Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Modular Philosophy for the Future

My current layout design philosophy is to build multiple lightweight 2 x 4 foot and 2 x 6 foot modules that can be taken apart and stored as needed as they will have to share my current or future downsized living space. 

My current decrepit layout is a 2 x 11 foot Celotex "board" 20 year old "test" track that is supported on TV tray tables and 1 inch X 2 inch supporting boards.  This is in dire need of replacement.  

I currently plan (maybe it is just a dream) to build three separate sets of modules:

  • A UK based representation (as is my current 2 x 11) of  the North Cornwall Padstow/Padstein UK terminal. I will have to add a removable extension for the long clay loading dock sheltering the fishing dock. This is 4 mm scale with HO track and frozen in time in the summer of 1947 before nationalization. I am awaiting new bullhead rail points/switches/turnouts from Peco that should start appearing later this year to begin. Connection with the two US modules would be intermittent and require renegotiation of  a dubious postwar lend lease arrangement.

  • A representation of the Walnut Creek SP Depot area on the San Ramon valley branch line 1947-54 with it's simple track plan. This is planned as a stage for detailed scratch built structures. The central structure, the 1890's depot and freight house building has been mocked to scale up from mat-board.  This depot is really a train order station as passenger service was discontinued by 1920. Rail fan excursions are allowed and will give me a reason to run Harriman style coaches. Even SP #10 the 1954 Rail Diesel Car will be allowed in excursion service.

  • A PFE Icing Dock about 1950-1954 centered series of modules with packing plants as the backdrop.  I have an strong interest in PFE ice cars and this module would allow display of my growing collection of kit, kitbash and RTR PFE cars. This may or may not connect to Walnut creek which in my modeling era had little or no reefer traffic originating, as a destination or through traffic.
In addition I would need staging/fiddle yard modules to allow operation.

I have not had much luck using the available free layout design software packages so no proposed track plans are currently available. 

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