Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Layout Progress as of 2/18/2009

This week I completed the track arrangements in the Emerson area of the layout. In the previous post, I described how I came up with the final track arrangements along the south end of the Emerson passing siding. This post shows the track arrangements along the north end of the Emerson passing siding, which is where the actual town of Emerson is located. All of these new track arrangements are represented on the latest version of the CSX Dixie Line track plan.

North End Emerson

As with the South End Emerson area, I used a single layer of 3/4" blue foam over the top of the benchwork to use as a sandbox for experimenting with various track arrangements. I used two 8 foot long lengths of 1" wide strips of 1/8" thick Masonite to form a long spline that I used to locate the mainline in Emerson.

This photo shows the spline placed where the mainline will be located through Emerson, with the siding in the middle (with the train on it in the distance) and the house track to the right:

This was actually the first experiment I tried while attempting to find the best location for the house track turnout. Thanks to great feedback from the N-scale community at TrainBoard, I ended up moving the turnout farther back so it would fall along the straight section in the middle of the S-curve in the distance:

This is the same area looking in the other direction (north). You can see the turnout for the north end of the Emerson passing siding in the distance just before the track crosses the gate across the entrance to the train room:

Here is a great example of the benefit of doing these track mockups on foam. The track is held in place using T-pins, so it is very easy to move things around and try different arrangements. I was not happy with the location of the turnout at the north end of the Emerson passing siding so I moved it farther south towards the actual town. Here is a look at the relocated turnout (the house track has been removed to keep things simple):

In the above photo, there will be a street crossing the tracks at grade halfway between the turnout and the row of houses, or right about where the seam is between the two pieces of blue foam. Here is a prototype photo that I took while standing on this grade crossing looking north towards the turnout:

I think the reworked track arrangement does a good job of matching this prototype scene. Here is another view of the reworked track looking south, with a coal train sitting on the siding strung out under the US 41 overpass:

And finally a prototype photo taken from about the same location as the previous layout photo. Notice the tracks pass through a cut where the overpass crosses over: