Farmington Planning – Part 1

I’m making a push to formalize the track plan sufficiently to explain it to others. Farmington became the starting point. I had worked out Farmington on the floor and now transferring those thoughts into the 2D plan.

Here are the druthers for my version of Farmington

  • Upper, Middle & Lower Yards – The upper yards is the north portion of Farmington, the primary transfer yard which mostly transferred lumber and cordwood from the SR&RL to the MEC. The middle yard does not seem to have a clear purpose. I think of it as overflow and coal transfer to SR&RL cars. The lower yards is the location of the depot, MEC freight house and transfer sheds, and the SR&RL turntable.
  • MEC Depot (can be 1/2 against backdrop)
  • MEC Freight house and transfer shed for LCL freight (I presume that much SR&RL outbound wood products became LCL freight on MEC)
  • SR&RL Passenger Canopy
  • SR&RL Turntable
  • MEC track in such a way it can be operated. The hope is to operate the MEC during an operating session.
  • Sufficient room behind the SR&RL tracks for scenery and structures that give the impression of the hill and town of Farmington behind.
  • Prototype track layout capable of simulating SR&RL operations. I presume there were time when the SR&RL switcher, a freight train, and a passenger train were all in Farmington at one time. This means there needs to be sufficient room to get the freight out of the way for the passenger train to the depot and out again.
  • I would like 10 car freight trains to Farmington, so one siding must handle such sized trains and other track might need to handle additional cars while other are at the transfer tracks. A five foot siding could hold 10 cars without engine. I think it is acceptable to think the engine could be at the turntable or on another track.
  • SR&RL coal dock/trestle upper yard.
  • Russel box shop
Farmington – The red lines are MEC standard Gauge. The orange lines below are my modeling bench, sink, and storage cabinet. The layout goes over the modeling bench on two decks (the lower is very narrow) and goes to Salem on it’s way from Strong to Kingfield. Behind Farmington is the mushroom aisle for Eustis and Rangeley. One walks around the end of Farmington to enter the mushroom aisle.

Reviewing the design

The design captures most of my desires. Here are a few points in review.

  • Aisle is mostly 3′ or more wide. That is minimum as operators will be passing each other, and I will be sitting at the modeling bench working on my computer and models.
  • Compromise – The SR&RL turntable does not quite meet the 3′ aisle width. As such teh last 4-6 inches of scenery will fold down (even under the turntable). Thus when not operated I’ll fold that down and under the layout, and turn the Turntable to the side (or remove it too). In this way, I’ll not hit it while working around the model bench (the bench is more of a long 32″ high counter)
  • The MEC depot will probably get sliced in half
  • The MEC freight house will be stubbed into the side backdrop
  • 10 car trains will swamp the yard, but I think it will be manageable. Yard will fill when a train arrives, but if it takes 10 cars away immediately, the switcher can take over an deliver all of the cars as required. 30 cars a day into Farmington should make for good operations.
  • 6-8 standard gauge cars can be moved around the yard. I might add a casset through the side drop, so the MEC can bring cars on and off the layout. The other option would be to have them come on/off the layout same as the prototype.
  • The MEC track is compromised to make it operable. I think operation would be more fun than seeing exact prototype scenery. I think crews will love switching with the larger standard gauge cars and locomotive (4-6-0 or 2-8-0 or 2-6-0).

Overall, I’m sufficiently satisfied that a workable Farmington Yard can be built in my slim space. At a future time, I’ll add more detail such as buildings and trees to the design.

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2 Responses to Farmington Planning – Part 1

  1. Tom Sullivan says:

    I like your design Dave… everything you need. Agree on the need to have a switcher read to move empties out and get the new transfer freight in place. I’m now convinced that the track that extended around the freight house would be the place to build the next outbound freight.
    My smaller version (no middle yard) will require that I have a runaround available for the outbound passenger engine and in my case it will have to occur in the upper yard. The guy switching Farmington will truly be a busy guy at times.

  2. narrowtracks says:

    Tom thanks for your comment. I do not feel the SR&RL would have built trains on the second freight house track for the following reasons: 1) To do that would put a crew on the MEC diamonds. I simply do not see the MEC allowing the SR&RL to occupy the diamonds for such a purpose. 2) I expect that SR&RL boxcar doors were lined up between the tracks to simplify loading/unloading of MEC cars to two SR&RL cars at once. Standard gauge railroads did that all the time a freight houses, and while the SR&RL is not the B&O or PRR, it might have been the PRR of 2-footers! 3) Based on on what I read in the Devos book on Farmington, the far end of the outside track extended beyond the freight house and got used as a SR&RL team track for industries in Farmington, shipping with on-line locations. The model railroad reality is that our upper and middle yards tracks have insufficient length to operate like the prototype. Thus, reallocating the outside track to be used for train makeup makes sense. That track on a model has much more value for train make up than loading and unloading. The model railroad is repurposing a track that is already there. In a future post, I’ll share more about how I plan to operate Farmington.

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