Friday, July 28, 2017

Decisions about industries

While I think of this layout as more of a rail fans layout than an operations layout, I still want to represent a few of the industries that are scattered along both the WP and SP lines in northern Nevada.  Most of these are related to mining and many are just truck transfer points which is perfect for modeling if you don't have much layout real estate.

Here is an example of one such industry taken from Google Maps.  The biggest part of this industry is the area for the trucks to turn around or park.

It had long been my plan to include the Sierra Pacific coal burning power plant at Valmy, Nevada as the largest industry on this layout.

An interesting feature of this particular power plant is that it sits between the WP and SP lines which at that point are about a mile apart.   Rail access to the power plant is by a return loop that allows loads to be brought in from the east on the SP line and empties to go out to the east on the WP line.

Creating this return loop would require a good sized outward bulge in the bench work and creating a decent power plant in itself would be challenging.  Construction has progressed on the layout to the point where the power plant would be so it was time to make a decision about including the power plant.

While following both lines mile by mile through Google Maps it was noticeable to me that nearly all of the industries were served by trailing point spurs and few had any lead siding.   I did find one exception in Battle Mountain where there are several industries served from a long siding from the SP line.  So I have decided instead of the power plant, the next section of the layout will represent these industries.  This will allow the bench work to be kept narrow and give more variety of cars types that the local will handle.

Above is a quick drawing I did showing what this section might look like.  This section will be 8 feet long.  The WP line entering this section from the Gloconda section on the right is about 1-1/8 inch lower than the SP line and this difference can be used to separate the scenes.  It turns out that Sierra Pacific Power has a small maintenance yard in Battle Mountain and that can added as an off line industry.  Some interesting utility trucks, spools of wires, transformers, poles, etc.

There will still be some westbound loads and eastbound empties coal traffic on the layout as several cement kilns in California use coal that they receive by rail.  I have already started on the bench work for this next section which from now on will be referred to as the Battle Mountain section.


  1. This should keep you busy and add a lot of interest to the RR. You should think about operating as it adds a lot more fun to ones RR.

    1. Hi Rod, with Winnemucca represented on the layout and Carlin at the eastern end there will be about 8 points for car drop off / pick up. Plus the junction at Wesso is a bit of an operation itself.