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Any comments and suggestions on this draft yard design would be appreciated.

This is will be located in a 15'x24' room - minus the area designated as office space for a desk and filing cabinets. It's an around the room design with a peninsula in the center of the room where the engine yard would be located.  I thought the peninsula would maximize the layout space in the area.  There would still be plenty of room to walk around the entire interior.

I noted where the duck under/eventually a lift bridge would be located to access the interior of the layout.

What I've posted here is what would be a lower yard level.  Trains would descend from either side of the layout, the engine would decouple, reposition in the center "wye", and park until needed.  A switcher would pull the train in, park it, tear it down, and/or create a new one in the 2 side yards.

072 curves/switches were used to accommodate larger engines and keep track distances to 6" spacing.

ALTERNATE PLAN The other thought I had was to simplify .... Completely skip the yard(s) and just have 2 or 3 loops to store entire trains with crossovers so they could get around each as needed. I would manually handle the rolling stock instead of switching to build trains though I would still have an engine yard so I didn't have to keep moving them on and off the tracks.  In that scenario, I'd have the engine yard in the top right corner that extends into the office space.  I could incorporate a small yard on the main level for switching activities.

AnyRail file attached.

Any input would be great



VJandPRR Yard Level 1.0


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  • VJandPRR Yard Level 1.0
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You are sort of describing two different types of yards.    The first one is a yard meant to operated like a real one where trains are made up and broken down.    The second one is a "staging" yard which means a set of tracks usually double ended used to store trains between operating sessions.    The staging yard also usually represents offline destinations not modeled on the visible or main part of the layout.   

The track work for a working yard would be similar like you have shown.   I might make some tweaks.   The second scenario is what you describe for "parking trains" and hand switching.

You might want to think through which way you want to go with this before you finalize a track plan.   Maybe think about how you plan to run the trains and what you want to do with them.   If you just want to run different trains  and watch them go, the staging yard is the best bet.   If you want to interact more with routing cars to industrial sidings and switching them, you probably want a working yard but it can be done without it.    And a staging yard is nice to have for operations too.

What will be the visibility of the lower level?  How much of the lower level is covered by the upper level.  How much space between levels?  You probably need to see the lower level clearly to run a switcher to make up and tear down trains.  If you cant see well, that may argue for the alternative.  Nice yard design.

Thanks for the input.  All good thoughts.

I need to decide what I want.  I’m making the rookie mistake of trying to cram too much in.   The more I think about it, I think I need a place to park entire trains.

Not only will the main level have industries to switch but the comment about the clearance for the lower level makes sense.  Trying to accommodate that much activity with limited visibility isn’t a good idea.  

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