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New River Coal Module Track Plan.

New River Coal

HO Scale Coal Mine Module Design

Track Plan At A Glance

Layout Theme: Industry/Scenic
Layout Type: Module
Size: 30"x144" (Each section 30"x48")
Scale: HO Scale
Era: 1940s
Track: Code 100/83
Turnouts: No. 6
Min. Radius: 36"

Article by: Jim Spavins
Published: January 19, 2016

One of my fellow club members was unhappy with his current module trackplan and asked for a little help on a re-design.  He already had three 30"x48" modules which he wanted to use as the base of his module set.  He was looking to build a module set which could accomplish two main goals:

As can be seen in the plan above, the three module set accomplishes those two goals.  Starting on the left hand side of the module set, a coal mine acts as the facade to stage the long coal train.  The two tracks will hold about 35 cars.  The mainline power could back onto one of the strings of cars, pull it free, then back onto the second string of cars before heading out for a run around the layout.  When the train returns, it simply backs half the string into one track, then drops the remaining cars into the second staging track.

The other two modules are more scenery based.  Our club has two mainlines and an optional passing track (the third track away from the front edge of the module). To break up the three track race track vibe, the two mainlines are split around a river valley and the passing track drops into the mainline for a short stretch.  In theory, because of the steep slopes of the mountain and the location of the river, there is only enough room for one track in that stretch.  To complete the scene, a small cabin in the woods and a tower would also be added to these modules.

Besides the setup shown above, the module set could be broken up into two pieces.  The coal mine module could be setup on its own - obviously without the full staging feature.  A scenery plug would need to be built to cover the hole for the staging tracks.  In addition, the two right hand modules could be setup as its own module set.  Again, the staging tracks couldn't be connected and a scenery plug would need to be constructed - but these setup options would offer some flexibility when displaying the module set at train shows.

For Track Plan Tuesday's, I am digitizing all of my old track planning notebooks and sharing the designs here on the website.  To see all the plans, visit the track plan home page at: jimspavins.com/jimstrackplans.