Tuesday, January 17, 2012

0014 Savannah Central - Not Enough Room! Never Enough Room!

I'm still working on the aisle widths.  Seems like everything I do just moves the problem somewhere else.  Tonight, let's try again.

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.

We'll start over with drawing 138, and call it 140.  Back to square one before we started the changes.  Just for kicks, let's see what happens when we shrink the radius from 24" to 22",  the other option is to move the bookcases out of the room but I have no idea where we can put them.  I have to keep my books out.

 I changed the radius of the loop from 24" to 22" by selecting it and typing in 22".  You can see that it significantly shrank the loop by 4".  However, the 1.5' aisle is still on the left.

I bumped the loop back a little and now I have aisle widths that are acceptable.  Unfortunately I had to go with 22" radius which is very tight, the largest used on a 4x8 layout.  We'll do this for now until I can find a place for the bookshelves.

3.  Very long scenic divider which is hard to build for easy removal
Scenic dividers are great for permanent layouts, but they are a pain for portables that are double sided.  Keeping the layout "sincere" which means running the track through a scene only once is very important to me.  There are no mountains in this part of Georgia so let's look at building either a low profile backdrop or one that is removable.

I think I'll leave them as they are.  There won't be mountains as this is flat river land.  I'll make them interconnect so that they can be removed.  The scenic divider is required to make the layout look longer.

4.  Large blobs make it more complicated to produce a movable layout
The width of the blob with fascia will be about 4 1/2 feet wide.  This has to fit up the stairs which are 4 feet wide.  Bit of a problem.  Here are some ideas: build it in two separate sections, build the top so that it comes off, check for other ways to take it out.

The new blob loop is now only 3 1/2' wide, so that is not a problem.  Right now I'm seeing the layout in 5 pieces: two blobs, two bends and one long port section.  Don't think this is a problem as long as I keep the sections to 5 or 6 feet long.

5.  Passing sidings on curves require custom track work to look right and fail the "keep it simple" motto.
I'm not interested in building custom curved turnouts  The passing siding by the fireplace (a cotton knitting mill will go here, plus these are interchange tracks) could move down to the straight area right below.  Or I could put in a three track dead end yard.  The passing siding by the turntable just needs to be big enough for locos to pass each other, so maybe we can straighten it out.

Ok, one passing siding on the left hand blob cured itself.   The distance between the curves keeps the "S" curve from really bothering us.  The siding is six feet long, plenty enough for this small layout.  So let's go work on the right hand blob.

I redrew this on with a curved turnout and the next turnout off the main line.  The gave me a nice passing siding and third track.  We can hold 15 each 40' cars on this siding so that is way more than enough.  We can exchange two 7 car trains if needed.  This will make for a nice doubled ended interchange.

I'm tired...more later.


  1. Scott,

    What about converting the blobs to "Bellinadrops"? See http://www.housatonicrr.com/bellinadrop.html.

    It could reduce the diameters of the blobs as well as breaking up the scenes more.


  2. Great suggestion Barry! I'm not a big fan of foredrops or "Ballinadrops". They significantly reduce your view of the scenery and are really intended to affect operators, not viewers of the layout. They actually increase the size of the blob, not shrink it. To me, they are just in the way. Keep those ideas coming, though!


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