1. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    Welcome aboard, Joe!

    I like your plan! It's a well-executed, double-tracked twice-around. The minimum radius of 9.75R may limit your choices of rolling stock and locomotives (and therefore, maybe era too), but as long as you are aware of and happy with that, it's good. The generous easements will help operationally, but not appearance wise.

    But beware that eased or not, sharp curves also amplify grades (more specifically, the effort required to pull a train up them,) due to slippage causing combined loss of traction on the locos, with increased drag on the railcars. But hey, I like a nice, four-engine consist myself!

    The front (and left-end) industries have facing point switches, assuming the trains just pulled out of the upper level yards/industries. So there needs to be a nearby place for locos to cross over and run around to the other end of their train, to push the railcars into the front/left sidings. You could convert the switch/crossing at lower left to a crossover followed by the switch to the lower industry, and add another crossover (pair of switches) further left, or even in the left end of the double track. Or you could add the first crossover after (left of) the existing switch and crossing.

    Given the limited space for industry at upper left, I would simplify that to a single track industry to get more room for the industry itself. Sometimes less is more.

    But I REALLY like the option to replace the two bridges with at-grade crossings, thus simplifying terrain and grade construction. It might be a good idea to "prototype" your layout with crossings & no grades, making it simpler to experiment with changes before grades are added to the eventual layout. I'm doing a similar thing with my Unitrack layout, using elevated Viaduct trackage, before I commit to the eventual terrain. I can also harvest the Unitrack ground-level tracks from the viaducts for the final layout.

    Be sure to start a layout thread for your layout, so you can keep us abreast of your progress!
    BNSF FAN, Joe B and DeaconKC like this.
  2. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

    Oh, another thing Kato makes some beautiful double track bridges in their Unitrack line. The track sections pop out easily so you can still use your regular flextrack. And they are reasonably priced too.
    MK and BNSF FAN like this.
  3. Joe B

    Joe B New Member

    Thanks all for the comments! I plan to run CCW on the outer main, so the side & front industries are trailing point. But the yards are thus big problems for outer main trains, having to back out uphill around 9.75 curves. You're right, I need to think more about runaround locations. Fitting them in may be a tight squeeze, especially without introducing S curves.

    And yeah, the more I think about it, 'prototyping' with a flat layout would be good to make sure the track plan really works as intended. I was hoping to avoid buying four 30-degree crossings, that's the only track I don't have. But I suppose it's cheaper than junking a bad plan after construction.

    I'll start a layout thread when I've drawn some changes. Thanks!
    mtntrainman and BNSF FAN like this.
  4. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    If you're not wedded to CCW running, the side & front industries have more room to park a cut and run-around. Not to mention the logistics of parking a cut of cars on a slope with no engine attached to hold the cut in place while the former runs around.

    Actually, it looks like you have at least a slight grade no matter where you park the cut.

    You can use a small finish nail in a hole drilled in a tie, that you can push down or pull up to stop the railcars against on a slope while running the loco(s) around to the other end.

    I've never done this, but the nail might be easier to use if (barely) outside the rails, to catch on a railcar truck's side plate, since you will either have to raise it or lower it while the loco is coupled to that end of the cut of cars (making access to between the rails harder.) And having it outside the rails can allow you to catch anywhere on the cut of cars, not just either end.

    Of course, if it is solenoid- or motor-operated, then it doesn't matter...
    mtntrainman, BNSF FAN and DeaconKC like this.
  5. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    Okay, under or on the bridge, there's no slope!
    BNSF FAN and DeaconKC like this.

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