OK not exactly a photo of my rail yard BUT it is not too far from my house. At the time these were taken this was a NS and former Conrail yard it now is on long term lease I believe to the WNY & PA RR. So most of the rails are empty. Before it was somewhat of a boneyard.
This is a complied shot I foudn online in a basic websearch and saved. It only shows about half to 2/3's of the total yard but gets the locomotives facilites on the left side. You can tell this was post Conrail as most of the locos are all black NS units. The Yellow units were all snow fighting equipment in the loco facilities.
This is a shot from the road overpass to the far left of the previous photo. Not shown in that photo of course. Directly behind me is St. Bonaventure University. In teh distance you can see a stack from the Co-gen plant that sends some impressive steam plumes up especially on cold mornings.
Slightly farther up the overpass looking down the mainline into the yard from the west. The lawn you see to the left is St. Bonaventure Golf Course. While the tracks are private property there seems to be some tolerance for folks looking for lost Golf balls which is what the green car's owner in the photo is likely doing.
Greg's yard is really impressive! I wish I had that kind of trackage and space.
When I built the Millersvillanova in early 2004, I had planned out where the station and yard would be located. What I didn't count on was how difficult accessing that station would be, espeically when setting up and running trains. I have attached some pictures of how it looked:
This was looking North:
The old mainline is at the extreme left. Moving from left to right: a long siding that ended as a stub (because I couldn't get a 4' diameter switch to fit on the other side), the through station track, and engine storage. The through station track also had a switch that led to the beverage service siding (next to the hammock). The planned service never fully materialized and most beverages were 'air lifted' to the hammock.
This is a shot of the norht side. You can see the end of the stub siding, the through station track, the enging storage siding and the beverage service branch line:
After about two years of this configuration, I built a new terminal near the back door of the house. This solved a lot of problems with MB who did not like when mud and dirt were tracked through the house returning equipment to the basement.
The above area now looks like this:
The new terminal original configuration was this:
In that shot, we are standing on the mainline looking toward the house.
I reworked this yard last summer and it now has this configuration:
That's the mainline in the background. As you can see, I was able to elongate one of the sidings, and eliminated the reverse siding that was impossible to use.
While this terminal (lets not call it a yard) works OK for the majority of my needs, it quickly is overwhelmed:
That day I had an open house, and had to build a bigger storage yard with temporary tracks. Starting at the beverage service siding, I added temporary tracks under the mainline and in to the major part of the grass. These photos show you how it crossed under the main and how we did the trackage:
This shows how the beverage trackage ends (a few years ago, but I haven't changed it all that much. Note the mainline in the background was lifted about 12-15 inches from where it is pictured)
Ducking under the mainline (note how much higher it is than when pictured above!)
Russ is 0-5-0'ing some cars down in to the yard. If you look carefully, you can see where the beverage service trackage ends and this temporary yard started. We had a wicked curve under the bridge, and if this ever became a real yard, it would be a lot gentler.
After the tracks turned, they continued for a while
I hope this shows you how you may plan your yard one way, but when you get down to operating it, you may find it needs to be moved or adjusted!!
Thanks for the compliments, it looks crummy now, but the engine facilities and caboose tracks will be added this summer.
One thing to note, it is a double-ended yard, so you can work trains from both ends, there will be 2 yard leads, although one that will be in the foreground will be curved and a little short.
The idea is to be able to handle up to 2 yard engineers.
Another thing is that this design has no S curves in the main yard, so while the design is boringly symmetrical, there are no S curves to cause trouble with long cars.
I have to outfit all the switches with air motors, so there's a bit of investment soon, then I can ballast it and make it look nice. My underlayment is 5/8" hardibacker and synthetic 2x4's spaced every foot. This way it does not sag, and you can actually walk on the track, but keep to the one foot "spots". So far it has weathered fine in the rain, which was the test, to keep it level and weatherproof.