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Empire Builder Layout Plan

Not that I could ever be accused of having a plan..

Although I have spent long hours staring at the layout then making additions, I haven't really had a grand scheme plan in place.

So, using the theories of "reverse engineering", I drew the track plan already in place along with my proposed expansion into the city area.

Here is the current plan, using MTH RR-Track, in its entirety. This includes my planned expansion into the city area and some interesting ideas for staging yards for a small layout.

 

 

Confusing as it looks, it is not too complex, as you can see by the video capture pages. Let me break it down.

 

 

This is the above ground level section of the layout, the majority of the tracks. I want to create the illusion of infinite space within limited space, so I am trying out a creative approach to staging, shown below.

 

This Below Ground tracks are just a concept I have in mind. Just like a real railroad, I would like to have my various trains appear on scene and disappear without going in a circle. I'd also like to alternate between various trains and consists. As you can see, the tracks would descend into the city just like trains entering NYC Grand Central. Then, the tracks would snake under the layout to a lower level staging yard. Yes, this will create a pain working on the ground level trains, but I cannot find more space to have trains staged. Using this layout plan, I can select which siding block to activate and thus can chose which trains to run. I may finish constructing everything else and wiring before trying this monster.

 

This level consists of all the rails at ground level, with no grade. There is a local set of rails (brown) which will alternate a small NYC 2-4-2 and a PRR 2-4-2, obstensibly fighting out control of the local freight traffic. The main tracks (green) will serve all my major trains and as you can see will descend out of sight into the staging yards and back up again. This set of tracks crosses a significant bridge across the waterfront upon entering and leaving the city area. Additionally, the CNJ will run a small dockside service (blue tracks) which switches cars onto a car float.

 

The upper level tracks consist of a PRR passenger train (light green) that runs from the city station at the front of the layout rising in grade through the mountains and tunnels. The dogbone (dark green) is all raised track and will provide B & O freight service between the logging industry on the left and the mining industry on the right.