To get 'new' structure ideas for my layout and business I went back in time. Frank Ellison is a famous model railroader who wrote a bunch of structure articles for a now defunct magazine called Model Builder in the 1940's. These magazines are available on the internet for free. Some of his structures have been updated and re-issued by Brennan's Model Railroading. I have two kits I plan on building soon. I also plan on designing and scratch building my own.
Frank Ellison then John Allen started writing track operations planning articles for Model Railroader in the late 1930's through early 1950's (John Armstrong followed later with mostly track plans for prototype railroad operation). F. Ellison wrote a series of articles on various aspects of layout planning and building, scenery and operation. What interested me the most was his series of articles on how to set up spurs and sidings so there was a purpose for their existence. He wrote articles on where to fit industries on spurs and how to switch cars into and out of the spurs. In 1944 he wrote his famous series called "The Art of Model Railroading" which was reprinted in 1964.
To paraphrase Ellison and Allen a good model railroad must have a 'come from' and a 'go to' operation otherwise one is just running trains (no offense to 'loopers'). Even if sidings are constructed but no specific business is located to 'go to' on those sidings you can still drop of a box car, hopper or tank car or all of them at the same time since the spur lacks a purpose for those cars being there. Of the many examples of 'come from' / 'go to' one would be an output terminal at a refinery that loads tank cars with diesel, gasoline,heating oil or propane. The tank cars can then be dropped off at spurs containing a bulk oil dealer, a propane tank farm or a gasoline/diesel dealer. You can simply stop there or go further. For instance the heating oil dealer can load trucks with heating oil for delivery to city or residential neighborhoods. A grain elevator to a feed or flour mill to a freight dealer is another good example. I am still planning and building industries for the spurs. More on this in an upcoming posts.
From John Armstrong's articles and books I learned the necessity of double ended passing sidings so I can park a freight consist while a passenger train speeds by. I also learned that my yard layout was inefficient and changed it (previous post). I made my passenger station track a double ended siding also. So I can park the passenger train at the station and let the freight proceed on the same track and perhaps cross over to the outside main for an excursion around the country side. Or I can do the opposite and let the passenger train cross over to the outside main and go 'cross country' while I make switching moves (pick ups and drop offs) for the freight train at the various spurs.
Below is a partial list of books and articles I read.
1. John Armstrong "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" - Model Railroader Books
2. Frank Ellison "Fast Freight" Model Railroader Dec 1949
3. Frank Ellison "Freight Yards" Model Railroader Jan 1950
4. Frank Ellison "Way Freight" Model Railroader Feb 1950
5. Frank Ellison "Route Switching" Model Railroader Mar 1950 - an excellent article
6. Frank Ellison "Where to Locate Your Industries" Model Railroader Jun 1950 - another excellent article.
7. Frank Ellison "Art of Model Railroading" Model Railroader Mar to Aug 1944