"Chapter One Basic yard functions"
CONTENTS Introduction 4 Chapter One: Basic yard functions 7 Chapter Two: Track by track 23 Chapter Three: Favorite model railroad yards 39 Chapter Four: Designing yards 47 Chapter Five: Staging yards 61 Chapter Six: Operating model railroad yards 71 References 88 Ten tips for freight yard design and operation 1. Cars don’t belong in to let road trains in or blocks and trains 10. Double-endedness freight yards. Cars can’t out. Also, operators require less handling in is a good thing. The be loaded or unloaded won’t have their the yard between arrival more through tracks a in a yard (intermodal plans interrupted. and departure. yard has, the more yards being the main flexible it will be for exceptions), and cars 5. Use staging tracks 8. Model a yard handling trains in both standing in a yard to provide off-layout located at or near a directions. And since aren’t generating destinations for trains junction. Consolidating the real railroads transportation. The and cars. Let staging be traffic from and overwhelmingly prefer purpose of a freight yard the “somewhere else” separating traffic for through yards, a is to organize cars into where cars in a yard are different lines adds double-ended model trains, interchange supposed to go, over interest to the switching, yard will look transfers, or switch cuts and above the industries even if most trains just more realistic. so they can be taken on your layout. Staging pass through the yard. somewhere else for can represent any place And the junction can be loading or unloading. not displayed on your merely “notional” or layout: a distant “conceptual,” off the 2. When space is tight, terminal, a connection modeled layout use something other with another railroad, or in staging. than a straight ladder. an industrial district (or Compound ladders, large industry) just out 9. Assign multiple pinwheel ladders, and of sight. operators to help the ladders on the angle of yard keep up. A the next smaller frog 6. Operate with common complaint is will allow longer body paperwork that deals that trains cross our tracks in a given length. with cars in the order too-short main lines so they stand on the track. quickly that the yard 3. Include a drill track Whether you choose inevitably falls behind. as long as the longest hand-written switch But does it make sense body track. Allowing a lists, car cards with to expect one switcher to drag out an waybills, or computer- yardmaster to keep entire track for sorting generated lists, you’ll ahead of six or eight generally expedites save time and confusion road engineers? classification switching. if you can handle cars in Additional yard sequence as they come operators can run a 4. Allow trains to in trains, blocks, and second yard engine, arrive and depart switching cuts. hostle engines at the without interfering with roundhouse, switch yard switchers. More 7. Sort arriving cars local industries and can be accomplished by where they go next. interchanges, or when switch engines Cars classified as they any combination of don’t have to stop work arrive into outbound these tasks. 6 BASIC YARD FUNCTIONS W ONE e’re going to look at freight yards as sorting centers: Woodsriver Yard on Paul Dolkos’s HO scale Boston & facilities with the main function of grouping individual Maine layout is a sorting center that builds both cars into blocks or trains going to the same destination and originating trains and blocks of cars for pickup by through dispatching them as trains, transfer runs to connecting trains. Paul J. Dolkos railroads, or switching jobs serving local industries. Our basic assumption is that most cars in a yard at any time are supposed to be somewhere else. They’re just passing through, and the work of the yard is to move them along to wherever it is that they’re really going. We don’t want to think of yards as places to store cars, except for certain special cases I’ll explain later in the book. Let’s take a closer look at yard functions and their model railroading potential. 7 The ideal model railroad yard Here’s an example of an to save space. A second be as long as the longest Interchange at this yard “ideal” yard you can use ladder at the far end of yard track. That lets the would be represented as-is on your own model the yard will add that switcher clear any track with transfer runs to railroad. You can adapt much more length, in one move, then sort and from a stub-ended it from the track plan or although if you have the those cars into any other staging track. follow its schematic to space for it it’s a great tracks in the yard. This yard is shown as fit a yard into a different investment in flexibility. Crossovers allow a complete layout in shaped space. More tracks for sorting trains to come and go itself, with staging It includes double- and short-term storage from the arrival/depar- tracks behind the ended arrival/departure would also be welcome. ture tracks also without backdrop to provide tracks so trains can The switching lead or interrupting switching trains for the yard to come and go from either drill track allows the on the lead and ladder. work. That’s not a bad direction. This is a good yard engine to keep The optional crossover concept for a compact idea even if the yard will working while other would let the switcher but action-packed be at the end of the line traffic, such as on the lead work a layout, but either or on your layout. passenger trains that through train stopped both ends of this yard Remember, a yard isn’t won’t enter the freight on the main line. could be connected to a destination. If your yard, passes by on the There’s a roundhouse, the main line of a larger road ends here it needs main line. The drill a caboose track, a RIP layout. Since it can connections to other track has to be on the track, a freight house, perform all the basic systems, or to industrial ladder end of any and a few small yard functions, it could complexes represented single-ended tracks. industries. There’s even function just as well as by staging. Extending the drill a passenger station so part of a more complete The classification track through the back- this doesn’t have to be a system. tracks are single-ended drop in this case lets it freight-only railroad. Industries Railroad Avenue Optional transfer Staging tracks City buildings staging track along backdrop face away from railroad 24" minimum Access to staging Ozark Lines Division point at Oldburg Drill (With apologies to E. S. Dellinger) track Backdrop just higher than eye level N scale (1:160) Alley Passenger station 6 x 12 feet with 2 x 3-foot extension and division offices 15" minimum radius (visible tracks) Express No. 6 turnouts Platform Elevated walkway Scale: 3⁄4" = 1'-0" 12" grid RIP track Backs of city buildings Backs of industrial Hubbard Freight buildings Street house Diner Optional crossover Caboose track Team track Engine supply track Car shop Water column Sand 120-foot turntable Coal (Walthers 933-32030) Ashes Crew room and roundhouse office Six-stall roundhouse (Walthers 933-3202) 14 Right: Track scales allow railroads to charge for shipments by weight, and can be used for a wide variety of commodities and car types. Balance-beam scales typically could not handle the weight of locomotives, so gantlet tracks were used to allow engines to bypass the scale’s live rails. As shown here at the Milwaukee Road’s Chestnut Street Yard in Milwaukee, the scale’s live rails are usually offset toward the scale house. Gordon Odegard Below: The RIP (repair-in-place) track is on the left in this view down the ladder at the Chicago & North Western yard in Boone, Iowa. Henry J. McCord • Car repair and cleaning: Almost any yard will have a simple repair-in-place (RIP) track, and at larger yards there may be more extensive car shops. Since any actual repairs will be done on our workbenches this may not seem much of an operational opportunity, but we can use card decks or some other random selection to simulate the need to repair cars arriving in our yard or found defective in a terminal air test (see Chapter 6.) That can make for interesting if unexpected switching to get bad-order cars to the RIP track, and later to pull them out and reclassify them. Empty cars may need to be cleaned or otherwise prepared for • Adjacent industries and around a yard. The engine termi- loading, and a clean-out track can interchanges: Whether yards are nal will need deliveries of fuel add another switching spot to in urban or rural areas, they’re (coal, fuel oil, or diesel fuel) and maneuver cars to and from. often adjacent to industrial sand, and ash from coal burners • Weighing cars: Most real property that attracts businesses has to be hauled away. Shops and yards include a track scale for needing rail access. These may be storehouses will receive ship- weighing cars, as this is often the served by a yard switcher during ments of materials, and items like basis for billing shippers. Almost breaks in classification, or if there wheelsets and traction motors any kind of car can be weighed if is sufficient work an industrial may be shipped to another shop necessary, but yards that handle a switching job may be established. for heavy work. If another rail- lot of bulk traffic, like coal, grain, The yard switcher would classify road crosses or passes adjacent to minerals, or cement, will need to cars for the industry switcher to your yard, there can be an inter- weigh many cars. Even with deliver, but as a yard job the change track right at that spot. dummy track scales, this can be industry crew might help in Interchanges are rightly called an extra switching move that can assembling its own cars. Always “universal industries” for a layout add interest to the process of keep in mind the railroad itself because any kind of car might getting cars on their way. Older when you’re looking for industries move through such a connection. scales required each car to be 15