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For a while now I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to do with my in progress train room. I wanted to do something with some operational interest but not something that felt like a puzzle and something with enough running between points of interest to feel like you are going somewhere. It also had to be something plausible on the DMIR and finally something that could be done without too much footprint.

I’ve had a couple of moments of inspiration that have added up to my current idea, first was this picture on RP.net. The simplicity of this operational location is just amazing. All you need is some trees and pulpwood cars. Further the winter scene really strikes me, being someone who loves the beauty of snow this picture alone has basically sealed the deal that I want to model something winter (something I’d never be able to do with Free-mo).

Unfortunately a single siding wasn’t enough, I couldn’t do a pulpwood processing plant any justice without a large footprint, I really wanted something else on the line to do more diverse operations but what was the question.

Model Rail Radio solved that for me when they had the Marshall Stull on, the blogger behind Small Model Railroads where I found a great post on Vreeland Rail which serves a mining explosives company. So that’s the inspiration for this:

Layout

The Plan

The grey box in the bottom right represents two things, first the room isn’t a rectangle, the entrance is set in about half the width of they gray box and the rest is accommodation for the door opening and closing. The red track is part of the mainline, where it turns red it begins its descent down and behind a view block leading into a staging yard below. I didn’t elaborate on that track so it wouldn’t distract from the rest of the plan but enough to make its presence be known. The rest of the main continues down on the left side.

On the left side there is a passing siding which operationally will be used as the siding that cars for the explosive company are dropped off and picked up from. The other siding is going to be the logging operation from the inspiration picture above. This will be switched by the mainline train after it runs around the cars being dropped off.

On the right side is the mining explosives company (name tbd), this will be served by a captive switcher and shoving platform (caboose), the shoving platform will be used for the long shove after picking up cars from the siding.

Operations

There will be two operational elements, the mainline job and the explosives job.

Mainline Job (MRF)

As with Vreeland Rail a mainline operation will bring cars to the siding and pick up cars, I will model this as part of the Missabe’s Misc. Road Freight (MRF). The MRF will also be responsible for dropping off any empty log cars and taking any full ones out. The expected pattern for operations would be for as many coming in as going out on each run to keep things balanced. After the MRF get’s its switching done it returns to staging but since it has no caboose and it is a long distance a shove will not be possible requiring a run around the train.

Explosives Job

This one will be even more exciting, it might even blow your mind (sorry, that’ll be my only explosives pun).  The captive switcher will bring any empties, and it’s caboose, down the spur and swap them out with its new cars and shove all the way back. Within the explosives industry there will be switching to make sure the correct cars go to the correct location. Additionally since the spur line is no longer used passed the industry’s turnout the rest of the spur can be used for switching or long-term storage of excess or seasonal rolling stock.

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