The original track plan will be the one I will be using for the
layout.That was a typo on the outside minimum radius it should be 38"
while the inside track will be 36"
the 4 little yards aren't yards but industry spurs for switching
loaded and empty cars.I appreciate all your suggestions but I am going
to use the original design.
Steve Church Milwaukee Road and Rock Island Iowa Division 1979-1985
Perry,Iowa to Savanna,Illinois.
As you like. After all, you can always try other stuff later.
Spurs, by the way, are tracks that connect only at one end;
yours are sidings.
President, a box of track and a solid-state Ampack.
Okay, foist of all, let's get this into some discussable form. The
plan is at
rather than Google Groups, or the Usenet newsgroups that Google is
slyly pretending to own. Here is a small jpeg of the track plan:
It's low resolution but will do for some discussion. Let us begin:
As it stands, this plan is a good start, but it can be greatly
Consider, first of all, the size. The Koesters and John Allens have
operating crews, but most of us don't...at least not at first. Even
big boys, I wager, find that they're operating their own railroads, or
small crews, from time to time. It's important, therefore, to
just how many people you want to keep busy. Modified or as-is, this is
a lot of railroad to keep running...I'd guess that you'd need at least
five yard operators, a dispatcher, and two road engineers, to maintain
a reasonable level of traffic on your original plan. Design something
smaller, say 60 square feet, and you'll have enough to keep yourself,
or yourself and a couple of friends, enjoyably busy, without getting
into maintenance headaches.
Assuming you do want to keep a dozen people occupied, and can
rely on them to help you with maintenance, here are some changes
to your plan that might make it even better:
One strong point of your plan is that you haven't crowded it with
You've taken a common plan for a 12 x 12 or so layout and doubled its
size. This will help you very much in creating a realistic landscape.
I took this a step further, eliminating your four small yards, and
the size of your large one. Yards, you see, are not storage areas,
but working areas. Too much yard will just give you headaches and
cost a lot in switches. The smaller yard is still very large for a
I tried to make your layout less mechanical-looking. You have a lot of
room, so some curves here and there are a good plan. You want to
take away the viewer's awareness of the table edge.
Not being familiar with the prototype, I tried to include as much of
essence of midwestern railroading as possible - the small grain-
towns, the branch line, the interchanges, the electric switching line.
You might not want these - they are just suggestions.
I used some of the yard space to add a passenger terminal with coach
yard. You'll have to do some research on this, but after that you'll
found your monogrammed RI towels and will be the envy of the gang,
making up trains, switching out diners and express cars, that sort
of thing. Besides, Rock Island, Ill. had a beautiful small terminal
would be a perfect showpiece.
I also added some engine service facilities. You didn't mention era,
but in a more modern one you could just model a rundown roundhouse
that is still used to turn wheels and such things, which could provide
interesting detail opportunities. I also added suggestions for
tracks - a RI operated area by the yard, and an "electric switching
across the river. I don't know if Rock Island really had one, but to
easterner these ex-interurbans are just so associated with the midwest
that I had to include it, and you've just got to have the River.
In general, I tried to add more way-freight opportunities, crossovers
lots of meets, and a branch with some interchange. I didn't fully
out the details, which would take time I don't have just this minute,
but I think with some trial and error you should be able to come up
Finally, I gave you a staging area to help generate traffic. This is,
course, only one-directional staging, so you might want to add
going the other way, or perhaps a hidden curving track to the other
end of the line.
Happy railroading! Remember, though, that it's better to start small
have fun than to go for the big time right away, and fall short. Most
model railroads that actually get built, they say, are about 60 square
President, a box of track and a gappy table.
Thanks for the track plan. Looks like it's 25' by 25', which is a
humungous layout. First thing I'd think about is a staged construction
plan. Say build one half the bench work. Add some loop back track so
that you can run trains continously on the half you have up. Get that
half working, do some scenery, before expanding the layout by building
the other half. You want to keep the railroading juices flowing, which
means you gotta run trains. If you have a two year building job before
the first train runs, you may find layout construction begins to lag
behind schedule as you loose interest in the endless benchwork and
Is the blue line a view block?
The layout will be more fun to operate if you add a bunch of spur
tracks serving industries. Then you can operate peddler freights that
amble round the layout picking up and dropping off cars at factories.
Plus you can then scratch build the factory buildings.
Your mainline runs straight down the edge of the table, which calls
attention to the fact that the table has an edge, and your trains are in
fact just chugging round a table. Better would be to add some gentle
curves to the main line so the track looks like it is following the
terrain, rather than a table edge.
Rolling stock expands to fill track available. You will acquire
more rolling stock than you know what to do with. You want as much
storage track as you can afford, so you can use all of your rolling
stock without having to take 'em out of boxes, place then on the track,
and when finished, pack the cars away in boxes again. You want to have
trains all made up and on the track, ready to run. This way you can
have an express freight, a long coal drag, a streamline passenger train,
an old and tired local passenger train, a peddler freight, a milk train,
a wreck train, a fruit block, a grain train, a piggyback, and more,
standing on the rails ready to run.
If the blue lines are view bocks, then you have a lot of room behind
the view blocks for staging tracks, holding trains you can run for just
flipping a few turnouts. Or, with a lot of visible yard trackage, you
can have a goodly number of trains ready-to-run standing by on yard
the plan is at http://groups.google.com/group/rec.modelsrailroad/browse_thread
thread/. The era is 1979-1985 from Perry,Iowa- Savanna,Illinois.
gerald I like the plan you have drawn,how big is the yard and how many
staging tracks?I am including
Milwaukee Road and Rock Island and I am not having any passenger
freight trains. let me know about the yard and staging. Steve Church
Milwuakee Road and Rock Island Iowa Division
Thank You fro pointing that out Gerald,I have dorrected it and added
the dot between models and railroad. Steve Church Milwaukee Road and
Rock Island Iowa Division.ps.what is the size of the track plan you
It's the same size as your plan. I just modified yours.
Put in as many staging tracks as will fit, but make sure they
are long enough to hold trains. Start with 6, but leave plenty of room
I didn't specifically design a yard; I just chopped yours in half.
a design you could use:
It's not a perfect yard, and it's not huge, but I think it's plenty to
the traffic on this railroad, and probably as big as I personally
to deal with. You can easily add more classification and
storage tracks above the three shown - but again, remember to make the
tracks a useful length. You will notice that only the arrival/
tracks are double-ended. There's no reason to have double-ended
classification or storage tracks unless you plan to have switching
crews working both ends of the yard at once.
Car capacities are given for 50' cars.
President, a box of track and a gappy table.
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