I wandered into our "library" (a converted bedroom) and realized that the long wall actually does not have any book shelves against it. Just a tall dresser and the futon. After a brief discussion with my wife on how it could be done and how to make it look more like a long bookshelf I received permission to move forward! I decided that if I limited the length to 8' and the depth to about 18" I could build the Patch there but it would be without the signature brick canyon look or the curved entrance between the buildings (so probably can't really call it the Patch at this point). What I did decide to do was go back to a plan in Model Railroad Planning by Scot Osterweil. I have looked at this one before and I think it was originally published in Model Railroader magazine even before 2005. It reminds me a bit of Lynn Westcott's Switchman's Nightmare design.
First thing to do was modify the design a bit. The originally is designed for 40' freight cars and just about everything I have accumulated to this point is 50'. It was also built with Peco small and medium turnouts and I'm figuring to use Atlas Custom code 83 at this point from an availability stand point. Most of the track is going to be covered by "concrete" since that much of the brick canyon look I can replicate so how good the track itself looks will be almost irrelevant. I also elected to flip the plan so that the "yard lead" was on the left side rather than the right, this will make better use of the space as it will put the staging cassettes on the window side.
I decided to start with #6 turnouts first and see what kind of length that would require. While I have more than 8' available to me, I want a good portion of the rest for the staging cassettes, that makes the 8' length hard limit. Depth at 18" is variable but probably can't go more than 20" deep. Height, at least, is not an issue. I downloaded #6 turnout template from the Fast Tracks website since those are designed from NMRA standards and can figure that it will at least be close. Using the #6 turnouts and maintaining the siding capacities as listed I exceeded my 8' limit on length, so the #6 experiment has come to an abrupt end. The next iteration will use #5 turnouts.
|Getting there, I reduced the full size Fast Tracks template to fit my scale, a 75% reduction and it worked like a charm.|
|And finished. The top siding needs to hold 3 50' freight cars and needs about 9' to work. If I fudge the depth a little bit (really is any parameter that set in stone?) I might be able to work in another siding on the left side but that would create a situation where a siding has to be emptied before the other siding can be switched. Maybe I can work in a crossing to make that work.|