So we made a list of the 10 things that are wrong with the plan and we are going to fix them today, or at least try. Some things you can't fix, so you have to decide if it is a deal killer or not. Once we get these things fixed we'll make another pass through the layout and then turn it over to the LDSIG group and let them check out the plan and provide feedback. If you aren't a member of the LDSIG and lack to track plan, you should join. They are a bunch of great guys (except the few NMRA bashers that rise up once in a while) and are usually very helpful. Their quarterly publication (published by Byron Henderson) is incredible.
Before we get started let's draw in major hazard and issue #11. I forgot that this room has a very low light switch that is directly in the way of the port.
The top of the room's light switch if 27" from the doorway and 44" high to the top of the switch plate. It could NOT have been in a worse condition. My priorities prohibit moving it as we may not stay in this house, so we have to work around it. Some solutions are:
1. Build over it at 45" high
2. Build below it at 40" and put a building in front (wife won't like that)
3. Move the switch (money, time, electrician which I'm not having good luck with
4. Move the switch to the front of the layout....Hey! I like that idea!
We'll decide later, but for now I'm going with 45" high benchwork here. Because I want my daughter to participate, I'm keeping the benchwork lower than I would normally. I'm 6'2" so I like it around 48" to 50" so that I don't have to hunch down. We'll make this layout 42" normally and 45" at the port. This means the Port track will be on an include coming OVER the loop, which will have to decline slightly.
1. Narrow shelf in the middle section limits scenery and structures
The area in the red circle is barely a foot wide. That means it is about 6" on each side. This is hardly enough for trees or flat scenery. It can be done, but its not going to look very good. Widening it will shrink the aisle on the bookcase side. Widening on the other side will mess up the 24" radius curves. Hey! Here is a radical idea! If you can't have a good scene on either side, why not overlap the two levels and have one good scene and the other track goes below? We'll play with that idea.
2. Would like the port shelf to be a bit deeper
My thoughts were to model Savannah's famous River Street. It is a line of large cotton exchange warehouses along a brick (ballast stone) roadway. The track is imbedded in the ballast stone road, dwarfed on one side by the old brick warehouses and the river is on the other side. The point at the top of the blob below must stay at 2 feet. So maybe we can round the port area and widen both sides to give more room. Put a small flat building in that narrow spot.
This is where we now have to navigate for the lightswitch. So here is a lesson: room dimensions are 3D, not 2D. Measure and place everything on the track plan. Especially watch for hazards such as fire, electricity, flammable materials and water lines.
Throw this solution out. Time for bed. Night ya'll.