Logging Locos, Logging Track Plan, Logging Mill, Mainline Pick-up
I'm going to begin this subject thread by making some copies of some of my previous postings as it will probable best convey the steps I have taken so far.

I need HELP!
Quite awhile back I set aside some spaces on my new double-deck layout plan to have some logging scenes.
I labeled them Logging Tracks & Logging Interchange
Even though both of these 'scenes' are interconnected, they both require individual design attention:
a) to the logging trains that gather up the downed trees and deliver them to the lumber mill,
b) the mill itself,
c) and finally placement of finished product on mainline cars for retail distribution.
[Image: DSCF2998%2C%20top%20level%2C%20ps600.jpg]
[Image: DSCF2998%2C%20top%20level%2C%20cropped.jpg]
On this upper level I am proposing to put some logging tracks and trains running out the peninsula to its tip. There might be a very tight loop at the free end of the peninsula for the short logging locos to run. Or it might be just a back and forth operation for them. They will bring logs back to the saw mill scene at the trunk end of the peninsula (logging interchange). I have the whole Walthers saw mill kit(s) and would like to make this scene some sort of transfer of logs to cut/finished product that would be loaded onto mainline log cars and center-beam loaded cars, and a number of other wood carrying cars
At that point I let myself get stalled out thinking of details about this logging scene, and I went onto more pressing matters to getting some lower plywood decks cut out, and tracks laid in my helix, etc, etc. Now I am at a point where I want to finish up cutting out the deck plates for the upper level,...BUT I need to define what I intend to do about this whole logging area. I need some ideas, hopefully from folks interested in logging subjects.

For the last couple of days I've been trying to come up with some basic ideas of placement of the mill components, a track plan, etc. I've looked thru lots of images via google, and some of my old magazine clippings. Nothing has 'hit me on the head' as the way to proceed.

I had previously started a subject thread asking about the minimum radius curves that these locos might be capable of?
Logging Locos & Minimum Radius Curves

It quickly became obvious that I was NOT going to be able to put a turning loop at the tip of this upper peninsula, as the peninsula itself was only going to be a maximum 24” wide,...more likely 18” wide?

And perhaps I was NOT going to be able to put a turning loop down where the logging trains brought the trees to the mill (pond of the mill preferable)?

A few days ago I was visiting my metal scrap yard and noticed a new piece of that 'sign post' metal beam I've utilized on other portions of my 'metal benchwork'. My thoughts turned back to this logging train trackage I had been contemplating down an elevated strip over my central peninsula.
Could this beam be the backbone rib of that logging trackage? In other words it would exist strictly as a stiff backbone of approx 8 foot of length. Various pieces of 1-2" thick foam attached to this backbone would provide for the scenery and roadbed all along this length. The backbone might well be attached to the ceiling beams of the shed via 2 long, all-thread rods, so no support structure required from the bottom. And these rods can be placed such that the ceiling fan is still usable, ….but the 3 lights that are part of the fixture would likely be removed.
Last night I grabbed a long piece of alum I had sitting around, and 'strung' it up to represent that backbone I mentioned above,....(I even gave it a little grade to climb from the trunk of this peninsula to the outer tip under the fan. BTW forget that rope holding this up,...just temporary for effect. That will likely be a piece of all-thread hanging from the ceiling studs, and camouflaged as a tall mountaintop radio antenna or whatever.)....
[Image: DSCF4288.jpg]

[Image: DSCF4287.jpg]

[Image: DSCF4286.jpg]

[Image: DSCF4285.jpg]
BTW did you notice that paper plate taped to the beam at its outer tip? I will talk about that coming up.
So now my sketchy plan is starting to look like this,..
[Image: DSCF4292.jpg]

The 'trunk' of the peninsula is a 2 foot deep piece of plywood across the back side of the layout. I've temporarily relocated my coal mine from the right hand corner over to the left hand corner. So I have a couple of mainline tracks that loop into the helix area, and also have a shortcut track provision to loop around the perimeter of the upper deck. Other than that things are open to suggestions as to how a lumber mill, its pond, etc , and the delivery logging trains can unload and turn around for another trip back up the peninsula??

The logging peninsula itself I am imagining will be about 18" wide, and would have at least 1 track on either side  of some sort of view splitter/divider down its center (at least 2 tracks). These tracks could make various twist/curves, cross bridges, etc, etc with various scenic backdrops and trees to reach either end....about 7-8 feet in length and 9" deep.

At the tip of the peninsula there would be a 'gallows style' turntable to turn the logging locos around, and perhaps hold 1or 2 locos at idle.  That paper plate I mentioned above represents that gallows turntable. I've measured a few of my longer loggers, and it appears as though a small of turntable only 8" in diameter will handle any of them, including the Heisler with its aux tender.
[Image: DSCF4268.jpg]
[Image: DSCF4271.jpg]
[Image: gallows%20style%20turntable.jpg]
posting from another forum

Quote:I am not an expert on logging railroads, but I think that most of them didn't use turntables and the logging locos just ran back and forth.  One of the reasons is that the logging rails were often relocated to different parts of forests, and rebuilding a turntable at each new location would be costly and time consuming, as well as eating up a wider spot of land.  I'm sure there are probably some logging railroads that did use turntables, but I think for the most part the did not.

Al Carter
Quote: While I do like the idea of the turntable, there is something else... You mentioned a grade... On any line with "steep" grades, you'll want to run your steamers with the firebox facing downhill and the boiler uphill, so as to make it easier to maintain the necessary water level at the firebox end (which must be completely covered with water at all times).

Once the grades become really steep, it is usually required to have the loco always at the downhill side of the train to prevent runaway cars. In some cases this lead to unusual stations on mainline railroads as the whole train had to be turned before going down the other side of the pass. Usually this is solved by a dead-end terminal station at the top of the hill. Train goes in with the engine trailing (pushing uphill) and leaves with the engine leading (pulling and braking downhill).

With logging lines being often in steep terrain, I would expect them to not turn engines or trains in normal operation.
So, I guess you *don't* want to turn your engines or run around trains on the logging line.
As mentioned, individual lines' practice will differ.
Have fun!

PS: also, you'll always want to design your logging lines so that your Shay's cylinders will point towards the aisle so as to present the "interesting" side to the viewer. Turning locos would obliterate that ;-)

PPS: the "loco at the downhill side of the train" is why you generally don't see switchbacks on steep lines, at least not in Germany...
I think you may be correct there, ….probable not many logging operations used them.

But I've looked at a number of the A-frame/ Gallows types where the upper structure is built with heavy timbers and steel rod such that the 'bridge structure' can be a relatively flat plane not requiring big support from the perimeter surrounding track, nor a pit of any sort. With the heavy timbers and likely heavy cables and rods they utilized in other ways in logging, I would think this might have been be a real way to construct a relatively cheap, remote turntable that could be moved to another logging location as needed. And naturally hand powered
[Image: SP18lawsthirteen1000.jpg]

[Image: SP18lawstwo1000.jpg]

[Image: img_1113_dxo_raw.jpg]
I'm not 'timber knowledgeable' either, so I wonder how the prototype guys turned their logging locos for the 'return trip'. I suspect it was some sort of 'wye'. But these things eat up 'real estate' also, even if you are just turning the loco and not all the log cars (actually don't see a need to turn all the log cars, they can run either way?)
A wye arrangement at the tip of my peninsula may not be that doable either as its only 18” wide at its best. So that's 'why' I thought of a gallows turntable out at that end.

Besides they look neat, ...and I think I have one that needs TLC, but I can't remember right now.
Thanks for those images/references. I found this one of particular interest,...
[Image: caspar-logging-photo.jpg]
Even though that trestle bridge is just a vehicle one, it could have been a railroad one if someone is so inclined to model it as one?
I wonder what that smaller, shorter 'thing' is ??

I had been wondering what sort of obstructions might have been in the way during the log's path in the ponds.? I had wonder about bridge/trestle obstructions??

Perhaps my sawmill could be located on the other side of a mainline bridge that crosses a logging pond??
On that Caspar picture, the bridge going across the log pond is Highway 1. It's since been relocated through here, and what used to the the log pond is filled back in and grown over. The logging railroad stayed on the bluff above the pond, and they sent logs down a chute into the pond, then floated them underneath the bridge. I'd recommend finding yourself a copy of the Catenary Productions DVD titled North Coast Logging Railroads or something like that, it's all footage of logging railroads in Humboldt and Mendocino counties, and they have some fantastic footage of logs streaking down the chute, quite often throwing up enough water when hitting the pond to send a large spray of water over the highway.
What if I had a logging pond next to the sawmill down at the base of my peninsula, and I was running moderately short logging trains out to the tip of the peninsula. And I abandoned my original idea of a small turntable at the the tip of the peninsula, and accepted the general practice that the logging locos/trains could just back up in reverse down the mountain to the sawmill (down the peninsula)

Now here is the question. Could I have a visible track that would permit viewing the empty train going out the peninsula, and a loaded train backing down the peninsula. Then have an invisible track that would move the trains in the opposite direction, when they were not performing their task correctly (ie, loaded train going out, empty train coming back). The invisible track would be hidden in the scenery to carry those politically incorrect trains undefined to their 'staging points'. Perhaps 2 waiting tracks by the pond, and 2 out the peninsula??
...interesting posting from another forum (construction spur)

I agree with the previous assessment that you are trying to pack up way too much into the available space. 

There are a large number of prototype logging railroads out there that ran with one set of log flats, the locomotive would push the empty cars out to where loggers had piled logs along the side of a spur, load the logs, then return to the mill.  Many of these operations used slide back loaders that would travel out and back on the log flat, the following link should take you to a picture of such a loader on a Potlatch operation in Idaho.

Of course, this kind of operation doesn't work well unless you employ a "hand of god" method to load the logs onto the flats at the landing. 

Your involved distances are short enough that perhaps your best scenario would be to have the log loads at the end of a spur on the peninsula, run a lite engine out to get the loads, pull them back to the mill, then shove the empties out to the spur.  If you have enough room you might be able to install a siding or a spur somewhere on the line that would simplify things, you'd end up shoving the empties out from the mill, then use a siding or spur on the line to facilitate swapping the loads and empties, then pull the loads back to the mill.  But you might not have enough room to do this. 

Here are two McCloud River shots, one of a steam locomotive shoving empty log flats up a spur and the second is a McGiffert loader ready to load empty cars on the end of a spur.  If you adopt this kind of operation then the solution would be to just swap the empty and loaded cars back to their starting point between operating sessions.  
[Image: img701small.jpg]
[Image: McGiffert_WhiteHorse2.jpg]

Lastly, here's an idea for you that might add some operational and visual interest.  If you go back to my post earlier in this thread I discuss the common practice of building sequential spurs into successive stands of trees over the course of a logging operation.  You could easily model such an operation by having the active logging operation on one side of the peninsula and a log spur construction scene on the other side.  You could have the logging locomotive between log runs shove carloads of ties and rails out to a crew in the woods, with some other people and equipment "grading" the spur towards the end of the peninsula.
[Image: Postcard9.jpg]
Meantime I cleared off the lower deck peninsula deck yesterday in preparation for some mock-up 'testing' of ideas.
I'm going to lay some of my brown paper over the other plans on this lower surface and pretend it is my upper deck surface,...sketch in some various track plans and structure locations to see what possibilities might be lurking. 
[Image: DSCF4366.JPG]

[Image: DSCF4367.JPG]

[Image: DSCF4368.JPG]
I keep the mainline(s) loop and access into the helix very much as I had originally sketched them,...and the 'alternative' curved track that would allow the trains to simply circle the room rather than enter the helix.

[Image: DSCF4292%282%29.jpg]

Peninsula tracks. This has been a challenge (and still is) to decide on. I have abandoned the idea of a turntable at the outer tip. And I have basically abandoned the idea of hidden tracks masking some of the moving of unloaded vs loaded log trains up-down the peninsula. Instead I will have 2 logging trains making the trips between the tip and base of the peninsula. One will be 'empties', and one will be loaded with logs. They will basically just go back and forth between the pond at the sawmill and the woods at the tip of the peninsula.

Since there are 2 trains, I will have 2 tracks for them to operate on, and likely those 2 tracks will be located on either side of a 'view-block' down the center such that a fair amount of woodsy scenery can be built on either side,...considering the shortness, smallness of my overall area. I would hope to have a wavy, curvy track on both sides,...
[Image: DSCF4370.JPG]

Questionable crossover? As you can see I place a double slip switch in there about half way up the peninsula. My thought was that this would allow either of the 2 trains to be able to switch sides at times. I'm imagining that this double slip switch would be camouflaged by a whole bunch of trees, or something to hide its existence?? Its basically located such that either one of the 2 logging trains pulling as many as 6 full length log cars could sit on either outer leg.
These 2 logging trains can back down to the pond unloading area (pond not shown yet, but a few logs in there) onto 2 closely spaced, parallel tracks (orientation and straightness not determined yet).
[Image: DSCF4381.JPG]
[Image: DSCF4384.JPG]
[Image: DSCF4382.JPG]
BTW the ramp that pulls the logs from the pond will be centered on that end of the Walthers sawmill rather then off to one side (will require some kit-bashing of that sawmill).
[Image: DSCF4375.JPG]
[Image: DSCF4378.JPG]
That large piece white/multi colored paper represents the sawmill footprint. You can see the log pick-up ramp coming out the center of structure there.
That little black blob exiting the covered ramp side of the sawmill is actually that little steam switcher engine that will be transporting the cut lumber over to a milling/finishing/storage-stacking area that will likely be painted as a backdrop on the rear wall (since there is no way I have room for such a structure).
The travel crane shown there in the background was just thrown in for effect. Perhaps that logging company was successful enough to need a 'modified travel crane to load the centerbeam cars lined up down that/those siding tracks in front of the milling and storage area painted on the backdrop??
[Image: DSCF4385.JPG]
WOW, I think I found a spot for my gallows turntable. This logging company has enough logging locos to justify a turntable and small repair area. This also makes it possible to change out on occasion the two logging locos working the woods.
There is a slight variation in the track access to the turntable such as to provide for a continuous route thru the turntable for full length logging trains...second photo.
[Image: DSCF4380.JPG]
The 2 tracks in the foreground that are entering that corner are the 2 mainlines coming from the container port. That one against the wall has a siding that might lead off to a gold mine or something in that corner. I have a nice tower mining structure in mind. Otherwise that mainline provides for entering the helix from either this side of the layout, or the other side . If the train enters that helix loop from this right side of the layout, then when it comes back around it can choose to go back down along the wall of the shed (back side of the stacked containers and SF station), OR it can choose to go down the track in front of the stacked containers. That mainline in front of the containers will also have a siding to hold a SF passenger train, and to provide access to the SF diesel engine maintenance building down in corner over the waterfront scene on the lower level.
[Image: DSCF4379.JPG]
Foam Deck Under Logging Scene, Change in Plans

I spent the last few days thinking about this 'deck plan' for my logging scene. I went back and forth with the idea of constructing the deck of foam or plywood, what thicknesses of either, what strength I needed from either material if I cut a hole in it for my logging pond, etc, etc. I was having a little trouble 'visualizing' the combinations of varying elevations of the helix accessing tracks, the pond and sawmill, that steel beam across the room, the possible coal mine over the dbl crossover, etc

I finally decided to cut the 'basic deck piece' out of the 1/2” plywood sheet I already had,..and it was already primed. It had a little bit of warp-age from having set around for long periods of time before I inherited it and primed it. But that would not really present many problems as it was going to be bolted down to two long metal beams, spaced only 2 feet apart, and stretching across the room. Plus what would it matter if it did a little warping as that are of the logging scene would have some uneven terrain.

So I hand sketched out some semi-circular cut outs that would form the ends of the 2 aisles, and moved the piece out to my carport work table.
[Image: DSCF4400.jpg]
[Image: DSCF4401.jpg]

Took it back inside and put it up on those metal beams that would support it
[Image: DSCF4403.jpg]
[Image: DSCF4404.jpg]

Now I need to fill in the two rectangular pieces to either side of the 4x8 sheet. AMAZINGLY I am able to salvage those two pieces out of the semi-circular pieces I had cut out for the aisle reliefs. It couldn't have worked out better if I had carefully measured for such an outcome,...which I had not.
[Image: DSCF4405.jpg]
[Image: DSCF4406.jpg]
Now I have laid my temp paper pattern for my trackplan down onto the deck piece, and will proceed with some rough mocking up on track elevations/turnout fittings, etc.
[Image: DSCF4408.jpg]
[Image: DSCF4410.jpg]

The elevations and ground terrain will be built of foam.
The sawmill will likely be raised up some, so I may not have to 'dig a pit' (cut out some plywood) for the pond, but rather just build the logging pond on the plywood surface itself??
Per my previous posting, I have now laid my temp paper pattern for my trackplan down onto that upper deck plywood, and will proceed with some rough mocking-up of track elevations/fitting turnouts, etc.

There is a fair amount of elevated track in this area, and I am imagining that it will be riding over variable ground terrain,...NOT up on visible risers of any sort. But, for purposes of sorting out the grades, etc I am placing the track up on these cheap plastic risers for this planning exercise..
[Image: DSCF4418.JPG]
Of course I was concerned about the bridges proximity to the wall opening and its own grade, and the fitting of that spur line leading back down the left side.
[Image: DSCF4413.JPG]
I actually became quite concerned about the possible steepness of some of my incline grades when I first looked at the heights of those helix openings combined with the needs to get back down to 'ground levels' fairly quickly. After playing around with it today, I'm not so concerned now.
At first I just laid out some long alum tubes I had to see what sort of grades I was dealing with. BTW the bottoms of those square tubes represent the track levels. I then did some height measurements at the ends of those tubes, and the approx lengths of those inclines, then calculated the grades.
[Image: DSCF4412.JPG]
BTW the bottoms of those square tubes represent the track levels

My biggest grade was only 2.7%, over on the far left as it comes down the left side from that Y-turnout at the end of that bridge over the stream/pond area.
[Image: DSCF4416.JPG]
I think my saw mill and those log dumping tacks are going to have to be raised up about ¾ to 1 inch off the plywood deck. That will provide for a pond without cutting any of the plywood deck
[Image: DSCF4414.JPG]
[Image: DSCF4419.JPG]
[Image: DSCF4415.JPG]
There are no longer any holding tracks, nor finishing mill on the back wall. Rather this has been moved over to that far right corner/wall
[Image: DSCF4420%281%29.JPG]
There is a fair amount of elevated track in this logging area, and I am imagining that it will be riding over variable ground terrain,...NOT up on visible risers of any sort. But, for purposes of sorting out the grades, etc I am placing the track up on these cheap plastic risers for this planning exercise.

So how to I build in these elevations and grades. My first thoughts were the use of Woodland Scenics foam riser sets, but I discovered some problems with that idea. I started this other subject thread to ask about this product,
Incline/Decline 'foam risers'

I am now thinking that the use of foamcore/foamboard roadbed spanning the short distances between risers made of foam would be my best bet. I can then obtain the 'custom grades' that my compact track plan forced upon me, and I generate the easements in grade at the two terminal ends of the grade.

I'm thinking I can just lay out the track plan onto the foamcore/balsa ballast why lying on level ground, ....then come back and add the risers underneath to the heights I desire,...then eventually attach the terrain shape to the edges of the foamcore roadbed.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)