Z Scale HCD

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Z Scale HCD

Postby Chaz » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:39 pm

While learning about loops, folded loops, dog bone loops, folded dog bone loops, twisted loops with overpasses, twisted loops with crossovers, and double mainlines...and having an aversion to reversing loops, I copied ideas from a lot of sources and created this design, using 103' of Rokuhan track, which fits on a 36"x80" hollow core door...if the budget would only allow.

In my mind, this is a one or two person operation. The yardmaster breaks down and builds freight trains as required. Always using the right hand rule of operation, the freight engineer exits the yard to the left and then picks up and spots cars at industrial areas A, B, C and the interchange track D...in that order...and then returns to the yard. The trip out is fairly short. The trip back is a nice long run. If you miss your crossover, just keep going forward and make another loop around the layout.

Freight trains use the pink turnout to cross from the red to blue track and the turquoise turnout to cross from the blue to the red track. Note that because of where these turnouts are placed, there are NO voltage reversing loops. It was very hard to compress the tracks under the yellow overpass and still leave enough room for 3% inclines. The plan is to use 3% risers from Woodland Scenics to create the inclines.

And if the kids want to operate...let one run on the red track and one run on the blue track. A great deal of caution needs to be taken at the crossings when more than one person is operating on the mainlines. Since they are operating under the right hand rule, the trains will pass each other a lot...which is always interesting to see. Their first lesson with turnouts would be learning to use the passing tracks below the yard.

All the curves, outside the yard, are eased and the minimum radius is 195mm (7.7").
Attachments
Folded, Twisted Twice Around With Crossovers.jpg
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby Tom » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:13 pm

I like this a lot. Could also be extended with access holes for N or even OO.
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby Chaz » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:14 pm

Thanks Tom.

The key for me was to get the crossing section (which I've named Suicide Junction) as small as possible. It wants to be big which makes the inclines too steep and reduces the size of the industrial areas. I hadn't thought about scaling it up to N or OO, but a larger crossing section would also reduce the size of the access holes.

Does anybody have the coordinates of an aerial view of two double track mainlines crossing at 13 degrees?

I regret that I don't how to design a proper yard. I've read quite a bit about it...but just can't seem to reduce the size and keep the functionality.

Help and examples would be greatly appreciated.

Chaz
You can have it fast, cheap or good...pick two.
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby ozman2009 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:56 pm

Hi Chaz

That is a REALLY GREAT plan! I assume you adopted Rokuhan track because the turnouts are power routing. Do you know if the forthcoming crossings will be the same? My initial order of Rokuhan track is waiting at the post office to be collected.

Sorry, but I can't help with answers to your two questions, other than to say that the publishers of Model Railroader put out a yard planning booklet some years ago. You might be able to get a copy on fleabay. As far as I can see you've included the main elements anyway, given the amount of space available.

My layout space is the same width as your plan, but a bit longer (96"). I'm not at all satisfied with the (less than half built) layout I've got, so if it's OK with you I'd like to try and adapt it to a European flavour - specifically DB/SBB/OBB.
Gary
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"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout".
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby Chaz » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:51 pm

Hi Ozzman,

Of course, I put it here for anybody to take away whatever they like. I'd be very interested in seeing your "Old World" version.

You have to excuse my ignorance. What is DS/DBB/OBB?

Here is an unfinished Z scale layout. My wife gave me 8 feet of wall space in my office. In the middle of the 8' wall is a 1' deep by 3' wide bookshelf that I get to use also. She limited me to a 1' deep layout, which is very limiting. Even though I have a turn around at each end, I don't like how they look. I think it's eventually going to be a point to point with a version of the John Allen's Gorre and Daphetid in the middle. The Gorre and Daphetid has mountains and tunnels. I haven't figured out how to get to a accident in the tunnels because it's in the bookshelf. I'm thinking from the bottom with a rake. My wife thinks all the track should be exposed. She says she can imagine mountains.

And of course, the yard is not very functional. No yard lead, no arrival/departure track. No engine service facility.

Chaz
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Rokuhan G&D.jpg
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby ozman2009 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:08 am

Thanks Chaz. The main difference between your original and my "Euro" version will be the primacy of passenger traffic. As part of that the yard will be replaced by a large passenger station. There will still be freight traffic, but little switching. If there's space I'll put in a sawmill and quarry - hauling forest products and stone is fairly big business for the railways in Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria (and Saxony to a lesser extent).

FYI:
DB = German federal railways
SBB = Swiss federal railways
OBB = Austrian federal railways

I'd like to be able to offer suggestions re your bookshelf layout, but at the moment I am bereft of ideas. You really don't have a lot of scope there.
Gary
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"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout".
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby Chaz » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:07 pm

Ozman,

Thanks. I am woefully ignorant on so many topics.

I agree, the shelf layout is not very good. I will continue working on that.

I did get some help on the yard...and think this is much better. It is smaller, double ended with a yard lead on both ends, lots of run arounds and a caboose track. I even have room to put in a decent engine service area plus REA and RPO tracks.

Chaz
Attachments
Folded, Twisted Twice Around With Crossovers.jpg
You can have it fast, cheap or good...pick two.
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby ozman2009 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:41 am

The revised yard is definitely better.

One further change for my "Euro" version is the addition of a couple of crossovers between the red and blue tracks. They'll be there for visual effect only - in Grmany, Austria and Switzerland almost all of the main lines are double track and there are numerous crossovers to permit more flexible operation (eg allowing expresses to overtake locals etc). There would obviously have to be insulating rail joiners between the two turnouts in each crossover.

A couple of questions about your design:
(1) Are the crossings that make up Suicide Junction all straight crossings, or are some of them meant to be double slip crossings?
(2) Are some of your industrial spurs the short (55mm) Rokuhan turnouts?

The extra length I have available will allow me to reduce the grades to the bridge over Suicide Junction.

Have you considered the use of Rokuhan 120mm radius curves for the shelf layout? Would it be possible to have an industrial district at each of the ends and some sort of continuous run in the middle?
Gary
Z Scale
Sydney, Australia
"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout".
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby Chaz » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:07 am

Gary,

All the crossings are straight crossings. No double slips. Of the 4 ways you can go through a double slip, 3 are good. 1 creates a short.

The turnouts in the industrial areas and the yard are 55mm. All the others are 110mm. Is there something I should know? I'm modeling small diesels from the 40s and 50s. No steam and no passenger trains.

I wish I had another 18" for two reasons, but I'm looking at the door and don't know how to stretch it.

I put John Allen's Timesaver on the left side of the shelf layout. I'm looking for a different switching problem for the right side. I figure if you get there, you should spend some time there. There are 5 industries in the Timesaver, 4 industries in my version of the Gorre and Daphetid and probably another 4 industries in the whatever is on the right side. It could keep 3 operators busy.

You can use your power routing turnouts one at a time to create passing tracks. As long as only 1 turnout at a time is connected to the passing track...it might just work. See the attached drawing.

Chaz
Attachments
Alternative Crossing.jpg
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby ozman2009 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:27 pm

Hi Chaz

No, there's nothing behind my question about the short turnouts other than curiosity and wanting to confirm what I thought my eyes told me. I don't see any particular reason why your small diesels shouldn't go through them without trouble. Would you also be using 40' boxcars and the like?

Thanks for the diagram, but surely that represents a crossover rather than a passing track?

Another difference in my "euro" version of the plan will be lots of signals. I like signals and that layout is made for them!
Gary
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"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout".
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby Chaz » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:28 pm

Hi Gary,

You are correct the tracks are configured as a cross over. But you said they were only for show. What I suggest is using the middle track as a passing siding. That means that the longest train has to fit completely on the middle track. The key is powering the center track from one power routing turnout at a time. That is, this passing siding could be used by trains running East on the Red track and running West on the Blue track, but crossing between Blue and Red is not allowed.

On my layout, the shared passing siding eliminates one track at the bottom of the layout. The yard's Arrival/Departure track is now dedicated and not shared.

I too want to add signals...which I know very little about. I assume that means detection, lights and track control around Suicide Junction to eliminate collisions.

Chaz
You can have it fast, cheap or good...pick two.
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby ozman2009 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:01 am

Hi Chaz

I had another close look at the layout this morning and it hit me that Suicide Junction is a work of genius. Of course it's only practical with Rokuhan track.

In 2001 Milady and I travelled from Rome to Naples by train and I noticed that the type of passing track you mentioned was quite common, so the idea has been endorsed by the prototype. It should be possible to wire up the turnouts to prevent trains from crossing from the red to the blue tracks and vice versa. Also, given the larger selection of curves that you get with Rokuhan, the centre passing track could be on a curve.

An old saying is that "the devil is in the details" and it will be a devil of a job to design the signalling circuits for that junction. The much simpler part will be providing a signal box (tower) there. A prototypical junction like that would simply have to have a tower.
Gary
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"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout".
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby Chaz » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:59 am

Hi Gary,

I don't know about genius. I've seen similar designs with longer paths to bypass the crossings. I think they look better. I just ran out of room and had to compress the junction to the smallest size to get the slopes down to 3%. Any track manufacturer with crossings and turnouts with the same angles and lengths will work. You can create the same junction with LGB track in G scale and Kato track in N scale.

Let me think about the detection logic around the junction.

Chaz
You can have it fast, cheap or good...pick two.
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby ozman2009 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:22 am

Suicide Junction LOOKS very complex, the sort of thing you see at yard or major station throats. I think it's very clever because trains can either continue on around the layout, or reverse direction, all without polarity issues and in a very compact area. To do the same with Marklin track you'd have to do a lot of kitbashing because they are "power everywhere" (MTL don't make crossings).

Lights: Both Marklin and Viessmann make German-style colour light signals in Z scale, and I believe that you can get US-style searchlight signals.

Track power: There are four approaches to the junction and each one of those could be controlled by an isolated section of track with it's own feeder that could be switched on or off. All of Rokuhan's 110mm straight sections take a feeder and they also make isolating track joiners.

Switching logic: I suppose it could be done with analogue gear, but would there be scope for using a DCC controller? Expensive yes, but maybe easier.

Detection: I'm not at all keen on the idea of affixing little magnets to the underside of locos. Viessmann make a track block occupancy detector, which might do the job, or maybe Rokuhan will come up with an equivalent to the Marklin circuit tracks.
Gary
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"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout".
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby Chaz » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:01 am

Gary,

This is a pretty good explanation of how to protect a double crossing. http://www.azatrax.com/track-crossing-protection.html

If I understand this implementation, you need four, above track detectors and two DPDT relays to interrupt power to the tracks. Each detector spans a pair of tracks. There are two detectors on the East/West tracks and two on the North/South tracks. The distance between detectors has to be less than the length of the shortest train and far enough apart to protect the cross traffic. Unfortunately, 13 degree crossings make the shortest train pretty long. I calculate 238 feet.

Azatrax also makes detectors that indicate direction as well as occupancy.

Chaz
You can have it fast, cheap or good...pick two.
Chaz
 
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby ozman2009 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:46 pm

Thanks for the link. Which track planning software do you use? I use RailModeller because it runs on the Mac.
Gary
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"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout".
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby Chaz » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:30 pm

I use AnyRail. It just felt right.
You can have it fast, cheap or good...pick two.
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Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby Chaz » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:53 pm

Gary,

This is my final version. I added a nice long passing siding and some more industries. The passing siding is technically a reversing loop. You change the polarity on the siding with the power routing turnouts. Of course, the train will have to be stopped first.

Chaz
Attachments
Folded, Twisted Twice Around With Crossovers.png
You can have it fast, cheap or good...pick two.
Chaz
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:40 am

Re: Z Scale HCD

Postby ozman2009 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:28 am

Hi Chaz

Thanks for the updated version. In the case of the Italian passing tracks I mentioned before (between Rome and Naples) it seemed that the centre track was used by freight trains being overtaken, while the overtaking trains used the two outside tracks. Also, I have a Marklin Z scale track planning book with a similar arrangement in one layout. I think this would fit in quite well with your plan - ie that the train would have to be stopped first.

A suggestion: If you were to use the passing track that way for trains running counter-clockwise, then if you were to reverse the crossover between the blue and centre tracks in the bottom left corner (ie have two left turnouts instead of two right), then you could more easily run that train into the yard.
Gary
Z Scale
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"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout".
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