Thursday, December 29, 2011

Willamette River Railway - LDSIG Design Feedback

The Layout Design Special Interest Group or LDSIG is a group of modelers that love to design or discuss designs for layouts.  They are probably the most helpful group in the whole of modelrailroadom.  Now that the layout has taken shape, I've posted a request for critique.  Here is the first one that came through and it has some good ideas.  I'll post others as I get them.

From: Mike Davison
Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2011 11:09:03 AM
Subject: Re: [ldsig] Willamette River Railway - New Track Plan

Hi Scott, 
Looks like the plan is coming along nicely. Random observations: 

-- The yard is a big portion of the layout. Might make sense to consider replacing the yard with 2 or 3 tracks on which the through trains can drop/pick up work for the local switch job instead.  This would allow more space for a second industrial area, which packs lots of operation into a small space. 

-- The industry area is a bit of a 'puzzle.' Sometimes people tire of switching puzzles after working them a few times. Problem? Does it make sense to simplify this a little? 

-- The elevation markings near the right side have to be wrong. Elevation changes 4" in a very short distance. Not sure what the grade is there, but it's roller coaster range. 

-- Great to see staging. I assume it's to be accessible from above.  Might be small considering the capacity of the visible layout. 


Thanks for the great reply Mike...

I like the idea of reducing the yard and will give that a look.

I'm still not happy with the industrial trackage and agree with your idea to simplify and increase the number of structures instead.  Switching it is time consuming.  As with the prototype I thought of "mothballing" some of the tracks and letting them grow over.

All the grades have been checked and double checked...all grades at 2% or less.  I've run trains in it several times without stalls or derailments.

The staging is accessible from below as there is a ceiling above.  The elevated track next to it is open and you can reach in.  Staging works by staging two trains per track for a total of four, two north and two south.  It is a bit small but we have the potential to add staging to a nearby closet which may happen later and with a turning loop.  That is the problem with smaller layouts as you need a certain amount of trackage for operations, but you don't want a spaghetti bowl.  I've always said that small layouts are way harder than large ones to design.

Keep those cards and letters coming in!  Thanks for the LDSIG help!
Scott G. Perry, CPM

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