Monthly Archives: June 2009

Trackplan – Old West

This track plan is designed for a standard 4 foot x 8 foot (sheet of plywood) N-Scale layout that features a landscape depicting the old west.  The layout features a double oval that allows for grades and a decent tunnel.  This would facilitate effective scenery breaks that would allow for running of slightly longer trains.  The layout contains three main industries, as well as a yard that features a town and an impressive roundhouse.  The yard itself can also operate as a longer passing siding for staging a second train.

The Old West layout would allow for some switching between the industries or in the yard, or the continuous running of a train.  Several of your favorite locomotives could also be displayed at the roundhouse.

This is a very effective, simple and straight forward layout.  Although it is an old west theme, it could be easily adapted to any time period.

(Please click on photo for full size image)

Making the Eastside safe for Gold Line light rail extension

Compelled by their hankering for a breakfast of pozole, Ricardo and Rosa Solis casually strolled across the railroad tracks on First Street to a Mexican restaurant.

They didn’t know that around the corner, MTA and law enforcement officials had just concluded a news conference Monday exhorting people not to do exactly that.

Later this summer, light rail trains will return to Boyle Heights and East L.A. for the first time in half a century. But officials say that just months before the Gold Line Eastside Extension begins running, they are seeing a lot of bad habits that could lead to serious injuries or deaths. If it is not jaywalkers, it is cars zipping across intersections when they’re supposed to be stopped.

Since May, law enforcement has issued more than 400 traffic citations to heedless drivers and pedestrians.

(Read article here)

UP to add sixth unit to California yard’s Genset fleet

Next month, Union Pacific Railroad plans to begin using a sixth ultra-low-emission Genset switcher at its Roseville, Calif., yard.

The locomotive, which is being field tested at UP’s Fort Worth, Texas, yard, will increase the Class I’s Genset fleet to 165 units. Gensets are designed to reduce oxides of nitrogen emissions up to 80 percent and particulate matter emission up to 90 percent compared with a conventional switcher.

“A lot of work is ongoing in terms of developing new and better locomotives and other vehicles,” said Mike Iden, UP’s general director of car and locomotive engineering, in a prepared statement. “When calculating true fuel savings or greenhouse-gas emission reductions, it is important to include every step in the process as we do with the Genset.”

Union Pacific has greener produce delivery on track

Union Pacific Railroad’s refrigerated boxcar fleet has been known for its ability to deliver fresh produce. The railroad now is delivering “greener” produce, too.

The railroad’s entire fleet of 4,950 refrigerated railcars is more environmentally friendly than ever and is compliant with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards that take effect July 17. In addition, the company has invested approximately $18 million in its refrigerated boxcars the past two years so these cars will continue to meet CARB compliance standards. That investment includes installing new Tier IVi diesel refrigeration units on more than 700 boxcars in the first half of 2009. These units will reduce diesel particulate emissions by 50 percent over the previous refrigeration units.

(Read article here)

‘Transloading’ system eases flow of goods

A tract of land next to the railroad tracks in Nashville has been set aside for businesses to drop off products for rail shipment all over the country.

The “transloading” site on more than 9 acres off Circle Drive also is being used as a receiving point for goods shipped by rail to this area. The idea behind the project is to open up a less expensive shipping option for businesses that do not own land on the tracks.

Many businesses that don’t own property along the tracks don’t realize they have rail shipping available to them as an option, he said.

“That why we call it, ‘The railroad of the future,’” said Ronnie McKenzie, senior vice president of Gulf & Ohio Railways, which owns Nash County Railroad, which is developing the site. “If you ain’t got rail (access), don’t sweat it. We’ll offer you a transloading center. We guarantee to save you money.”

(Read article here)