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Exchange Sidings

This plan was designed in response to a request for track planning ideas from Des Hinks. In order to create operational interest, he had the idea of constructing some exchange sidings on his garden shed layout. This means that trains can run from the privately owned freight line (such as those at NCB collieries) and be transferred onto the main line to run on the national network. A set of exchange sidings is where the loco transfer takes place, which is why the sidings are interesting to operate.
 
The plan below, showing a very simple form of this feature, is based on operating practice at Earles Sidings in Hope Valley, Derbyshire. It has been designed such that it can be easily adapted for many types of layout, with the basic principles similar to those employed across the country at similar sites. A gate in the top right hand corner would make for an interesting scenic feature, marking the divide between private and national tracks.
 
A typical operating sequence involves the industrial loco bringing the loaded wagons in from the freight line, stopping at (1). This loco then runs round the train via (2) and waits in the shed (3). A loco from the national network then reverses some empty wagons into the second siding (4), before collecting the loaded wagons at (5) and returning to the continuous run. Once this has been completed, the industrial loco moves from the shed at (3) and collects the empty wagons from the siding (4), before running back up the Freight Line - at Earles Sidings this is done in two batches. Thanks to Alex for his help in developing this plan.
 
 

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