I have been working on the track plan for some time. Essentially from Christmas on. This weekend I had it to the point where it roughly satisfied the Givens & Druthers. A lot of artistic liberty had been taken with the placement of industries relative to Brittain yard but I was at a loss of how better to do it. My available space to work with evaporated quickly. Logically, I need more space seems to be the mantra of most all model railroaders. Kitzmiller and Lapeer I am pleased as punch with.
My next step is to mock-up various sub-sections with paper & cardboard to get a real feel of what works and what doesn’t. I have the print templates for all the various pieces of commercially available turnouts, wyes, crossovers, etc. The paper templates should allow me to try the track plan for fit in 1:1 scale. During the design I knew I was only approximating the turnout lengths and angles. Since I wasn’t using actual track planning software it would have been an exercise unto itself just creating scale representations. Instead, I am relying on the paper templates. Throughout the process I did verify curve radii were accurate. The main uses 30″ minimum curves (except for one 24″ curve at the interchange) and the helices are 34″. The industry spurs are 18″ minimum. My paper and cardboard mock-up will focus on the turnout laden areas and especially Brittain yard.
The plan was posted on several model railroad forums asking for critique. Much has been received. I updated the track plan as comments were posted when the change was relatively easy to incorporate into the plan. Some of the comments I had anticipated such as turnout angles and arrangement, hidden track access, and similar. Other comments were unexpected cool additions or solutions to certain engineering issues such as hiding the center helix. There are a large number of great people on the model railroad forums. Their willingness to help a complete stranger is admirable. I sure am glad this virtual community exists. The live and learn sessions they have saved me already are too numerous to count. Their comments and information from their other posts on the forums is a godsend for someone like me new to the hobby trying to come up with something at least workable on the first shot.
The model railroad fun is over for this weekend. As a result of the comments received thus far I am left with this list of “might be show stoppers” that I will begin to address next weekend.
- Brittain yard west end turnout fitting, first area to apply turnout paper templates, probably won’t work as drawn.
- Yard lead length, intersection with hidden main.
- Helix to spur clearance in Goodyear complex.
- Staging tracks length too short.
- Minimum radius in yard increase to 24″.
- Scenic gap between Lapeer and Brittain too short.