Beginner topic: What is a yard lead?

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Brunton

Wyoming native
Just a suggestion - you might put in a few words about the purpose of a yard lead. You said what is is - a bit of why might be useful.
 

Brakie

Member
A yard lead is a track that allows a yard switcher to work the yard without fouling the main line.

A yard lead should be no SHORTER then half your longest yard track and could parallel your main line for a short distance.

A PERFECT yard lead will not interfere with trains arriving on the inbound track(s) or trains leaving on the outbound track(s) but,the yard switcher must have access to both inbound and outbound tracks.


Also a yard lead should not be use at interchange yards or small out laying yard(s) where cars are being set out or picked up for a large industry such as a paper mill.The switch lead should be located on the large industry property.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I made a few changes base on your suggestions.

Mark,

I stated the purpose as providing space for the switcher to manipulate cars in the yard. What am I omitting that you think should be provided?

Oh, and in response to your other post. I am a beginner. I try to be up front about that. I think of it as the myopic leading the blind (see below).



Brakie,

The purpose of this, and the other explanations is to give the beginner a clear and concise definition of basic concepts, not to overload them with information no matter how useful.

The reason for these short pages, and the reason I have picked these specific topics, is that they are the ones that are most often confused by the newbie when they submit plans for critique on the forums. I got tired of repeating myself and felt limited because I had no diagrams to work with.

Don't get me wrong. I learn from your comments even thought I may choose not to post them on this page.
 

Brakie

Member
Sorry Chip but a yard and yard lead go hand in hand with GOOD layout LDE and thus should be covered in any tutorial covering yards.Its not overload but very BASIC information one must know while planing his/her layout including the beginner planing the first layout.:D
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Brakie said:
Sorry Chip but a yard and yard lead go hand in hand with GOOD layout LDE and thus should be covered in any tutorial covering yards.Its not overload but very BASIC information one must know while planing his/her layout including the beginner planing the first layout.:D
Still there is a wide gap between giving a definitionof a yard lead and explaining all the nuances of yard design.

Think of all the comments you would have made had I attempted to put a yard lead into the context of design.

Yard design is an advanced topic--although every beginner feels they have to have a yard--and I may never broach the topic. I may leave it up to the auspices of the Layout Design SIG and merely provide a link.
 

Brunton

Wyoming native
SpaceMouse said:
I made a few changes base on your suggestions.

Mark,

I stated the purpose as providing space for the switcher to manipulate cars in the yard. What am I omitting that you think should be provided?
What you have there now is what I think is the essence of an explanation of the purpose of the yard lead. Very good.
 
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Brakie

Member
Chip said Still there is a wide gap between giving a definition of a yard lead and explaining all the nuances of yard design.
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Actually Chip there isn't really any nuances of designing a yard..Knowledge is needed to design a good functional yard.IF there are nuances in yard designs then it comes from not understanding what a yard is and what it does.Again good LDE will call for a working yard for better operation potential.

As far as beginners they seem to have a good handle on what they want in a layout design before they ask the question of "What do you think?" on a forum and get bombarded with others opinions base on their given and druthers which leads to confusion for the new modeler or worst somebody will tell them they need to buy a library of layout books by Kalmbach.:eek:

As I said many times before a layout is a personal thing based solely on one's givens and druthers..Now once a new modeler learns that along with good LDEs then he/she can design a good layout without asking for other's opinions......And remember designing a layout isn't all that hard and relative simple to do-just ask any 10 year kid that designs a 4 x8 foot layout for his/her train set or any old line modeler thats been around for years and still computer less..
One source of learning LDE is through the yearly MR's Model Railroad Planing magazine.
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Chip said:Think of all the comments you would have made had I attempted to put a yard lead into the context of design.
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I would have applaud you for having the knowledge to use a yard lead and sharing it with the new modelers..:D
Chip,I am not a bad guy..I just like teaching new modelers to think outside of the box and above all on their own.After all experience remains the best teacher by far and that experience comes only by doing just like on your job...:D
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I added the part about fouling the main, but the essence was there.

I miss stuff all the time.

As for the existential stuff, you're on your own.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Brakie,

Having spent the last year or so on a mission to help newbies, I can tell you right off that many don't have a clue what givens and druthers are let alone what theirs are. Many don't even know what era, location and road name they want to model (one guy had collected 14 different roadanmes and models and wanted a layout that he could run them all on), and they start designing with the basic idea that they want a yard and some switching and, oh yeah, a turntable would be neat--without the least conception that their SD-70 just might be a tad out of place on a turntable. (that happened this weekend.)

These definitions are not for the people who have read Armstrong and Koester, but for the people who found their dad's trains or their kid got a set, or they were in a hobby store and thought it would be neat if....
 

Brakie

Member
Chip,I have met new modelers like you mention..Those are the ones that are excited about the hobby and I found will listen to reason.I don't care how many different railroad locomotives he has but,my first concern is having him/her design a good layout and build it where he can run his engine collection before he/she gets overwhelm by choosing all the other good stuff like era,railroad etc..

As far as a SD70 on a turntable I am sure that happens on the prototype..And if he wants it why not? Its his given and druthers if he wants a SD70 on a turntable and its not for us to say its wrong or right.:D See what I am saying? Look when we help a new modeler we must listen to his givens and druthers and we must intercede only if something we know won't work such as that SD70 on a 15" or 18" curve..Then we must explain why it won't work.

Again one doesn't need Armstrong or Koester when it comes to designing a layout and all to sadly its some of the horse hockey being pushed on forums that they do need books by Armstrong and Koester to design a simple layout.
Once again all one needs to design a layout is his/her givens and druthers regardless if they are new to the hobby or been around for years..I can not express that enough.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Brakie,

I'm sorry, but cannot take layout design so lightly. When a person takes on a layout, unless they are content to build a plywood central that they will tear down in a few weeks, they have to do a little homework. They have to develop their givens and druthers to include era, location and road, otherwise when they do decide they want to go transition PRR , they realize that they really don't have room for a coal mine and that the station they bought fits pretty well in Switzerland.

The person doesn't have to read Armstrong, but they do have to develop their vision. Reading Armstrong can open the newbie to possibilities, however. If they go into the hobby with only a vague idea, they are spending a lot of money to get frustrated.

You keep saying that "as long as they design to their givens and druthers." Most of the people putting out their second and third layouts don't list their givens and druthers. Newbies mostly say "huh?"
 

Brunton

Wyoming native
I see what Brakie is saying, Space...

You're imposing your own approach to the hobby onto theirs, at least to some extent. How many of those folks will say "I have to do all that?!" and just walk away? Some folks just want to run the trains they've collected, and don't care if they're pulling Acelea cars with a model of the Jupiter - at least not right away.

Some folks never get much beyond that point. My best friend is an avid roundy-rounder - always has been, and probably always will. He pulls modern reefers behind a Challenger all the time, and doesn't care a whit if it's "correct" or not.

In the beginning, some (if not most) folks just want to run trains. If you ask for their "givens & druthers" (I hate that phrase!), they'll likely say "I want to put down some track and run my trains!" After the first shine of that wears off is where they need the most help, just to stay in the hobby.

What you're putting together is really good, and will help folks right out of the gate. I'm not suggesting that you change it. But I think it will help the slightly-experienced-but-still-a-newbie person more. I've only met a few really new people who are at all interested in a coherent theme, or specific era or location. That comes a little later.

Some of the fresh newbie things that might be useful would be some of the technical and construction things you did that you now regret (E-Z Track use comes to mind). Maybe you've already planned pages on those things. If so, good for you!

Anyway, just my own thoughts. Big points to you for tackling the new person tutorials as you have. Take three stars out of petty cash (oh, drat! no more stars!!:) )
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Okay, I see your point, Mark.

However, if the person wanted to just run trains, why is he logging onto the forum and asking for design help. I did that less than two years ago.

I was green as brocolli and still I wanted a good layout not just anything. I ran into a guy that helped me out in spite of my ignorance and I lucked into a decent layout.

When I post, there are plenty of people who say "don't listen to him." The newbee then makes a decision based on their state of mind about the layout design. The guy that just wants a roundy-rounder will still walks away with a roundy-rounder. But the guy that wants to talk things through and work past the pitfalls, is the guy I want to be there to help--just as there was the guy who helped me.
 

jacon12

Member
Chip, I'm pretty sure I see how you're trying to do these mini-tutorials and congradulations on this one. It reminds me of when I used to teach photography to a new person, I'd do almost anything to keep it as simple as possible.. at first. There's always the 'ifs, ands and buts', but hopefully they got the all important basics first.
Heck, a year ago I didn't know what a yard lead was either and I dare say 90% of the new people to the hobby do. Or realize how important they may be depending on what they want in a layout.
Anyway, thanks for putting these together.
Jarrell
 

Brakie

Member
Chip,I worked part time in a hobby shop off and on for years and seen what new modelers can do if they are lead in the right direction and not feed a lot of stuff they don't need to know before building their first layout.I would dare say a lot of new modelers has some past modeling experience of some type maybe model air planes,military models etc some may have even built dioramas for their models.
As far as roundy roundys I suspect that 95% of the layouts built regardless of size is a roundy simple because thats the best type for relaxing continuous running that the majority seeks and I suspect there are a lot of Plywood Central layout owners out there that enjoy running their trains in endless loops and care nothing about scenery other then painting the plywood green with painted roads and sticking lollipop trees here,there and yonder.
Take me for a example..I never owned a layout book,paid little attention to project layouts in MR and still I can sit down with Koester and the other great thinkers of layout design and feel right at home..Where did I gain my knowledge? Simple..I simply observed what others was doing,observed the prototype by working as a brakeman or though years of railfaning..
Again layout design isn't all that complicated if one uses common sense regardless of experience level..
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
There you go. The guy who doesn't have a direction buys what he fancies and spends a ton. Great for a hobby shop. I spent way too much at first myownself.

What I do is try to get the person to think before they spend: to plan and spend wisely and with a purpose. There are enough people out there who want this kind of direction.

And I think there are quite a few beginners that think too much about track and not enough about the over-all layout. It's very easy to forget to save room for industries and towns and roads and scenery.
 

Brakie

Member
Chip said,And I think there are quite a few beginners that think too much about track and not enough about the over-all layout. It's very easy to forget to save room for industries and towns and roads and scenery.
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Absolutely! That applies equally will for some experience modelers that should know better.
As far as newbies buying what ever pleases them that also applies to many modelers or what I call operating collectors..:D Heck I even do that to a certain degree especially short line locos that I am interested in such as R.J.Corman,IHB,BRC,Rail America and Indiana & Ohio.:D

Whenever a new modeler enter the shop I made it a point to ask what his goals was,what railroad they are interested in and what type of locomotives.
Remember Chip not every hobby shop is out to rip off the new modeler.
 




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