Author Topic: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR  (Read 1546 times)

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trainzluvr

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H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« on: July 02, 2017, 08:55:07 PM »
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Hello,

I'm hoping to solicit some comments and critiques on my current layout plan. It is a H0 freelance RR, unnamed at the moment, in a ~23x12' space, double deck (hopefully).



There are no industries or towns yet (where should they go/how should they be arranged?)

Staging is on the right, 4" elevated over the rest of the track in that area.

The Main is in yellow, A/D in orange, engine facilities in gray. Areas in blue are rivers (lift-outs/swing gates).

The yard is in lime green, rather unconventional look. I am looking to flip it upside down so that the turnouts are closer to the edge for ease of use.

The center peninsula is basically a no-lix (in turquoise) that climbs around in a figure 8 to the upper level, with several tunnels and a trestle bridge in the blob, being a center piece.

No upper level made yet, still trying to figure out whether this is truly a direction to take, so looking for opinions from more experienced modelers.

Thanks!

MichaelWinicki

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 09:52:19 PM »
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If it were me I would do it the other way...

I would start with an operational plan. 

-What's the local?
-What's the time frame?
-What's the purpose of the railroad? What's the history of the line?
-What roads does this line interchange with?
-How many trains do you envision running?
-Any through-freight? The average length of a through-freight?
-How many way-freights?  The average length of a way-freight?
-What's the capacity of the yard?  This will go a long way to determining how many industries/interchange points you'll need.
-How many operators do you envision?

Once you sort that out, then I'd pitch into the track plan.

trainzluvr

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 10:20:15 PM »
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These are the G&Ds:

Givens
--------

- Room size: 22.5’x12’ (irregular, open space/no wall with two columns on the North side; doorway access on the North-East, electrical closet on the South-West)

- Finished hardwood floor, but uneven/sloping

- Ceiling: 6’5”-6’6”; pot lights, two speakers, air-vent near the South-West window

- Two windows on the South side starting at 55" above floor level

- The layout will remain in the train area (no foreseeable expansion)

- Climate controlled space

- Scale: H0

- Full DCC operation (Roco Z21)

- Era: Transition (steam/4-axle diesels)/post-Transition (6-axle diesels)

- Prototype: Freelance

- Region: North America

- Operating crew: 2 (most of the time, but visitors possible)

- Open to multi-deck

- Benchwork: free standing, open-frame, or whatever works (not attached to the walls if possible)

- Min. radius: 24” (considering scale and longer passenger and freight cars)

 

Druthers
----------

- Track: Code 83/70, depends on cost and availability/requirements of the plan

- Min. turnout size: whatever works, ideally #5+

- Single track mainline is ok, with passing sidings where needed for added ops interest

- Capability for continuous running

- Preferred 3’ aisle width, but 2’-2.5’ choke points are ok

- Signaled operation (CTC - automated)

- Option for fully computer controlled trains

- Swing/lift out bridge is preferred, no duck unders

- No need to reach more than 30″ into the layout

- Like longer main-line runs

- Moderate length trains are ok, long might not be possible

- Like yard switching and operations

- Like intricate track work (more prototypical to Europe than North America e.g. double slips, wyes, 3-way, etc.)

- Various industries to keep the operational interest

- Adequate staging (in a sub-level beneath the benchwork)

- Scenic views where possible

- Scenery: rolling hills, canyons, rivers, tunnels, rock faces, bridges, trees, lakes

- Like freight, but also some passenger service

- Interest in rail-fanning the layout

- Would prefer not to, but trains may pass through the same scene area more than once (using a different track and/or elevation) if really necessary


Beyond that, it's an open book, anything goes since it's freelance. It seems that most people build based on some (childhood) locale/line, or a prototype they are/were attached to for whatever other reason. I do not have such memories, or feelings of attachment, but I still love trains and everything about them. How does one create an operational plan in such an instance?

MichaelWinicki

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2017, 08:12:18 AM »
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These are the G&Ds:

Givens
--------

- Room size: 22.5’x12’ (irregular, open space/no wall with two columns on the North side; doorway access on the North-East, electrical closet on the South-West)

- Finished hardwood floor, but uneven/sloping

- Ceiling: 6’5”-6’6”; pot lights, two speakers, air-vent near the South-West window

- Two windows on the South side starting at 55" above floor level

- The layout will remain in the train area (no foreseeable expansion)

- Climate controlled space

- Scale: H0

- Full DCC operation (Roco Z21)

- Era: Transition (steam/4-axle diesels)/post-Transition (6-axle diesels)

- Prototype: Freelance

- Region: North America

- Operating crew: 2 (most of the time, but visitors possible)

- Open to multi-deck

- Benchwork: free standing, open-frame, or whatever works (not attached to the walls if possible)

- Min. radius: 24” (considering scale and longer passenger and freight cars)

 

Druthers
----------

- Track: Code 83/70, depends on cost and availability/requirements of the plan

- Min. turnout size: whatever works, ideally #5+

- Single track mainline is ok, with passing sidings where needed for added ops interest

- Capability for continuous running

- Preferred 3’ aisle width, but 2’-2.5’ choke points are ok

- Signaled operation (CTC - automated)

- Option for fully computer controlled trains

- Swing/lift out bridge is preferred, no duck unders

- No need to reach more than 30″ into the layout

- Like longer main-line runs

- Moderate length trains are ok, long might not be possible

- Like yard switching and operations

- Like intricate track work (more prototypical to Europe than North America e.g. double slips, wyes, 3-way, etc.)

- Various industries to keep the operational interest

- Adequate staging (in a sub-level beneath the benchwork)

- Scenic views where possible

- Scenery: rolling hills, canyons, rivers, tunnels, rock faces, bridges, trees, lakes

- Like freight, but also some passenger service

- Interest in rail-fanning the layout

- Would prefer not to, but trains may pass through the same scene area more than once (using a different track and/or elevation) if really necessary


Beyond that, it's an open book, anything goes since it's freelance. It seems that most people build based on some (childhood) locale/line, or a prototype they are/were attached to for whatever other reason. I do not have such memories, or feelings of attachment, but I still love trains and everything about them. How does one create an operational plan in such an instance?

That's helpful to a point!

I'd look at it from an operating session point of view...

-How many trains would you like to run during an operating session?

-How many of those would be through freights that would not be switched (answer could be zero)?

-How many way-freights would you like to run?  How many cars per train on a way freight?

Those numbers will greatly influence everything else.

On my layout I figured out that I would have 6 way freights during a complete operating session.  Those way freights would switch out approximately 96 cars... 48 in and 48 out.

Those numbers dictated:

-How large of a yard I would need (about 57 cars)
-How many industries, interchanges and car swop out points I would need to accommodate 48 cars in & 48 cars out

I then worked backwards to determine how many freights to/from staging would feed/empty the yard (4 total of 12 cars each)

Once I had that sorted I could then schedule through freights that would do nothing more than navigate around the layout for added operating effect.


trainzluvr

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2017, 10:16:52 AM »
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Thanks for those pointers, to be honest I did not consider looking at it from that angle.

Did you know ahead of time what kind of industries you would have on your layout and how they would influence your consists?

Or is that too granular at this point, and the idea is to just figure out the size of trains, their nature (through vs way) and destinations?

Unless destinations would imply some kind of specific purpose which might not be there at this stage of development?

MichaelWinicki

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2017, 11:27:31 AM »
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Thanks for those pointers, to be honest I did not consider looking at it from that angle.

Did you know ahead of time what kind of industries you would have on your layout and how they would influence your consists?

Or is that too granular at this point, and the idea is to just figure out the size of trains, their nature (through vs way) and destinations?

Unless destinations would imply some kind of specific purpose which might not be there at this stage of development?

I knew I wanted some specific industries like:

-At least one interchange
-A small refinery
-One that would utilize insulated boxcars
-A small coal mine

Other than that I was open to what the market offered me in the way of buildings and ideas.

So yeah, you can mix the two at this juncture, i.e. industry destinations you want and the types of trains (& lengths) you would like to run.

Dave V

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2017, 11:57:50 AM »
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I feel like that yard full of a bunch of very short tracks is probably not going to work as well as you'd might hope.

Probably better to have a few long tracks representing specific purposes (arrive/departure, classification tracks for specific destinations, etc) rather than a mess of tracks that can hold only 2 or 3 cars at best.

trainzluvr

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 02:58:30 PM »
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I feel like that yard full of a bunch of very short tracks is probably not going to work as well as you'd might hope.

Probably better to have a few long tracks representing specific purposes (arrive/departure, classification tracks for specific destinations, etc) rather than a mess of tracks that can hold only 2 or 3 cars at best.

Actually there are specific tracks (colour coded) as I mentioned above. Main is yellow, A/D is orange, Engine facilities gray, Yard is lime.

The thinking behind the yard was two fold. One, the turnouts would be aligned to the edge (not shown in this version of the plan though) and the other, most of the times industries would really not need more space than this, if we follow a selective compression method ie. a coal mine does not really need 60 cars if 16 is enough to represent it.

Each spur is 36" long which equates to ~260 actual feet, thus could hold 6 x 40' cars, 5 x 50' cars, or 3 x 85' cars. Since my railroad is not a full basement empire, having 10+ ft long yard tracks didn't make sense to me, although it would look impressive with long strings of cars.

The parking lot effect is still there, whether it's one long track or bunch of short ones. Besides, this way each industry can have it own dedicated track instead of having to share one long with others. The switching will still have to happen one way or the other.

Or, am I totally off my rocker here and my thinking is flawed?

trainzluvr

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 03:10:52 PM »
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I knew I wanted some specific industries like:

-At least one interchange
-A small refinery
-One that would utilize insulated boxcars
-A small coal mine

Other than that I was open to what the market offered me in the way of buildings and ideas.

So yeah, you can mix the two at this juncture, i.e. industry destinations you want and the types of trains (& lengths) you would like to run.

If I'm building on two levels, which one is generally preferred, interchange the levels, or sending the trains to their counterpart level yards? Or is it purely based on the topology of the modeled railroad?

Is there a specific ratio of industries, towns, scenery that works the best?

lajmdlr

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2017, 03:30:51 PM »
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Your short "yard tracks" remind of the tracks that served the Los Angeles Produce terminal on the LAJ Ry. Three 40' reefers could be put on each track. Then the cars would be unloaded using bridge plates between each reefer & a dock. The spurs are at 15 degrees from the lead.    The original could hold 36 reefers & Tony's can hold 18. On your layout don't even have the building just the triangular unloading docks. Attached are pix of Tony Debates' model & a track diagram.
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« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 03:57:48 PM by lajmdlr »
Andy Jackson
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pdx1955

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2017, 03:48:23 PM »
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Yard size to a degree will be dictated by how much industry you will have. The capacity of the yard tracks need to more of less match the capacity of the industry tracks. Staging yards should be balanced with similar track numbers/lengths on each end.  Keep in mind that your yard can't really ever exceed 50% of capacity as you won't have enough space to sort. You have a long yard lead , so you could easily do a number of long yard tracks. Each track might be for a single town or switching district for the yard switcher to sort the cars into and out of. Your many short tracks will end up being inefficient and harder to use plus more switches isn't better as that's more places for derailments, mechanical issues, and wiring etc to deal with. I know that complexity looks neat but you'll pay for it in the end.
Peter

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MichaelWinicki

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2017, 03:54:18 PM »
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If I'm building on two levels, which one is generally preferred, interchange the levels, or sending the trains to their counterpart level yards? Or is it purely based on the topology of the modeled railroad?

Is there a specific ratio of industries, towns, scenery that works the best?

It can be whatever you like for either question...

On my layout, which is a dual deck, the "main" is the bottom deck and I have staging at each end.  Through freights stick to the bottom deck.  Also my main yard is on the bottom deck.  The top deck is a branch line that sees 3 way freights from the bottom deck per operating session and has 3 of it's own way freights that originate/terminate at a small yard on the top deck.

However many folks with dual decks have the main on both decks and the trains enter/exit the top deck via a helix, a set of helixes or a nolex.

Either can work great and the deciding factor rests with you. 

Obviously if you're pushing a main on both decks then % grade needs to be taken into consideration along with the possible need of helpers.

I did mine the way I did because I wanted to have big-time railroading on the bottom deck, while giving the top deck more of a "short-line" feel.

There is no "ratio" as far as towns, industries and scenery.  You ask 10 modelers what their preference is and you'll get 10 different answers– It's whatever works for you!  I outlined the system I used to determine yard size, industrial spur needs and staging needs because I didn't want to overbuild or underbuild. 

mu26aeh

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2017, 03:57:43 PM »
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First off, let me welcome you to TRW.  I'm certain you'll find a wealth of information here.

Please excuse my crude rendition of my drawing of what my thoughts would be.   My first reply would be to go with the longer yard tracks as others have stated.  It's a lot of back and forth only grabbing a couple of cars at a shot and at least myself, I think I would wonder why I set it up that way.  I would suggest wrapping your A/D tracks around the turn, bringing a yard entrance off the innermost track and fanning out 3-4 long yard tracks from there.  Also instead of a crossover to the roundhouse, I'd just make that a turnout.

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trainzluvr

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2017, 06:34:06 PM »
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Thank you everyone for your replies. As suggested, I have revised the plan to include the more traditional yard:



Speaking of the yard, mu26aeh (thank you for the welcome) drew a double-ended yard that connects to the A/Ds and the Main to the left. Is there a need to connect to the A/Ds more than once, as my connection is in the upper right from the yard lead via a curved turnout?

And, what about a double-ended yard - it would be considerably shorter than the current single ended one?

Should there be more than 2 A/Ds in this configuration? At least from what I could read on the subject, it is suggested to have at least 3-4 A/D tracks.

The connection to the turntable/roundhouses in the upper left is via a double-slip, but I'm lacking the two tracks (in/out) to the turntable to begin with, no?

Also, I'm concerned that there's not enough space in that area for full steam engine facilities. I put a water tower just for the kicks on the single approach track, while the coal tower and the sand house are off of the turntable below it. There's no power generation or workshops, either.

Ah, questions, questions...hope you don't mind.

MichaelWinicki

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Re: H0 Layout for an unnamed RR
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2017, 06:39:42 PM »
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You would need a very large yard with many trains in & out to support (need) 3-4 AD tracks... Probably something like a double-ended yard where you have a switcher working each end of the yard.  For your yard configuration 2 AD tracks is probably just fine.