Operating Hump Yard

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Southern Railway lives on
I know some of you over here have to know something about this.

We just moved into a new house and as a result I now have my own room, and am planning the layout. I don't have all that much space but I do have enough. My room is 21' X 12' and I am going to use two of the walls. I have 21' of one wall and 12' of the adjoining wall. I was thinking I could have a Operating Hump yard along the 12' wall.
l-this is the 12' wall
-------------------------the 21' wall

First of all how would I design a hump yard? How many tracks should\could have? What is the grade from the "hump" to the tracks? Would I have to use certain couplers, or could I use kadee's/Sergeants? How would I design the rest of the layout around the hump yard so that it would be a part of the operations?

Am I nuts or can I get this to work?



Diesel Detail Freak
Sergents will be the hardest to use as there is no automatic uncoupler for them. Though you can pause the train at the top to manually uncouple, thats what I plan to do. Kadee's can be automatically uncoupled.

I'm thinking somewhere around 3-4% max grade, maybe up to 5% considering you only hump short cuts at a time.

To slow the cars, I plan to use what looks like real brake systems, but really it'll just be stiff brushes glued to a strip to look like the brakes.


Grandson of an ALCO Builder
I have an article somewhere around here...I'll see if I can find it to point you in the right direction....but hump yards have been done by a hand full of guys some are really close to prototype and some are very creative with ingenious ideas...I will get back with ya shortly...


You could do it with Sergents, but it would be manual (like the prototype). If you're the engineering type, it might be possible to design some sort of arm with a magnet on it that swings down to uncouple the cars.

What I would be most concerned about is the size you have. I really doubt 12 feet would be near enough. 21 feet might work. Remember, unless you want a stub ended hump yard (which is rather silly in my opinion, as well as unrealistic), you need some way to pluck the cars out of the end opposite the hump.

The other design issue would be layout size/staging size. Hump yards can chew through many cars in quick order, so you'd need somewhere for all those cars to come from/go to. Now, if you just wanted to build a hump yard and immediate facilities, with staging at both ends, that would be quite interesting. Trains from staging enter the arrival yard, power cuts off to head for the enginehouse. The hump pusher picks up a string of cars, cuts out the "do not hump" cars, and shoves the string over the hump. Switches and retarders are manually operated; another crew pulls cars out of the bowl and assembles outbound trains. Finally, power hooks on to the assembled train, and departs for staging.

Could be quite interesting, if you wanted to go for it.

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