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Discussion Starter #1
I live in a small apartment and have limited space but enough for a small HO switching layout and was playing around with the free version of Anyrail 6 software and came up with this KATO track plan for a 2'x11' area.

The very top left siding can be reduced, was thinking of putting some row houses vs industries and then turning it into a team track. Or it could be extended and some warehouse background buildings by Walthers could be added.

Any thoughts ?

545705
 

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The plans look good.

My suggestion for Kato HO Unitrack:

Don't use the powered switches (#4 and #5).
Instead, use the MANUAL switches (#4 and #6, although for a switching railroad in limited space, the #4's will work best).

I like the design of the manual #4's better, particularly the point assembly.
Since it's a switching RR, and since you're probably going to be "right there" as you pick up or place cars, it's easy to reach down and throw the switch manually.
 

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A switching layout will provide hours of challenging train operations.

You can't have too many yard or spur tracks on a switching layout. They also
must be long enough to have room for the loco to move them. If you have
available space, widen your board to make possible more spurs. And make
it longer to ease the movement of your switcher and a cut of cars.

Don
 

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2x11' should give you a really nice amount of space. I'm building one in a corner with a yard on either end, so my space is basically 1' wide and 6' on each side. I have quite a bit of track in a rather compact space, but it adds to the challenge of yard operations because many places only have enough room for the loco and one or two cars. Can't wait to get mine operational!
 

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Your 2' X 11' looks like a fun project. You might want to leave a little more room for the background buildings so you can build docks next to the track. I am building John Allens time saver switching puzzle. You can look that up online to get more ideas. My switching layout is 1ft X 6ft.
Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Your 2' X 11' looks like a fun project. You might want to leave a little more room for the background buildings so you can build docks next to the track. I am building John Allens time saver switching puzzle. You can look that up online to get more ideas. My switching layout is 1ft X 6ft.
Ed
My main industries will be background warehouse buildings against a backdrop. This gives me alot of room to play with and better depth for the front areas
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A switching layout will provide hours of challenging train operations.

You can't have too many yard or spur tracks on a switching layout. They also
must be long enough to have room for the loco to move them. If you have
available space, widen your board to make possible more spurs. And make
it longer to ease the movement of your switcher and a cut of cars.

Don
My rolling stock will be mainly 40-50 ft boxcars and short corn syrup tankers with an occassional 60' reefer, the area will be a warehousing district on the top with a corn syrup facility on the bottomest left siding with a bottleing plant on the bottomest right siding. I have enough room for the loco to do the runaround and it will be only moving a few cars at a time. The idea is the for the layout to represent a compact warehousing district. Unfrotuantely the size of 2'x11' is the max I can use.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Below is a more complete design with industry buildings.
Basic ops would be boxcars of oranges/grapedfruits from Grocery distributor go to Tropicana receiving, finished product in outbound reefers for the warehouses.
Corn syrup facility (Yellow circles) delivers to Tropicana (Orange circles) and Pepsi plant (Blue circles).
Pepsi plant delivers finished Pepsi products to warehouses and can receive supplies as well.
Warehouses delivers supplies to all other industries
Grocery distributor can also deliver to warehouses.

(Lots of operating in a small area)
545739
 

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Oh, don't put that "Tropicana Receiving" over that tail track - you only have one double ended track to use for runarounds and you need a clear tail in order to let the engine run around and also pull cars from one track to the other. Putting an industry on that track kills it as a runaround tail, and the opposite end is also extremely short, looks like you'd be lucky to move one car at a time from one track to the other. Painful for getting cars up to Tropicana and the warehouses from your little yard tracks at the bottom left.
 

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I agree with CV_acr the ends of your run around are too short. I found that to be a problem on my switching layout. I can only get 2 40 ft cars on the right side with a small switching diesel. If I use a GP35 I can't throw the switch. You should think about making the run around shorter and the ends longer.
Ed
 

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You still have the problem that any cars sitting at the receiving dock are going to block the use of the run-around. And it doesn't look like you changed the right side at all?

Consider this... for smooth operations that aren't too tedious, you'll probably want to be able to move at least two cars at a time through the run-around. So take a measurement of the switcher and the two longest cars that you'll think you'll be using... That measurement should be the minimum length of straight track that you have beyond the turnout points on both ends of the run-around, allowing the switcher to pull those cars completely clear of the turnout. A run-around is for more than just moving the loco, it's also for changing the order of the cars so they can all get to their destination docks.

As a suggestion for the problem of the receiving dock, how about this? See that curved track at the top-center of the layout (right at the beginning of the outbound siding)? Replace the curve with a right-handed turnout pointing towards the right side of the layout. Extend the straight enough to hold a car or two out of the way of the newly-added turnout, and use THAT as your receiving dock. This way you completely open up both ends of the run-around, plus now the section of track along the back is wholly owned by the Tropicana plant and they can move their cars between docks without affecting any other traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You still have the problem that any cars sitting at the receiving dock are going to block the use of the run-around. And it doesn't look like you changed the right side at all?

Consider this... for smooth operations that aren't too tedious, you'll probably want to be able to move at least two cars at a time through the run-around. So take a measurement of the switcher and the two longest cars that you'll think you'll be using... That measurement should be the minimum length of straight track that you have beyond the turnout points on both ends of the run-around, allowing the switcher to pull those cars completely clear of the turnout. A run-around is for more than just moving the loco, it's also for changing the order of the cars so they can all get to their destination docks.

As a suggestion for the problem of the receiving dock, how about this? See that curved track at the top-center of the layout (right at the beginning of the outbound siding)? Replace the curve with a right-handed turnout pointing towards the right side of the layout. Extend the straight enough to hold a car or two out of the way of the newly-added turnout, and use THAT as your receiving dock. This way you completely open up both ends of the run-around, plus now the section of track along the back is wholly owned by the Tropicana plant and they can move their cars between docks without affecting any other traffic.
Actually the empty sidings are for storing cars to allow the runaround to be used, then when done they go back. This is only 11' long and not made for 4 or more cars, a gp38 moving 2-3 cars is fine for the area involved, The buildings are to scale and I have measured my rolling stock to make sure the cars will fit correctly. The run around on the east end will hold the loco without any issues as it was intended for.

I wanted to perform complex switching maneuvers in a tight space and shunting cars between the industries fills the purpose. Also it is not necessary for every operating session to have each siding filled. Plus the sidings without industries are 2' and 3' in length, plenty of room for storage and the above mentioned movements.

The purpose of the open area between the curves is for a set of rowhouses next to a lot where some MOW vehicles will be stored.
What you may call "tedious" will bepart of the fun for me, running at slow prototypical speeds swapping out sidings.
 

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Runaround still needs more length "on the right end".
It should be long enough for 2 short cars and an engine...
(or an engine and 1 long car)

Are you designing with Kato #4 or Kato #6 turnouts?
 

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I carefully designed my switching layout so the capacity of the trail track to the left is the same as the runaround track in the middle + engine. (Runaround fits 5 50' cars, tail track fits 6.)

The short tail at the bottom right is just long enough for the engine and one car (depending on size of equipment - fits 2 50' cars). It only needs to allow the engine escape.

545773
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Runaround still needs more length "on the right end".
It should be long enough for 2 short cars and an engine...
(or an engine and 1 long car)

Are you designing with Kato #4 or Kato #6 turnouts?
Runarounds are not required to have a specific amount of cars to fit as long as the engine can "runaround" to the otherside of the train, as long as an engine can fit, then it serves its purpose.

The layout has no need for more cars on the east end of the runaround since the main reason for it is to shunt cars back into the warehouse on the top right side and . As far as the turnouts, I am using #6 Kato turnouts .

545802
 
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