Yard design

 
  Sparhawk Beginner

Hi all, Steve here.

New to this page, and relatively new to railway modelling, although I have been interested since childhood.

So I've finally been given the go ahead from SWMBO to start design and build of my first layout.
I have grand plans for a large layout when we finally settle in one place (ex-military), which should hopefully be in the next year or two.
In the meantime, and in order to learn the ropes, I want to start with something "smaller", but something I can still use, and possibly integrate into a larger layout eventually. So I thought a Yard scene would be good. It will familiarise me with everything I need to know about building a larger layout, and can still be functional. And I can adapt it to a larger layout eventually.

So some guidelines;
Scale : HO
Era : Steam
Size : Maximum 3m x 0.6m

So I've had a bit of a play with SCARM, and come up with an initial design using Peco code75 track:


The black track is NOT the main line, but a siding.
The blue track are the storage roads and the red is a RIP track.

I have included Coaling, Cinder, sanding, and water tower buildings near the turntable.

So my question, is this a functional yard layout for a steam era setup ?
Are there any improvements or anything important I may have missed ?

[Edit]
Also, Why cant I see my image in my post ?
It's been a lot of years since I've used a forum, so apologies if I've done something wrong...

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  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
Hi Steve,

Welcome to the world's greatest hobby!

Well before embarking on the opus grande layout, a shelf layout is an excellent way to start and learn.

I assume that you are modelling a USA prototype based on your RIP track comment. I've only seen this used when I was living in the USA. As for the lack of display, I'm not sure, I have also had issues from time to time! Laughing Generally, your photo needs to be on some other web based photo display that has to be linked to Railpage.

So pressing on in the absence of your track plan, I'll make the following comments.
1) For a shelf layout, you may want to pick a terminus of a small branch line. Noting your layout dimensions, I would think of what industries would that branch line serve? What will your traffic be. That said, I would stick to small steam locos and older style rolling stock with very little over 40' in length (HO scale). When you figure out industries, then you will know what rolling stock!

2) Keep train lengths short, maybe three or four wagons plus a brake van (caboose). That way you have room to shunt.

3) Using "Cassettes" is a good way to swap trains on and off the layout. A form of moveable staging. Have a look at UK sites, they use this method a LOT. Small shelf layouts is a UK speciality, check out some of the UK resources.

4) If you are comfortable with the prospect of a modular layout, a really good simple and very clever layout is the Heart Of Georgia (HOG) http://hogrr.blogspot.com/ This is a really clever layout with excellent operational potential in a small space. It is a simple build in both the track plan and layout construction. It is a really good beginners layout that can be easily expanded.

Anyway, (4) is something for you to think about.

Good luck!
  sol Assistant Commissioner

Location: Evanston Gardens SA
One too many http   in your link Dan

f you are comfortable with the prospect of a modular layout, a really good simple and very clever layout is the Heart Of Georgia (HOG) http://http://hogrr.blogspot.com/
  Sparhawk Beginner

Thanks for the reply and input.

I hosted my pic on imgur, so not sure why it doesnt come up. Anway, this is the link https://imgur.com/WCkY4Uv

My plan is not really for a long term shelf layout, but more for an idea for a functional yard i can incorporate into a larger layout eventually, but have a play with in the meantime, and learn some do's and don'ts for construction etc.

I included a 110' turntable instead of the smaller 90' (even though it's not a Peco one) so as to not restrict my loco size as much for future expansion. For yard ops, I'd only be using a smaller shunting loco. As a shelf layout, with limited space, I obviously cant have long train lengths. I dont know what industries ill have eventually, but i figure 3 storage roads will suffice. On my plan, the longest storage road (blue tracks) is about 1.5m and the shortest about 1.1m. Would that be enough to keep a decent amount of rolling stock ?

I have seen the Cassette used on a variety of resources I've visited, and I must admit while practical, it really does not appeal to me. I have also considered a modular layout, but again, while practical to move etc, with plans to settle in the next few years, I'm hoping to build a permanent layout eventually.

As for modelling USA prototype, I think that will be my default, simply because of the majority of resources i find seem to be USA based, and availability of loco's and rolling stock are more abundant. This is why I included a RIP track, although I was not aware this was a USA only thing. I'm not phased one way or the other, and I dont plan on eventually modelling any particular real life railway.

Having said that, I worked for a few years (2014/15) as a network controller at TasRail and got to see first hand a lot of the network in Tassie, and how they operate, but realistically theirs is a small network, and they have their own unique way of doing things.
  marvin Assistant Commissioner

Location: Mars... "The Earth? Oh, the Earth will be gone in just a few seconds!"
Lets see if this works:
  Sparhawk Beginner

How did you manage that, lol ?
  The railway dog Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide Hills
The kickback style of plan, where trains travel most of the length of the layout in one direction & then reverse gets a lot of track in, as you've managed here.
The loco depot looks about right to simulate a medium size terminal, maybe try to get a couple more tracks radiating from the turntable?
The first layout I ever got up & running, even though much simpler then this, was along these kickback lines & I was quite happy with it.
I'm no good at electrics but the plan doesn't seem to be hard to wire up.
RIP is a term used in the US, meaning "Repair In Place", essentially for running repairs to rolling stock.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
  marvin Assistant Commissioner

Location: Mars... "The Earth? Oh, the Earth will be gone in just a few seconds!"
How did you manage that, lol ?
Sparhawk
Marvin's martian magic. haha.

I always prefer to direct link to the image... ie: .jpg or .png or .tiff

Depending on your browser, right click the image and you should get something like "view image", "view image in new tab", "open image in new tab", etc. You may have to play around with this. Go to the new tab (whatever) that is only showing the image, look to the location bar at the top of the web-page and it should show with an image file extension. Copy that link and use the "insert an image" selection in the Railpage post-a-reply.

Note that it does not always work as some image hosting does not allow direct linking to an image unless you have a paid version / subscription.

Also I make use of preview until I am (almost) sure that I have got it right.

marvin
-------
  Sparhawk Beginner

How did you manage that, lol ?
Marvin's martian magic. haha.

I always prefer to direct link to the image... ie: .jpg or .png or .tiff

Depending on your browser, right click the image and you should get something like "view image", "view image in new tab", "open image in new tab", etc. You may have to play aorund with this. Go to the new tab (whatever) that is only showing the image, look to the location bar at the top of the web-page and it should show with an image file extension. Copy that link and use the "insert an image" selection in the Railpage post-a-reply.

Note that it does not always work as some image hosting does not allow direct linking to an image unless you have a paid version / subscription.

Also I make use of preview until I am (almost) sure that I have got it right.

marvin
-------
marvin
YAY I got it to work !!! Thank you.
Edited my OP Smile
  Sparhawk Beginner

The kickback style of plan, where trains travel most of the length of the layout in one direction & then reverse gets a lot of track in, as you've managed here.
The loco depot looks about right to simulate a medium size terminal, maybe try to get a couple more tracks radiating from the turntable?
The first layout I ever got up & running, even though much simpler then this, was along these kickback lines & I was quite happy with it.
I'm no good at electrics but the plan doesn't seem to be hard to wire up.
RIP is a term used in the US, meaning "Repair In Place", essentially for running repairs to rolling stock.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
The railway dog
Shouldn't have a problem with some more track from the turn table. Could probably fit another track either side of the roundhouse if I tried.

Im an ex CETECH from the RAAF, so the electronics shouldnt be an issue I'm hoping Wink

I was aware what the RIP stood for, I just was not aware it was a US only thing. Do other countries not have that type facility, or is it just called something else ?
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
One too many http   in your link Dan

f you are comfortable with the prospect of a modular layout, a really good simple and very clever layout is the Heart Of Georgia (HOG) http://http://hogrr.blogspot.com/
sol
Fixed!

But I'm sure others could have figured it out! Laughing

Thanks.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
The kickback style of plan, where trains travel most of the length of the layout in one direction & then reverse gets a lot of track in, as you've managed here.
The loco depot looks about right to simulate a medium size terminal, maybe try to get a couple more tracks radiating from the turntable?
The first layout I ever got up & running, even though much simpler then this, was along these kickback lines & I was quite happy with it.
I'm no good at electrics but the plan doesn't seem to be hard to wire up.
RIP is a term used in the US, meaning "Repair In Place", essentially for running repairs to rolling stock.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
Shouldn't have a problem with some more track from the turn table. Could probably fit another track either side of the roundhouse if I tried.

Im an ex CETECH from the RAAF, so the electronics shouldnt be an issue I'm hoping Wink

I was aware what the RIP stood for, I just was not aware it was a US only thing. Do other countries not have that type facility, or is it just called something else ?
Sparhawk
The first rule of model railways, is that there are no right or wrong... it is YOUR model railway (or Railroad if following the USA!) Laughing you can have what you want!

As said, RIP is a US term. I can only comment on SAR as that is what I follow. Should a wagon be found to be U/S (for your RAAFie terminology! Laughing ) if in a major yard, it would be cut out of a consist load transferred and depending on the fault, shunted to a near-by siding for fixing, or moved to a works depot for more serious repairs. For example, I'm sure there was a siding in the Mile End Yard for minor repairs, but I do not believe it was ever called a RIP siding. I can find out though.

From the electrics side, as you are starting "new", I STRONGLY recommend you have a look at Digital Command Control (DCC) over the traditional 12vDC system. DCC offers many advantages over 12vDC.
1) You can have multiple locomotives on the same piece of track going in different directions. Your shunting layout is a good example where you could do this.
2) Trains can be operated more prototypically with headlights, marker lights and sound.
3) Wiring of the layout is "nominally" simpler. Your proposed shelf layout would be verrrry simple! Except for the turntable. It will need a device to swap polarity as the bridge rotates.
4) DCC provides for the future really well and facilitates easier expansion later.
5) Recognising the popularity of DCC, many manufacturers are now offering locos with DCC and sound factory fitted.

There are considerations with DCC,
1) There is an initial outlay for a Command system.
2) Older locos generally need to be retrofitted with decoders, obviously, at extra cost. This is not always simple depending on the forward planning by the manufacturer. Some of the older Austrains locos can be "fun" to retrofit. LOADS of people out there happy to assit with this, including me!

The attached photo is of my DCC shelf layout which is not unlike yours... 1.2m x 0.40m modules for a 3.6m length.



In this image the Power Bus is red/white wires, Turnout motors are blue/black and the yellow is to power the turnout frogs. Gives an idea of the simplicity.

I'll comment on your track plan separately.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT

So some guidelines;
Scale : HO
Era : Steam
Size : Maximum 3m x 0.6m

So I've had a bit of a play with SCARM, and come up with an initial design using Peco code75 track:


The black track is NOT the main line, but a siding.
The blue track are the storage roads and the red is a RIP track.

I have included Coaling, Cinder, sanding, and water tower buildings near the turntable.
Sparhawk

Hi Steve,

Thanks for figuring out the image posting!

Your loco depot looks quite good and how I would perceive how steam Era would work. Not sure if it is a terminology issue, but there would also be an ash/wash out pit for the locos to drop their fires. Maybe this is the "cinder" component?

As said before, railways exist for a reason. So the industries that your railway will serve will be key to what your layout will do. For example, my shelf layout is set in the mid-north of SA so traffic is grain, livestock and general goods. So I have a grain loading siding, livestock yard and a goods shed siding along with a small station building. My rolling stock are grain hoppers, livestock wagons, vans, flat cars and open wagons (and a brake van!) with a rail car for passenger services. Make sense?

So traffic influences the functionality of what you are going to do. For example, what will be the function of the middle dark blue track?

Do you plan to have buildings/structures for the various sidings? If yes, then I would say that your black track is too close to the edge to put in a "back scene". Check out this image of a layout built by Gavin Thrum. It shows a thin back scene and a couple of simple industries.



I note your comment about cassettes, but how otherwise do you intend to have trains enter/leave on the light blue track?

I'd consider the very top turnout be changed for either a three-way point or a double slip. This will get you a lot more space with the black/dark blue tracks. Might also provide you the opportunity to have a run around on the black track. Peco make a really nice three-way in code75. I've used them on my layout. Nice track work.

Anyway, please take the above as a few questions for you to ponder. As I said earlier, it is not wrong or right.  I would just suggest working out what your railway is going to do first.

Good luck, please feel free to message me or comment here to discuss further.
  Sparhawk Beginner

Thank you all for your input.

I had decided quite some time ago that DCC was the road I would take, so no need to ponder those questions Wink

As for industry, even though I havent designed my final layout, I'm quite partial to having a Timber industry (I love wood, and actually woodworking is my other pastime), possibly a Coal industry, and would like some form of Intermodal, but probably steer away from passenger trains. (Starting to sound a lot like TasRail lol) Hence the 3 blue roads. I guess if I decided to add passenger I could squeeze in a 4th road...

For this layout, I wasnt planning too much on the scenery side. Like I said, this is an interim layout for me to learn the ropes with until we settle in our (hopefully) final house in the next few years. I plan on making some buildings though, because I will be able to use them on my next layout also, but only the railroad yard buildings at this point. So the coaling and water towers, the sand drying, and cinder or ash/washout pit, as well as a small maintenance building, and of course a roundhouse or engine shed.

As for Cassettes, I hadnt planned on removing loco's or rolling stock, but rather loco's would be stored in the roundhouse, and rolling stock in the storage (blue) roads. Is there a need to remove them ?

I could do something like this with a 3 way turnout as you said. Not sure how much gain I would get other than some variety in turnouts and maybe slightly more aesthetically pleasing. The black track was not deigned to be a main line, but rather would connect to the main line at both ends so unsure if a runaround track would be necessary? I dont want the layout to be a spaghetti layout with 99% of the available space covered in track so if it's not functionally necessary, I will weigh up pro's and con's of including it. A yard area is probably the main exception, because it basically is all track. I also added a few tracks to the turntable. Whether I keep them or not is still to be determined, probably when I start building.
  Lloyd1952 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Sydney, Australia
You plan on using Peco Code 75. I think that is Bullhead rail which is probably more British than US style. Peco Code 83 would be more US or Australian. Code 100 is cheaper if finances are tight.  Some things to consider. What sort of baseboard will you use?How do you plan to operate your points? What will be your minimum radius and point size? You plan on using small locos for shunting the yard. Larger locomotives will look and operate better on larger radius track. Same applies to rolling stock. Seek advice on how to get the turntable operating and correctly wired. Are you going to use cork to lay your track? The original plan had the black track swing towards the backdrop. You could have this track disappear into a coal loader, warehouse or other industry. You could have a lot of fun shunting trains with some sort of card system and servicing locomotives. Modules are a good way to go. You have been getting good advice here and Youtube can also be a great teacher. Have fun.
Lloyd
  sol Assistant Commissioner

Location: Evanston Gardens SA
Peco Code 75 is in two versions - for years flat bottom to suit the USA/Aust market & now in bullhead for the UK scene. They are also slowly releasing Code 70 flat bottom first in flex track to represent smaller rail for the USA scene to go with the Code 83.
https://peco-uk.com/products/70-line-flexible-track-wooden-sleeper?_pos=1&_sid=2937adb7b&_ss=r
  stevene38 Beginner

Location: Near Albury NSW
Hello Sparhawk,

A newbie like me. Your plan is not unlike the first railway I built under the same premise. It was a tremendous learning exercise and allowed me to play trains while bigger dreams were created. One of my greatest pleasures was moving locos out of the shed to be turned on the table, then put away again.  

If I may make a suggestion, consider the shunting opportunities that will be created with the addition of cross overs in your three storage roads.

Good luck with it mate. Keep us posted, I'd love to follow your progress.

Steve

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