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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 14:10:22 AST.)

HO SCALE: Port Carbon Industrial Railway (with Car Float)

Back in March 2018, there was some talk on a railway forum about using car floats/ferries as staging on a small layout to make it a "stand alone" design. Since many people are very limited when it comes to layout space, they may not even have any additional room for staging. With that in mind, it is always good to have an option of placing the staging area right in the footprint of the design.

Having an interchange yard is one way, and having a car float is another good choice to explore. And for me, the added bonus of having a waterfront scene when using a car float is a huge plus. Having the float removable so new railcars can be brought in when needed, is also another huge advantage, that wouldn't be possible with a fixed interchange yard.

That was foremost in my mind when I designed this 18-inch by 10-foot urban industrial switching layout set in the 1960s, or early 70s. By using a car float to act as "active staging", the layout owner is always assured of a steady flow of inbound traffic that is also very prototypically.

(Just so you know, I realize the background is a bit too modern for the era depicted on the layout, but it was all I could find that looked half way decent.)

Track Plan:

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Overall 3D Renderings:

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2020.05.09E-004.jpg (152665 bytes)

Close-Up 3D Renderings:

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2020.05.09E-006.jpg (196184 bytes)

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TAGS: Staging Options: Car Float, Theme: Industrial Park / District, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Theme: Single Station / Town, Theme: Waterfront, Types of Industries: Wharves

User Comments:

Posted by Walter A McWilliams on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 5:31:42 PM.

Rob, love this track plan so much I think I'm going to build, it's the perfect size for the space I have. I am not a very experienced modeler, in fact this will only be my second go at a serious project. I'm going to modify it a bit to customize it to the area that's inspired my railroading (Oil City, Pa in the mid-50's). My first concern is the track, code 75 isn't offered with wooden ties. Do you have a replacement suggestion? My second is the car float, which I intended to remove and replace with a simple two track staging yard something I don't see as overly difficult to do, though you do loose the operational interest of the car float.

Any other suggestions or assistance you would be willing to share would be greatly appreciated. Happy New Year
Walter McWilliams

Posted by Robert Chant on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 2:10:22 PM.

I just did a Google search on "PECO code 75 wooden ties" and got some results, so there may be some still around. It does look like Walthers is out of stock. If you can't find it, just go with track that offers #5 turnouts ... the track plan is relaxed enough so it should work. If you eliminate the car float ... you can substitute a three-track yard instead. Good luck with the project.

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