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Salada
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Two things are immediately obvious to a foreign (European) observer of the US South West NG railroad scene:

1) Yard track layouts are very 'relaxed' and spacious; hardly surprising in such a big country.

2) Yard layout and the positioning of switches is very simple (contrast to photo below).

I am trying to cram a small section of typical D&RGW practice in On30 into a fairly small space so it would be helpful to use what I believe you call 'Puzzle Switches' to maximise operation possibilities within the small space that I have available. However, I am aiming at a visually accurate representation of a SW US railroad and despite having studied many photos I have not seen one Puzzle Switch (i.e. Single or Double Slip, nor even a Diamond (X shaped) crossover on a CO, NM, AZ NG system. If their use is not prototypical then I will have to avoid using them (back to the layout planning scribbles).


Ah, the "G" button has disappeared from the New Topic Toolbar so no photo for now.

Happy Christmas & a Great New Year to All

Regards Michael

Last edited on Sun Dec 22nd, 2013 11:15 pm by Salada

bill
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I believe that no US western NG RR ever attempted to use slip switches. Although I haven't seen photographic proof, I expect that the very reason that the narrow gauge was used was for cost and simplicity reasons. Almost all of the western NG RRs were constructed in rugged mountainous areas and there was no need for the complicated trackwork associated with slip switches. I haven't seen or heard of a narrow gauge crossing being used, but it is likely that at least one RR has used one somewhere.

NathanO
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The other thing about the D&RGW was a lot of it's equipment was very near, if not full standard gauge width.

Nathan

Helmut
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bill wrote: I believe that no US western NG RR ever attempted to use slip switches. Although I haven't seen photographic proof.... I would have joined the same bandwagon, yet stumbled across this quotation. Now, let's dig that photo out...
Addendum:
This map of Boston harbour clearly shows the double slip next to where the rails cross Marginal Street.

Last edited on Mon Dec 23rd, 2013 08:22 pm by Helmut

Salada
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My thanks to Bill & NathanO. You have probably explained the reasons :
low cost + simplicity + unlimited space = simple trackwork.

Thanks to Helmut for the details of the BR&L RR. Blowing your maps up large I am unconvinced about the "three way stub" as quoted but there looks to be a Diamond (X)and possibly a single slip - looking at the operational possibilities a double slip does not make sense (just before the railway underbridge). Fascinating photo of a Mason Bogie !! - would make a lovely model. This might confirm the comments of Bill & NathanO - this is a crowded E Coast location, not the open skies of CO or NM.
Regards Michael

Herb Kephart
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There is a 3' gage 3 way stub switch in the yard at Rockhill Furnace on the East Broad Top

Herb

jtrain
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Bg space does make for simple track work, but perhaps also for boring operations. I like simple, don't get me wrong, but there is a such a thing as too simple. If looking for prototype accuracy, best keep the track arrangement free of all these specialty switches. However, I would make an exception for diamonds, stub switches and three way turnouts. Diamonds would be used when two track need to cross, but there is no room or material to build one track over the other. Believe it or not, Durango is flat and the first three-four miles aren't too hilly. There surely was a diamond or two in there somewhere. Also, the Cumbers and Toltec I thought had a diamond or two as well, but I may be wrong.

As Herb has shown, three way switches are rare, but they do exist. Stub switches were used on any narrow gauge lines, D&RGW included, up until the early 1900's. You'd see these turnouts not on the mainline, but rather in the backwoods lines that went into individual mine sites.

So, large space? Yes. Simple track? Yes. Good reasons to not have complicated or specialty track items? Yes. But there are exceptions, and these exceptions are what makes a model unique from the others.

Prototype or not, a fun track plan is something I can hardly pass up. Either way, can't wait to see more work from you Michael.:glad:

--James

Salada
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So following your logic Herb, one in four aren't human ?
(thinking about it that could be about right !)

Lovely photos Herb and an interesting looking bogie hopper (gondola). Stub switches - fascinating things, unknown here, but presumably only for very low speed use & short wheelbase cars & locos ?. Presumably something like a Consolidated couldn't manage the rather abrupt change of direction ?.

Happy Christmas & no doubt a wee dram or two for Hogmanay.

Regards Michael

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Hi James,

A very good point (pun intended) - operational interest versus prototype accuracy - how do you resolve that in a limited space ?.

I'm building my RR the wrong way round but hopefully for good reasons. Firstly I am researching & modelling suitable CO, NM,AZ NG infrastucture - buildings, depots, rail served industries etc., almost as individual mini-dioramas. Meantime I'm researching the relevant US NG prototype operating practice, such as yard/depot layout, whilst figuring out how to connect the track system to each pre-built structure/rail user.

This is because genuine US SouthWest NG practice is so different to UK/European - almost no signals,single line 'main line', 'section houses','division points' - what's all that about then ?? But I'm slowly getting there thanks to Google etc. & the great help I've had so far from the Freerails gang. It also gives me plenty of 'track/layout' design doodle time; "Chavez Junction" only exists in my head right now, it may even change name. I'm not a great modeller but I want it to LOOK right.

Regards & Enjoy Riding the Rails ! Michael

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Having seen this, I imagine that some n.g. RR could have built that, too.

Salada
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So following your logic Herb, one in four aren't human ?
(thinking about it that could be about right !)

Lovely photos Herb and an interesting looking bogie hopper (gondola). Stub switches - fascinating things, unknown here, but presumably only for very low speed use & short wheelbase cars & locos ?. Presumably something like a Consolidated couldn't manage the rather abrupt change of direction ?.

Happy Christmas & no doubt a wee dram or two for Hogmanay.

Regards Michael

PS: Have you any idea please Herb (just off the top of your head)(that may be an English colloquialism ? i.e. don't waste any time)roughly what Switch Number, Angle of Departure or Radius that East Broadtop stub is ?.

Helmut
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@salada
On the EBT photo, a Consolidation is just passing by and no doubt it can negotiate a stub. IIRC from my last trip ( admittedly a few too many yrs. ago ) the frog was no. 7 or 8. From there always a curved rail goes to the moving yoke(?), so the actual deviation angle is not that much ( you move the rail by 4" at most )

P.S. So your wee dram is 10 regular fl. dr. then?

Last edited on Tue Dec 24th, 2013 01:06 pm by Helmut

Herb Kephart
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Correct about the large locos on the EBT, Helmut. Actually, they are 2-8-2's, the only steam that the railroad had from the 20's on. The most curved track, to the left, goes to the turntable--although there is another route.

And from memory. (not much left what with all that coming off the top of my head [US also]) I would say that you are pretty close on the frog angle.

There was another B&W photo posted here a couple years ago of a similar stub switch--which for want of a better name I will call a single slip--in a different location. Both photos were taken (I believe) in the era of the War of Northern Aggression -- (AKA-"Civil" War--an oxymoron if there ever was one) 1860's when running rail was probably about 50-60 lbs/yard. Most of the main trackage on the EBT is 85 lb rail, but something tells me that the EBT switch shown might be 60. I doubt that the switch shown couldbe"thrown"--bending 4 rails instead of the normal stub's 2--with much heavier rail. Even so, must have been a grunt to throw.

Interest fact about the EBT rail. The Tsarist Russian goverment placed a large rail order with a US steel mill, and as I recall (reading--I'm really not that old) one shipment was made. Then the revolution came and the mill didn't get paid and with no reason to believe that they ever would, put the rail on the market, probably at a discount price. Seibert, the EBT president who rebuilt the line to much higher standards, grabbed the rail up and relaid the whole line with it. The rail has a non-standard cross section, however, so only the fishplate (rail joint bars) made for this rail will work.

Herr Bert

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@Herr Bert
Those rails weren't flexed after all. You moved the whole assembly of two parallel rails in a frame that slid sideways in accordance to the switchstand's throw, forming a parallelogramme this way. So the elbow grease needed was not more, but less than for nowaday's turnouts. ( Provided they used the other grease on that turnout, too )

bill
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Mike Blazek http://blazeksplan.com/ has a wealth of information about many of the NG RRs in Colorado. I gave used several of his notebooks of D&RGW yards, depots and other locations on the RR when I was working in HO. You might look at his web site and see if there is any material that will help you in your quest for accuracy as well as modeling information.

Salada
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Helmut: No doubt the Southern Gentleman's measure will be 10 regular US fl.dr., on the basis that the Colonial measure is larger than an Imperial fl. dr. !!

Herb & Helmut: Many thanks for providing such useful info purely from memory - obviously you both have non-age impaired total recall ... Sorry, what was I talking about ?.
Dare I try a 3 way stub in 16.5 mm after years of 32 mm gauge ?. Could be fun even if too anachronistic.

Thanks Bill, I'll look up your suggested link. (I have just looked it up,it's all "Pay for" - I don't even spend that much money on Mrs Salada unless I'm in deep s**t !).

Regards Michael

Last edited on Tue Dec 24th, 2013 09:49 pm by Salada

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@salada
Go ahead and build one. Here's the how to.

Herb Kephart
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Oh My! didn't know that I had to do all that.......

http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=1767&forum_id=17&highlight=4+way+stub+switch


Herb

Salada
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I generally do not accept challenges unless accompanied by the promise of a large bottle of >40 deg. - & I NEVER accept a challenge on this 25th of all days !! (unless perhaps accompanied by 2 or more bottles).

All I asked was a simple, innocent question about typical S/West US NG yard design & suddenly it's high noon at the OK Corral with Herb/Woodie unleashing some impossible weapon of modeller's destruction. Seriously, that is one fantastic looking bit of kit - I take my hat (& wig) off to you Woodie !.

Luckily I've already said I ain't doing the trackwork yet.

Helmut: that looks to be an excellent link, Thanks.
Herb: Also my thanks to you - I'm now wondering, could I?.

Regards Michael

Remember: Keep it PC in 2014 (but only for track ties).

Herb Kephart
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Michael, we're not done messing with your head yet ---



This from a very good friend Dwayne, who posts here on occasion.

Now, I have no more info on this than what you see.

So gentlemen, we have five. Can  I have six?  Six? Six anyone? Going at five. Going once, goi........


Herb

Salada
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Thanks Herb - I wasn't really looking for a cure to give up railroad modelling but now I've got one - & a headache.

Interesting how the radiating tracks fan out to cross over each other just before the shed doors.
Just a guess - Brazil or somewhere in Africa ??

Regards Michael

Herb Kephart
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Dwayne doesn't remember, found it looking through a bunch of saved pictures. He guesses Europe

Notice the kink at the last frog on the far right track? Looks like it wasn't heading for the door for that stall.


Herb

Salada
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I couldn't line up the tracks with the door either.

I had thought possibly Portugal but there's not much non main line passenger stuff left there - Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia ??.

Stocked up for Hogmanay ?? Regards Michael

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Gents,
that one was easy. Looks British, but there are some Americanisms, like that speeder on the left-hand side. So my educated guess was 'down under' either AUs or NZ. And here's proof. New Zealand.
Oh, besides, they did NOT bend the iron because a stub always had hinged joints.
As I understand that a Scottish dram is 10 imperial fl. drams, have I earned one? Not Hogmanay, but Jul...

Last edited on Thu Dec 26th, 2013 09:12 pm by Helmut

Salada
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Well done Helmut, that was one educated guess !!

The Scottish "dram" may be the only variable measure of volume measurement in the world.
From my time living there (years ago) a "wee dram" was approximately anything up to 1/2 a bottle whilst a "dram" could be a bottle, or even more, depending on the location, occasion & the people involved.

Happy New Year

Regards Michael

Helmut
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I recall that the WP&Y still had lots of stubs in the late 50's. ( Not personally, but through a back issue of MR that featured a J.Armstrong article about it ). The reason given was that a stub cannot be so easily blocked by snow and ice as a tongue is.
Had a garden rr with a friend some yrs. ago, made all the stubs, and true, winter operation did not need much of turnout cleaning, almost nil.

jtrain
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Michael,

Sorry for the 4 day reply, but there is one site, perhaps you've heard of it, that really has a vast wealth of information. I've shared the link so many times I can't remember if I've given it to you yet.

Anyways, the site is http://www.carendt.com.

Carl Arendt, who sadly passed away in 2011, created this site devoted to minimum space railroads. He has also written 3 books on the subject, all of which are for sale on the site which is now under new management.

This site, if you haven't been to it before, is huge. Within the site there is a micro train layout gallery with track plans and short descriptions of each layout, there is also a large collections of articles which give many helpful tips and information about model railways in really tight spaces.

Finally, the mucho grande page is an index of over 200 pages of an online magazine, all free, sort of like a blog that shows over 2500 individual layouts, all under 24 square feet, most are between 4 and 8 square feet. To top it all off, most layouts are somewhat realistic, and so by studying the track patterns, I think you'll get a great idea of what can be done in a few feet. Also, think of it this way, if you want individual scenes, then your layout is basically a collection of several micro layouts right?

--James:java:

Salada
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Thank you James for the Carendt link, I'll "check it out" as you folks say.

Meanwhile, while you are enjoying yourself riding the CO NG rails I have found (by accident) something called HAER in the US Library of Congress - useful but oddly lightweight on AZ, NM & CO NG RR's - not bad for E Coast prototypes though. Some HAER photos seem to occur several times over in different places. HAER also has some building plans & dimensions but not found anything that suits me yet.

are you staying up there for New Year ?

Regards Michael

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Holy HAZARAI !!!!!

... a 5 way ...

Herb you're doing my head in !

Si.

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Here's a really old view of the Mogollon Railway's yards and enginehouse. You can see one 3 way switch in the foreground and another in front of the train on the middle track. This was all there was back in about 2004, the layout was nailed to the side of my motor home and had just started out into the back yard. And yes, there were a couple of 3 ways on the inspiration, the Silver City, Pinos Altos, & Mogollon RR. Fun to build and mo' fun to operate.

Woodie

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Stay up and be the first to meet the Sun I guess, except you'd beat me to it by default based on location ;)

Speaking of buildings, if needing even more information, there exists a large series of small books called "Images of America" which presents many photos of small towns and historic events, often showing the architecture of the area the book covers. If you know what town you're looking for, or at least the state it's in, you can order a book or two about the area from the publishing company directly:

http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/index.html

Or save some money and buy from amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com

I looked at the HAER buildings. From what I can tell, they are certainly a good source, but many of the buildings appear to be of Victorian era styles. For someone modeling the civil war era, those plans would be great.

--James:java:

Salada
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James: In the words of the C&W song - "It's 5 o'clock somewhere" , the bars will always be closed & the sun up here long before you - it's practically next week here already !. Thanks for the Arcadia link.

Woodie: Bet you get some funny looks arriving at a campsite with that stuck on the side of your RV. For really wacky RV's, check out RV photos from New Zealand.

Regards Michael

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Si. wrote: Holy HAZARAI !!!!!

... a 5 way ...

Herb you're doing my head in !

Si.

Si, it's all  the frogs fault   

the rest is pointless---

Herbie

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The point really is, they didn't want any blade runners as it turns out.

Salada
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Time you lot Knuckled down to some proper modelling.

(I'm assuming that 'Knuckle' is the correct term in US speak).

Regards Michael

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Yessir, we knuckle under your command.
I promise to continue with fitting R/C + battery + SMPS into a very tiny loco's cab.

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Here is the single/double switch (puzzle switch) photo that should have been included in my original post but delayed by computer problems.





Photo by me in Poland 2011. The main 'Diagonal' road that cuts across & connects to all the Yard tracks & to the Through Main.

This type of Yard layout very typical of Poland, Germany, France, Italy; less used in Spain & almost never in the UK. UK Yards are 'fans' of parallel roads.


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