Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Ahah Moment

Not too long after I published the last post, I had a "thinking moment" in my typical place of study. To verify, I went downstairs and looked at two thins. First, home much room did I really have around the water heater and two, where were the posts that held up the stairs located. The answer to the first was I had as much room as I'd need to run one or two tracks around the water heater. with it's radius at 20", I knew I'd be ok building benchwork around it as if we need to replace it, we could also get a short one, whose height is 48-52". The second find was that there are two posts that hold up the stairs, one at the end of the box, the other right next to the support post that is next to the stairs. With this information, I could run the line between these two posts and not worry about pinching a blob too much or altering the benchwork run as well.

The real ahah moment came while I was reading the LDJ I received when I first joined the Layout Design Sig (don't think there's been one since). I had mentioned before, but I really liked Mark Lestico's plan, which was detailed in this LDJ. In it, Mark has a dispatchers office with a window in it that allows the dispatcher to view trains entering and leaving the two yards. The other item, which is where the moment in question came from, was the entrance to the layout came from this dispatchers area. I had been trying to get the entrance of the layout into the end or side of a peninsula as opposed to opposite a blob area. Realizing I couldn't take the benchwork much past the the little alcove on the right of my basement, that this would be a perfect place for a small dispatchers area and it would allow a larger, i.e., 36" entrance to the layout room. I could also have drawers, desk, other storage in this small area. The refrigerator wouldn't be blocked as it would just sit closer to the water meter. By looping the connection between the visible staging yard and the main yard area around the water heater, I'd gain the lenght of run I want plus the length of train, or closer to it. All of this resulted in a base plan that looks like:
From Conrail Harrisburg Line - N Scale

In this plan, I'd put the yard on the left wall and select small industrial areas to model. I'm also leaning towards doing more of a freelance road now, but if I can create named places along the Harrisburg line that gets me some industries, then I will do that. Right now, I can only see 3 really good switching areas on the plan, maybe a fourth if I can squeeze it in, but there's going to be some nice running through scenery as well.

The benchwork layout is 15" shelf, 30-34" aisle, 15" shelf. I haven't decided how the outside, agains tthe wall shelfs will be constructed. I'm tempted not to frame out the basement walls due to the fact we also have a french drain around the perimeter which would make any framing not be snug against the block wall. I've also though of 2x2s directly into the block wall, but we'll see. So I'm going to work with this base from here on out and see what I can do from a track flow, town locatio perspective.


nolatron said...

I like the new base you got. Clean and simple track line, plenty of mainline run, and now space for desk/work area in the room too. Looking forward to seeing this evolve.

Phil D said...

Thanks, I've been working the last few days on industry placements. I've got a yard that's "generic" in its nature, but has the flavor of Harrisburg and the station itself is set. It's more how much of Hershey's complexes can I represent and what that does to the rest of the LDEs I'd like to have.

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