Posted by: bgtwindad | December 3, 2010

Yard Improvements

I made a rather significant change to the design of the yard over the past few days.  The above video shows an example of operations before and after.

In the old version, the Engine Service track was an extension of Yard Track 3 along the front edge of the layout.  To access the track, a locomotive on the A/D (Arrival/Departure) track had to execute a “Z” shaped move, pulling up onto the yard lead, down the ladder to Track 3, and then forward onto the service track.  To hook up to a new train, engines have to do the same move in reverse.  In addition, there had to be sufficient open space on Track 3 for the engine to clear the switch.  All this takes time and ties up valuable car storage space in the yard.  The alternative is for the engine to pull up and block the main line while the switcher does its yard work.

In the new version (second half of the video), I moved the Service track so that it extends off the Yard Lead beyond the Ladder.  Now, engines on the A/D track can simply pull straight forward and take the switch to the Service Track.  One simple move, and the Engine is clear of the yard and the main.  One reverse move and the train is ready to go.  In addition, the entire Track 3 is available for yard work.

On a larger yard, extending Engine Service off the “top” of the yard instead of the yard lead can make sense.  With space this tight, it did not.  I think this was a good move, operationally, and I think the video proves it.  What do you think?



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