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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another couple of things that I have been wondering about, is if I DO do a hump yard (which it's looking more and more like that's what I am going to do), I was wondering if anyone might have suggestions as to how to get the "bowl" effect. In many YouTube videos, it seems what people are doing is building a pier and then using that as the means of feeding the cars to the group tracks.

Personally, while I fully understand why people are doing that, I am not such a big fan of it. The main reason being, is that the cars, as they are travelling down the slope from the pier, catch way too much speed and end up moving at a highly unrealistic pace. What I was thinking of doing, was, with a scroll saw, possibly cutting an entire section of the plywood out and then possibly putting replacement plywood underneath where that hole now is. The thing is, is if I decide to go that route, I need to figure out a workable material that will support the tracks and the hump activity, and which would not wiggle or lose structural integrity. Something that can be easily fashioned with the proper slope and which will hold the tracks in place.

Of course, the other problem I might then face, is if you don't get the grade right, you may just end up having a bunch of units piling up somewhere in the intermediate area of the hump. (Clog.) Then, the only time they would move, is if you get enough of them piling up that the gravity finally forces the whole collection to finally move. Also, if I do a bowl, I am facing the challenge of uphill climbing for the locomotive, now pulling a full consist, once finished. (I know, it's not like they are climbing a mountain, but I don't want to run into any snags in the overall yard operation.)

The other thing that I am unsure about, is lighting; I don't just mean interior lighting of structures, but signal lighting for the track as well as street lights, etc. How does all of this come together? Again, my main goal is to have everything centrally controlled so that I don't have to run from one end of the layout to the other to activate certain features.

Your thoughts...
 

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Being a :newbie: and a hump yard are two things that don't go well together. There are a lot of factors and ways to deal with a hump yard.
I would say a bowl effect would be a very bad design!:sly: Cars would be going both directions uncontrolled, Yikes!:eek:

Super elevating rails is a fairly easy process done with thin peices of styrene

Signal lighting can be done in a multitude of different ways, It all depends on DC, DCC, Types of switch machine, and Type of controls systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Being a :newbie: and a hump yard are two things that don't go well together. There are a lot of factors and ways to deal with a hump yard.
I would say a bowl effect would be a very bad design!:sly: Cars would be going both directions uncontrolled, Yikes!:eek:

Super elevating rails is a fairly easy process done with thin peices of styrene

Signal lighting can be done in a multitude of different ways, It all depends on DC, DCC, Types of switch machine, and Type of controls systems.

What would you suggest for a hump design, if not a bowl? The thing about the pier approach, is that when the cars go down the hump, they are moving so fast that it looks funny. For a while, I had been tinkering around with various heighths for a hump, in the event that I ended up doing a hump, and it seems like I can do it with the feed track elevated no more than the thickness of a piece of plywood. Albeit, when I do this, the track is unsupported and there is no permanent layout; I can play around with the angle of the track, continuously.

How would I do the styrene elevating? Is it possible to cut it at a radius to match the radius of the turn, and still get elevated effect?


As far as lighting goes, I definitely want to go with DCC for that.
 

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A good friend and I worked on a hump yard for his railroad about twenty years ago. He got it working quite well. It was HO scale, code 100 Atlas switches and track. All rolling stock had the SAME trucks and metal wheels (this was the most important thing).

The 'bowl' was flat, eight sidings, about 7' long. Some type of brush bristles were used just past the last switch on each siding to slow the car after getting through the switches. Our time was 90% on the grade needed to get through the switches.

We found car length and weight did not matter, having the same truck and wheel sets
did.

He moved a few years ago and does not have the railroad back up and operating yet.
 

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For a hump yard, how does one brake the car as it is rolling down the track? Many of the ones that I have seen tend to allow the car to "crash" into any other cars on the track. A slight "bump" seems to be the goal, but nor sure how to achieve that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A good friend and I worked on a hump yard for his railroad about twenty years ago. He got it working quite well. It was HO scale, code 100 Atlas switches and track. All rolling stock had the SAME trucks and metal wheels (this was the most important thing).

The 'bowl' was flat, eight sidings, about 7' long. Some type of brush bristles were used just past the last switch on each siding to slow the car after getting through the switches. Our time was 90% on the grade needed to get through the switches.

We found car length and weight did not matter, having the same truck and wheel sets
did.

He moved a few years ago and does not have the railroad back up and operating yet.
That sounds more along the lines of what I was thinking of doing. I wasn't going to have it fed from both directions; I was going to only feed from one direction and the group tracks would be at the 'bottom' of the 'bowl'. Additionally, I was just going to stage locomotives at the end of the group trackage, so when the cars roll, they come to a stop by coupling with the locomotive(s) This, of course, would be followed by the subsequent rolling stock, which would then couple with the other rolling stock that has already gone down the hump and into the group trackage.

The grade of the slope has been my main focus: I have been tinkering around with the angle necessary to allow the car to roll the length I need them to, but without wizzing by at mach 3. It also seems to me, that the trackage in the switches would have to be very carefully laid down; there probably should be no inperfections with respect to how the trackage is tacked down.

I wasn't sure, but now that you have confirmed it: I had been pondering the trucks and was going to convert whatever rolling stock inventory that I ended up with, to all metal trucks all of the same manufacturer.
 

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As far as the hump yard goes, there are may articles written on how to effectively make a working hump yard.
I personally would set it all up flat yard and work with it for a while to get a feel for the operations before you jump headlong into a very hard and time consuming process.

Super elevating in N scale is just done with .020 to .030 thick styrene (very thin) just cut pieces like 1/4" x 1/4" and insert them under one side about every 1" apart.
Your not going to notice any operational advantage of super elevating the tracks.

If you want the DCC to run the lighting operations as well as the rail operations, you're going to need a fairly large DCC controller to run all of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For a hump yard, how does one brake the car as it is rolling down the track? Many of the ones that I have seen tend to allow the car to "crash" into any other cars on the track. A slight "bump" seems to be the goal, but nor sure how to achieve that.
I can't be certain, but it seems to me, that a large part of it has to do with the angle and length of the slope for the hump. I don't think there is a braking system that one can install on a hump yard. Like you said, most of the hump yards that people have built, the cars just wizz by at an unrealistic speed and then crash into the other units.
 

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I can't be certain, but it seems to me, that a large part of it has to do with the angle and length of the slope for the hump. I don't think there is a braking system that one can install on a hump yard. Like you said, most of the hump yards that people have built, the cars just wizz by at an unrealistic speed and then crash into the other units.
That is the differance between a good hump yard and bad one.;)
You can use brush brissels, air, or other mechanical means to slow the cars before impact. Real railroad hump yards use retarders (wheel flange brakes) to get the job done. It's near to impossible to get the speed of the cars all the same without some kind of braking system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is the differance between a good hump yard and bad one.;)
You can use brush brissels, air, or other mechanical means to slow the cars before impact. Real railroad hump yards use retarders (wheel flange brakes) to get the job done. It's near to impossible to get the speed of the cars all the same without some kind of braking system.
Yes, you're right. And, they use radar, pneumatic retarders (several of them) and the grade of the hump is designed to achieve the desired roll rate/speed, etc...


I definitely am going to mess around with it flat, to begin with, until I am sure I have achieved what I want; I am not going to just snap a bunch of switches into place and then think I have built my hump yard. And, I have been messing around with slope angles and lengths, to get an approximate idea of how the hump would have to be graded and at what length.

The brush brissles idea is actually a pretty good idea. If, for some reason, I had to make the slope of the hump more drastic than I have been anticipating, then I would definitely employ something like that.

And, just in case anyone was wondering, what I was going to do, was basically trace my garage with the layout. What I mean, is if you can picture opening the garage doors to your garage and being met with a track layout. There is a door that leads to the garage from inside the house, which would be left unobstructed by the layout so I could go in and out, but the actual layout would trace the sides and the garage door area in a horseshoe pattern. It's a three-car garage and the measurements are approximately 24 feet for the sides and 32 feet across the width where the garage doors span. And, this would be an N scale layout.

What I was planning on doing, was having two main road names on the layout: UP and BNSF as those are the two prime road names that service the area where I live. Consequently, I was going to have two yards: one would be the hump yard and, of course, the other would be a normal yard. In my area, UP has the hump yard (West Colton), but I was thinking, based on how I had sketched out the layout, the BNSF side would end up getting the hump in this case.

(To build all of this as I am talking and pondering, and to have a functioning hump yard, etc... it's going to take me a couple of years to get it right and complete.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That is the differance between a good hump yard and bad one.;)
You can use brush brissels, air, or other mechanical means to slow the cars before impact. Real railroad hump yards use retarders (wheel flange brakes) to get the job done. It's near to impossible to get the speed of the cars all the same without some kind of braking system.
Incidentally, how would one employ air in a hump yard for speed braking? I am trying to picture it.
 

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I have seen a HO layout using air nozzles to control the speed of the car. It was an engineering marvel.......air nozzles, control valves, air compressor, air lines, control center for monitoring air flow.............It is like something might see coming out of NASA for in-flight control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have seen a HO layout using air nozzles to control the speed of the car. It was an engineering marvel.......air nozzles, control valves, air compressor, air lines, control center for monitoring air flow.............It is like something might see coming out of NASA for in-flight control.
Holy mackerel! I don't know if I want to go that route. I can see possibly using brush brissles as NIMT mentioned, but using air to slow the cars down, seems a bit involved.

I was thinking about it since we last talked, and I think a potential, less-involved solution, might be if I multi-leveled the yard. In other words: the car releases from the original consist, heads down the hump and then the grade levels out a bit - to slow the car down - and then another hump brings the car the rest of the way down into the group trackage. I noticed that Union Pacific's West Colton yard, looks like it has a bit of a multi-level hump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I forgot to mention as well, that a lot of the times, what people tend to do when they do hump yards, is they leave the hump and group trackage, virtually along the same axis. In other words, the hump leads straight down into the groups. What I was going to do, was put radius' in the switches, so that some of the energy bleeds off as the car goes through the switches. The cars would make some turns as they go through the process.
 

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For car weights, check out the NMRA site for recommended car weights. Not sure how you get inside a tank car, but once you get in, you can buy lead (fishing weights ,etc.) for adding weight. BB shots work great (glue them together before adding to the car) The stuff they weight golf clubs works great (can get at a golf store).
 

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We used a piece of 1/8" hardboard (Masonite) to test for hump height and length. Used double sided tape to hold switches and track to the board. Then in his unfinished basement we clamped wood to 10' feet of exposed wall joists to support the hardboard and track. Then adjusted the clamps and supporting wood to vary the height and length of the hump, (and mark level lines). I recall it was only a few hours total to find the right height and length to get a consistent and desired result.
 
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