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Topic: Pacific Cascade Ry latest yards version  (Read 805 times)

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Offline Capt. Brigg

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Pacific Cascade Ry latest yards version
« on: October 01, 2018, 01:58:39 am »
I'm now to the point (finally) of finishing the mainline and starting on my three yards. I've modified the yard's plans many times and reread several good articles on planning yards, but I'm sure there is always one or two small & better ideas that make working a yard easier. In Chehalis, the isle side yard is PCRy while the main line side yard belongs to NP and the lead is shared. In Yakima the yard next to the NP main belongs to NP and the yard next to the PCRy main belongs to the PCRy (da?). If you have small suggestions, modifications or ideas please share them with me. Please post any modifications here or send them to me at capt.brigg@pacificcascaderailway.com . Thanks. Capt. Brigg

Offline Tom Springer

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Re: Pacific Cascade Ry latest yards version
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 05:16:48 am »
Capt.,

You might use the Show tab and uncheck "Sections" (so the color disappears), and then notice the track that curve around the dispatch area doesn't meet your minimum curvature radius.  There are also some other, very small, curved areas marked as not meeting the minimum, at the wye at Yakima Power and at Coal Creek, and a few other places; don't know if these will be operational issues, but checking them wouldn't hurt.

Do you have your track in hand?  That Shinohara special crossover, in particular? The Shinohara track was discontinued awhile back and may be hard to find.  Walthers doesn't have it anymore.  I've heard no one has it, at least the talk at the local club believes that.

How do those 2 Woodland Scenics O-scale bldgs look when matched against the HO-scale bldgs?

Have you used TrainPlayer to see how this layout operates?  I'm not sure you can service the Atlas Lumber yard area. Same for the Linen Mill; you'll have to back a car into that area, or push it from the engine nose; either way, it might be an operational problem.  Unless the yard has it's own switcher. Which is a different discussion.

I'm curious as to how this layout would operate.  But that means knowing the type of equipment and car configurations to see the operational aspects, both positive and negative.  I hope you will try that using TrainPlayer.  Knowing the operating goals/requirements and seeing if they can be met might be the best step forward.

Offline Capt. Brigg

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Re: Pacific Cascade Ry latest yards version
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2018, 12:30:08 am »
Tom, thank you for the in-depth evaluation. Responses to your observations are:

1. Yes, the curve around the dispatch desk area returning to staging is 18" radius. I don't like it, but can't figure any other way to get back into staging. It works with four axle engines. The other areas are only bad in the CAD drawing and I fixed them.

2. I've had the Shinohara double crossover for several years and don't like it much for DCC. That's why its way at the top of the PCRy yard. I may not use it if I can't get it wired correctly. I might sell it at our next swap meet. The double slip in the Chehalis yard is yet to be bought, but seems pretty critical for storing the yard switcher.

3. The O-scale buildings were a mistake while learning the new user structures in AnyRail. I've been just sticking something in as a place holder while designing the track layout. I pulled them and replaced them with some HO structures yet to be bought.

4. I do have and use TrainPlayer, but haven't used it on this latest track plan redraw. Each of the three yards will have it's own small four axle switcher, but I don't especially like the track at the lumber yard or Linen Mill. I'm still looking for a better solution. I will run TrainPlayer on this version to see what works.

5 Finally, the Pacific Cascade Railway is a 1969 bridge line between and owned by two larger railroads, the NP and the GN, in Yakima and Chehalis Washington, . It's sort of like the SP&S was. It runs smaller four axle engines and short consists over the Cascade mountains at White Pass. It was actually surveyed by C.A. White in 1878 for the NP and shows up on a map in the Washington Secretary of State's web site. If you visit my web site, http://www.pacificcascaderailway.com/pcry/ you can read the history of the "almost line". The layout can be operate with three or four operators, one for each yard and one staging and mainline operator, or it can be run by just me. Again, thanks for your thoughtful suggestions and observations.
Capt. Brigg;
CEO, Pacific Cascade Railway in HO gauge

Offline Tom Springer

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Re: Pacific Cascade Ry latest yards version
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2018, 11:55:27 pm »
Capt.,

Thanks for the additional information.

You asked for comments about yards, so I thought that pulling your yards into a simplified layout file might help with understanding them and their needs (see the attached layout file).

I separated the "industry" tracks from what I think are the actual yard tracks, and the "engine service" tracks in a likewise manner.  I added section names as I thought appropriate, and some track labels to denote the specific-purpose tracks you have identified.

To start with ... one thing I find helpful in my layouts is to add the "roadbed" so I can see close-to-actual track side-by-side clearances.  I model in N scale and use cork roadbed from Midwest Products; their N scale roadbed is quoted as 1-1/6in wide, but realistically is 30mm at the bottom, so I use the AnyRail "trace" option set to 30mm to get the roadbed for my AnyRail layouts.  That gives me a practical edge-to-edge track measurement for clearances of 15ft8in (prototype).  For HO scale, Midwest roadbed is listed as 1-3/4in wide, but really is about 1-7/8in wide at the base, which would be about 13ft7in prototype - not sure if that is accurate but seems a realistic number to use.  Why?  Because having a "roadbed" shown on the layout will tell you if the tracks are "too close" to something, as might be the case with the curved track that runs against the edge of the turntable.  (I use the "trace" function for roadbeds because the AnyRail "roadbed" option uses the NEM roadbed width and it can't (yet) be set for US model railroading roadbed widths.)

My Yard analysis

The yards are stub-type, so all operations/switching are from a single end.  Presumably trains arrive at the yard (in yellow) only from the "south" (the 4 compass points are all marked "N" so I presume the north is the top point...).  So the real arrival/departure track is ??  There appears to be only one A/D track that can reach the yards, not 2, and it is the track marked in "green" on the attached layout.  The other track on the original layout, the one closest to the "Arrival/Departure" text doesn't appear to be able to reach any yard, so I presume it's a mainline track.

If the layout has bidirectional running, things might be different. I'm deferring that for now.

So with counterclockwise running (only), presuming that track marked "A/D" on the attached layout is the arriving train's path, then:

- When the train arrives and heads towards the turntable area, where does it leave it's cars for the yard switcher to handle them? How much track (length) is needed for these cars in total?  Since the cars will be "pushed" into the yard, where is the switcher when the train arrives and decouples from the cars?  i.e. where are the cars "dropped" as the engine(s) move to the service area and how does the switcher get into position?  This TBD track would be labelled as the "switching lead/drill" track.  Can we do that so we know where it is?

- We have 2 "caboose" tracks, so there is a caboose for the arriving train; how it that handled?  Is it the last car handled by the switcher (after all the other cars are moved to the yard?  If so, where is it left while moving the other cards and where does the conductor go when the arriving train stops?  He'll be out of the caboose (probably) when the arriving trains starts to decouple the cars; does he walk to the engines and go with them to the service area?  If so, then the handling of the caboose doesn't matter; but if not, knowing how picky conductors are, some who have the own "personal" caboose assigned to them, does he remain with the caboose and therefore it must be handled first?  (Not sure how that could be done, given the yard layout.)

Skipping the rest of the train for the moment, how is the caboose moved?  It's pushed across the turntable.  Hence the caboose track is aligned 180 degrees from the turntable lead track (good design), because a caboose is about 30+ feet long, and a switcher is between 46 and 60 feet long, so the possibility of the 90 foot bridge being completely occupied by the combo of the two exists, and this 180 degree alignment is probably required.  So we know that the caboose track needs to be positioned off the turntable as it is.  Good.

[One side note here... it generally is good to have the actual track segments connecting to a turntable each be a straight piece at least as long as the longest "truck" on a car, so that truck and wheels will be aligned straight onto the turntable bridge track; helps to avoid derailments.  (Some manufactures of turntables "require" a specific short track section they provide be used to connect to the turntable - which helps avoid derailments, whether they intended this in their design or not.)  This straight track segment also can be a place where  the power feeder is connected, if one wishes, especially if one is using track connectors that also provide the power connection.]

So back to the placement of the arriving train's cars, and the "switching lead".  That track will also be used when departing cars are moved to create the departing train.  But it is an active track, and the train being created cannot be stationary on this track.  So where is this departing train actually built; i.e., what track will the train's cars reside on, other that the switching lead track, as each new car is added?  Presuming that the departing engines will be heading south, they will have to "back onto" this track to connect to the cars.  And the caboose will have to be the first car placed on this track, at the far end.  So where is this "outbound build" track?  It is separate from any industry tracks, so as to not block them, correct?

*****

Industry service

The industry, in the attached layout, colored as "plum" and marked as "Industry", to the lower left of the right yard (Linen Mill/Stone Bakery/Scissor Co area) has 2 "repair shops".  Are these serviced by rail, or just added scenery?  If serviced, then comments following about the Walthers Shops 3029 service also apply to them.

For the Linen Mill (and Stone Bakery), cars into this area are (presumably) taken south out of the yard by the switcher (attached to the south end of the car), moved/backed down southward, then north along the switches onto the curved track by the turntable, then backed down southward along the track next to the Repair shops) then pushed northward across the switch in front of Stone Bakery and into the Linen Mill area; reverse operation for removing a car.  Should work fine.

*****

[Ignore this if the Walthers Shops 3029 industry is not serviced. But if it is...]

How is the Walthers Shops 3029 serviced?  The switcher must be on the north end of the car being delivered to/removed from this area.  How does this car get from the yard and when does the switcher move from the south end of the car to attach to the north end?  i.e., is there some type of "runaround" track?  So how do cars get into/out of this industry?  The switcher must "push" them into that area in a southward movement.  So how does a car get from the yard to this industry with the switcher on the "north" end of the car?

*****

The second yard and industry area is left until another time and the first yard is better understood.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 11:57:44 pm by Tom Springer »

Offline Capt. Brigg

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Re: Pacific Cascade Ry latest yards version
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2018, 07:00:49 am »
Again, thank you Tom for your review. Some additional clarification on the Yakima two yards.

First: when standing inside the layout, anyway you turn, you are always looking North, hence the compass with 4 north points.  The PCRy main line in blue and orange between Yakima and Chehalis runs east and west, to your left and right facing the tracks. I know that both the NP and GN lines actually run north and south, but here Seattle is west and Portland and the tri-cities are East. The layout is bidirectional and trains will arrive from staging going both east along the back wall and west out of the red reversing track. You are right that next to the PCRy yard the closest track is the A/D, not the one next to the label. Also, next to the NP yard the green track closest to the yard is the A/D track.

Second, at the bottom of Yakima you see a curved line that goes from green to blue and connects the two yards. This is both an exchange track between the two yards and a pocket and switching lead for both yard switchers. There is also a second short pocket for another NP switcher at the top of the green A/D track. At the NP yard the engine on either an east or west train can uncouple, run around it's cars and go up the ladder track to the turntable. Most NP trains will only be dropping off and picking up a few cars int this yard. In a previous version of this drawing I had all these tracks labeled. I will do that again for better communication.
It's late and I will finish my response tomorrow.
Capt. Brigg

Offline Capt. Brigg

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Re: Pacific Cascade Ry latest yards version
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2018, 11:16:50 pm »
Tom, at your suggestion, I have labeled all the yard tracks as I currently think they might work best. I will use my TrainPlayer program to test out the assignments. I have also tried to incorporate most of your suggestions, such as changing the PC industry tracks in Yakima for better access. I also got rid of the PC engine house in favor of a car maintenance in Yakima as I believe they would use the NP shops for engine maintenance. Since I haven't yet purchased most of the structures I can look for buildings that fit the area after laying the industry tracks. I also moved the turntable away form the service track. I've tried to incorporate most of your suggestions and answer your questions by making changes. I hope you don't have to start completely over, but do greatly appreciate your insights.
Capt. Brigg; CEO, Pacific Cascade Railway in HO gauge.

Offline Tom Springer

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Re: Pacific Cascade Ry latest yards version
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2018, 02:50:19 am »
Capt.,

Glad you are making progress.

I've made some small adjustments in your latest layout for possible inspiration.

I would suggest not having the switcher pocket (home) track up off the mainline track because yard switchers shouldn't use the mainline track to avoid "fouling" them for trains that might pass by the yard; hence, I moved the track in the attached version to down below the yard (colored as pink, with a new turnout colored as white), so the switcher home track becomes more of a yard track.

Regarding the servicing of the Scissor Co (if it is serviced) and how to get the switcher re-positioned at the other end of the car being delivered  - I reversed one of your T6R paired turnouts and colored them blue; if the switcher backs down the rightmost track next to the repair shop, it can detach and leave the incoming car on the green colored straight track, then use the blue turnouts to "runaround" the car, and come back down the upper turnout set, recouple to the car, then back up through the blue turnouts and deliver the car.  I added an extension (colored white) to the straight track by the repair shop to be sure to there was sufficient length for the switcher and car on this straight track; adjust as you want if you like this approach, knowing that these are just suggestions.

btw, when I moved the switcher pocket track, I replaced the no longer needed turnout in that area with my equivalent curved track.  My practice on my layout designs is to create a curved track "equivalent" to the curved leg of my turnouts so that I get the same curve in the same space I would have for turnout in that location.  So I built my own version of the HO Fast Track T6L/R and T4L/R turnouts curved legs, which is what I used for that white track attaching to the mainline track (and also attached in case you like this concept). By using this equivalent curved track, I can always replace it with an actual turnout if I so decide.

Glad you're making progress..

Offline Capt. Brigg

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Re: Pacific Cascade Ry latest yards version
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2018, 06:15:09 am »
Tom, again thanks for your interest and suggestions.

The switcher pocket at the "east" upper end of the NP green A/D track would not be in the way of the NP main, as the main is next to the layout edge, until the main track gets to the "west" lower end of the yard and crosses over. By being at the east end of the A/D track it can switch the end of a west bound train.

I do like your reversal of the of the two turnouts in front of the Scissors Co , thus leaving a car's length of track for a run around move. I will make that adjustment.

Again, thanks for your time and suggestions. Any suggestions on the Chehalis yard and industries?
Capt. Brigg; CEO, Pacific Cascade Railway in HO gauge.

Offline Tom Springer

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Re: Pacific Cascade Ry latest yards version
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2018, 07:26:18 am »
I think that having the same coloring on tracks with different purposes might be throwing me off.  If you could color the different tracks uniquely, it would help.  The A/D tracks different from the mainline, industry different from yard, etc.

In which directions(s) are your trains operating?  Counterclockwise, clockwise, or both?

When a train arrives via the NP main, does it come in and stop on the track marked NP A/D?  If so, where is the switcher when that train occupies this track (and the engines have decoupled and moved to the service area)? How does the switcher attach to the layout-bottom ("south") end of that train to move the cars into the yard? Is the track labeled "switcher pocket and lead" holding the switcher at that time? Does the switcher need to use the "outbound build" track for movement?  Meaning an outbound train can't be in progress of being constructed when an inbound train arrives?

An initial look at the Chehalis yard area...

What color should the track labeled NP-GN-PC main be?  It's not part of the yard.  When recolored, then the question of what and how trains get into the passenger station and freight house (direction?) and whether that track should be something other than a stub type would be my next one.

The Walthers sand house (3128) comes with the old and modern sanding towers. Where are you putting the one you will use?  It will form the basis for a small service facility, which might also have a fuel area with a small holding tank (and a means of how to get fuel delivered and into that tank?).  And you might look at the footprint of this structure on the Walthers site.  I have this in N-scale, and for mine, a 6ft (prototype) clearance between the track and structure was needed; you have a curved track and presumably the roadbed very close to, if not touching, the sand bin. Just having a straight track segment, long enough to hold a normal 2-bay (or 3-bay) hopper, should suffice, and only along the bin part.

The lower Chehalis freight house (south of the church) is serviced ... how?  Same for the grain elevator.  Where is the switcher when moving cars?  What path does the switcher take?

I'm sorry this is all I can do right now before a short trip; I'll try for more next week.