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I'm really liking the base concept. Tonight I poured through design planning books to see if there was another design that I liked better.
Here's what I see that I like:
1. Long mainline, much longer that a stretched 4x8 plan.
2. Good view blocks which make it appear even longer
3. Blobs make a good place for large cotton mills and gins
4. You enter the room and can walk into the layout
5. The fireplace is not blocked and is a safe distance away
6. One really long siding in the middle of the run
7. Nice long siding for the pier and cotton exchange flat models
8. Aisles are two feet wide or wider and plenty of room to move
9. Continuous run option doubles as a bridge line interchange on both sides
10. Very little grade anywhere, flat like the deep south
Here's what I'm not liking:
1. Narrow shelf in the middle section limits scenery and structures
2. Would like the port shelf to be a bit deeper
3. Very long scenic divider which is hard to build for easy removal
4. Large blobs make it more complicated to produce a movable layout
5. Passing sidings on curves require custom track work to look right and fail the "keep it simple" motto.
6. Missing hidden staging
7. Turntable, required for turning steam. Source of problems.
8. Fireplace hearth is 2" high and is a trip hazard
9. Two problematic S curves
10. Too much track within 2" of the fascia
So what I'll do is take the things I don't like and try to eliminate them. Then I'll take the things I love about the layout and improve them.