Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Willamette River Railway - Grades and Running Trains

It was sad to see the relative fly out this morning.  My little ones cried.  But its quiet now...so back to the basement.  Today we want to put in the grades on the mainline and get her running.
 To get the grades set, let's start up top.  The area in light blue is what we'll work with first since it is a flat siding at 4.5" high.  4.5" in this cases means 4.5" from the lower rail head to the upper level rail head.  This allows for the ballast profile below, and allows for plenty of clearance.  The mainline crossings are far enough apart to give us great clearance and still stay at a grade maximum of no more that 2%.
 Here you can see where I've raised all the trackage on the siding to 4.5".  It looks a little funky in 3-D, but you get used to it after while.  On a complex layout I would hide the trackage that I wasn't working on to keep it out of view.

 Next, we'll work on the upper main and siding tracks.  We want to make sure the upper tracks clear the lower tracks before descending.  The right radius track will need to be cut in half as we want it to start descending after it crosses over.

 Putting all the track on one level of 4.5" is easy.  Starting the downhill grades is more difficult.  You can draw the grades as you draw the track, but I find this very time consuming as I make so many changes.  To change the grade you select a track segment and input its starting and finishing point.  This takes time, and there is probably a faster way that I don't know about.
 Once I set the grades on a stretch of track, I'll switch to 3D mode and take a look at it to see if it is a nice, smooth grade.  Here is the upper level, which should be uniformly level and 4.5" up.  Nice!
 As we go from the upper track over the lower track, we need to start descending.  I put in the transition grades on several pieces of track.  As you can see here, I goofed up something.  Usually it is because the start and end points of the track are backwards and I put the dimensions in wrong.  This is a quick fix.  As I put in the grade points I make sure that no section of track is over 2% grade.
 There!  The grade down to the switching district looks much better!

 Sometimes errant bits of track show up in the 3D view that aren't visible in the 2D view.  We have to clean them up.  I do this by selecting bits of track and moving them to see what is beneath.  When I find a problem piece I delete it and clean up anything that needs work.

 There it is.  A very small piece of track, probably from where I started a cursor point and didn't draw anything.  We'll erase it and reconnect the track.

 On this section I actually overdrew a tangent track.  We'll shorten it and reconnect all the track to make sure it is all correct.
 We adjust all the grades to make them smooth and run the locomotive over them to make sure everything is connected.

 Now we'll move to the other side of the track where we have a down grade, now highlighted in light blue.  This grade will go from 4.5" to 0" in about 24 feet giving us a grade of less than 2%.  We'll be sure to keep the lift out trackage flat to help prevent problems.
 Once the grades on the mainline are all set, we put a train on the track and run the train in 3D to see how it looks and reacts.  If a cross over is too low, it will knock the train off the track.  If track grades are too steep, it will slow the train.  It really acts like a layout!  I watch it go around several times from different angles.  Looks good!
 Here are some screen shots from the 3D view.  This will allow me to also check the scenery and how it will look with the grades and track.

 I try some switching maneuvers and test all the sidings.  Everything is working except the passing siding at the switching district, which I'll work with later.


I've made a movie of the first train around the layout, showing it from several different views...enjoy!

That's all for now...maybe more later today.

Oh, I've updated the Layout Standards:

Willamette River Railway

Layout Notes and Information
Updated 12-23-11

Owner: Thayne Tenney, Sandy, Utah
Designer: Scott Perry, Sandy, Utah
Scale: HO
Gauge: Standard
Standards: NMRA
Track Centers: 2 2/3” mainline, 2” yard and other
Size: 8 x 20 feet
Railroad: Union Pacific, Portland Terminal Railroad Co.
Height: 42”
Track: Walther’s Code 83
Turnouts: Mainline #8, Sidings #6, Switching District #5
Radius: Mainline minimum 32”, Switching district 18”
Grade Maximum: 2%
Sub-Roadbed: spline or cookie cutter plywood
Roadbed : Homabed
Layout Style: twice around, over under with lift outs, hidden staging.
Track Clearance: 4.5”
Train Length: 8 cars, 50 foot length + loco is average
Purpose: Hauling freight through Portland on UP’s Brooklyn Subdivision, moving freight to the Portland Terminal customers, and supporting customers on the mainline including a large power station.
Traffic: grain; IBC’s, coal, mixed freight, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!