June 9, 2010

We're Gunna Need a Bigger Boat!

As we depart for a trip to Canada to see the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, I thought I post a drawing of a potential expansion of the track plan for your consideration.

This plan shows an idea I've been bouncing around for a couple months. The large size of the ships making the current harbor looked cramped is pushing me to it. It also affords more operation at Aquia Landing.

It expands the Aquia Landing area by about 60 percent in running distance, but more than doubles the surface area. It allows for more switching in Aquia Landing by having a representation of Burnside Wharf and a Quartermaster Track in the landing area. It also allows for more room for ship models, as some of these are quite big.

The expansion area in the basement is a dead zone, a 10 by 10 feet space that is essentially a connecting room for the workshop, bathroom, utility closet and my office (not shown - the opening in the wall by Burnside Wharf leads to my home office.). I use this area as a studio for photos and other things, but mostly is a large hall like area. This plan leaves ample aisles around the harbor scene. The bench work would be extremely simple as the expansion is just a flat table.

Thanks to a tip from a person on a ship modeling site, I found a web site with free paper models for several of the ships I was planning for the layout. These plans should be sufficient to allow me to build waterline models of the Couer de Lion, Maple Leaf and the tugs. I have other plans for Water Witch or Harriet Lane, a large paddle wheel, sailing ships. One of those would be docked at deep water Burnside Wharf.

There is enough work here to keep a person busy for many months just building ships.
Something to think and comment about as we are gone for a couple days.


  1. Enjoy the race! Go Button!

  2. Alicia had an interesting comment on the expansion plan. She suggested only using the portion of the room against the wall, the area I call Burnside wharf in the expansion plan. This would limit the protrusion of the layout into the main room and leave space for ocassional other projects. I will think about this and do a revised drawing when I get back to the US.

    For many years I had a modular layout set up in that space, so I know that a plan based on her suggestion will have minimal impact as far as room dynamics goes. The question is, will the Yuba Dam extension be too dominant for the rest of the room?
    Would a smaller Yuba dam section, say 8 or 6 feet long be more acceptable?

  3. AnonymousJune 14, 2010

    It looks like you found the same problem I did;
    That since all trains start and end their movement in the port the length of a train is 1/3 the total capacity of the port. so, for example, for a 10 car train you would need a port with 10 car spot and industries with 10 car spots. But then you would need to switch every spot every time. To get a verity of movement you have to increase the number of your industries. I found this out the hard way, after building most of my layout. Then I did mock runs and found out my port area was way too small.

    Bob Harris

  4. Bob,
    I wasn't as concerned with the operation as I was with scenic crowding, but I agree that the expanded plan is operationally more interesting.