Looking for folks to review my mainline track plan... N Scale

execsys Nov 25, 2020

  1. S t e f a n

    S t e f a n TrainBoard Member

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    'Not considering' should read 'now considering', right?

    My random thoughts:
    • 60" is not bad, but as somebody who seems to be prone to bumping his head into stuff, a contraption that you could lift to 72" or so is even better. That (a hinged crossover) is what I have built for my layout. Your room seems to be only used for the railroad (and laundry), so maybe a five foot duck-under is perfectly fine. I still bump once a day into the lower half of my hinged 56" to 72" cross-over; good thing it's just foam.
    • Along the lines of what Todd wrote: do you need double the layout area? Again, from my perspective, I know I have to keep an eye on 'buildability', and getting to a working layout within a reasonable amount of time. Can you stage building your layout? How are you attaching the benchwork to the wall? If you can just 'click in' the upper level supports into vertical shelving rails after finishing and operating the lower level, staging might not be so bad.
    • Alternatively to the two level plus cross-over plan, how about a three foot wide entrance without duck-under, and four foot diameter circular peninsulas on both sides? Dogbone mainline turns around on viaducts, yard is on lower level. Rounding the corners of the four foot wide turn-around sections gets around the reach problem, and reduces the number of pointy things to bump into.

    By the way, I completely redesigned my yard after seeing your switch to a single double-ended yard.
     
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  2. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

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    Took a crack at this in XTrackCAD. Reckon you can fit darn near the whole prototype into a two-level layout.

    If you decide to build something this complex, you might consider using the lower level 3x6 board on the left as a simple roundy-round (e.g. any 4x8 HO plan from Atlas or 101) so you have something to play with while you build out the rest of it.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. S t e f a n

    S t e f a n TrainBoard Member

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    I like the inclusion of Finkl Steel. That must be the Finkl Steel at 93rd street, not the now razed one at Cortland and the North Branch. That one was also pretty neat.
    The one on the south side has some very small radius curves, as the satellite images show:
    FInkl_93rd_trackage_satellite.jpg

    I found this Chicago trackage map on the Industrial Scenery Blog: http://home.xnet.com/~bruler/blog/Chicago_Map-REF24775.pdf

    Besides the BRC South Chicago Yard there is also the 'Norfolk Southern Calumet Yard' nearby. And tons of cool bridges.
    But I guess the OP does not need more yards, or stuff to cram into his layout...
    Finkl_BRC_South_Chicago_yard_NS_Calumet_yard.jpg

    I hope I'm not derailing the OP's layout thread.
     
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  4. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

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    If we're cramming in stuff adjacent to BRC South Chicago I'd go for the 95th St bridge, with airborne 1974 Dodge


     
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  5. execsys

    execsys TrainBoard Member

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    These are all very good suggestions and comments. I am taking my time and trying a lot of different things
    My brother still lives on 95th Street.
     
  6. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    Thought I would check this out even though I no longer do any N scale. My thoughts: You have input from a lot of gifted modelers. If you model The Belt Railway of Chicago, you will have too much fun! :D
     
  7. execsys

    execsys TrainBoard Member

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    For the first time in a long time I am really excited about building a layout. I have a new house with a great layout space. And the design input I am getting is amazing. I think it means a lot of people would have tried this as a prototype given the chance.... It will be officially known as "South Chicago Belt Line"
     
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  8. execsys

    execsys TrainBoard Member

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    sorry to have been slow to respond, i have a ton of feedback to incorporate into next versions - I need a week or two....
     
  9. execsys

    execsys TrainBoard Member

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  10. execsys

    execsys TrainBoard Member

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    So I know it's been a while ;) I have had a lot of advice and even a fully drawn track plan sent to me. So I am back, the new design calls for two levels with a helix. What I am showing you here is the lower level. The fictional "South Chicago Belt Line" (aka Belt Railway of Chicago) will travel from the mouth of the Calumet River west and then north to the slightly skinnied down Clearing Yard. So the lower level is devoted to modeling the mouth of the calumet river plus a fictional depiction of Calumet Steel (based more on Iroquois Steel) Here are the two track plans, the suggested one contributed by a SIG member and now my interpretation of the lower level.


    A lot of input on the steel industry coming from November 1950 Model Railroader Magazine article by Bill Rau and Bruce Alter.


    [​IMG]

    and here is my redrawn lower level

    [​IMG]

    All comments and thoughts appreciated....... thanks for all your help :)
     
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  11. execsys

    execsys TrainBoard Member

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    And thank you so much to mudkip-orange if that is indeed your real name
     
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  12. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I like the plan! Of course a few tweaks can always be made...

    Layouts are often more visually interesting if the rails (and structures) are not often parallel to the edges of the layout. I like how your pig casting and ore loader industrial spurs are angled, but I would also try angling the trackage and industry at top center. Even a little angle helps a lot.

    I would also move the Ore Loaders further down. I know that would put them under the duck-under, but if those two tracks really need to be that long, servicing them will block the main red/blue lines frequently. Moving the ore loaders further down gives you more room to work them without blocking the mains at the crossing.

    Reaching the back sides (against the walls, into the corner) of the left loop is going to be a stretch... I would broaden the magenta curve in the back corner, to start. Moving the conveyors, etc. (and angling them too) down towards the end will give you even more room for a nice, sweeping curve across that back corner, while reducing the reach if something goes awry back there. While angling the trackage at top, think about clearing a small space to neck down the left side width just below that inside corner. You've already got a little space their as a start. You will thank yourself later.
     

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