new shelf layout design

Well it looks like I will be retiring my first layout this spring and moving to a more modular shelf layout instead.

Here's a picture of the new design for the main module. Its a 2'x12' urban industrial switching layout.

I'd like to get some feedback regarding what you guys think of operating this layout, so I'm sharing the design and a fully operational TrainPlayer file so you can actually try it out (You will need TrainPlayer software, a free demo is here: http://www.trainplayer.com/Site3/DemoRegistration.html)

Here is the zip file: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B0Ow27eMfiQMMEFWZV9qekVUaDZQQV9QUEtKZFdPUQ

I'm hoping it will be a good challenge without becoming too frustrating. Not exactly like a "timesaver puzzle" but also not as easy as a simple yard.

I welcome any comments, suggestions, frustrations, etc.

Cheers,

Ken




Comments

Scarpia's picture

Really complex

That looks really complex to me. I did a quick rework, but I'm still a bit at odds with the salvage, furniture, glass, and warehousing area.

hope this helps


HO, early transition era www.garbo.org/MRR local time GMT +4

 

Suggestion

I'd like to make a suggestion before you start building, read Lance Mindheim book on operating switching layouts (https://www.createspace.com/3727485). I finished it last night and it was very interesting and would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in operations.

As the previous commenter noted it's very complex and that doesn't necessarily mean it will be fun. I've been through a couple switching layouts that ended up not being fun to operate because I didn't know how I wanted to operate it.

-Matt Newman

It looks like a bowl of spaghetti

I hate to be so blunt, but you have so much track that I wonder where is there actually room for an industry that would require rail service?  Why a loco servicing facility in an industrial park?  Your team track doesn't have room around it for trucks or truck parking.  The are so many switches, that there isn't room for "switching."  If those industries were to received cars, I think it would be choked early.  I think the biggest problem is that you need two to three times the space to include all of the industries that you have included.  The industries on the back drop may be modeled off layout, and the industries in the very front may also have the majority of their buildings off layout in the aisle, but any industry in the center of the bench work needs to have enough real estate to have enough buildings and space to justify rail service.

I think a good exercise would be to draw out the foot print for each industry.  If most of an industry is off layout, draw the foot print anyway and extend the bench work to accommodate it.  You won't actually build all of that bench work, but if having a space 6x12 feet won't give you enough space to accommodate an industry, then you don't have room for that industry with that track plan.  Having an industry that must be located 5 miles away from the loading dock and require trucks to tran-ship the materials from the rails to the factory is not a practical way to run a business, generally.  For a team track, you must have a road and enough space to maneuver an 18 wheeler in and out. 

off-site industry

"Having an industry that must be located 5 miles away from the loading dock and require trucks to tran-ship the materials from the rails to the factory is not a practical way to run a business, generally."

That makes sense, but it _can_ work in the other direction: an off-layout industry such as a medium-size mine can be represented by a dump truck and a loading ramp on the town siding (sorry, team track).  That was the situation at South Porcupine on the Ontario Northland.

Apart from the "busyness" of the track plan, and I would agree with Russ there, what struck me was that what appears to be a passing siding doesn't come off the main (on the right-hand side).  I'd be inclined to add a switch off the main to the siding and then have the spurs on the front (? lower side of plan) come off the siding.

David

 

Rio Grande Dan's picture

Is this a "Z" scale layout?

as cramped as it is with the minimal space between tracks an short spurs to place all the business structures you have planned it can't be built in anything but Z scale.

Dan

                 Rio Grande Dan

Some suggestions

Hi Ken:

Coincidentally I have almost the identical space and have designed a plan with an industrial urban harbor theme.  Here are a couple of things I did that might help with your plan:

Start with your run-around tracks and then add your spurs off of those.  The length of your longest train plus locomotive will dictate the length of the former.  Bear in mind that you'll need extra length at both ends for proper clearance.  Add your streets and then your structures.  Sometimes you'll have to do this the other way around as the structures might dictate the placement of roads.  

Try to place the tracks on an oblique angle to the front edge of the layout.  This will give the illusion of more space and add visual interest.  Also, I like tracks that cross one another for this purpose as well.  I'm more of a railroad modeler than model railroader, but the layout should have some functionality to it.

What sort of a theme do you have in mind?  Era?  Location?  This will help you hone in on all the details from structures and types of cars to operating schemes.   Looking and studying prototype lines will really help in designing something you will be pleased with.  Also, what scale are you modeling?

Check out Bill Denton's excellent N-scale Kingsbury Branch for inspiration as well as Philip Goldstein's fantastic website about industrial/terminal railroads in NYC - 

http://members.trainweb.com/bedt/IndustrialLocos.html

If I could figure out a way to upload my plan, I will post it as a follow-up to give some idea of my thought process.  Not that it's the best or only way to go, but just as food for thought.

Good luck!

 

More suggestions

Smaller scale=longer trains. Older era=shorter cars and locos. 

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Long life to Linux The Great!

steinjr's picture

Jeff G wrote: Start with

Jeff G wrote:
Start with your run-around tracks and then add your spurs off of those.  The length of your longest train plus locomotive will dictate the length of the former.  Bear in mind that you'll need extra length at both ends for proper clearance.  Add your streets and then your structures.  Sometimes you'll have to do this the other way around as the structures might dictate the placement of roads.

 If we assume that we need a runaround. I am not disagreeing with you about a runaround often being nice to have (and I have one on my upstairs shelf switching layout), but it is not a necessity.

There are at least two ways of making an interesting small switching layout which does not have a runaround:

1) Orient all tracks so you have no facing spurs. May sound boring, but you can get quite interesting switching from a simple track plan. Say something along these lines:

 Several spots (maybe also several industries) per track, and no need for runaround movements. Some other plans with no facing spurs:


 

2) Have both facing and trailing spurs, but vary the initial setup of your train - sometimes it will be switching facing spurs only (and the scenario starts with the train "having just arrived" pushing cars ahead of it), sometimes it will be switching trailing spurs only (scenario starts with the train "having just arrived" pulling cars behind it) and sometimes the scenario starts with the train having arrived pushing some cars and pulling some cars.

 An example here is based on the 8th Avenue Spur in Marshalltown, IA, from a discussion on the Opsig Yahoo group:

 

Try to place the tracks on an oblique angle to the front edge of the layout.  This will give the illusion of more space and add visual interest.  Also, I like tracks that cross one another for this purpose as well.  I'm more of a railroad modeler than model railroader, but the layout should have some functionality to it.

What sort of a theme do you have in mind?  Era?  Location?  This will help you hone in on all the details from structures and types of cars to operating schemes.   Looking and studying prototype lines will really help in designing something you will be pleased with.  Also, what scale are you modeling?

 He seems to be in H0 scale.

 I totally agree with you that it is a very good idea to know the era and type of place you are trying to create an impression of.

 And not necessarily running tracks totally parallel to the edge is a good old trick. Here is e.g. a track plan I have called "Federal street overpass":

 

 And here is my current 11 foot long x 15-16" urban switching layout plan, where the core of the plan was inspired by Byron Henderson's N scale track plan "San Jose Switcher":


 

 There are many ways of making and operating small switching layouts.

 Smile,
 Stein

 

 


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