August 13, 2016

Track Plans Galore

I have been catching up on some promised tasks. Two of those tasks are helping friends design their layouts. Yes, I love track planning.

First is Marty McGuirk. He has reconfigured his layout again and wanted advice on how to fit the Essex wye in his revised layout. I had drawn a few iterations of this before, so this version in probably the fourth or fifth way we have tried to fit Essex in his house. The sketch in the upper left is a lift from an earlier draft.

His initial reaction to the latest draft was not positive, so we will see how he develops it.

The second plan is for Brian Brendel. He is a good buddy that moved from Northern Virginia to Utah. His new house is a dream home just off Weber Canyon about half a mile from the UP Transcon mainline. We call it "Schloss Brendel" as it is a stone covered beauty in the mountains.

He has a HUGE basement, but is devoting only (!) about 800 square feet to his new N scale layout.  The theme is east coast mountain railroading.  Brian had a couple similar layouts when he lived in Northern Virginia.  These photos are from one of his earlier layouts.

Brian about 20 years ago in his Manassas layout
He has started the benchwork on the new layout. My job was to help him figure out what to put on the benchwork. Knowing Brian and what he likes, I came up with this plan based on the C&O Mountain Subdivision. Brain, Matt Schaefer, Jeff Peck, I, and the kids used to model this region in oNeTRAK models. We have many fond memories of trips to this area and  taking modules to shows..

The new plan is selectively compressed to run from the paper mill at Covington  to Crozet. Brian had been building Crozet in his last layout, so it is a natural to include it. He also had a oNeTRAK module with the Blue Ridge Tunnel, so I included that too.

The brass bridge at JD cabin
The part of this plan I like the best is how JD cabin and the split from the Mountain and James River sub divisions are included in the design. Several years ago I scratch built the bridge over the James River at this location using photo etched brass. When I no longer had a need for it I gave to Brian. With this plan he has the perfect place for it!



Brian and Michele stayed at the Hummingbird Inn in Goshen several times, so we had to get that on the layout.

The N&W interchange in Waynesboro is freelanced to fit the space. In this design, the N&W switcher will come out of staging and work the interchange. So it will be a fun job.  I should mention that Brian is getting into operations now that he lives in Uah and has met several of the serious operators that live out there. So his layout has to include loops for continuous running and good operation potential for the local operators.

 So here is the draft plan. It will be interesting to see how it evolves.





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