July 15, 2012

Union Street Switch District version 2


My objective is to have a long line of guns like
this somewhere on the layout.
We had a mini work session on Saturday with John Drye, Jeff Peck and Christian Peck stopping by to work. John built some artillery using my laser cut kits, cast barrels and wheels. He was able to build 3 guns in about 2 hours. Jeff twisted wires which I later made into a complete tree. Doug Gurin stopped by later to eat some brownies and shoot the breeze.


We also had two new visitors, my colleague from work, Dan Frisk, and his son, Joey. They  stopped by to see the layout and attempt to repair the subwoofer from his stereo. While we had the soldering tools out we also fixed a broken lamp shade of his. Joey at 5 years old was not too impressed with the layout, but he did enjoy watching Clone Wars cartoon on TV. In the meantime we soldered in the new components into Dan's amp but they did not fix the problem. But we were able to fix the lamp shade. What do you want from two mechanical engineering graduates from MIT?

After dinner John and I made some measurements in the basement  and concluded that 18 feet long design in version 1 was just too big for the space I had available. My intent is to be able to set up the Alexandria scene in the media part of the room and use it as an extension of the main layout. The biggest layout that could fit in that space would be an  L shaped 9 by 12. With those dimensions in mind, I set about compressing the first design for the  Union Street Switching District to fit.  See the version 2 plan.



At this point it is more a representational model and not really an exact model of the waterfront. It tries to capture the feel and operation of the RR along the Alexandria waterfront in a space one sixth the length. However,  it does include the key features I want to model such as Pioneer Mills, Wilkes St tunnel, gas works, car ferry and the "urban canyon." The structures along the street will be the strictly freelanced in regard to location, though individual buildings will be based on actual prototypes.
Triple ramps for loading the car ferry at Alexandria

When set up in the basement, the AL&H Staging track will be used. In shows both the O&A and the AL&H staging tracks could be used. These are fiddle tracks that could be possibly hidden behind the backdrop.

Some of you may note that this plan uses a foot print very similar to the HO Alexandria plan I included in an article for RMJ in October 2002. You can find an on-line copy of that article here.

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