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Small plan idea

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  • Small plan idea

    Hey everyone,

    Here is an idea that I have for a small track plan. The concept is that the front is a lower level with the loop going uphill to the switchback in the rear. A slight uphill grade to the right again gets to the mine tipple.

    As for the lower level. The left side is for the engine house (Porter 0-4-2). I don't have water in there yet but it will be there also. The track on the front left is a run around with a tail track in the far left front. On the right front is the interchange with the other part of the world. It will be a 3' gondola for carrying the ore off to buyers. It says standard gauge on the plan but I had other thoughts last night. To the right of this is a small river.

    As you go to the right side past the interchange you start upgrade. We rode the Durango and Silverton this year so I picture this as a short segment that is based on the "high line" of the D&S. To get this I will have a steep topography on the inside of the curve that helps as a view block. Grade will be 3.3% or less through the curve giving me about 2" elevation when I get to the back of the layout.

    On the backside, most of the switchback will be hidden behind a tree line and, if there is room, some small rock outcroppings that rise above the surrounding terrain. Up the slight hill to the ore tipple and we are finished until the loading is accomplished.

    Loco is a Porter 0-4-2 with scratch built ore cars of about 16'. I will also build a small boxcar to haul supplies and maybe a combine for miners in the morning and evening.

    The overall size is 30" by 80". It will be built on a hollow door with a layer of foam to allow for below grade scenery on the lower section.

    This is just a simple draft of ideas I created on an airline. I used Photoshop for the painting so it isn't nearly as detailed as the CAD guys. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

    James Nichols

  • #2

    To add interest I would run the river under the tracks so you can have a couple of bridges.

    The other thought is have the water be a lake with a trestle over a part of it and instead of transferring ore into a rail car use a barge then you could also have the pier go to a car ferry to get equipment to your railroad.

    Switchbacks were used to gain elevation so you may want to keep climbing with that track. I would also consider trying to gain more elevation. I am not sure you will be happy with only 2.1” of height at the back. This is around 9 scale feet so not really high up the hill.

    Good luck in your planning.


    • #3
      The plan looks nice, James. The comment I wish to make concerns the tipple. I think that the track side of such a structure is generally more interesting (visually) than the other side, so you might consider having the tipple between the two pieces of track (it suffices to have a straight spur, instead of the curved one you've drawn). You might also think to connect the tipple to a remote mine entrance using a small tram over the tracks.

      Hope this helps.


      • #4

        Very nice concept but I would like to offer the following suggestions:

        1. The small passing siding by the engine house turnout is really too small and I would eliminate it.

        2. I would ad a very small turntable for turning the engine in front of the engine house.

        Loads of possibilities for detailing and creating mini scenes.

        Peter [:-kitty]


        • #5
          Thanks for the ideas. One problem I am having is visualizing the size required for structures and clearances. I think the clay might come out for a model of the model. One of the things I was trying was to draw the grey track line to appear about the correct width. As for my structures, I feel the tipple is very small and the engine house only justifies the Porter. To keep proportions, I don't see room for a barge or a turntable although I would love to have both. Bridges will be there, they just are not shown yet. I see one on the "high line" crossing a small creek and I also picture the tail track for the run around as being built on a trestle over a small dry wash. For the tipple, I picture the area behind the engine house as thick forest creating a view block. This would open up in front of the tipple to provide a slightly restricted view of the tipple. It would only be in view from this angle and as such would not be highly detailed.

          I guess I am more worried about creating broad stroke scenes over detail rich scenes. I want to showcase the idea that there is a tipple over that ridge, not showcase a tipple. If that makes any sense.

          James Nichols


          • #6

            Nice start to your plan there. I tend to agree with the previous comments regarding the turntable wharf and straightening out the triple spur. You don't need a big turntable to turn a 0-4-2 porter, a 6" turntable will do. Same thing with the wharf, a small wharf that will hold a car or two would do.
            Ron Newby

            General Manager

            Clearwater Valley Railway Co.



            • #7

              I think you could fit in a turntable, take a look at Carl Arendt's site

              He built a turntable out of a CD and I already measured and the Porter would fit.

              Also if the passing siding is too short you could extend it and have the siding to the transfer track come off the passing siding instead of the main line.

              I currently have a 16" X 32" Micro as my layout and trust me the more operation you can fit in to your layout the happier you will be long term.

              Have fun.



              • #8
                James, My concern would be the Porter actually being able to pull the cars up the 3.3% grade. Somebody may debunk my personal results But seriously, I have a 4% grade on my pike. Perhaps the 3.3 will not be an issue for all I know that may be the "sweet spot" the porter works well at??? My porter can achive the climb with extra weight added to the loco but it struggles with one flat car despite what I do to stop the wheel slip. If you make it back to ICT and want to test it out on my layout (DCC)give me a shout you are more then welcome to.

                I like your layout plan[^] :up:


                • #9
                  Just throwing ideas out. Maybe none of these will stick for you. I'm certainly no layout designer.

                  For the engine house end, maybe move the engine house forward on the layout and the mainline/runaround track back. No real reason, but you may want to mock it up both ways and see what looks 'right'.

                  Where you have the tipple, perhaps that could be built over the mainline and your main could pass through a short tunnel. This may give you some added footage for that spur to load the cars and also allow you to situate the tipple differently if you don't like the available space. The added bonus of course is it would add yet another element to your railroad.

                  I think for the space available you've got as much activity as will fit. Nicely done.