Why I chose not to design my layout – part 2

Introduction

In my last post (Why I chose not to design my layout – part 1) I discussed some of the reasons for ‘eyeballing’ my new layout and not ‘designing’ my new layout. This time around I wanted to clarify any uncertainties around the design process, and continue on with some meta-data about the design to help me clear my vision of the layout and the eventual role I’d like it to take in the future.

The Mod. 1, Mark 1 Eyeball

There is nothing better than eyeballing a space, and understanding how all the elements fit together. Obviously it makes the process easier if you understand what you aim to make, and have a sense of perspective on the amount of track you can reasonably have within the bounds of the layout space.

The layout’s story

My layout’s story revolves around switching within an industrial park. Service delivery is the primary focus of the layout and thus switching is the primary activity of the layout. With the design I wanted to be able to have a train:

  • arrive from the class 1 partner (interchange track),
  • be brought into the industrial park (switching yard),
  • switched into job lots for delivery within the park (customers), or to off-spot storage (storage yard),
  • run out to the customers needing switching that day, switch the site and then return to the yard,
  • have outbound cars switched and readied for delivery to the class 1 partner, and finally
  • have the outbound cars switched to the interchange track

Because I expect to have multiple small operating sessions each week, independent jobs that allow me to complete a little part of the operating session (between 30 – 50 minutes) each day I need a layout that supports that kind of operation.  Should I manage to get a couple of people over who want to operate a full session, we can simply pick up the next job sheet and continue on from where we started.

Why the design I’ve come up with?

A multiple industry layout was always my goal since I decided to build another layout in 2003. You can see some of these layouts in the Layout Design Gallery (Offsite Link), or directly from the ‘Resources’ section below.

I read about the Modesto & Empire Traction in Model Railroader many years ago, and have a lot of research on them. But as we don’t own our own home I am loath to build something bigger than my current proposed layout even semi-permanently at the moment. So I’ve gone down the path with my own module design, that can be added to over time. Another influence was the Progressive Rail layout that MR did several years ago. Again too big for me, but there is a core of the operation that I can mimic in the space I have.

In the next post ‘Why I chose not to “design” my new layout – part 3’ I’ll review my ideas on the operational aspect of the layout; the proposed paperwork that I want to use. It’s getting late and Sons of Liberty is on the Tele tonight. From Ballarat, on a cool and clear evening – good night.

Resources:

Multi Industry Switching Layouts

 

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About Andrew Martin

After a long IT and Telecommunications career in the USA and Australia, I've decided I need a break. Professionally I'm focused on direct contact customer service - people helping people. Hobby wise I'm focused on model railway layout building and modelling. I blog, write and publish as often as I am able.
This entry was posted in Freight, Home, Layout Design, Layouts, Operations, Switching, Switching and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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