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Fun Lover
I've been waking up in the middle of the night thinking about layout design. I know, I need to get a life. But it seems if I am going to design and build a nice layout, I need to figure a way to get staging that makes sense. I also need to plan to be able to break the two sides into modules that can be incorporated into a larger track plan if I decide to go that way. This is N-scale.

First the old plan:


The concept is that I have two double main lines, the one going across the top, and the double main loop. Getting from one main to the other is awkward at best and getting from the straight main to the yard is my version of the time saver using unit trains. But since the way it is set up, I'm using those tracks for staging--Amtrak on the upper left and a coal drag on the upper right. That doesn't matter much.

Now the new:


The red track is now the main. The interchange is more of a convergence/divergence going 3 ways rather than two lines touching and going four ways. The loop is more awkward. Trains can still loop in two directions, but there is some running through turnouts to do it.

It just looks a little more prototypical--like I'm not really planning to run laps. The two tracks heading off left can attach to staging. The advantage is that staging lets right out onto the main or trains can get right into the yard for classification. The first plan couldn't really do that.

I don't like using the scissors crossover--I feel that is almost a modelers cop-out rather than something a prototype would use.

I've gained some space in the yard, without losing anything from the industrial area. I may need to re think the engine service and car repair areas.

I also got the "S" turns eased a little. But I still need a cross-over from the outside main in on the left side of the industrial area, although I can get to the A/D track by backing going out the loop and backing in. But a crossover in that area would mean hand-laying, I'm afraid.

Comments? Suggestions? I still don't feel like it is there.

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