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Author Previous Topic: SwitchWithIt Ver 1.7.3.2 Released Topic Next Topic: Lehigh Northern Designed for Ops and Expanded
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robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 03/20/2014 :  9:19:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Collin Loo

Hi Rob,

I thoroughly enjoy all the layout plans. Please keep them coming.



Hi Collin,

Thanks for the reply. More are on the way.

Take care,
Rob.




Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Country: Canada | Posts: 914 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 03/20/2014 :  9:20:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by goldrush

I will take you up on your kind offer Rob. Give me a few days and I will email you a drawing of my room and what ideas I have.
Gary



Hi Gary,

Whenever you're ready just email me.

Take care,
Rob.




Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Country: Canada | Posts: 914 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  4:45:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a revisit of the 4x8 plan for a branchline I presented earlier. I received an email that asked to see this plan as an around the walls layout with more scenery added. The emailer also wanted me to make the switching a bit easier at the end of the line, since he thought it would be very difficult to switch the 5 industries in that town, which it is.

I had modified the original plan that this design was based on, just to make the switching a bit more challenging (it's actually designed as a bit of a switching puzzle). I removed a crossover and also added an industry to the switching lead of another industry. By removing the crossover, I reduced the usability of the passing track as both a run around and a much needed storage track. By adding the lumber yard to the switching lead of the produce wholesaler, it added another wrinkle in switching that town. I also added more road crossings that couldn't be blocked for extended periods of time.

The secret to switching the end of the line is that the switch crew must make a run to the town and pull all the out-bound cars and return them to the interchange before bringing in the in-bounds. While it will be less difficult, it will still require a lot of run around moves to complete the work. Without having a storage track, it will also require the crew to plan all moves carefully. If the work was easy, this wouldn't be a very challenging design.

This 6'x10' version of the design has an optional crossover that breaks the passing track down into a run around and storage track if you donít want the challenge of my original design. I also increased the length of the interchange track, so you have more room for staging. I also added another warehouse to switch (which could also be added to the 4x8 plan) and a double track bridge scene. I still think this is a good small layout design that could teach a lot about operating a layout prototypically and be challenging enough to keep you interested.





Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Edited by - robchant on 04/09/2014 09:16:42 AM

Country: Canada | Posts: 914 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  11:43:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Sydney & Louisburg Ry had one purpose: to move coal, and a lot of it. Although its mainline was only 39 miles long, it was considered a Class 1 railway. In its heyday, the line employed almost 400 men and hauled nearly 4-million tons of freight annually (chiefly coal) which was more tonnage per mile than any other railway in the Canada.

The transition era for this line didn't happen until the 1960s when the first diesel was placed in service in 1961 and due to the availability of coal, the last steam locomotive was not retired until 1966. When every other line was retiring steam, the S&L was adding more locomotives to its roster. A roster of 31 locomotives that included locos formerly owned by Chesapeake & Ohio, New York Central, Pittsburg & Lake Erie and Elgin, Joliette & Eastern along with a few other American railroads.

The layout I designed represents those 39 miles of mainline from Sydney to Louisbourg (the town using the French spelling ending in "bourg" while the railway used the English spelling ending in "burg") is quite compacted even in a 24'x24' room. There are a lot of scenes left out and many collieries that were served by the line were also not included since the line also included another 77 miles of branch lines.

Only the mainline trains would be modeled and they would travel the line picking up and dropping off cars for the various branches and collieries. I also only modeled one coal mine (#20 Colliery) and the rest are represented by tracks going to the edge of the layout or by junctions. The plan is very relaxed and I only included a bare minimum of structures, but more could be added.

All mainline crews are based in Glace Bay and each crew must pick up trains orders at stations along the line. The railway had two coal shipping piers at either end of the line, but by this time the pier at Lousibourg wasn't used very often. However, I wanted to include that end of the line since it was more scenic than the line to Sydney. I also converted the pier at Louisbourg to a balloon track which was being used at the other end of the line in Sydney to unload the trains faster.

The interchange at Sydney was with Canadian National and any other freight came in thru there. There were a few other small customers that the S&L served, but as already stated, moving coal was the primary reason for the line.





Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Edited by - robchant on 04/09/2014 09:16:56 AM

Country: Canada | Posts: 914 Go to Top of Page

belg
Fireman



Posted - 03/22/2014 :  08:38:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rob, just stopped by to say your talents are surely appreciated by all you help and those that get to see the results.
Several really nice plans in here. Thanks again for helping me, Pat



Country: USA | Posts: 4500 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 03/22/2014 :  08:41:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by belg

Rob, just stopped by to say your talents are surely appreciated by all you help and those that get to see the results.
Several really nice plans in here. Thanks again for helping me, Pat



Thanks Pat. Whenever you're ready to have another go at it, please let me know.

Take care,
Rob.




Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Country: Canada | Posts: 914 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 03/22/2014 :  09:57:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Rob,
Although I completed trackwork for my layout several years ago, I make changes every so often to conform to prototypical scenes or new industries. In addition, I have friends building new layouts, and a modeling group I belong to might have to rebuild its layout, so it's useful for me to do some "theoretical" layout design. (Or redesign of somebody else's design.)

You've shown us a large number of designs, which get the brain matter working. As I wrote earlier, I like the relaxed designs, not requiring weird solutions, leaving lots of space for scenery and buildings as appropriate. Having said that, we should be tearing your designs apart mercilessly. (Said half kidding.)

Do you have any 'before and after' designs that would illustrate some of the principles you follow?

Cheers,
Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 03/22/2014 :  10:51:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hohn

Rob,
Although I completed trackwork for my layout several years ago, I make changes every so often to conform to prototypical scenes or new industries. In addition, I have friends building new layouts, and a modeling group I belong to might have to rebuild its layout, so it's useful for me to do some "theoretical" layout design. (Or redesign of somebody else's design.)

You've shown us a large number of designs, which get the brain matter working. As I wrote earlier, I like the relaxed designs, not requiring weird solutions, leaving lots of space for scenery and buildings as appropriate. Having said that, we should be tearing your designs apart mercilessly. (Said half kidding.)

Do you have any 'before and after' designs that would illustrate some of the principles you follow?

Cheers,
Mike



Hi Mike,

Actually, I really wouldn't mind someone ripping my designs apart, I think it would be a lot more entertaining than me just posting plans and talking to myself. As for the design principles I follow, they have been polished over the last few years to make the process easier. I'm not sure how far you want me to go into my thought process, but what follows is an overview.

How I go about coming up with a design is tailored to each situation. Although the person might not be aware of it, I work from a list of questions very similar to John Armstrong's Givens and Druthers. Since the design process is interactive, I only ask enough questions to get to the next phase in design then ask the next set of questions before proceeding.

I know from past experiences that sending a long list of questions and asking a layout owner to answer all of them before I begin design work usually fails. Since I do this step discretely, the owners may not even be aware he is giving me his list of "Givens and Druthers".

Understanding what the layout owner wants is always the most important step, I also feel that it is important that I try to keep neutral and never push my views on the design unless I am asked. I will point out if a plan deviates from good design practices, but I always have to remember that this plan is not meant to satisfy my personal list of "Givens and Druthers".

The first step is always an accurate space diagram, the minimum standards for the design and an overview of what the layout owner wants to see in the final plan. That's pretty much all I need to come up with a first draft. Sometimes I get it right on the first try, or that plan will at least be the starting point for the final design and we will tweak it until the layout owner is happy with it.

Once the design is finalized, I usually do what I call my idealized use of the space and show it to the client. This version is what I would do if the space was mine and I was designing the layout for myself. Many of the plan you see on here are these idealized designs and not the actually plan the layout owner wanted in the space. Since these designs are also only meant for idea purposes, I removed much of the extra track work and structures to make them a lot more generic.

If there is enough interest, I can do up a tutorial that shows how I actually do the design work and my detailed thought process and failed attempts along the way. While I would be working in 3rd PlantIt, I could make it general enough that anyone should get something from it, even if designing by hand. Whoever participates (it can be more than 1 person) would have to be involved in the design from start to finish and we can cover all aspects from the list of Givens and Druthers to operating the layout prototypically.

So who's in???

Take care,
Rob.




Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Edited by - robchant on 03/22/2014 10:53:15 AM

Country: Canada | Posts: 914 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 04/11/2014 :  10:34:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For the last few years I really have been bitten by the On30 bug and it was actually how I came upon these forums. The work and modeling being done on here in On30 is phenomenal to say the least and it is really piquing my interest to explore that scale further.

I sold all my HO stuff several years ago, so I am now starting with a clean slate again. Although I don't have a lot of space available for a layout, it looks like On30 will be the way that I eventually go. Right now I am in the learning and design stages and trying to decide how to get the most out of the space I do have available.

I have these 3 rooms to choose from:

(1) A 10' 6" x 12' 6" spare bedroom (it has a sloping ceiling on one wall and a closet that I would like to be able to access, it was used for my Keg Harbour & Saco River plan);

(2) A 10' 10" x 12' 6" ex-dining room (currently this is being used as a small photography studio and I am not sure that I want to give it up yet.); and

(3) A 9' 6" x 23' 0" room in my basement (while I have done a lot of designs for this room, it is in an old basement that is starting to crack and the small leaks are getting worse each year. With how much water came in during the annual spring thaw this year, it just severed as another reminder not to use this space. It is also unfinished, so it would require a lot of prep work before even beginning.)

I am exploring all my options, so I am not opposed to using anything in a design that will allow me to get the most out of the space I have. If you have been following along with this thread, you will probably see that I like to keep things as simple as possible, so I am not one for a spaghetti bowls of track. Although I like to keep a layout easy to build, I am not opposed to using multiple deck options or other creative ways to use the space, if the gain outweighs the pain.

Anyway, on to my next design. This design is for my dining room space and is based on the 36" gauge Sydney & Louisburg Coal & Ry Co that operated for a few years in the late 1870-80s and then became part of the Sydney & Louisburg Ry in 1894.

Of course I took a lot of liberties with the plan to tailor it more to my liking and add more freight traffic besides coal. There was also no way to model all the huge coal export piers at either end of the line or all the online coal mines the railway served in the limited space, so coal traffic was downed sized for the layout.

For anyone wanting more background info on the line, I set up this URL:

http://www.railwaysofns.com/On30/index.htm

I also wanted to incorporate the Keg Harbour & Saco River Ry design into the plan, so that was the basis for Level #1. The original Keg Harbour plan was designed with a 20" minimum radius, so I had to increase that to the 24" minimum of this design. I got everything to fit and even added a bit more, but it now requires 2 hand laid crossings to make the plan work. (I think the pain was worth the gain.)

Since the layout represents the entire line, I didn't need any staging. Sydney serves as the staging area with the transfer of passengers and freight from the standard gauge Intercolonial Ry (later part on Canadian National Rys) The run from Sydney to Reserve is lengthened by having the train layover for a few minutes on a hidden track before entering Reserve. Like all my plans, the track work is kept simple and to a bare minimum, since I think this helps make operations more interesting as you really have to think your moves thru before starting a train.





Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Edited by - robchant on 09/02/2015 7:07:08 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 914 Go to Top of Page

dave1905
Fireman



Posted - 04/11/2014 :  3:42:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Can one person handle that long of a cassette securely?

Swap the coal dock and the pier by the schooner, will let you get a bigger wharf for the coal. Or move it to Mira Bay and put ina double track wharf.

Lorway mine will have to be big enough to get an engine under the tipple.

Access around the peninsula will be awkward froma chair and could make working the industries above it difficult.

I really want one more track at the terminals to hold cars so a train arriving isn't a switching puzzle every time.

Farmer's Feed & Seed has the wrong style of elevator for an 1890's, 1900's era.

How come no place on the layout USES coal? I would think at least one spot on every level would have a retail coal dealer for heating, cooking and small industrial uses.


Dave H.

Iron men and wooden cars

Country: USA | Posts: 1109 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 04/12/2014 :  07:38:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dave1905

Can one person handle that long of a cassette securely?

Swap the coal dock and the pier by the schooner, will let you get a bigger wharf for the coal. Or move it to Mira Bay and put ina double track wharf.

Lorway mine will have to be big enough to get an engine under the tipple.

Access around the peninsula will be awkward froma chair and could make working the industries above it difficult.

I really want one more track at the terminals to hold cars so a train arriving isn't a switching puzzle every time.

Farmer's Feed & Seed has the wrong style of elevator for an 1890's, 1900's era.

How come no place on the layout USES coal? I would think at least one spot on every level would have a retail coal dealer for heating, cooking and small industrial uses.



Hi Dave,

( Your comments are in bold )

DH> Can one person handle that long of a cassette securely?

I don't think manually handling a cassette that long will be a problem, but if it is, there are allowances for some sort of guided lifting system if needed. I see the cassette as being a 5-foot long H-girder using 1x4 pine for the sides and 1x6 pine for the bottom. Slots would be cut along the sides to accept a vertical gate made of Masonite and a gate would be placed as close as possible in front and behind the train to box it in before moving. To protect the train in case of movement, the gates would have a piece of foam rubber glued to the side facing the train. Once lifted to the next position, the gates would be removed and the train would exit. I am still working on how best to power the track, but that has been done in the past, so it shouldn't be an issue.

Here's a graphic of what I have planned so far:



DH> Swap the coal dock and the pier by the schooner, will let you get a bigger wharf for the coal. Or move it to Mira Bay and put ina double track wharf.

I like the idea of swapping the warehouse pier and the coal export pier since I really do need a longer length pier for coal. The reason the line went to Louisbourg Harbour was because it was the only year-round ice free port on this side of Cape Breton Island, so moving the pier to Mira Bay is not an option I want to consider. (In reality, Mira Bay and Louisbourg Harbour are separated by quite a chunk of land.)

DH> Lorway mine will have to be big enough to get an engine under the tipple.

I had also noted that when I added the spur to the warehouse.

DH> Access around the peninsula will be awkward froma chair and could make working the industries above it difficult.

As much as I would hate to get rid of the peninsula, you are right that it is going to cause problems. This will require some rethinking and no doubt a redesign.

DH> I really want one more track at the terminals to hold cars so a train arriving isn't a switching puzzle every time.

I had actually added a storage track at Sydney, and started to go thru how I see the layout being operated and then I removed it. One thing that I have always liked about Maine 2-footers is that there is only enough track to get the job done, and no more. When I look at some of their track diagrams, I start thinking how did they switch this place with the track that was there? It just didn't seem like it was enough.

Right or wrong, I would much rather start with too little track and then add it later once I start actually operating. My philosophy when designing a layout for myself is that I will no doubt add more track if it is needed, but I know that I am not likely to remove it, once it is in place. I hope once I get the plan redone and my vision of how I want to operate the layout a little sharper, we can look at and discuss the track design and operating scheme in more detail. However, my first goal would likely be aimed at deciding what track and turnouts I can eliminate, than considering what should be added. (I am already starting to reconsider my design for Mira Gut and that will no doubt be changed in the next version as well.)

DH> Farmer's Feed & Seed has the wrong style of elevator for an 1890's, 1900's era.

I just grabbed that building out of my library for a place holder, but I didn't realize those storage bins were out of place until you mentioned it. Actually after giving it some more thought, there really shouldn't be any type of bins there at all. I would think all feed would have to come in bagged because of the transfer from standard to narrow gauge at Sydney, so bulk storage wouldn't be needed.

DH> How come no place on the layout USES coal? I would think at least one spot on every level would have a retail coal dealer for heating, cooking and small industrial uses.

Over the years there were nearly 80 mines operating in the area and each community was built up around a working coal mine. During this time, coal came by wagon (and later truck) directly from the mines for domestic use and any business that needed coal also receive coal this way. There was no need for a "coal yard" until around until the 1940s when domestic coal pockets started to open as the smaller coal mines closed and only a few large mines were left operating.

All railways that served the coal mines were strictly industrial lines that serve one purpose: to deliver coal to a shipping port. The only online customer receiving coal by rail was the Seaboard Power Plant (opened in the 1920s) which was located in my hometown of Glace Bay. In later years (after 1960), there was a Fish Plant in Louisbourg that did receive an occasional load of coal, but that was it until the 1980s when a few more coal generating plants went online.

However, with all that being said, you are right that I should include a few more destinations for coal on the layout besides the shipping pier. I changed history to bring more freight into the picture, so it is only logical that I add domestic coal to the mix as well.

Take care,
Rob.




Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Edited by - robchant on 04/12/2014 07:47:51 AM

Country: Canada | Posts: 914 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 04/12/2014 :  07:42:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Lots of good scenes and switching here. I'm bothered by the switching operations at the warehouse having to use one of the mine tracks. Operationally it seems unrealistic unless the warehouse and he mine had same owners (which looks to be the case.) Even then, the mine track would have to be cleared before the warehouse could be switched.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 04/12/2014 :  07:51:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hohn

Lots of good scenes and switching here. I'm bothered by the switching operations at the warehouse having to use one of the mine tracks. Operationally it seems unrealistic unless the warehouse and he mine had same owners (which looks to be the case.) Even then, the mine track would have to be cleared before the warehouse could be switched.

Mike



Hi Mike,

I should have made it more clear that the warehouse is for the mine. All the buildings on that shelf are part of the Lorway Mine. I will make that clearer in the next version.

Take care,
Rob.





Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Country: Canada | Posts: 914 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 04/12/2014 :  09:14:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Maybe you said earlier, but do you have a typical train length in mind?

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 04/12/2014 :  09:31:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hohn

Maybe you said earlier, but do you have a typical train length in mind?

Mike



Hi Mike,

Although nothing set in stone yet, I do plan to keep them short. Maybe 3-4 freight cars and a combine per train and maybe 2 mixed round trips per day. I want the feel of a Maine 2-footer.

Take care,
Rob.




Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Country: Canada | Posts: 914 Go to Top of Page
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