Martin Tärnrot

Connecting Industries to the Main Line Track

Martin Tärnrot
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Duration:   4  mins

Modeler Martin Tärnrot discusses how to connect industries to the main line track. There are several considerations, including how busy your main line track is, how much freight your industry receives and sends away, and how much space you have.


Martin shows a diagram of the basic trackwork for touching an industry to a siding or main line track. The arrangement shown has some limitations. One is that you can’t really pull the freight train into this siding and leave a car there because your engine or locomotive will always be first.

Another shortcoming is that you are blocking the main line track with the freight train while doing any switching maneuvers, which is a bad idea if you have regular traffic on this track. You can work around some of the problems by having a switcher in the end of this industry, but be aware that smaller industries seldom have their own switcher.

If that’s not a problem, you can have a switcher here. It can go out on the main line track and pick cars from the passing freight train. In real life, if this is a loading track, you probably want to change position. The loaded car is ready for departure, while the just arriving freight car is the one to be loaded next. Then you have to again pull them out on main, change the order of the cars, and then push them into the siding again.


To solve these problems, you need two more tracks. One is the yard lead. Here you can pull the freight cars out with your switcher. The second additional track is another loading track or a storage track for loaded cars that are ready for departure.

Martin talks about other issues and solutions, so be sure to watch the entire video.

For lots more about trackwork planning, check out Martin’s Essential Considerations for Trackwork Class here on the MRA shop.

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