I'm rumbling along through the layout redesign and planning. While it's a fun project, it's a painful one when I start thinking about where I was and where I am now. Ouch. :)
However, I hope that what I have going will be an improvement. I'm liking it so far.
I started with looking at my curves. Yeah, they needed to change if I was going to run longer trains. So...out with the old.
|The new, larger train friendly curve|
|Track and station: OUT! :(|
I did some fancy footwork and plotting to see what could stay and what needed to go. Turns out I yanked up over 80% of my track. I'm looking at this as a good thing - making more of an effort to place it properly and make sure it's working BEFORE bolting everything down.
|The Soyokaze Hill section at the top will be moved...somewhere. Not sure where yet.|
This testing process means laying stuff down, running things around on it, then seeing if I like the arrangement and seeing if it's working for all the things I want to do with the layout. The first thing I got going was my high speed rail track. This loop runs around the outside of the layout area. I had to get this up and powered so I could run my new Kato N•EX!!!! :) Love it.
The first pass I did seemed to be working well, but I wanted to keep things simple and "on the ground, so I wanted to find a way to get three sections in play without overpass, underpass, or tunnel work. I had one area that swept out for the high speed, so I thought I'd rethink it a bit.
|High speed sweep out - top left area.|
So, I took the high speed in and this created a space for my little switching area and shipping area.
|From bottom to top - Tram Track • High Speed Track • Shipping Track • Outbound and Factory Track|
Again, having a ROUND ONE and ROUND TWO of this layout really helped my decision making and planning. After the Kiwamura section was set down, there were many things I wished I had included. Little things like a larger area for shipping, more area for the factory track, and a runaround track of some sort. Having played with the old section, I new what I was missing and I was able to add it into this planning. This area is close, but needs more thought for sure.
The new Shizuka section is something I have not touched much since the first pass at laying everything back down. It could stand some attention as well, but that's a bit easier to take on.
Rolling out of the Shizuka area, I have the high speed rail on the outside and the tram track on the inside. I still need to look at solutions for some dead spots, but that's just a matter of sitting with it for a while. I'm even looking at having a little inlet area with water rolling under the bridges. Go back to my old, old, OLD layout design with the little swan boat area, perhaps.
I like the snake-like look of the tracks rolling off here. Not practical, but interesting. :)
|Left to right: High Speed track • Tram Track • Currently dead track section going nowhere|
Moving right along. I'm going to sit with this arrangement and see what develops. I can already see areas that need second, third and fourth passes for sure. But, that's the beauty of setting things down and seeing how they work - you can iron out issues before moving forward.
This is something I didn't take time with in ROUND ONE and it showed. ROUND TWO was better, but it was still clunky and awkward. I'm hoping that this ROUND THREE will be the charm. :)
I did a quick little video to show the progress to date.