Below are the parameters to keep in mind during the layout design for the Newbridge & Lockport RR. While “Givens and Druthers” are a tl;dr, Design Parameters go into more detail, although both are interchangeable and appear to really be one and the same.
– The locale could be either Canada’s West/Pacific North West, or US South West starting moderately arid and changing into more greenery with forests, mountains with snow peaks, etc. (all subject to change)
– There should be at least two industrial towns on the 1st Deck: Newbridge, site of the main classification yard, and Bramshott with one or two major and several minor industries each, plus the seaport town of Lockport, on the branchline.
Lockport should have a port/pier capable of rail traffic with cranes, container stacks, potentially large tanks for oil storage, and a number of small industries on the backdrop wall. A beach scene with tourists next to the port could be an optional transition element.
2nd Deck should have one major industrial town: Shorncliffe, site of the smaller classification yard (must not be physically located above Newbridge classification yard to avoid operator crowding). Several industries should also be located within the LDEs on the 2nd Deck beside scenic areas.
– The railroad should be a walk-in, multi-deck configuration, and walk about. There would be no swing gate, drop-down, or duck-under required to access any portions of the railroad.
– One main helix should be connecting all the decks, located on east wall of the room; second smaller helix connecting the 1st and the 2nd Deck, located on the east support column.
– The entrance should be on the east end of the room, adjacent to the workshop room that could also serve as the crew lounge.
– The staging should be double-ended, serving both traffic directions, located under the peninsula and accessible from both sides. It should be flexible, offering auto-restaging of trains through a loop. Changing train directions (Eastbound vs Westbound) should also be possible via (double) crossovers.
– The main line should be single track, with as many passing sidings as permitted considering the train length x 2 + 1’ formula for the length of the siding.
– There should be a realistic scenery to track ratio, with enough Layout Design Elements (LDEs) to make for an enjoyable run, while satisfying operational needs.
– The railroad should pass through a scene only once (subject to change)
– Maximum grade should be no more than 2.5%.
– Minimum radius should be 18″ on the visible mainline, where possible. Passing sidings could have 16.25″ minimum radius, while non-visible track 14″.
– Track center spacing: straight 1.125″, curve 1.25″ (or TBD).
– Minimum turnout on mainline: #6, yards #5, industries #5.
– Micro-Engineering Code 70 for the mainline, Code 55 for sidings and yards; Atlas Code 80 flex and insulfrog remote turnouts for the staging.
– Train Length 7′, 2-3 locomotives, 22-23 forty-foot cars, and a caboose.
– The focus should be on freight operation, with some passenger service to add variety and time to the operation.
– Nominal aisle width 36″, with no tighter than 30″ and pinch points at 28″ for 2′ or less. Entrance will be a nominal 30” width.
– Staging should be at nominal 32” (31”), 1st deck at 45″ (44”), and 2nd deck at 60″ (59”).
– Reach should be no more than 24”.
– Electrical cabinet must remain accessible; access to two windows on the south side if possible, but not necessary as they would be covered with backdrop.
– Control via DCC Roco Z21 station and accompanying boosters and train detection accessories, with a full CTC signaling and automation implementation in the future.
– Turnouts in Staging should all be powered/remote, while mainline could be manual or remote.
– Locomotives should have sound wherever possible, while all rolling stock should have low profile metal wheels and MicroTrains trucks and couplers.
Note: This is a living document. It will change as often as this railroad is tweaked and tuned.
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