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Hi All,

 

I'm currently in the garage with with my trusty layout which is around 75% complete which I hope to get finished this year.  We had been mulling a house move recently regarding a property owned by a relative that had substantial space in the loft which would serve for my next layout.  After thinking this over I realised we would be spending more time refurbishing the property than spending time on our hobbies.  I also realised that we had adequate space in our current home if we were to use the space more intelligently for much less cost. 

 

So next year I plan with the blessing of my wife to move out of the garage so that we can create extra living space as well as a utility room.  The payback for the move is that I can purchase a 20ft by 10ft purpose built shed to house the next layout in the garden giving me the ability to run full length rolling stock. I'll be continuing on with BR blue diesel era, on DCC, using code 75 track and electrofrogs and some initial planning doodling on XtrackCAD has started. :D My question relates to fiddle yards when running with up to 10 coach trains.  I'm looking at using a combination of curved and medium radius electrofrogs in the fiddle yard with an absolute minimum 30" inch radius curves.  I also want to keep the ability to watch trains run around too which limits the yard to 12 roads.  The design utilises a single slip and a crossover each end of the yard to enable bidirection entry and departure but I am a little concerned at the way I'm maximising yard length.    Is this a sensible approach or should I look at dropping all the curved points and keeping the approach as straight as possible using a scissors at either end? Hopefully this is not a silly question, but I'd rather take advice now rather than learn the hard way later on. (It happened a while ago!)

 

All responses gratefully recieved and all the best.

Regards

Bryant

fiddle yard.jpg

Edited by B McG
Spelling correction to first sentance

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Looks good, well thought out.   You certainly ave some impressive storage loops, from 7 to 16 coaches.   Do you need the first two (visible)  roads? It would be a lot simpler without them.   I have a row of curved points on the way in to my hidden loops which haven't given much trouble at all.   Mine only take 12 coaches, I think, never actually run more than 10.   I have never used a single slip but long diamonds are a pain even when live frogged and double slips are tight, down around 24" radius .   You will get conflict between arrivals and departures so is it actually worth having more than a single road approaching the loops.   Building that key pinch point in will certainly simplify the pointwork.

As long as you keep above your minimum radius, 30", I wouldn't bother to keep curves parallel, often better to curve the outer at 30" and the inners at 36" .  

 

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Yes, it’s great but David makes a good point: The slips have a horribly tight radius.

 

I assume the two curving tracks are the main running lines. If so, the turning routes through the slips (over the tight radii) will only be used to traverse between the outer circuit and the inner storage roads, so not too bad but those routes will always involve a reverse curve through the slip... Maybe replace the slips with two medium radius turnouts if you have room.

 

If the main running lines were around the outside, trains could circulate while you fiddle with stock on the storage roads without fear of interference. That might also help with the slips problem.

Edited by Harlequin
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Looks good. If you have space try to avoid the slip if you want a minimum radius of 30"

 

Personally I would keep the two visible roads. The junction whete they separate from the fiddle yard approach will also give an impressive scene.

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Good plan but I think you may want to avoid the slips.  You need smooth curves for your through trains.

 

An alternative thought might be to have your  through lines as part of the fiddle yard.  If you look at the bottom line, if you used that as the "up" through road there are a minimum of points on it, a smooth curve and speed could be maintained.  Your fourth line up gives something similar for down.  This way you can avoid the slips - though I can see you would want the crossovers which are incorporated - but only for slow tains emerging from the fiddle yard.

 

You could perhaps look at using more curved points then to start the fiddle yard entries sooner.

Edited by imt

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My first thought was do you need connection between the two lines at each end? Why not have trains which run clockwise only and others which run anticlockwise only? You can get more than six trains going each way if some of them are short, as two of them could be stored in the same loop. I have done this and use infra-red sensors to move up trains automatically to make room for one to come back in at the other end.

 

I like the two visible running lines in front of the storage loops, which I assume will be behind scenery. Do you need much access to the storage loops? Will you be altering trains in there? If not then you could reach over scenery to deal with any trouble.

 

Good luck with the project. It will be interesting to see it develop.

 

Robert

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1 hour ago, Robert Stokes said:

My first thought was do you need connection between the two lines at each end? Why not have trains which run clockwise only and others which run anticlockwise only? You can get more than six trains going each way if some of them are short, as two of them could be stored in the same loop. I have done this and use infra-red sensors to move up trains automatically to make room for one to come back in at the other end.

 

I like the two visible running lines in front of the storage loops, which I assume will be behind scenery. Do you need much access to the storage loops? Will you be altering trains in there? If not then you could reach over scenery to deal with any trouble.

 

Good luck with the project. It will be interesting to see it develop.

 

Robert

There are a lot of layouts which have trains which only run clockwise and others which only run anticlockwise.  From experience of a similar size layout having six run clockwise and six anticlockwise is about right to keep a casual visitor interested.  We can achieve that without acting like a one armed paper hanger, but then its a flurry of shunting to set everything back up again, unless you are prepared to see the same trains again.  The shunting is actually the interesting bit.

The incoming loco almost never takes the same train back out and working from the yard the goods are almost invariably remarshalled, from the FY its just a loco change and stick the brake in the other end.

The shed sounds like 1/2 scale mile round so 30 sec per lap Blue era ( bit less scale speed)  60 sec steam goods, 90 sec Hornby 42XX , so looking at a 10 minute session before repetition.

Ideally any train should be able to go either clockwise or anticlockwise around the layout from any storage road which is what I achieved with my loft layout albeit with such hideous complication that it was never finished.  The loft had a scenic fiddle yard planned with hidden storage loops, all the fiddling / re marshalling and re engine ing was to be on show.   The automation needed killed it,  

The FY here might look good sceneified with a load of yard lamps, bit like Bescot as viewed from the M6 rather that a plywood wasteland...

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I quite like the idea, the (presumably) scenic running lines in front of the FY could look good so long as you can still access the FY over the top of the backscene. I agree that its an advantage to be able to run to/from any storage line in any direction, which will always leave the potential for conflicts, but as said above, the junction, whether on-scene or hidden, provides additional operating interest. I've never used a single slip, it seems the most efficient way of creating the track layout you need, I wouldn't be too concerned about radius if it were in the hidden area and so long as I wasn't pushing things like Mk3+DVT sets through it. 

 

If you don't need all your tracks to be able to access both lines (ie some trains always running the same way, loaded/empty etc) then maybe a simplified arrangement could be used. Looking at the left side, you have three "groups" of sidings which merge into three tracks, then two. The centre of those three groups could be connected to both up and down lines, meaning than any trains reversing would use the middle tracks, and that you would no longer need the crossover or single slip, just a connection from the central fan of sidings to each of the two running lines. Same at the other end of course.

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Hi Everyone

Thanks for the responses and comments, they've really been of help.  I'll try to answer all feedback and question raised as well as giving a further flavour of what I have in mind.  With regard the running lines I want to keep the double track as a roundy in the foreground so that I could also watch the trains go by and to also put a countryside scene and possibly a viaduct.  Also I'm keeping in mind a branch line if space permits.  

 

I did some research online about curved points and found their radius was closer to 28 inches in old money.  I also verified this on XtrackCAD by building a circle of curved point and comparing them against a helix radius.  To stay within no less than 30" radius I felt the curved points had to go.  I'm taking on board the feedback about single slips (thereby saving me a the best part of 70 quid!!) and switched to diamonds instead. Given that I'm not running anything with a short wheel base over them I'm minded to go the insulfrog option.  

 

In this iteration I've tried out bring the line to the fiddle yard as singles and found the yard roads have a minimum of 8.5 up to 11 feet with a rough average across all 12 roads  of 9.5 feet. I've used long points on the running lines and mediums in the fiddle yard area.  There's still some work to do on the plan particularly in the upper left station approach where the curved points need to go. In my mind the left hand fiddle yard entry is to be partially hidden under a townscape, the right hand junction will be hidden be a tunnel just before the first point starts splitting the line into three at the start of the fiddle yard.

 

I must admit I'm tempted by DavidCBroad's idea of simply having 6 roads clockwise and 6 roads anticlockwise so tomorrow night I'll model this option and see what comes out. I suspect that a decent length train of  9- 10 coaches plus a DMU / light goods will fit, which actually may mean more than 10 minutes per repetition.    Also I plan to sketch out a hybrid option mentioned by JDW where I think with careful thought the centre two roads could be made bidirectional.  

 

More work to do and thanks once more.  Please PM me if any of you would like a copy of the files for your own use.

 

Regards

Bryant

 

 

New layout single track fiddle yard.jpg

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Maybe you've considered and discounted this already, but there seems an awful lot more "wasted" space in that fiddle yard, instead of bringing each track round 90 degrees then starting the pointwork, why not use the curved arm of normal points (instead of curved points) to form at least part of the curve into the fiddle yard, so that you avoid some of those reverse curves and increase the length of at least some of the roads?

For example, on the right hand end, the third track from the bottom looks as if it could start from the straight arm of a curved point further to the right, immediately before the first set of points. Likewise the 7th from the bottom. That would give you a good extra foot on those roads, and probably six inches on the ones above.

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I agree that I think you could make better use of the corners, by starting at least some of the loops earlier.  I'm trying to do something similar to you (but with about four or five foot less in length) and still make my loops as long as possible.  Although I was aiming to have a minimum radius of 30", I see that as a fairly arbitrary figure, so in my case some Peco Streamline Curved Points will stay, even although you're correct that they get as tight as 28" in the closure rails.  However, if you don't mind mixing rail heights, Peco's North American Code 83 #7 curved turnouts have a slightly larger radius inside curve.  I think it's nominally about 36", with the outside radius still being about 60".  Where the streamline curve point has a 12 degree crossing angle, it's 9.5 degrees with the #7.  At the moment, I'm generally planning to use the Code 83 #7 curved points where I can, but where I can't fit these, I'll use the Code 100 streamline version.  That is, I'm willing to sacrifice my minimum radius to ensure maximum loop length.  However, it's up to you how rigidly you want to stick to a 30" minimum.

 

Whilst I've no objection to layouts that operate with six trains always travelling in one direction and six in the other, I'd personally prefer to have at least some loops that are bidirectional.  In my case, that's so that my New Measurement Train and Class 221 Voyager DEMU can be used on both the Up and Down lines along with Class 156, 158 and 170 DMUs (thus cutting down on the number that I need to buy).  Obviously bi-directional tracks are perhaps less important for loco hauled services, but you could always use an empty road to run round. 

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Thanks for the comments.  On the plan my last post I had tried starting the loops early but was like trying to close an almost impossible circle with 30" minimum radius, considering the running lines in the edge of the base board and that I dropped the curved points.  I tend to agree about the wasted space and the obvious limitations of the last plan.  Like all design iterations at least it's something I can discount.  Last night I put together a hydrid plan (Credit to JDW) where I have 4 up and 4 down lines in the fiddle yard and 4 centre roads that can be entered bidirectionally.  This plan does allows some shuffling and variation and it is a much better use of space.  There were a few compromises to make it work, one being the use of medium radius points only on the running lines (which I probably will relook at) and also a curved point for the centre roads on the left hand side.   I even sketched in some sidings in the FY to store single engines and DMU's as well as a passing loop on the bottommost road and starting doodling a station.  Overall I'm much happier and may stick with this as a solution unless anyone can see something obvious that I should take heed of.

New layout double track hybrid fiddle yard.jpg

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And further optimisation by moving the left hand junction a few inches upwards has yielded this:-

New layout double track hybrid fiddle yard v2.jpg

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 Your double track junctions with a point instead of the diamond give a very neat way to split the fiddle yard into three groups of sidings - clockwise, anticlockwise and bi directional.

 

Sometimes the best solution is the simplest.

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Given that you are modelling diesel era, why have loops? You can get far more capacity by having two lots of dead-end sidings.

 

Here's an example drawn for another thread.

Fiddleyard.pdf

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Diesel era would include loco hauled trains. Also loops enable trains to continue on in the same direction.

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Of course this may not suit what you want, but why have a fiddle yard at all ? Store passenger stock not required in service in loop or bay platforms at the station at the top, and have a 'Ripple Lane' style freight yard at the bottom, with the running lines separating around loops/sidings in between.

 

 

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Thankyou for your contributions and comments. In my original post I was intially looking at a 10 x 20 foot shed but some measurements taken in the garden a couple of days ago have made me realise that I can have a larger building.  Given the expense, this year I'll be preparing the upper garden for a 12 x 20 foot shed for installation in early 2021.   That extra 2 feet in width has opened up an awful lot of space and has eased no end the crampedness in some of the early plan sketches and the running line have benefited no end too.  I'm probably going to stay with the loops, although that plan from Joseph_Pestell really turned my head.  Will post over the weekend some more sketches....

 

Cheers

Bryant

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A couple more sketches based on advice given now with an assumed size of 11' 4" x 19' 4".  I tried out Joseph Pestells idea which if implemented would save a shed load of points.  I'm still leaning towards going with loops but have relaxed a little with regard curved point as long as the as the direction of travel is to the single end. Also they can be straightened as well to give a radius more towards 30" on the inner curve.  If anyone else has any suggestions please feel free to comment.

19.3 x 11.3.jpg

Joseph_Pestell.jpg

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Loops every time for me.  By the time a train long enough to need the extra length of the dead-end sidings clears the point ladder so it can reverse in, I reckon its loco / driving cab and half the train will be back in view in the scenic area …….

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You'd do the dead end sidings if the idea was to operate in an end to end manner (a different loco taking the train back if it's not inherently reversible). You get longer sidings, but lose the benefits of loops.

 

A combination of a couple of loops and a couple of dead end sidings in either direction is a possibility, too.

 

(Also probably academically, the FY crossovers in the dead end sidings diagram are the wrong way round, they both need to be facing with the sidings that way round)

Edited by Zomboid
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16 hours ago, Zomboid said:

(Also probably academically, the FY crossovers in the dead end sidings diagram are the wrong way round, they both need to be facing with the sidings that way round)

 

<slams head against wall> :senile: Now that is such a schoolboy error.  So bad in fact I'm doing him an injustice!

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On 17/02/2020 at 06:23, Zomboid said:

(Also probably academically, the FY crossovers in the dead end sidings diagram are the wrong way round, they both need to be facing with the sidings that way round)

 

Which of course means my last post is best 90% ignored, as reversing the crossovers removes my main objection.  But I'd still keep at least some loops I think …...

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I would be inclined to sacrifice one road in each direction in order to increase space between the roads, which will be useful if you need to get your fingers in there to lift stock out.  

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Hello Bryant. Going back to one of your original ideas, have you considered using Tillig single slips with outside switch blades? Example code 85396, various Uk suppliers including derails and kernow? The outside blade radius is 1050mm, over 41” in old money. Live frogs. ( Beware that  Tillig also make inner-bladed slips, similar to peco ones.) 

I only use Tillig in my scenic sections but to mix and match Tillig 83 with peco 75 in a fiddle yard would be straightforward. 

For comparison, my modern layout is 2.4m x 4.9m so it’s smaller than yours. The core arrangement is a 10 road peco 100 all bi-directional fiddle yard served by 2 scissor crossings, one at each end.  My stock is DMU’s, loco hauled passenger with DVTs and loco hauled freight. Conflicting in-out movements only occur if attempting simultaneous entry and exit to-from the 4 ‘outer’ roads against the 6 ‘inner ones’. I split the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ number of roads unequally 6-4 because it helped stretching the road lengths into the corners and I have specific freight operations on  two inner roads. I have extra dead end sidings at each end of the yard,  accessed only from the inner roads to enable freight loco swaps. 

Hopefully some food for thought for you.

 

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