Intermodal Modeling

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#1
I'm kinda curious who else has, a intermodal yard on their layouts? I would love to see some pictures, and see some suggestions for operation? Containers and trailers are a huge part of railroads today, and have been for quite awhile..

Thanks!
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
#2
In my area [Maryland], intermodals are rare because 1) the only such facilities in the state are associated with deepwater harbors and HUGE cranes, and 2) 95% of the people who can afford the necessary space and structures model the Transition era instead.

I haven't found anything online, but in Tony Koester's book Realistic Model Railroad Building Blocks, there is a section where some guy modeled a small IM terminal that exists in Huntsville, Alabama - it shows pix of the prototype plus the model trackplan.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
#3
Does planned work? This is the original track plan of the San Bernardino intermodal yard for my future layout. I switched it up some now though.
 
#4
Ken L, I'm in and out of a intermodal yard 10x to 12x a night. So It gives me alot of first hand info, and pictures. it also kinda fuels the desire to have a intermodal setup. As for refrence material, I recomend a book titled Intermodal modelers guide. Has a small section on setting up a MRR intermodal yard, but its always nice to see what others have done.


Josh, I pull ALOT of Containers that come thru the Long Beach port, in you SB yard youll have to model a few of the containers that toyota uses, mostly Kline, some NYK, SeaLand, and APL 40's and 20's Ill snag some prototype photos for ya.. if youd like.
 

Angelic

L.A.P.T. Fan
#5
Oh man I was just about to ask about this, living by the alameda corridor the main trains i see are intermodal, and I was wondering how do the different types of model intermodal cars run together
 

Angelic

L.A.P.T. Fan
#7
Anyone that has ever seen the trains in/out bound at Long Beach knows what i'm talking about, I've seen 89' flats, spincars, well's, gundersons all on one train but the only thing I haven't seen was road railers, but this is the type of opperation I want to do
 

Steve B

Firefighter
#8
I run Athearn spine car's with Athearn gundersons, the only issue is with the car weight, the plastic well car's are light and on my tight curves if i run the spine car's at the back of the train the empty well cars at the head end tend to come off the rails, when there are containers in i can hide weight in the containers which hold's them down. hiding weight is the problem with empty plastic well cars.
 

modelbob

Administrator
#9
Container yards would make for a neat model, especially if you also have an interest in ports and ships.

They require a lot of space to do correct. Modern container trains typically use 5 pack cars, which are pretty long. Modelers will often use a 3 unit articulated car to capture the flavor without quite as much length.

I think a shelf layout would make a great container yard, you need lots of length. Use a photo backdrop for part of it, as well as some containers to blend into the backdrop.

As for a container crane, the answer is easy. (It's just not cheap...)

Here's the centerpiece of your new intermodal layout:
http://www.reynaulds.com/Heljan/crane.html?item=89001

A DCC controlled working container crane. Looks pretty cool...
 
#11
O.O
looks at the price and faints
x.x
Yeah, it's not cheap. You can find it on ebay for a "buy it now" price of $600, which helps a little.

I guess if you compare it to 3 or 4 DCC engines, it's not quite so bad. It definitely would make a great centerpiece for your layout. Still, that's a lot of bucks, no matter how you slice it.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
#13
My scarce "disposable" income is going into DCC-related infrastructure before I spend that kind of money on a crane!:D Still would be nice though...I wonder how many of those things Heljan will sell?
 
#15
There seems to be a couple levels of model railroader out there.

The first is the one who scrounges and builds a lot of his own stuff. It makes me feel old, but when I was a kid Model Railroader actually ran articles on scratchbuilding your own steam loco. It used pre-made wheels and motor but much of the body was made of brass, carefully cut and formed by the modeler. These guys scratch build cars and buildings etc, etc.

The second, and probably most common modeler is the ordinary Joe, I guess you'd call him the middle class modeler. He's the fellow buying Athearn blue box freight cars, plastic buildings and locos in the $50 to $150 price range. He may be into DCC and/or other electronics, but he's built his system over time, and it took some doing to get there. I'm guessing most of us folks here fall into that group.

The third group is the high end modeler with lots of disposable income. These are the guys collecting expensive Lionel. They like G scale locos that go for $1K each. They buy brass with sound and DCC and have it custom painted. The true high end modelers hire somebody to build their layout for them.

In truth, the 3 groups probably blur together. But when I look at products and read ads, they do seem to target one of the 3 personalities. When I see locos that cost $500 and passenger cars that are $60 each, I know I'm not the person they're trying to sell this stuff to.
 
#17
I'm kinda curious who else has, a intermodal yard on their layouts? I would love to see some pictures, and see some suggestions for operation? Containers and trailers are a huge part of railroads today, and have been for quite awhile..

Thanks!
Check out this link: http://www.midwestnpioneer.org/central/intermodal.html
Another resource, Guide to Intermodal Operations from Model Railroader magazine, Jeff Wilson is the writer. Very informtive, you can order from the Model Railroader web site or go to your local hobby shop.
:)
 
#18
Oh man I was just about to ask about this, living by the alameda corridor the main trains i see are intermodal, and I was wondering how do the different types of model intermodal cars run together
BNSF and UP usually pulls single well car to 3 pack or 5 pack spine car. Most of the trains that you see are going to Chicago. Some are in mulitple sections.

Check out these pictures:
http://www.railpictures.net/showpho...5|1||||||||-2|-2||-2|-2|||15|-2|-2||||||1||1|
 

Myowngod

Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
#19
ONe of the best sites for Pictorial info is the Library of Congress. I definitely have this one saved on my favorites list. Library of Congress
You can find all kinds of structures, yards, Bridges, etc etc etc.

WARNING! Once you click on this link you will surf for quite a while there.;)
 
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jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
#20
There's ALOT of types of intermodal. Containers on spines, in wells (single, 3 & 5 packs), trailers in wells, on spines (single is rare, 5 48's, 5 53's or 3 57'/6 28') and then there's a ubiquitous 89' flats (twin 45, single 53/single 28, triple 28') and the "long runner" twin 89' flat sets (triple 53' or triple 57' mostly).

The "mixed trains" you see are set up for the next terminal, mostly, but sometimes they're really mixed and broken/rebuilt elsewhere. They're mixed at a normal coupler point, like any other train.

San Bernardino is half & half container/trailer.
 



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