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Thread: Looking for suggestions and comments on New Layout

  1. #21
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    @WP&P The doors to the rooms are side by side. I'm expecting that a little bit of checking in may be required, but I'm hoping that it is only when the trains are A/D. (This is an area I will be watching for)

    I have the room and the benches installed, so you can get a sense of the room. Very happy with this part and yes, I have rounded off the corners to save some knocks moving back and forth between rooms.
    IMG_1001.jpgIMG_1003.jpgIMG_1004.jpg

    I am in agreement on the crossing track through the class yard. Looking at it closer, there is no point to it as I have several sidings and yard tracks that get trains to the same place. (I was just trying to be too clever for my own good)
    Those are going away as soon as I have time to fire up Railmodler Pro again. ;-)
    @ChicagoNW The round house will evolve as it gets into position. The whole thing sits right by my modeling bench, so the focus will be to get them off the layout and work on them without having to even get up. (Ya... I'm getting old and lazy. ;-)
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  3. #22
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    I've gone back and added your suggestions. I'm still looking at what to do with the industry and spur lines.
    I think I can hide that bundle of tracks in the background with structures and trees, but still looking at options.

    Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.23.12 AM.jpg
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    You're getting a lot of "spline" curves with your flex track placement, as opposed to defined-geometry curves. Splines are useful for forming the easements entering and exiting from a curve, but the way railroads actually lay their track is on curves of a given radius, and tangents (straight). The easements just take up a small portion of the curve (no more than say 6" to either side of the point of tangency, for N scale), and these are commonly generated by just offsetting the tangent track by about 1/4" or more to the outside of the curve, then letting the flex track find its own spline or spiral easement curve to connect radius to tangent.


    I don't mean to go into easements much; I'm just pointing out that they are a narrowly-defined case where splines SHOULD be used. But otherwise, the bulk of your track work ought to be more rigid in its geometry. And where it really becomes telling is when you have a main line and adjacent passing siding, where those two tracks are not precisely parallel (in the case of curved track, read "parallel" as "sharing the same center point"). This is where doing design work with sectional track can be an aid, because you won't be allowed to generate free-flowing spline curves; one can still execute the track plan using all flex, you're just using the sectional for its rigid geometric constraints.


    This is not to say that there can never be a case where main and siding take non-parallel routes, with a varying distance between them. They might be forced to spread apart to get around a bridge support, perhaps (maybe one line was added later, after the road bridge was already in place). Or maybe the line is going about "daylighting" a tunnel; one route goes through the tunnel, the other goes around it, maybe to accommodate double-stack containers. But in every such case, there should be a clear justification for the non-parallel siding.


    The other dilemma I think I see you getting into by using free-flowing splines is that you are exceeding your minimum radius goal in some spots. For instance, look at the green track just to the left of the tunnel through the room wall; you appear to have a curved turnout, and then the track on the diverging route just to the left of this turnout's frog bends through some ridiculously tight curvature for a few inches. One suggestion would be to just create a circle (of track or just a shape if software allows it) that is your minimum radius, and just drag that around and overlay it to test whether your flex is too flexed. Some track planning software even imposes a minimum radius on flex, you might check to see if that is an option for you.

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    Ok... I cleaned up the inside loop (AKA the Amtrak Line), and I set the station on the one long siding. I'm happy with that, it is cleaner and gives me a place to stick a train to pass into the reverse loop.
    Now to figure out that outside (Freight Line)
    I have one shipping depot and some town elements. Other than that, I have not bought the other industry yet, so I'm open. I was hoping to have a intermodal area, but I'm just not seeing the space for that anymore, so I may have to just do some smaller elements.
    Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 00.19.37 AM.jpg
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    I started laying in some town and added access to my small shipping center with a run-off. (not sure that is needed but for now it's there)

    Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 09.57.11 AM.jpg
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    You appear to be designing this all to have no grades, track is level. Nothing wrong with that! It certainly makes road switching easier, as cars won't tend to roll downhill on you. But are you opposed to any Up-And-Over? If not it seems like there's a lot that could be done with the left half of this layout, to jazz things up.

    Hello. My name is Michael, and I am an ALCo - haul - ic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    You appear to be designing this all to have no grades, track is level.
    I will have grades, but it is difficult to program on this vers of Railmodler. (The old vers was much better for that) I was looking at doing some crossover areas, but each time I have tried, it became chaos. I'm open to ideas and suggestion.
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    Here is a take on this, with some grades to liven things up on the left side:





    First off, the low point of the track is at Lowland Park (made-up names just so we have a point of reference), where I've shown it as being 0.5" high, dropping down to 0.0" just prior to the tunnel portal. What this implies is that almost all of your track would need to be on risers, as that lowest elevation is only maintained for about one foot of run. Bear this in mind.


    I began this design by locating two preferred-radius loops offset from each other, over at High Mount. The tangents from these loops come together at a mid-level, where the spur to Aisleside Industries joins in, and from there one loop rises while the other descends. Note that I have included little "L" "R" or "WYE" marks next to turnouts, to clarify where the straight leg runs. The tunnel portals at High Mount allow the point where the loops cross each other to be hidden, so that you can be a bit tricky with minimizing the clearance from one track to the other (you could even just let the track itself span across, so there's no sub-roadbed thickness to consider).


    At Fake Junction I bowed the rear double track main towards the aisle, to improve reach considerations but also because I greatly prefer track that is set at an angle to the benchwork. In this case, and opportunity was presented, and I extended the single track across a set of 60-degree diamonds to make it look like a railroad interchange location. The switches that form crossovers near Fake Junction and along the top left corner play some rather critical roles, giving this layout a lot of operational flexibility. You might choose to add more crossovers where I have the question mark, to aid the yard, but I do like keeping the yard crossovers in the other room... more on this later.


    Lowland Park has a nice long passing siding that also serves as a runaround for industries that will be switched, both there as well as further to the right where you started to drop in some spurs. I didn't fully develop all the industry spur tracks, I leave that to you to determine what you like. But exiting Lowland Park to the right, the track must climb again, so I've held the siding level at 0.5" as a place to park one's train while switching.


    Your yard layout was set up to have two completely independent loops arriving side-by-side, but an interesting thing has happened with my Ups-And-Overs out west. If you trace one Loop, call it Loop A, beginning from the bottom of the yard and on the outermost main, it will arrive back in the yard on the innermost main. And Loop B does the opposite. Of course, passenger trains depart from the depot and want to return there, so that's where the crossovers come in. I've shown single crossovers formed by paired turnouts, but the Kato double crossover might also be employed, particularly along the top edge in the other room.


    What this means, though, is that you can now treat both loops as though they are one long loop, and do a twice-around trip. It's like a Mobius Strip - a Mobius Mainline, let's call it. You can still operate the loops independently, you just have to keep watch over some crossovers, but if you just want to ride along with a single train you can choose to traverse all of your mainline.


    Note also that the crossovers (even in your original plan) will end up creating reversing sections; gotta be careful with the wiring. But since the loops are interconnected now, this means any/all of your trains can make use of the reversing sections.


    The crossovers in the yard do more than just let traffic flow on the "correct" main; they also let the engine servicing support both loops. And the yard switcher can assist in passenger depot switching, which does occur from time to time.


    Other notable things: the Sexy Curved Trestle would want to have a bit of a deeper gorge to achieve its full scenic impressiveness, which means more of an argument for just putting all the track on risers. Let the 0.0" elevation mark be a few inches above your existing flat table height, so that the plunging stream cascading down High Mount has someplace to go. Note that the entire yard ends up at 1.5" in this; if you wanted that to be one big slab of foam, then maybe that's a 2" foam piece, meaning you would add 0.5" to every height mark I've listed. Doing so would mean that where the trestle crosses the stream, the track would be at about 2.5", which is approx. 35' in N scale. Not bad, but you might want to amp that up for dramatic effect. Also, I've shown the benchwork corners near High Mount as being chamfered; do this if possible, but I know you've already got some benchwork built. This is just how I would do it.

    Hello. My name is Michael, and I am an ALCo - haul - ic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    Here is a take on this, with some grades to liven things up on the left side:
    WOW that is awesome! Ok, I am officially shamed. ;-) LOL
    I knew it needed another set of eyes. Let me incorporate this and see if I can get the grades working in Railmodler Pro.
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    Ok gang,
    I was playing around with changes and decided to try flipping the entire rail yard on it's head. I think it flows better and lets me do all my operations without interrupting traffic on either of the two main lines.
    What am I missing, or is this a better plan?

    Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 15.29.57 PM.jpg
    Last edited by FPM_Michael; 2nd Nov 2015 at 06:34 PM.
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    Added a few more and a program track. Tell me I'm crazy, but this looks like a winner.
    Anything you see that I'm missing?

    Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 15.59.25 PM.jpg
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    The switch on the bottom headed into the turntable. Do you need to move it further down the track? You have a nice yard lead, but once the engine passes that switch into the yard, it is effectively trapped. If you could move the switch about half way down the ladder track, then you allow the engine to pull further down the ladder, drop cars to be sorted in the yard lead and get out of there. Hard to tell from the partial drawing how much room you have on the yard lead going back to the main, but seems a little cramped to get a full size train in there without clogging the main.

    My $.02's


    EDIT: Looks like you can ignore this post, because you fixed it with the program track.

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    I can't quite put my finger on a solution just yet, but what this yard plan has going against it is that there may be slightly too much going on in the yard lead and ladder. What I mean is, the yard switcher will be making use of the ladder to keep shunting cars, but then he's got to clear out of the way for departing trains (once he has assembled a train ready to go, on an A/D track) and he's also got to clear out of the way of engine movements to and from the roundhouse. This could be rather frustrating.

    The A/D track(s) would preferentially join back to the main right away, rather than run down the length of the yard's drill track, so that a switcher can chill out on the drill track in order to get clear of departing trains. Of course, the switcher needs to be able to pull cars off of each A/D track directly onto the drill track.

    The engine servicing leads also would prefer to be able to get to the A/D tracks without traversing the yard ladder or drill track, so as not to interrupt switching moves. But again, if that cannot be managed, then at least having a drill track where the switcher can park to get clear would help. As you have it, though, both A/D and servicing utilize the drill track.

    I am beginning to feel like the turntable/servicing lead needs to connect to the opposite end of the yard from the yard ladder, connecting to the top end of the A/D track(s), and truncating the stub-ended classification tracks a bit shorter. This would mean a curved lead, then you can pair that up with a more straight lead that is essentially where you have you top lead shown. Thus, you'd sort of be forming a Wye, with the turntable taking the place of the wye's tail track. But that straighter leg should be brought more into the room; I'm not a fan of having that top turntable lead connect back to the main at a switch that is essentially in the next room. Keep it visible and accessible in the same room.

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    I guess, looking at it some more, you really just have one A/D track, and it does have its own connection to the main that bypasses the drill track. If this is the intention, then most of my above comments can be ignored; except that it might make sense to have at least 2 dedicated A/D tracks. I am counting the left-most track of the main yard body as the A/D in this case. The short little stub siding coming off the top end of this track wouldn't be a normal classification track, but rather might be useful as a caboose or RIP track, or maybe a place to keep the MOW equipment.

    It would be helpful to your thought process (and to our critique) if you could label tracks with their functions. When you start assigning these functions, you start to see issues. If you don't know what all the functions of yard tracks are, please ask, I know there's handy places we can link you to, to study up on that sort of thing.

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    Don't know if this helps at all, but.... ;-)

    Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 15.59.25 PM.jpg
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    Ok... Did I just make it worse or better?
    I added a run around on the end of the ladder. I have a in and out track on the turntable, and extended the lead on the main direction of the two (2) new A/D tracks.
    You guys are sure making me work for this one. ;-) just kidding... keep it coming. I love the feedback.

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    Assuming the tracks you labeled A/D are still the same, you might want to connect the right A/D track to the yard ladder to give you a run back to the TT for the engine. A train coming in clockwise will be fine, but a train coming into the A/D counter-clockwise will cut loose and have to literally travel the whole main to get back to the TT or at a minimum go through a series of switch backs each time getting into the main to find its way home.

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    Ok... I have run out of things to tweak. I have built the "Humming Bird" yard. lol

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    Hummm I see a "sea horse" but I see the humming bird too.... lol

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    Ok... so using all the suggestions and modifying a little to fit my needs, I present the New layout vers 2.0 I'm sure the image is not clear enough to show the elevation, but there is a lot going on in the left side now.
    I also will be dealing with some hairy electrical in the double crossover section to the left. I see at least 3 (Maybe4) auto reversers to make that thing tick.
    Comments wanted and needed. ;-)

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