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Engine Terminal Layouts

E. M. Haas, Chairman;



Your Committee has made a very careful study of the subject assigned to it, and presents this report, together with a plan of a typical engine terminal for a thirty-stall engine house, indicating how it may be enlarged for the future, and suggesting that by a simple process of elimination, the terminal may be built for a twenty-stall or a ten-stall house.

Your Committee also appreciates that in many localities it would be impossible to build the typical terminal but it is of the opinion that the general arrangement particularly as regards the facilities and their sequence and spacing may be incorporated in most terminal layouts. Surely there will be a difference of opinion regarding the sequence but your Committee has followed, as near as it could, the generally accepted practice as a guide.

Finally, your Committee believes that laying out a terminal should not be by rule of thumb or by any cut and dried process but each situation needs special study.

First, topographical conditions will affect the scheme as will weather, class of power cleared, time of arrival and departure and future possibilities with respect to the division and system. Studies along broad lines should be made before a layout best suited to meet present and future demands can be pted. General

Your Committee has found that in general engine terminal development has lagged behind that of rolling stock, and has now reached a point where many terminals are inadequate and antique in so far as they are adapted to modern power. Investigation will frequently reveal that the reduction in time required for turning power at modernized terminals will be equivalent to adding power to the division. At least, the time saved at any terminal makes possible more revenue service than when the average time of turning locomotives is an hour or two longer.

General Assumptions Your Committee arrived at the typical layout after making certain assumptions. It had in mind peak conditions in what is known as the dense traffic district embraced in the territory east of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio and Potomac Rivers.

Your Committee is of the opinion that if the terminal could be made adequate and efficient under the conditions prevailing in this district, it would certainly meet the demands of the outlying territory where a much lower traffic density prevails.

It has also been found that in a number of instances, the recommendations which would be made for the district mentioned, would not serve in every particular on the lines south of the Ohio River, west of the Mississippi River and north of the Canadian line.

In some cases, as in the South, the weather is not severe, but in Canada, weather conditions have to be taken into account more than they do at the terminals in the district being considered.

In the West, engine divisions are longer and many other conditions need special consideration before a typical layout can be made. However, your Committee believes that regardless of conditions in the outlying territories mentioned, if traffic density were sufficient, the typical terminal layout would function under the severest weather and traffic conditions.

The typical engine terminal is considered as a division clearing house and it is assumed that it literally controls the amount of freight and passenger service that can be furnished by the Transportation Department. Locomotive statistics show that about as much time is spent by power at the terminals as on the road. Therefore, it is, assumed that any reduction in the time required to clear the power at a terminal represents just that much more time that power will be available for road service. Frequently it is found that the facilities provided at a terminal which will save time in turning power, actually cost more to operate than the old equipment or facility that it replaces. When the time saved is considered in terms of the value of power in road service, it frequently will be found that the increased net revenue to be gained more than offsets the greater cost of operating the facilities.

Specific Assumptions In arriving at the typical layout, the following assumptions controlled your Committee's decision affecting the terminal layout:

(a) This is a division terminal not served by a back shop, but only where running repairs are made to about 150 locomotives daily.

(b) The terminal is situated near the throat of a freight yard and at a point near where power is released or returned to road service.

(c) In selecting a site, it is assumed that the terminal is within walking distance or at least a street car ride of an adequate supply of labor.

(d) Site to be selected after investigating the cost of real estate, restrictions by municipalities, ease of drainage, amount of grading and proximity of ample water supply. (While the cost of real estate for a terminal site must always be considered, it should not be a controlling factor. Occasionally, it will be found that a high priced terminal site will be more than offset by the reduced operating charges incident to a terminal properly located.)


(e) Trackage and other facilities are arranged, having in mind that the terminal will be called upon to clear from four to five locomotives per stall per day, and that the power may arrive in fleets at certain periods.

(f) It is assumed that in addition to the road power (passenger and freight) this terminal also serves a number of switching engines. These are to be stored in the engine storage yard and have access without material interference with the road power, to the coaling station, water and ash handling facilities when in yard service, or may reach these facilities from the engine storage yard before being restored to service.

(g) No attempt has been made to fix the lengths of the inspection and ash pits, the capacity of the coaling station, the lengths of the turntable, the depth of the house, as these are subjects being handled by another sub-committee. If dimensions are shown, they are not recommended.

(h) Provision has been made for expanding the terminal capacity 100 per cent. by adding to all facilities and by providing a second 30-stall house and a second turntable. The additional trackage for the expanded terminal has been indicated. It is also assumed that the importance of the expanded terminal may warrant providing a back shop for general overhauling. The need for this, however, will depend on the location of the terminal with respect to a main locomotive repair plant.

(i) The layout committee has been governed by the principle that it is not enough for an engine terminal layout and facilities to meet the normal demands, but if properly designed, it will function under the severest traffic and weather conditions.

Features of Layout Entrance to Terminal

Your Committee has endeavored, in making the track layout to group switches so that they may be handled by the minimum number of switchmen, or at towers. At a busy terminal, an interlocking tower is to be recommended at the entrance to the yard. Since it is assumed that most power is released and restored to service at what we are terming the left end of the yard, the main leads to the terminal and from the engine storage yard, are shown at that end. Entrance to the terminal is by way of two leads from the main tracks and a run-around which extends the full length of the terminal yard. Actual connection with the mains will necessarily depend on local conditions and they are not shown but they should be planned with minimum curvature and not more than one back-up movement. While most engine terminals are situated on one side of the main tracks, desirable arrangement is to split the main tracks and locate the freight yards and locomotive terminal between them. Wash Platform and Inspection Pit

It will be noted that two tracks pass over the wash platform and covered inspection pits, and track space for twice their capacity has been allowed for waiting power in advance of these facilities. It will also be noted that one track serves as a run-around for switchers which do not need inspection, but need to take coal, water, and sand, and have their fires cleaned. The wash platform and the inspection pit are placed at this point so that the roundhouse foreman may be forewarned regarding repairs to be made. Engine crews also are separated from the terminal force. The wash platform contemplates the use of the spray system of cleaning to facilitate inspection. Inspectors' and Dispatchers' Office Buildings

It also seems logical to make inspection at the point where the crews are released and good practice from an operating and engineering standpoint to provide a service building for incoming and outgoing crews as well as the engine dispatcher and inspectors at this point. In case the inspection pit is situated near the engine house or the terminal is small, it is good practice to combine the engine crews service building with the machine shop. It may be desirable also in the smaller terminals to have inspectors make very light repairs, testing and tightening.

In this layout, it is assumed that power is released at the inspection pit and a building is provided nearby which serves as an office for inspectors and a locker, tool and toilet rooms for the crews. A pneumatic tube preferably installed overhead should connect the inspectors, and engine house foreman's office for the transmission of reports.

The engine dispatcher is also located in this building which is near the two outbound tracks and close to the engine storage yard. Cinder Pits

There is some difference of opinion regarding the relative locations of the coaling station and ash pit. Your Committee has studied this and believes that for the territory being considered, it would be better practice to put the ash pit within 800 ft. of the engine house or, at least, no farther from it than it is safe to run an engine without fire on the grates.

The cinder pit has been placed in advance of the coaling station for the following reasons :

(a) Fire cleaning is easier to accomplish on some types of power when the tender is not filled with coal.

(b) Stoker fired locomotives needing inspection or repairs do not take on coal on entering the engine house, but should have it promptly after leaving.

(c) The engine house foreman has time to advise the hostler if he wants an empty tender when the engine enters the house.

(d) The coaling station requires a great deal of supervision, therefore it was considered safer and better to place it in advance of the cinder pit. About 500 ft. of track has been allowed between the inspection and the cinder pits, inasmuch as the latter is the controlling point for power passing through the terminal yard. Crossovers have been provided at this point so that incoming power would have both tracks available for cleaning fires regardless of which track it passed over the inspection pits.

Two tracks pass over the cinder pit, and it is assumed in this case that a water type pit has been installed and that each track is of sufficient length to accommodate at least four locomotives. (A study of cinder pits is being made by another Sub-Committee.) One of these tracks is connected by crossovers to the run-around and the outbound engine tracks, so that a switcher may be restored to yard service without passing over the turntable. If it is desired to clean pans on outbound power a 20 ft. section of the main ash pit may be extended under one outbound track. This may be sloped so that the cinders can be flushed into the main pit.

It is considered desirable and good practice to place a set of blow-off boxes about 100 ft. in advance of the cinder pit, in order that the sludge may be removed from the locomotive boilers before entering the roundhouse. This arrangement greatly reduces the chances of clogging the blow-off line in the roundhouse, and where boiler washing plants are installed gives cleaner water for washing use and less sediment to dispose of.

If a depressed track or a Robertson type cinder pit is used, the space between the outbound engine storage yard and the run-around tracks is sufficient to install two engine tracks with a cinder car track between them without further re-arrangement of the yard tracks. Coaling Station

The next in order is the coaling station with approximately 100 ft. of engine storage space between it and the cinder pit. This was considered enough because most power is now coaling outbound. The sand tower has been placed in advance of the coaling station a sufficient distance to permit power to take sand without interfering with following locomotives taking coal. The coaling station for the terminal as designed, serves the two inbound and the two outbound tracks. The track hopper as well as the coal supply tracks have been placed in their permanent location. The enlarged coaling station serving four more tracks in the expanded terminal is also shown.

In case it is assumed that the maximum terminal development will require only thirty stalls, or as would be the case for some locations a full circle house is desirable, the track hopper for the coaling station should be placed on the run-around track now shown. The new runaround may be placed just outside this coal supply track and the latter may be inclined so that the cars may be fed to the hopper either towards the engine house or away from it.

Space is indicated for ground storage of emergency coal. Unloading and reloading this may be done from either of the two tracks shown.

Inbound and outbound coal to the coaling station passes over the tracks so indicated. Storage space for fifty cars on the inbound, twenty cars on the incline leading to the track hopper and fifty empties on the outbound track appears to be ample for this terminal. In the case of roads using oil as a fuel the emergency storage space for coal may be used for the oil storage tanks. Sand Storage

The sand storage bins and dryer are shown beside the coaling station and are served by the run-around track leading from the entrance to the yards. Sand storage for at least four or five months requirements

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