Saturday, October 16, 2010

Layout Plan - 1st Level

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been slowly creating a plan for the first level of the layout. Once I was able to settle on a footprint, finishing the plan from its previous state was pretty straight forward. Here's the plan, clicking it will load in a new window:


My approach to the layout and its design is that I have about 7 areas on the layout where I could place major switching areas. On the lower level, I have used 4 of these areas:
  • Classification Yard
  • Auto Plant/Intermodal yard
  • Power Plant
  • "Lebanon" siding/industries
In addition to the above areas, I've also put in 3 other small industries directly off the main line. Lets look at each area individually.

Classification yard

The classification yard sits in front of the main-line and siding (almost consider it a double main operationally). The yard has 2 A/D tracks with leads on either side so engines can uncouple from their trains and not foul the main. There are 6 classification tracks, one of which would be utilized for a runaround. Additionally, there is a 3 track engine house and a 2 track fueling area next to the engine house. The yard lead is long enough to pull an entire train off the A/D track, however, I don't know that that will ever truly happen operationally. The yard is based off of some of John Armstrong's designs from a Model Railroader Information Station article package on freight yard design as well as based on the yard on Bruce Faulkner's Shenandoah Division and Dave Vollmer's Enola Yard. Just outside the classification yard, along the "top" of the plan is the passenger station. There's a dedicated track and a platform will sit between the passenger track (light green track) and the main line.

Auto Plant/Intermodal Yard
The Auto Plant is to represent an Assembly Plant. It has 4 tracks for deliveries of auto parts in 86' and 60' box cards. It also has 4 tracks for auto carriers, holding 3-4 each. I haven't decided yet on the company, but will need to do that for specific 86' box cars that I will need to purchase. The intermodal yard has 2 tracks, each long enough to hold 5 89' flat cars and the equivalent lengths of spine or well cars. This also marks the end of the double track mainline. The design for this area was based on a few auto plants I found, but was most influenced by Seth Neumann's NUMMI auto plant. I had enough room that I didn't need to do a crossing on the two switches.

Power Plant
The power plant resides on the far left peninsula. As you can see, the plant itself will be a flat with some depth against the backdrop and the coal pile will be between the plant's 3-car yard and the mainline as it enters the turnback. There's also a receiving yard for the unit trains to drop off their loaded cars. I actually operated this portion on XtrkCad while I was designing it. A 20-22 car unit train can be switched using two of the 3 tracks on the receiving yard, but necessitated the extra lead to the left of the plant's yard. Once the cars are dropped, the same crew can assemble the empty return train using the track in the receiving yard closest to the main line. Using a scale speed of 10mph, I was able to do this switching in about 15 minutes, pretty good operation time. I envision having a switcher of some kind, probably a 44 tonner from Bachmann. The plant layout was based on a power plant near Reading, Pa., and the track setup was actually based on a design in Bernie Kempinski's
Mid-Size Track Plans for Realistic Layouts. The plan was for the Shirley Industrial Park's Vulcan materials plant.

"Lebanon Area"
The "Lebanon" area is on the peninsula on the right side of the plan. This area has a passing siding, passenger station and industries at both ends. The industries at the end of the area as you go towards the yard are an Animal Feed facility, based off the Cargill one in Lebanon, and a scrap yard. This arrangement is pretty close to the actual one in Lebanon, as it existed on Conrail in 1996. On the other end, closest to the helix, is a chemical/fertilizer plant, based on Lebanon Chemical.

Elsewhere on the 1st level are a grain elevator and some kind of manufacturing/transfer building on the left peninsula and cement plant just prior to entering the helix for transition to the second level. The cement plant area is actually based on the Pacma plant track arrangment in Palmyra, Pa. Overall, I'm really liking this level's plan. It has a lot of operational potentional, a section of double track mainline and one other passing siding which should make dispatching and train movements more interesting. I did make the helix to the second level double track, so that will be the other passing siding on this level.

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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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