Monday, December 28, 2009

Full Basement Plan

So in my last post, about 3 weeks ago and before the holiday blitz, I had posted I had been looking at full basement layout options and struggled with a benchwork flow until I came up with a zen moment that gave me a flow that looked doable. Since then, I've gone back and forth on various design aspects of that flow and have come up with the following plan:
From Conrail Harrisburg Line - N Scale
Edit: Uploaded new picture after some modifications

So, let's walk around starting at the water heater and moving counter-clockwise-ish around the layout. First, when you are in an aisle, you'll be looking either west or south and almost all industries are placed in their proper positions. On our journey, the first stop is Harrisburg yard.

Harrisburg yard has 2 main-line tracks, 2 Arrival/Departure, 2 locomotive fuel pad tracks and one ready track, 3 double-ended classification tracks (can also be used for A/D in a pinch), 3 stub-ended classification tracks, and 2 intermodal yard tracks. The locomotive track area has some semblance to the prototype, however, the rest of the yard is purely what would fit and what others have done. Next, is the Harrisburg Amtrak Station area.

The Amtrak Station has only 3 tracks and will probably only have one built train-shed. Again, it's representative, not an exact model of the prototype. Also, it's right in front of the crawl space entrance so some sort of movable benchwork will have to be built. The Royalton branch along with Amtrak go off into a helix that will be located under the stairs, along with the Lurgan branch. This helix will go down about 8" to staging yards. I haven't finalized the staging yard design yet, but it will either go back into the old bilco door area at the bottom left of the plan or circle around under Harrisburg yard. I removed the Y-connection for a westbound connection between Harrisburg yard and Lurgan. On the prototype, this has had some derailments over the years as it's a tight curve on a grade. Also, only 1 named train (that I could find) did any sort of movement over this piece of track so I decided to not include it in the plan as it will not add operational value equal to the headaches of trying to get switches and curves with easements adequate in the space provided to model it.

After the Amtrak Station and the condensed CP Capitol, we enter an industrial area. This area is purely modeler license as it is supposed to represent the Hill Industrial Track, the Oberlin Industrial Track and the warehouses along Rutherford Yard. The latter two items were pretty much gone or greatly diminished by 1996/1997 and the Hill I.T. technically would go into the aisle but I felt that a small local out of Harrisburg would add a nice element to an operational scheme for both a local job and switching in Harrisburg itself.

Up and around the first blob we go and as the line comes out of it, it enters CP Tara. After the double crossovers, the line will enter Hummlestown with the M&H interchange going off towards the backdrop. The line then curves at the bottom and enters Brownstowne/Swatara. At this location will be the Hershey West and Reese's plants. In between Hummlestown and the plants will be either a duck under to enter the layout or some kind of removable area. Conrail switched the Reese's plant during this time using a switchback. Norfolk Southern has since put a leading switch into the plant and removed the switch back. The Hershey West plant has 5 tracks in the prototype, and on the modeled portion will have 4 tracks. The two closest to the main line will act as inbound/outbound tracks and the other two will serve the plant itself.

As we continue along the right-side wall, the line enters Hershey and "Derry". The main plant is to the right of the main line with the silos on the aisle side. The North yard and the runaround tracks take the line to the end of the right-side wall, just prior to the gas meter. Again, this area will have to be built in a somewhat modular manner so that if access to the meter is needed, it can be gained without destroying the area. All of the Hershey plants are switched with one job but this job has to get clearance from both the dispatcher and Hershey foreman at various times during its work so it won't be a quick switching job.

As we enter the second peninsula, the line passes Palmyra, which has the Pacma elevator represented and will be pretty much modeled around the curve and the small straight at the end of the aisle. Down the rest of the peninsula is the Wimpey Minerals quarry. There is one interchange track and 3 yard tracks. The yard tracks lead into a line-side loader. This facility was built sometime after 1993 but before 1996, so it will be modeled. The modeled version will be different than the current one as it is definitely different based on the videos I've seen and pictures of the current loader. Another small line goes off towards the aisle and this was the entrance back to the main part of the quarry. I think I will use this for coal hopper loading/unloading as can be seen on the video"A Farewll to Conrail's Harrisburg Division".

Once around the second blob, the line enters Lebanon. The first item is the small yard located here. There is a siding, one through track, 2 stub-ended tracks, and a small engine facility on the other side of the road (16th St.), and CP Wall after the yard. On the left side of CP Wall is the Cargill elevator used for animal feed, I believe. Documentation lists this facility as being present in 1995 and 1996, however, other documentation states that it was built in 1997. Regardless, it's a decent sized industry so I have decided to represent it. There's also a scrap/recycler on the same siding. Around the curve is where the former Reading Lebanon Station will be placed so it will be focal point as one looks down this aisle. Coming around and heading down the center of the basement, is CP Avon and the industry spurs to Lebanon Chemical. After going through the S-curves to get to the other peninsula, the line enters Myerstown with its siding to Bayer and a lumber company/team track are represented. Finally, around the 3rd blob, the line enters a 13-track visible staging yard. The tracks range from 118" to 140", which should give pretty good sized trains for the line. The use of visible staging will also enhance reusing runthrough or even TV/coal trains for an operating session.

As for operations, the yard in Lebanon is where YPLE13, WPLE32 and WPLE33 originated from, depending on the schedule one finds. For my purposes, I will probably designate YPLE13 to work the interchange cards and WPLE33 as the primary local job. This job will serve industries from Palmyra through Myerstown. Wimpey Minerals leased 2 U23B's from Conrail during this time frame so that will be it's own job. A number of trains dropped cars here and in Lebanon, so those may be more active than the other two switching jobs. Overall, there are 4 switching jobs to take place on the layout not to mention the number of manifests that drop blocks in Lebanon and at Wimpey Minerals. Also, Harrisburg is an intermediate TV yard and will be used to not only deliver/pick-up trailers from it's intermodal facility, but also switch out blocks of cars from one TV train to another based on destinations.

Again, comments and feedback are always welcome. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


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