Track plan, Feedback please

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Myowngod

Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
I've been working on this plan for my dads basement. It's based off of a John Armstrong plan in MR book "The Classic Layout Designs of John Armstrong". It's the PRR Schuylkill Division plan. I modified it by mirror imaging it and then extending the upper left lobe out by approximately 3ft.. My dad wants to "Just run trains". I would like to get into more of the switching/operational aspect of the hobby. Although i do enjoy a good run around the layout every once in a while.
The space available is 13 x 16 in HO scale
Track key:
Blue - Mainline
Purple - sidings and yard
Green - Branch line
Still working on the engine service facility area.

Here is the original plan.

View attachment 3689

Here is a revised version of the plan
1. I moved the main to the outside edge. When i was building the CAD plan I thought of this but I wanted to get it in the computer straight from the Armstrong book. Then i planned on modifying it from there.
2. I turned of the staging yards in the lower right lobe for ease of visualization.
3. I'm not sure how to fix the mains now coming out of the northeast side of the yard. Previously they lined up all the way around. now, I'll need to do cross overs or change the upper left corner, where it deverges into the 4 lines (flying interchange) going down to the staging.

Here's the updated plan.

http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showphoto.php/photo/19237/cat/550

Thanks
Ron
 
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wow, umm two things I see right off.
1. By mirroring the yard, I don't see any need for the ladder by-pass track. The yard will be mainly switched from the other side. I suppose it could be used as a caboose track as-is. But if removed, it would make the each of the yard tracks a couple inches longer.
2. For all that track, I can only see potential for two trains. Either two in opposite directions, or two traveling in the same direction. With three trains, the two going the same direction would be stuck just following loco to caboose. This is because assuming a right-hand traffic pattern there are very few places to cross over to the opposing track to allow a faster train to pass. Well, I guess it si really that there are too few places to cross-over BACK onto the correct track. So to do a successful pass the opposing train would have to stop and wait. Passing on-the-fly is so much more fun, challenging, and interesting.

3. I'm not sure how to fix the mains now coming out of the northeast side of the yard. Previously they lined up all the way around. now
That modification also cost the "extended" yard lead space. As now, to get to the purple track in the loop on the upper left, one must "cross" the main. This also means a local going to switch the industries on the left side must travel on the main.

On the other hand, the connection to the branch in the lower center is much better on your redesign than the original.
 

Myowngod

Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
GandyDancer said:
2. For all that track, I can only see potential for two trains.
Thanks GD for the input. The original plan was designed mainly for passenger service. I'm trying to add some switching/operational option by adding the branchline and sidings. Speaking of, does anyone have a better idea for the green track in the lower right. Maybe something complementing the coal mine on the upper left.

Ron

P.S. here is another plan i worked on before my Dad brought the above plan to my attention. It is based of a plan in Model Railroad mag. April 2001 page 66 "metro belt & terminal". I double mained the whole thing, added a 4x8 addition on the right side and add a large staging yard on a lower level(not shown for clarity). the little square that is on both plans (bottom center) is a column. you can use that as a reference point to compare size and location. I made a 3D mock up of this one. But i don't have any pix right now and my wife has the digital camera. I'll try to get a picture of that up later. Does anyone have an opinion on this one?

View attachment 3698
 
Myowngod said:
Speaking of, does anyone have a better idea for the green track in the lower right. Maybe something complementing the coal mine on the upper left.
Actually, now that you mention it. Anytime the "industries" are on the outside of a curve, one can consider a crossing on the industry tracks to fit more in. It also gives both facing and trailing point switching moves in that particular town, and a reason for the run-around track.

As for complementing, I presume you mean the actual choice of an industry. With as much staging as this has, I don't think I would worry about matching the to-from loads. Get as many and great a variaty of industries as possible to send traffic to the yard. That way at least the yard is justified.
 
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jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
So, as I finnaly look over it long enough to understand what goes where & how... The ladder pass by can be useful with unit assigning, as it gets them out of the way momentarly, and allows better selection of the yard tracks to "get its train".

The crossover's create a minor issue, but I feel, if you push the interchange branches farther SE, you'll find that the crossovers become easier to fit.

The NW corner, I feel if the inside main moves over one, maybe the outside should too, so that any switching operations to that industry do not block the main.

Also, I'd suggest the NW stub end tracks in the yard, make it one instead of two, then you can pull the main in tighter, for just a little more isle space, and a slightly smoother curve.
 




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