As I mentioned before I have been toying with the concept of moving the "location" of the layout from LA to Denver. I spent some time over the weekend doing a little research and downloading Sanborn Insurance Maps from the Library of Congress. These maps are from 1903 so they aren't going to have some of the information that I would need to model the 1960 - 1970 period, for that I will need to go to the Denver Public Library, but my library card has lapsed so that will have to wait for a bit. A little poking around shows that DPL likely has digital Sanborn maps up through 1929 with notes attached with changes from 1951 and may have non-digital maps from the 60s and up through 1974 according to the card catalog. So I need to work in a day at the library at some point.
Moving the location to Denver means that I can legitimately drop trying to shoehorn in the curved brick canyon scene that I like from LA that scene just does not exist in Denver. I have already added an extra foot to the length of the layout to accommodate it and I think I will keep that extra length for now. I don't need to change the track plan itself, so that's a good thing although there is another tweak that I'm contemplating that would require another redraw to make sure it aligns.
"Moving" to Denver means easier access to research materials and immediate access to the area of lower downtown (LoDo). Granted much has changed since the railroads worked that area but there is enough left to be able to replicate some of the major buildings. The viaducts that carried 16th and 15th street over the tracks would still be in place and would serve as very natural dividers for scenes on what would now be the north and south ends of the layout. Cherry creek and the 14th Street Viaduct would form the southern boundary, with 16th street being the northern boundary.
The two major streets north south streets would be Wynkoop and Wewatta. Tracks ran right down the streets in this area of Denver sharing the streets with regular traffic. All of the tracks in the area seem to have gone in by 1903. The railroads that owned those tracks is likely to have changed over the years as mergers and other fun things took place in LoDo and what I need to determine is when those tracks where actually pulled up as the rail traffic in the area dropped off.
The big changes would be the change from AT&SF to D&RGW. So new motive power and probably a slight shift in the freight car fleet. Currently that is heavily biased towards Santa Fe but that is easy to change and it certainly doesn't eliminate the use of the Santa Fe fleet. The other potential change would be adding back in the 40' cars depending on what the time frame really ends up being and reducing the number of 50' cars. Just thoughts to mull on at this point.
Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)