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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,

Now that we've sorted out the gauge/scale thing...
I have an open house coming up. Since it is a once a year type thing, I try and get as much of the rolling stock out to the track as possible. However, I would rather not have trains all over the place, so I need to add some temporary capacity. Last year, the addition of a 'dead' yard was very useful for storing the long trains.

Here's Russ doing some switching of a freight train getting it ready on the 'dead yard'


And here's my dinky little yard that's not good for much other than motor storage:


See? A couple USA streamliners, and we're full. Plus, all I have are 10' dia switches and not enough space to not have a problem with S curves:



SO - I am looking for some advice. I have scanned a drawing I made of my schematic.
http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/markoles/Open08/Layout%208-28.doc

They took away autoCAD from me, so I can't draw it all to scale. The heavy black lines are things I cannot move, like the house and a huge tree. The small, red dashed lines are where I built the big temporary yard last year. However, that presented a lot of problems.

1. That temporary yard blocks access to the back yard. The path shown to the left is not wide enough for my wheel chaired guests. Last year, I had about 3 or 4 in chairs. I'd like to be able to accomodate everyone, and this is something easy to fix.

2. The red dashed lines show the location of the temp yard. Here's a pic of Jim's Mallet traversing a set of S curves necessary to miss the hammock posts:

The S curves prevented the passenger train from being parked down in the big temporary yard.


3. In the drawing, I have some blue dashed lines that run from the yard lead along a row of pines. The lower branches of the pines have been removed to the 8-9' level. However, nothing really grows underneath. I was thinking it would be a natural place for train storage.

Some other notes and pictures about the proposed new temporary yard:
The yard lead is a steep downhill.
Any tracks that go the direction I have proposed will have to cross some sort of temporary scaffolding/trackwork to reach the relatively level section.
Switching maneauvers are expected to be fully manual. I do not plan to actually switch with a locomotive.
That side of the yard is the main point of entrance to the whole backyard. Where the yard lead curves is actually a path across in to the backyard. This will create a bottleneck at the other entry point, at end of the small terminal. Last year, I had some 'accidents' with people getting bunched up at those locations. Perhaps some directional signage is warranted "Entrance" "Exit", etc..

Here are the pictures of the area in question I have saved on MLS:

kind of a tree line shot, notice the mainline is about 12" higher than the ground where the locomotive is located.


This cropped shot shows part of the yard lead with the loop:


Right behind the small weber grill is where I'd have to put a switch leading off to the left. See how steep that is? No way I could get away with just laying the track on the ground. Also, I'll have to put up a people barrier for sure.


An option I haven't drawn yet. The bridge is tall enough, and there is space enough underneath, that I could possibly run a second track down underneath. In fact, I had planned to do this and remove the beverage service branch all together:


Please feel free to copy and mark up the document. You can either email it to me or repost it.

I have some switches, and a single crossover that I can use for the project. The dead sections will all be brass track.

Thanks for your time!

Mark

PS. This is your chance to tell me what your plan would be. You know who you are. Anyone of you that shows at my open house and tells me "what I should have done" will be beaten with a woll sock full of dimes!!
 

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Mark,

Looking at this picture:

My first thought is that you have room for 3 or 4 parallel tracks under that bridge - would such a yard give you the storage space that you need? It would certianly allow for multiple trains to operate in opposite directions - assuming you put switches at each end.

My second thought is that if you put a switch behind the bridge and ran a temporary yard more or less parallel to the tree line, you could get 2 or 3 long tracks in there.

My third thought is that you could do the same, but put a switch in front of the bridge and run the yard in front of the layout. That would allow the staged trains to be displayed as people enter the back yard, and make access a lot easier for adding & removing rolling stock.

Does that help any?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ken,

I never thought of running the yard in front of the bridge and along the grade. That's a good idea, and I'll look into that. A massive tree was removed and the stump hole might mean I need to use 1x3s in places, but otherwise, that would work.

And there's no reason I couldn't also have a spur going back across the mainline, too. I have that extra crossover which could be used.

The multiple tracks under the bridge is a good idea. I have some track sitting outside I can use to check. At 5' wide, there is plenty of space under that bridge.

Another think I have thought about, but never acted on, was turning the beverage service switch around. That would put the diverging route pointing toward that long tree line. The thing I worry about is access to that switch. Althought I guess Russ and Jim didn't have much trouble with it last year. (That's right, I didn't run a single train at my own open house. Too busy talking to the guests and answering their questions, orienting them to the railroad, getting them to sign the guest book and put on a name tag. 400-600 people in 4 hours is a lot.

Mark
 

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Posted By markoles on 08/28/2008 2:46 PM

I never thought of running the yard in front of the bridge and along the grade. That's a good idea, and I'll look into that. A massive tree was removed and the stump hole might mean I need to use 1x3s in places, but otherwise, that would work.


Just to make sure we're on the same page...

I was thinking of putting in a left hand switch about where those two WM hoppers are, and running the yard along the main line, where the girls are standing and off to the right. That looks like a reasonably level piece of ground, and if you locate the switch properly, could avoid a problematic S-curve.
 

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Posted By markoles on 08/28/2008 2:46 PM
The multiple tracks under the bridge is a good idea. I have some track sitting outside I can use to check. At 5' wide, there is plenty of space under that bridge.

Another think I have thought about, but never acted on, was turning the beverage service switch around.


Combining the above, and looking at this photo


What about reloacating the beverage service switch to the lower end of the station, with the diverging route following the current main line, and the straight route becoming the new main line, running parallel to the current one, all the way under the bridge? That gives a passing siding, at least, and re-uses a track element that is otherwise (IIRC) relatively unused.

It also makes operational sense to have the station at a siding. :D
 

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Mark I think I'd have to go with a RH switch on either side of the bridge. Depending on wheather or not you want the yard protected from foot traffic or not. Using pic with the two girls a switch just under or past the bridge would put your yard in a protected area. Whereas a switch in front of bridge would make the yard more viewable but subject to pedestrian traffic.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys!

I really appreciate the input. I'll take pictures, but thanks to your input, I am now looking at better long term solutions than my initial thought!

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dave,

That is coming right after I get the trans-atlantic chunnel finished. No need to put the cart before the horse.

Mark
 

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Posted By Dave F on 08/28/2008 9:26 PM
OK.. you need one long gently curved very flat track for running the G-scale TGV at a scale 300 KPH.




You mean just like some live steamers do?
 

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Mark, Would it be ok for a neighbor from York to drop in on that open house? If so can we get a little more info?
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dave,

The open house is part of the RR Museum of PA's "Model Railroad Days" held over Columbus day weekend. The open house is on that Sunday, from 1 -5. I don't care if people come to my open house without buying the ticket, but I don't have any info available about the other 7 or 8 open houses in Lancaster County.

All,

I started work on the new yard last evening, with Luke supervising.

I removed all turnouts and tried fitting pieces together. I learned something interesting about the Aristo 19.5 degree cross over: it is almost the same geometry as the 10' diameter switch. I turned my yard lead around and installed it 2' after the curve around the big tree. Going along the main, there is a 2' section then the 19.5 degree cross over. The diverging section of the yard lead has a 2' section, then a right hand turnout. The diverging section of that turnout has a 2' section which connects to another left hand switch (but I guess this is a trailing point turnout). That switch's diverging route has a 2' section connecting it to the crossover, which will go down to the old "Yellow Dog" yard. That makes a nice, neat looking yard so far. The center of this 'diamond' will be perfect for the switch tower pictured near the signal bridge in the above photos.

Going back to the yard lead, and the diverging section, after the 2' straight, and the right hand switch, I have another right hand switch and then a right hand curve. The diverging section and the curve are the start of the main storage tracks. All four tracks will run parallel under the bridge, and up the hill. I am going to see if I can make the track closest to the mainline a long passing siding. The storage tracks will utilize the brass track I have since I am not able to purchase more stainless right now. I am also planning to run the beverage service shuttle track down from the hammock to the old Yellow Dog terminal.

I was thinking about it yesterday. I am basically moving from a two station railroad to a one station railroad. Almost like some of those dioramas you see where the trains enter and exit from stage right or left. Essentially, that's where I am at. But, in another way, it makes more sense to do this and have capacity to store trains longer than 5 cars.

I'll post some pictures when I have time.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Got some more work done last night on this realignment project. Tore out the beverage service line and removed all track between the old yard lead and the beverage service switch. I was careful to keep the widest radius curves for the mainline (16.5' diameter). The passing track (which might not be fully stainless) will use 12.5' diameter curves. It is going to be close, but I may break down and install some brass straight sections. The two storage tracks and the new 'beverage service' line will be laid out once the main and passing tracks are finished. Those tracks are going to use the old brass track I have. No extra cash for track at the moment, so I'll use what I've got. They are storage tracks, after all. The Bev line is just to put a foothold in, anyway. However, I am glad I made the bridge span 5 feet way back when. It will easily allow the 5 tracks to pass underneath. The most tracks that bridge saw was 2, back when the railroad was called the Aunt Patty's Lane Railway:



The real question is whether or not MB is going to be mad at the loss of about 5 square feet of grass. She didn't say much about it yesterday. Luke, however, watched me intently. Offering short squeals of encouragement. Lucia, on the other hand, was very annoyed that I was outside and not throwing her a squeaky football every time she brought it to me. She eventually gave up and went to the neighbors yard to annoy a fenced in dog.

One thing for sure, there is nothing like redesigning part of your railroad to really revive your interest. I was looking at the new alignment of the mainline, picturing trains snaking along, hoping I was going to be able to make the passing siding work! It is a little bittersweet to be realigning the mainline, but in the end, I think this is for the best. After all, it has been over 4 years of ballasting and working with the same aligment, tweaking it, and getting it 'just so'. It all came apart in a matter of minutes.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update.

As promised, I took some pictures of my progress yesterday. The tracks were placed to see what would fit. I still need to do the base work, ballasting, screw all the tracks together and re-hook up the power connections.

Here's the new yard lead looking from South to North:


Here's the opposite view, showing the diamond, the 2' sections and the 3 switches:


This shot shows the old mainline roadbed, plus the new mainline (on the left), passing track on the right, and 'beverage service shortline at the extreme left under the bridge - one piece of 2' brass..




This is a shot of the yard leads. These will be extended under the bridge so that I have ample storage space for longer trains.


At the upper level, I have the passing track rejoining the mainline:


Question: should I extend this passing siding another few feet? On the one hand I could make this passing siding longer. On the other hand, I could extend the yard lead's stainless content for another few feet. Comments?

And finally, the new terminal track at the old Yellow Dog station.


The station here will likely be replaced with a shack. No need for a big station for a single line. The Beverage Service Ry will also terminate here.

Helpers. I had help from Luke and Lucia, who acted as supervisors and critics.
Luke is voicing his opinion that we had spent too much time in one spot:

Still not happy, but not as pissed as before:


Lucia was a bit more aggressive with her thinly disguised displeasure with the situation:
Note the ball.

The co-conspirators:

Still being good:

I made her wait too long. She's responding to my "What?" command by barking and jumping:

Now, she's getting really mad at me. Getting ready to jump about 6 feet.

After all of that, I finally threw her the ball. She caught it in mid-air. Back by the bridge, she's showing me!!


Am I the only one that has these kinds of factors working against me when trying to get a little track work done?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nick,

I doubt I'll even take a photo, let alone a video!! No time for trains during the open house!!

Funny thing happened last evening. I started to lay the base layer of stone dust, so I had to take the track apart. I went to put it all back together, and couldn't quite get it right! Ugh! However, I am glad I took some pictures, because I can now go back and figure it out. Again.

Never fails.

Mark
 

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Mark,

Always nice to see track woork taking place. No offense to you unfortunately for me and because your layout is spread out the way it is, I was having a hard time getting a scope of the layout as a whole. Is there any way you can provide a diagram. I would love to see it. If I've missed it somewhere's please point it out to me. I gotta say a peart of me likes the criss-crossing of tracks in a layout. Wish I was given permossion to do more than just the area in the back of my layout. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif

Ahhh angry stroller baby. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif Brings back memories./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif Nice pics of things. Can't wait to see the work more complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No pictures, but an update:

I have completed screwing together the mainline. Using the pictures as a reference, I corrected a small error in track geometry, and now everything looks good.

I needed to get the mainline back in service for a 2 year old visitor this weekend. It's going to be trains overload for this little dude, and I am afraid. Thomas the Tank is running at Strasburg and we're all drinking the Cool-aid and going. Then, we're going to try and do the regular train there, we'll see. As if that wasn't enough, trains will be running at my house after. I'd like to say I'll be getting that side track together, but I am about out of ballast. Getting more delivered, and moved in to place is not likely for this weekend. Especially when I haven't even tried running a train on the new line yet. That's maybe tonight's project. At least Luke won't be screaming the whole time, I hope!

As an aside, I've gotten really good at finding the aristo screw hole without actually seeing it. Seems like they are all about 1/4" from the end of the rail. Also, I've gotten good at eyeballing 1/4"!! I have only lost one or two screws to the ballast monster. I just remembered that last time I did track work, I used a piece of paper under the joints so I wouldn't lose the screws!! Doh!

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update:

Last Friday, I got about 2 tons of stone dust for ballast and for the new yard base. I was able to get it all moved to my 'quarry' location and the initial base laid on Saturday. Here's a picture of my progress:


If you look closely, you'llsee that the side track has not been ballasted or leveled. For that matter, the mainline was only minimally leveled, so there's still quite a bit of work to do. I raised the terminal track somewhat. That little area has historically been a people crossing, and I intend to keep it that way. I had to add a transition area from the grass grade to the railroad grade, which is in the foreground. I tried to select rocks that were mostly flat on the top so that people don't trip. I am sure I will have to work with this a little bit before I get to the final solution.

There is also a couple pieces of 10' diameter curve track. That's the future alignment of the Beverage Service RR. I haven't quite decided whether or not it will parallel the mainline all the way to the hammock or not. Kind of doesn't really matter at this point since I don't intend of operating that during the open house.
 
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