Delany Yard Photo Gallery

Above: A Conrail SD80MAC turns the corner by the auto unloading facility on the Delany Yard module set. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Delany Yard

The new Delany Yard module set is the latest in a long line of yards built by my father Jim and I. In early 2004, Dad and I started to discuss replacing the previous DeLany Yard modules which had served us so well for close to 15 years. The old modules were really getting worn out, and we started to put together a plan to replace the yard with a new and improved version. We came up with a number of elements we wanted to include in the final design:

The previous module set was 16' long and 2.5' wide. Since we were building all new modules, we increased the size of the yard to 24’ long and 3’ wide. This gave us plenty of room to expand the capacity of the yard and engine facility. We also had room to include crossovers at each end of the yard to allow access to the inside and outside mainline tracks. As we went about tweaking and adjusting the design, another club project arose, and led to an expansion of the yard before it was even constructed.

Independent of the DeLany Yard project was the decision to replace the older club corner modules with four new corner modules. The corner modules were built by Jim Spavins, and he took two of the modules, and left the other two for me to finish. One of the new corner modules was earmarked for my new Brookside Farm module set. I had no plan for the other corner module, until I started thinking of making it part of the yard. The addition of the corner module completed the design, and allowed us to accomplish all the goals we set for the new yard. The corner is located at the far left of the module set. Additional operational flexibility was added in the form of the Marysville Module. This 6’ module forms the throat of the yard, making it truly double ended, and is to the left of the Yard Corner module.  Below is the overall track plan for the DeLany Yard complex.

The track plan shows the main features of the yard:

The benchwork for the DeLany Yard was completed in the summer of 2005, and the mainline tracks were in place by January 2006. The remainder of the trackwork was completed by the end of 2006. Most of 2007 was dedicated to wiring both the modules and the control panel. By December 2007, we were ready to put the whole set together and test our work. I few minor fixes and adjustments, and we were ready for the big debut of the DeLany Yard.

Following the trackplan, the module runs from left to right. Although the crossovers on the Marysville module form the primary access to the DeLany yard from the two mainline tracks, the yard itself begins on the corner. The mainlines continue through to the Yard-A module. Two Shinohara long radius curved turnouts diverge from the third track/yard lead to form the two long double ended yard tracks. These tracks serve as the arrival and departure tracks for the yard, and the third track/yard lead continues to the yard A module. This track runs the length of the yard, and serves as the inside passing track and yard running track. The remainder of the yard corner is occupied by the unloading ramps and parking area for the autorack facility. The facility features two unloading ramps, and approximately 75 parking spaces, as well as the gatehouse and main office for the facility.

Moving from left to right onto the Yard A module, the yard itself widens into its full width. The outside passing track diverges from the outside mainline, and runs the length of the yard. The left end of the module also contains a series of crossovers to access yard via the third track/yard lead from the two mainline tracks. The main portion of the yard consists of the two double ended yard tracks, and four stub end yard tracks, as well as a fifth track which serves as the lead to the rear of the module. The rear of the Yard A module contains the three stub tracks which make up the unloading tracks for the autorack facility. A lot of straight track!

Next comes the Yard B module, which contains the main yard ladder which forms the end of the classification yard. This is one of the busiest areas of the module, and the place where trains are broken down and built-up, and readied for departure. Just prior to the main yard ladder, there is a crossover from the third track/yard lead to the inside mainline. This was a late addition to the trackplan, but it really added to the versatility of the yard. To the middle of the module, the engine facility begins with the two sanding fueling tracks, and the three engine storage/ready tracks. To the rear of the module, the autorack yard funnels down to one track along the back of the module. The yard office and maintenance buildings are located in between the engine facility tracks and the lead to the autorack facility.

As we move to the Yard C module, the engine facility opens up to 6 tracks, which enter the large shop building located on the Yard D module. Along the front of the module, behind the mainline tracks and in front of the shop tracks, are the third track/yard lead and the separate lead for the engine facility. Behind the shop tracks are the rear shop lead and the autorack yard lead. This area is normally a sea of locomotives, and its where power is kept before heading to the fueling area, and ultimately the ready tracks, prior to leading an outbound train.

The final module is the Yard D module. This module is one of the most popular in the layout, since its home to a Walthers 135’ turntable, and a huge six track shop building. Out of service power, as well as MOW equipment are held in the outer radial tracks, to the right of the turntable. The turntable is accessed from both the front and rear engine/shop leads, and it feeds the six tracks leading into the shop building. Behind the turntable is the end of the lead for the autorack yard. Crossovers between the rear shop lead and the autorack lead allow for runaround moves, and access to the turntable from both tracks. The front of the module contains as series of turnouts and crossings which forms the throat of the yard.

The new yard has been quite the undertaking. Although it debuted at the 2008 Big Railroad Hobby Show in Springfield, MA, there is still a lot of work to do. All the trackwork and wiring is complete, and many of the bugs have been worked out. Basic scenery is complete, but there are still tons of details to add. As with most large model railroad endeavors, the DeLany Yard will probably never be "finished."-Dan Delany

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Module at a Glance

Scale: HO Scale
Size: 3'x28'+Corner
Number of Sections: 6
Builder: Jim and Dan Delany
Type: Straight+Corner
Mainline Tracks: 3
Years Constructed: 2005
Era: 1980s
Features: Yard, Turntable, Enginehouse, Auto Unloading Facility
Status: Active