Barr Yard is a small HO scale model railroad layout module used as a small yard to improve operations and to stage trains for other modules.
In September 2012, following a move to a bigger house with a play room, construction started on a staging module for the Illinook / Dolton modules. The idea for the module was that it would represent the IHB Blue Island and B&OCT Barr yards, in Riverdale, Illinois. As the scenario for the Dolton and Illinook modules sets the location of those two modules east of Dolton Junction on a spur line of the IHB mainline between Blue Island and points east. The transfers and local trains that service Dolton and Illinook all come through or originate from either Blue Island yard or Barr yard, hence the name for the module.
Before 2017, it was called “Blue Island”, but after a re-configuration of the layout in June 2017 is has now become Barr yard, representing B&OCT’s Barr yard. near IHB’s Blue Island yard. The re-configuration also allows through trains to travel through the module on thei way east or west.
The module is 4×1 feet in size, and has two staging tracks facing east towards Illinook and Dolton. The staging tracks will hold approximately 5 cars on one track, and approximately 4 cars on the other. There is also a 2 track motive power depot which has an engine shed which can hold 2 locos, and space for 2 more 4 axle diesels. Below is a track plan / aerial photo of the module.
The module is a sceniced live staging module, which means train can be switched using part of the Illinook module approach trackage. There is also the option of removing and placing cars for a train on the module by hand, and using the module for photography. This module allows for 2 inbound trains to be staged at Blue Island / Barr yards at the start of an operating session, and allows for less cramped switching and train movements on the other two modules and had enhanced operation considerably since it became operational.
A comparison between the Gateway Warehouse layout and this module will reveal that the track plan is virtually the same, except that the Gateway Warehouse layout uses a sector plate and 2 turnouts instead of the 4 turnouts used on this module.