Sunday, March 8, 2009

Layout Critique 3 - Almost There (Open for Comments)

Thank you Steve Cox, Fred, Stein, Kenneth and Denny for your comments. I have revised my layout plan as per below.

I want a track plan that allows me to run long trains, average 10-15 cars per train and also to do some switching. Previous plans did not have a good balance of both; the tracks could not cater for long trains and Rosenberg junction was awkwardly positioned.

Rosenberg is the KEY FEATURE, don't you forget that, Jimmy!
The most important feature of my layout is Rosenberg Tower 17, which sees more than 70 trains a day (Two railfans spotted 77 trains on January 2004 over a 24-hour period!). By putting Rosenberg junction next to the west wall, I did justice to UP Glidden sub to Houston. This track heads east and in my layout, it will disappear below the subroadbed at Point B and reappear at Point B near the east wall.

Tower 17 Rosenberg, Texas

Where Rosenberg junction is now, you will get a good vintage view of Tower 17. If you stand near 10' marker (where I place the "BNSF Galveston Sub", you can take a good shot of the BNSF trains coming from; just like how Wes Carr took it (this picture started my layout idea)

There is a window sill on top left corner (between 9' and 11.5' markers). I can stand at the wash area and look into the layout room and will see this view of Tower 17.

Hence, I found the right place to position Tower 17! The rest of the trackages fits right in. A longer UP Glidden (to Houston) and BNSF Galveston that heads to "Galveston" at lower deck. I initially placed Galveston on the east wall corner but found that that section is too cramped to do any justice to the Galveston terminal. The causeway would have to be shortened and the tracks on the Galveston island could not accomodate 10 cars per track. There isn't enough room to maneuver.

By moving Galveston to lower deck, I can have the whole lower deck to model the causeway and island (for now, lower deck will act as a staging yard)

Upper Deck
(light blue line represents the length of 2 locos + 10 50" cars)

Follow the BNSF train to "Galveston"!
Let's follow the BNSF train from Sealy/Temple on BNSF Galveston sub heading south. It crosses the Tower 17 junction and takes the inner track towards Alvin. I have lengthened Alvin and added a double track to allow the train northbound train to pass. In most stretches on BNSF Galveston sub, it is single track with passing loops. I make sure any loop can handle at least 10 cars + 2 locos.

The train then proceeds to Algoa and take a curve before going behind the scenic divider and downgrade to lower deck (at point A). At lower deck, it runs from Point A to the shared staging yard beneath Rosenberg. For continuous run, I can make it reappear at Point C.

Houston, We Have a Train!
For UP train from San Antonio which heads eastward towards Houston on UP Glidden sub, it will go below the upper deck level and reemerge at Point B-B. It then cross underneath BNSF Galveston where it will apprear as adjacent to BNSF. This allows some interchanging activities to go on between UP and BNSF.

I added a wye at Algoa and a duck-under to allow continuous running of UP Glidden.

Lower Deck - Staging for now and Galveston later
As the BNSF train down grades at Point A, it will go to lower deck and inch its way to the staging yard beneath Rosenberg. The train can stop at the outer tracks so that it can proceed to Point C and up grade towards the upper deck again.

Lower Deck
(light blue line represents the length of 2 locos + 10 50" cars)

Feel free to comment. I think I am more or less settled with this track plan with minor adjustments from your comments.

Model Railroader:



mytrainmaster said...

Proposed changes from Steve Cox:
1. Helix under Alvin peninsular. The trains descend from Algoa and make a few turns at Alvin peninsular lower deck to reach staging yard.
2. Helix at Point A-C (lower wall).
3. Min #6 turnouts instead of #5.

mytrainmaster said...

Further changes I will make:
1. Helix at Algoa instead of at Alvin peninsular. At least I have more space including the peninsular lower deck for future Galveston.
2. Agree to helix at Point A-C (lower wall) with double tracks.
3. Yes to min #6 turnouts, perhaps even #8 or #10 using Fast Track handlaid turnouts.
4. Alvin will be move closer to Algoa as they are quite near in reality.
5. That peninsular will be Smithers Lake/Thompson.

thomas said...

Hi Trainmaster, would you have any information if there are any N-Scale trains from Asia available here in Malaysia. My dad is a collector and I try to get my hands on some Asian Steam Engines in N-scale if this exists at all.

mytrainmaster said...


There are no model train manufacturers in Asia except for Kato Japan and Bachmann China.

Asian locos come from UK, Germany or US. Depends which country your dad wants, you can find the steam loco from the country of origin and modify it based on photos.

Check our Kato Japan and Bachmann China websites. For other countries, you can scratchbuild or kitbash.


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