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Thread: Suggestions for spurs and interchange track?

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    Default Suggestions for spurs and interchange track?

    I want to throw this out to all you guys for suggestions. I have a small L shaped dog-bone layout 8ft x 7ft. I have it up and running and most of the bugs worked out.

    Now I need some suggestions for some industrial spurs and a small interchange track. As you can see from the pics I have some track down playing around on some different ideas.

    The main line is layed out on the cork roadbed. The mainline has #8 Peco switches. The dimensions of the longest side inside the track is 6ft long. The loop at this end is 32" so the inside of the loop is 4ft. Pic #1,2 & 3.

    Pic 4 shows another section that is 32" in length and that section is 11" wide. I would like to have maybe 6-8 industries to switch. I'm open to any & all suggestions.


    layout4.jpglayout8.jpg layout5.jpglayout6.jpg

    Thanks for your time.

    Tony

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    I would suggest you first figure out where your layout is. Then you can take ideas from there.

    Often times, layouts without any connection to reality fail, because they don't add up. For interesting operations, you needs pairs of related industries.
    Things like...

    • coal pits and power stations
    • junkyards and steel mills
    • steel and auto plants
    • logging and paper mills
    • lumber mills and furniture manufacturers
    • and so on, and so on

    The possibilities are endless. You don't have to limit yourself to just two connections either. Many manufacturers need items from multiple suppliers to make something.

    Check out the several books from Kalmbach on industry for model railroads to get great ideas.
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    ChicagoNW... I have thought some of this out to some extent. Here is a list of what I have figured out I want to do.

    Time period is the early 70's. The New York Central is still in existence as the Penn Central merge never happened. The location is Central IL.The interchange is a fictious one with the Great Northern at Streator IL.

    And this interchange is used as a bypass to avoid the traffic of Chicago. going directly to the NYC's Elkhart yard then on east. Thus reducing by a few days the trip of the lettuce train to NYC.

    Also there would be some run through pool power with GN to the Elkhart yards. The NYC units would be required to be the lead unit. Also NYC units would pool with GN up to the twin cities Minneapolis–Saint Paul.

    There will be plenty of reefers (produce from California, Apples from Washington State, Fish from the west coast, Potatoes from Idaho, etc) Lumber from the west coast/Canada coming in from the GN heading east to the major cities along the east coast.

    Also plenty of wheat from Kansas & Nebraska and other grains (oats, barley, hops etc not usually grown in the midwest. Heading to the cereal makers in Michigan.

    In return the NYC would drop off carloads of corn & soybeans, machined goods from the east coast. Steel from The Gary Indiana & the Pittsburg steel mills. New cars & trucks from Detroit.

    I already have a concrete grain elevator, a produce warehouse, an small oil distributor, even a bulk popcorn distributor. I have another smaller grain elevator and a feed mill and the George Roberts Printing kit that I haven't put together yet.

    Since my layout is not that big I'm just trying to make the best use of what I have. I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

    Tony

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    Sounds like your layout is just an exchange point. Most of the traffic just going somewhere else.

    You might consider adding some minor servicing areas and places to swap crews. Maybe the area still has some of the steam era structures (and junk) converted for diesel use. Definitely a place to "gas up" and get the windshield cleaned. Maybe some space to park and service the cabeese.

    Don't think that the Roberts Printing is limited to having presses inside. That type of concrete skeleton structure was used for an incredible number of manufacturing and warehousing companies. It is great kitbashing fodder and a couple dozen kits could be the basis for a more realistic Brachs Candy factory.

    Given the number of food processors in the greater Chicagoland area, consider a couple for the layout. The traffic is varied and constant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYC54 View Post
    There will be plenty of reefers (produce from California, Apples from Washington State, Fish from the west coast, Potatoes from Idaho, etc)
    Apples from Washington State?

    Why not apples from Winchester, Virginia?

    You say you're wanting to model the early 1970s, and I happen to model 1971 specifically. One of my main towns is Winchester, VA, where I have a produce growers warehouse that sends out a few reefers of apples every day. I added this to my layout because I learned that the real Winchester is known for its apple growing. I'm also working on a Silica (sand) Mine for another town, as there is such an operation in the nearby town of Gore, VA... and not much else in that town, I might say. Each of these replaces a similar industry that was planned for a prior version of the layout, as I decided to go with the unique industries that my reconnaissance turned up rather than go with generic or cliche options.

    It sounds as though you have your interests pinned down tight enough that you could discover some unique industrial flavor to add. The rest of us might not be much help, unless we happen to really know the area around Streator, IL. As @ChicagoNW points out, mostly your traffic would seem to be through traffic, which tells me that what you need is some hidden staging. A place to park a train or two, so that it can arrive from elsewhere, pass through the layout, then vanish off to remote points. This could be done as a siding or two that tucks behind a low horizon-only backdrop (i.e. a backdrop panel that has no sky, only up to the treetops or building roofs, with the sky being on a separate panel set further beyond). You can reach over a horizon backdrop to access the tracks, but from normal viewing angles it is enough of a view block to conceal a train.

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    Chicago NW & WP&P... thanks to both of you for taking the time to respond to my post. Yes it does seem that I am having a lot of thru traffic going to Elkhart yard & the Twin Cities. But I also plan on having a few loco's to do the local switching.

    Some of the thru trains would stop & set-out cars for the local business on the interchange tracks & the local would retrieve them from there sort & deliver. Any GN thru freights would pickup a NYC engine to lead at that time.

    Also I think I would like to have a couple of loco's round up the empty cars from the business & make a run to Elkhart and to bring back some more loaded cars to be spotted at the local industries. I do plan on adding an upper level but not sure when I will get to that.

    WP&P... I do have a hidden 3 track staging yard that can hold 3 trains of about 25-28 cars. I usually set up 3 different trains & bring them up to run a few laps around the layout then have them reverse direction and go back down the hole/helix.

    Apples from VA. Living in Indiana I see apples from Michigan in the stores around here. But I do have some Fruit Growers Express reefers labeled Southern & NW & C&O to bring up the citrus fruits from Florida & peaches & pecans/peanuts from GA.

    I model the early 70's as most of the loco's I have are the older F7's & GP7's RS-3/RS-11. I did find a set of Atlas GP35 in 2 different road numbers in GN paint. I also have an ABBA set of Kato F7 in GN paint. This is the reason for the interchange with the GN.

    Everything else is already in NYC paint from my layout back in the late 80's. I'm lucky these were all Atlas/Kato so I was able to convert everything over to DCC using the TCS GN/CP decoders. DCC ROCKS!!! compared to DC control.

    Now that I'm retired I have been taking the time to sort thru my collection changing everything over to MTL couplers from the Rapido's and ditching some of my more trouble some cars with most being Bachmann.

    I'm spending my kids inheritance on newer rolling stock, but having tons of fun doing it. My layout is in a detached garage 30 x 24 and someone built a small 8-1/2' x 9 ft room in one corner. I insulated it & threw up some recycled paneling and installed a 4ft baseboard heater.

    We mainly used it to store paint & she cans tomatoes until I decided I wanted start getting back into model RR. She even suggested that I should expand that room & leave my old truck outside. I'm still thinking that one over but If I do decide then that would give me a 22ft x 9 ft space.

    I just want to see how much enjoyment I get out of my current layout. I haven't even started on scenery yet. But it does give me something to do and I have enjoyed it so far.

    Thanks, Tony

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