Continuing conversion of single model railroad to multiple micro modules in HO scale.

Following the Pizza Layout reaching operational status and it’s scenery being more or less finished (except for extra detailing work), I recently got the Box Street 4×1 feet micro layout operational and some basic scenery completed on it. Not long after completing the trackwork, I had my first operating session. By all accounts, that operating session was a complete success. I breathed a huge sigh of relief! The plan for the Box Street layout is on the previous blog entry.

The ‘eastern’ end of Box Street – the two tracks in front are ‘yard’ tracks, the two behind are team tracks.
At the ‘western’ end of Box Street, there is a factory (actually a snack foods manufacturer), which hides the sector plate used as a runaround track and access to the silos.
The silos and grain unloading shed, with the flour mill building in between.
Looking ‘west’ past the silos to the sector plate.

Following the Box Street layout becoming operational and the basic scenery added, I concentrated my efforts on getting the next 4×1 feet micro layout, the Pier 39 Yard layout, built to operational status And within a week or so I managed to get the Pier 39 Yard layout operational too.

The Pier 39 Yard layout almost operational – just needed the Transfer table rails to be added.
Pier 39 Yard layout fully operational.

To maximise operating enjoyment for the Pier 39 layout, and because I had a little bit more depth space available than on the original Pier 39 Yard plan found in the late Carl Arendt’s ebooks, and I think partially because the track I used allowed for closer trackage than the original plan, I was able to add an extra track to the Team Tracks area at the front of the layout and an extra track near the back as a motive power servicing / RIP track. I was also able to add an extra track near the back which I think will be used for TOFC / COFC and maybe bulk freight transfers, giving an extra ‘industry’ to switch. Almost immediately after I had finished wiring in the trackage on the Pier 39 Yard layout, I had an operating session. it too was a complete success.

As far as what places the two 4×1 feet micro layouts represent for operational purposes, the Box Street layout is representative of a small industrial switching area near the B&OCT Barr Yard in Riverdale, IL in the United States, and the Pier 39 Yard layout is representative of an Erie Railroad car float served switching area in the Manhattan, NY area where cars arrive / depart by car float (implied rather than modelled) between the Pier 39 Yard and New Jersey. A local GE44 switcher switches the cars as required. All 3 micro layouts, the Pizza, Box Street and Pier 39 Yard, will be operated using the MRICF (a virtual car interchanging application I built) to manage waybills, car forwarding and interchanging. The track plan of the Pier 39 Yard layout is shown below.

The Box Street layout works best with cars 40 scale feet long or less, although I have switched a few 52 scale feet length gondollas on it without any real operational issues. The Pier 39 Yard layout can handle up to 60 scale feet length cars without any issues, but works best with cars 52 scale feet long or less.

And then there were 3 – micro model railroad layouts, that is.