Joined: Thu Dec 09 2004, 04:41PM Location: Melbourne, Australia Posts: 97
I like the use of the next room/garage for the helix and mole staging, but you seem to have a lot of raised floor there. To me that is a concern.
Could you "reverse" all that and have what is upper be the lower etc? That would reduce the raised floor and have the same plan....... ???
Also confused with the green line at "F" that stops , and the green line around the corner that seemingly stops with the "1.6%grade" lable. Is that green track under the red, or are they terminuses ???
Joined: Mon Aug 22 2005, 05:32PM Location: Arizona Posts: 103
If I'm reading the code in the upper right correctly, the green line terminates at F. I think the place where the green says 1.6% grade it is connected to the red, that's the start of the descent to the lower level. The lower level looks a lot like a branch line (the Coos Bat Branch on Joes layout), the upper level goes from staging to staging. Jeff Vail and Southwestern Railroad
The raised floor is raised 15" all over where i have raised floor. It is not a problem to build. I reason why i would like to have this area as the upper level is that i will enter the room under the staging wich is located 69" above the floor. I uses the stairs up to enter the 15" raised floor.
red and green color scheme is just there to seperate my two layers (Upper and lower track). The red upperlevel track is looping and i have a junction where the track decends to lower deck via 2.5 turns in the helix and ends up at F. The lower level is supposed to be a branch line. And upper to simulate a portion of a main line.
Joined: Wed Feb 01 2006, 01:57PM Location: Portland, OR Posts: 342
I think I see a way to eliminate the helix completely!
Instead of having the branchline come off where it does and loop around a helix take the branchline off the left wall town. Run it down, across the bottom wall losing altitude and finally ducking into a tunnel when the altitude change between the upper mainline and lower branchline gets too big to scenic well. Run the branchline up along the right hand wall with it continuing to lose altitude. Put the entry to the lower deck at the right end of the bottom aisle (town D). You can drop 9" of the needed elevation change before entering the lower deck domain and the rest of it on the lower deck itself.
I'd also suggest having the mainline climb a bit so you don't need to duck when going under the upper deck into the lower region. How tall are you? 69" is probably horrid - high enough to require only a nod and cause folks to be a bit incautious about - but low enough to give them a nasty bump on the head when they are incautious.
The staging in the garage may or may not work well depending on
1) how dirty is it out there? If it's really dusty/dirty you'll probably need to enclose it to keep out the dust.
2) What kind of temperature extremes are out there? Railroads don't like huge temperature swings. (this applies to the main room also)
3) How long is that space? You may have trouble getting enough tracks the length of trains you want into that space. Perhaps the staging throat could start inside the main train room at the right end of staging. Or maybe at both ends (this would make it easier for crews to know when they'd gone far enough.
4) Even with throats in the main room crews need to know the track they're heading into is "open" so they don't plow into another train that is there.
Over all it looks like good work. Keep thinking about how you want to run it.
Now would definitely be the time to start thinking seriously about what the various towns are and what function they'll serve on the finished railroad.
Thanks for some great inputs I have done some changes as you suggested. However i still have the junction at the same place. Reason, i would like the branchline to run some stage on the main before entering the hidden area. A new entry to the lower level. No Helix
In the other room i can have a wall behind the staging area and keep it warm during the winter time. With a helix i can not, so No helix would make things much easier.
Main line: I am gonna make it climb and decend a bit i will also carefully re-design all trackwork when the benchwork design and main track area are in place.
Joined: Wed Feb 01 2006, 01:57PM Location: Portland, OR Posts: 342
Good work, Speedbird!
Now it's getting to be time for mapping the basic track plan into the real world. Since you're doing Siskiyou Line stuff what features are you looking at including?
o Eugene? Roseberg? o Medford? Ashland? o Coosbay branch? (or Toledo)? o Rice Hill? (it seems tha Rice Hill would need to be the end of the peninsula with town E on it and F below it.
Once you get the towns mapped onto the layout, you need to start thinking of industries, their locations, sizes and trackage serving them. I can't help much here because I don't know that much about the Siskiyou line (other than operating on Joe's ).
How will the tracks in the yards be laid out?
How will the tracks in staging be laid out?
To see if this makes sense you should probably have roughly the same capacities in the yards (total) and in staging and in trains out on the railroad.
So if you have a 5 track staging area with 15 foot tracks then your yards should be able to hold five 15-foot trains and you should be able to have enough cars for five 15-foot trains either in trains running or spotted at industries. This is a very ROUGH rule of thumb. The number of trains to run at once will depend on the number of crewmen you have to run them (not that you need 5 trains out on the railroad at all times!).
What I'm getting at here is to take some time to think about how the railroad will be operated. I don't mean whether you use computer switchlists or car cards and waybills. I also don't mean whether its ttto, ctc, dtc, or twc. What I mean is a transportation plan - a list of the trains, where they go, which types of cargos they carry (forest products!), which locations they service, and how freight is passed from one train to another to reach a destination.
This transportation plan doesn't need to be really detailed. It might be something
o Eastward through train carrying freight o Westward through train carrying freight o Local train coming from yard at C to serve industries in town D o Yard crew at D o Local train from staging serving town E o Eastward train on branchline (where does the branchline start? o Westward train on branchline o Local on branchline from terminating yard to serve other branchline towns o Etc.
How long does it take each train to run? Add up the distance they must cover and estimate scale speeds of the trains. In HO 60' roughly equals a mile. So at a scale 15 mph it takes 4 minutes to travel that 60' (mile). Now add in delays for meets, doing work, or other "things that happen".
Now try to make a little schedule with these trains and their durations. A string diagram (a graph showing - to scale - the trackage on one axis and time on the other) can help show how many trains can be run in a period of time on a track plan.
Do you have enough crew to run these trains?
For example, a Yardmaster, 1 mainline road crew, 1 branchline road crew, 1 local crew, a Dispatcher (optional) Your crews might be one or two people. This represents the maximum number of trains that can be active at a time.
Now comes a big question - what facilities are needed so these trains can do their work in a reasonable manner?
Will the yard be constantly hammered by trains arriving and departing? Guess that it takes a minimum of 15 minutes for an experienced yard crew to break down a train terminating at that yard IF THAT TRAIN IS WELL BLOCKED. If the terminating train is a hodge podge it can take double that. It takes somewhere in the 5 to 10 minute range for the yard master to swap blocks with a train passing through (all these are assuming the yard crew is on the ball). Also allow enough time for the yard crew to build any trains originating at the yard (locals, or on Joe's layout the Seagull East). If you have trains coming through the yard too frequently you'll need to do something about it:
o reduce the rate at which trains do work in the yard o give the yardmaster a switch crew so the real work in the yard, sorting cars and building outbound trains, doesn't stop while the yardmaster ponders what to do with a train headed his way. o give the yard a dedicated switch lead for the switch engine to drill cars. If drilling cars (sorting) has to stop when a train pulls through on the mainline, or arrives or departs the yard you'll need to slow down the rate of trains further. o Go read the ldsig.org Layout Design Primer's chapter on the 10 commandments of yard design
Now, you've got some idea of
o where the railroad sits in geography, o which towns are modeled and the type and size of the industries o which trains you need to run to service those industries o what size of yard(s) you need to service those trains
No go back and give a long hard look to the trackplan!
o Does it really meet all these goals/objectives? o Do the aisles allow the operators needed to coexist? Can operators get past each other in the aisles? Can you do the construction you need with the aisles? o Does it provide the scenic opportunities you want (we haven't really discussed that so far) o If you have grades, are they too steep for the trains you want to run? o Are they steep enough? For example, if you want to run helpers, you probably need a 2.5% grade at least a couple of trainlengths long (I don't believe in "cosmetic" helpers, I use helpers only when they are needed) o How will you build the benchwork? Mushroom benchwork is tricky and complex o How will you light the layout? Don't gloss this over - it's a real issue - a poorly lit layout isn't much fun. o How much track is required? How many turnouts? Can you afford these costs? o Will the turnouts be manually or electrically controlled? Can you afford Tortoises for each turnout? Is there room under the upper deck for the Tortoises and linkages? o Is the height of upper where you'll cross under it sufficient? Last Saturday I had three (3) different people bang their heads on the bottom of the swing bridge across my room entrance. The track on that bridge is 63" off the floor. o Is there enough room in the stairwells for people to step down and get underneath - remember people tend to lean forward a bit as the step off of stairs onto the floor - perhaps leaning their foreheads forward into the benchwork! o Is the branchline which is dropping in elevation going to be an issue in the towns it crosses in front of? How will places where the branch line and mainline coexist on the same deck look with scenery? o Speaking of scenery, how many trees are you planning to make or buy?
And finally, Is this really the STYLE of layout I want?
o At one point you mentioned wanting a long mainline. The current layout plan has a longish run from the end of the branchline up to staging but the length of the mainline isn't as long. Is this ok?
o Perhaps you'd like to consider another scale? I flirted with the idea of going Proto48 (fine scale 0) before starting on my current layout... What about narrow gauge? What about an Appalachian coal hauler? How about a seaport railroad (like the San Francisco Beltline)? You'd need substantially fewer trees if you modeled the Santa Fe in New Mexico... Etc.
So go back and look at the track plan again. Don't be locked into thinking you need to do this one! You have plenty of time before your date of ground breaking starts! Doodle some other plans to explore how they seem to you. I'm building BC&SJ plan version 17k (or something like that now! Lot's of different revisions that never got built).
After you finish with Track Planning for Realistic Operation see if you can get your hands on other planning books "Walkaround Model Railroad Trackplans - Don Mitchel", there are several other John Armstrong books (watch out for narrow aisles in his track plans!). The V&O story by Allen McClellan also should off insight in the planning process of an operations oriented railroad. You might also consider joining the Layout Design Special interest group and ordering back issues of the LDJournal. Even the Model Railroads track planning annual magazines have some value to them.
Keep posting plans for review.
And have fun! Track planning is fun!
Sorry this got so long.
Superintendent of Opinionted Responses The Bear Creek and South Jackson Railway Co. Hillsboro, OR Bigwig Bear Creek & South Jackson Railway Co. http://www.bcsjrr.com
Thanks for a great response Charlie. I've learning a lot by studing your ideas and questions. I have printed it to keep it with me while planning.
I have not yet decided where i am gonna modell, siskiyou seems to have what i really wanne do. I do not have enough knowledge about the current situation and the historical facts. I do wanna modell around 1980' and a line wich do exist today in Oregon. It is the scenery (Wich looks like Norwegian) and the freight operations combined with the SD40 /Sd40-2 that inspires me. Always been like that since i first saw a layout in modellrailroader when i was 10 year old.
Maybe i will go for just a line and not a branch line, due to the limited space i have. I guess i can have a good operation along the line when i include some industries.
My current plan is Roseburg - Eugene. Once i've made a plan i will post it here. (The operations over Rice Hill with the water cars seem very interesting.) Another is Medford - Black butte. I have started to look at the section, Medford - Ashland, but i need some details about this stage.It could turn out to be a very good line to modell.
I you have any suggestion or links for informations please give me a hint.
Without the help i've got here and Joe's DVD's I belive my project would have been almost impossible. I am very close to be able to modell (..Plan to modell...) a prototype for the first time
Joined: Wed Dec 08 2004, 09:01PM Location: Portland, OR Posts: 2112
I'm flattered that you want to model the Siskiyou Line as well, and I'm gratified that this forum has been helpful.
The Medford-to-Black Butte route has quite dramatic scenery, and lots of twists and turns in the track is most prototypical. However ...
That section of the Siskiyou Line has very little industry (except in Medford). By modeling the northern end of the Siskiyou Line I sacrificed the dramatic scenery element for more interesting operation, since the northern end of the Siskiyou Line is more industrial -- and hence has more switching.
Scenically, I was able to indulge myself a bit by freelancing the Coos Bay branch out of Roseburg, letting me do things like the Coquille Middle Fork high bridge.
But the rest of the Northern-end-of-the-Siskiyou Line scenery is still interesting, with plenty of bridges and forested hillsides to satisfy.