Planning for the next rise of the Norfolk & Western layout is underway. After some thoughts about completely abandoning the original plan for a smaller version, we’re now back to some semblance of sanity and progressing with track plans.
The gist of the layout project is to build a Norfolk & Western branch set in West Virginia in 1927. I originally started out to build the Black Creek & Buda as drawn by Iian Rice. As the first attempt at the benchwork failed and was torn down this summer, the next “version” will soon rise from the garage floor.
Major setbacks have a tendency to make me review and analyze how to correct for the previous failures, as I’m sure most folks do. The major failure of the ACP branch was the construction and materials, but adjusting the track plan to fit the new materials will be necessary, and the huge “blob” as I came to call it from the last layout design will be replaced with a more streamlined “phased” approach, with the goal of building two sections now within the next couple of years, and making them “moveable”, not really portable, but capable of being transported in a truck to another location in the future, where more layout could be added.
With that in mind, I’m focusing on the “end” town, which has now been named “Loveall”. On the Iian Rice plan for the Black Creek & Buda, that’s the town of Buda. A couple of changes to the track layout were already in the offing, and now a few more will be made. An article from Model Railroad Planning several years ago prompted me to think about cutting the plan up, and I’m glad I did that. This first section is mostly going to follow the original, but as things progress, changes will become evident due to the scissors being used as a planning tool.
First, the original includes hidden staging through the drawn coal tipple to allow for change-out of cars. I don’t want to include the hidden trackage, so that will be eliminated. The plan around the tipple also included a Washery Dump Track, which I’m going to delete, but likely will replace it with a third track at the tipple. There was an “extra” track on the plan as well, most likely intended as a caboose track at Buda, or a locomotive track at Buda, but that’ll go away, and the drawn water tank will move closer to the station. This town also has no need for a scale, so the scale track will be deleted. The large tipple for the Loveall Coal Co. is still planned for this town, and the mainline will be planned so it can be extended past this location for either future staging or to connect to another layout section.
Now known as Loveall, the small town retains much of the feel of the original BC&B plan, but has been customized to fit the new benchwork footprint.
With the demise of the first set of benchwork, the ACP branch name also will go. The new name is still in progress.
Overall, this is sort of a TOMA (coined by MRH) style layout plan now. In Part 2 about layout planning, we’ll discuss the second layout section, and the rough plans for what that will look like.