Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Full-size trackplanning, discussed in the previous blog post (, fleshed out the design rendered in ¼ inch scale drawings.  Adjustments have been made and opportunities seized as this effort progressed.  Full-size planning has been essential to development of the Eugene design.  Throughout the entire layout design effort, the design of the base yard  (Eugene) has been a challenge.  Most of my best design thoughts have come while working with the full-size space. 

The challenge of Eugene is that that the prototype facilities were massive.  From the depot downtown through city industries out to the Blair Street Yard and into the main freight yard (with hump yard added in the late 1950’s), the Eugene complex stretched for miles.  A space several times the size of my basement would be needed to completely replicate Eugene, even with shortening to the design train length (20 feet) used for the HO-scale SP Cascade Line. 

The solution to the Eugene design dilemma was to concentrate on the design priorities established for the Cascade Line Layout.  In practical terms, this meant designing facilities intended to serve the modeled railroad, not all of Western Oregon, which was served by the historic yard.  This resulted in a classification yard sized for the modeled on-line industry.  Although operation design studies conducted during the layout design process kept tugging me toward including ever more tracks, reality was firmly imposed by the full-size planning effort. 

The Eugene design that emerged features the downtown depot area (flipped relative to the actual geometry) with the seven-track (plus run-around) classification yard located across the mainline from the depot.  The picture of the Eugene depot and classification yard shows the passenger siding, mainline, and two freight sidings on the right.  The classification yard ladder is seen on the left.  Multiple runaround tracks have been provided throughout the Eugene design.  The runarounds should keep the yard functioning in spite of any activity on the mainline.

Eugene Depot and Classification Yard looking RR-East.

The RR-East end of the depot and classification yard shows the multiple tracks coming back together.  The mainline and sidings are on the right, near the wall, while the classification yard ladder is on the left.  At the throat, the left-most track is the yard lead.  The next two tracks represent the mainline.  To the right of the mainline tracks are a group of turnouts not yet connected by track line.  This will be the location of Eugene “city” industry.  The second mainline track, the one with less switches, was added over the past few months as yard operations were thought about.  This track provides a way for trains to enter or depart the reverse loop tracks without going through the main yard throat—provided the outbound (RR-westbound) trains are set up for clockwise operation out of the reverse loop.

RR-East end of Eugene depot and classification yard tracks (lower part of photo).  Main yard throat leads to reverse loop staging serving as the Arrival/Departure yard (top of photo).

The Eugene Arrival/Departure Yard is formed as a reverse loop with twelve tracks.  The A/D Yard serves as staging for the RR-East end of the layout.  Through mainline trains, notably the First Class passenger and priority freight trains, will use the outer tracks with their broad radius curves and long turnouts (#8). 

Eugene Arrival/Departure Yard throat with right hand side ladder.  Left hand ladder access tracks extend off to the lower right.  Engine facility access splits the dpace between the two sides of the reverse loop (Switches without track lines extending).

The full-size planning effort provided the opportunity to use a “pinwheel ladder” for the outer tracks.  These tracks are accessed via turnouts formed around the loop curve.  The back legs of these tracks along the walls are plenty long enough, so they could start necking down via the “pinwheel ladder” much earlier than the inner tracks.  Doing so will save track and narrows the width of the yard at its most exposed curve. 

Eugene Arrival/Departure Yard reverse loop.  Pinwheel ladder used for outer tracks seen in the foreground.

The interior of the reverse loop will house the engine facilities.  The back-left of the loop interior will have the diesel sand and fuel rack.  The roundhouse and turntable will occupy the opposite corner of the loop interior.  Outside the loop will be a pair of tracks for the Oregon Electric (SP&S and BN) interchange.  The opposite end of this track set will house the caboose track.  The gap between the outer and inner loop track ladders provides an opportunity for placing the PFE ice deck.  The prototype Eugene ice deck was located within the yard, near the roundhouse, so having to cross tracks to access the ice deck has historic precedence. 

The Eugene track plan is now “complete.”  The function pieces have all fallen into place.  It is now time to move on to designing the supporting benchwork.  

No comments:

Post a Comment