Saturday, February 25, 2012

Emsingen Yard

When one thing leads to another...

Intensified operations is putting more strain on Emsingen Yard. While the tracks tend to be long enough to hold the cars, it's becoming hard to keep cars organized by destination. There are cars going south. Cars going north. There's local traffic within Emsingen, the hand-off run to Talheim, and interchange to Prechtal.  Doing all of that with 3 yard tracks is challenging.

Since I'm already working on the hill below the yard, I decided to bite the bullet and add the 4th yard track now, before I can finish up scenery on the hill.

The catch of course is that if I had enough space for 4 tracks from the beginning, I would have built 4 tracks... So, something's gotta give, and in this case I'm stealing about an inch of space from Werner & Soehne and give it to the yard.

The existing track 5 will be replaced with two shorter tracks (5 and 6). Yard track 4 remains quite long, and yard track 3 will remain quite short. Tracks run straight over the tunnel portal leading into staging. More like a bridge than offset tunnel portals as originally planned. I think I'll now give this this a more modern concrete look, too.

Track 6 will run along the edge of the supporting plywood, so I need to modify the hill slope underneath to give the impression this is properly supported, instead of looking like the work of a mad-man. The yard tracks will be set quite close to each other. I'm still waffling whether to do them all with flex track (and the respective hassle of aligning and cutting flextrack), or do them mostly with sectional track. I expect that flextrack will look better with more uniform separation between tracks, while the sectional arrangement leaves pockets of space that make it easier to uncouple in the middle of a string of cars.

In the end this will be a compromise. Even with the extra inch, clearances will be very tight, and uncoupling will need to be done in very tight quarters. I'll gain space for a few more cars and more flexibility for yard operations.

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