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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 12:31:55 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Railcar / Loco Maintenance Centre

I offered to help a member of a railway forum design a HO-scale locomotive and railcar maintenance centre since I haven't done one before, and I thought it would be something a little different. I knew the layout owner's space would be a good match for the design, and I could really include a great deal of detail and some support structures in the plan.

After doing a bit of research, I had a good list of what to include and how the sections of the plant would tie together. I ended up with the rail centre, a wash house, a wheel lathe shop, a paint shop, a few storage tracks, a scrap line track, a 1-stall engine house for the work locomotive used in the plant, and a warehouse for incoming supplies and materials.

Other rail served support structures included contaminated oil and water storage tanks (serviced via the wash house track), bulk sand storage silos used for sand-blasting (serviced via the wheel lathe shop track), bulk oil tanks located on their own dedicated spur which can also double as a storage track when not needed, and the engine house will also need and occasional load of sand and maybe some diesel fuel. Other non-rail served support structures included a work shop building, a garage for road vehicles, a hazardous material storage shed, a waste storage facility, the general office building, and a small employee parking lot.

Although I consider this a small facility, it still offers a nice mix of car movements during an op-session. Locos and railcars would be stored in the 2-track storage yard (plus the bulk tank track if no oil delivery is needed) and first moved to the inspection pit for assessment. Once the initial inspections is done, the loco or car is moved to either the heavy maintenance bay, or the light maintenance bay for repairs. If rolling stock needs to be painted, it would first for to the paint shop for sand blasting, then go to the wash house for clean-up, and back to the shop for coat of paint. Wheel and truck repairs are done in the wheel lathe shop.

Other traffic includes parts and materials being delivered in box cars to the warehouse, outgoing scrap metal loads from the scrap line track. (A gondola should be placed at the end of the track for rolling stock being cut-up and then shipped out when full.) Bulk oil in tank cars comes in occasionally to the bulk oil facility. Tanks cars of contaminated oil and water are shipped out for proper disposal. Hoppers of dried sand come in for unloading at the sand storage silos.

The rail centre has the capacity for six SD-40s inside the building, and more could be stored on the lead tracks for the bays. The 2-track storage yard has room for four SD-40s, and another two can be stored temporarily on the bulk oil track, all other shops and the engine house have the capacity for one SD-40.

I was actually surprised how much prototypical switching could be done within this facility. I think it actually packs in a bit more action than a similar size switching layout could provide because of the movements needed between the different work areas. It was a good challenge to make this all work in the space, and I think this design would also make a great single industry layout as well.

Track Plan:

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Overall 3D Renderings:

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Close-Up 3D Renderings:

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TAGS: Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Type: No Run-Around Track, Theme: Single Industry, Theme: Switching Operations, Types of Industries: Railcar / Locomotive Maintenance Centre


User Comments:

Posted by George Addicott on Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 6:42:37 PM.

Hi Robert, this design is amazing and is almost exactly what I need. I have a slightly larger space and this will fit perfectly. Thanks for sharing your work! George.


Posted by Robert Chant on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 9:32:58 PM.

Hi George ... glad this track plan was useful to you ... I think it is a great design. Take care, Rob.


Posted by Rick Norell on Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 6:54:30 PM.

Nice work Rob! I always enjoy your layouts! I'm planning on incorporating a locomotive repair center into my future layout. I was hoping to base it on the Morrison Knudsen facility in Boise Idaho. They have been rebuilding older locomotives since 1972 and build their own branded locomotive. You can see an aerial view of the facility by searching for 4600 Apple Street, Boise, ID in google maps. Your compressed facility works very well for my purposes and incorporates the most important features of MK facilities. Kudos for all you do and for sharing your layout ideas! Best, Rick


Posted by Rob Chant on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 12:31:55 PM.

Thanks Rick ... glad you like it and can use it as inspiration for your own project ... I wish there were some better street views of the MK complex ... it looks like a very interesting prototype ... and I can see some resemblances ... thanks for giving me the heads-up! Rob.


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