|Survey crews use 30-inch curve templates to see if the plan will fit.|
In preparation for rebuilding and expanding the layout, I sent out the survey crew to see if the latest plan could fit. I case you forget, the plan under consideration is at the right.
The primary objectives of this plan are to increase the radius of the turn back curve at the entrance to the current Falmouth and to extend the layout into the crew lounge. We also want to keep the Crew Lounge as open as possible without having to relocate the couch and TV.
Most of the other layout expansions I have considered make a 90 degree turn at Battery Schaefer and head directly under the stairs and into the crew lounge for simplicity's sake. The area where Falmouth is now would not have any track.
It always bugged me that I was giving up that extra 10 feet of visible mainline run. With only 120 feet in total of mainline, that is a big hit. So, the idea of this plan is to maximize the main line utilizing the wall where Falmouth is now. I would add a 180 degree 30-inch radius turn back curve at Battery Schaefer. The track would run across about 5 feet of tangent, and then enter Stares Tunnel by the room entrance via another 30-inch turn back curve. The half of the turn back curve in the closet would occupy a shelf before it went under the stairs and entered the crew lounge. (In the same general area where the staging yard to PoLA was, but with a much larger radius curve.) Crews could follow their train as it enters Stares Tunnel, pass through the door and then into the crew lounge. The hidden run is a bit longer in this plan, but accessible over most of it.
|New track with Photoshop scenery. The scene creates a pleasing "Ess" curve.|
I would have to move the trestle at Clairborne Creek, or it could be replaced by a larger trestle across the aisle from where it is now, or both. More bridges are better.
There would be a 24-inch choke point in the aisle at the apex of the curve. Hopefully that won't be too much of an issue as the new section is just a through track and not a place where people need to work.
Once the layout enters the crew lounge, this plan has more open-country running on a narrow shelf. It omits the large trestle. The trestle would require so much vertical depth that there would be no headroom under the benchwork for people on the couch. I would like to keep the couch where it is now.
The next step is to prefabricate the benchwork and roadbed for the track that would go in the closet and under the stairs. These would be installed in sections with precise Festool dominos for alignment. I plan to use Atlas O scale flex track on 3/4inch plywood for these sections. On top of the plywood I will add 1/8th-inch plywood with the track centerlines for curves and easements that will be laser engraved. By doing this, I hope to to ensure that this track work is free of kinks and sharp easements. Once that is tested and is "bulletproof, I will install in place and begin the rest of the construction.