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The new arrangement also allowed for a house track next to the freight section of the station to handle express cars with LCL (less than carload) freight. anticipation of starting an operating group, my son, Brian, and I tried using pieces of it to see how they worked in the real world. Imagine my dismay when I realized that the yard had a major design flaw that would cripple any operating session. Drawn in black on Figure 1 is the original yard design. Notice that the yard lead also serves as a passing track (21) and runs directly in front of the station; the main is the south track (20). The logical place to board passengers is on the track closest to the station platform. Even if I had passenger trains stop on the main, no railroad would allow the yard crew to work with passengers crossing the yard lead. Every time a pas Figure 2 senger train stopped at the Trinidad station an event scheduled to take place eight times a session the yard lead was blocked and totally unusable. This problem did not b ecome obvious until we began running trains while working the yard. Considering that the yard switcher would have to clear the station track several minutes before each passenger trains arrival, a good chunk of the day would be spent with the yard crew sitting around not being able to do any work. No matter how much I juggled the schedule to create holes for the yard crew to do their job, it just wouldnt work. The only solution appeared to be rebuilding the yard. Once the psychological barrier against Figure 3 tearing up a finished section of the railroad was breached, the dread I had been experiencing was replaced with excitement. I s tudied my options and saw how opera tions could be saved by simply laying a new mainline south of the current tracks (marked in green on Figure 1). This new track would keep passenger traffic completely away from the yard lead. The old main became a passing track that could be used for meets, as well as a place to stick an arriving train if the yard crew got behind (not an unheard of occurrence). With the concept now set, the fascia was removed to see how I could extend the existing L-girder benchwork. Figures 2 and 3

Existing girder

Existing girder

New extension

New extension

MAY 2001

MODEL RAILROADING 43

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