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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got some great feedback here on my layout a couple of weeks ago so I'm back for more. The space is approximately 12 by 12, but I've got some obstacles to work around

I discuss some of my goals for this layout here,
so you have some context.

Let me know what you think.

557542
 

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Hi again.
Unless you've decided to have it all flat, you could grab one of the spurs, or add one, and have a line climb up and over somewhere to a mine in a hill..Train could back cars (ore jennies, say) up grade to be 'filled', then head back down to an industry which utilizes the material...
Another thought is: You could design it not as a 'continual' but as a 'point to point' plan with a turning facility at one or both ends via turntable, wye trackage, or balloon track (found at large passenger terminals)..This set up forces one to have to ops like the 1:1 scale, getting trains reversed to go back.
I admit I'm not a 'continual' fan but a 'point to point only', guy, unless layout is to be a belt line or trolley system..
With the level of skill you've displayed I think you could grow tired of the 'water wings' type you have here...
 

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HO Scale Freelance based on the Frisco in the Ozarks.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi again.
Unless you've decided to have it all flat, you could grab one of the spurs, or add one, and have a line climb up and over somewhere to a mine in a hill..Train could back cars (ore jennies, say) up grade to be 'filled', then head back down to an industry which utilizes the material...
Another thought is: You could design it not as a 'continual' but as a 'point to point' plan with a turning facility at one or both ends via turntable, wye trackage, or balloon track (found at large passenger terminals)..This set up forces one to have to ops like the 1:1 scale, getting trains reversed to go back.
I admit I'm not a 'continual' fan but a 'point to point only', guy, unless layout is to be a belt line or trolley system..
With the level of skill you've displayed I think you could grow tired of the 'water wings' type you have here...
I do plan on some elevation change in the rural part of the layout. This will go to a lumber camp and a quarry that will service a sawmill and ready-mix concrete facility in the lower section of the layout.

Continuous running is one of my goals. I know it's not popular among more advanced modelers. Kids like it and I've got little nieces and nephews and hopefully some grandkids in a decade or so. If I get bored with it I'll add on. It's a good excuse to do so and I anticipate having more room in a few years when we're empty nesters. I've been hoping to settle on a layout that simulates operational accuracy with continuous running with as little compromise as possible

If I went with a balloon track for turnaround what would the increased operational interest over these "water wings", other than I'd have to switch a turnout? Thanks again.
 

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I got some great feedback here on my layout a couple of weeks ago so I'm back for more. The space is approximately 12 by 12, but I've got some obstacles to work around

I discuss some of my goals for this layout here,
so you have some context.

Let me know what you think.

View attachment 557542
dboone;

Your track plan looks good.
I do have a lot of feedback, which of course, you can accept, or not, as you choose.

Let's start at the top.
The loop surrounding your "rural area" would be a good place for that "timber-covered mountain" that you mentioned in your video. Since timber tends to be high up, this is also where you could incorporate an elevation change. You probably had that in mind already.

On the other side of the mountain would be a good spot for the stone quarry / swimming hole. Since you want more than I think you can actually fit into your space, you might consider combining theses two features. I've seen movies where teens went swimming in an abandoned quarry (usually with some tragic result) but a working quarry would likely be fenced in, and possibly have a night watchman and/or watchdog, around, specifically to prevent this sort of trespassing. As quarries are simply deep holes in the ground, they tend to be at lower elevations, so this side of the loop could be a downgrade from the higher logging camp.

Moving on clockwise, and to the left, we come to your spur "for logging and quarry." Well, it's doubtful that a single, short, spur track would be sufficient to serve two separate industries, assuming either was producing any real rail traffic. More likely would be two tracks per industry. One to spot the empty cars to be loaded, and another with loaded cars to be pulled. This can be done with a single spur, but there would need to be some sort of runaround track close by for the loco to pull the loaded cars onto, and then couple on to the empties and push them into that single spur. The alternative would be to block the main line for the entire length of the switching move. Busy railroads would not permit that, but if your modeling a small branch line during the great depression, traffic might be so sparse that it wouldn't matter. I suggest putting the logging camp on the top side of the loop, back where we started. Install a spur, or two for the logging operation there. The quarry, down on the lower side of the loop, can have its own spur(s).

A different possibility would be to use that loop for a classic "empties in, loads out" operation, per John Armstrong's "Track Planning for Realistic Operation."
This would involve say, the lumber camp on one side, and the sawmill on the other.
Cars loaded with logs leave the lumber camp, go around the loop either the long counter--clockwise way, or the short clockwise route. When the loaded cars arrive at the sawmill, they are pushed into the sawmill building (which butts up against the backdrop, or mountain dividing the loop, and emerge as a new load of logs to be shipped out of the lumber camp. Strategically placed trees & buildings hide the hole through the backdrop and make it appear that the loaded log cars have just arrived from "the deep woods."
The reverse is also true. Empty cars left at the lumber camp, are pushed through the divider and into the sawmill, where they wait to be picked up and hauled out to the lumber camp.
This same trick can be used with any source, and consumer, industry pair. The quarry and cement plant for example. Fitting two "empties in, loads out" operations into that same loop area might be quite a trick! Have you ever considered switching to N-scale? 😄

Moving on again, we come to a good location for the river, and an alternate & safer one for the swimming hole. The slightly curving, but mostly straight , track that heads back toward the yard.
I would throw a few more curves in the track and river to really sell the idea that the railroad follows the natural path of the river. This is a favorite route for railroad surveyors, and there are hundreds of real-life examples.

Unless you're just glued to it, I'd eliminate the "switching lead." altogether. I don't see any real purpose for it, and you can use that space to relocate your main line tracks down and angled to the right.

General concerns:
1) On the drawing it looks like a lot of your track is too close to the table edge for safety, but maybe that's just due to the drawing scale?

2) What radius did you end up with for your mainline curves?

3) Are you aware that the two loops in your track plan are, electrically, both reverse loops? That just means you will need some insulated rail joiners, and a couple of "frog juicer" circuit boards.

4) A two foot aisle is an awfully narrow one. As we get older, we get wider, and two adults have a pretty hard time getting past each other in a three foot wide aisle, which I consider a minimum aisle width.

Moving on, and straight down, we come to the yard. I love your basic yard design! Straight and simple, no trying to push a string of cars along a "snake trail" of turnouts & reverse curves. 😊
You could however, get longer yard tracks, and more car storage capacity, (two things no model railroad can have too much of! 😄) by angling the yard, and filling in part of the square corner of the aisle between the "yard" and "downtown" sections of your layout. This is also my rational for eliminating the "switching lead" and angling the main line tracks toward the aisle. Speaking of sections, I highly recommend that you build your layout in sections. It's too big to fit through doors and you won't need to tear much apart, if you can simply unbolt one section from another.

The downtown section itself looks fine. You might consider extending the two "industry spurs" at the bottom, out onto/into the bookshelf, if that's at all feasible. The spur at the top of the downtown loop could stay as is, or run more parallel to the main line, or be relocated further to the left, and onto the other side of the main, where there is an empty area. The final location depends on you, and what you have in mind for an industry there.

As I said earlier, I don't think you can fit everything you wanted into the area you have. Welcome to model railroading! 😄 And have you ever seriously considered switching to N-scale? 😄 I'm pulling your leg here, as an old N-scaler speaking to an HO-scaler !

Good basic plan! Congratulations! (y)

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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You don’t have tons of room for lots of elevation change but what you can do is keep the track flat and maybe lower the benchwork in places you want to portray as higher elevation. Keeping track level also helps with runaway cars that might come uncoupled. A coworker told me unless you need to change elevation for a reason to keep it flat.

But, like always, it’s your layout.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
dboone;

Your track plan looks good.
I do have a lot of feedback, which of course, you can accept, or not, as you choose.

Let's start at the top.
The loop surrounding your "rural area" would be a good place for that "timber-covered mountain" that you mentioned in your video. Since timber tends to be high up, this is also where you could incorporate an elevation change. You probably had that in mind already.

On the other side of the mountain would be a good spot for the stone quarry / swimming hole. Since you want more than I think you can actually fit into your space, you might consider combining theses two features. I've seen movies where teens went swimming in an abandoned quarry (usually with some tragic result) but a working quarry would likely be fenced in, and possibly have a night watchman and/or watchdog, around, specifically to prevent this sort of trespassing. As quarries are simply deep holes in the ground, they tend to be at lower elevations, so this side of the loop could be a downgrade from the higher logging camp.

Moving on clockwise, and to the left, we come to your spur "for logging and quarry." Well, it's doubtful that a single, short, spur track would be sufficient to serve two separate industries, assuming either was producing any real rail traffic. More likely would be two tracks per industry. One to spot the empty cars to be loaded, and another with loaded cars to be pulled. This can be done with a single spur, but there would need to be some sort of runaround track close by for the loco to pull the loaded cars onto, and then couple on to the empties and push them into that single spur. The alternative would be to block the main line for the entire length of the switching move. Busy railroads would not permit that, but if your modeling a small branch line during the great depression, traffic might be so sparse that it wouldn't matter. I suggest putting the logging camp on the top side of the loop, back where we started. Install a spur, or two for the logging operation there. The quarry, down on the lower side of the loop, can have its own spur(s).

A different possibility would be to use that loop for a classic "empties in, loads out" operation, per John Armstrong's "Track Planning for Realistic Operation."
This would involve say, the lumber camp on one side, and the sawmill on the other.
Cars loaded with logs leave the lumber camp, go around the loop either the long counter--clockwise way, or the short clockwise route. When the loaded cars arrive at the sawmill, they are pushed into the sawmill building (which butts up against the backdrop, or mountain dividing the loop, and emerge as a new load of logs to be shipped out of the lumber camp. Strategically placed trees & buildings hide the hole through the backdrop and make it appear that the loaded log cars have just arrived from "the deep woods."
The reverse is also true. Empty cars left at the lumber camp, are pushed through the divider and into the sawmill, where they wait to be picked up and hauled out to the lumber camp.
This same trick can be used with any source, and consumer, industry pair. The quarry and cement plant for example. Fitting two "empties in, loads out" operations into that same loop area might be quite a trick! Have you ever considered switching to N-scale? 😄

Moving on again, we come to a good location for the river, and an alternate & safer one for the swimming hole. The slightly curving, but mostly straight , track that heads back toward the yard.
I would throw a few more curves in the track and river to really sell the idea that the railroad follows the natural path of the river. This is a favorite route for railroad surveyors, and there are hundreds of real-life examples.

Unless you're just glued to it, I'd eliminate the "switching lead." altogether. I don't see any real purpose for it, and you can use that space to relocate your main line tracks down and angled to the right.

General concerns:
1) On the drawing it looks like a lot of your track is too close to the table edge for safety, but maybe that's just due to the drawing scale?

2) What radius did you end up with for your mainline curves?

3) Are you aware that the two loops in your track plan are, electrically, both reverse loops? That just means you will need some insulated rail joiners, and a couple of "frog juicer" circuit boards.

4) A two foot aisle is an awfully narrow one. As we get older, we get wider, and two adults have a pretty hard time getting past each other in a three foot wide aisle, which I consider a minimum aisle width.

Moving on, and straight down, we come to the yard. I love your basic yard design! Straight and simple, no trying to push a string of cars along a "snake trail" of turnouts & reverse curves. 😊
You could however, get longer yard tracks, and more car storage capacity, (two things no model railroad can have too much of! 😄) by angling the yard, and filling in part of the square corner of the aisle between the "yard" and "downtown" sections of your layout. This is also my rational for eliminating the "switching lead" and angling the main line tracks toward the aisle.

The downtown section itself looks fine. You might consider extending the two "industry spurs" at the bottom, out onto/into the bookshelf, if that's at all feasible. The spur at the top of the downtown loop could stay as is, or run more parallel to the main line, or be relocated further to the left, and onto the other side of the main, where there is an empty area. The final location depends on you, and what you have in mind for an industry there.

As I said earlier, I don't think you can fit everything you wanted into the area you have. Welcome to model railroading! 😄 And have you ever seriously considered switching to N-scale? 😄 I'm pulling your leg here, as an old N-scaler speaking to an HO-scaler !

Good basic plan! Congratulations! (y)

Traction Fan 🙂
I'm sure to have to make some compromises along the way and I'll figure that out as I go. I've always like the idea of modeling "hints" of things, because people tend to fill in details with the right prompting. For example. If there is no room for a quarry, you build the top of the quarry where dump trucks might come up to the spur from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You don’t have tons of room for lots of elevation change but what you can do is keep the track flat and maybe lower the benchwork in places you want to portray as higher elevation. Keeping track level also helps with runaway cars that might come uncoupled. A coworker told me unless you need to change elevation for a reason to keep it flat.

But, like always, it’s your layout.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah with a 2% max grade, I won't be able to do too much. I'm planning on using 2" foam on the benchwork and figure I can give some more illusion of elevation change by going up and down at the same time.
 

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Operationally, I'm not seeing how you plan to run things (and first of all, no there is nothing "basic" or "unadvanced" about modeling a continuous run). People who are more seriously into operations (and that's an interest within the hobby, not the "advanced form" of the hobby, as someone has obviously led you to believe), have a problem with runni g (for arguments sake) clockwise to reach an industry, and then continue clockwise with the loads, deliver them, and then continue clockwise to the same industry again to repeat the process. At some point, the train would have to head in the other direction. But that's up to you and how you operate.

Do you intend to swap cars at your industries, or simply pull in, say, "Ok, we're here" and back out again. If the latter, no problem. If the former, you need to address the problem of facing point sidings (IOW, those branching off in the lime so that the loco does not have to reverse move to enter it). In a trailing point siding, the loco backs the train in, drops the cars, assuming no Caboose, and that the cars to be dropped are at the end of the train. If not, you have to move back and forth a few times to Hubble cars, but not hard. On a facing point siding, the loco gets buried, unless it has a place to run around the train and shove the cars in from the rear. The only place you have to do that is over by your yard, so you'd constantly be making unrealistic backing moves halfway around your layout to drop cars. Likewise with the passenger service. You need to back in to be effective, otherwise, you have room for about one coach plus a loco. It really only works if you're traveling in a counter-clockwise direction.
 

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A very interesting track plan...it does seem to offer both
continuous running as well as challenging switching
operations.

You do have two 'reverse loops'...you will need to
make gaps or use insulated joiners in both tracks that
form the upper loop...they should be just above both
upper left turnouts.

You would also need gaps or insulated joiners in the
two tracks that form the bottom loop. These should
be below the two turnouts in lower left.

Your main DCC bus will feed all tracks, yards and
spurs between the two sets of turnouts specified above.

Each of the two reverse loops will be fed by a reverse
loop controller. Each of the two required controllers will
take power from your main DCC bus.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A very interesting track plan...it does seem to offer both
continuous running as well as challenging switching
operations.

You do have two 'reverse loops'...you will need to
make gaps or use insulated joiners in both tracks that
form the upper loop...they should be just above both
upper left turnouts.

You would also need gaps or insulated joiners in the
two tracks that form the bottom loop. These should
be below the two turnouts in lower left.

Your main DCC bus will feed all tracks, yards and
spurs between the two sets of turnouts specified above.

Each of the two reverse loops will be fed by a reverse
loop controller. Each of the two required controllers will
take power from your main DCC bus.

Don
Thanks, Don. I haven't quite got to tackling the electrical yet, but this should be a great help to me when I do. I'm sure I'll post here to get more specific input from people more experienced than me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Operationally, I'm not seeing how you plan to run things (and first of all, no there is nothing "basic" or "unadvanced" about modeling a continuous run). People who are more seriously into operations (and that's an interest within the hobby, not the "advanced form" of the hobby, as someone has obviously led you to believe), have a problem with runni g (for arguments sake) clockwise to reach an industry, and then continue clockwise with the loads, deliver them, and then continue clockwise to the same industry again to repeat the process. At some point, the train would have to head in the other direction. But that's up to you and how you operate.

Do you intend to swap cars at your industries, or simply pull in, say, "Ok, we're here" and back out again. If the latter, no problem. If the former, you need to address the problem of facing point sidings (IOW, those branching off in the lime so that the loco does not have to reverse move to enter it). In a trailing point siding, the loco backs the train in, drops the cars, assuming no Caboose, and that the cars to be dropped are at the end of the train. If not, you have to move back and forth a few times to Hubble cars, but not hard. On a facing point siding, the loco gets buried, unless it has a place to run around the train and shove the cars in from the rear. The only place you have to do that is over by your yard, so you'd constantly be making unrealistic backing moves halfway around your layout to drop cars. Likewise with the passenger service. You need to back in to be effective, otherwise, you have room for about one coach plus a loco. It really only works if you're traveling in a counter-clockwise direction.
My thought was that loads would be picked with the loco headed in the clockwise direction, it would make a loop around the top and then switch direction with the crossover on the left side of the layout and then proceed with any moves to drop off or pick up at industries. Obviously not super realistic. I suppose I could change the direction of my spurs to be on the left rather than right (while traveling in the counterclockwise direction). Alternatively I could put in some sidings to allow for runaround maneuvers. Or, I could change the direction of my switching yard. That sound right to you?
 

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My thought was that loads would be picked with the loco headed in the clockwise direction, it would make a loop around the top and then switch direction with the crossover on the left side of the layout and then proceed with any moves to drop off or pick up at industries. Obviously not super realistic. I suppose I could change the direction of my spurs to be on the left rather than right (while traveling in the counterclockwise direction). Alternatively I could put in some sidings to allow for runaround maneuvers. Or, I could change the direction of my switching yard. That sound right to you?
dboone;

I see how your scheme for reversing the direction of the locomo0tive would work physically. However, it would have to travel almost the entire length of your mainline to turn. That would not only be "not super realistic" but would, in fact, be super unrealistic.
I think adding the sidings for a runaround would increase not only the realism, but perhaps more importantly, the "fun factor."
Operating as a real railroad does typically ends up being more fun than just running around all over the layout just to turn the locomotive, at least for most of us, but its your railroad. There are also real world examples where a train handles the sidings with west trailing points in one direction, when headed east, and the sidings with east trailing points on the way back west.

Good Luck & Have Fun with whatever you decide;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
dboone;

I see how your scheme for reversing the direction of the locomo0tive would work physically. However, it would have to travel almost the entire length of your mainline to turn. That would not only be "not super realistic" but would, in fact, be super unrealistic.
I think adding the sidings for a runaround would increase not only the realism, but perhaps more importantly, the "fun factor."
Operating as a real railroad does typically ends up being more fun than just running around all over the layout just to turn the locomotive, at least for most of us, but its your railroad. There are also real world examples where a train handles the sidings with west trailing points in one direction, when headed east, and the sidings with east trailing points on the way back west.

Good Luck & Have Fun with whatever you decide;

Traction Fan 🙂
Where in your opinion would be a good place to put some passing sidings. I was thinking about converting the passenger stub into a passing siding extending down in the bottom section of the layout and then another that would run somewhat parallel with the industry stubs on the bottom. Any thoughts?
 

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Passing sidings should be near your industries to avoid long backing moves around half of your layout. Probably using curved turnouts to come off of curved track sections would be your best bet (with the caveat the coupling / uncoupling is harder on curves). Having your "normal" direction of traffic being clockwise makes your passenger station a trailing point siding, and so not completely useless. I would still move that turnout up into the curve (using a curved turnout) and see if you can't tweak it into a through track (a reversing loop across the circle). That way, if you don't have any issues with your loco fouling the main, you could use almost the entire length of that track for a passenger platform at the edge of a town filling the rest of the loop (with a few tall buildings helping to disguise that there is a loop there).
 

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Where in your opinion would be a good place to put some passing sidings. I was thinking about converting the passenger stub into a passing siding extending down in the bottom section of the layout and then another that would run somewhat parallel with the industry stubs on the bottom. Any thoughts?
dboone;

As CTValley says, the passing sidings should be reasonably close to the industrial spurs. However, you may not want to make all industry spurs too easy for your train crews. The narrow (left) ends of both loops could fit passing sidings on either side of the loop. (one at the top and one at the bottom. That doesn't mean you have to install a passing siding in all four of those locations, unless you want to, its just where they would fit on the layout and be convenient for the spurs.

At the bottom of the "downtown" loop, you could turn one of those two spurs into a passing siding with an additional turnout. Besides run around moves for switching, passing sidings serve another important purpose. They let trains get past each other when they "meet" from opposite directions, and lets a faster train pass a slower one. To do either of these things, the siding needs to be long enough to hold the entire train, which means a long siding. Your spurs look quite short, which can be fine to serve a single small industry, but it won't work for a passing siding. You might consider one long siding on each loop, and/or one near the yard. This will let you operate very much like a real railroad with a single track mainline.

If you have taken the suggestion to get a copy of John Armstrong's "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" he goes into this subject in depth, with some diagrams of different types of passing sidings. Its an excellent book, with loads of info on how a model railroad can mimic the operation of a real one.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
dboone;

As CTValley says, the passing sidings should be reasonably close to the industrial spurs. However, you may not want to make all industry spurs too easy for your train crews. The narrow (left) ends of both loops could fit passing sidings on either side of the loop. (one at the top and one at the bottom. That doesn't mean you have to install a passing siding in all four of those locations, unless you want to, its just where they would fit on the layout and be convenient for the spurs.

At the bottom of the "downtown" loop, you could turn one of those two spurs into a passing siding with an additional turnout. Besides run around moves for switching, passing sidings serve another important purpose. They let trains get past each other when they "meet" From opposite directions, and lets a faster train pass a slower one. To do either of these things, the siding needs to be long enough to hold the entire train, which means a long siding. Your spurs look quite short, which can be fine to serve a single small industry, but it won't work for a passing siding. You might consider one long siding on each loop, and/or one near the yard. This will let you operate very much like a real railroad with a single track mainline.

If you have taken the suggestion to get a copy of John Armstrong's "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" he goes into this subject in depth, with some diagrams of different types of passing sidings. Its an excellent book, with loads of info on how a model railroad can mimic the operation of a real one.

Traction Fan 🙂
Thanks again, Traction. I'll tinker around and find something I like. I did pick up Armstrong's book and am working my through it. Seems like there are many different ways to do things and railroaders had to get creative, especially when limited by budget and space available. Which is the same challenges I face, LOL. Again, really appreciate all the feedback and discussion.
 

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Hi again.
Are you not interested in an engine facility track with a shed or roundhouse w/turntable or wye ?..
Because, to change a lone engine's direction you don't want to send it way around one of those large main loops..
Also, you might want to have a crossing somewhere within say, the industrial area..Always nice to see a track cross another track at grade..And, If it crossed the main you could then have an interlocking tower there..Track could go right to very edge of bench as dummy, depicting a connection to the outer world/other RRs..Otherwise, how do cars of differing RRs wind up on your RR ? 🌄🛤
 

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The track plan looks good to me. Maybe some tweaking using suggestions that have been posted could be in order. The one question that I have is the sofa. Access to the sofa looks a bit tricky.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The
The track plan looks good to me. Maybe some tweaking using suggestions that have been posted could be in order. The one question that I have is the sofa. Access to the sofa looks a bit tricky.
The sofa face away from the layout towards, so that shouldn't be a problem. I'll have to move to work on that section of the track, but for operation it shouldn't be a problem.
 
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