While researching the Vancouver area I’ve found a couple of examples of shared transloading docks like this now defunct example in the Marpole neighbourhood.
Marpole Spur East by Chris City – Own work, Used with permission, View Image
Presumably shared docks like this gave any of the nearby industries without dedicated spurs the opportunity to have a car spotted at the dock for loading or unloading of goods.
Although it’s even more rudimentary than the Marpole example above (it doesn’t even have a roof) there is a transload dock on Annacis Island too…
The Annacis Island transload dock can be found on this short spur on the Western end of the Island. I’m guessing it once served the industrial buildings just to the south of the tracks:
Here’s a Google Streetview image of the spur and the now overgrown transload ramp taken from the crossing on Ebury Place:
Although it’s quite a short spur if you were to model it accurately it would take up two modules and the joint between them would fall right in the middle of the scene/transload dock. That’s not ideal but perhaps if the transload ramp was a drop-in item it wouldn’t be too difficult to disguise the join:
Another option would be to squeeze the transload ramp onto a single module (shown in green) but that doesn’t really leave much room to create any of the scenic areas that would be needed to blend with adjoining modules. I’d be tempted to go for the first option but either could work with a bit of selective compression.
For such a simple piece of trackwork, spotting cars at this transloading ramp could actually quite interesting. A car to be spotted (let’s call it Car A) would have to be cut from the rest of the train at the junction to the East and then brought along the spur behind the locomotive so it could be pushed back onto the ramp track. Simple enough, but what if there is already a car present?
Let’s imagine that there is a loaded car (Car B) at the transload ramp that is ready to go when we come to spot ‘Car A’. We’d have to cut ‘Car A’ from the rest of the train at the junction, bring it along the spur and push back to the ramp as above but this time ‘Car B’ would be coupled to ‘Car A’ before being taken back to the rest of the train at the junction. ‘Car B’ can then be disconnected from ‘Car A’ which is then taken back and spotted at the ramp. There’s even more variations if you make the transload ramp big enough for two cars!
If that’s not enough and you wanted to create even more operational interest you could bring one of the buildings at the end of the spur right up to the edge of the tracks and add a loading door. Not only do you get another industry to spot cars at but now you’ve got another car you might need to move out of the way before spotting anything at the transload ramp.
Interesting stuff for such a simple structure and trackplan.