Rebuilding the Iantha Branch, again.

Discussion in 'General' started by Iantha_Branch, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Hey Ethan,

    I do like the MR plan. It would be difficult to use the staging yard without the lift bridge.

    Of your plans, I think it is generally preferable to avoid the operator being separated from their train by the peninsula, so unless just used for continuous run, or if you added tracks behind a backdrop for staging at the top, the second dog bone design would be better from the operator perspective. I don't know this part of the line well, but if there is/are places for interchanges with other railroads, you might add to improve the operations. Maybe MKT near Fort Scott?

    You might consider a design where the two yards connect at the top end a little further inward, and have a long return track with a backdrop/hlls hiding the staging, maybe at the top, or double track the return loops, hide them with trees/landscape and use them for staging.

    Anyhow, see you Wednesday. Maybe we can make this an agenda item for our breakfast.

    -Bob T.
  2. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    And in my experience (I don't have one) with friends who do have helixes is that if they are not absolutely perfect, they will be nothing but large headaches that are very difficult to maintain (to say nothing of trying to reach into one to retrieve derailed equipment).

  3. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Yeah, having the train out of sight part of the time is less than ideal, but it was necessary to get the larger staging yard into the plan. I do need to keep looking at it on the track planner. I don't plan on doing any scenery at this time, as I'm 1.5-2 years away from moving again.

    So in my "era" (79-80, though I'm not very strict with it) there would be an interchange with the MKT at Ft. Scott, although I doubt there were many cars exchanged there by this era. The MP had abandoned all of their lines into town by this time, the Frisco picked up their industry trackage though. Beyond that, there were MP connections at Liberal, Lamar and Springfield. I had considered interchanged in these designs, but couldn't fit them in very well. The main way traffic will enter/leave the layout is to "interchange" with Frisco yards beyond Ft. Scott and Springfield via the staging yard. Most of my other plans I've drawn up, I do have the MP in Lamar, but I didn't quite have space for it this time.

    I'll be interested to pick your brain on it some more this week.
  4. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    And that is the exact lesson I learned last winter.
  5. Ethan, John Peluso has a very smooth helix. Maybe he will offer some tips if you do have to go that route.
  6. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I went down this route last winter, and don't intend to go back to a helix
    modeltruckshop likes this.
  7. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Went back and looked at the plan again tonight and made some revisions. In this version, I shrunk the yards for Ft. Scott and Springfield, and flipped them over to the near side. By doing this I was able to add 2 longer staging tracks behind each yard to accommodate traffic to/from each yard. I had room for an additional track, but left it out for now in favor of leaving room for some sort of barrier between yards. The far back wall of the layout has a long passing track, I'm thinking I can use it as a holding track for some sort of run through like the NWF/FSE. since I got rid of the passing track between Lamar and Springfield, I found room to add the MP interchange that was suggested.

    Attached Files:

    Joe Lovett likes this.
  8. geep07

    geep07 Member

    True That! HOWEVER, The design and construction of any helix depends an several factors. Radius, slope (% of grade) materials, environment, research, etc. Prior to constructing my helix I spent a great deal of time in research on helix construction and weigh the pros and cons. The final result for my helix is it is very stable and reliable and have no incidents with it . The only time was a coupler malfunction and had a runaway train of a few cars that made their way down the helix at a good clip of speed without derailing.
    If you have to have a helix and don't want to engage in the effort to build one, there are company's that can provide you with a pre-made helix to fit your requirements.

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  9. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Made a couple more tweaks today to include an MKT interchange at Ft. Scott (Thanks to Bob T for the idea). Not sure how much traffic was interchanged here by 1980, but I can use it as a spot to change out a couple cars if I want to. This plan looks a little more crowded than the last. There is room for an additional staging track, but if I include it there isn't much if any room for a divider of some sort.

    Also, I made a 4th version that changes up the right side of the peninsula. Instead of the two coal mines condensed into "Arcadia" I have the MP Pittsburg Sub crossing and the Lipscomb Elevator at Liberal, and the MFA Fertilizer plan at Iantha. Haven't decided between the two versions yet.

    Attached Files:

  10. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Update time:

    December ended up being busier than it was supposed to be, so I had limited time to work on the layout. A month after starting in on this new design, I finally began doing some operations last night. I'm still making some tweaks here and there, and still working on setting up car routing, but I'm getting there. I ended up leaving out the interchanges at Lamar and Ft. Scott for the time being. I also decided today to add two more destinations on the layout: Ft. Smith and Wichita. Ft. Smith traffic will be handled at Springfield and Wichita traffic will be handled at Ft. Scott since there isn't room at Springfield.

    I think operations will end up being as entertaining as I had hoped. It's actually a bit of a challenge to keep traffic levels balanced since there aren't any passing tracks to hold trains between yards.

    The pictures I took last night didn't turn out very well, so I'll try to get some better pics tomorrow night.
    Ozarktraveler and rjthomas909 like this.
  11. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Finally got a few decent photos to share.

    First shot is looking down at the Springfield area. On the left there are 3 double ended tracks that are used to hold cars for the local train and extras that don't fit in the main holding tracks at the back. There are 4 tracks, a spot for each destination outside of Springfield: (in order from left to right) Ft. Smith, KC/Tulsa (via Ft. Scott), St. Louis and Memphis. On the right of the picture is the three not so hidden staging tracks to hold trains at their off railroad destination. From left to right we have Ft. Smith, St. Louis and then Memphis. These tracks are double ended so I can run power from one end back to the other between sessions to bring the that traffic back to be resorted.

    Next up, we look at the town of Lamar, MO. Up front to the left is the Sunray Oil distributor. Behind that on the left is O'Sullivan furniture. On the right is the team track with TOFC ramp and Thorco. At the back is the MFA elevator.

    The final picture for tonight is the Ft. Scott area. It is the same yard design as Springfield, but the picture is taken from the other end of the layout to help give a different perspective. As with Springfield, the double ended yard holds cars for the local service and overflow from the main holding tracks. The holding tracks from left to right are for: Wichita, Memphis/St. Louis (Via Springfield), Tulsa and KC. On the right hand side of the picture is the not so hidden staging yard, with spots for Wichita, Tulsa and KC. The pair of switchers have begun breaking down the traffic that just arrived from Tulsa on train 38.
    dwoomer and modeltruckshop like this.
  12. Hey Ethan, I cant see the photos on my computer or phone FYI. But I trust you are making progress. HA
  13. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    That's strange. I assume you were logged in while trying to view it?

    I'll reattach them to this post.

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  14. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    You’re not doing a wye when you have a good place for one????!!!! Oh! Oh! Oh! The injustice of it all!!!!! :eek::eek::cry::cry:
  15. I can see them now as thumbnails at least.
    Yeah I haven’t logged out in years. Ha

    looks like good progress. Keep it up!
  16. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I've been really enjoying this layout so far. I think I finally found the right balance of operations that I've been looking for. The only thing that's been bugging me is what to do with the area I currently have set up with the coal mines. I didn't end up having enough yard space to run the coal trains to Springfield as I had originally hoped to, so that area of the layout hasn't seen any use so far. I've been thinking of options on what I could do different to use the space. I considered adding another town, but wasn't really thrilled by any of the options I could come up with so far. So, the next option was to include an industrial area for either Springfield or Ft. Scott. I figured I could reuse my south Springfield plan from the previous layout since it already fits the space and I know I like the way it operates. Adding this requires moving Lamar over to the other leg of the peninsula, which shouldn't be too hard to do. The only other problem I had to figure out is where to handle cars coming in and out of South Springfield. I don't have room to add either north yard or south yard, and my small classification yard doesn't have much extra room in it as it is, so I added an inside passing track between the yard and the industrial area that will serve as a house track.

    Would appreciate any feed back you guys have on this idea

    Attached Files:

  17. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    An alternate idea I came up with is an industrial area for Ft. Scott. Similar to my Springfield design, the industry spots are shuffled around a bit to work with what room I have on the layout. I'm not sure which I like better between the two. I know I like the Springfield set up, but the Ft. Scott idea 1. would be something new and 2. would let me leave Lamar where it is for now.

    Another alternative would be to remove Lamar entirely and have the industrial areas for both Springfield and Ft. Scott.

    Attached Files:

  18. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    This one looks pretty good.

  19. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Been a while since I updated this layout thread.

    I've really enjoyed operating the current configuration that I have. As with my previous layouts in this building, I've learned quite a bit that I can use in developing my larger layout that should be started next year. I don't want to take this track plan apart, but I have some more concepts that I need to try out now so I can plan accordingly for the next layout.

    Most of my plans for future layout involve a lot of space devoted to the Kansas City area including 19th st and Rosedale yards, some sort of interchange yard for foreign roads and *maybe* MKT's Glenn Park yard. Some of these designs call for interchange staging to be hidden underneath the 19th street yard. I have drawn up a track plan for my current space that will allow me to test out most of these concepts.

    I hope to figure out:

    How much I like having the 2 Kansas City yards
    How much I like having the MKT yard on the layout. When it comes to making decisions on what to cut from a track plan, Glenn Park Yard is normally one of the first things to go.
    How well the layout works with the interchange staging being hidden underneath something else. My plans all have 6" of clearance for the lower level. That should be enough for everything to clear and enough room to reach in and re-rail anything that needs it.

    Harvest season is about to start, so it may take a few weeks to get everything switched around. I'll have the layout plan below and hopefully some pictures after a while.
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  20. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Starting on the left side of the track plan is 19th St Yard. There are 6 yard tracks. 1 for each of the 5 connecting roads I had room for, and 1 for industries. There's also a short 4 track yard to hold locomotives and cabeese while they wait for the call to take a train out of Rosedale. Lastly, there is a track for cars bound for the TOFC ramp.

    The left leg of the peninsula is a work in progress. Coming off the right side of the main is 5 staging tracks for 5 connecting roads that I have picked out. There is an extra track in the middle that is long enough to be used as a run around track for the connecting roads. Around all that I stitched in a few industries that can be switched. This will probably change some as I put it together.

    The right leg of the peninsula is MKT's Glenn Park yard and the north end of Rosedale yard.

    Finally, coming down the right side of the layout is the rest of Rosedale Yard. There are 4 tracks to build outbound trains, the lead for the MKT yard and a shorter track to hold cars bound for KC industries. The main coming out of the yard loops around behind its self and climbs 6" up the wall to a shelf that will be installed to hold distant staging (Springfield, Tulsa, etc.). This would be up at the top of the page above the interchange yard. I didn't include it in the PDF to make the track plan easier to read.

    I know this plan is crowded, but I'm trying to work with the space I have for the time being. The layout should operate much like the real thing. Traffic will come in from the "distant" staging yard up top and go to 19th st to be sorted. Cars can go from 19th st to interchange roads or industry spots. Cars can also come in from the interchange and industry spots to be sorted at Rosedale to make up outbound trains that go back up the hill to the distant staging.

    Feedback would greatly be appreciated. I hope to have a progress update within a couple weeks.

    Attached Files:

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