Staging is important for ANY layout...even a small one. The generation and shipping of rail traffic give purpose and business to the layout, and makes for good operations. My original thought was to use the hidden loop (reversing loop) as staging for a Southern train that would come in and drop/pick railcars. However, that is just not enough. We need more staging! Let's kick around some ideas.
The area near the back drop on the lowest level is wide open, and could easily house another track or two. I loved Bob Wheeler's cassette system for loading trains on to the layout, so let's play with that idea as well. First, let's put in a turnout on the loop.
Here I've run a long track under the upper level of the layout. It would be easy to access for repairs from underneath. Then I put a cassette in the hallway. There is another wall out there that is not on the plan that could hold a bracket for the other side of the cassette. The cassettes would be about three feet long. Bob used cassettes that were about six feet long, but to me they were a bit difficult to move and I don't want trains hitting the floor. Besides, we are in the 1940's and the trains are small.
Another idea is to move the cassette to the front of the layout where the operator can also use it as a fiddle yard. The problem here is that we'd have to raise all the trackage by 4" in order to get this loading track underneath, and it would be on an incline.
I could make the cassette loading station a swing out, keeping it out of the way. I like this idea!
Still, the best and easiest is to put it along the backdrop. I re-drew the plan and cleaned it up.
I still may change some of this, but for now I need to go install the backdrop.