Saturday, 16 March 2019

Frenchman River Model Works Tug Boat Kit

Frenchman River Model Works Tug Boat Kit

I started this one a few years ago and it has sat on the display shelf. Although I don't plan a dockside scene it was a very enjoyable kit. The model itself consists of cast resin waterline hull and and cabin structure with additional metal details.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

A change of name and a change of direction.

For some time I have been trying to squeeze the Yacolt branch into my 20' x 10' Layout space. No mater how I did it, there was to many compromises. I just couldn't fit the two components I wanted into my space.

With the way the exchange rate is currently locomotive power for the branch was quickly adding up to the price of a small car.

There are a number of people blogging working on either freelanced or proto freelanced layouts that I follow intently. One thing that has stuck me is i find them enjoyable and they are still able to achieve small operating sessions.

The decision has been made to start a fictitious line and utilize parts of my previous plan. The Owen Pass Lumber Company operates a short branch line through to the town of Owen Pass and then heads off into the woods with various logging operation.

Minimum radius 24" on main and 20" on the upper "Y".
All turnouts No.6 Hand Laid
Max Grade 2%

The upper deck plan is very similar to my yacolt plan.
Town of Owen Pass consists of a Depot, Team Track, Car Repair Shop, Boiler / Welding shop, Furniture manufacture. The Mill area consists of a Mill, Log Dump and car storage tracks. There is a 3 track travereser above the helix to stage log trains on.

The lower deck has changed completely and is reached heading clockwise down the helix for 3 turns. There is scope to reduce this to 2 turns and continue the grade all the way through to Owen Pass. The point to the logging staging will need to be altered though. 

Coming out of the helix you enter the main town on what could be called the Middle Deck. Unnamed as yet this will include the lumber companies loco service shop and equipment sidings as well as some small industry.

A long run along a narrow shelf that sites 200mm above the lower deck through to a small town consisting of a run around  and 2 sidings. Possibly an oil dealer and team siding. 

From here you enter a dramatic scene with the main crossing itself and a gorge below then through a single turn helix and running parallel to the river gorge. A total of 200mm fall down to the lower deck. A short tunnel for a view break between the two.

Another large trestle to cross before the interlocked crossing of the NP main and into the interchange yard at the lowest point. This Yard will be built as a Freemo TOMA Module that can be removed.

I think this plan will offer me more variety then the single track mainline of the Yacolt branch.
Minimum 2 train lengths between towns has been achieved. Reduce hidden track from my original plans.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Demand Based Car Flow - Model Fleet Part 3 - Breaking it down into Roads

In Model Railroad Hobbyist, for March 2015 Tony Thompson wrote an excellent article highlighting the cars owned by various roads at particular times. Although the data he used later then my prototype era of choice (Tony's data represented 1950) I felt if could still be used as a basis to model my fleet on.

I started with my previous Determination of 50 cars required to run my layout (excluding logging and passenger equipment) and started to break this down.  There are various schools of thought or rules of thumb when determining the number of home road and foreign cars on a layout. I decided to start with a 40-60 split and figured that the logging fleet would probably balance it out closer to 50-50.

With a 40-60 Split I would need 20 home road cars (I will address this in a separate post) and 30 foreign road cars. Based on the article of Tony's you could break this 30 down into particular roads using the fleet size that each particular road had at the time being. There is a graph on his blog here that represents this Modeling the SP. The result of this would result in the fleet being slewed towards PRR and NYC.

I felt that the location of the Yacolt branch would see more traffic from roads in direct interchange such as SP, SP&S, GN, ATSF so I adjusted my car fleet to represent more of these but also kept in mind the high number of cars owned by PRR

The Main Roads

SP  Southern Pacific - 5 cars
ATSF Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe - 4 cars
SP&S Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway - 3 cars
GN Great Nortehrn - 2 cars
PRR Pennsylvania Railroad - 3 cars
NYC New York Central - 2 cars
PFE - Pacific Fruit Express - 2 car

Total 21 cars Leaving room for 9 from smaller roads that I would like to represent but not limited to,


This brings the number of non home road cars up to 30. The next challenge is breaking it down to percentage of car types required across the layout but it is likely the majority will be XM class.

Building A Freight Car Fleet - Resoucres

I have been using various resources in determining my car fleet. Three blogs that have been a fantastic help with wealth of knowledge and examples on setting up a fleet are,

Demand Based Car Flow - Model Fleet Part 2 - The Total Number

A few weeks ago I used a demand based car flow system to begin  determining my freight car fleet. The exercise highlighted that daily trains departing staging would consist of 6 or 7 car lengths.

I plan to run my layout on my own most of the time and want to be able to enter the shed and run a train. To start out I envisage 3 trains daily crossing the layout, local freight, passenger and dedicated log train, with the the options of adding an extra freight when I have 2 operators.

This would mean I need the option to have staging for 4 trains at Vancouver end of the layout and also 2 free tracks to run around and somewhere to turn locomotives. i haven't determined if i will use a traverse table with 6 tracks and a turntable at the end or just s standard staging yard.

Using the demand based car flow from my earlier post it shows 6-7 cars entering the layout on any given day. At the same time these cars will be spotted at various locations from he previous day s you can assume there will be 6-7 cars being loaded or unloaded on the layout. I also plan my waybills to have cars sitting to be loaded for more then one day in some cases so you could make the assumption that there would be 10 cars on the layout most of the time.

The above scenario results in 24 cars being required on the layout at any given time.

Staging 1 - Local freight 1- up to 7 cars
Staging 2 - Local freight 2 - up to 7 cars
On Layout - Up to 10 Cars

I want to run a variety of freight cars across the layout and not use the same 24 cars each session. When making up a train in staging i plan to use the demand based table and the process to be something similar to

- Look up Demand based Table for day of month (table needs to be extended to cover full 31 days.
- Table determines what cars are required by shippers and local agents.
- Make up train using a mixture of freight already in staging yard and from car draws below.
- Add Waybills to the car card pockets. and stage train ready for departure.
- There should already be 1 train in staging ready so this train will become the next operating sessions local freight.

Wanting a mixture of fleet to reduce seeing the same freight on the layout each time have double the figure of 24 cars to 48 and then rounded it out to 50 in total.

This figure of 50 doesn't include cars specifically for Murphy Lumber Co and also the logging fleet and it is likely this will bring the number up to approximately 70 cars in total.

 Next up its time to break down those 50 cars into different roads and home road cars that accurately represent 1929.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Track Diagram

Recent planing and thinking about my layout has led to a lot of changes, concepts and ideas on how i plan to operate this layout. Part of that is the track diagram.

I'm using this as an aid to determine freight movements for operations and hopefully help me work out the amount of cars in my fleet. The diagram covers Battle Ground through to Yacolt and is split at the helix.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Demand Based Car Flow - Model Fleet Part 1 - A layout re think

As part of my desire to model the 1920's I have set about developing a car fleet for my railroad. Part of this process is determining freight movement across the layout and in tern determining the umber of cars required for operations.

Tony Tompson has written extensively on car moment, waybill creation and operations on his blog. One series of his I have found particularly helpful is Operations: Demand Based Car Flow.

Using Tony's methodology and generating a distribution schedule of sorts based on the industries on the Yacolt Branch highlighted a problem with my proposed layout. The Yacolt local ended up being over 10 cars long to service all the required industries if I modeled Homan through to Yacolt.
At the same time i have been struggling to fit all Homan through to tunnel 1 on 1 deck of the layout.

My aim for the layout was to generate enough traffic that I can run one freight local a day and additional passenger service / dedicated log trains. Using my sample schedule I found that restricting the layout to service only industry past Battle Ground the car lengths averaged out at 6 cars. An acceptable length for my layout.

Sample Distribution Schedule -  showing cars arriving on layout from staging.
Using my distribution schedule caused a re think of the track plan and a decision to model the layout from Battle Ground through to Yacolt and the Murphy Lumber Co.

This will result in the following trains:
- Yacolt Local - Departing Staging (Vancouver junction) through to Yacolt and return
- Daily passenger service AM and PM service
- Murphy Log Trains

As a result its back to the drawing board and track planing for the lower deck with the new school of thought.