A few considerations - will your planned station be a stub-end "terminal" station (prototype examples would be New York's Grand Central Station or Boston's South Station), or a through station with trains just passing through (New York's Pennsylvania Station), or a combination of both (Washinton DC's Union Station)
I used to belong to a large O-scale (2-rail DC) club which had both,
but the most impressive station on the layout was roughly modeled after Cleveland's Union Terminal, & was of the stub-end variety. The layout was large enough that an operating session typically required a minimum
of 7 people, usually operating the mainline board & individual yards or branchlines. (This was long before DCC came along!
). One of the operating positions (which I frequently enjoyed
) was running this large passenger terminal; it had at least 5 passenger platform tracks,
a separate coach yard of at least 4 tracks, a dedicated track for baggage / mail / express reefer cars, & a connecting track to a large nearby engine terminal with separate steam (5-stall roundhouse & turntable) & diesel service facilites. (The engine facilities themselves were a separate operator's position).
We ran a "scheduled" (I use the term very loosely here!
) list of trains; all passenger trains originated & terminated at this station.
Using a yard switcher, I would haul the coaches for a given passenger train consist from the coach yard, & spot them at an appropriate (usually determined by train length) platform; I'd then request the engine terminal operator to send over the usual steam or diesel loco normally assigned to that train. (The connecting lead to the engine terminal had a block transfer toggle switch nearby so the engine terminal & passenger station operators could "hand off" control of a loco between the 2 control panels - again, this was pre-DCC
Knowing by the "schedule" what planned arrivals & departures were due for a given operating session, I would try to have trains planned for departure made up well before "departure time"
; at the same time making sure I left appropriate "inbound" tracks available to receive "arrivals". We had several "through" trains (including my own, the PRR "Broadway Limited"
, hauled by either a K4s steamer or an EMD PRR E8 diesel) , commuter & local trains, RDC's or gas/electric "doodlebugs", & dedicated mail / baggage & "milk" trains. As in the case of the engine terminal, control of inbound & outbound trains was via a manual block transfer switch with either the mainline operator or one of our adjacent major through terminals. In practice, this made for fascinating
operating sessions - things could get very
- From what I've been reading of your plans though, not certain if this style operation is what you want - I get the impression you're leaning more towards an automated display layout. A through-style station would be might be more appropriate in your case. The station platforms do not necessarily have to equal train length
- even in the prototype, if a long passenger train was stopping at a station with a relatively short platform, the engineer would usually try to stop with either the train centered
at the platform, or if there was a lot of "head-end" baggage or express to be handled, with the baggage car at least adjacent to the platform
to permit relatively easy baggage loading / unloading. I can't think of many large American stations which specifically had glass-roofed train sheds
- Boston's South Station was originally constructed with a massive steel-roofed trainshed
@ 1900; by the 1930's, the structure had been so corroded & weakened
by locomotive smoke & the nearby salt air from Boston Harbor that it was demolished & replaced with "butterfly" platforms. I think (& I may be wrong on this & invite correction
) that glass-roofed trainsheds were largely a European
This was probably more than you wanted to know
, but I wanted to give you a bit of insight into some of the variety of operation available in passenger stations. Tom