Center Peninsula Track Planning, …..Container Terminal & Port Facility

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beiland

Well-Known Member
Center Peninsula Track Planning, …..Container Terminal & Port Facility


1590862769078.png


I've been putting this off too long. This is the original Tupper Lake/Faust Junction peninsula track plan I was using as inspiration.


That plan had a passenger train station in the peninsula area. My new plan is going to be much more 'industrialized' , and that station location is now becoming a container terminal zone.

By happenstance I ran across a carfloat model at our local flea market. What if I were to put that out on the end of my peninsula, across from my other waterfront scene? ...another tug boat, barge item....becoming a port facility .

So this discussion of a track plan for the peninsula is going to consider these 2 elements as sub-subjects,...container terminal & port facility.


What I am going to need help with is how to make these two sub-scenes operational...how to move/switch cars around in them?
I don't yet understand the intricacies of switching.
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
Double Slip at Peninsula Entrance

As I mentioned in the opening here is where I had posted that original peninsula plan over my plans.






My initial thoughts were that I would be 'feeding' this central peninsula area with 2 tracks coming in from 2 mainlines,...one from the helix area, and one from a track along the right hand side of the layout. My next thought was it would be nice to have the option that either of these two 'entering tracks' could select either of at least 2 tracks into the peninsula area itself.... THUS the double slip turnout up at the junction of these 2 entrance tracks.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Container Terminal Zone

We will look at this area first, since that is the order I took it in, and it is likely more 'developed' in my mind at this time.


Since my container yard is relatively short (only partial length of the peninsula) I figured I needed at minimum 2 tracks of length running under the loading/unloading cranes to get a decent amount of container action in the scene.
Yes, I realize that this is not prototypical, but I was heavily influenced by these 2 images,..








I had used this same 2 track configuration on my upper west coast container yard, but with the 2 tracks spaced apart to the outer edges of the space under the cranes. The truck/trailers up there can run down the central strip of concrete between the 2 outer tracks to gather, or drop off their containers, to be handled by the train loading/unloading cranes.


I was unsure of exactly how I wanted to space those 2 tracks down in this yard? Then I got to thinking, what if I went ahead and installed 3 tracks, with the option to chose later which combination of 2 tracks I might make use of in the future.? Wait a minute, aren't these tracks under the cranes paved flush with concrete so the tires of the cranes can roll over them? ...Of course, so why not lay down that 3rd container track under the cranes, such that the option exist to use any 2 of the 3 tracks. This might exist in real life as well? I'm pretty sure I want to go forward with this option of 3 container tracks that are buried flush with the concrete paving that the cranes and trucks can drive all around on.


Upper container yard with 2 tracks,...



Lower container yard with 3 tracks



NOTE: Those 3 tracks and their cranes are set inboard of the edge of the peninsula by another full track along that edge; 1) It keeps those train loading cranes away from the aisle traffic, and 2) it provides an escape / runaround track for locos that get stuck out at the end of the peninsula, once having pulled a train into this container area.


So next I had to provide turnouts to those 3 'container tracks'. I did this utilizing 2 dble-curved Peocs coupled to the dble slip switch., then another dbl-curve, and 2 long Y's. I played with various combinations of turnouts to arrive at this solution.

One particular aspect that made it more difficult to solve, was that I also wanted to be able to route a locomotive using that 'escape' track to jump back over to the broader radius track of those 2 tracks that are curving off to the left. Most of the steam engines (particularly the long ones) need to use that outer 24”-25” radius track to get to their turntable/roundhouse stowage. Most of the diesels can use that inner 22” radius curve to get back over to the freight yard.


If the primary mainline loco arrives pulling its load into the left most container track, then it could uncouple and back out onto that 24-25” r escape track WITHOUT having to proceed to the end of the peninsula,...so there may be good reason to bring long steam engines in on that container track, uncouple it and send it backwards to the turntable, then let a switcher type loco take over from there.


One other thought about that double slip at the entrance. If a train arrives that has misc cars interspersed in between container cars that need unloading, then those odd ball cars could be uncoupled and backed onto the other incoming track,..awaiting placement once the container cars are all handled?
 

max diyer

Well-Known Member
Beiland - you gave it a lot of thought and you know exactly what to do. Great plan and it will be a great container terminal! I'm looking forward to seeing your progress and photos!
 

Patrick

GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
I like to see when guys have plans and build accordingly. In my case I had an area and "tables" already built and worked around them. I also look forward to see what you do.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Locomotive Escape Routes (from the container loading/unloading)


First off, here is an overview of the container yard trackage that I am currently considering very seriously.



Here is the primary problem that keep running thru my mind as I was developing this container zone. The 'big guys' would be bringing trains into this container area, and possible be selecting one of the 3 tracks available under the cranes. Once they have done their mainline delivery service, how do I get them disconnected, and then back to their maintenance or storage areas, and then let the switchers go to work. And can this same capability exist 1) on all 3 of those tracks, and 2) for very long engines??


I decided to select a very long steam engine I had, to determine the possibilities. If I can make it work for this loco, I shouldn't complain about any others. The loco is a Santa Fe 4-8-4 Northern with a very long tender.



At first I thought I was going to be able to utilize the short parallel track plan similar to that of the original TPFJ along with some simple crossings. But I shortly discovered that I would need a (much) longer peninsula to both accommodate the required 'tailing track' (don't know the proper name for this), AND the turnouts to get the loco onto that runaround (escape) track along the edge. Without a much longer peninsula I would be left with a container yard of only 1 or 2 car lengths,...maybe?



This resulted in my introduction of another double-slip crossing. Here you can see how that allows for that very long SF loco to sit on either of those 'tailing tracks' and still back down to the escape track on the far left. And with the addition of 2 other crossover turnouts the 3rd track can delivery a long steam (or consisted diesels) engine to one of those 'tailing tracks'.



A happy result also, is that these 'tailing tracks' are long enough to accept a pair (rather than just one) of the unloaded container cars to be towed back to the freight yard, or brought in from the freight yard.


The tailing end of the escape track can be used to temporarily hold two container cars, or might be used to hold a switcher engine that would work the container yard.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
Brian - You have presented several ideas but you didn't directly ask for comments. I hope that you appreciate these comments as intended and not as criticism.
1) Too much trackage. Look at Google views of the real thing and you will rarely if ever see three tracks under a single crane. Ditch the center track.
2) While you are free to operate your railroad any way that you want, I wouldn't count a steamer in the mix. It just didn't happen with the intermodal cars that you are using. Disclaimer: My brother uses a steamer with intermodal cars on his pike. I disapprove but it is his railroad.
3) What is the purpose of that tailing track off to the far left? Eliminate that switch and run directly to the (yet to be seen) joined tail track from the two yard tracks.
4) In practice, intermodal trains are unloaded and then the empties are moved intact over to a track where containers are available for immediate reloading. The containers are usually stacked alongside that track in advance so there is no disruption. Normally they don't bother to take cars out of the lineup unless they are not needed or they need repairs. In practice they are not idle for long. I cannot verify this for ports as I have never railfanned at ports. I have seen BNSF and ATSF before them, just send empties back with loads if not needed, rather than remove them from trains. This is something that we may or may not need to follow on home layouts
Taken together, items 1-3 would free up a lot of space to extend the yard a bit. The tail track only needs to be as long as your longest locomotive consist, and a switch to the runaround track from there can be made without all of that complicated trackwork.
Sorry that I don't have time right now to make a drawing.
 
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roofintrash

Active Member
I have to agree with Willie on the 3 tracks under the crane. The only place the crane can put the containers is on another railcar. You need to leave a lane for trucks within the reach of the crane. I would lose the right most track and stage some trucks there.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Rick, Willie,.....Did you read this in my posting above,
I was unsure of exactly how I wanted to space those 2 tracks down in this yard? Then I got to thinking, what if I went ahead and installed 3 tracks, with the option to chose later which combination of 2 tracks I might make use of in the future.?

Wait a minute, aren't these tracks under the cranes paved flush with concrete so the tires of the cranes can roll over them? ...Of course, so why not lay down that 3rd container track under the cranes, such that the option exist to use any 2 of the 3 tracks. This might exist in real life as well? I'm pretty sure I want to go forward with this option of 3 container tracks that are buried flush with the concrete paving that the cranes and trucks can drive all around on.
You could then place some containers on the ground, or onto truck trailers to remove them to another storage stack.
 
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santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
Did you read this in my posting above,
Yes I did.
My suggestion was intended so you could lengthen your tracks, and it would also eliminate some complex trackwork that will be a nightmare later.

While you are free to operate your railroad any way that you want,
It is now obvious that you were not asking for any help, sorry I wasted my time.
Rick, Willi,
By the way, it's spelled Willie.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Sorry Willie,....I'm actually going to need more help with the other half of the peninsula track plan.

It has been suggested that I remove one of those 3 tracks under the container cranes, AND maybe make those container tracks longer by making them stub ended. I'm not too hot on this idea; 1) it would not provide for easy escape for the unloaded container cars, nor 2) the locos that might be stuck out at the end of the peninsula. And I would still need to devote that 3 wide track space to container subjects. If I have all 3 tracks there (and one of them 'camouflaged') by flush concrete pad, then I have the option to bring all of the unloaded container cars and locos out of that other end.

Plus if I were to stub end the container tracks and cut them to only 2 tracks, I would not gain any real significant length of container yard.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Change to a 2 Track Container Yard


A good number of participates on this forum and another have encouraged me to reduce the tracks in container terminal to 2 rather than the 3 I was contemplating. So here is my quick mock-up.





I had to choose those 2 tracks that were the furthermost to the left, due to the manner in which they intersected with that diagonal track at the end of the peninsula. This would leave me with longest tail track to utilize in routing the loco(s) back onto that runaround track on the far left.


Even then I can only accommodate the longest steam engines, or double headed diesels, on the tail track if they are coming ONLY from the far left container track. Here are a few photos that show those length accommodations,..













You can see here that the longer length steam engines or dbl-diesels could not successfully use the right most container track to runaround,...they would be confined to using just that one track on the left.


There is a very nice consequence of going to this 2 track arrangement,...it greatly simplifies the number of switches, and eliminates the dbl-slip.


(PS: so please don't accuse me of never listening to advice from the peanut gallery....ha...ha)
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
(from another forum) Does using a standard turnout instead of the slip alter it that much?​
Now with the slip removed and a single turnout there, plus a second single turnout, the points of the second turnout end up well below the little tail, and no room for the steam loco.​
Randy​

I went back and looked at this 'tail track(s)' and slip switch configuration again. Here were 2 configurations I had presented,..


A) 2 single switches, 1 tail track



B) 1 dbl-slip + 1 single switch, 2 tail tracks



Its rather strange, but as I played around with these 2 configurations it appears that the one with the dbl-slip switch gave me:
1) longer tail tracks (particularly that one tail directly connected to the slip switch),
2) and two tail tracks rather than just one.


So since I have the dbl-slips available, and it is within easy hands reach, I think I will go this route.
Here is a cleaned up view with 3 tails available for operations.






BTW, that double 'dockside crane tracks' (on the right hand side) are offset on purpose. I hope to put a gentle curve in them after they clear the terminal bldg so they come closer to the barge dock's edge.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
That far left track is for the mainline locos that first pulled the trains into those 2 container terminal tracks,...for them to come on down to the end, then back out that 'outside track' to get back to those 2 big curves that feed the turntable or the freight yard tracks.

There was one point where I considered moving the container cranes over to cover the 2 most left tracks, thus eliminating that other container track,...BUT that put those cranes too close to the edge of the deck/aisle, and they would have been a constant annoyance with an operator's arms/shirt tails, etc
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Justifying Carfloat Loading Track thru my Pier Terminal (Part 1)
Right up front I must admit this is NOT prototypical at all.

Having said that, then WHY did I attempt this terminal location of mine, and with a track right thru the center?
Lack of enough width on my peninsula deck,...plain and simple.

Maybe if I had devoted the whole tip of my peninsula to a Pier Terminal and a Carfloat, I could have created a dock scene like this work of art,..













…...with tracks and cranes on either side, and perhaps a ship loading dock on one side, ….., maybe a carfloat on the other side,.....wonderful scene.


But that would have left me with NO SPACE for a container terminal on my lower deck,...and my basic layout theme of container traffic ( intercontinental railroad) between the west coast and the east coast would no longer be valid.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Justifying Carfloat Loading Track thru my Pier Terminal (Part 2)
I needed to see IF I could share that real estate on that central peninsula,..share between
a) the container terminal,
b) a carfloat operation
c) a pier terminal building


My container terminal came first, and it took up a little less than half the width of the peninsula. A carfloat operation could easily fit at the tip of the other half of the peninsula. But then I would have NO room for the pier terminal bldg, NOR the dockside crane(s) that I so ADMIRED, and were documented on that other forum site I quoted in Part 1.

There was no way I could find ANY dockspace (for a ship, nor a carfloat) ALONGSIDE that Pier Terminal bldg I proposed for my peninsula. My only option at that point was to locate the docking space for the car-float, or small freighter, or other type bulk material barges, out back of the terminal building. This of course is HIGHLY unusual as most carfloats and ship slips were always along side those pier terminal buildings.



In order to reach my 'out back' carfloat I was going to have to extend that track (that brought break-bulk into the terminal building) right on out the back to the carfloat dock. Could this be justified, even while not being prototypical ?? After all there are hundreds of different arrangements that the real railroads utilized,... depending on the geography and real estate available at each of their waterfront sites.


So here is how my waterfront pier terminal building works. I have a track along one whole edge of the terminal building. This track can operate as a holding track for some of the cars waiting to be loaded onto the carfloat. It is also setting next to a concrete ramp running along that whole edge of the bldg that allows break-bulk loading/unloading via forklifts,....like this...










...and/or hand carts like this...



Selective break-bulk items can be placed inside the terminal bldg, stacked on the floor on either side of the track running down the center. Mostly multiple forklifts operate inside here. That terminal building is a 2 story high building that might have a small portion at the front devoted to office space, and the remainder out back to more break-bulk storage/staging. On the opposite side of that bldg, there is another row of doors, and a long concrete dock that accepts multiple truck loads of break-bulk. But that side of the bldg faces the aisleway of my layout so it has to be 'imagined'. (If I include the concrete dock that is supplied with the bldg, then the structure protrudes out into the aisle by 1.5”. If I were to leave that dock off of that side it would only be about 7/8”,...both acceptable).

Certain cars and their particular cargo would require no 'break-bulking' and would be streamlined thru the loading process. Certain types of cars might be halted inside the building to be 'resorted' as to items staying and items going. The building is long enough to handle two cars at a time, with forklifts working on both sides of the cars,...then subsequently loaded on the carfloat. Some unloaded flat cars might be placed on the carfloat to be subsequently loaded with beams, pipes etc by that big dockside crane.


There are hopefully a few other sidings out in front of the terminal building that might also be utilized to stage cars waiting for carfloat loading. All in all this could be a very busy switching/operation area unto itself. Then add in that container terminal and getting those empties back over to the freight yard, and/or dividing out the non-container cars (breaking down an incoming mainline freight train) , and getting them over to the freight yard or steel mill,....it gets to be a real busy scene. (enough to keep me busy).
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
That far left track is for the mainline locos that first pulled the trains into those 2 container terminal tracks,...for them to come on down to the end, then back out that 'outside track' to get back to those 2 big curves that feed the turntable or the freight yard tracks.
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I understand all of what you're saying about the runaround track, but it's the tail track (three track lengths) from the switch toward the bottom of the picture that I was curious about.
 




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