I was a panelist on a Layout Design Special Interest Group (LDSIG) on the subject of "What would you do differently." There were six of us on the panel. We each had a chance to do a short presentation on our layouts with respect to the above question.
I described the layout space I had available, the layouts I tried to build before the Aquia line, and how the Aquia Line evolved and grew.
I presented a short list of things I would do differently if I was starting over, all from a layout design perspective. I post the list here without elaboration.
- Build an integrated design. The iterative/phased process resulted in sub-optimal design
- 36” Minimum radius with 30” only in alcove
- Longer sidings and longer trains
- Prototype length bridge at Potomac Creek
- Track elevation in accordance with prototype terrain
- Master switch for the layout lighting
- Buy a different house
Finally, I showed a quick sketch track plan of how I would redesign the Aquia Line RR if I were starting from scratch. This was the LDSIG after all. The main difference is that I flipped the railroad. Aquia Landing is in the crew lounge while Falmouth passes the current location of Burnside's Wharf and extends into the home office. Putting Aquia Landing in the crew lounge area allows the track to climb after it leaves the river, just as it does in the prototype.
In this redesign, about 25% of the railroad would require only minor changes from the current plan, but the rest would have extensive rebuilding. This railroad satisfies all the items I listed above. Will I do this? I highly doubt it. But it was a fun exercise.
The LDSIG will make the recorded talk available on line for viewing. I will update this blog with the link when it is available.