Time to get down to some track planning. I started out with templates to make sure things fit, but I’m trying to expand some of my horizons with a new scale and new tools, so I have endeavored to learn how to draw this layout in a CAD program, mostly so I can appropriately share it because at 18’ long, it’s hard to see both ends of a town, let alone both towns at once.
Modeling the YV has to start with some kind of connection at Merced. The western-most reach of the YV, Merced housed the railroad shops, offices, locomotive service facilities, the small yard, a few industries, and the YV’s large station and freight house. The industries within Merced included things such as the Merced Ice & Cold Storage and a YV house track, while just outside of town, but still within the yard limits for Merced, a spur lead to the Yosemite Portland cement Co. processing and bagging plant. YV trains bringing limestone serviced this facility as well as the bagging operation with boxcars.
I haven’t, for many years, had room for all of Merced, even in HO scale. Planning in Proto:48, I decided that even though I can’t fit a huge yard, the coach yard, roundhouse, etc… that even in 18” deep, I do have room to get lots of the operation of Merced if I am careful to pick carefully what I want to include.
With that in mind, the plan for Merced includes Merced Ice & Cold Storage, the YV house track (that may eventually include the YV station and freight house), a locomotive service track that will have the water, oil, and possibly the YV stores building, and I’ve moved Rock Switch from up the line into the yard here to be able to include the YPC plant. Even in just 18” deep, there is room between tracks allowing for scenes to be visually separated. It should take a while to switch here as well, as the 18’ length will provide long movements, and the locomotive and cars won’t all be in view at the same time. At the SP interchange, I’ve allowed for a 24” from the edge of the layout to the points of the Western-most turnout. To add to that, I plan to add a 36” extension track for a fiddle yard at the interchange.
This layout will be built in 6’ sections. It has to in order to be moved into and out of storage. That means that the structures I build need to either be sturdy and indestructible as they’ll be on their sides in storage, or they’ll need to be removable. I’ve decided to build them on removable, bolt-on, sections of benchwork. Doing so, the structures can be worked on at my workbench without needing them to be at the layout, they can be stored in the proper position, transported that way as well, and kept safe. There are no commercial kits for YV structures in O scale, so everything will need to be scratch built.
Moving beyond Merced, I had thought about building the in-between section of layout to be Edendale where the YV had a small bridge. In thinking about that, and knowing the stunning P:48 model that Jack Burgess built of Edendale, and then thinking about the advice that my friend Jim Lincoln gave me regarding moving up to P:48 and the let go of my HO planning mentality. I’ve therefore decided to replicate some un-named locations along the line. The connecting section will be a space between towns. That way, down the road, if I have space, or desire, I can build additional towns and the connecting section won’t be out of place.
At some point I will also need to build some curves. Tackling that, and what radius to build, I’m going to punt on right now. When I have the current plans built and running, I’ll tackle that task.
The second location that I plan to build is Merced Falls. I definitely wanted to include some of the logging/lumber operation and not reaching far enough up the line for Incline, building Merced Falls makes sense. The sawmill and box factory, the station, and as much of the YV plant as possible will make for a fantastic place to model.
I’ve managed to find room for the track that leads to the sawmill and the log dump where the YV loc cars will come and go from. There’s also room for the box factory and lumber loading on a nice ling siding. I’ll fit the water tank and probably the Merced Falls station in as well. To the East, toward El Portal, I’ll again include a fiddle yard track allowing for the suggestion of the towns further up the line. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll build more that direction.
Overall, the 7 pieces of layout that I have planned right now are a total of 42’ from end to end if assembled all at once. That stretches to 48’ with the fiddle extensions. It’s likely the only spot that I’ll be able to set up completely, at least right now, is at a train show or RPM. That’s OK. I hope to eventually build curves that will likely make things fold into a more manageable size for home operation.
I have the lumber here to build one of the 7 layout sections, and the weather is improving. I’d like to try and get that assembled before I cut more lumber to make sure things work the way I’m expecting. Then, it’s full steam ahead into freight cars, locomotives, structures, and this fantastic adventure.