Saturday, November 28, 2020

The new yard takes shape

95% of the track for the new yard has been laid down.  That leaves the engine/caboose tracks and I still need to connect the rear inner staging track, but I'm holding off on those for now.  

I ran out of joiners but more are on the way and since I've used PECO large turnouts, they've pushed the industrial lead a little further down the yard than I had previously planned.  So I'm playing with a couple of ideas as to where it will be placed now.

One thought was to have the lead come off just before engine/caboose tracks or actually have it come off of the rear staging tracks?

I chose to stick with 1-1/2" spacing again.  I'll still be staging by hand plus I had plenty of room.
Left to Right: SB & NB staging, Run Through track, Car Storage tracks and Consist storage track.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

First test run in the new yard

I got the first stretch of new track laid down in the main yard tonight.

No wires yet so I just used a couple of jumpers.

And a quick video.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Staging yard evolution

The design keeps evolving, hopefully for the better.

The first design was simple and clean.

The second design seen the addition of a separate car storage track for the industries which was double ended.  This would allow the switcher to get on the other end of a car so I could have spurs on the blue industry track that would face both directions.

I retained the two green tracks for the two through freights.

One of the yard tracks would now hold pre-consisted locomotives that could be rotated through for each additional operating session. After each session, the current consist would be placed on the left end of that track and the consist on the right would then be shuffled to the engine facility. This would give me the chance to use a different set of power for each session and add variety.  

It would also give a timeline where I could service the consists.  After every rotation or every other rotation, I could service and clean the consists, or even change out the consists with a new batch if so desired, thus giving me even more variety.  In a future post I'll explain more why I'm using pre-consisted power sets.

This next design had a few more refinements.  From suggestions of a friend, I added two shorter car storage tracks, the idea here was that it might resemble a smaller interchange yard within the main yard.

The consist storage track became the running track and the consist storage track was moved to the rear track.  Moving it to the rear was done as he said having the consist on the third track might make it look like a dead line   But then again, what would modeling The Rock Island be without dead power?

I wanted a simpler yard design to go along with the simple operations that I came up with awhile back.  So time will tell if the yard goes through another design evolution.  But for right now this is the one I'm planning on. 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Fresh paint

Not much progress has been made recently, but I did manage to get all the track pulled up from the yard with the exception of the three stretches along the backdrop.  I also got the surface repainted with a fresh coat of brown paint.

On the left end of the yard, I managed to get the two turnouts cut in for the rear staging sidings.

I'm still working on getting the opposite end of the sidings installed on the right end.

The loop on the right end is going to be broader than it was before which should alleviate some of the issues I had.  Most of the time long trains would make it around ok, but every now and then one would string line.   Hopefully now that it's broader and that I'm using longer PECO turnouts, it should occur much less often, plus I won't be running long trains as much either.