Yard design

Hi all In the past I have tried to incorporate an engine house and turntable in my yard designs. If a yard is big enough ie 4 sidings for a two rail main line is a
turntable/engine house feature needed? I have had no luck with engine house and turntable designs and they just take up too much space.
Two freight and two passenger . layout would be 9/12'
-John C
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I thinked 'needed' is subjective. Personally I'm in this hobby for fun and if I want a turntable and roundhouse, well then, I'm gonna have one (even if my 'yard' is only a couple of tracks. You can always consider a transfer table -- takes up less space but provides a similar function. Walthers used to make an inexpensive transfer table that you might still be able to find. Otherwise, I'm sure someone else must make one, or it'd be a doable scratchbuilding project that wouldn't be too complicated for even non-craftsmen like myself.
John C wrote:

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John C skriver:

IMHO, no.
I'm not that familiar with US layouts, but can give you some ideas about how european layouts was/is:
If you have a 2 mainline, a yard with 4 sidings is typically just a samll yard. That means that the mailine loco's didn't get service here (so no need for the engine house. If there was a lot of industrial close to the yard, they needed to do some shunting, and perhaps reversing of trains (and perhaps the turntable). If your yard is a "end of the line", you need to turn the engines around. But is it in the midle of a long mainline you typiaclly doesn't need it.
The turntable is only for steam engines. Diesels runs eually both ways and does not need to be turned aroud. So wether you need a turntable or not depends highly on your engines. Du you only run diesels, the the turntable is not needed.
BUT: Writing the above I know that a turntable is fun to "play" with and is often incorpoated in even small layouts......

I agree. If you want a small enigne house, just use switches - unless you run steam enignes and need to turn them around.
Klaus
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John C wrote:

Not at all. Turntables and engine houses were for loco servicing, and were located
a) where a loco or two were stationed for use in industrial areas or on branch lines located nearby; and b) at fairly regular distances apart (around 100 miles) for minor servicing of locomotives, or locomotive change.
Steam locos needed a huge amount of TLC. Aside from water every 10-50 miles or so, depending on terrain, they needed inspections, lubrication, ash dumping, and so on. These needs necessitated servicing yards, which would include a turntable (or wye) if the engine was also turned around to head back to its home location. Engine houses were built only if one or more engines were assigned to that location as their base.
You can model an engine servicing facility on a single track a couple of feet long. A minimal steam engine servicing facility would have some arrangement for coaling the loco, a water crane, an ash pit, and a sand house. The water tank needn't be included, or can be placed anywhere, since it was often located at some distance from the water crane. A minimal diesel servicing facility would include a tank for fuel (with hoses), and a sand tower. A single-track engine house might just fit at the end of the track.
Yards for rearranging the consists of freight and passenger trains were located according to traffic patterns, but there would usually be a loco servicing yard nearby.

Um, it needn't do so. A 10" (ca. 70ft) turntable and 3-stall engine house can be built in a space about 1ft wide by 2-1/2ft long. That's about minimum, I think. The Atlas turntable and roundhouse take up about 1-1/2ft by 2ft. If your 9x12 layout is around a room, there may be space for one of these. Depends on the theme of your layout, of course.

Webbwood, Ontario, on the Sudbury - Sault Ste Marie branch of the CPR, had a station, a passing track, a turntable, and a small roundhouse (3 stalls IIRC). It also had a couple of spurs for work equipment. It was the loco depot for the branch from McKerrow through Espanola to Little Current (on Manitoulin island), located about 6 miles east. So, if you can squeeze in a small engine servicing facility, your yard would be quite protoypical.
Have you looked at John Armstrong's Track Planning for Realistic Operation? Excellent resource.
HTH&HF
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Wolf Kirchmeir replied:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I agree. I purchased my copy back in the late 1960s, I believe, and I've almost worn it out. A great reference.
"Track Planning for Realistic Operation" is 32% off list and there is free shipping on most orders over $25:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
As for having a turntable on your layout, when I was planning my present layout, I simply could not find a way to incorporate my roundhouse and turntable without making numerous sacrifices so I put an engine house with two track leading to it. I was satisfied with that solution but after a few years I found that it did not offer enough and I replaced it with my U.S. Army military scene. All turned out to my satisfaction.
That's part of the pleasure of model railroading...making decisions!<g>
Good luck with your railroad!
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Model Railroad Bookstore: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,100 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
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Engine storage/support facilities are kind of subjective. For a small layout, they often do look right as the scale of the operations support it. You want to put the enginehouse and optional turntable (you really don't need a turntable for two track enginehouse - just have the steam locos go in back end first if they would otherwise hit going in front first) in the otherwise wasted area by the turnouts for the yard. The turnout accessing the facility can be at the end of the string of turnouts for the yard which will make the locos go to that last track and reverse to gain access to the facilities.
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my
John,
What you 'want' is one thing. What you 'need' is another. One use of a turntable is to provide access to roundhouses, engine sheds, etc. The other, and in my opinion, main use of a turntable was (surprisingly) to turn a locomotive (esp longer locos with tenders which could easily not be run backwards). In steam days turntables were found wherever it was necessary to turn a loco end for end, and there was no room for a wye. Quite a lot of dinky little towns with hardly any track at all had them (esp at the end of a branchline).
Note that not all diesels were bi-directional - most 1st generation passenger diesels with cabs at one end, for example. These had to be turned before being sent back to where they came from.
Engine sheds were used to house engines 'out of the weather'. Sometimes (usually?) they also allowed minor work to be performed, but sometimes they were just to keep the snow off, etc.
Regards, Ron
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Hi John,
Take a look my map page: http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/lirrmaps.htm and look at the various proto maps
Also: http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/lirr%20freight%20yards.htm for further detailed maps
A facility with 2 tracks (typical LIRR east/west commuter) and 4 freight tracks didn't warrant a ttable/enginehouse. The LIRR used wyes in several locations and tables at others. Patchogue, Oyster Bay, Greenport had tables. Speonk, Ronkonkoma, Montauk had wyes for example.
They are space hogs (ttable), but sure look neat. How about an ashpit, water tank, and engine house at one location and perhaps a wye/turnaround located down the line/off line/or in staging? The LIRR would run from Fresh Pond to Bay Ridge (10 miles) and run in reverse tender forward coming back. Also trips to Kings Park State Hospital from Hicksville would be backup operations also.
The map at:
http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/images/lirrgrand1952.gif will give you some idea of the track diagrams and relationships of the locations mentioned above. BTW, the map is accurate so the track work is correct in terms of sidings, etc.
Regards,
Steve Lynch

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Steve Lynch wrote: > Hi John, > > Take a look my map page: > http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/lirrmaps.htm and look at the various > proto maps > > Also: http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/lirr%20freight%20yards.htm for > further detailed maps
Steve, your LIRR pages are a great resource - thanks for sharing them with us!
All the best,
Mark.
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Thanks Mark, if I can jump in at times with revelant LIRR proto info for modeling I will!
Best,
Steve

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Steve Lynch wrote:
> Thanks Mark, if I can jump in at times with revelant LIRR proto info > for modeling I will! > > Best, > > Steve
Cheers, mate. I look forward to future posts.
Mark.
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