The Yard and Yard Inlet Modules



The Lincoln N-Scalers made a large, off-line yard with 12 storage tracks. To connect the yard, they made a yard inlet module which is an "L" shaped module. Here you can see the whole set of modules and the operating "pit" that the design allows.

Inlet Module

Here you can see the Inlet module. The yard is off to the right of the photograph. This picture gives a good view of the track plan that allows a train from either main line going in either direction to pull straight into the yard. The yard itself has a turn around loop at the far end allowing the train to be turned and come out engine first onto any track in either direction.



Inlet module

Inlet Viewed from the "Pit"

Inlet module

This photo was taken from inside the operating "pit" created by the yard and the modules. You can see the control panel that is easily accessible in the top of a building. The panel uses switches laid out on top of a schematic of the track. This helps newcomers learn to use the yard/mainline interchange rapidly.

Farther down the line you can see part of Jim Hoover's N-Trak conversion module. Off to the left of the picture the N-Trak branch projects. The spaghetti of track work you see allows a train from either main to cross over to the other main in either direction. It also allows operation where the two mains effectively become one long main with the train traveling the entire route on one main and then crossing over to the other to travel the entire length of that main. This allows for some interesting operation as well as some incredible flexibility at shows. For more on this module, see the photos on the N-Trak adapter 


New revised Yard    

This view is of the entire Yard.  It was completely rebuilt in 1996 in preparations for the 1997 Lakes Junction NMRA meet in Madison, WI. Now it has twice the capacity of the yard in the "Mall setup" photos. (B&W top of page) It can hold sixteen trains averaging 35 fifty foot cars each plus the power, that's about 600 cars!  The engine terminal can hold close to 60 diesel locomotives. The yard measures 16' long, 46" wide at the balloon end, and 29" wide in the middle.  The yard can be dismantled into four 8' sections for ease of transportation. There are over 150 pieces of Atlas flex track, 52 turnouts and about 400' of single conductor wire.  The turnouts leading to and on the ladder of the right sub yard (in the bottom right quarter of photo) are powered by a diode matrix, we found it difficult to reach over the engine house to throw them manually while in the setup of the home layout.     

The yard is a large loop with two separate sub yards divided down the middle by two tracks which are the reverse/bypass block.  We use these for turning whole trains or locos before returning to the mainlines. They also double for switch leads for each of the sub yards.  The far end of the yard is still made up of a compound ladder for both sub yards.  Each sub yard is made up of eight tracks each.

In Operation, the left eight tracks are used for arrival and classification, the right eight tracks are used for layover and fueling tracks for though freights and unit trains. Block/track #18 allows us to turn VERY large trains if necessary without having to enter either of the sub yards. Also, trains can enter or depart either sub yard from either direction by making use of the reverse/bypass track. 

For public shows this yard allows us to have up to sixteen different trains on the layout, allowing frequent exchanges which prevents monotony on the mainlines!  An unexpected benefit was that we often had larger groups of people watching the action on the Inlet and Yard as we did on the mainlines. There is also plenty of room for members to make and break their trains without tying up the mains! 

Before DCC, while waiting for clearance, the "KILL" block (which is a leftover from the old yard) in the diagram below  was used to hold the locos of a departing train so the rest of the reverse/bypass could still serve as a switch lead for either sub yard.


This  view shows the compound ladder at the  head end of the yard that feeds both of the sub yards.



Just as a side note, if we were to ballast the entire yard, not only would we have to secure a small loan for the ballast, I doubt we could begin to lift it!

What we came up with, was SPRAY ON ballast!

After painting the track, we then sprayed on the "ballast" using Fleck-Stone spray paint.  Behold! instant lightweight ballast.  Also notice how the switch machine motors in this photo and the previous photo seem to blend in when painted with ballast

From three feet and with trains in the yard, "I can't believe it's not Butter! Ballast!". 



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