My new friend Thayne,who, like his name, looks like a big Viking lives just about two blocks from my house. He's got a layout room and needs a friend to design the trackwork. Over a Bourbon and Coke we discussed some ideas and a basic concept for the layout. We'll post the progress on the blog here so that you can follow along.
Thayne is in a hurry...like all of us that enjoy the hobby and work too much. So he already has his benchwork installed. Now, before you start going "no, that's not how you do it!" let me tell you. The room is 20' x 8' and he would like to model HO in modern day. There just isn't much you can do with that, so his benchwork design was per-determined before the layout design started. To be frank, I'd rather work with someone that is excited and building than someone sitting around and looking at an empty room.
Initial Measurements - Click to Enlarge
Between sips we started measuring around the layout room. This is a loft room which is nice and warm during Utah's cold winter. The area is open for good ventilation and it has skylights. There are two obstructions that we need to be careful with; one being a small access door and another being the angled roof on the back wall. We'll denote these on the drawing. Sorry, but I didn't get photographs. I will carry the camera next time.
Initial 3rd Plan It Room Drawing - Click to Enlarge
After discussing the layout design and Thayne's wants and needs, I came back to the house and laid out the walls on 3rd Plan It. It is very simple to draw, so it took very little time.
We talked about the main line. He wants to run big, modern UP locos and long trains. A "bowling alley" layout like this is good because you have room for broad curves and long runs, along with a long yard. My first thought is an over and under, twice around with a long yard and a staging yard hidden away.
Other things Thayne would like to have is a large city, a power plant, a coal mine to feed the plant and an old, industrial switching area. Looking around the Union Pacific and talking with my friend Fred Baney of the UP Historical Society, my thought is to model Portland, Oregon. There are scenic mountains, a nice size city, a river going through town, lots of switching. There is the Boardman Power Plant owned by Portland General Electric that is north of Portland and is coal fired. The coal comes from the Powder River Basin, so we could add that too. Somehow we always work it in. These are big industries so they will most likely be relief buildings on the wall.
I'll add the dimensions to the layout this weekend and we'll start the track plan soon!