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Thread: Choctaw Railway Plan

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    Default Choctaw Railway Plan

    Several days ago, I posted in the Motive Power section asking for opinions on Bachmann’s 2-6-2 as a starting point for motive power on a freelanced short line I’m planning. I thought I’d post the track plan I’m thinking about using to get thoughts/concerns/inspiration as well. It’s basically just an existing plan that was published in Model Railroader several years ago and I modified to fit my needs. The original plan was called “Southern Railway’s Spartanburg Subdivision.” It was originally a hollow core door plan, but I would possibly be putting it on a 4x8 sheet of plywood, which would give me even more room to work with. Even if I go that route, I plan to keep the same basic track plan.

    As for the railroad, it will be representing a 72 mile shortline called the Choctaw Railway, running from the prairies of northeast Texas to the tall timber of southeast Oklahoma. Era will be 1940s-1950s. Motive power will consist of a pair of the aforementioned 2-6-2s the railroad bought new in the 1920s and another locomotive or two of similar size that were bought secondhand from nearby railroad(s). The interchange featured on the plan is undecided but will be either Frisco, Texas & Pacific, or Cotton Belt. Primary traffic is agricultural products, oil, and lumber products. There is a modest passenger service on the line provided by a secondhand EMC Doodlebug that is equipped with a mail and express compartment.

    Let me know what you think!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Are you going to run two trains at a time? If so you need a passing track. You may also want some run-arounds for switching the industries

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    With more room, you might consider adding an entrance track to the left-side yard, so that it becomes a through yard; providing a bit more flexibility unless you really like back-in movements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotian_Huntress View Post
    You may also want some run-arounds for switching the industries
    Yes, this, especially for dealing with that switchback to service both the freight house and the team track. Nice idea overall.

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    Get rid of the shops, industries and make it a logging road...
    Cheers,

    Russ

    CEO of Devil's Gate Mining Co.



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    Following this with great interest being from that area!
    Fergy
    CT&OT Railways (N, HO, O, G)

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    My only worry about this plan is that the curves seem very tight even though there's more than enough room to relax them. On a 4x8 that's still probably plenty of room, they're what.. 12-14" radius curves then?

    Terrible inaccurate drawing, but I'd think about how to maximize the radius of the curves in the layout by doing something a little like this. I'm sure the loco you've chosen can pull off these tight curves, but the bigger radius curve the better, both in reliability and looks.

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    I like The Baron's suggestions regarding curve radii; you give up some scenic context, but then maybe on a 4x8 you have room aplenty. You could, in fact, just enlarge this 3x5 plan by a factor of 133% to get to a 48"x80" plan with broader curves, and then maybe stretch things a bit to use up the additional 16" of length you have. A 9.75" curve (I am guessing this is the minimum used for this plan) at that enlargement factor would become 13" radius, which seems good, and then if you push and pull in ways that @baronjutter is suggesting, you could get that up to 15" I would bet.

    I recognized this plan because several years ago I provided some design tweaks for another forum visitor. You can go re-read the whole thread in context via this link, but for convenience I am re-posting my comments as well as my annotated plan for you here:

    Here's my comments in a graphical form. Regarding your wish for an "outbound staging" option in the top right, I think you might be misunderstanding the original plan. The siding that is hidden by trees is intended to serve as a staging location. Granted, it won't conceal a very long train. But a problem with the way things are configured is that, if the bottom right interchange track actually connects to a live staging track in some way, then the "woodland" staging track can't be used as such, since it would have to be clear for every train movement from the interchange.

    I've suggested reconfiguring the interchange, such that the woodland siding is actually a siding for the interchange. I am visualizing things thus: the "interchange" is really the connection of this branchline to the rest of the mainline. The loop represents a long branch line with connections at just one end, and thus all traffic to and from the town on this layout comes via that "interchange". It's not really an interchange in this scenario, since it's all part of the same railroad, but operationally that is how it acts.

    The blue part of the woodland siding is a place for trains to meet as one departs town and another arrives, and could also serve as a distance trick. What I mean is that you might consider this town to be rather remote from the "interchange", so an arriving train must make a lap or two before it actually gets to the yard. The woodland siding lets trains get past each other to complete these laps, without being a visible "meet" in town.

    The red shows how I would splice in a curved turnout, at the cost of nudging the yard tracks a little bit left, so that the yard lead can serve as a siding. This is critical to the functioning of the yard as a branch line terminus; it lets a train "turn" for the return journey back to the "interchange". It's a jack-of-all-trades siding, since it can host meets between opposing trains, and it can be the A/D track for yard switching, and a passenger train might use it for passenger boarding to stay off the main... plus industry switching will require its services as a runaround. I just don't see how the layout can function without it!

    In orange I've slightly tweaked the yard arrangement, so that the freight house (or whatever) is treated as a foreground flat at top left, and the engine escape is flipped. Of course, what you actually do with this yard might vary, since you're choosing other industries and locale for the thing.

    Hope this helps!


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