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Modeling Standards for Coxy’s Next N Scale Layout

This is a scratchpad area for me to build firm specifications for the layout in my garage. With limited time available to work on it, I want to be clear from the outset what the boundaries are.

Last updated: 03/06/08

Railroad Name: TBD, current candidates: “Northern California Lines”, “North Bay lines”, “Richmond Rail”, “Richmond Belt Line”, “Richmond Terminal”, “Richmond Transfer”

Scale: N 1:160

Size: 19.5 x 9.5 feet

Target time to build: 3 years, and before I’m fifty!

Minimum # of operators: 1

Maximum number of operators: 5 (dispatcher, 2x Mainline engineers, 2x Shortline engineers)

Theme: Railroading in Northern Bay Area, California

Setting: Industrial, Suburban

Era: 1980 to present day

Railroads: BNSF, UP, RPRC, AMTK

Style: Walkaround, two deck, connected by helicies.

Rail Height: 45” - 58”

Aisle Width - ideal: 36”

Aisle width - typical minimum: 30”

Aisle - pinch point: 28”

Continuous run length: About 3 miles including mainline staging bypass tracks

Visible mainline run: 1-2 miles

Minimum radius: Main - 17”, Switching - 16”, Industrial - 15”

Rail code: Code 55 - Mainline, Code 40 - switching and industrial

Parallel track spacing: 1 3/16” (16 feet)

Minimum Turnouts: #8 Main, #6 Secondary and Industrial

Maximum grade: 2.25%

Track: Handlaid and flex for visible sections, flex for hidden and staging track

Operation: Mainline running (through freights and Amtrak), daily interchange to/from BNSF/UP and the RPRC, Switching on RPRC

Rail served industries: 15 - 20

Interchanges: 2 (15 - 20 cars capacity each)

Schematic: Staging tracks with reverse loops on both ends on lower level allowing continuous running and ability to turn trains without having to go to upper level.  Main -  (UP with BNSF trackage rights) connecting either end of visible run with lower staging. Continuous running provision. Switching line with interchanges to BNSF and UP. Switching line yard connect with connection to the main and to the industries via ex-SP track.

Staging capacity: 8 - 10 double-ended tracks of at least 12 feet. 4-6 single ended tracks of ~8 feet, small switching yard 3-4 tracks of 2-3 feet.

Manual Staging Between Sessions: Empty/fill cars that have visible loads - centerbeams, gondolas, hoppers, flatcars. No repositioning of trains, have trains end in a starting position for next session.

Car movement: TBD. Waybill or switch list software. Something reliable and simple for infrequent operators to use.

Control: Digitrax DCC with eventual computer control of mainline trains.

Train detection: TBD. Electronic detection of locomotives and metal wheelsets with resistance paint on cars

Signaling: CTC and block signals on visible main. Low profile basic led signals in staging areas

Turnout control: Tortoise or manyal mechanism on all switches. No finger actuation by pushing on switch points

Turnout count: 100 or less. About half handlaid.

Diamond crossings: 4 or less. All handlaid.

Control panels: Compact panels with schematic showing occupancy and switch postion. Push button or micro toggle switches

Typical mainline train: 3 - 5 units, 25-40 cars

Train types: Manifest, Stack, TOFC, Autorack, Lumber, Baretable, Passenger, occasional coal drag

Scenery: Foam base, the usual scenicking methods

Buildings: Foam core mockups initially, later moderate detail buildings, mostly warehouses and factories. Freeways and road overpasses

Preferred scenes: 23rd Street Yard, Port of Richmond, Stege & Stege Wye, Safeway Siding and Yard, 8th Street Bypass, Florida Ave team tracks, Cutting Lead and industries, Hensley industrial area, Chevron industrial trackage.

Industries: Cemex cement plant, lumber yard a la Channel Lumber, auto parts distribution center on Cutting, BOC gasses plant on Cutting Blvd, team tracks (Florida St), Californa Oils, IMTT, Chevron exchange, Red Rock Sand, Richmond Wholesale Meats