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Thread: Intermodal Modeling

  1. #1

    Default Intermodal Modeling

    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..


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    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.
    - keN in Maryland

  3. #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.

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  4. #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.

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    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
    Los Angeles - Phoenix Transporation

    Will Fannin, CEO

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    How do they run together??? Thats over my head..haha

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    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
    Los Angeles - Phoenix Transporation

    Will Fannin, CEO

  8. #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.
    Happy being a Firefighter

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    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:

    A DCC controlled working container crane. Looks pretty cool...

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    looks at the price and faints
    Los Angeles - Phoenix Transporation

    Will Fannin, CEO

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