Still tweaking the MPRR

Vaccam May 17, 2011

  1. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    I think my liking for the original yard was that it had more of a sleepy branch line look to it. It really does remind me of a lot of the trackage I've seen on logging style layouts.

    What I like about it...

    1 storage track that is probably never full.

    A run around for short trains with a long lead at the end on the left of the drawing. I really like the long lead because a lot of model railroads are designed for the space they are in to maximize available real estate, but real railroads don't worry about that.

    A two track engine house.

    A spur for storing cabooses or cranes or another engine.

    There is a lot about your mainline design that reminds me of the track plans I used to see in model railroader from the 60's and 70's. I guess it would be best described as HO 4x8 on steroids. I still like those kind of layouts.

    Odd thought... You could invert the plan and have the staging at the top of all the grades sceniced and completely visible. It could be a division where the two trains meet and crews get changed out, who cares if they spend a lot of time parked there.

    I am curious to see what happens to the design over time. I've seen many layouts start out as one thing and then evolve into something completely different.
     
  2. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Hey, Michael.
    Both the benchwork & design seem to be coming along groovy: kudos for continuing to improve both!

    I like Harron's revisions, especially with a usable & functional yard.
    The reverse loop looks a bit tight. Double ended yard access might help:

    [​IMG]

    Is this possible? or is there too much grade separation where I indicated a turnout into the top of the yard? It would allow trains running in either direction to enter the yard without backing up.

    Another thought for the center industries: how about a crossover instead of a switchback? I have a feeling that you'll get pretty tired of zig-zagging every move.
    Or maybe that's your thing.

    Just some thoughts.

    Looking forward to seeing your progress!
    --M.C.
     
  3. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    Geeky,

    Glad you like the layout. I hope I can get it together and have it turn out nice. We will see.

    I am not sure what you were trying to say with your 'Odd thought...' comment. Oh, I think I get it. Unfortunately the crossing leading into the yard is one of the lower sections of the layout. I've attached an older version of the layout showing the elevations. I think the crossover from the mainline to the yard is around 6 inches. I could bring it back up to about 7 inches on the back side, but that side is at 8 inches. The spline for the mainline, branch line and plywood for the hidden staging is already installed with the roadbed.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks,

    Michael
     
  4. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    M.C,

    Thanks for the complements.

    The Yard crossover is at 6 inches, see previous post. I would have to bring the yard back up to 7 inches to get it even with the crossover where you indicated. That might be doable, but my cars might roll out of the yard. I will give it some thought, though.

    As for the center industries, I am not opposed to a cross over in that location. I did want an excuse to try and hand lay a crossing.

    Thanks for looking,

    Michael
     
  5. Harron

    Harron TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, here are three options for a reversing loop/reversing section. Two are actually a "loop" per se, the other is a cut-through. Having a reversing loop completely eliminates the need for a second yard entrance - and also provides the ability to easily turn trains around.

    The first is the staging option - actually make the staging part of the reverse loop, and run the hidden trackage straight through without folding under itself. Not sure this is possible with the elevations you have, but it's an option.

    The second is make the industrial spur the reversing loop, and you can put your industries off it.

    The third is making the industrial spur a reversing "cut-through" where your industry tracks come off of.

    As for a second yard entrance, the train still needs to pull up and back off, they just do it on the yard lead instead of the mainline with a second entrance. I'd prefer leaving just one with or without a reversing section.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    I worked out what I thought was a pretty nice reverse loop for my layout last night, only to realize that it needs to go the other way to allow a train to head into the yard. I'll work on reversing it over the weekend. See purple section for where I will try to place two turnouts. I like the thought of having the little 90 degree crossover. I was planning on trying to hand lay it from Fast Tracks templates.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking,

    Michael
     
  7. Harron

    Harron TrainBoard Supporter

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    You are correct, all the options I posted would need to actually be flipped to allow a train to return to the yard. I just worked it into the curves you had already - good pickup.
     
  8. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    You could also keep what you have and add another one on the staging track level that goes in the other way. It would give you the ability to flip either way.
     
  9. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    I could do that. More switches, more track, two reverse circuits, ugh!



    Yep, that is what I thought.

    If I put both loops in, any thoughts on the town tracks? I have a tiny runaround in there, not sure if that is too useful. I might be able to stretch it out some.

    Thanks again for all the input; you guys have been very helpful.

    Michael
     
  10. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    I added a reverse loop to staging. It was much easier and more simple than I originally thought it would be. Just added two switches and a few feet of flex. Here are before and after shots of the hidden staging.

    Before:

    [​IMG]

    After:

    [​IMG]

    And here is a shot showing the new town yard with slight modifications:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking,

    Michael
     
  11. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    I am contemplating further changes. I think I may be able to secure more space and would like further suggestions for using it.

    When I look at my train room this is what I see.

    First my newly fashioned workbench, which is simply a 24 x 80 inch door on top of oak filling cabinets that my wife insists stay in this room. I put them to good use.:) There are also two small portable cabinets to the left.

    [​IMG]


    This is an overall shot of the train room. My layout is in the center of the room. This is normally positioned length wise along the wall to take up less space. I figure if I keep it positioned like this I could extend the layout over the workbench without actually taking up any more space in the room.


    [​IMG]


    So, here is the new layout so far. The purple line is the room outline; the orange line is the layout outline. The three small black rectangles are doorways all opening into the room. I am sticking with my existing layout, because I have too much time invested in it at this point to start over.

    I am thinking on the left (C) I could include a small industry that could have cars that are moved to the yard (via A), added to other trains and then sent on their way to other destinations. I could possibly route the industry into staging at B. C could continue off the layout to the left to some other location possibly through a tunnel. Or I could just have it as a simple extension to some other location and just keep it simple with scenery.

    The yard as it is currently designed takes up about 8 inches. I am thinking this shelf would be 12 to 18 inches by 70 inches. I am trying to keep my reach manageable over the main layout so I would not want the shelf section near A to be too wide.

    The crossover at A is currently 39 inches from the floor; the highest section of track is currently at 41 inches and the workbench height is 32 inches. I would want a light underneath the yard shelf, so maybe this section needs to be 12 inches higher than the bench or at 44 inches. That would make it a 5 inch rise from A, so I would need to raise the layout. What do you think the height of the shelf/layout should be?


    [​IMG]


    Any suggestions, comments or thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks for looking,

    Michael
     
  12. BOK

    BOK TrainBoard Member

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    I would make the connection at A, a full wye by adding a curve from the branch to the yard above your work area back to the main. This provides entrance to the yard from either direction and provides a way to turn both engines and trains.

    Barry
     
  13. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    Barry,

    Wow! Thanks I hadn't thought about that. Good call.

    Michael
     
  14. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Nice. I like the way you're using the space above the shelf. Will give you something to look at to calm down when tiny parts go flying.

    The crossover from the "old" layout to the "new" part. There's two ways you can flip that. Have you run through the operations to be sure the way you have it is the way you want? I'm pretty sure it is, but just suggesting "due diligence".

    As is, it favors movements from yard to loop, but means you'll have to come off the loop in the "towards the yard" direction to service the industry C trailing point.

    You might add a run-around track on the spur to C just in case.

    Ooh. I like the wye idea, too.
     
  15. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    TwinDad,

    I am not sure which two ways you are refereeing to. As is, the trains head into the yard, the engine is free to move to the other side of the train to head back out of the yard. I am envisioning an A - A consist with one engine facing one way and the other facing the other way.

    It might be hard to see in the current picture, but the reverse loop in hidden staging and the reverse loop in the town work correctly with the yard set up this way.

    Yes, I am trying to determine just what to do with C. Maybe just a long run-around that can be used as an interchange with another railroad?

    Thanks for the suggestions. Please keep them coming.

    Michael
     
  16. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    I guess with the addition of the Wye at A, I could eliminate the reverse loops all together. The reverse loops were originally put in to get the trains back to the yard. With the Wye added at A I no longer have trouble getting back to the yard.

    Would you then remove the reverse loops to simplify the track and maybe reduce the busy look of the layout, or keep the reverse loops for the added operational possibilities?

    Thanks for looking,

    Michael
     
  17. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    That's fine. I was just thinking the crossover itself could be either "right-hand" (going from loop toward C) or "left-hand" (going from loop toward A, as you have it). As long as the orientation you chose makes sense for the way you operated - and it sounds like it does - you get the check-box.


    An interchange would be interesting, and an easy spot to add/remove cars from the layout. Looks like you have room for both an interchange and a small industry, which could be interesting. Maybe a "fake" interchange track (that is, the other RR's mainline) that crosses at an angle, with a spur to the interchange track itself (where the cars are spotted).

    Something like the attached. It doesn't have to be functional... if the turnout at the bottom (on track A) falls off the edge of the layout, that's fine. You're just giving the impression, that's all.

    Just a thought. There's plenty other interesting ways you can set up a space that size.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    TwinDad,

    You are quick with xtrkcad, arn't you. :)

    I like that a lot. So the way you have it drawn, at A, there would be two crossings? It looks interesting, but do you think having two crossings in an exchange like this is very prototypical. Not that the rest of my layout is all that prototypical. I don't really know, just asking.

    Maybe I could then continue that mainline straight through the far wall (right side). And have the yard come off that "other RR's" mainline just after the Why where my original A is. As long as that does not shorten up my yard lead too much.

    I will have to try drawing it up over the weekend.

    I like the new ideas, just not sure if it goes too well with my mess in the center...

    Thanks again,

    Michael
     
  19. kursplat

    kursplat TrainBoard Member

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    how set are you on all the track in the center? you could loose the reverse loops and have more room for scenery, even if it's just open space so your line of sight is opened up.
    i'm liking the the way your adding in the shelf layout, should give you good running options :thumbs_up:

    edit: quick and ugly addition to TwinDad's, run the new wye into the yard as an second yard lead/passing siding
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Vaccam

    Vaccam TrainBoard Member

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    kursplat,

    Thanks for the quick edits to the layout!

    I am not set on the reverse loops. Currently I have the spline-subroadbed and homabed roadbed completed for the mainline, which is the double loop, as well as the hidden staging minus the reverse loop, so I would not want to change those. I could easily lose both reverse loops and everything in the center, so that is up for discussion.

    The wye at A would alow me to lose the reverse loops without loosing any opperational aspect, except reversing roundy-round, which I can do without.

    I don't think I would want to run the new wye into the yard as a second yard lead/passing siding. I like the yard the way it is. I think that would defeat the purpose of the wye.

    I am open to additions to the yard, maybe adding some engine services, RIP, etc.

    Thanks for your input!

    Michael
     

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