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Was wondering if anyone's ever built a hump yard on their layout.  I've been thinking about trying my hand at one as I kick around possible layout designs on SCARM.  The software won't let you put switches on an incline, and I know you don't want too much of a grade if you're going to even try this.  For software purposes I've kept them flat & angled the straights in between, then kept the actual yard tracks flat.  From the electrocoupler at the top of the hump to the end of the longest track is about 10.5'.  Any guesses as to how much drop I'll need?  So far I've got two 1/4" drops in SCARM.  In the real world I could incorporate the switches and probably get another 1/4" to 1/2" if needed.  Ideally, I'd want the first car on the track to stop a few inches short of the bumper, I'd think. 

 

I've attached my SCARM file, as well as a couple of pictures of the proposed layout/yard.  FYI - grey walls are basement block wall, transparent wall is a standard interior wall, and the tan panels represent proposed access panels in the table. Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.  Thanks.

 

- Neal

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I believe a retarded is essential.  The problem is O scale cars do not act like the real thing.  You need enough slope to get them rolling, and once they start they accelerate fast.  When they reach level track, they decelerate fast.

 

A member of a local club has an operational oriented layout with a functional 4-track hump yard. The hump has enough slope to get the car to the end of the yard track, but then it doesn't have enough momentum to couple to another car.  If the yard track is nearly full, the car coming off the hump rams into the parked cars and sometimes derails.  Most of the times it works, and it is fun.  However, a retarder would really help.

Originally Posted by Fridge56Vet:

Thanks for the input.  Does anyone know what one would use for a retarder, or do they make them commercially?

Someone in Elliot's thread suggested using a bristle(s) from those heavy bristled floor brooms just high enough to contact the axle. experimentation on placement and number should result in a retarder.

Last edited by Moonman

I'll have to go measure the grade, but I'll bet it is something like 8%.

 

There's a fine line between too fast and not fast enough. Add to that all the different cars and the different manufacturers, and it gets even trickier. The one critical factor is coupling. If the cars don't couple every time, the whole thing becomes a giant pain. In my limited experiments, I've found Lionel cars to be the most reliable. Imagine that! The coupler scourge of 3 rail O, which stems form Lionel's patent and everyone else having to work around it, is a big part of the problem.

 

If you look at the videos that Drew posted, the O gauge one is an all MTH layout. I saw it in person back in September of 2013, and actually shot that second video. That layout uses compressed air jets to slow the cars. One other thing to note is that all the tracks are on a constant grade, and never flatten out, so the gravity is "always on".

 

Here's part 1. It just shows it from a different angle.

 

Here's my roll test.

 

Originally Posted by Fridge56Vet:

... do they make them commercially?

You're in the deep end of the pool now, and you're on your own. You are only limited by your own creativity. Thanks to the internet and Youtube, you have access to what some others have already done.

 

I'm thinking of using a plastic strip to pinch the back of the wheels. I haven't tested it yet, but in theory it should work. The bristle idea also sounds good.

Originally Posted by Big_Boy_4005:
I'm thinking of using a plastic strip to pinch the back of the wheels. I haven't tested it yet, but in theory it should work. The bristle idea also sounds good.

 

I wonder if you could combine the two & use a cheap toothbrush head to pinch the wheels? If you could adjust the distance of the tips of the bristles to the rail you could alter the braking force, I suppose.  Then again, I'm a doctor, not an engineer.... 

I’ll say, building a hump yard would be a very scenic operation, however, I would recommend you add a transfer table area and store some nice diesels or steamers, or both. A hump yard would take up a lot of space, a long drop and really good switches for easy rolling freight cars, a way to retard the speed and good couplers that close easily. I am not negative on the concept, it’s the time and space needed that keeps me from building one. @Big Boy 4005 has a long long wall that may be adaptable for a hump yard, it’s simply out of my reach. Again, I do not know the size of your train area, it might be feasible for you. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. Happy Railroading Everyone

CBS072

I found your comment below interesting on braking or retarding the rolling cars.

" the Dodge City Kansas Train Show. The club is out of North Platte, Nebraska.    They used air blowing thru small tubes between the rails to slow the cars."

Adding electrical retarders would be required for each track or air tubes, with some kind of valve for each track.  In your video, I think I can see each car slightly slow down after the first 2 feet or so, after being turned loose.  It looks like it works very well, my first model hump yard in action.

Charlie

CBS072

I found your comment below interesting on braking or retarding the rolling cars.

" the Dodge City Kansas Train Show. The club is out of North Platte, Nebraska.    They used air blowing thru small tubes between the rails to slow the cars."

Adding electrical retarders would be required for each track or air tubes, with some kind of valve for each track.  In your video, I think I can see each car slightly slow down after the first 2 feet or so, after being turned loose.  It looks like it works very well, my first model hump yard in action.

Charlie

It has been 9 years or more the last time I saw the layout, I think each track had 3 tubes blowing air,, They may of had a valve on each of the tracks so to only turn the air on to the track that they were using,  I remember they had a 10 gallon air compressor, but I do not remember how many times it started each day of the show.  I will look to see if I have other pictures of the layout.

@CBS072 posted:

It has been 9 years or more the last time I saw the layout, I think each track had 3 tubes blowing air,, They may of had a valve on each of the tracks so to only turn the air on to the track that they were using,  I remember they had a 10 gallon air compressor, but I do not remember how many times it started each day of the show.  I will look to see if I have other pictures of the layout.

I find a picture of the all of the yard tracks, but it is hard to see the air tubes, I think they white in color,  Also may have a row of tubes that are black also.

100_2105

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The bottom row of retarders are 1/8 tubes 3 per track, a 8 foot of table has been added since the picture of Eldon starting the compressor.  The bottom row of retarders are progressive, no air till 3 cars on that track 1 valve used, after five cars 2 valves use, after seven cars 3 valves operate when the infrared detects a car.  I did these so cars would roll to the bumpers.  The tubing used is the 1/8 tubing that truck shifter use old school. The top ten solenoid valves are from Ag-Chem RoGator Sprayer and are 1/4 inch, tubing is oil sampling tube. Power is 2 Dewalt 12volt series together for 24 volts.

On transfer table, it no longer has a switch engine moving it.  Now it a 12 volt motor, with a variable speed motor control, d shafts from Servo City, with sprockets with #25 chain. I use infrared detection for auto indexing to the track.

Happy Railroading Bryan

This is a fun thread to read and @Fridge56Vet, my question is what size is your space you would allow for a Hump Yard? After reading many of the comments above, (not being negative), I still think the addition of a transfer table area would be so much more interesting and Millhouse and Ross make great model transfer tables. I’m going to show pictures of my good friend Dr. Jack Fishers. Making a problem free model hump yard just seems so stressful to me. Happy Railroading Everyone CE8A5E0F-8041-4961-9CA4-D84BEA54A4461AB7647A-8698-47F7-8371-92611790510A25C6CE57-062C-4E6D-8A99-4697D80D94A7

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