Track Plan At A Glance
Layout Theme: Industrial
Layout Type: Module
Scale: HO Scale
Track: Code 83
Turnouts: No. 6
Min. Radius: 36"
Article by: Jim Spavins
Published: September 1, 2015
While my dad isn't a model railroader, he does enjoy collecting models of tank cars. He usually comes out to support our club and a number of years ago I was looking to build him a module where he could display his tank car collection.
After a discussion with one of my friends, he sent me photos of Union Tank Car's Repair Facility in Altoona, PA. Located along the former Pennsylvania Railroad's Middle Division, this facility handles the repairs of UTLX tank cars as well as covered hoppers. A little virtual railfanning on Google Maps shows an interesting track layout to handle the work flow on the various cars which enter the facility. A siding off the mainline leads to a transfer table which is used to switch cars into various bays to be worked on. This allows for a very space efficient operation and accommodates lots of rolling stock. This makes an ideal prototype for a collector of tank cars.
UTLX repair facility in Altoona, PA. | Photo by Dan Delany. Used with permission.
The module is a simple 30"x48" with the two mainlines and our club's optional passing siding located towards the front. A siding leads to a transfer table located on the right hand end of the module. In theory, tank cars would be dropped off on the siding and a plant Trackmobile would pick them up, pull onto the transfer table, and then push the cars back into the right location. While a bit unusual, this could turn into a bit of a switching puzzle if the facility was close to capacity. In addition, the module could be loaded with other details, such as animated effects like a welder and working cranes, to make this into quite a show stopper.
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.