Here's a link to a loose sketch of a yard I designed for use in a small
N scale layout I want to build. Of course it's full of compromises,
but I think it has most of the features I need in a yard, while being
stripped down enough to fit into a small space. I think it looks
pretty efficient, but what do you think? Anyone see anything wrong
with it? I'll be running diesels, by the way.
I think I have some ideas, but first, could you tell us what each track
That would help in figuring out how the yard will work. I am
about the runaround track that appears uppermost in the drawing.
Hi Gerald, thanks for the interest.
These are the horizontal tracks from bottom to top:
The thick line at the bottom is the main line.
The next is a siding to build/dismantle the trains
The next three are just tracks to store cars
The next is a combination storage and yard lead
And the runaround track you're curious about is just a runaround, not
sure what else to say about it.
Are you saying that the runaround should be moved so that it's totally
on the yard lead and not infringing on storage? If so, you're probably
right about that. The reason I had it this way was I wanted a fairly
long runaround but I probably don't have the space. But maybe I don't
need a long runaround, and now that you mention it, it does look odd
the way it is (well, you didn't really mention it, but I think that's
what you were getting at). So I'll thank you for pointing it out.
What do you think, should I just go with the shorter runaround?
Well, not exactly, although I did have some ideas about the runaround.
The trouble is that the part of the mainline runaround that is to the
the yard entrance is wasted, because it is impossible for the yard
to pull cars from there without help. Well, it is possible if you pull
use the upper runaround to run around them (ever notice how words lose
their meaning if you use them too many times in a row) but hardly
Here are two ideas I had:
The upper is closer to your original plan, but the lower would give you
runaround. These plans do require slightly more length than yours
much of it is a switch lead, which can be placed as in the lower plan,
alongside the main, saving some space.
The picture should illustrate how this yard is used. Note that the
sitting on a switch lead, and this lead does NOT have to be as long as
longest yard track, despite what a certain hobby magazine says. I had
that, through bad planning, had a switch lead 1 0-4-0T + 1 car long,
functioned, though it was somewhat tedious. :) I would say that a
that can hold about 1/4 of your typical train, plus the switcher, is
The light engine shown leaving the yard is only to illustrate that the
lets it escape, but if you add a service area it could be heading for
Not too good.
Since there are no engine service facilities I'm assuming that
this is a waypoint yard. As you have it set up now it is OK
for recieving trains. But dispatching trains will be difficult
with the yard throat tilted to the right. Common practice would
tilt it the otherway.
Think about how a yard opperates and the jobs that are done there.
1) Train arrives and drops off a string of cars.
2) Yard Switcher classifies (switches) the cars into
the yard tracks.
3) Train arrives and removes a string of cars from a
In most cases task 1 and 3 may happen with the same train.
IE: a tran arrives and drops off a string of cars. It then
picks up another string from a yard track and adds it to
the consist and takes it away. It is importand that the
opperations of the road freight are not delayed. The way
you have the yard throat, task 3 is impossible to do quickly.
The way I would do this is to have two double ended tracks directly
parrallal to the main. the yard throat would be a continuation
of the switches at one end of the tracks. a switching lead would
run off the end of the passing track. Somthing like this:
============================If you have the space you can put an engine service facility
above the drill track to the right of the throat.
This configuration is about all you should need. It allows trains
to arrive, drop off cars, and pick up an outbound string and leave
quickly. The two double ended tracks give some opprational flexability
to allow the yard switcher to preplace a string of outbounds,
or recieve inbounds without first clearing the last set
of inbounds. You can improve on this by modifying the yard throat
at tracks 1 and 2 to allow switching opperations to continue
while road freights drop off and pick up cars.
At a quick glance I should point out that *ideally* your switch lead
should be at least as long as your longest yard track. And if you
change things make sure that you can work the yard without
blocking/using the main line...again ideally.
Hope this helps.
"Paul - The CB&Q Guy"
( Modeling 1960's In HO.)
Hmm. Yeah. Thinking over what you said, I realized two problems
with my revised plans...
1. [GRX] The road engine has to wait for the yard engine to bring its
train to the double-ended arrival/departure track
2. [CBQX] If the switch lead is shorter than a yard track, and a train
has been made up on one of the stub tracks, it must be moved to
the A/D track in two steps to preserve the blocking of cars:
Step 1: Move the train to an empty stub track in short cuts
Step 2: Move the train to the A/D track in short cuts
Now, objection  does not exist for both directions of travel. Let's
say north is at the top of my plans...an eastbound could pick up its
train from a stub track. A westbound could too...but must wait for
the yard engine to move the arriving train to a stub track, before it
could use the runaround. This would not be a problem if this is a
terminal yard, with traffic only leaving in one direction.
Objection  can be dealt with if you have a very clever switch crew
that blocks the train in 3-car cuts, stacked backwards.
Making one of the stub tracks a double-ended departure track would
eliminate objection 1 and alleviate objection 2 - you could make up
the train right on the departure track, regardless of the length of
I sort of posted this on a whim, but I'm glad I did. I got something
out of everyone who posted. I'm definitely looking into changing my
design to reflect some of the ideas listed here. I'll have to give it
all a bit more thought, but I'm very happy with the feedback I
received. I'd like to see more of this type of discussion in this
newsgroup, but maybe it isn't something that interests a lot of people.
*** I'd like to see more of this type of discussion in this newsgroup,
but maybe it isn't something that interests a lot of people.
This type of discussion is very interesting.
Bill's Railroad Empire
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