June 16, 2010

Another Version of the Harbor at Aquia Landing

Here is another possible idea for the harbor area. This plan, version 2B, is a redesign of version 2A that doesn't expand into the main basement room. It utilizes a six inch wide pier along the backdrop to represent Burnside Wharf. A large paddle wheel steamer would be docked in front of the wharf. It's job is to look cool and hide any hole in the wall to staging (see below). A second large ship would be painted on the backdrop behind the pier. The pier would help hide the water-to-wall transition. The main draw back of this plan version is that it could be difficult to reach this track to couple up cars, especially cars all the way in the corner.

It would be possible to punch a hole in the lower wall and run the Burnside Wharf track into the closet on the other side of the wall. This would allow access to the cars if one would walk around to the closet. This plan has more operational possibilities than 2A, but not as much as the version 3.

The larger paddle wheel steamer would help hide the hole in the wall. The steamship Maple Leaf had a two deck superstructure which should be tall enough to do the "hiding" job.

I could omit the car float and assume it is on Burnside wharf in staging, since I haven't been able to find out where the float bridge really was. That would lengthen the tracks on the forward pier and make room for other ships.

I envision operations in this design to work like this. The pier tracks act as visible staging. The yard switcher in Aquia would retrieve cars from the piers and sort them onto trains to take to the various stations. There aren't any real "industry" tracks in Aquia. It might be worth trying to figure out where to fit one or two to make the Aquia switching job more interesting. Version 3 has that. Perhaps a stub siding could be fit into the area to the right of the turntable. Even without the additional length of staging in the closet, the pier is long enough to hold a full length train.

Hmmm.... here is a sketch showing what this design might look like. The track in the back pier is hard to see with the ships and buildings blocking the view. It really is just a not-so visible staging track.


  1. AnonymousJune 17, 2010

    My 2cts is; This 2b plan is a good example of less can be more. More enjoyable for your visitors as there will be less stuff competing for attention and probably more enjoyable for you as the modeler as it is more do-able. Those boats are going take a huge investment of your time to build but, the pay-off should be worth it. All though you do get a lot done in a short amount of time you might enjoy the process a bit more if the summit was a bit lower. The hidden staging is a good idea as it would allow you to support more operation than just the visible industry. Finally, please round off those background corners :-).

    Bob Harris

  2. My brother stopped by tonight. We played around with mockups. He likes having the additional wharf along the back. It changes the focus of the scene from a model ship diorama back to an operating layout. We pretty much agreed that we don't gain much by extending the Burnside Wharf into the closet. He suggested a structure at the end of the pier, but the photos of Burnside Wharf don't show any, so I prefer to go with docked ships. Now it's time to figure out the final configuration of turnouts, sidings, curve radii.