Tuesday, December 30, 2014

So Where Do We Go From Here?

The bin is now full of old layout.
The new layout design phase begins. Don't want to rush into this too quickly mind you. Technically we don't own the new house yet. We have to sell this one first. Conditionally offer don't ya know. But I feel positive.
I thought I'd share a few thoughts with you as I consider my options for the new layout.
Things I don't want;
Duckunders. I prefer comfort and it'll save my back when I standup too quickly when passing under.

Helix. I found that the helix on the old layout skewed the running times between stations. The longest run on the layout was the helix, and that was just not fun.

Things I do want;
2 level layout. I like the long mainline runs that I can get. I like looking at my trains.

Narrow benchwork. Single track mainline scenes only need be about 8-10 inches deep. Anything more is eyecandy.

2 7-8 track staging yards at each end. For flexibility in scheduling trains, the dispatcher can't be worried about whether or not there's an empty staging track available.

The wye at Jarvis. I came to realize that ops will be so much simpler if I just make that happen. Keep the 0-5-0 away except for emergencies.

These lists will grow and amend as time progresses, but it's a starting point. Trevor Marshall and I have already had a couple of good conversations about what we can do with the space that I may have, and a basic layout configuration is growing.
We've been looking at a large "island" design that is off of the walls completely. That will allow me to take full advantage of the basement access to the garage, and eliminate any need for duckunders.
A quick scale drawing suggests that I'll have enough running length  between towns to climb between levels without a helix.
I'll be exploring some of the newer LED lighting systems for illuminating portions of the lower levels.
Some things will remain the same.
The prototype. The Wabash in Ontario. I have no special connection to the Wabash. It's just that the operation here in Ontario is perfect for what I want to do. Timetable and Train Order operations with lots of opportunities to show off my freight cars.
Handlaid track. I like the look and the wallet appreciates the consideration. My buddy Tim Warris of Fast Tracks has made it so simple now. There's no good reason not to.

I've been considering backdrops. Lots of press has been devoted to photo backdrops of late. And they are spectacular to behold. But for me I find them a distraction. Trevor employs a simple cloth backdrop of a blue/grey tone and it really works for me. It's a neutral tone that your brain says "don't look at me". I really like the effect. I'm leaning towards a simple Hardboard backdrop, painted a blue-grey.

If this all comes together there will be some novel construction employed to make this work. Be sure that I'll be sharing this as we progress.
Step one. Sell this house.


Anonymous said...

One door closes, another opens.


Ted DiIorio said...


If you build a helix again consider doing a backbone style one. Because alternate loops are exposed and can become part of the operation. One of my loops has the town of Yoe PA. with a station stop and a team track while the other exposed loop contains a passing siding.

Good luck on your new endeavor.

Ted DiIorio

E-Mann said...

I have found one layout build greatly influences another, especially with factors you don't want to repeat. It seems you are already on your way down the design path. Keep it simple and enjoy the ride! - Eric

Rich S said...

A style to consider is the so-called continuous helix, wrapping all the way around the room with a consistent separation between decks. Two levels and no actual looping helix.

Adapts well to the prototype if there's a prevailing elevation change in one direction.

Bill Darnaby's Maumee route or Tony Koester's Nickel Plate are two notable examples.