Riverstreet, Savannah, GA
Let's finish the 10 item list of things I don't like about the layout and see if we can solve them.
6. Missing hidden staging
I didn't plan any hidden or visible staging for trains on the layout. This may be a problem. I'm changing my mind for this to be a bridge railroad between the Atlantic Coast Line and the Southern Railway. It would be a more interesting running railroad if it had more traffic. We'll look at this.
7. Turntable, required for turning steam. Source of problems.
Honestly I hate turntables. They are a maintenance nightmare. The are prone to frequent breakdowns, dirt and electrical conductivity problems. The best ones are scratchbuilt. AP rules say I have to put in a system for turning locos which is pretty much a turntable, wye or loop. Maybe we should look at a loop. One good thing is that a turntable counts as a structure, which I need for AP Structures. I'll look at putting a loop on the layout, but don't want to back off of the turntable just yet. Maybe do both.
8. Fireplace hearth is 2" high and is a trip hazard
My friend Bob has a fabulous Union Pacific layout. There's only one problem with it. Near the Green River yard there is an extension of the fireplace that comes out into the aisle that is about 3/4 of a brick high. Guess who trips over it even though I know it is there. This happens often. Once I clean out the basement I'll take a look at how dangerous it is.
9. Two problematic S curves
10. Too much track within 2" of the fascia
My philosophy on model railroads is that track to scenery ratios need to be very low, "sincere" and look less like modern operating layouts. One trick is to NOT run the track along the edge of the fascia as it makes it look toyish and more like a slot car track. I need to put more that 2" of scenery on the front of most of the layout so I will work on pushing the track back.
Ok...next session, we fix the 10 problems, then go look for 10 more.
Oh, here is an update of the layout parameters that I will updated once every couple of weeks or after major changes.
Savannah Central Layout Parameters
Name: The Savannah Central Railway
Scale: HO 1:87
Gauge: Standard 4' 8 1/2"
Dimensions: 12’ x 14’
Prototype: Freelanced, based on Southern
Theme: Late 1940's cotton and textile hauling
Railroad's Purpose: Move cotton from the fields through finished textile stages and export
Layout Purpose: Complete NMRA AP Program requirements for Civil, Electrical, Structures & Scenery
Location: East to Southeast Georgia
Era: Late 1940's
Style: Point to Point with Continuous Run Option
Train Length (max): 8 cars + steam loco
Min Radius: 24" min radius
Min Turnout: #5
Distance Between Tie Centers: 2 ¼”
Ruling Grade: 2.0%
Aisles: 24” minimum
Control: Digitrax DCC or equivalent
Track: Walthers code 83, some turnouts manual throw for realism and more complex operations.
Other: Waterways removable for "off layout construction"