So, I continue to ponder the idea of east staging. I love my layout, but the downfall in the design was lack of east and west staging for the local stuff to leave/enter the layout. This afternoon, I wondered, if i was to curve back the mainline using the little bit of window frame opening space, I could make the turn and run staging along the back wall behind Ottawa Silica.
Here is a mock up of how it would work. Only one mainline track would make the hidden turn back behind Ottawa Silica. This is Kato Unitrack 13.75" radius that I use for my test track as an example.
Currently, to access the bag sand loading tracks, you have to come up from the south of the Ottawa Silica plant and run behind the plant to access the box car tracks. I created this as it was the way the prototype was. The only issue is that it is awkward for the operator to operate the turnout for both tracks as it is hidden behind the tall sorting building at Ottawa Silica. It will be even harder to access after I add the conveyors in between the Ottawa Silica buildings.
My new thought is to add a turnout just north of the scale track in the foreground of the photo. It will open up to the two bagged sand loading tracks that will be closer to the aisle.
The staging track would come around where the blue board is resting now. It will be hidden by the Ottawa Silica bag loading building.
Here is a view looking up behind the Ottawa Silica building to access the two bag sand loading tracks. Once the mainline makes the hard right turn, I will open it up to two tracks for east staging. This area would be hidden by the structures and most likely a 3-4" high sky blue mini-backdrop to hide the tracks.
So, if this plan was to be put into motion, let's list the Pros and Cons:
- Provides east staging (two tracks)
The RI moved a lot of sand to the east.
- New Blue Island Transfer Train
- New GTW Unit Sand Train (from the ROCK to Blue Island to GTW)
- Improves access to the turnouts for the bagged sand loading tracks.
- No loss of industry spots at the bagged sand loading tracks.
- The gondola sand loading track will still remain in place in the third picture above.
- Destruction/construction process. You never know how well that might go pulling up track.
- BN crossing would probably be removed permanently.
- The crossing in reality was much further to the east. I tried to make it work to include on my layout. I haven't really used it much so far and would be fine getting rid of it.
- ??? Maybe something else I'm not thinking.