Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Welztalbahn: Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report for layout extension

Proposed Welztalbahn Extension Phase 1a
Almost 8 months ago, I had submitted a Draft EIR for approval by the local land-use committee. Since then I have built the Untergroeningen modules that make up phase 1 of the draft EIR. Along the way I revised my operations plans towards intensifying traffic through Untergroeningen. This requires more staging capacity behind Untergroeningen. When I had Untergroeningen set up a couple weeks ago, I realized that I could set up a modular staging yard along the front of the garage. If I made that staging yard slim enough, I could still fit 4 tracks and later make it fit into the aisle between the garage cabinets with just under 2 feet to spare. It's tight, but feasible assuming no active staging, and no reblocking of freight trains in staging.

Proposed Welztalbahn Extension Phase 2
The Staging yard is only 25cm wide and equipped with a partial Fremo-Puko faceplate, so that two of the 3 standard alignment holes are usable. There is a separate post with more details about Staging.
The Phase 1a Connector would be a fairly generic box with provisional alignment holes for the Fremo-Puko endplates of Untergroeningen and Staging. It would get only minimal scenery around its generous 60cm radius curve to Staging. Phase 1a requires a revised schedule and revised waybills, which will keep me occupied for a little while, but once complete it is expected to keep at least 3 operators engaged. I can build the Gaildorf/West segments in parallel to running operations sessions on the Phase 1a modules.

Once Gaildorf/West is ready for operations, we enter Phase 2. Connector A will be built with Fremo-Puko face plates, with specific angles to match up the curve between Untergroeningen and Gaildorf/West.  Phase 2 Connector B will be rebuilt from the box used for the Phase 1a Connector with revised track alignment to fit the needs of the location. Due to proximity and back-to-back arrangement of Gaildorf/West and Staging, the curve between the two locations will be very tight. That's unfortunate, but a compromise I'm willing to make for this somewhat temporary arrangement. The advantage here is that all areas on the extension can be accessed without requiring operators to duck under the layout.

As in the original EIR, there isn't much of a run between towns, but that problem will only be resolved with the future Murrbahn project incorporating Gaildorf/West and Untergroeningen.

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