation follows)

One reason is that I have often heard that you never have enough staging and I found that to be true on my old layout. So, I plan on having plenty of staging capacity when I build this one.

Somehow I wound up with more locomotives and cabooses than I have operational needs for. :) I don't know how that could happen to a model railroader. The ops plan calls for most of them to be utilized.

The AD&N interchanged on both ends with the MoPac. What I plan to do is have two MoPac trains on each level in staging. On the first level would also be two, Rock Island trains, and two A&LM trains. Each would only run every other session. Cars that interchange will disappear from the layout for a session or two.

The other thing that I plan on happening in staging is to swap the MoPac trains between levels. That is what the helix is for.

The MoPac Local that went to Crossett came from Montrose. Let's call the two staged at Montrose MP1 & MP3.

The MoPac Local that went to Monticello came from MeGehee. Let's call the two staged at MeGehee MP2 & MP4.

Session 1

MP1 to Crossett and return to Montrose. MP3 stays home.

MP2 to Monticello and return to MeGehee. MP4 stays home.

MP1 Montrose to MeGehee. (Lower Staging through the helix to Upper Staging.)

MP2 MeGehee to Montrose. (Upper Staging through the helix to Lower Staging.)

Session 2

MP3 to Crossett and return to Montrose. MP2 stays home.

MP4 to Monticello and return to MeGehee. MP1 stays home.

MP3 Montrose to MeGehee. (Lower Staging through the helix to Upper Staging.)

MP4 MeGehee to Montrose. (Upper Staging through the helix to Lower Staging.)

Session 3

MP2 to Crossett and return to Montrose. MP4 stays home.

MP1 to Monticello and return to MeGehee. MP3 stays home.

MP2 Montrose to MeGehee. (Lower Staging through the helix to Upper Staging.)

MP1 MeGehee to Montrose. (Upper Staging through the helix to Lower Staging.)

Session 4

MP4 to Crossett and return to Montrose. MP1 stays home.

MP3 to Monticello and return to MeGehee. MP2 stays home.

MP4 Montrose to MeGehee. (Lower Staging through the helix to Upper Staging.)

MP3 MeGehee to Montrose. (Upper Staging through the helix to Lower Staging.)

Session 5 repeats Session 1.

The way the staging is constructed allows the trains to be swapped between levels and restaged in the proper direction without any backing up. They always pull into staging and always pull out.

When the cars go away on the MoPac they reappear in a different location than what they left from and they stay gone for a session.

I figure having multiple trains in staging and the staged trains only running every other session should keep the cars mixed around on the layout pretty well.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2014, 07:01:40 AM »
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Welcome to Railwire Tad.  I remember your earlier AD&N from Trainboard (I think it was) and always liked your approach.  I'm really impressed with the thought that went into your new plan and I think it will be very rewarding layout to operate.  I have a few comments for your consideration:

* Have you thought through the elevation profiles along the line and estimated what your deck separations will be everywhere?  One area that looks problematic is along the right wall and across the doorway.  In order to connect the two decks with a nolix, the spacing here will have to be very tight, and you have a rather tricky arrangement of tracks for the gate itself since there will be tracks at three different - but closely spaced - levels.  I think you should mock that up to see how it will really work.  On my layout, I have two decks crossing the door and I made the upper deck (which is the summit of my line at ~66" height) a permanent duck-under.  I have no regrets about that, but you might not be able to do the same with yours.

* Your staging scheme is conceptually rich but possibly overly complex, and the ratio of storage area to total area is quite low.  I'm also worried that the lower level will be really hard to access given the depth of the shelf.

* Do you really want to bother with a helix between staging levels?  They take up a lot of everything: space, time, and track, and as far as I can tell, its only function is to carry trains between staging levels between sessions (if I understand your scheme correctly).  You could achieve the same result by, e.g., running a train from lower staging out to Willow Junction, run around there and proceed to the upper staging via Fountain Hill.  It would probably take the same amount of time as traversing the helix.

* I also don't see the need for two balloon tracks on each level.  Surely you can turn any train you need to with one, no?  If it were me, I would greatly expand the length, and maybe the number, of storage tracks and make the shelf a lot narrower.  Something like this should achieve what you're after and give your more storage:

   |                                                                                                                                                                 |
   |                                                                                                                                                                 |
   |\  ______________________________________________________________________________/ |
   |/                                                                                                                                                               \|
   |                                                                                                                                                                  |
    \_________________________________yard tracks_______________________________________/


Sorry for the crude sketch - I can clarify if you're interested and the diagram is unclear.  The idea is to let you enter either end of the yard from either lead.   Again, I really like the plan, and your adherence to the prototype virtually guarantees an interesting operation.  Please keep us posted!

-Gary
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 07:05:01 AM by GaryHinshaw »

basementcalling

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2014, 08:38:17 AM »
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Thanks for looking and commenting, Jim.

I went and looked at a historical topo map from 1966 that I downloaded here:

USGS US Topo and Historical Topographic Map Collection

and then there was actually a spur that went in between two buildings at the elevator.

I also had the spur for the warehouse reversed.

So Monticello was actually more like this:



Thanks for the explanation. I still tend to agree with Gary that I think some of our space utilization wizards on TRW could help reengineer the staging area for more efficiency.

Any layout with a paper mill draws my interest. I'm proto lancing one on my freelanced layout.
Peter Pfotenhauer

Tad_T

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2014, 11:54:50 AM »
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Welcome to Railwire Tad.  I remember your earlier AD&N from Trainboard (I think it was) and always liked your approach.  I'm really impressed with the thought that went into your new plan and I think it will be very rewarding layout to operate.

Thanks, Gary. I want it to be an operational layout that replicates the ops on the AD&N as closely as possible.


  I have a few comments for your consideration:

* Have you thought through the elevation profiles along the line and estimated what your deck separations will be everywhere?  One area that looks problematic is along the right wall and across the doorway.  In order to connect the two decks with a nolix, the spacing here will have to be very tight, and you have a rather tricky arrangement of tracks for the gate itself since there will be tracks at three different - but closely spaced - levels.  I think you should mock that up to see how it will really work.  On my layout, I have two decks crossing the door and I made the upper deck (which is the summit of my line at ~66" height) a permanent duck-under.  I have no regrets about that, but you might not be able to do the same with yours.

I have been thinking of that and I know that the gate will probably be a booger.

I plan on making the nolix a very narrow shelf with eased curves in the corner. Basically just a straight run uphill. I can gain about 4 inches on each wall at a 2%  grade. That would give me 16 inches of vertical separation. I was also considering climbing out of Whitlow Junction through Milo up to Longview Curve and then leveling out for Fountain Hill through Roark Junction and then start the climb again there. I could probably gain another few inches there. This has been the concept, anyway.

I am planning on working up the benchwork in Sketchup and see what that would actually look like and then probably do a mockup and look at actual feasibility.

* Your staging scheme is conceptually rich but possibly overly complex, and the ratio of storage area to total area is quite low.  I'm also worried that the lower level will be really hard to access given the depth of the shelf.

I am open to ideas.

* Do you really want to bother with a helix between staging levels?  They take up a lot of everything: space, time, and track, and as far as I can tell, its only function is to carry trains between staging levels between sessions (if I understand your scheme correctly).  You could achieve the same result by, e.g., running a train from lower staging out to Willow Junction, run around there and proceed to the upper staging via Fountain Hill.  It would probably take the same amount of time as traversing the helix.

I don't have to have the helix and I have thought that I could just run the trains between levels to restage. Running trains ain't all bad.  ;)  I have been kicking around ideas.

* I also don't see the need for two balloon tracks on each level.  Surely you can turn any train you need to with one, no?  If it were me, I would greatly expand the length, and maybe the number, of storage tracks and make the shelf a lot narrower.  Something like this should achieve what you're after and give your more storage:

   |                                                                                                                                                                 |
   |                                                                                                                                                                 |
   |\  ______________________________________________________________________________/ |
   |/                                                                                                                                                               \|
   |                                                                                                                                                                  |
    \_________________________________yard tracks_______________________________________/


Sorry for the crude sketch - I can clarify if you're interested and the diagram is unclear.  The idea is to let you enter either end of the yard from either lead.   Again, I really like the plan, and your adherence to the prototype virtually guarantees an interesting operation.  Please keep us posted!

-Gary

Clarification would be cool. The board kind of mangled your sketch. Would you recommend a different type of ladder for the staging yard?

 I appreciate the feedback.

Thanks,

Tad

Tad_T

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2014, 11:57:38 AM »
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Thanks for the explanation. I still tend to agree with Gary that I think some of our space utilization wizards on TRW could help reengineer the staging area for more efficiency.

Any layout with a paper mill draws my interest. I'm proto lancing one on my freelanced layout.

You're and Gary are probably right and I am open to ideas. That is why I called it a preliminary staging plan.  :)

Thanks,

Tad

Tad_T

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2014, 12:03:15 PM »
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Tad,

Welcome to The Railwire and thanks for sharing your vision with us. It looks like you have a very nice space in which to work. The AD&N seems like a great prototype and I have always admired their stylish paint scheme on the boxcars. Who would have thought at the time that the 1970s would be a golden age of creative schemes?

One quick comment on your track plan. It looks like your yard ladders are laid out with the turnouts linked directly together without any short sections in between. I may be wrong, but I think that this will result in yard tracks that are too close together. Something to take a look early in the planning stage.

Best wishes, Dave

Dave,

I laid it out using RTS 8.0 for planning purposes. Most of the turnouts in the plan are Atlas #5's.

I plan on actually using FastTracks turnouts and flextrack for the actual construction. I am waiting on my stuff to come in so that I can start learning to build #5 turnouts. I know that doing that will cause some modification to have to be made when it comes time to actually build it.

Thanks for your thoughts and I will keep that in mind.

Tad

Dave Schneider

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2014, 01:40:42 PM »
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Tad,

Here is a yard ladder I laid out using Anyrail. This is from an old post that I can't find, where we were discussing yard track spacing. These are #7s but the point remains that you probably can't just link turnouts together in a yard an get the proper track spacing. Sounds like you are aware of the issues, so  I just thought I would post this to provide a little more info on my previous point.



Best wishes, Dave
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 01:42:31 PM by Dave Schneider »
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Tad_T

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2014, 06:37:05 PM »
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Dave,

Thanks. I see your point. I have a MLR Mfg Co Parallel Track Tool that I use when laying track to keep me right on that.

I got one of their track laying tool kits several years ago.

Tad

GaryHinshaw

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2014, 09:13:30 AM »
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Clarification would be cool. The board kind of mangled your sketch. Would you recommend a different type of ladder for the staging yard?

Indeed it did, sorry about that...  Here is a sketch that uses 15" min radius, #5 turnouts and 1.25" yard track spacing:



It has almost twice the storage capacity and allows a train to enter the yard from either direction from either end of the visible layout.  I haven't tried to make it look especially pretty, or pack the wye/reverse tracks as efficiently as possible.  But aside from the helix, I think it captures all the topological elements you're looking for.  Mainly it's food for thought.

-Gary

DKS

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Re: The All Day & Night Railway Company in N scale
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2014, 11:21:11 AM »
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These are #7s but the point remains that you probably can't just link turnouts together in a yard an get the proper track spacing.

You can with #5s, assuming one is OK using them.
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