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Thread: Elsewhere Yard

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    Default Elsewhere Yard

    At the demise of the West Valley Division layout, I wrote that I was hoping that some time in the future I'd be able to explore the hitherto hidden Elsewhere Yard.
    Well, after a period where life has behaved like an iceberg tipping over in the sea, the waves have settled enough to allow me to start dreaming.

    This is what Elsewhere Yard looks like.
    It's made from nine modules each one meter long. If needed, modules 4 and 5 can be omitted, but then the yard will not be terribly fun.
    The modules are to be made to FREMO standard. Being US themed, I figure I'll make it to americaN specs, but unfortunately all the modular clubs here are using N-RE specs. N-RE means Regelspur Europa, meaning a normal gauge European theme.
    Luckily, the two spec sets are physically and electrically identical, so with some clever choice of buildings, it could blend in anywhere. Or I could just make it so awesome they can't refuse to include it at a show, I suppose

    Basically the module standard says single or dual track centered at the module end which must be 40cm wide. I have a dual track mainline sweeping through at the top with crossovers and branches at both ends to a major yard with an engine depot. This way you can play at the yard and other operators can pass freely on the main without interfering.




    Below a closeup of the first three modules showing the entry to the yard, the fanout and some caboose tracks or whatever.




    Below a closeup of the middle three modules of which the two through modules may be omitted if needed.
    On the rightmost module is the beginning (or end) of the yard ladder and the start of the engine depot.




    And finally the rightmost modules with the rest of the yard ladder, the entry/exit to the main and the engine depot.
    The horizontal tracks to the turntable are for steam service, and the four skewed tracks above those are the diesel service facility.
    Notice there's a fairly long yard lead in this end which can take you to the main, but can also be used for pullout during switching without entering the main. From the yard lead there's also access to the depot tracks.




    That's the dream. I'm fairly happy with it for now.
    Yes, I know, lots of tracks are crossing the module sections at angles, but I've seen worse that works without problems.

    Jens
    Last edited by SteamPower4ever; 2nd Jul 2017 at 02:23 PM.
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    That is a lot of short modules. Is there any way you could stretch the module length to reduce the quantity of modules?
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpwisc View Post
    Is there any way you could stretch the module length to reduce the quantity of modules?
    Sure, but I'd have transportation issues.
    FREMO recommends 120cm max for that exact reason - handling. 100cm modules suit me fine, because the smaller size makes it easier to store, work on and "complete" each module.

    Jens
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    Transportability is always an issue. I also know that every time you have a large number of tracks crossing a joint it increases the odds of something going wrong. I built my modules at 1.9 Meters long, to minimize the number of joints.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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    I hear ya.
    I'm going to talk to some modular people and take a look at some modules closer up before I start building. We'll see.
    nScale.net: Elsewhere Yard
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    Here's the standard end profile for the N-RE and americaN type modules.



    There's a guy in Germany who sells laser cut end profiles at a reasonable price, made from poplar plywood, as that is allegedly the most stable over time and temperature.
    One more reason to keep the modules at 120cm or less is that the slots in the center can be used for carrying a module.

    I've briefly experimented with longer modules for the track plan, and all in all I actually like the shorter ones better.
    Many tracks at the joints? Well, you should see some of the German modular layouts. Those guys don't seem to give a hoot about that.

    Jens
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    Dreaming on, I've been polishing the layout of the yard and reading more about the basic idea of Fremo modules and looking at pictures from Fremo meets.

    While I'm not dismissing the thought of participating in a strict Fremo operations play with timetables and all the fixings, I don't see myself doing it any time soon. However, with a yard that size it has dawned on me that at any kind of show or meet I may very well end up as yardmaster rather than run trains - at least during public hours.
    Hmm ...

    Second, all Fremo modules - in whichever special interest group - should have a "reason to exist" in order to participate in an official Fremo meet. Supposing I may change my mind eventually, I might as well design some kind of feature that will give the yard a purpose other than just being a marshalling yard somewhere on the main.

    Third, while I'll most likely be connecting to N-RE modules, there's americaN modular groups in both Sweden and Germany, and they do travel across the borders. According to the current americaN standard, modules are single-track only. A dual track standard is proposed, but the track spacing is different from the dual-track N-RE standard, and there are other minor differences at the module ends. I may also find myself needing to connect to a single-track N-RE module.

    For this purpose, I've added two optional adapter modules - one at each end of the yard ... if necessary. The yard modules themselves will be made to N-RE dual-track standard, but can be fitted with adapters to single-track N-RE and americaN single and dual track. Well, assuming the americaN people will accept that the yard is built with Peco code 55, that is. Peco was apparently nixed from the standard in 2013, but since I have lots of Peco in stock, I'm not changing to Atlas or ME.

    Anyway, here's the yard again - version 7.
    The main line sweep is smoother and the branches to the yard are longer to allow the transition from regular ballasted track to gravel throughout the yard.
    I took out one of the center through modules from the drawing. I'm not sure it's needed anyway.




    The left end of the yard, showing an adapter module. As I said it could be anything, but the example here is simply joining the two main tracks into one.
    Notice the softer sweep of the mainline tracks and the longer branch track (yard lead) from the main to the yard.




    At the right end there's more changes made.

    One of the roundhouse tracks has been sacrificed to make room for a branch line leaving the yard at the bottom right corner. That branch line merging with the two-track main gives the yard a much improved "reason for being", a better chance of being included in a track plan and for participating in operations during a Fremo meet, should I ever get that far.

    I also shortened the diesel depot tracks (the skewed tracks to the left of the turntable) a bit, separating them from the yard lead. I like that a lot better.




    So - while my original idea was to explore Elsewhere Yard, it's going to be built to N-RE standard and probably mostly used in a European setting.
    The name in that context will be Rbf Anderswo (Rbf = Rangierbahnhof = marshalling yard).

    Nice ... but it's still just a dream.

    Jens
    Last edited by SteamPower4ever; 2nd Jul 2017 at 07:18 PM.
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    "Anderswo." Elsewhere. Good one!
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    "Anderswo." Elsewhere. Good one!
    Truth be told, Anderswo is the origin.
    I got the name from a Danish comedy movie from the 70's and translated the name to English. Of course, the place is fictional and the movie screenshot below is taken in the town of Aalborg here in Denmark.




    Anyway, having purchased the Walthers 3-stall roundhouse and the Walthers machine shop, I've had another go at redesigning the engine depot.
    The two buildings are the brown blobs, drawn to scale as close as possible. The roundhouse tracks got shorter and the angle between them larger than planned, so instead of having to buy the 3-stall add-on to get my planned 4th track of the roundhouse, I decided to skip one track and stay with the basic 3-track kit. After a lot of thinking and experimenting with the track plan, I decided to get the machine shop, even though there's not enough room to combine it with the roundhouse like it's designed to do. Not on the plan anyway. Maybe things look different IRL when I get around to it.



    But again, I was thinking about what kind of an engine facility we're dealing with here - operationally.

    It's not a terminal, it's a marshalling yard where a branch line meets a main line. The workshop facilities need not be a 12-18 stall roundhouse and a 4-track diesel shop, but the local crew should be able to fix most things anyway. I think the current layout reflects that very well.

    The machine shop track goes through the shop and to the right it ends in a junkyard-ish messy kind of place that you find behind any workshop anywhere in the world.
    Locomotives can still get in and out at both ends of the depot. Also, the branch line has a nicer flow now, leading straight into the yard.

    All around better

    Jens
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    I like the design, particularly since it's something else than the typical Fremo yards with main, siding, one or two double-ended A/D-tracks, yard lead and three-four-five stub-ended tracks. They are efficient to operate, very prototypical, very straight-forward - but basically, they are all the same

    I couldn't follow all the different tracks you have, especially the diagonals parallel to your yard ladders - I guess in a meet everyone playing the yard master will use them in a different way, however they see fit. But that's what happens at those meets...

    Once that thing operates nicely, you'll be very welcome to most americaN-meetings, I'm sure - don't worry (too much) about the Peco track. We habitually have Haslingen in our modular setups, which is also built to N-RE standards: https://www.fremo-net.eu/index.php?e...9hPiI7fQ%3D%3D (I hope the link works)

    You (or someone else) might even want to add doubletrack-to-two-single-track adapters (in Y-shape), so you can use the full capacity of the yard not for a double-track main plus a branch but for two single-track "mains" plus a branch - with all the classification tracks, you kind of need more than three destinations... But that'll depend on the layout designer. And believe me, with the right dispatcher, you will get the yard filled to capacity

    And I can assure you you won't always have to operate the yard yourself. Assuming you'll find a simple and easy-to-understand turnout control scheme (and I can only invite you to present your ideas here or at any kind of meet, so you can make sure what appears obvious to you really is) I know about two handfuls of people who'd welcome the challenge of keeping such a yard running nicely - myself included Hey, it's large enough to sort with at least two, maybe even more switchers... Just make sure there are enough Loconet plugs, Fredi shelves and paperwork boards ready.

    Have fun and I really hope we'll meet at some Fremo meeting sometime,
    Heiko

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    One thing i notice in your last change is you lose the yard lead. In my humble opinion you need a yard lead as long as your longest yard track or close. Also in the real world the branch off to the ranch line would come off the main somewhere as well as out of the yard. As you have it now a train entering from the left woul have to go through the yard to go out the branch line. If that is what you want then cool, but is it?
    Ryan B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Specter3 View Post
    One thing i notice in your last change is you lose the yard lead. In my humble opinion you need a yard lead as long as your longest yard track or close. Also in the real world the branch off to the ranch line would come off the main somewhere as well as out of the yard. As you have it now a train entering from the left woul have to go through the yard to go out the branch line. If that is what you want then cool, but is it?
    Yes - it is on purpose and exactly what I want. Trains coming from the branch should enter the yard for ... umm ... marshalling? There's no direct route from the branch to the main.
    And yes - I agree with your observation on the yard lead. I wasn't entirely happy with it either, so I've shuffled some more.

    I've moved the machine shop down below the roundhouse and nudged them both around a bit. Assuming I can kitbash the two together (and they really should be one complex), I have a little more room above the roundhouse, allowing me to insert a turnout in the crossover from the depot lead to the yard lead. That will be the entry for the branch line. This way operations in the depot are still independent of traffic in the yard or on the branch.




    Quote Originally Posted by Heiko View Post
    I couldn't follow all the different tracks you have, especially the diagonals parallel to your yard ladders - I guess in a meet everyone playing the yard master will use them in a different way, however they see fit. But that's what happens at those meets...
    They are engine service tracks, so once the scenery is painted and weathered, nobody is going to mistake them for anything else, I think




    Here's the entire yard (version 9). I already have track, turnouts, drives and decoders ready for the parts marked with green color.
    I'm getting kind of excited about the Fremo idea. But coming up with a simple and easy to understand turnout control scheme that other people than me find logical? That's a tall order

    Last edited by SteamPower4ever; 5th Jul 2017 at 05:36 PM.
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    Yet another redesign.

    This time I've slimmed the entire yard down somewhat. From 40/55/70cm module widths to 40/50/60 cm, which should save some lumber, storage/transport space and overall weight.
    I sacrificed two yard tracks and taking advise from @Heiko, I grouped the yard into two groups of four tracks, giving a better overview of the many tracks. That should make life a bit easier for the yardmasters at module meets.

    The ladders may look a little strange and I'd certainly like them to be a little more slick, but I'm constantly dodging the module partitions, so I'm practicing 'the art of the possible' here.
    Sure, I could just make the modules longer, but having built a 140 x 40cm practice module and seeing how large that really is, I've settled for 100cm as a practical max.




    Below a closeup of the right entry.
    Not much changed, but the yard ladders have been rearranged a bit after grouping the tracks.




    Below a closeup of the left entry with the depot.
    I sacrificed the rightward lead track to the turntable, but that gave an opportunity for a track to the machine shop, even with a narrower module. The space between the shop and the roundhouse is now prime real estate for the assortment of shacks and debris found behind all workshops.

    The grey wedge shape is an add-on adapter module for when the branch line is being used. The standard requires the track to meet the edge at a right angle, and this way I get a large radius curve sweeping outwards.
    A similar add-on module could/can/will be used for additional turntable tracks below the turntable.




    I'm happy with that for now

    Jens
    Last edited by SteamPower4ever; 12th Jul 2017 at 07:30 AM.
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    Still tweaking the plan ...

    Yes, I was happy with the last version, but there was this "but ..." that was nagging me about the flow of the left end of the yard.
    The solution came last night when I figured maybe a double crossover would do the trick as the two track groups are now spaced apart anyway.
    To my surprise everything fell into place. I just needed to move the caboose track to the depot, and hey presto ... no more compromises.




    Below a closeup of the left end of the yard with the double crossover.




    And below the depot with the caboose track next to the diesel service area.
    I've included the detachable and optional side module for the turntable tracks.




    Grrrreat stuff

    Oh, and I checked the space of my car. Stacked correctly (and I have a plan for that), all modules will fit in the back of the van with room to spare. Yay!
    No more planning for now. Time to get crackin' on the bridge module.

    Jens
    Last edited by SteamPower4ever; 12th Jul 2017 at 05:23 PM.
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    Go bridge module!

    Having the caboose track near the engine service makes sense, so the train crews can grab a hot brew together before and/or after their shift or during a break. Otherwise, someone would need to drive a truck all the way to the other end of the yard just to pick up the crew...

    Heiko

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    Lots of little things going on behind the curtains.
    The aforementioned bridge module has been dismantled, as it was meant to be a learning project, and I did learn a lot about how not to build a module.

    I've still not managed to get in touch with any of the clubs here, but I've been studying pictures and videos and standards to get a grasp of, how people interpret the Fremo standard and how they build their modules. I'm still not quite there yet, but planning the electrics and the use of accessory decoders and turnout drives and thinking about how the entire yard may be used, I did manage to squish out a few small but nagging issues of the previous design.

    Here's the overall view - version 14.




    The overall design is the same, but on modules 1-3 I've simplified the return track to the depot from the yard lead, eliminating 3 turnouts. That - together with a rearrangement of the ladders to the yard tracks - has removed all turnouts on module 3.
    Cool




    At the other end, I've merged the depot and yard leads into one and swapped with the entry from the branch line, giving a vastly improved flow from the branch line into the yard.
    The yard lead is shortened a bit, sure, but I'm not sure how much it will be used for shunting anyway.



    Jens
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    Quote Originally Posted by Specter3 View Post
    One thing i notice in your last change is you lose the yard lead. In my humble opinion you need a yard lead as long as your longest yard track or close. Also in the real world the branch off to the ranch line would come off the main somewhere as well as out of the yard. As you have it now a train entering from the left woul have to go through the yard to go out the branch line. If that is what you want then cool, but is it?
    Allright, even though life in general consumes all available time these days, I never really could let go of that comment.
    So - last night inspiration and a bit of spare time coincided, and I reworked the east (?) end of the plan for Elsewhere Yard.



    The yard lead is still a no-go, but if needed, a brave dispatcher could use the branch line. Or of course the track for the branch line could simply be a yard lead with perhaps a single module attached. That's left to the discretion of the layout planner at a modular meet.
    The crossover from the main to the yard has been expanded to a double crossover, so trains from the branch line can go straight to the main. An additional main line crossover on module 6 allows the trains to get to the westbound (left bound?) main track without having to go all the way to the entry crossover on module 1.

    Also, the benchwork for module 8 and branch line module 8a have been simplified so as to get more manageable 90 and 45 degree angles. No reason to challenge myself in the craft of carpentry more than I have to ...

    Much better layout now, and I didn't sacrifice any of the nice features I already had in place.
    I really like the new flow of the track from the yard to the branch line, running parallel to the main tracks.
    Last edited by SteamPower4ever; 29th Nov 2017 at 04:22 AM. Reason: Elaborated on the yard lead
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    These changes and perusals of the Elsewhere Yard have been a lot of fun to read and study. It looks good! I only have two quick comments.

    1. Using the branch line as the yard lead is a common reality in yards all over. Railroads have a habit of using available trackage for whatever they need. It's cheaper to re-purpose a bit of rail than add new.

    2. Having your machine shop attached to the back of the roundhouse would be more common, and give you a touch more room behind it there at the right side. You had that set up in one of your iterations. Remember, efficiency of movement is the key. Locomotive parts are HEAVY and the crews don't want to move them farther than necessary, especially in a small roundhouse.

    Am looking forward to seeing this layout get together!
    Northern Pacific and Black Hills RR in N, of course!!
    Aian, CEO, COO, Engineer, Gopher and everything else!

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    Quote Originally Posted by badlandnp View Post
    2. Having your machine shop attached to the back of the roundhouse would be more common, and give you a touch more room behind it there at the right side. You had that set up in one of your iterations. Remember, efficiency of movement is the key. Locomotive parts are HEAVY and the crews don't want to move them farther than necessary, especially in a small roundhouse.
    Aaah - highlighting one of the hidden compromises, Sir.

    Don't know why I didn't see your post before, but somewhere in the back of my brain, this issue has indeed been brewing for a while.
    The machine shop closer to the roundhouse, eh?
    Can't argue with that.

    Hmm ...
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    Oh-kay ... easy fix (I think).

    I've expanded the center track out through the rear wall of the roundhouse and moved the machine shop to that track.
    While the roundhouse and the machine shop kits are designed to be built together, I don't think they're meant to sit this way, so maybe there's some kit bashing coming. I'll see about that when I get the kits out of the boxes. Maybe I'll leave a narrow space between the two buildings.

    The track extending further through the machine shop then ends in that "behind the shop" junkyard track, which happily aligns with the depot lead(s). This way, the junk yard can be serviced from the lead track by a rail crane or some other MOW or utility equipment when heavy things are to be dumped or removed.
    That's going to work nicely. Makes sense too.
    Module 8 is oddly shaped again, but gone is the small 8a section.

    @badlandnp: Thanks for the poke




    Incidently, my Tams B-4 booster and the Peco turnouts arrived in the mail today with more stuff coming in.
    I don't know when I'll find the time to start building something, but every other excuse has started fading ...
    Last edited by SteamPower4ever; 19th Dec 2017 at 08:07 PM.
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