Friday, August 30, 2013

Slight changes

29 August 2013
A slight change, but noteworthy. I have moved the center peninsula about a foot to the left in order to get more room in the vital area of the layout at the HBS yard. I should end up with ample aisle width in that area to make operators more comfortable. This also reflects the removal of the full-blown Erie yard and RO-RO in favor of just the interchange tracks and more comfortable HBS Yard. This was inspired by Lance Mindheim's observations of operating at Holt's and Barrow's layouts earlier this month.

I will probably reduce the size of the Holland America docks as well, but I'm not worrying about that aisle for a while.That is where the guest bed will be placed as well (may end up being a blow-up king size mattress.)

If you navigate to the Layout Plan page, it is fun to flip through the plans like a flip book which will "animate" the evolution of the plan, especially the last two to see the subtle changes.

Monday, August 26, 2013

HBS Yard Change

Plan showing areas of reconsideration

Proposed changes in track arrangement

Sometimes you have to kill ideas that you hold near and dear. When I started this project, the Erie Railroad held a large portion of the focus with Croxton Yard's being the generator of all the traffic on the layout. The latest plan called for only the Weehawken Yard to provide traffic to the HBS, and in a previous version, I was thinking about replacing Croxton with Jersey City (maybe an expansion over the desk area later?). I've been researching the Erie for several years now, and it still garners a lot of my research efforts, but it may be time for it to go from the main part of my layout. (I still will have Erie and other pocket yards.)

Operating areas
While looking at the space dedicated to each operating job, I noticed that there was going to be an overlap in space if two people were to try to operate the HBS yard. While the Erie Weehawken Yard would have enough space, I am eliminating it in this iteration to concentrate the layout on the HBS. This will allow me to keep the closet, which I can't decide is appealing because I am lazy or because it seems like a good idea to have a closet. Losing the Erie operation is a difficult decision, but the difficulty actually indicates it is the right choice. I will still have an Erie switcher at the interchange.

At this point, I can have 5 operating spots on the layout that are pretty well out of the way of the others. There are two in the yard and three out on the main line. These jobs can be handled by 4-6 operators (two yard and two main line trains of 1 or 2 man crews). I also plan to have one pocket yard just outside the main room with 1-2 operators there. Max 8 spots, but optimal number is 5 operators. From recent experience, finding 5-6 operators is really the most that can be comfortably found on any given night in Austin.

The job duties:

Yard Master - In charge of the railroad. Dispatches industry jobs and assigns duties to Yard Switcher. Handles interchange with Erie, makes up inbound and outbound traffic on east side of the yard.

Yard Switcher - Helps Yard Master as needed, switches 14th Street industries and piers.

Industry Switchers - Load and unload Lackawanna car float as well as serve Bethlehem Steel, Maxwell House and the Docks as needed. I am thinking there will probably be two trips to each area during each session by different people.

Pocket terminal - Operates car float to and from yard. Possibly two trips per session. Pocket terminal will rotate from session to session.

So, with Erie dreams scaled back (at best postponed), I've got some odds and ends to do on the bench work before I can start laying track on the HBS "soon."


 Erie 300
Erie 370

I don't know anything about these at this point, but the Erie had some of these railcars at some point. They would make a good 3d printing project.