Thursday, July 15, 2010

Design Progress - July 15, 2010

Just a quick update on the design efforts I had ongoing. I've finished the design of the Harrisburg terminal area. The key to my design was an article I read in MRP 2005 about eliminating S-curves and some of the examples it had. Incorporating some of the ideas in that article, plus some of the discussions on the forums led me to the following design:
From Conrail Harrisburg Line
The yard consists of the following elements:
  • 2 A/D tracks
  • 3 Double-ended class tracks
  • 3 Stub-ended class tracks
  • 1 Intermodal track - closest one to the aisle
  • 2 Locomotive service tracks
  • 1 Locomotive ready track
  • 4 "mainline" service/fuel tracks
  • 1 Amtrak runaround track
Let me talk a little bit about the mainline service/fuel tracks. Apparently, the fuel rack on the main idea is one many railroads perform, especially in the Midwest/West. It's somewhat uncommon back East. Harrisburg's fuel pad is aligned between its two main lines at approximately the half-way point of the terminal. This lets trains enter and exit the yard area without worrying about being blocked access by trains refueling on the main. Unfortunately, all of my early designs allowed access to the yard from the east if an eastbound train was refueling, but not for a westbound if a westbound was refueling. Fearing a bottle neck or putting crossovers in the middle of the helix, I decided to adopt a practice used on many western roads, a fuel pad at both ends of the yard. As a result, there are 4 tracks that will have fuel pads on either end allowing however many trains to refuel as possible and in either direction as access can be gained from each direction. I also put the Amtrak runaround in to allow for the trains going to/from the Amtrak station to bypass the fuel pads and not be hindered by freights being "refueled". I think this design is much, much better. I also made CP Capitol double track much as Norfolk Southern did after taking it over from Conrail.

Now, the other item I've been contemplating, researching and generally discussion in various areas is benchwork. Below is my benchwork mock-up.
From Conrail Harrisburg Line
This is based on various designs I've seen of others layouts, the materials I have available and cost. I have 30 studs available around the perimeter of the wall and by using the brackets and standards for the top 2 levels, I won't have to purchase a lot more and lighting on the perimeter will be easy to install. The bottom level will be built like I've seen a number of shelf layouts with the girders directly fastened to the open studs. A gusset or brace will be installed were needed. Finally, the center peninsula will be built like the this and this. I've even gone so far as to figure out how I will build my helix using straight line cuts with angled ends, like a trapezoid. This layout used it and both the LDSIG and Layout Construction Yahoo groups have information on it. The goals for this weekend are to get the second and third level standards and brackets up and maybe the benchwork and sub-roadbed down for the 2nd and 3rd levels, respectively.


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Welcome to the my Conrail Model Railroad site. I will document the research, design, construction and operations of my N-scale model railroad based on Conrail's Ft. Wayne Line in Ohio.

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