Layout Design Elements,
A railroad modeler’s defence…
‘Gainst unreal ideas
That bring one to tears,
Look to the prototype hence!
At a Connecticut loading dock,
A switching design loudly pops….
Said someone in a book,
Makes a switching puzzle that rocks!
Certain real boxcars,
Are have doors damaged by sudden jars…
Or loads have shifted
An engineer gifted,
Learns which side of the dock a car is better to be parked!
This game I’ll reproduce,
The prototype is of use….
These pictures found
In archival ground,
Good modeling is real life—reduced!
REAL-LIFE INGLENOOK POSES PROTOTYPE PUZZLES
Stuart Pate, from Bolton, Connecticut USA, took these shots of a prototype Inglenook sidings that is in daily use in East Hartford, Connecticut on the Connecticut Southern Railroad. “It is used as a baled pulp transloading point for a small tissue mill that is located away from the tracks,” Stuart points out. “As you can see from the photos, it has the required three tracks, two of which are at a loading dock that holds two cars per side, while the third is used as a ‘hold’ track before and during switching.
“Normally, loaded cars are either brought in on the arriving train or stored on the right hand track. Upon arrival, the conductor of the train talks with the forklift operator on the dock to determine which cars have been emptied, and to receive instructions regarding the placement of the loads. Sometimes an outbound empty may be ‘buried’ behind a load, or a car may have a defective door on one side and have to be swung to the other side of the dock for access. Some of the inbound cars may have priority over others for unloading.
“For the modeler, this represents a simple prototype for a very small and operationally flexible layout. Scenicly it’s nothing more than the three ballasted tracks and a wedge shaped dock with a telephone pole and small red equipment box. It wouldn’t have to handle only boxcars like the prototype. Flatcars and gondolas loaded with steel, lumber, curbing stones, or farming equipment could conceivably arrive here. The forklift could be replaced by a mobile crane as needed.”
When I asked Stuart why he had such an intimate knowledge of this little scene, he confessed, “Yes, I’m an engineer on the CSOR in East Hartford, and I get to switch the ‘prototype inglenook’ almost daily. It’s a small part of the East Hartford yard. In one of the photos, you can see some track to the right, so if you had a spare couple of inches it would also be possible to have a length of track against the backdrop displaying some favorite cars.”
Article and pictures reproduced from Page 73, May 2008 on-line issue of http://www.carendt.com/small-layout-scrap-book/page-73-2008/