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Author Topic Next Topic: Subroadbed, Roadbed and Track
Page: of 97

SNCF_Fan
Section Hand

Posted - 10/26/2014 :  7:47:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark,

Overall this looks fair but I am pretty concerned about 2 aspects of the engine facility track plan. The first problem, in my opinion, is that the current track plan essentially turns the rear A/D track (relative to the aisle) into a yard run-round track and furthermore infringes on the end of the front A/D track limiting the length of train which could be located there and still allow unobstructed light engine movements. The other concern is that your engine terminal “lead” comes off the front-most (aisle side) A/D track and then requires a 3-way switch to allow the terminal as a whole to fit. Granted I have a somewhat irrational hatred of 3-way switches but even discounting that irrationality I think that given the location of this 3-way switch you are asking for operational challenges!

My “armchair engineer’s” ideal solution would be to convert the first yard stub ended track (closest to the A/D tracks and aisle) into the yard run-around/engine terminal lead track. Once clear of the A/D approach curve install a right hand switch, the divergent route of which would lead to the “loco ready” tracks that are nestled inside the mainline track curve. Butt a left hand switch onto the normal (straight) leg of that right hand switch and the divergent route would lead to the turntable and the normal route would lead to another loco ready storage track/caboose track or however you have designated the right most track that skirts the turntable pit. You could even install a crossover between the rear A/D track and the yard run-around/engine terminal lead allowing you to cut-off a (camera facing) arriving locomotive and send it directly to the engine terminal. The consequence of this is of course that the large engine house would have to move one track closer to the back of the layout and you would “loose” the shortest yard bowl track. However, given the size of the yard and that you only have 2 A/D tracks I think that retaining 2 A/D tracks unaffected by light engine movements would be far more important than retaining the shortest stub ended bowl track for classification uses.

If you “cannot” move the engine house back one track then the alternative would be to run the engine terminal lead off the innermost of the two A/D tracks so that at least the front-most A/D track is completely unaffected by light engine movements. Locating the lead off this A/D track would also alleviate the need for the dreaded 3-way switch.

There is no question that your modelling is good and no matter what you will have a very nice engine terminal. I just think that a few modifications to the track plan will significantly improve your operations.

Offered in a constructive tone and intent.

Thanks and Cheers






Carl

carl.lindon@videotron.ca
Gatineau, Quebec.

Edited by - SNCF_Fan on 10/27/2014 3:24:30 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 50 Go to Top of Page

Harsco
Fireman



Posted - 10/26/2014 :  10:04:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That facility is going to look awesome...keep this torrid pace up and it won't be long before the foliage is flying!


Country: USA | Posts: 1320 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 10/27/2014 :  12:05:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wvrr

I see car cards in the background on that last shot, Mark!



Good eye Chuck! Yes, one of my many tasks at this point is getting out the cars and car cards, inserting waybills and starting to stage the railroad for some limited trial runs, and that's exactly what you see in the backround. That area is the coal yard that feeds the PP&L plant in Shamokin Dam.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13253 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 10/27/2014 :  12:12:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, thanks for your input. That sure is a lot to offer! I had to read it a couple of times to understand your suggestions, but I think I understand. You bring up some valid points. You know, as big as this layout is, it seems as there is never enough room, and that certainly holds true for this yard. I have 12 classification tracks and they are all used. In fact, two of them are doubled up for two through freights each. And the A&D tracks are not a long as I would have liked either. But we make do sometimes!

Actually, I had considered your idea of converting the 12th track to a run around track and have not eliminated that idea. Of course, until I get into some operations, we never know what problems or issues will creep up and that's exactly what I'm gearing up for now.

I appreciate your suggestions and will definitely keep them in mind. I'm always looking for input and suggestions. Most of my 'good ideas' are stolen from someone else!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13253 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 10/27/2014 :  12:15:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Harsco

That facility is going to look awesome...keep this torrid pace up and it won't be long before the foliage is flying!



Thanks Rick! Yes, we are getting close. The scenery itch definitely needs scratching! In fact, today while working on the engine facility, I made some mock-ups of the roundhouse. I'll have to post some pictures of that. While placing the mock-ups, my mind started wandering, thinking of how I want to scenic the facility with cinders, a little vegetation, and lots of details!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13253 Go to Top of Page

keystonefarm
Section Hand

Posted - 10/27/2014 :  01:10:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking good Mark. Not to bust your bubble but the Heljan roundhouse is not the Norry one that they say it is !! Don't feel bad as my Norry roundhouse is also a Heljan !!!! ------ Ken


Country: USA | Posts: 63 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Engine Wiper



Posted - 10/27/2014 :  08:27:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You're really steaming along with construction, Mark! It's great to follow along as you go.


Country: USA | Posts: 486 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 10/27/2014 :  10:24:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by keystonefarm

Looking good Mark. Not to bust your bubble but the Heljan roundhouse is not the Norry one that they say it is !! Don't feel bad as my Norry roundhouse is also a Heljan !!!! ------ Ken



Bubble busted! You know Ken, I noticed you used the same roundhouse and after reading this, I figured that's why you used it. Well, its close enough for me. I won't tell if you don't tell!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13253 Go to Top of Page

SNCF_Fan
Section Hand

Posted - 10/27/2014 :  1:39:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarkF

You know, as big as this layout is, it seems as there is never enough room, and that certainly holds true for this yard. I have 12 classification tracks and they are all used. In fact, two of them are doubled up for two through freights each. And the A&D tracks are not a long as I would have liked either. But we make do sometimes!




Mark,

You are right, no matter how big the space it is never enough. But based on your last reply I went back over the last 3 pages (58-60) of this thread to review your posts and photos of the Northumberland Yard to see if I could find some options to increase the length of your A/D tracks. (You might be noticing I view A/D tracks as essential to the good operation of a yard.)

So…. Photos 5 and 6 of your 09/03/14 post and photos 1 and 2 of your first post yesterday triggered a bit of an “ah-hah”! For discussion’s sake here is that “ah-ha”. The key to this is the crossover between the two mainlines on the straight between the turn-back loop and the “kink" which aligns the mains with the aisle edge. If you were to replace the right hand switch on the inner mainline with a double slip of the same frog number (it looks like a #6 to me) you accomplish the double task of providing a mainline crossover and starting an “A/D track ladder”. The next switch is an option based on how rigorous your operating rules are about allowing light engine movements to leave the A/D tracks and briefly encroach onto the inner mainline. So option 1, the “full meal deal”, is to use another double slip to access the first A/D track and continue the “A/D ladder”. Continuing up the “A/D ladder, a left hand switch would access the second A/D track and continue the “A/D ladder”. The A/D ladder would be completed by a right hand switch located on bowl track 1 that would link that track to the previously described base of the A/D ladder. This arrangement would increase each A/D track length by approximately 2 feet, good for at least 3 cars, perhaps 4, at an average car length of 40 ft. Now going back to the second double slip switch, there is an unused “tail” facing the mainline loops. Fitting about 3 ft of track to this makes a short “drill track” that readily allows cutting locomotives off arriving trains or adding them to departing trains for both A/D tracks without fouling the inner mainline. This drill track also facilities adding or cutting off the caboose of trains facing the opposite direction with the yard switcher. (You could extend this drill track quite substantially and use it to pull/assemble blocks of cars on an A/D train if you had it continue adjacent to the inner mainline.) In my mind a win-win situation but granted I’m not paying for those two double slip switches. Access to the engine terminal would be with the same arrangement of switches built off bowl track 1 (now the yard run-around track) as described in my previous post.

(Perhaps somewhat perversely as much as I hate 3-way switches I absolutely love both single and double slip switches and even though more complicated than regular left and right switches I often advocate for their use. These switches save huge amounts of space when properly located, often eliminate point-to-point arrangements, in my opinion look good and in my experience operate very well. Yes these along with wye switches are the GOOD “special” switches! 3-way switches are at best a necessary evil!)

If you don’t want a second double slip switch and are willing to allow both light engine movements and the switcher cutting/adding the caboose to trains on the A/D track to encroach onto the inner mainline, option 2 is to simply build the “A/D ladder” with two left hand switches that come off the double slip switch that completes the mainline crossover and starts the A/D ladder”.

The other benefit of either arrangement is that it removes several switch-point to switch-point arrangements you have, the first at the mainline crossovers to A/D tracks and the other at the end of A/D track one where you access the engine terminal. I have found these point-to-point arrangements especially problematic no matter how well laid and how well maintained the locomotives and rolling stock are. And of course they only give more and more grief as you try to put larger and larger steam locomotives through them. You might have no troubled putting an 0-6-0 switcher or a small Atlantic passenger loco through them but by the time you get to larger Pacifics, 0-8-0 switchers, Mikados and Mountains/Northerns you will almost certainly have these locomotives refuse to track through them. And since you are running PRR I’d hate to think of what an S or T duplex steam loco would say if it were ever to be diverted through one of these arrangements On the diesel side switchers and smaller early Geeps will probably work well but those longer E-units and larger more modern 6-axle diesels will be less than happy about them as well.

More of my ideas for you to mull over, or not.

Thanks and Cheers



Carl

carl.lindon@videotron.ca
Gatineau, Quebec.

Country: Canada | Posts: 50 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 10/27/2014 :  11:48:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some interesting ideas Carl! Thanks for taking the time to offer these ideas, which I will definitely keep in mind. I am close to getting the railroad ready for some trial runs and will pay attention to this area and how things work or don't work as I'm sure there will be many problem areas that surface.

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13253 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 10/27/2014 :  11:56:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Over the last couple of days I managed to get the engine facility up and running! The service tracks, engine house tracks and roundhouse tracks are all installed. I then decided to mock up the roundhouse to see just how the finished facility might look, and here are the results.



As I mentioned, I am using the Heljan Roundhouse kit. I currently only have two of these kits, but will eventually need at least two or three more for the doors. I am accepting donations!

In the meantime, in order to do this mockup, I made color copies of the doors on card stock on my home printer. I was surprised as I think they turned out pretty well!



I decided to begin placing engines in the engine house!



I still have to build and install the control panel for the yard, which will be located where the turntable controller is laying in the foreground.



So with the engine facility operational, I can call the yard done...for now.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13253 Go to Top of Page

keystonefarm
Section Hand

Posted - 10/28/2014 :  12:02:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark how did the Walthers DCC turntable handle the track location programming ? I have one of the pre dcc versions in Buffalo and I have given up on track location programming. I just use the direction buttons to get the table where I want it. I know they sell an upgrade for the pre dcc versions just not sure if it would fix the problems. --- Ken


Country: USA | Posts: 63 Go to Top of Page

LVRALPH
Fireman



Posted - 10/28/2014 :  05:11:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking good.


Country: | Posts: 5584 Go to Top of Page

BessemerBob
Engine Wiper

Posted - 10/28/2014 :  5:47:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Engine facility is looking good!

"the sleep of a laboring man is sweet"

Country: USA | Posts: 125 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 10/28/2014 :  7:58:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by keystonefarm

Mark how did the Walthers DCC turntable handle the track location programming ? I have one of the pre dcc versions in Buffalo and I have given up on track location programming. I just use the direction buttons to get the table where I want it. I know they sell an upgrade for the pre dcc versions just not sure if it would fix the problems. --- Ken



Hi Ken! To be honest, I would trade in this DCC version for one of the older ones! It was a little difficult to learn as the instructions are not very clear, but once I got the hang of it, programming is not that difficult. I haven't programmed a 'pre-DCC' version myself, but from what I hear, the process is similar, just more steps to the DCC version.

A few things about it that are a little strange. First, tracks 1 and 2 are preprogrammed, so unless you go to great pains to pre-align track 1 during installation to where you want it, you can't use those two track numbers.

Secondly, you have to program track numbers in order. Ex; 1, 2, 3, etc. And you can't skip any numbers. This may not be a big deal depending on how your facility is laid out.

As for the DCC operation and operating it from your throttle, I haven't tried this function yet myself, but essentially from what I read, it automatically assigns an accessory DCC address for each track number as you program it. You select that DCC address (similar to a switch) and press 't'.

The nice thing about it is once you have it programmed, it runs pretty well. You simply use the controller and select the track number, press go and off it goes!

Hope this answers your questions, but if you need help programming the table in Buffalo, Bruce is an expert at it! Remind us next month.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13253 Go to Top of Page
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