Sunday, January 9, 2011

From deconstruction to Construction

I've managed to round a corner of sorts. By the end of last week I'd finished all the "tear out" work and actually started to put things back together. Although I originally planned tosave a lot of existing trackwork, in the end it made more sense to simply scrape the track up and put it aside to reuse later.
Here are a few views showing how things looked in the layout room before Thanksgiving, and how they look today.
The peninsula lobe has been removed, and the peninsula benchwork now connects to the around the wall benchwork.

This had been the location of the Williams Creek bridge crossing scene - located on
the upper deck. The bridge, piers, and abutments will be reused, but the scene itself didn't make it:

As of today, here's what the view down the aisle is - the upper deck is gone, and the lower level track will be raised about 5" (when I install the new subroadbed):
The helix, at the "front door" to the layout area is gone, replaced by the framework for a new, wider peninsula (with aisles on both sides).

The benchwork that looks like it's "floating in air along the far wall is the former upper level staging yard. It's still there since frankly, it keeps it out of the way. The plan is to remove it, spin it 180-degrees, and reuse it as the new south end staging yard. It will end up along the same wall it is now, only about 20" lower and slightly to the right of its current position.
Once the staging yard is moved, I'm going to install new backdrops down the center peninsula.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Original SNE track plan

Several folks have emailed me asking to see the original track plan for my prototype-freelanced Southern New England. This was the fourth SNE layout I've started - and, as the title of this blog indicates, the new layout will be much more focused on scenery and operations from the Central Vermont's northern division, meaning the SNE will be going into retirement. (There will still be some SNE locomotives and cars, although long-term plans call for replacing these with prototype models).
I never drew a complete track plan for the original layout, and frankly don't want to spend time doing one now. But the following will show how the layout fit the space. Please note that the around-the-walls area, including Thames Street and Montville were "single deck" - the
peninsula was actually a double-deck section.

I got as far as getting all the benchwork, most of the track (a few sidings remained to be added) and even some initial scenery in place before work came to a screeching halt summer. I knew something was bugging me about the layout, but could never figure out what it was. 
At this point I'm busy rearranging the benchwork. I initially thought some of the track could be kept in place, but that was rapidly becoming an issue - so I ended up scrapping the entire layout down to the rough benchwork.
Once the layout room is presentable enough for pictures, I'll post some photos of the new, hopefully improved layout!