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The First Railroad Yard

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  • The First Railroad Yard

    Been planning for the railroad classification yard for my New Capitol RR; it will have 7 yard spur tracks, alongside the main line; right now I am toying with either 5 or 7 feet in length, which one is best?
    "This skin reserved for Silver Fox Cape For Mrs. Van Dough."

    --from Looney Tunes\' Fox Pop

  • #2
    Good question. How long is your yard lead? How long will your typical freight train consist be?

    From the context of your question I gather you are interested in breaking down and building trains. Train length is the first thing I think about. Bob.
    Modeling Arizona Eastern Railroad, Hayden Junction (1920), in On30

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    • #3
      It varies, basically a cornucopia of cars
      "This skin reserved for Silver Fox Cape For Mrs. Van Dough."

      --from Looney Tunes\' Fox Pop

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      • #4
        I've been planning (eventual) staging tracks for my current railroad plan. I finally came around to Tony Koester's staging formula, 2x+1, where x is the number of trains you think you'll run. I plan on running 2 scheduled trains onto/through my layout, so I'd need 5 tracks. When I consider other trains I'd like to run or the rolling stock I've got that I may want to store on a track instead of in boxes, then yep, he's right. Right now I'd want a passenger train plus a scheduled freight. But I may want to add a through freight, or a work train, or a baggage/mail, etc. and those 5 tracks fill fast.

        Not knowing how you intend to use your tracks, it's hard to say how long they should be. Ditto to what rca2 asked - how long is your yard lead? A 7 foot spur does little good with only a 3 foot lead unless you're really into switching puzzles. I once operated on a layout with one really long spur that served several industries but only a tiny secondary spur that held ONE car. You had to shove too many cars down there and use that short spur to shuffle things around. It was intentionally designed as an exercise in frustration. The fact that I was able to 'solve the puzzle' in fewer moves than the layout owner thought it could be done in left him flabbergasted. For me, however, it wasn't all that fun once I figured it out.

        Anyway, how about a look at the rest of the track plan to see the context?

        Galen
        My Train Blog: http://ocalicreek.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          Read this: http://housatonicrr.com/yard_des.html :-)

          dave
          Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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          • #6
            quote:


            Originally posted by a440


            It varies, basically a cornucopia of cars


            That linked article on designing yards is a great resource. It explains the parts of a yard and how they fit in the context of the layout. Having 7 stub tracks means you have plenty of flexibility for assigning stubs to A/D, caboose, engine service, or RIP duty. If your yard is to be located at a station with a siding already, you can modify that siding to serve as an A/D track.

            "It varies" sounds a lot like me too.

            So then the issue is how long a train do you want the yard to handle.

            For a 5-foot long consist, it would be nice to have at least a stub yard track long enough to hold a 5-foot consist without fouling the switch and the switch lead should be long enough for that consist plus room for a caboose and switcher.

            A longer switch lead would allow car sorting with longer strings of cars--meaning the flexibility to use fewer back and forth moves.

            Having an A/D track at least long enough to store the consist with caboose and road engine would be good too.

            Anything shorter probably means more than 1 stub is needed to hold a consist and means more moves to do the job.

            How many classification tracks would be good to have would depend on the traffic that the yard handles. How many A/D tracks you need depends on the number and frequency of trains. If you have 2 trains in the station at the same time with only 1 A/D track, either the yard gets clogged or the mainline.

            One thing you may want to do when building trains is put cars for a way freight in a specific order so the road crew has less trouble switching the stations. That means sorting cars in a specific order rather than simply sorting by track. Even if you are not interested in sorting that way today, it would be a good idea to design the yard with that possibility in mind.
            Modeling Arizona Eastern Railroad, Hayden Junction (1920), in On30

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            • #7
              You will need a siding or two next to the yard so trains can be made up & broken down.
              Andy Jackson

              Santa Fe Springs CA

              LAJ/ATSF Modeler

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              • #8
                Then 5 feet is the best bet, that or 4 feet.Then all I need is 9 tracks for the yard with two for the sidings
                "This skin reserved for Silver Fox Cape For Mrs. Van Dough."

                --from Looney Tunes\' Fox Pop

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