Author Topic: MVW: A blank slate  (Read 3350 times)

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MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2014, 10:05:42 PM »
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After toying with several more configurations, it finally occurred to me I'm seeking the wrong answer.

What I should be asking is: how difficult would it be to build reliable, easily manipulated liftouts/gates at the entrance and window?

Why not just go whole hog -- around the walls, with a single central peninsula? I would still double-deck it. The first run around the room would be 80', with about 60' of rise available. Clearances of 10-12" would be a snap with a nolix. Aisles would be 3 feet, with a lot of aisles 4 feet or more.

Does that make sense? Can that be done? Or is it a minefield? I've never played with liftouts or gates before.

Jim

conrail98

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MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2014, 12:59:39 AM »
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Thank you, sir!

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2014, 08:06:29 PM »
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After playing with several different configurations, I've resorted to this one -- inspired by Doug's suggestion, but rotated to provide longer tangents.

This is still more a feasibility study than a track plan. I was primarily concerned with locating the mainline, calculating grades and clearances, and making sure there was enough room for the big stuff, so I haven't given much thought to industrial trackage yet.

The lower level:



And the upper:



Each staging yard will hold the equivalent of more than 150 40-foot box cars. My max siding length (on the mainline) will be about 20 cars, and I expect to stage up to 7-8 trains of various lengths at each end, so this should be sufficient.

Tentative depot locations are marked by a large "X". I'll probably plan operations around an 8:1 fast clock, so about three feet of track will be equal to one mile. Distances shown are depot-to-depot (and to the center of the freight yard).

I streamlined the benchwork as much as possible, but ended up adding back a few inches to make everything fit. So we're back to 30" aisles in most places. If I develop this further, I'll try to eke out a couple extra inches in aisle width for key areas. But 30" isn't the end of the world.

There's about 140 feet of mainline, staging to staging, or a little over 46 miles by the fast clock.

I'm using 13.75" curves as the minimum on the main. That's an inch larger than on my current layout, and I don't expect to be running anything larger than I do now. The innermost loop in staging is 11.25" radius, but that can be reserved for freight trains with short motive power. Maximum grade is 2%.

It may be a little tough following along on the top deck, so here's a brief walk-through:

As the mainline completes the turnback curve at lower right, it encounters a right-hand turnout. Passenger traffic takes the turnout to enter the four-track passenger station, then is routed around the outer (13.75") curves on the rest of the layout. Freight traffic stays straight to bypass the passenger station, then is routed around the inner (12.5") curves.

A backdrop will split the peninsula, with the back side being used for industrial trackage.

The doubletrack main continues past the freight yard, which features two A/D tracks and four double-ended classification tracks. The A/D tracks can handle trains of 20+ cars, while the class tracks have a maximum capacity of about 65 cars. Far from expansive, but perhaps just large enough to be sufficient, if I schedule judiciously. I won't be building any 20-car trains in this yard; those will be primarily through trains, stopping only to drop off/pick up a block of cars. Freights originating or terminating here will probably max out at about 15 cars. There are switching leads at both ends of the yard, and each can handle a cut of 8-9 cars.

It's all pretty tight, I know. And I still need to find room for engine servicing and 15-20 industries.

Thoughts?

MichaelWinicki

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2014, 09:23:34 PM »
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Given the amount of industries you would like to add along with needing engine facilities... my initial thought is that there's going to be alotta track all over the place... And if that's what you want– cool! 

I'm not big on the minimum radius of your curves... For a decent sized pike with a busy mainline 13.75 is on the sharp side given that you want to run 20-car trains, but the 11.25 is really sharp.

My other thought is that while the through-freights are going to be on a 8:1 fast clock, switching is more like 1:1 and with all the switching you envision, I'm not sure how well you're going to be able to serve "two masters".
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 09:26:29 PM by MichaelWinicki »

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2014, 10:37:57 PM »
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Oh, I don't know, Michael. You have to consider that 2-3 industries can share a single spur. (You can get away with that a couple times, anyway.) A team track without any associated structure is also an industry. So it doesn't necessarily have to be a case of "track all over the place." Especially when the lower deck is mostly open countryside. The top deck is "busier" because it's a major city. Sure, it would be nice to have another hundred square feet to play with and spread things out, but I don't have that.

As far as curve radius goes, I've often run trains of 30+ cars on my current layout, and the curves are only 12.75" radius. (Yes, I use easements, and will use easements on this layout.) So going to a bigger radius shouldn't be a problem.

And the "time" differential between mainline running and switching is the same faced by everyone using a fast clock. It works.

I'm probably willing to accept the high track-to-scenery ratio. (Nobody complains about that on a micro layout, right?) I'm more concerned about the practicality of these clearances, for the moment.

Jim

MichaelWinicki

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2014, 08:21:24 AM »
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I don't use a fast-clock myself because of the time discrepancy between mainline trains (throughfreights and such) and "peddlers" (locals).  I simply use a sequential train schedule.

As far as clearance goes, I've kept mine at 14" between decks and that worked out just great.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 09:27:50 AM by MichaelWinicki »

tappertrainman

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2014, 07:27:08 PM »
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You've done a good job making sure that the "busy" areas on each deck are not right above each other, but as you fine tune the details make sure you remember that there are two sides to each aisle.  I wouldn't recommend placing two busy spots right across from each other or right on top of each other.  Thinking in 3D is hard (that is why I don't ever want to do two decks!    :facepalm:)

James
Santa Fe all the way!

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2014, 08:20:15 PM »
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I never really wanted to do two decks either, James. But my layout space was always indeterminate. I had a small, lousy space to work with. Now I'm moving to a place that I expect to be in for the next 10-15 years, and it will likely be the largest space I'll ever have to work with. So ... it's two decks or abandon the layout vision I've been developing for years.

And I agree about the difficulty of thinking in 3D. It's a particular shortcoming of mine.

I'm definitely trying to keep the "busy" areas as isolated as possible. That's not easy in the space available, but I think you're absolutely right about its importance.

Jim

jpwisc

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2014, 02:14:30 PM »
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As a contrast to having multiple industries on a single spur, you can have larger customers that get multiple car types on multiple sidings.

ie:
Flour Mill: Wheat in on one track, flour out on another.

Steel Mill: Scrap steel in on one track, coke out on one, steel coils out on one, steel slabs out on another.

Car Parts plant: Steel in on one track, parts cars out on another.

I also have an industry I love, it may have three or four cars on the siding, but there is only one loadout spot. Even if I don't bring new cars in, I still have to move a load to the unloading rack every day as the facility doesn't have the ability to move it themselves. It keeps operators busy.
Karl
CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline.

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2014, 05:23:23 PM »
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Yeah, I really like the big industry approach. There are two industries on my current layout I'd like to transfer to the new. The first is a meat packing plant, with four tracks. One track is strictly for unloading livestock, two are for icing and loading reefers, and the fourth ships and receives stuff like coal, salt, hides, blood, trim, etc.

I also have a cereal plant with two tracks. Different spots for unloading different grains, other spots for unloading things like sugar and corn syrup, and of course spots for loading the finished product.

I'm aiming for a mix of large and small industries. We'll just have to see what fits.

And there's always the possibility I get deep into this plan before realizing I have to scrap it. Oh, the suspense ...  :o

Jim

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #41 on: August 10, 2014, 01:48:54 PM »
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I offer this as an aside ... perhaps as a public service announcement.

Since I've never built (or even seen) a multi-deck layout, I ordered a copy of "Designing & Building Multi-Deck Model Railroads," the Kalmbach book by Tony Koester. Now, I know there are those that can't stand Koester, but he's never had that effect on me. Sometimes I find his musings interesting and relevant, sometimes not, but he hasn't raised my ire.

That ended with this particular publication. After reading it cover to cover, I can safely say I know precisely nothing more about the subject matter than when I started. If I could offer a critique, it would be, "A tremendous waste of time and money."

There are certain books I've found indispensable: "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" by John Armstrong, and "How to Operate Your Model Railroad" by Bruce Chubb. Compared to the relevant, useful, in-depth info thoughtfully presented by those two authors, Koester's entry wouldn't even qualify as a bookmark.

I stopped buying Model Railroader a few years ago, because I found more relevant and helpful info online than I did in its pages. After this completely lackluster "attempt," I will never consider a Kalmbach publication again.

If by chance you were thinking of buying this book, I suggest you direct your money elsewhere.

Jim

Freight Train

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2014, 09:07:57 PM »
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Here's a thought,           If the buck bust come with the room when you get the house place a couple of small camera's in each of one of the bust eyes to give the illusion of being way up on a mountian top looking down on the valley below when viewing from a monitor... ( Just Joking ) Anyway, I hope it all works out and you get the room to start a new project with. Nothing better than having a dedicated train room.
Phoenix Southside Connecting Railroad (H0)
Moose River Railroad (N)

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2014, 11:05:50 PM »
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OK, my creativity has smacked into a brick wall, so it's time to throw this one out there for feedback.

We've moved into the new place. The "train room" is slightly larger than I expected, although the entry is a bit different than I remembered. (We looked at nearly 40 houses, so whaddaya expect?)

Anyway, I've been playing with an around the walls, multi-deck approach. Here's a rough draft of the top deck:



A few quick notes:

- Staging is at right. The footprint for lower-level staging is also shown in green.

- Minimum mainline radius is 15".

- The mainline splits after leaving staging. Passenger traffic is routed through the four-track station along the bottom wall. Freight traffic is routed behind the roundhouse and into the freight yard, where the A/D and class yards are stacked.

- The peninsula and bottom wall represent Cedricsburg, the major city. There will be two industrial areas, for now denoted by the two passing tracks. I'd like to work 4-6 industries in, but we'll see what's possible.

- The first city west of Cedricsburg is denoted by the passing track along the top wall.

- Most aisles are 3' or more. The chokepoint is a short 27" aisle above the peninsula.

It looks like I could accomplish this with a nolex, using a 2% drop between cities.

Thoughts?

Jim

MVW

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Re: MVW: A blank slate
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2014, 12:07:41 AM »
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Been screwing around with the plan du jour.



Much to my chagrin (and pleasure), I recently discovered I had diagrammed the room dimensions as one foot too narrow. D'oh!  :facepalm:

Jim