Layout Scene Rework (Town/Steel Mill)

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RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Some of you know already that I have begun a major rework of a scene on my layout. I thought that you may be interested in following along with my progress by photos and descriptions from tear-out to build-up. This will probably take awhile, but hopefully you will see that nothing about our layouts is written in stone; if you want a change...change it.

When I first started my garage sized layout, it was only going to be 1/2 garage size. Well, as time went on and the MR addiction grew, so did my layout. Now it covers most of the entire 24x40 foot garage. Many adjustments have been made to accommodate this growth, but never one the size of this one.

To begin, the first area of rework is the steel complex located in the town of Newton that was originally designed to be serviced by local freights and a coal haul. The town was to be a small "steel town" (looks only). I have now started using RailOps software to build trains and run routes to all points and it became easily apparent that this area was badly lacking in freight load/unload facilities. This and the fact that there was no passenger service available encouraged me to take the plunge and just rework the entire area.

To complicate the task at hand is my lack in knowledge of modeling steel production. Fortunately, a good friend of us all on this forum, KenL (CSX_RoadSlug) has given me encouragement and also has volunteered to help by designing a plan for the steel complex.

There will be a part II later that will involve the town. I hope you will follow along and your comments and suggestions will always be welcomed.

This is the way the Mill looked before work started.


Photo taken while doing an aerial survey in my Sopwith Camel.


Land being prepared at new steel mill site.


Old steel mill site and the future home of the town of Newton. This area will undergo many changes, but decisions on the scenery, wye vs. loop for turnaround, and building locations still have to be worked out.


Steel Mill relocation showing old location and track runs. (pls ignore the track on the far right as that is part of the route to Ashland:eek: )
 
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IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Hi Rex,

Glad you posted the pix - that helps me get a much better idea of the actual workspace.

[LATER EDIT:] OK, here is the GIF of the first revision. Just a heads-up: It looks like a spaghetti bowl, but that is how steel mills are - they have to be, since prototype mills face the same sort of space constraints as we modelers do.

I'm showing it in the same orientation [portrait] as the original diagram, to keep things consistent. But when I XtrCAD'd it, I made it horizontal with the left side toward the bottom.

Some quick notes:
1) The assumption is that all operating will be done from the left side aisle (not shown in the diagram);
2) The yard-related tracks are numbered at the bottom;
3) All turnouts inside the mill boundaries are #6's;
4) This plan allows for full operation of hot metal/slag trains, as well as freight car spotting

Here are the track assignments/functions (tracks are numbered from left to right):

1 -- Road locomotive runaround (above turnout), switcher parking (below turnout)
2 -- Arrival/departure track
3 -- Yard
4 -- Yard
5 -- Yard
6 -- Coal unloading for coke ovens, parking for empty hopper cars
7 -- Runaround track for hot-metal car switchers
8 -- Mill 'throat' track
9 -- Slag car loading
10 - Hot metal loading track 1
11 - Hot metal loading track 2
12 - Coke 'quenching' track
13 - Blast furnace loading & parking for empty ore jennies (near top); Open Hearth mill spur (bottom)

[will add more as time permits...]

SteelMill_Rework_1.gif
 
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jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
WOW Ken, that track plan looks great! Though I have a minor thought. the square box on track 6, is the coal unloading spot right? If it were moved maybe one car length down, you'd have better length options for the unloading of hoppers.

Rex, its looking good, I can't wait to see more!
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Dang it Rex, you just pointed out to me that I am still thinking in the box about my own layout design. I may have to go back to the drawing board and redesign my whole layout.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
I made some more changes to the track plan image (added more track numbers) - see 2nd post above.

WOW Ken, that track plan looks great! Though I have a minor thought. the square box on track 6, is the coal unloading spot right? If it were moved maybe one car length down, you'd have better length options for the unloading of hoppers.
Thanx Josh! One of the reasons I was so excited to finally learn XtrkCAD (enough to at least lay track & draw structure footprints) is so you and the other guys can add to it or make changes as necessary.

Q: Can .xtc files be uploaded as attachments on this forum? Or do I have to use regular email to individual participants instead?
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Awesome expansion plan Rex. I love the ideas of trains coming to and from the mill thru the town of Newton.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Wow Ken, you really do like XtrkCad; very good design and so fast! I really like the way it handles the buildings.

I'm not that sure of the process, but somewhere I need to come out of the mill with steel plates/coils. I know that your still thinking and planning, but here are a few questions:

1. What exactly happens in the open hearth mill and do I need another building somewhere for a rolling mill? maybe another Walthers "rolling mill" kit or similiar structure?

2. Can there be a seperate dead end track(s) for the unloading of ore cars at the skip hoist? There is a double track unloading platform that came with the furnace. It is 1/2" high, 4 1/4"x 12". I don't have to use it and could have a simple dump pit, but thought that I would mention it.

I believe Carey has said that you have to zip the .xtc file for it to open correctly via email. Don't know anything about posting in the forum. How about it Chip/Josh?
EDIT: Never mind! The one you sent me opened just fine without zip.

Chip: Ha! Ha! Heck, Chip you are on a roll now! It really got down to a point that I just had to make the leap to have a good operation in this area. The Steel plant was ok, but not really that smooth of an operation and I was in bad need of another town for shipping and receiving. After a year or so of trying to think of ways to modify the existing setup, I finally realized that a fresh start was the only way to go.;)

Josh: Yeah, this should turn out to be a lot of fun and I would bet with excellent results (at least from the design perspective:D ). Hope you will stay with the thread.

Eric: One big challenge is to keep the layout running during all of this. After all, you will want to come over and run trains during all this.:D
 
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RexHea

RAIL BENDER
More thoughts:
I’m not yet sure on the throat area for entering the mill extension. I have had thoughts about getting rid of the reversing loop (old section) and coming in from the outer wall with a “wye” just after the mountain tunnel (closed for cave in) in the photo. The connection point will be about the same, but the throat may have to be adjusted some. Not a big deal as I have had to do this with most all my drawing as I went along with the actual installation. You see, a big problem with the old area is that I made it 5 feet wide (dumb). The back side can be reached, but only by reaching over the backdrop. If I decide that a wye would be better, then I will remove the backdrop, take off 12” from the back of the bench, and also eliminate the exit tunnel going through the wall that the mill connects to in your drawing. But, this is part II!:rolleyes: :D

Also, I am not sure about so many yard tracks. Did you have it in mind that they would be used for the town switching as well as the mill?
 
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grove den

naturally natural trees
RexHea: THAT'S a big expansion Rex, it is 5 X bigger as my N layout!!!;) Hope there will be many posts to read and watched!!
BTW: did you saved that small "building" for the Preisersurvoyers and after that the Preiserconstruction/buildingworkers??( see attachment):p

Jos
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Ha! Yes Jos, the building comes equipped with 3 bedrooms, bath, kitchen, TV room, and billards room. :)D N scale, of course:D ) Ha!
 

NZRMac

In Training Down Under.
Ha! Yes Jos, the building comes equipped with 3 bedrooms, bath, kitchen, TV room, and billards room. :)D N scale, of course:D ) Ha!
That's the kinda home we're looking for, how much land does it come with and how bigs the basement?;) :D

I couldn't see KenL's track plan but it sounds great!!

Ken.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
You know, all that talk of houses, I saw one a sign on a stoplight pole today, for a 4bdr, 3 bath house for $850,000....
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
I believe Carey has said that you have to zip the .xtc file for it to open correctly via email. Don't know anything about posting in the forum. How about it Chip/Josh?
EDIT: Never mind! The one you sent me opened just fine without zip.
The reason I said that is another forumite, Wc&wBrasshat, (Glenn) and I tried to exchange .xtc plans via e-mail before. All that we both got was a text readout of the drawing; you know x=000+(0001)x(320)format,,,,,) 0. After zipping them, we had no problem sending them back and forth.

Like NZK, I can't see the GIF either!! (Ken. Its a federal conspiracy !!:cool::rolleyes: )

Unfortunately to display a .xtc file here you have to first print it to a bitmap, (in the file menu), then run it thru a photo program (like IRFanview), and change the size to a more reasonable level, like 640 x 480.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Hi Y''all,

My website server seems to be down :mad:

I'll try uploading the images (I did a revised one also) from my cee drive...

Heck while I'm at it, might as well upload the .xtc ZIP file too...:D !


I'll explain the rev-2 changes later. Gotta get home, wifey's expecting me!
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
What exactly happens in the open hearth mill
The open hearth furnace was the primary method for refining iron into steel during the 1950's. Scrap metal (carried in by gons) got loaded in first, then liquid iron [from the blast furnace] got poured in on top of the scrap. The whole mixture was reheated to 3000F. An hour later the furnace got emptied into another ladle with a hole on the bottom, and the liquid steel got poured into ingot moulds.

...and do I need another building somewhere for a rolling mill?
A 12'x2.5' surface does not leave much room for a rolling mill if you want to operate hot metal trains - especially if you insist on having your blast furnace facing the way it is. If it faced the other way, you could position the coke mill closer to it and have extra room at the opposite end for other buildings - but then you probably couldn't run hot metal trains. It's a series of trade-offs...

... maybe another Walthers "rolling mill" kit or similiar structure?
Either way, it's always a good idea to 'stock up' on rolling mill buildings, even if you're saving them for later use - you know how Walthers has a habit of discontinuing their kits.

Can there be a seperate dead end track(s) for the unloading of ore cars at the skip hoist?
Sure, take a look at the GIF of the 2nd revision (above)...

... I am not sure about so many yard tracks. Did you have it in mind that they would be used for the town switching as well as the mill?
Rex, ALL steel mills have full sized yards - they need them because of the high volume of traffic in different frieght cars going to different places within the mill boundaries. Maybe they'll 'rent out' the use of their track to the nearby town (especially if it's a company-owned town), but that wasn't what I was hinting at.

Think of the yard as a giant interchange track or "siding" - except here the cars are headed to (or coming from) locations all within the mill, including the off-layout ones.

The yard will receive the following inbound traffic: (1) Ore jennies, (2) coal hoppers, (3) gondolas loaded with scrap metal, (4) empty gons that will be hauling out finished steel coils or other shapes, (5) boxcars delivering firebrick to reline the furnaces & ladles, (6) covered hoppers delivering bulk additives for the refining process, (7) flatcars carrying heavy machinery, and (8) empty tank cars that will be hauling out refined coke by-products, such as tar.

Outbound traffic will be gons and flats loaded with finished steel and tank cars with coke by-products, plus empties of all the other types of cars listed above.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Hmmmmm! Could anyone else open the zip attachment?:confused:
It apparently got clobbered during the compression phase. I tried re-ZIPping it with zero compression, hopefully that'll work...

[LATER EDIT:] Whatever the problem is, it's happening during the upload/download process. I opened up the original ZIP on my machine without any problems...:confused:

Anybody else care to ZIP one of their own .xtc files and try posting it here? This way I'll know if it happens with everybody, or just my machine...
 
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NZRMac

In Training Down Under.
Just testing:D

EDIT Nope!! when I posted it I also lost all the edit functions too??????????????????????
went out of the thread and back in again to do this edit Any suggestions Bob!!!

Ken.
 
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RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Ken, the zip you sent me worked OK. Must be something here.

Tomorrow, I will place the buildings in their ref. positions in rev-02 and see what we have. Dang, there are a lot of turnouts$$$$$$$. All I have on hand are 5L #5's and 4R #5's. I just know that I am going to get into big trouble:eek: :D .

Sounds like my OH furnace will have to be a miracle furnace that produces steel plates as an end product:rolleyes: . I have to think about the distance of the hot car switching versus having room for a rolling mill (or a building that I call a rolling mill). There may be enough switching action with ore, coal, supplies, coke, by-products, to satisfy this. Speaking of by-products from the coke plant, that is another animal that could eat up space in a hurry.

Thanks and until next.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Ken, the zip you sent me worked OK. Must be something here.

Tomorrow, I will place the buildings in their ref. positions in rev-02 and see what we have. Dang, there are a lot of turnouts$$$$$$$. All I have on hand are 5L #5's and 4R #5's. I just know that I am going to get into big trouble:eek: :D .
Rex;

Now would be a great time to learn how to Handlay!!!!!!:D;)
 




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