New Layout: The CSX Dixie Line

CSXDixieLine Jul 28, 2008

  1. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    I will check my inbox; haven't been on TrainBoard in ages.

    Hopefully I can get this trackplan finished real quick. I have everything I need to get all the trackwork done but right now it is just collecting dust. Jamie
     
  2. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    I have updated the track plan to represent the actual alignment of the mainline through the Calhoun scene. I also went ahead and drew in the passing siding as it currently exists (the siding to nowhere). I marked a big red X on the siding to indicate its minimum length--the clearance point for the southern end of the siding can be extended anywhere to the right of the X but can not be to the left.

    [​IMG]

    The track plan now includes a continuous mainline run through Calhoun. Baby steps.

    Jamie
     
  3. 3DTrains

    3DTrains TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jamie, if you're still looking to what to model for the scene perhaps the old Kona siding on the Clinchfield, and then run a short section of track to the layout's edge for the Yancy RR connection. The curve looks about right, and it appears you have the space. In my mind, Tilton and Emerson remind me of Green Mtn and Spruce Pine, respectively.
     
  4. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Marc, Thanks for the suggestion. I am definitely open for suggestions and I'll have to check that area out. Although I have some ideas for what I want to do in Calhoun, I am always looking for inspiration. Jamie
     
  5. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Before I continue with the design of Calhoun, a brief description of the town seems to be in order. On the prototype, Calhoun is at milepost WA79.0 on the CSX W&A subdivision in the northwest corner of Georgia about 70 miles north of Atlanta and 50 miles south of Chattanooga, TN. The two main railroad features of the town are a small modern depot and a massive Pilgrim's Pride feed mill to support the local poultry industry. A local originates out of town to swith nearby industries while the feed mill receives regular unit grain trains from the midwest.

    On the layout, Calhoun is where all but one of the industries are located on the lower level. Therefore, a lot of switching will happen here. The feed mill is a must along with one or two other nearby industries that lend themselves well to being modeled. I would prefer to have a local do all of the switching, which would require a depot, house track and setout track. If these elements so not fit, I can live with a "local" that originates in staging coming into town with setouts and taking pickups back to whence they came. A few houses would also be nice, but the residential aspect is not that important. The main goal, as with the rest of the layout, is to avoid clutter.

    Here is a list of the features that I have planned for the Calhoun scene, in descending order of priority. The top of the list contains the "must have" items while things at the bottom of the list are more along the lines of "nice to have" items:

    1. Pilgrim's Pride (feed mill)
    2. Carmeuse Lime (lime production)
    3. Dow Chemical (chemical plant)
    4. setuot track
    5. depot & house track for local
    6. grade crossing
    7. other small industry

    I am next going to try to add as many of these features to the track plan as possible without overcrowding things. I'll continue to post as I make updates, and as always feel free to comment and offer changes/suggestions.

    Jamie
     
  6. GTRail

    GTRail Permanently dispatched

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    Maybe ditch #7 and give things a bit of space, I would recommend adding some sort of town element to avoid the feeling of industries in the middle of nowhere (depots were usually the center of town before highways sprouted around the US).
     
  7. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    Give things room as in #5's?
    Maybe you could try Z scale houses in the distance to give the feeling of a small town- outskirts of town.
    A small LP place with a Trackmobile might add interest. For the lime plant remember to have the engine almost white, The sugar factory was recieving more lime and when they were done the balck Progress Rail B23-7 was nearly all white! Maybe that could be it the one industry I have it for, a small sugar factory. Or a fertilizer dealer, Athearn LP tanks placarded for 1005.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2012
  8. Bendtracker1

    Bendtracker1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jamie,
    Here's my $0.02 worth.

    If the feed mill is gonna be as big as you say it will be, then you might think about stationing a feed mill owned switcher there to do all the work. This way when the local stops by to grab and set out what's needed, they won't have to tie the main up as much. The switcher does all the work before hand the local arrives and has things ready to go on a siding.

    I have done this at Haskell with my Riceland elevator and mill. The far right track is the switch lead. When the switch crew has the cars ready, they leave them set in the pocket track [3rd left from the elevator] or on the ladder track where the switcher is at in this photo. Now all the local crew has to do is to swap out the cars and not spend all day spotting them.

    [​IMG]

    Even with only four tracks to work and a total of fourteen cars, the time it saves the local crew was enough to warrant a private switcher. The switcher does two things, it eases the work load on the local so they are not tying up the main as long, and it also gives a newbie a chance to get his/her feet wet with switching opportunities that are not very complex.

    If you want the local to do some work while in Calhoun, they can work the Lime or Chemical plant and grab what cars are needed for ar from the feed mill. I would leave out one: either #2 or #3, at least until you get some of the track laid out and see what kind of room you have to play with.
    I would leave out the set out track, the depot and house track for now, but keep at least one crossing, maybe have one main road running between the feed mill and either the Chemical or Lime plant as a scenery divider per se' This would also give easy access for trucks to both facilities.

    Again, just my $0.02 worth.
    Allen...
     
  9. Specter3

    Specter3 TrainBoard Member

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    Here is something that is not to scale but gives an idea of what you are looking for. I looked at Calhoun on Bingmaps and there is one more large industry that would be interesting to model south of town by the airport but it would take up half the scene. Here you have on the left side a generic warehouse looking building with a single spur. Then there is the elevator with two storage tracks and the delivery track. The storage tracks can be wrapped around with the main or go straight to the corner depending on how many cars you want to be able to get in there. There is a run around on the storage tracks. There is a lead for the elevator tracks but it fouls the siding switch. Then there is a representation of town with a crossing. And then there is a generic plastic pellet operation with two spurs and the building is a flat on the backdrop.

    [​IMG]

    HTH

    Ryan
     
  10. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Great ideas guys, this is VERY helpful and has me thinking in the right direction.

    Allen, I like the size of your feed mill and the track layouts. I would also like to have a mill switcher to ease the workload of the local crew, so I am right there with you on that. I am also now following your blog and linking from mine (not sure how I have not already done this).

    Ryan, I really like what you have sketched in. Your layout is just about what I have come up with, although I have the mill to the right and the lime plant to the left. The main street down the middle also has me thinking about a grade crossing in Resaca (just north of calhoun) that I may base this on. In particular, there is a great house with a huge oak tree that screams to be modled located right on the tracks.

    OK good ideas...now I need to put them on (electronic) paper and post for review.

    Jamie
     
  11. Bendtracker1

    Bendtracker1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    In the realm of things, my elevator and mill are on the small size and I originally thought it would be an overkill to have a plant switcher based there, that was until we had a couple of operating sessions and seen just how much time it actually took to switch out Riceland with the local!

    So the next week I re-laid the tracks for a plant switcher and things went a lot easier! The only work that the Haskell turn does at Haskell is to work Riceland. Since it has to cross the main to access their tracks, you can tie up the main for a long time, not to mention having to wait for any through trains. Even with the plant switcher it still takes about 25 to 30 minutes for the Haskell local to run the entire turn on half of the layout.

    The stub tracks in the foreground and against the back drop where the LPG tanks are setting and all the tracks that head off to the left are worked by the W&OV. The Haskell turn only uses the first siding to clear the main while working Riceland.

    It amazes me still just how much time it takes to run an entire ops session. With 6-7 guys it takes a good 3 to 3-1/2 hours. There are four working freights that feed the locals at El Dorado which are all pre-staged. The yard crew at El Dorado, the two RI locals, the Winnfield and Haskell turn, Amtrak and a reefer train. When the W&OV has it cars from Malvern gathered up ready they make a run to El Dorado and back to Malvern. There are 6 through freights that run if we have enough time and operators. Then the we have the Riceland and ICG jobs as well.

    When I first started designing the layout, I figured it would take no time at all to get everything run, silly me. When you factor in all the work that the locals have to do and then running at a prototypical speed [which for the Rock Island is about 15mph...LOL] it takes more time than one thinks. I haven't made the leap yet, but I'm seriously thinking about adding a fast clock and some event cards once the guys get use to layout and how things flow.

    I think the house with the big oak tree would be a nice touch that would break up the big industry scene and add some geographical flavor. Whenever I think of CSX [or any of their predecessors in the southeast], I always remember seeing a picture of a small church setting within only a few yards of the tracks! You know, a small church with the preachers house or a small cemetery next door would look right at home as well!

    I can't wait to see how this section of your layout pans out!

    Allen...

    BTW, thanks for the blog link :)
     
  12. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    Will some of the sidings extend to the left tward the end -curve down to the left, or do you want things just in the open area to the right of your calhoun picture? Also how big is the calhoun area?
     
  13. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    I am tring to keep things in the open area between the track and the backdrop, although I do not rule out an industry in front of the tracks either. I am trying to avoid having a string cars on an industry track obstructing trains on the mainline. The calhoun scene as shown in my previous track plan posted above is 14 feet long and 17" deep. Jamie
     
  14. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    The first industry I am adding to the Calhoun scene is Carmeuse Lime & Stone. This facility is actually located in Chatworth, GA about 20 miles to the east of Calhoun on the CSX line between Atlanta and Knoxville. However, when I saw the following photo on RailPictures.net, I was hooked and knew I had to model it on the CSX Dixie Line layout:

    [​IMG]

    Carmeuse Lime & Stone converts raw mined limestone into products that have many uses including steel manufacture, flue gas desulfurization, paper manufacture and water treatment. The raw limestone is received in covered hoppers at the facility shown in the picture above. Based on numerous prototype photos I have viewed, the traffic volume at Carmeuse is high. There are two unloading spots served by a single spur track. There are usually several cars being unloaded at any time and many others staged on an adjacent siding. As of now, I am only planning to model a single spur track with a capacity of 6-8 cars. However, a second track or a siding dedicated to this facility could easily be accommodated. Here is the updated track plan including Carmeuse Lime & Stone:

    [​IMG]

    Jamie
     
  15. Bendtracker1

    Bendtracker1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Calhoun2.jpg

    Not sure if this came out big enough or not.

    Just doodling and trying to follow the rule of thirds [kind of].
    Not sure how big your mill needs to be or the actual footprint of it will be.

    You could add your two lane road between the two industries at a slight angle to define the two.
    The switch lead for the mill could parallel the mainline and let it cross the road so the switcher can make the traffic come to a stand still and curse! :angry:

    I would try to keep the lead close to the same length as the longest siding.

    For an option, you could place a turnout at the right end of the switch lead so you would have run-around if ever needed for the Mill or limestone ind, depending which way the cars come from, the switcher could also take care of the limestone plant. Maybe a joint owned loco?

    Another turnout could be placed closer to the Mill for a short house track for the switcher.

    Then on the left end, leave things pretty much open maybe except for that old house and big oak tree you mentioned.
    What I said last time about a church, I found the picture with the CSX loco next to the little church. It might even have a small cemetery.

    http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=159184&nseq=20

    Like I said, just doodling
    Allen...
     
  16. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Allen, I like it...a lot. What you have shown is pretty much what I am thinking of. However, the church scene at the turnback curve probably won't work since that space is reserved for the Dow Chemical facility that wraps around from the adjacent Tilton, GA scene to the north. As for the feed mill, I am looking for a modern facility that is a more simple (and smaller) design than the prototype one in Calhoun. I have my eye on one in Winder, GA that looks like a good candidate. Regardless, the track layout you have looks like what I want from an operational standpoint. Thanks for posting!


    Jamie
     
  17. Bendtracker1

    Bendtracker1 TrainBoard Supporter

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    What! No Church scene?:crying: Well I guess you can scrap the whole idea then...Oh well , I tried...LOL

    So is this the mill your thinking of?
    A lot smaller than what I was picturing [even though mine looked more like an elevator than a mill].
    Even if you only lay two tracks to the mill, it could keep one very busy indeed.

    Since it would be a lot smaller, you might be able to slip the church or house w/ the big oak tree between the industries seeing how and where the mill is actually located in the photo.

    Happy I could help. Looking forward to seeing your scene take shape Jamie!

    Allen...
     
  18. Bendtracker1

    Bendtracker1 TrainBoard Supporter

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  19. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    No church scene...on this part of the layout. Just north of Calhoun I do plan a small country church similar to the one you posted.

    Yes, that is the mill I am thinking of. I like the look of the the grain bins at that one. Plus, seems like a more flexible arrangement than the more common concrete silo mills. Jamie
     
  20. David D Hetzel

    David D Hetzel TrainBoard Member

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    very nice layout :D I live near the same line, but instead it's the area north of Knoxville.
     

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