Logging Locos, Logging Track Plan, Logging Mill, Mainline Pick-up

railandsail Jul 23, 2019

  1. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    Quite awhile back I set aside some spaces on my new double-deck layout plan to have some logging scenes.
    I labeled them Logging Tracks & Logging Interchange


    Even though both of these 'scenes' are interconnected, they both require individual design attention:
    a) to the logging trains that gather up the downed trees and deliver them to the lumber mill,
    b) the mill itself,
    c) and finally placement of finished product on mainline cars for retail distribution.

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    On this upper level I am proposing to put some logging tracks and trains running out the peninsula to its tip. There might be a very tight loop at the free end of the peninsula for the short logging locos to run. Or it might be just a back and forth operation for them. They will bring logs back to the saw mill scene at the trunk end of the peninsula (logging interchange). I have the whole Walthers saw mill kit(s) and would like to make this scene some sort of transfer of logs to cut/finished product that would be loaded onto mainline log cars and center-beam loaded cars, and a number of other wood carrying cars



    At that point I let myself get stalled out thinking of details about this logging scene, and I went onto more pressing matters to getting some lower plywood decks cut out, and tracks laid in my helix, etc, etc. Now I am at a point where I want to finish up cutting out the deck plates for the upper level,...BUT I need to define what I intend to do about this whole logging area. I need some ideas, hopefully from folks interested in logging subjects.
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  2. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    Spine/Backbone

    For the last couple of days I've been trying to come up with some basic ideas of placement of the mill components, a track plan, etc. I've looked thru lots of images via google, and some of my old magazine clippings. Nothing has 'hit me on the head' as the way to proceed.



    I had previously started a subject thread asking about the minimum radius curves that these locos might be capable of?
    Logging Locos & Minimum Radius Curves
    https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/34504



    It quickly became obvious that I was NOT going to be able to put a turning loop at the tip of this upper peninsula, as the peninsula itself was only going to be a maximum 24” wide,...more likely 18” wide?



    And perhaps I was NOT going to be able to put a turning loop down where the logging trains brought the trees to the mill (pond of the mill preferable)?


    A few days ago I was visiting my metal scrap yard and noticed a new piece of that 'sign post' metal beam I've utilized on other portions of my 'metal benchwork'. My thoughts turned back to this logging train trackage I had been contemplating down an elevated strip over my central peninsula.

    Could this beam be the backbone rib of that logging trackage? In other words it would exist strictly as a stiff backbone of approx 8 foot of length. Various pieces of 1-2" thick foam attached to this backbone would provide for the scenery and roadbed all along this length. The backbone might well be attached to the ceiling beams of the shed via 2 long, all-thread rods, so no support structure required from the bottom. And these rods can be placed such that the ceiling fan is still usable, ….but the 3 lights that are part of the fixture would likely be removed.

    Last night I grabbed a long piece of alum I had sitting around, and 'strung' it up to represent that backbone I mentioned above,....(I even gave it a little grade to climb from the trunk of this peninsula to the outer tip under the fan. BTW forget that rope holding this up,...just temporary for effect. That will likely be a piece of all-thread hanging from the ceiling studs, and camouflaged as a tall mountaintop radio antenna or whatever.)....

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    Kurt Moose likes this.
  3. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    So now my sketchy plan is starting to look like this,..

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    The 'trunk' of the peninsula is a 2 foot deep piece of plywood across the back side of the layout. I've temporarily relocated my coal mine from the right hand corner over to the left hand corner. So I have a couple of mainline tracks that loop into the helix area, and also have a shortcut track provision to loop around the perimeter of the upper deck. Other than that things are open to suggestions as to how a lumber mill, its pond, etc , and the delivery logging trains can unload and turn around for another trip back up the peninsula??

    The logging peninsula itself I am imagining will be about 18" wide, and would have at least 1 track on either side of some sort of view splitter/divider down its center (at least 2 tracks). These tracks could make various twist/curves, cross bridges, etc, etc with various scenic backdrops and trees to reach either end....about 7-8 feet in length and 9" deep.

    At the tip of the peninsula there would be a 'gallows style' turntable to turn the logging locos around, and perhaps hold 1or 2 locos at idle. That paper plate I mentioned above represents that gallows turntable. I've measured a few of my longer loggers, and it appears as though a small of turntable only 8" in diameter will handle any of them, including the Heisler with its aux tender.

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  4. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Great news for you. You can pass on the turntable if you like. Prototypes for the locomotives you are using often spent much of their time running in reverse, so you should have no problem in doing without either a loop or a turntable if you care to.
     
    HOexplorer likes this.
  5. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    Mock-up Ideas

    I laid down some of that brown paper I used to make some of the full-scale plans earlier. Rather then onto my carport table, I put it on the lower level deck in that area since the overall shape is somewhat similar. This 'blank piece of paper' would allow me to move things around to get some ideas of ; 1)what I might fit in there, and 2) where and what orientation the structures and track might assume?? So here are my initial ideas.

    Space cleared out ready for overlapping paper

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    I keep the mainline(s) loop and access into the helix very much as I had originally sketched them,...and the 'alternative' curved track that would allow the trains to simply circle the room rather than enter the helix.
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    Peninsula tracks. This has been a challenge (and still is) to decide on. I have abandoned the idea of a turntable at the outer tip. And I have basically abandoned the idea of hidden tracks masking some of the moving of unloaded vs loaded log trains up-down the peninsula. Instead I will have 2 logging trains making the trips between the tip and base of the peninsula. One will be 'empties', and one will be loaded with logs. They will basically just go back and forth between the pond at the sawmill and the woods at the tip of the peninsula.

    Since there are 2 trains, I will have 2 tracks for them to operate on, and likely those 2 tracks will be located on either side of a 'view-block' down the center such that a fair amount of woodsy scenery can be built on either side,...considering the shortness, smallness of my overall area. I would hope to have a wavy, curvy track on both sides,...
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    Questionable crossover? As you can see I place a double slip switch in there about half way up the peninsula. My thought was that this would allow either of the 2 trains to be able to switch sides at times. I'm imagining that this double slip switch would be camouflaged by a whole bunch of trees, or something to hide its existence?? Its basically located such that either one of the 2 logging trains pulling as many as 6 full length log cars could sit on either outer leg.



    These 2 logging trains can back down to the pond unloading area (pond not shown yet, but a few logs in there) onto 2 closely spaced, parallel tracks (orientation and straightness not determined yet).
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    BTW the ramp that pulls the logs from the pond will be centered on that end of the Walthers sawmill rather then off to one side (will require some kit-bashing of that sawmill).



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    That large piece white/multi colored paper represents the sawmill footprint. You can see the log pick-up ramp coming out the center of structure there.

    That little black blob exiting the covered ramp side of the sawmill is actually that little steam switcher engine that will be transporting the cut lumber over to a milling/finishing/storage-stacking area that will likely be painted as a backdrop on the rear wall (since there is no way I have room for such a structure).



    The travel crane shown there in the background was just thrown in for effect. Perhaps that logging company was successful enough to need a 'modified travel crane to load the centerbeam cars lined up down that/those siding tracks in front of the milling and storage area painted on the backdrop??



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    WOW, I think I found a spot for my gallows turntable. This logging company has enough logging locos to justify a turntable and small repair area. This also makes it possible to change out on occasion the two logging locos working the woods.

    There is a slight variation in the track access to the turntable such as to provide for a continuous route thru the turntable for full length logging trains...second photo.





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    The 2 tracks in the foreground that are entering that corner are the 2 mainlines coming from the container port. That one against the wall has a siding that might lead off to a gold mine or something in that corner. I have a nice tower mining structure in mind. Otherwise that mainline provides for entering the helix from either this side of the layout, or the other side . If the train enters that helix loop from this right side of the layout, then when it comes back around it can choose to go back down along the wall of the shed (back side of the stacked containers and SF station), OR it can choose to go down the track in front of the stacked containers. That mainline in front of the containers will also have a siding to hold a SF passenger train, and to provide access to the SF diesel engine maintenance building down in corner over the waterfront scene on the lower level.

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    Kurt Moose likes this.
  6. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    Going to have to give that more serious thought. I think you might be correct Michael,...a waste of my small, thus valuable real estate.

    Decision made. I am going to eliminate that crossover
     
  7. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    Changes being Considered

    I really like bridges, and I thought how appropriate it might be to have a Howe wooden truss bridge up in the logging area. And in fact I have one of those Campbell kits #305 that a gentleman must have started on and never finished. Its all stained and ready for assembly.

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    Here is where I thought I might place it,...over the stream that might be feeding logs to the pond from another logging section up-stream of my layout. I've temporarily placed a steel curved cord bridge in there for now.

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    But I ran into a problem. That section of track is a portion of my mainline track that loops thru the helix, and loops around the upper deck. As such it will be carrying double stacks, etc that are too tall for that Howe truss Bridge. So I guess I'm going to have to chose another type bridge for that scene if I decide to include it.

    I am growing fond of that idea that some of the log supply would be floated down to the mill from an upstream location painted onto the backdrop.



    I also removed that travel crane from the logging operation and placed it back over at the 'far end' of the container yard. As such I would consider this crane as older generation of equipment that is still being used by the container facility, but likely to be retired soon.

    BTW, I have 2 of these travel cranes that need serious repair, but I believe I have all the parts. I bought them used long ago.
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  8. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I will have to keep watching you. We had a lot of logging here in Northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. After the great fire (same days as the great Chicago fire started by a cow) it was mostly for the paper mills in the Paper Valley (Green Bay to Oshkosh). Keep us up to date.
     
  9. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    I need to plan on providing enough space for a Central Valley Bridge to be placed into that same spot I am initially going to place that Roco Curved Cord bridge. After all it is a leg on my mainline that is crossing that logging pond, and the CV bridge is a mainline style bridge,....and I have several of these very nice kits.

    In here,...
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    Need to ask a question: Does this forum notify you via email if someone responds to a subject thread you are participating in?

    May have to take a little break from this design effort as I broke a small bone in my foot this past Sunday. And my crutches don't fit in the train shed so easy.
     
  10. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    If you want an email to notify you when someone posted on a thread, go to the top of the thread and click on "Watch Thread". It will bring up a black box giving you the option for email notification.

    Joe
     
  11. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    I went to the top of the tread, and I saw only "watched threads" and "watched forums",...no "watch thread" ??
     
  12. vasilis

    vasilis TrainBoard Member

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    Brian, at the right corner above the first post. upload_2019-8-5_21-31-56.png
     
  13. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    Ah ha, mine said "unwatch thread". So I guess at some point I had told it to watch the thread,...don't recall.
    But the point is I was not receiving notifications. I am now. Thanks
     
  14. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    15" radius vs 18" radius


    This afternoon I was working on the track that would be entering the 'saw mill / gallows turntable' area of my logging scene from one of the mainlines. It appears as though I need 2 sections of 15" radius track about 18-20 inches long each, to fit things in the way I am hoping.

    I believe I recall that most of the 'plastic loggers' will just barely negotiate the 15" curves (the brass ones maybe not)? I think even the articulated Mantua 2-6-6-0 will fit??

    I would drag out some track and the locos and do some testing, BUT I only have a single 9" long piece of 15" r track.

    This is where I was looking to utilize those 15" r track segments,...to service that gallows turntable,...

    https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/36903?page=10#comment-402915



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  15. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    Congested Interchange & Logging Track Plan


    I've been tackling a combination problem with my track plan. It primarily involves the 'intersection' of 2 mainlines with the container yard and the logging area. Originally it was a bit simpler,... involving a crossover between the 2 mainlines at the base of a reversing loop of track that extends out into the helix. Thus a train could go either way around that loop, and when it came back to this crossover it could take either of 2 routes back thru the container area. It utilized a pair of Peco double-curve turnouts.
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    clean look....

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    Then I came along and added some complication,...3 more tracks connecting with the 2 mainlines in that area,...congestion. Two of those tracks are for container cars to enter and load in the container yard, and the third (if wanted) is a parking track for a pair of Santa Fe diesels dedicated to working the container area. Then at the bottom there is the access turnout/track leading off to the left to the logging saw mill and logging turntable.



    ...cluttered up...

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    With all of this extra congestion and tight grouping of turnouts I had to depend not only in lining up the paper templates, but also on physically getting the actual turnouts out and connected them together to assure that I could make this plan a reality. I was dealing in angled tracks (non-straight) and double curves, and each little twist here was an awkward twist somewhere else. It was a puzzle. I ended up making good use of those Peco dbl-curves. I also discovered one spot that was better off with a std turnout.



    Since two of the tracks running thru this congestion are 'mainlines' I wanted to keep the curved tracks as broad as possible. The use of the dbl-curve Pecos and the large radius std Pecos does that, and the connecting tracks are in the range of 26”-29” radius. The container track feeders have some 24” spots in them, but generally that is the smallest radius curve in any of this area.


    There are 4 dbl-curve Pecos in this photo,....nice flowing configuration
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    This next photo shows some of that same 'congestion', plus 2 tracks off to the left. The one with the logging engine siting on it is a holding track for the gallows turntable.
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    That other track is the entrance track to the logging area. It comes off the mainline with another dbl-curve then makes a 15”r curve around to the left to that 'Y' turnout.
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    That little switcher engine...
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    will be servicing the chip loader, and will be picking up rough-sawn lumber and taking it on a zig-zag route over to the milling plant in that corner (flat or a photo on that wall) where it will be packaged and loaded onto mainline lumber cars ….centerbeams, thralls, etc.
     
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  16. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    railandsail, very nice looking layout!!! The room has excellent lighting, what do you use?

    Joe
     
  17. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    Joe Lovett likes this.
  18. railandsail

    railandsail TrainBoard Member

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    I'm glad you brought this to my attention, and made me re-evaluate this track plan AGAIN. I think I have arrived at a better solution by removing that short 'Y' turnout, and replacing it with another Peco variation.

    At first I thought, how about a Peco 'set-track' small turnout with curving divergent route of approx 17” radius.? But I didn't have a physical one of these on hand to play with.

    What I did have at hand was a Peco 'set-track' double-curve turnout. The inside curve of this turnout is similar if not identical to that of the small set track one. I got one out and placed it into that curving track leading from the mainline to the turntable.

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    I chose its placement such that the outer curve of that dbl-curve would mate up with my rough-wood cut lumber loading track. I found that the section of track between the turnout and the turntable could now be an 18” radius track rather then a 15” track. The track from the mainline connection that feeds that dbl-curve still needs to be
    15” radius.



    I think I have cut down on that 'S' curve flaw, and now it only exist on the chip loading track.


    A big benefit of this new arrangement is that both the lumber loading and chip loading tracks are significantly longer.

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    PS Update: Just this morning I substituted Peco medium radius turnout for the Peco small radius turnout (paper template in the photo). That makes the S-curve even less eventful.
     
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