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D2BBBA1F-54D3-40A9-B101-54B3448F0B9DC994AB2D-4A42-4DBF-A427-5ED4D1CC8E2DLooking for opinions on approximately how many turntable spurs would be used in real railroading. I maximized mine for engine storage but it always appears somewhat toy-like to me. Thinking of making changes. Posting pictures would be much appreciated.

Thank you and Happy 4th!

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Looks like you have the Atlas turntable, with the whisker tracks set at 15 degrees.  As Dave’s image shows, there where several railroad turntables that were full 360 degree circle.  Some spaced their whiskers at least as narrow as 8 degrees, maybe some did even narrower based on how much room they had.

The issue with this design (full circle) is movement of a lot of engines in or out over a short period of time is limited by the one bridge.  Several railroads had two or more turntables at one location, with whiskers over only 200 degrees or so.  There are images on the web of these multi-turntable locations.  There are also turntables with only a couple of whiskers.

So, back to your question.  If it doesn’t look good to you, change it to something that does.  There was probably a prototype of it somewhere.

The number of tracks depends on the RR and how busy and location as mentioned above.    A example is the the East Broad Top in Pennsylvania.    I think they orginally had an 8 stall roundhouse at their HQ at Rockhill Furnace (Orbisonia) PA.    They kept and serviced 6 steam engines there in modern times.    All 6 are still there and there is a gas-electric in a 7th stall.    They ran 4-8 trains a day I think in the 40s and 50s.

The PRR had 2 roundhouses and TTs in Conway near where I grew up and had many tracks on each.   They serviced a 4 track mainline with many trains a day.

Some short lines only had 1 or 2 locos and used an engine house that looked like a garage - and had 2 or may 3 tracks off the table plus the lead.

And the smallest extreme is a TT at the end of a branch with only 1 track - the lead.   It would be used to turn the loco that came to the end of the branch.

Most major mainline terminals however had many tracks.

TTs can eat up a lot of real estate.  Needing multiple TTs I found that round houses were out of the question for me space wise.

Most of my TTs have whisker tracks which are 8 degrees and not all radial.   In one setting I had to wrap the tracks off to one side to allow for aisle space in my staging area.

This is the process of laying out track center lines of a recent peninsula addition.

IMG_9143Spiral easement templateIMG_9175

If you need lots of spurs with a small  diameter TT,  by overlapping the outside rails with a frog that can help squeeze in more tracks.  Check with Steve at Ross for availability of the degree of frog you may need.

IMG_8639

Keeping the ties close together you will use the least amount of space for the tracks needed.



Using a round module for the TT setting will leave additional open space in the room.

IMG_8282Adding a TTIMG_8288

TT TT add on

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Note, however, that the closer the degree of track separation at turntable edge, the farther away from the turntable (longer stub tracks) the engines have to be parked to avoid collision issues on entering the turntable.  Thus, smaller degrees of separation means larger overall space your turntable requires.

@JET posted:

Jersey Central Engine Terminal at Communipaw, Jersey City

Communipaw Roundhouse edit

One side for Freight engines, the other for Passenger engines.

Hi Jet, where did you find this presentation of the Jersey Central Terminal---I grew up in Jersey City and fondly remember watching trains, walking on trains etc. as a boy in fact a friend worked in a switching tower and often took me along. I have always thought of modeling the train station but could never find a good picture--thanks for the memories,    Greg

@Greg Bigg posted:

Hi Jet, where did you find this presentation of the Jersey Central Terminal---I grew up in Jersey City and fondly remember watching trains, walking on trains etc. as a boy in fact a friend worked in a switching tower and often took me along. I have always thought of modeling the train station but could never find a good picture--thanks for the memories,    Greg

New York Public library collection. It's a pain to search but you get used to it's quirks.

https://iiif-prod.nypl.org/ind...p?id=3991128&t=g

https://iiif-prod.nypl.org/ind...p?id=3991137&t=g

Last edited by JET

I think the answer to the question is, "It depends".  I didn't have much space for a TT, so I used the Atlas TT and put as many as I could.  There are even some short whiskers, so I park stuff like speeders, Wienermobiles and 0-6-0T locomotives on them.

There's a big hole on the right, that's why there isn't room for the longer tracks on that side.

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