



INGLENOOK SIDINGS
TRACKPLAN & LAYOUT SIZE


TRACKPLAN




The trackplan is deceptively
simple, consisting of only two points and
three sidings. As with most
shunting puzzles, the length of the sidings is
determined by the operating rules.
In
the case of Inglenook Sidings, the
longest siding holds 5 wagons, while the two
others have a capacity of 3 wagons each.
The
headshunt allows for the engine plus 3 wagons
(when operating, a total of 8 wagons plus one
engine will be used).




LAYOUT SIZE


The
resulting overall size of the layout is small by any
standards, but can vary considerably as the actual length
of the sidings is determined by the common length of the
rolling stock to be used on the layout  the longer the
rolling stock used, the longer the sidings will need to
be. 

The reduced space
requirements of Alan Wright's original layout (1'
x 4' / 30cm x 120cm) was achieved by using
standard goods wagons of the British steam/diesel
transition era which are comparatively short, the
standard wheelbase measuring only 10'0"
(3m), giving a total length over buffers of
20'6" (6,15m). In 00 scale,
this translates into goods wagons about 3,2"
(8cm) long, meaning that a siding with a length
of 20" (50cm) will easily hold the 5 pieces
of rolling stock required to fit onto the longest
of the three sidings on an Inglenook layout.





Modelling
more modern freight operations (or a completely different
prototype) as a general rule means longer rolling stock.
In the UK, for instance, the ubiquitous VDA van of the
1980s and 1990s had the "modern standard"
wheelbase of 20'9", which scales down to a total
model length over buffers of approx. 6" / 15cm in
00. Similarly, a 40ft North American boxcar translates
into 6" (15 cm) in HO and 3" (7,5 cm) in N,
whereas 50ft boxcars scale out at 7" (17,5 cm) in HO
and 3,75" (9,25 cm) in N. Tank wagons and special
purpose stock will also be of differing lengths. Obviously, and this
will have to be reflected in the length of the tracks,
and the longest type of rolling stock to be used
will have to serve as the standard rolling stock length
in order to define the length of the sidings,
i.e. multiples of 5 and 3 thereof.


A Cl 08 shunter fresh
from the paintshop shunts
a shortwheelbase VEA van in the sidings at Little
Bazeley


In the case of rolling stock
of various length being used, an additional rule
needs to be introduced in order to prevent chance
constellations where it would in fact be possible
to squeeze e.g. 6 wagons onto the 5 wagon siding The choice of
locomotive used will, of course, depend on the
prototype being modelled, but small to medium
sized shunters are a logical choice if you want
to keep the layout short in overall length.
Most
British layouts fitting the classic Inglenook
dimensions seem to feature 060 tank steam
engines or 060 Class 08 diesel shunters, while
the General Electric 44ton fouraxles switcher
is a common favourite for US layouts.



However,
neither the essence nor the functionality of the
Inglenook Sidings concept calls for as small a layout as
possible. If space is available, North American prototype
modellers might prefer to opt for more common motive
power such as the GP7/9. 

With
longer locomotives and rolling stock the
required length of the sidings can start
to expand quite rapidly. For example, an
Inglenook layout depicting switching
moves of the mechanical
reefers used on Tropicana's
"(orange) juice train" out of
Florida would require a longer than 4'
layout even in N scale as these reefers
have a real life length of at least 57'.
Another spacehungry
but potentially very interesting
Inglenook variation would be to shunt
passenger coaching stock.


In the early
morning rain, Bangor & Aroostook GP7
#60 switches a yard somewhere in Northern
Maine





SMALLEST INGLENOOK POSSIBLE?


An
Inglenook Sidings layout will always be small in
comparison to other types of layouts modelled in the same
scale. But is it possible to go even smaller than the
original concept and still maintain operating interest
and have some challenging shunting moves to do? The
answer is yes, but certain points need to be observed. 



Carl Arendt, the late master
of micro layout design, subjected the Inglenook
formula to some practical testing and found that
it can be cut down to one
siding holding 3 cars and two sidings holding 2
cars each, which together with a 2 cars plus loco
length headshunt will still provide operating
interest when forming a three car train from a
total of five cars randomly placed in the
sidings. This also illustrates just
how flexible the Inglenook formula is: you can
fiddle around with the track capacities, and you
can alter the total number of freight cars on the
layout, together with the number of cars to be
assembled in order to set up the departing train.
Bob
Hughes' N Scale San Vince de Rey (a
tongue  in  cheek reference to the fact that
this layout is actually built on a sandwich tray)
works on such a 322 "minimal"
Inglenook Sidings formula. Set in California, it
portrays a small yard in Union Pacific territory.
A micro layout by any standards, it can be kept
virtually anywhere.
Even
a "reduced" Inglenook layout offers an
operational challenge and is fun to operate, even
though the reduction in complexity of the
shunting puzzle which results from such
alterations is far more significant than most
people would suspect:




number of cars 
number of different
arrangements of cars 
number of cars in
train to be made up 
number of possible
different
trains to be made up 
Classic Inglenook 
8 
40,320 
5 
6,720 
"Minimal
Inglenook" 
5 
120 
3 
60 


The reasons for this drop in
complexity are explained in further detail on the shunting puzzles page, but the conclusion
to be drawn from this is, perhaps, that from an
operational challenge perspective it is better to stick
with the original formula if at all possible. Opting for
shorter rolling stock (e.g. 40' boxcars instead of 50'
freight stock) usually helps  but then again, even a
"minimal Inglenook" is better than no
Inglenook...
One
thing, however, which needs to be observed very strictly,
is the capacity of the headshunt, i.e. the track leading
up to the points. This needs to hold at least the loco
plus the number of cars equivalent to the capacity of the
two shorter sidings (i.e. 3 in the classic formula, 2 in
the reduced formula). If this rule is ignored and the
capacity of the headshunt reduced, there are a number of
car arrangements which will actually prevent the loco
from pulling out the last car from the long siding,
turning it into a sitting duck.




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Page
created: 01/MAY/2001
Last revised: 21/DEC/2018
