Thee-dimensional topographic Overview of the railroad and track plan

 

TRACK PLAN

 

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TRACK PLAN

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Track plan for the North River Railway

 


The North River track plan was originally designed as a series of dioramas each with its own distinct configuration of switching activity and scenery opportunities. This was back in the days before module layouts but the idea was the same; build several somewhat self-contained units and then connect them end to end.

 

The table is about four feet wide. One foot at the front and back is reserved for scenery leaving most of the trackwork in a two foot strip along the middle (again, a reflection of the module concept). Switch machines are mounted along the front with rods running back to the turnout. This way most of the work can be done standing at the front with only a minimum of crawling under the table. There are no duck-under sections or pop-ups. Even the table legs are well back from the front and corners of the table.

 

Operation is strictly point-to-point. I do have a bridge to cross the doorway to permit continuous operation but it is never used.

CadRail used to generate drawings.

  

 

 

 

HARRIETTA


3DTP_Harrietta

 

Main Yards and headquarters for the North River Railway. Lee interchange is in the background.  Harrietta is the furthest western point and largest single town on the North River.

The action only begins with the single-ended classification yard at the left foreground. One of the leads also services a few local industries and just off the lead is a team track services the local farming community. The center contains the engine facility where gondolas containing pipes (for locomotive flues) supplement the box cars and flats of materials used to keep the engines in top repair. These cars are spotted in one of the stalls, while yet more supplies are delivered to the run-off lead.

Front-end cars are spotted on the other side of the main next to the main station. Coal must be delivered periodically to the coal pocket and a gondola must be spotted at the ash pit on the approach track to carry away the cinders. These two cars are either the first or last operation for the day.

The Car shops just beyond a slip switch and to the front right also require delivery of materials or any type of car for repair.

The stock yard beyond the yard and a bit to the right must be handled by the yard crew in addition to the tracks at Lee Interchange to the left rear. 

 

There is a total of (18) locations for spotting cars. 

 

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CYNTH


3DTP_Cynth

 

Cynth, conceptually, is several miles east of Harrietta

 although you can see the Harrietta car shops in the foreground.

 This town is built around a siding that is normally occupied by cars at Bettinger's warehouse.   This can be a real nuisance to the switching crew as there is also a spur for the local coal yard branching to the front of the table.

 Just to the east of the run-around is May Ice company that supplies most of the Ice for Bossert’s Beef and Bologna in Harrietta.  The track to the far side of the main line service the coke mines and a local team track.  The siding also serves as a drop-off point for peddler freights to drop off cars for the local to shunt to the A-Track area to the east.

 

There is a total of (8) locations for spotting cars.

 
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A-TRACK


3DTP_ATrack

 

This (4) industry area may seem like a rather simplistic to switch and it would be except there is no run-around track.  Cars, depending on the direction, must dropped off at Cynth or Union by the peddler freight and pushed into position by the local.  Conversely when the car is loaded the local must pull the car from the siding and push it to the next town for pickup.

 

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CYNTH, A-TRACK and the town of UNION

 

3DTP_Cynth_A_Union

 

A more general view of A-Track showing the numbering towns of Cynth and Union.  This view shows how the run-around tracks at Cynth and Union must be used to position a car for facing-point moves at A-Track industries. 

 These towns are theoretically several miles apart.

 

 

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UNION / BOXTON


3DTP_Union

 

Union including the Boxton factory complex is a bit more involved than would seem at first glance and can be a very nasty switching problem for the crew.

Like Cynth, the fun begins with a run-around track which may or may not be holding cars for the local industry.  The lead off the main towards the front goes to a double-ended spur containing both facing and trailing point switching.  The fun continues if there are too many cars at Slipshod Oil to the right, the lumber yard straddling the tracks or the tie plant just beyond to the left.  There are almost always too many cars forcing the crew to shuffle through the cars to spot them correctly.  Take a close look and the problems become apparent.

 The rest of the work is easy.  Boxton to the left has two spurs that are simple by comparison, followed by Boyden Mills to the back

 

 There are (10) industries in this area.

 

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BOBSTON /HARRIETTA

3DTP_Bobston

 

Bobston (top) as a double-ended yard looks a lot worse than it is. Incoming peddler freights usually consist of only a couple of cars so the crew can simply run around the trains and switch out the cars.

 

 There is a small cattle shed to the extreme left, a couple of industries on the rear classification track and a couple of nuisance moves for the coal, sand, ash pit and roundhouse.

 

 The two trains from this town are the eastbound freight toward Harrietta and a daily logging run to Timberly.  Note the track running behind Bobston containing a small flag-stop nuisance factor for the logging trains to Timberly.

 

 Bobston services (9) industries.

 

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LEE INTERCHANGE   

 

3DTP_LeeInterchange

Lee Interchange is much more than a simple siding. It is the connection to the outside world.  The North River is operated as a true point-to-point railroad and the track that extends to the left does not exist except on paper.

Cars interchanged from outside roads arrive at this spur and shipments to the outside world are made by this connection.  

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TIMBERLY

 

3DTP_Timberly

Timberly is probably the simplest of all areas to switch however there are still a few “Gotchyas".  The spur to the logging camp is quit long and the logging buggies take careful handling to prevent derailments.  There is also a LCL flag stop half way along (see track behind Bobston) that can be that one-to-many car that makes switching out Timberly impossible.

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NR_Benchwork01T

 

This table is what I call an inverted 'T'-beam construction.  Two 2x4s on legs run the length of the room.  the beams are (2) 1 x 2 boards glued and screwed to form a “T”-shaped beam and are spaced every foot along the top surface.  Risers support the sub-roadbed which is 2 x 1/8” Lath board cut in strips and triangles that form sort of a seamless plywood base for the track.  The same lath board is also used for the roadbed with almost no waste except for sawdust.

 This all provides a fast, inexpensive construction that has withstood the test of 40 years of time. 

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NR_Benchwork02T

 

Another view of bench work.  Notice the cable running along the front edge and the platform of switch machines to the right. Most wiring is accessible behind the front fascia (removed for these shots) so that most work can be done standing up instead of crawling under the table.  Solder leads to the rails first, then bring to front and make connection.  Only rods to the turnouts has to be done under the table.

Note that the legs are well back from the front edge of the table giving a lot more space at floor level

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The North River is in a 12' x 38' room with the corners rounded to a 22" radius. Track work is essentially flat but there is a single 2-1/2 degree drop of about 1 inch for scenic effects at Bobston. It is the scenery that goes up and down, not the tracks.

 

Scenery is a modified Hard-shell using a paper machete layer using Hydrocal and paper toweling. A second "texture layer is added using Hydrocal and sawdust for horizontal flat areas. Vermiculite is used for vertical cliff areas to allow carving. The mica flecks add detail that can not be duplicated any other way. Dry color paint is used both in the texture coat and painted on afterwards to prevent any white from showing through. Woodland Scenic’s Ground foam, shrub and gravel materials finish the ground.

 

A 1/2" drainage ditch along the side of tracks, especially in cuts, adds to the realism of the track-work. Rail is mostly hand-laid code 83 nickel silver rail with a minimum radius of 22".

 

 

  

   

 

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Bob Van Cleef, MMR

Last update   07/23/2012