PROGRESS UPDATES ON PAGE 2 - 7/15/2012
On the Grimes Line the Urbandale runaround is the only active one on the line in my modeled era. Since all industries/spurs are facing point for outbound movement trains will run up the line, runaround at Urbandale and work back down switching the customers.
I had planned the Urbandale runaround to match the length of my staging area. My logic was that if it fit in staging it would fit on the line. After all I was never going to run mammoth trains (or a least what's considered mammoth on the Grimes Line) so the extra space would be good insurance.
But after 6 months of solid operations I never needed the extra length. All my trains, even the mammoth ones, never came close to plugging the runaround. Then I realized I needed the extra space between Meredith Drive and the north siding switch so that a locomotive wouldn't trigger the crossing protection when running around. Meredith is a good half mile from the switch on the prototype and while it's a minor quibble I didn't want lights flashing and gates dropping until the train was good and ready to cross the road.
There's actually a prototypical justification for doing this. The Iowa Interstate did shorten the Urbandale runaround prior to my era. About 1000 feet was lopped off the north end and a new switch installed.
Long story short I finished up shortening the runaround by about a foot, gaining the space between it and Meredith Drive.
I'm moving forward on basic scenery and working in the Meredith grade crossing and hope to have some more progress photos shortly.
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