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Discussion Starter #1
I've started a new thread because I recently had to dismantle my first effort.

I used the Anyrail track planning software to start designing the yard (I must have a yard on any layout :)) given one likely space I will have to build again. I haven't purchased the software yet so I was limited to 50 pcs. of track. I hope most of you will be able to connect the dots between the deleted track sections and get a sense of what I'm thinking of. I think it will be money well spent to buy the full version before I build.

In the attached image you'll see, from left to right, the main, a/d track 1, a/d track 2, 4 storage tracks and what I'm calling a "thorough fare track" but that may not be accurate.

The "thoroughfare track" provides a way for a switcher engine to deliver cars to an industry not far from the yard without fouling either a/d track. The turnout on the "thoroughfare track' leading into the island will be an S curve to the other side of the layout making a reversing track.

The section of a/d track 2 leaving the yard ladder will be the lead (at least not fouling a/d track 1) and there will be an industry with facing point switches, thus the run-a-round track between a/d track 1 and a/d track 2.

Let me know what you guys think. I'm always open to suggestions.

Paul

l Meridian Yard .png
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I did buy the full version of Anyrail software and would recommend it to anyone planning a layout of any size. Given what it costs to build even a small model railroad the price of this software is basically free.

This isn't a plug for Anyrail specifically, I haven't used any other track planning software but I'm sure there are other good ones available.

I didn't spend much time learning how to use the software before diving in and trying to plan so many of you may see reason for criticism. I'm always open to criticism and ideas.

I don't plan to start the build until the spring so anyone who would like to offer suggestions has plenty of time. I'm sure I'll change the plan at least a little between now and then:)

Thanks
Paul
Layout .png
 

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Discussion Starter #4
how do you get into the center ??
It's an around the room duck under but one side of the layout is about 3' away from the wall (the wall with the door).

I toyed with a U shaped plan but couldn't come up with anything that satisfied my personal preferences.

Back, don't fail me now! :laugh:
 

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Something to think about on your reversing loop is that
once you go from say clockwise to counterclockwise
you have no way to go back to CW again, unless
you back the train all the way through the loop again.

If you have one reversing loop you really need two of them.

Magic
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Something to think about on your reversing loop is that
once you go from say clockwise to counterclockwise
you have no way to go back to CW again, unless
you back the train all the way through the loop again.

If you have one reversing loop you really need two of them.

Magic
Thanks, Magic. I agree that would be ideal but I couldn't find the space to fit in a second reversing section without sacrificing a lot of space.

I only plan to use the r.l. at the end of a train's run to turn them around and get them ready to head out back the way they came the next time that train runs. I thought I'd live with half the trains backing through the loop before tying down.

If anyone has any suggestions I would certainly welcome them but I think a second r.l. would mean I have to sacrifice a switching opportunity (or a few) or scenery.

Thanks again.
 

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Plenty of switching opportunities with that design.

When switching out cars from the background bldg industries you'll be holding up your main. A bit more flex track and a couple more switches you could have a two-track main. I'd go that route.

I'd terminate that middle spur in the intermodal yard, thereby nixing the reverse loop. In the real world they're only used at the largest of industries because, as you said, they take up a lot of real estate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Plenty of switching opportunities with that design.

When switching out cars from the background bldg industries you'll be holding up your main. A bit more flex track and a couple more switches you could have a two-track main. I'd go that route.

I'd terminate that middle spur in the intermodal yard, thereby nixing the reverse loop. In the real world they're only used at the largest of industries because, as you said, they take up a lot of real estate.
Nix the reversing loop?! How will my little people be able to get back to the other end of the r.r. without traversing the entire thing in reverse? :laugh: I'll think about it but I really like the idea of being able to turn trains around.

As for the double main, I was surprised when I was satisfied (at least for now) with a simple oval single main. The layout I recently did away with was a double main. I will mess around and see if I can get another main in there and not make the curves any tighter (there already 24" and 22")

Thanks. If I work out a double track plan I like I'll post it here.
 

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Instead of backing trains all the way around the loop you might consider
using the intermodal yard and make a wye with just two more turnouts.
Than you can turn trains from any direction. Seems like it would be more interesting
to turn them this way and there are a lot more wyes in real life than loops.

Interesting track plan with a lot of possibilities. Good luck with it.

Magic
 

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I agree with Magic. You can add 2 more turnouts
to the reverse loop and create a 'wye' that would
let you enter from either direction. This, however,
would be a 2nd reverse loop requiring a separate
controller. Creating the required 'buffer' between
the two iso sections may be difficult tho. You cannot
have 2 reverse loops abutting.

I prefer single track mains...so do, incidentally, today's
main line railroads. You can have much more interesting
train operations with a single track and have one train
going clockwise as the other goes counter clockwise.
You will need at least 4 passing sidings on your plan
to do that. Make them long enough to hold the longest
trains you expect to run...or make train B short enuf
to use your passing sidings as a long train takes the main.

I prefer small freight users vs large. The many
different types of freight cars they utilize will give
purpose to the various types
of freight cars you have. You could have a small
oil distributor, a small grocery warehouse, a junk yard,
a sawmill lumber operation, a less than car load
freight station and maybe a sand and rock operation.
With 2 or more 'users' on a spur and
several such spurs you can have some very complex
and interesting switching.

As one who had a 'duck under' I would strongly urge
you DON'T. A 'lift' bridge is not that difficult to
build and your back and other muscles will thank you.
The straight tracks on the middle right might be a
place for it.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for your input, guys. Here's where I'm at.

I'm currently designing a double track version of the almost the same plan. I think I'm leaning toward a single main (I do plan to model somewhat modern).

I haven't got to the peninsula yet but I like the idea of a wye. Just have to see how it affects the yard. I'm willing to make changes but I want to have a yard in which I can block cars etc...

As for a lift bridge. It would have to be somewhere on the 3' wide section as the other sides are along the walls. I'm certainly not against the idea though, just have to look into it more.

Thanks again. I'll post another try at my plan asap. hopefully you guys will check it out!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So here's what I came up with. It's a single track main. I lost the reverse loop and put in a wye.

It's impossible to see where I added insulated connectors on the diagram (there are little green dots) but I'll try to describe where they are. Each diverging leg of the wye has insulted connectors on both rails. On the track turning toward the bottom of the drawing both rails of the diverging leg of the first turnout encountered are insulated. On the track turning toward the top both rails of the point end of the first turnout encountered are isolated.

I've never built any reversing section before but I think that is how it's done. Please advise me if I'm wrong.

If those sections prove to be shorter than trains I'd like to run is it possible to include turnouts within a reversing track? If so is it necessary to insulate all rails not to be used as the reversing track?

Thanks, all!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was thinking of putting the wye on the right side to the third tangent track.
You already have 1/2 of it built, one more leg is all you need.
The way you have it now will require a lot of backing to turn the train.

Magic
Yeah I thought that was what you had in mind but would a traditional triangular wye limit me to pretty short trains?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all your help. I like this better than my reversing ideas. My only concern is that it will limit me to trains about 3' long. I suppose I could turn only the loco if I need to.

I know where to insulate rails in a reversing loop but I'm not sure about a wye. From what I found online I would only have the distance from either leg of the wye to the turnout connecting to the main for a reversing section. Am I wrong about that?

Thanks!

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Discussion Starter #17
I've edited the plan to make the radii from the wye more similar to the other curves. This is to look better and to make the track from the yard to the wye a little longer.

I want it to be longer because after some Googling it seems I can make that track the isolated reversing section. This would remedy my concerns about a wye limiting me to shorter trains.

Given what I learned about reversing loops, using this track (I believe it's called the "trail track") seems plausible. Electrical isn't my thing at all! If anyone knows more about how to gap a wye like this to make the longest possible reversing section I'd appreciate the help. No rush since I don't plan to start the bench work until the spring. Maybe I've just become addicted to this track planning software :)

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Your latest layout plan does provide for a much longer
Isolated section, from the upper right turnout, thru
the Wye turnout to the lower left turnout.

Insulated joiners in both rails above the lower left turnout,
and below the upper right turnout.

That creates your isolated section powered by your
reverse loop controller. It includes the Wye turnout,
however, that must be isolated from the lower arm of
the wye track with insulated joiners.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Your latest layout plan does provide for a much longer
Isolated section, from the upper right turnout, thru
the Wye turnout to the lower left turnout.

Insulated joiners in both rails above the lower left turnout,
and below the upper right turnout.

That creates your isolated section powered by your
reverse loop controller. It includes the Wye turnout,
however, that must be isolated from the lower arm of
the wye track with insulated joiners.

Don
Thanks, Don. I think I understand how that will work after looking at it.

This forum is one more thing to be thankful for today. As a beginner I misunderstood how reversing using a wye works. Without everyone's input I never would have put a wye in the plan. I like it much more than my ideas!

Thanks, guys!
 

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If not now, definitely sometime!

It's an around the room duck under but one side of the layout is about 3' away from the wall (the wall with the door).

I toyed with a U shaped plan but couldn't come up with anything that satisfied my personal preferences.

Back, don't fail me now! :laugh:
spikedrivingblues;

I strongly recommend you look at cutting an access aisle to reach the center hole of your layout. You can bridge the aisle with a hinged section or lift out. I don't see the door you mentioned, so I don't know where on the layout perimeter that door is located. In terms of minimal track across the access aisle bridging section, the lower right corner looks good. Your back, head, and other body parts, will thank you. Skip to the last part of the attached file. (following sketch #4) It explains the advantages, and disadvantages, of duck unders, lift outs, and three different configurations of hinged sections.

good luck, have fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf
 
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