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Track-plan version 9 :

The plan is "evolved" under the way, following my experience path in more realistic valuation of my skills, preferences, and .... (why not?) a better understand of tracks laying "art" (on real RR's and by modelling point of view).

A section of the Southern Pacific main line from San Francisco to San Jose.
The Los Gatos branch line from SJ to Felton in the Santa Cruz mountains, to Santa Cruz.
At Felton a (former narrow Gauge) short branch line take up to Boulder Creek.

Short description
Given my "romantic" love for the two subjects, I can't decide wich one I need to drop out :the City yard and related commute line + the Mountains where I've lived "luckily" driving on the 17th.
I've try to minimize the work but still include all key elements I like. A hard job! The attached plan is the "final one" , as any plan "on the paper stage" : I'm sure some slight modification will be done when the "laying tracks in progress" sign will appear on the door, but, this is the state of the art for the moment.
In respect to the previous plan, the major change is the respective position of the two main yards : San Francisco and Santa Clara.
The City's stub and Mission Bay freight yard have two removable interchange possibility: the barge apron and the SF Belt RR (track crossing 3rd street, and a cassette).
About industries in the City , have included some landmark scenes:
- There is a track aside Baker&Hamilton crossing the street going on Mission district along the warehouse,
- A track running in a paved portion of the 7th street,
- a “not yet defined” industry in front of Brisbane flag stop (chemical, paint or oil?)
- The Higgins Lumber shop at Bayshore
- a spur after the tunnel to some additional industries
- the Gas tank after tunnel 2
- and 4 or 5 industries in the Mission yard area ( plus the United Fruit at Banana dock).
Some destination in the Mission yard area are in search of Company name and pictures to model it

The Stage shelf (the yellow shelf bottom right) is located on top of the buildings along 7th street.
Level is a bit more (I’m using decimal units here) of 4” from street level. The shelf is narrow (more or less 8”-9”) and the border of the shelf is covered by the front face of streets buildings. So seams not really intrusive in the landscape ? But, in this way the bottom scene between buildings is mostly hidden, so no way to put additional “visible” industries here.
I know that I've taken lot of "modeling license" on the way, in addition to "selective" compression, .... lot of compression there (so, please, "purists" don't claim for that): at Bayshore was the ice-house and platform for reefers... it was shifted before tunnel 1, same for Higgins Lumber (Bayshore blv.99).
Along the way out to Santa Cruz (just in case you've not noted) there is a "geographically impossible" connection between ... Palo Alto bridge and ... Santa Cruz hill. This was a trick to have a continuous run capability in case I want rail fan a freight sitting and relaxing.
I enjoy all the "parallel" activity this plan involve: research , create models, scenery, track hand lay (turnouts planned are made with Fastrack N scale toys .... jigs), motive power research and more .
I hope to be able to "infuse" a sense of loved location and time in my work , despite the compromises taken.

Track plan

If you want a better resolution on a printable page, download this file in Acrobat PDF format : Dowload a PRINTABLE TRACK PLAN

and two 3D view:

 from the door


Layout Data

On the drawing , consider :

   * N scale , one grid square is 10 cm = 4 inch
   * Main Line uses Microengineering code 55 flex
   * Branch line uses Microengineering code 40 flex

Curve Radius:

   * Minimum Radius on Main line ( internal track) is 56 cm ( 22")
   * Minimum Radius on branch line is 44 cm ( 17" 1/2 ) 

Line length (not including yards, stub and spurs):

   * Double track main line length : 7,50m (24')
   * Single track branch line length :6,20m (20')
   * Narrow gauge branch (Standard gauge tracks?) : 3,1m (10') 

Yard capacity:

   * Longest track on 3rd & Townsend : 130 cm (55“)= 10x60'commutes or 8x80'
   * Longest track on Santa Clara commute yard : 150 (59“) 
   * Longest track in Santa Cruz : 85 cm (33” ½)= 11x40' box cars or 7x60' commutes
   * Longest track in Mission Bay freight yard : 120 cm (47“ ¼) = 14x40' box cars
   * Longest track in San Jose freight yard : 120 cm (47“ ¼) 

Turnouts specs:

   * Turnouts references are for FastTrack turnouts I plan to use:
   * SF Passenger stub , Santa Clara and Santa Cruz uses 
     #6 turnouts, #8 double slip and #8 curved 24-18 (internal-external radius in inches)
   * Mission Bay and San Jose Freight yard uses
     #4 turnouts, #8 double slip and #6 curved 16-11 (internal-external radius in inches) 

This figures takes to a "running" train length of:

   * Commute line: 5 to 7 60' cars and loco / 4-6 80' and loco
   * Main line freigths: 10-12 40' cars + caboose + loco
   * Branch line passengers: 4-5 cars and a loco
   * Branch line freigths: 7-8 40' car + caboose + loco 

N scale shortcuts: to image trains length , use this shortcut:

   * 100 cm = (10 x 40’ box cars + a Mikado) or (6x 60’+ a Pacific) or (4x 80’ car + a GS4) 

N Scale car length:

   * 40’ box car = 7,6cm ( 3” )
   * 60’ commute = 11,3cm ( 4” 1/2 )
   * 72’ passenger = 13,8cm (5” 1/2)
   * 80’ smothside streamliner = 15,3cm (6”)

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Last update
Nov 2009

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