When you don't have much room for a layout, but want to show off your collection of hopper cars

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bob

Administrator
Staff member
I've only got an 8 x 8 space for my layout, what can I build in such a small square space?

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If you built this as a model railroad and showed it to me, I would have laughed. Turnouts (switches) are expensive, nobody is going to put in all those turnouts just to store a few more cars! Totally un-prototypical! Except, this is real...
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
I like the rail bumpers, looks like a pile of gravel.
That is exactly what they are! They work just fine, and cause less damage to the track and car than hitting one of the rigid structures does.

So, in places where the car running off the end would cause serious damage (or sink a ship?) you use a steel bumping post of various types and strengths. In a location where it would simply run through the fence and end up in a field without hurting anyone, like this location? Then you use gravel.

As with anything railroad, there are requirements for this "pile of gravel". Want to make your own? Here you go, BNSF Industrial Guidelines Standard Plan.

1586205921342.png
 

MHinLA

Well-Known Member
At Los Angeles Union Station the stub end terminal tracks have heavy springs behind the striker plates. But I believe that's because most the passenger trains here go in forward where the bumper is protecting the locos' snouts.. This is where that famous photo was taken of the UP War Bonnet (is it ?) that has crashed through the wall.. ..... things that go bump in the night....
 

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
That is exactly what they are! They work just fine, and cause less damage to the track and car than hitting one of the rigid structures does.

So, in places where the car running off the end would cause serious damage (or sink a ship?) you use a steel bumping post of various types and strengths. In a location where it would simply run through the fence and end up in a field without hurting anyone, like this location? Then you use gravel.

As with anything railroad, there are requirements for this "pile of gravel". Want to make your own? Here you go, BNSF Industrial Guidelines Standard Plan.

View attachment 46103
A prototype for everything!! ;)
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
At Los Angeles Union Station the stub end terminal tracks have heavy springs behind the striker plates. But I believe that's because most the passenger trains here go in forward where the bumper is protecting the locos' snouts.. This is where that famous photo was taken of the UP War Bonnet (is it ?) that has crashed through the wall.. ..... things that go bump in the night....
Well, in that case, a train running off the end of the track could potentially injure people, so they have the more solid style bumping posts.

Western Cullen Hayes, the most well known supplier, makes a variety of them. Light duty, medium duty, heavy duty. With and without springs. Also, special ones for rapid transit. Also spring ones that can be embedded into concrete bumping posts.

Here's something you probably don't know. Bumping post are not lined up on the exact center of the track. Instead, they're offset a couple of inches to one side. Why is that? Well coupler knuckles are also offset, so that they can "mate", and the striking face is designed to line up with where the coupler knuckle is located.

wch.jpg
 

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
Bob this is the style of bumper we have at work on our rail header.

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You said that they are offset. I've looked at this bumper for 16 years now and never noticed that it is offset in it's mount. ;) Picture 3 showes that exactly.
 

cv_acr

Active Member
Turnouts (switches) are expensive
So is property, and this maximizes the use of the site. Storage yards like this aren't all that uncommon at industries that load hoppers of plastic pellets, and a lot of plastic pellet cars will be loaded and used as a 'rolling warehouse'.

This arrangement could actually work quite well when you have to 'cherry-pick' out specific cars out of multiple tracks, so each car isn't buried 30 back behind a long track, so having a lot of short tracks for a storage facility can be good and minimizes the distance tracks need to be pulled to get at cars you want.

It's obviously NOT suited to actually being a railroad sorting and classification yard for building up trains with all those short tracks. This storage yard is switched in a fundamentally different manner.
 
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Rico

BN Modeller
Wow that’s one strange yard, but I guess it makes sense or they wouldn’t have built it.
Do you know where this is?
 

cv_acr

Active Member
Wow that’s one strange yard, but I guess it makes sense or they wouldn’t have built it.
Do you know where this is?
Not sure where the one in the lead photo is, but some similar sorts of storage tracks at plastics facilities here in town (Sarnia, ON)

Imperial Oil's plastic pellet loading facility, with a number of short stub-end storage tracks for cars:

(Note more storage yards just to the south belonging to another facility.)

A number of short storage tracks at a Nova Chemicals facility:

Storage tracks at both ends of another Nova facility:



One of the first lessons in efficiently switching a classification yard is to not "cherry-pick" or look all over the yard for cars to make up a particular train. Just sort an entire track at a time until each track is sorted. But car storage yards aren't classification yards - they're a whole different animal and cherry picking individual cars is exactly the sort of activity that will be done here day in and day out. All those pinwheeling short tracks maximizes the usage of the space, and the short tracks make it easy to dig out specific cars. Plus these yards being on private industrial (as opposed to RR) property, they won't have long switching leads to pull anything back either.
 




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