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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2019 :  7:21:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This thread really took off and is a wealth of info. Thanks for all that contributed!!

While continuing to research and plan for the White Deer & Loganton ‘A Full Day of Trains in Loganton, 1907’ or the grander Williamsport & North Branch / Eagles Mere RR ‘Tanbark, Clothespins and Parasols - Sonestown, 1910’ layouts, I thought I’d work out a more modest undertaking to get something built and hone my skills. And see some trains run. Until I have enough research done to know I’m building an accurate portrayal of those locations at those times, I’ll be unsatisfied with the results. So while this small layout should be rooted in a prototype, I’m ok with taking some creative license. Even something sorta freelanced as long as its ‘prototypically plausible’.

And it’s gotta be achievable. Loganton and Sonestown certainly are achievable once I have all my historical research concluded. For this layout I’m unburdening myself of rigid conformation to a prototype scene.

Here’s what I’m thinking...

* Up to 6’x18” shelf. No ell.
* HO or HOn3
* Up to 18” staging if staging is necessary for satisfactory operation. Trains can only enter and leave from one side.
* Because trains will enter and leave from the same direction, this should be thought of as either a spur or a branchline terminus.
* 30-45 minutes of ops
* Pre-WWII - Closer to 1900 than 1940. I like 1907-ish. :)
* Small steam, small rolling stock, short trains.
* Reasonable availability of appropriate locomotives and rolling stock that needs minimal alterations to be era-correct. Bachman steamers, etc.
* Based on a prototype - PA logging, mining, rural town - small branchline; ‘atmosphere’ is important. I feel closest to scenes that I have a connection with, especially north central PA, the anthracite region, or the Pacific Northwest. But I’m willing to learn and explore other regions...
* Interesting track plan trumps true prototype but trackage must be based on prototypical practice. Must feel authentic. That’s why I like prototype-based track plans.
* Minimal compression - prefer none. I’m not interested in smashing as much track as possible into the available space. I’d rather have something like a single industry with multiple car spots than trying to fit multiple small caricature customers onto the layout. I’ll give up operation time to avoid overly compressing the scene.
* Something like one major industry (creamery, grain mill, small factory, kindling mill, stock pens, etc.) combined with a team track and combination depot would really do nicely.
* I like historic photos and track maps as a source of inspiration.

So, thoUghts for something neat, early and achievable?

Edited by - RyanAK on 01/21/2020 2:04:29 PM

deemery
Fireman

USA
8259 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2019 :  8:10:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How about the Pittsburgh, Shawmut & Northern? Here's how to get started: https://www.amazon.com/Pittsburgh-Shawmut-Northern-Paul-Pietrak/dp/B004JVWIT2 (That's a surprisingly good price.) Coal and lumber hauler, central PA prototype, some unique locos (Vanderbilt tenders), connections to PRR, NYC, BR&P.

There are some other similar PRR shortlines, including Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh, Buffalo & Susquehanna, Western New York & Pennsylvania.

dave

Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Edited by - deemery on 12/24/2019 8:12:43 PM
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Michael Hohn
Fireman

USA
6117 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2019 :  10:59:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ryan,

You have a well thought-out set of requirements. In your place I would probably start leafing through my books and magazines looking for interesting track plans and figuring out what kind of traffic they supported and also looking at rural industries to see which seemed to have a fair amount of traffic with some variety. Sort of working from both ends of the problem.

One possibility is the tanning industry with hides, tan bark, fuel (coal) coming in and leather going out. They are often associated with other lumber-related industries. Some of the work and time in switching can result from both multiple spotting locations on a single track and multiple tracks.

If you operate at prototypical speeds as Lance Mindheim advocates in his books and blog, even a simple track plan can take a while to switch out.

In addition to tanning, other rural industries were chemical plants producing acetic acid and merchant blast furnaces.

Mike
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Gloucesterman
New Hire

41 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2019 :  5:06:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Temiscouata Railway isn't located in Pennsylvania and so not an appropriate prototype for you, but Matthieu Lachance's thoughts on how he intends to model a small branch of it in limited space (see http://connorsbranch.blogspot.com/search/label/Layout%20Design) may prove helpful in your planning stage. His approach is a minimalist one similar to that favored by Lance Mindheim, which seeks to portray an historical scene in a dramatic way through what he calls "framing." Whether or not you fully agree with that approach--an approach common in the UK where small layouts based on branch terminals are common--you may find his steps in thinking out what he wants to create inspirational. At any rate, his reflections strike me as an example of your "thoughts for something neat, early, and achievable.

Frank
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2019 :  7:10:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave, great suggestions. A few of those roads are on my list, but the Shawmut is a new one for me to look into.

Mike.. thanks for the encouragement. I wouldn’t be able to model an entire tannery in the space but could probably make a good representation of the rail operations. I’m also looking at a wood chemical plant or a kindling mill. I also just ran across some early furnaces in the Bellefonte, PA area that might be a good size to model. That needs more research for sure. Maybe a lime kiln or coke ovens?

Frank, Connors is one of my favorites and I love how Matthieu is approaching it. I don’t think I can do Connors justice in HO in just 6’, though it’s just the kind of layout I’m looking for.

Speaking of 6’... this comment on this same topic that I have posted over on Model Railroad Hobbyist:
“ You are NOT getting much operation on a 6’ Long layout, That is basically the size of a “time saver” which is not a layout it is a switching puzzle.
As long as you realize that this is more of a layout to practice building techniques on and not to occupy you time switching you can do a lot with this.”

I don’t agree, but thought I’d see what you all think. A train with a purpose is operating and I think something completely satisfying is possible in 6 feet.
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Michael Hohn
Fireman

USA
6117 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2019 :  9:58:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ryan,

I was assuming you’d only be able to do part of a tannery. In fact, you wouldn’t need any buildings, just a track to drop off or pick up cars which were switched off scene.

I agree, a strong possibility for what you want is a terminus with a depot, track for freight house or a team track, a runaround track, and a spur for an industry or short branch. If you ran mixed trains you’d have to switch out the freight house or team track and the industry track while all the time having to work around the passenger cars.

I assume you’re not going to worry about turning the locomotives.

Mike

Edited by - Michael Hohn on 12/26/2019 4:36:30 PM
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rca2
Engine Wiper

USA
463 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2019 :  12:49:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My thoughts about operating is that 6' is 522' of scale trackage. Less than 1/10th mile. You could have 522' of mainline or no mainline and some switching. A small depot with a team track and stock pens would fit. Interchange tracks can just be a short spur. A "major" industry could be suggested by an access track. Sidings take up depth, not length. So you could add a passing siding too. That gives you more operating interest, adding the potential for meets.

The British have perfected the design of small layouts and supporting staging areas. That was my first thought on reading your druthers.

The Sherman Paper Co. small shelf design is a favorite of mine. Slide 30. http://www.amherstrail.org/ABEL/Downloads/Shelf-Layouts.pdf

Modeling Arizona Eastern Railroad, Hayden Junction (1920), in On30

Edited by - rca2 on 12/26/2019 01:09:13 AM
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Michael Hohn
Fireman

USA
6117 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2019 :  4:45:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I was fortunate enough to see Phil Gliebe’s clinic referenced above. He did a good job. I agree with the others that a British style small layout would fit the list of requirements. I’m another reader of Railway Modeller, which I find to be an inspiration. Many of the small terminus layouts are made up or hypothetical but a few are based on actual locations with prototype track plans. The 6’ ones are almost certainly compressed.

Mike

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robchant
Fireman

Canada
1184 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2019 :  12:28:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ryan,

I found two articles in Model Railroader by Boyce Martin that might offer you some inspiration for your layout. The first one, "Small Station" appeared in the January 1952 issue on page 12. The second, "Freight House and Team Tracks" appeared in the May 1952 issue on page 20. Both articles highlight a few small stations from various locations in the US that would be suitable for a LDE. There is a photo of each station, a simple track diagram, and it also shows the nearby industries.

Good luck,
Rob.
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2019 :  3:52:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
rea2 - something on the British pattern of small layout design is what I had in mind. That’s a great presentation. Thanks for sharing.

Mike - as usual, you seem to understand where I’m going with my desires in modeling. A terminus with depot, freight house or team track, a runaround, and a single industry. If the terminus is at the end of a decent size branch, you’d have cars in the train that came from or are going to (depending on which way the spur faces) other stations along the branch. I also assume not turning the locomotive.

Rob - You’re always full of good resources. I’ll try to search out “Small Stations” and “Freight Houses and Team Tracks”. Vintage photos and prototype track diagrams are my favorite type of research material. Trouble is that track maps for small locations are often difficult to locate. I appreciate the leads.

Here’s my thinking... I tend to think in terms of car spots, and see what will fit with proper clearances. 6’ of layout is 522’ in HO. That’s thirteen 40’ car lengths. As rea2 points out, sidings take up depth, so we have the ability to have several tracks in our 18” depth. Here’s my sorta running list of possible car spots to utilize. Organized by ‘CUSTOMER’ and number of spots, then types of car.

Car Spots
*** Passenger Depot 1-2
* Coach, Combine

*** Freight House 2-3
* Box, Flat

*** Combination Depot 1-2
* Combine, Coach, Box

*** Team Track 2-3
* Box, Flat, Gondola

*** Stock Pens 2-3
* Stock, Box

*** Creamery 2-3 - More research on ops needed
* Milk Car, Box, Tank (casein), Hopper (coal)

*** Milk Collection 1-2
* Combine, Box, Milk

*** Sawmill, Kindling Mill, Clothespin Factory 6-10 (NG/SG)
* Log cars, Flat, Gondola, Hopper (coal)

*** Grain/Feed Mill or Elevator 2-3
* Box

*** Wood Chemical 6-10 (NG/SG)
* Log, Gondola, Flat, Tank, Box, Hopper (coal)

*** Tannery 6-10 - More research on ops needed
* Flat, Gondola, Box, Tank, Hopper (coal)

*** Lumber / Building Supply 2-3
* Flat, Box, Gondola, Hopper

*** Silk or Woolen Mill - More research needed
* TBD

*** Ag Co-Op 1-3
* Box, Flat, Gondola

*** Coal Dealer - Large 2-3
* Hopper

*** Coal Dealer - Small 1-2
* Hopper

*** Ice - More research needed

*** Iron Furnace - More research needed

*** Limekiln - More research needed

*** Fertilizer - More research needed

*** Produce Warehouse - More research needed

Cars in train for towns/industries along branch.
Passenger equipment create a bottleneck.

Right now I’m leaning towards a combination depot, team track, and a creamery... but any of the small- or mid-sized industries would do. I think the larger industries would need the entire layout to do any kind of justice... which is fine if something really captures my imagination. A single-industry layout would be interesting, but I’d gotta go all in on a furnace, lime kiln, tannery or one of the wood products industries and forget the other operations.

Fun stuff, eh?
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2019 :  4:53:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here’s Werley, Wisconsin. Depot, team track, stock pens, creamery. This isn’t a terminus, but it gives good sense of what I’m going for. Might be a good starting point. This is a Chicago and Northwestern narrow gauge line. Neat!



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robchant
Fireman

Canada
1184 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2019 :  5:20:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some excellent photo online of this station too:







Looks like you would have the milk traffic right on the station platform, and maybe pulpwood or mine props too.


Edited by - robchant on 12/27/2019 5:22:03 PM
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2019 :  5:43:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it’s a pretty neat start for something in 6 feet. Wonder what the other stations on the line look like? But Werley as a terminus... maybe with one more siding or a turntable... nifty.

Passengers, live stock, LCL freight, pulp wood, dairy. Good traffic. Narrow gauge would be darn nifty too. Smaller equipment, more space!
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Michael Hohn
Fireman

USA
6117 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2019 :  6:26:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ryan,

Your research and analysis here are going to help me along as I decide on an industry for Alderson. I have been thinking of a kindling factory, but my mind is open right now.

I’ve always liked the look of a creamery. A little after my time period, though. By the way, I have plans for a creamery in New York or New England published in Railmodel Journal.

Mike

Edited by - Michael Hohn on 12/27/2019 8:56:10 PM
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

USA
302 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2019 :  7:04:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think the rail-served ice industry around Harvey’s Lake is worth looking into, Mike. Ice was big industry even in mid-sized cities like Shamokin. If I knew a little more about it, I’d jump right in. A kindling factory is so unique that it really adds something to any layout. I think I’ve only seen one or two modeled while researching and I don’t remember them being that great. You’d really do it justice with the way you model. Whatever you decide, researching and learning is fun.

Fun note. Some creameries shipped casein for another neat industry - paint.

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deemery
Fireman

USA
8259 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2019 :  7:54:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In a woods industry, e.g.kindling, tanning, there's opportunities for interchange between a mainline railroad and a logging railroad. That gives you opportunity for regular and logging locos.

dave

Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)
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