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Updated January 2001 by Lennart Elg

Previous track plan

Track plan revised January 26, 2001

The Sloat Lumber Co.

Thanks for your comments!

After asking for comments on my new trackplan in a couple of discussion groups (4L, ldsig, Sn3, On30") this page recieved almost 600 visits in three days! Many of you took the time to provide valuable comments, which are greatly appreciated. I have tried to incorporate many of your comments as I updated the trackplan.
My layout room is very small, only 7'4" x 12', so I have spent a lot of time developing alternative track plans. It is easy to try and cram too much into too little space.

After looking long and hard at previous track plan versions I decided there was not enough room to model a realistic sawmill scene. My solution was to move the whole operation from the high Sierras to a coastal inlet on the northern California coast. This is now an isolated operation where everything - equipment, supplies etc. has to be brought in by coastal steamer. Logs are dumped into the water, assembled into log rafts, and towed to a sawmill off scene (this also gives me a chance to include rail / water transfer which would have been hard to justify in the Sierras - although Lake Tahoe might have been a possibility...).

The track plan is now strictly point-to-point. The mainline ascends from the lower camp in a spiral one and a half times around the room to reach the upper camp. A passing siding halfway up the hill allow two trains to meet. Trains going uphill must also take on water here.

Michael Starkey suggested adding a second loading operation in the upper left corner. For variety and because of limited space I took up Ken Clark´s idea to make it a ballast spur. Added operation here may also to some degree address Ken´s concern about a too straight forward run to the woods. I have looked at switchbacks in previous track plan versions, but I feel they need more space than I have in this room.

Tunnels were unusual on logging lines, but a tunnel under the upper camp is necessary to make the trackplan work (there are a few prototypes: The Caspar, South Fork & Eastern did have a tunnel). Two hidden storage sidings under the upper camp represent other loading operations and provides room for some variety in rolling stock.

Previous trackplan versions have all been an oval with the branch sneaking off to the left of the doorway. The reason I finally abandoned this was that I could get better vertical separation between the lower camp and the climbing mainline by eliminating the connection. A slow moving Shay will take some time to traverse the mainline, and if I really want to sit back and just watch trains run, I could add an electronic reversing module to my control system.

Minimum radius is 24". There are no turning facilities: Shays could operate equally well in either direction, and should always be run with the firebox downhill in order to make sure the crownsheet is covered with water, and (more importantly) on my layout it makes sure the interesting Shay motion is not hidden from view...

Rob Tow suggested adding a couple of abandoned junctions on the mainline:

"Each junction could be represented by laying switch ties (no frog or points is needed) under your mainline at the desired location. The mainline rails would just be laid over the longer ties. A rudimentary roadbed could extend away from the mainline. On the branchline, no rails are needed. Ties are optional. The addition of these abandoned branch lines would emphasize that the existing line is only "temporary" as well."

I like Rob´s idea of the abandoned junction, so I have added a stretch of abandoned roadbed heading upstream in the top right corner.

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