I told Rick that my opinion of the current plan is that is works in the room for his room preferences pretty well, but is operationally inefficient. With a few changes the layout would work great and accomplish most of his goals.
Here is what we agreed to do:
- Hidden staging in the room next door's closet space. Rick to provide the measurements.
- Wye at the staging yard throat to direct traffic across the railroad in either east or west directions.
- Theme of the railroad is switching in Louisville, with traffic moving across the line in a east/west fashion.
- Cassette loading system for rolling stock, ~3' lengths, racked above the back wall.
- Name the walls so we know what we are talking about. Helps to have directions.
- Cassette loader on the back wall.
- Move the yard from "Town A" to the back wall to expand it.
- Shorten the peninsula to remove the pinch point.
Lot's to do, so let's get cracking!
Before we get started I want to check and see if a wye can even fit in this area in order to feed tracks to the closet in the next room. Let's clear out the trackage and see if it can fit.
Oh yes! Plenty of room and no turnouts in the walls. Ok, let's start with the main yard.
We are moving the main yard to the back wall. First, we'll put in the mainline and main passing siding, making sure that we keep 24" radius curves or larger, and stay off of the swing gate. Plenty of room.
A basic train will be a 4 axle diesel (GP) and five 40 foot cars, along with a caboose. This is about 45" of train. All passing sidings and yard tracks must hold this. My first attempt was to stack the yard ladder to the right, but the curves restrict the length of the tracks, so this won't work.
Here I put the tracks to the left. Works much better, though I don't like curved ends to a yard. Before we go further, let's test this.
I put together a train with a Geep, five cars and a caboose. The mainline has plenty of room!
The main passing siding fits the train well.
The yard lead is long enough for the train.
The last check is the shortest yard track, and it is more than long enough. In fact, too long.
I chopped some of the curved yard ends off so that it looks better.
There is a loco servicing track on the right. That completes the yard.
I went back and put in the wye to feed the staging yard. The purpose of the wye is to be able to send a train either east or west, and to receive it west or east. You can also use it to turn locomotives. The problem I have is that we wanted to put the Buck & Loretta's cabin here, but it would need to be a level up and there is too much track for an incline here. Guess we'll find the happy couple another home.
I'm not sure the size of the closet yet, so I'll just rough in a four track staging yard. That will give the operations four trains to cross the mainline and pick up/deliver cars. Enough for a small operating session with three people or less.
The staging can also be a fiddle yard if more trains are needed. Any track can feed a train east or west.
So here is the new yard and the wye staging system. Looking good!
Next we need to work on East Louisville (until Rick gives it a better name.) This siding is way too small, so let's start over.
I was able to move the turnouts further apart with no issue, but I don't like that siding track as it is too close to the wall/window. Will have to move it.
I just put in some industrial sidings for now, and we'll figure out what they really need to look like later when we lay in the industries. There is lots of room.
Ok, for that yucky peninsula problem. First, we'll eliminate the pinch point and make it clear for the swing gate. I'll put in the benchwork as to where I'd like it to stop.
I drew an open swing gate for measuring purposes and made sure it cleared and had room for a person to walk in. This works!
I need to put Buck and Loretta somewhere and the bottom, left hand side of the room is a good spot. The tight turnout on the left didn't need to be there, so I took it out and will put in a nice 30" radius turn which will make a perfect spot for Loretta-kins. To get to the peninsula, let's feed it off the main as its own track system so it doesn't interfere with the operations of the fast moving freight trains. I'll plug in more temporary industrial track in this location which could be great for a large "against the wall" structure.
We run out the train and test the clearances. Mainline clearance is good. That'll do!
Next, let's work on West Louisville (until Rick renames it.) I'll put in a small passing siding as this may be a very heavily tracked area. We'll come back to it later and place industries.
Now for the cassettes. Rick want's to have a cassette rack on this back wall and the ability to feed the cassettes onto the railroad without having to turn them around. That means they need to connect on the front of the yard.
I drew a 36" cassette, which I think is the longest you should ever use as the get unbalanced if longer. It will feed into its own receiving track at the end of the yard (which could double as an industry along the riverbank.)
Here is the layout as it stands now. Rick, take a good look and let's chat tomorrow. Let me know what you think!
Closer look at the plan.