Ideas for Switching Areas on Layouts

cajon Jan 9, 2016

  1. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member

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    Have added some Los Angeles Junction Ry (LAJ) Switch Maps to the Railimages of TrainBoard to give everyone some ideas for switching. Only showing ten of the 22 maps as my version of the LAJ will be on the Vernon CA side. Could only do ten at a time so will add the others soon. The Maps are in w/ a lot of images before & after. Don't know how to make them separate there.
    My layout will also include the Santa Fe Vernon Team & a stub ended Malabar Yard for staging. Malabar was only about 1/4 mile west. The Vernon Team & LAJ's Fruitland Team are literally right next door to each other. Both teams cab seen by using "2565 Fruitland Ave 90058" to find it on Bing or Google. The notes w/ the maps were done by Charlie Slater who used to be a conductor there 1970-1984. He then went to Santa Fe & retired from BNSF. He's also an excellent modeler!
    Use the maps for planning switching areas on your MR. Track layouts for switching are universal. Usually the only differences are just the types & names of industries served.
    Have added the No. 8 Long Laguna Switch Map here. It won't be on my layout as it's on the other side of the LA River.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    That's a nice, compact industrial area. It would be plenty busy for most model railroads.
     
  3. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    The LAJ is the perfect example of a busy industrial shortline.
     
  4. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member

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    Have moved to Santa Fe Springs since my last post here. So have to come up w/ a track new plan. But it being modular will be building the switch leads on different modules, stack them or even combine them. As for the Horn Lead will only be able to do 4-6 industries even w/ a lot of selective compression. For sure will do the Federal Cold Storage, box company, General Mills & the macaroni place for reefers, boxcars & covered hoppers! Could also stack the individual spurs of the Horn Lead.
     
  5. Backshop

    Backshop TrainBoard Member

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    Notice how in that real-world plan all the buildings are aligned the same way and the streets are a perfect grid? It's the RR tracks that have to be arranged in all kinds of configurations to get to their destinations. Usually on a model layout people do the opposite: the track is laid down neatly and conveniently and the roads and buildings get stuck in in all different angles to match the trackage -- which hardly looks like the real world.
     
  6. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

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    Excellent point.
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    In many instances the railroad platted the town site. The railroad laid out streets, building lots, etc, to get maximum return benefit from this effort. Quite often everything was neatly perpendicular to the tracks, but in some cases geography changed that arrangement. Tracks curved,and industry altered where tracks could run, a stream, etc.
     
  8. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    So true, I know I've done it myself. Then there are the locations where the buildings shapes conform to the track layout. The area served by the LAJ has a lot of that as shown in this Googlemaps photo.

    Vernon1.jpg
     
  9. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member

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    As said above The LAJ Switch Maps are in "Railimages" here but think they got "buried" by more recent additions. Here's a link to them posted on TrainLife: http://www.trainlife.com/albums/view/7972. The above image shows how the shapes of the industries are dictated by the LAJ tracks. Sad to say most of those named industries aren't rail served anymore. That's why my LAJ layout will be pre 1986 when most were still rail served. Back then operations were 24/7 but these days they are only day/eve M-F. BTW the track curving off in top left is UP's off their San Pedro Sub. Don't have enough room on my layout to do any of the 4 Leads shown but may squeeze in a couple of the industries elsewhere on the layout.
     
  10. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    That's a great collection of research you have there Andy.

    I grew up in the area (South Gate) and my biggest memory of Vernon was riding the J car, then after 1963 the bus and going past the Farmer John plant. I recall it being around where Pacific Ave curves but now it seems to be at Vernon and Soto. Did it move or is my memory foggy ? The current location does not appear to be served by rail.

    That shot you have of the automobiles standing on end in gondola is interesting, they don't look like wrecks. What's the story there ?
     
  11. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member

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    Have to thank Charlie Slater who was a LAJ conductor 1970-1984 for giving me those LAJ Switch Maps. Those are his notes of how those industries were switched.
    Don't know if Farmer Johns ever moved. Maybe it just expanded to it's current location. It was switched by UP only till some time in the mid '90s. Got to see a few UP "Hamtrack" trains in the '80 & '90s.
    Those cars in the gondola were new bodies going to assembly plants in SoCal. There were frames in them that the rear body from back east sans motor & front ends. Those were added in SoCal plants. Know that Studebaker (Vernon) & Chrysler (Commerce) were on the LAJ.
     
  12. J911

    J911 TrainBoard Member

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    In the back they have rail service. Currently there are 2 Santa Fe Bud cars sitting in the same position for about the last 5 years since I first spotted them. There is still alot of action and in some places still no automatic crossings. Just bucks, wig wags and the need for flag men. I work the area and have a good amount of pictures.

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
     
  13. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    That would make a really interesting load, one that I don't recall ever seen modeled. Seems like that would be a good Shapeways project for someone in N or HO. Never saw car bodies being brought in like that at GM South Gate but do recall lots of frames on flat cars.
     
  14. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    An excellent observation.

    This is a phenomenon mainly limited to the western U.S. where the railroads brought civilization in their wake. In Tulsa's case, downtown sits parallel to the Frisco tracks, but the city founders soon decided to go with the compass instead. So, every street into downtown has a curve where the street realigns itself on a true east-west orientation, and every avenue curves to a north-south alignment.

    nscalestation is correct that the frames were more often shipped to coachbuilders. Even so, the reverse did happen. This probably continued into the fifties, but be careful. It did not happen in the case of cars of unit construction (such as Nashes and Hudsons beginning as early as the late forties). At least, I don't think so. The Briggs-built Hudson Jet could be an exception. This wouldn't affect the Studebaker plant, but Chrysler was building unit bodies as early as 1953.

    Anyone who models a road that served either Briggs or Budd could do this thing. But few of these bodies were shipped a long distance. Most factories outside of Detroit were and are big enough to do most things in house, to keep costs down.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    True. I have rolls of Milwaukee Road western blueprints (LT&S, ROW) showing many variations. Some got rather interesting. A few I am still trying to decipher why history evolved in a certain fashion. And when the town existed before railroad, locals often did interesting things to attract a railroad their way.
     
  16. Backshop

    Backshop TrainBoard Member

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    True, some walls were curved to follow the tracks. But still many of the walls are square and aligned perpendicular or parallel to each other. There's no complete building aligned 20 or 45 degrees off the street grid. Mainly because surveyors and city property owners like rectangular lots, not ones with lot lines zigzagging all over or meeting at odd angles. It's not a coincidence that almost every building kit made for model railroads has a square or rectangular shape.
     
  17. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    You're right. But many a building is oddly shaped because three walls are aligned to the local street grid, while the fourth wall is built parallel to the adjacent tracks in order to take advantage of a siding. This was not even slightly unusual back in the day, and more than a few of these survive.

    It pays to be able to scratchbuild a building, because no kit maker could make a living making a dozen varieties of each building to account for that particular space on everyone's layout.

    That said, never say never. You can't tell me that, 'There's no complete building aligned... 45 degrees off the street grid,' because oilman William G. Skelly built a mansion for himself right here in Tulsa which is. Ad he did it just to be different.
     
  18. Backshop

    Backshop TrainBoard Member

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    When talking about buildings aligned with streets, I'm using the American city model. Obviously in Europe and elsewhere there are buildings aligned to curves, vees, riverbanks, etc.
    A variation you seldom see on a layout is a building that has only part of a corner cut off at an angle to allow for the ROW of the nearby mainline. The building itself may not be rail served.
     
  19. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member

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    Here's a plan by Rob Chant who offers to do free layout plans on Railroad Line Forums. The plan is for the LAJ Horn Lead that will be the start of my layout. Have taken some modelers license to have more different car types by including non Horn industries. LAJ Horn Lead Plan Rob Chant 9-25-16.jpg There's also a small yard for car storage while switching.
     
    friscobob and GP40X like this.

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