The wife has a new sewing machine so she is sitting just a few feet away working on learning to operate it. I like it when she is close by, and the Christmas Music is playing. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I've got a cup of Hot Russian Tea going and the little ones are sound to sleep. What a great time of the day...for track planning!
Atlanta Road is running through a turnout, and though prototypically possible, is probably unlikely. I try not to put things that are prototypically possible but unlikely on the railroad because it makes it less believable, even though it could happen. Let's move the road a bit.
First, I take the curvy road and just slide it over. The curvy road doesn't look much like a major highway to Atlanta, and the prototype is a very straight road. Let's change it.
Here we have a straight road and have renamed it to a more prototypical "Atlanta Highway" which truly exists, although not this small. The road moving to the angle against the backdrop can be slightly tapered toward the back to give it a forced perspective of being longer than it really is. Road crew is done!
One thing you have to remember is the proper care and feeding of locomotives. We had steam before and they have limited water, coal and sand. But now we have a diesel, so we have to feed it, too. Near the service building we'll lengthen the retaining wall, and add a small sand shed (for bags of sand) and a fuel oil tank and piping. Diesels don't eat much.
Typing this made me realize that we need another coal/water/sand station on the line, so I'll go add that as well.
I started doing a grade check and realized that I had left out something important. The Atlanta Highway is and underpass in relation to the railroad. This will require a bridge, which I need for my AP Structures. The track will be about 4.5" high here.
Sometimes 3rd Plan It will move objects to the front, and sometimes not. The bridge outline that I drew won't move, so the road eats the drawing. Either way, I know it is there. This will be a through plate girder bridge with the railroad's name on it, as is so common. One issue is that TWO sets of switch points are going to be on that bridge. Again, while prototypical possible, still undesirable.
What we'll have to do is to move the turnouts apart. There are some mechanical reasons for doing this. One, the turnout points are too close anyway, even for a bridge, and tend to cause derailments. I prefer nine inches, as does my wife, between the points as a minimum. Two, switch points require frequent repair and that is hard to do on a bridge. Three, you need to be able to THROW the switch, and the bridge knocks out Caboose Ind. throws and under layout switch machines. It is just setting us up for trouble.
Here I have moved the cotton field siding so that the points are past the bridge. I didn't lose much by doing this, so it is ok.
While I hate shortening an already short siding, it is mandatory in this case. I moved it so that there is nine inches of track between the points of both turnouts. There! Much better!
Layout design means spending hours going through the layout plan from different points of view. Each point of view makes you think of how it will work. For instants, I'll look at the plan from an engineer's point of view in moving trains, then a scenery point of view, then a construction point of view, then maintenance, photography and operations points of view. This prevents mistakes requiring the ripping out and reconstruction of the layout. Yup...you HAVE to do this.