Posted by: Roger | June 10, 2011

Baby Steps With The Track Plan

I have been fiddling with Right Track software, but am far from proficient with it. I’ve had a request to see what I am thinking about doing so here it is. I am going to use Atlas Code 55 track. I know that track has foibles, but they all do. I will use #5 turnouts for the yard.

My intention is to model the Missoula, Montana, area in the summer of 1969, the last year of the Northern Pacific Railway. I do not intend to model the reality of the day as space is limited. My primary goal is to build an “operational” railroad that will be fun. I am not terribly interested in putting a train on the tracks to watch it run. I want to do something with it.

Since I need to have trains come from somewhere and go somewhere else, I will incorporate a helix at either “end.”  Each staging yard, St. Paul and Seattle, will be set up with what I hope will be sufficient trains to make an operating session last a while. While I am not a great fan of helices, they do have some advantages for making a layout longer. These are quite large to keep the grade down, and allow for getting hands into them when needed.

The space shown below is roughly 11 1/2 feet wide by 17 1/4 feet long.

Fledgling Layout drawing

This is a basic start using Atlas' Right Track software (ver. 10)

There’s a lot a blank space because I really don’t know what else I want to put in there. With this shape, I can’t replicate the Bitterroot branch from the Y in the middle of the yard. I guess I’ll have to leave that for an NTrak series of modules or something.

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