HO Plan for Switching Layout (2' x 16')

Discussion in 'Layout Design Discussion' started by trevor_miller, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. trevor_miller

    trevor_miller TrainBoard Member


    Here's a plan for a switching layout. No space eating run around or switchbacks. All facing point turnouts. The first image show the structures and the second image show track capacities.

    plan1.png plan2.png

    The Plastics manufacturer will feature "sure spots" as will the ADM flour mill (kitbash of 2 Walthers Red Wing and 2 ADM elevators).

    Let me know what you think?

  2. Jerry Tarvid

    Jerry Tarvid TrainBoard Member

    I would suggest three tracks for your flour mill. I would also consider offsetting the two Red Wing buildings so that a couple of box cars could be positioned on track one next to the first building for packaged flour. Track two would be used for bulk flour loading into hoppers and track three would be used for unloading bulk grain hoppers. Offsetting the two building will give them more of an individual appearance. The three tracks and three different types of rolling stock will greatly expand your operations.

    Truck deliveries or pickups would be handled on the other side of the buildings if you desire to model that part of the industry.

    Some food for thought.

  3. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    You may also want to set up a second track for the plastics manufacturer...boxcars or covered hoppers of raw material loads in, empties out; and boxcars of product loads out, empties in.

    For a typical operating session, do you anticipate having about 12 cars occupying the industry spots and 12 cars in the interchange yard...and will you be controlling the switching list so that an industry's capacity will never be exceeded? If so, you will be able to manage pickups/setouts without any trouble.
    However, if you will typically have more than 12 cars in the industry spots, or if the cars to be spotted at particular industries are somewhat more randomly assigned instead of carefully controlled (and, especially, if switching assignments require you to "hold" some cars at an industry instead of always picking up every car), then you may want to add a track somewhere that is designated for "off-spot" cars, because, in some sessions, the random nature of switching assignments may require you to have 5 cars spotted at an industry that can only hold 4 cars. (If you are comfortable having the "main" of an urban (slow moving) industrial line pass through the curved portion of a turnout, the space between the cement dealer and the plastics manufacturer might serve as a good "off-spot" holding track.)

    You can get more switching action with the same number of cars on the layout, if switching tasks include making specific "in-plant" moves (e.g., moving an empty boxcar from a siding where parts/materials come in, to a second siding where the final product is shipped out).

    Another "in-plant" move might include having a wash track for cars. At my Corn Products plant and my ADM grain alcohol plant, when empty tank cars are first brought in, they must always be spotted on the wash track. Any cleaned cars on the wash track must be moved to the loading track, and loaded cars must be picked up. Even though I may only bring 5 tank cars from the yard to the industry and pick up 5 tank cars to return to the yard, I end up moving 15 tank cars for that industry. Would there be a comparable wash track needed for the covered hoppers that ship the bulk flour from your ADM mill?

    You might also add a "clean-out" track near your yard (with appropriate scraps and litter modeled nearby) for cleaning out boxcars before sending them to an industry for loading. By always pulling cars from this track, you can increase the total number of cars to be routinely delivered to industries from the current interchange capacity of only 12 cars up to 13 or 14.

    If you move the engine service facility to where the team track structure is located and give the engine facility its own right hand turnout instead of sharing the turnout with the oil dealer, would you be able to add an immediate left hand turnout so the straight portion of the turnout goes to a team track parallel with the oil dealer siding and the curved track goes to the engine facility? This move will free up the former engine service lead track to use as a third interchange track, another industry (clean-out track??), or give you some space to angle the two interchange tracks closer to the front of the shelf and provide more space for ADM sidings.

    All of your structures are set with their sides parallel to the front of the layout and your sidings have S-curves to bring them parallel with the main line, so they, too, are parallel with the front of the layout. Would you be interested in rotating some of your buildings so they were angled to the front/back of the layout? This would allow you easier access to the space "behind" the buildings (giving you an opportunity for more switching activities) and, by eliminating the S-curves into the sidings, would slightly increase the length of the sidings. Additionally, by moving the engine service building to the other 4 foot module and angling the cold storage building and siding, you would be able to exchange the locations of the cold storage turnout and the interchange yard turnouts to gain 10 more inches on each of the interchange tracks without losing any length on the cold storage siding.
  4. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member


    Here's a few revisions to your plan in response to some comments & my ideas. The engine service track is now on it's own vs off a wasted lead. Also there are 4 yard tracks + the interchange track. Or you could use the top yard track for unloading covered hoppers for ADM. The track next to ADM could be used for loading the processed flour into boxcars &/or airslide hoppers. Also mills like ADM ship out the bran for animal feed. Moved the switch to the plastics place on the curve to get rid of the S curve leading into it. If your plastics place has inbound (pellets in hoppers) & out bound traffic (bags, boxes, etc) add a 2nd track off the main for that. That way you won't have to move cars out of the way all the time.

  5. cajon

    cajon TrainBoard Member

    There's only one interchange tra]ck in your plan. You might give some thought to using "staging trays".

    8-STAGING TRAY.jpg


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