This next realignment is going to be a big one compared to the work I've done at Ruston, DuBach and Calion recently. It's going to affect more than just one town or one small area.
This area of the layout was the first sections to be laid when I started laying track back in 2009. Back then I was very anxious to get some trains rolling and wasn't paying much attention to what I was doing. Which of course is now coming back to bite me in the ass!
The main issue I'm having here is with the two sections of 11" radius snap track. At the time they allowed the tracks to fit plan I had in my head. But now after several years of Ops, those two sections, coupled with a turnout just past the backdrop in Winnfield has create enough of an "S" curve that I am now having issues when running longer cars like the new TOFC's and Auto Racks. Something I hadn't planned to run when I first started the layout.
So, here we are.
This shot gives you an overview of the layout from "MQ" siding in foreground, through Fordyce to just past Riceland's elevator in Haskell in the background.
In this pic you can see the two sections of 11" r snap track starting just to the left of the SOO hopper and the second one ends just past the backdrop. The large Peco turnout is attached to the end of the second section of snap track just past the backdrop.
This shot is on the other side of the backdrop in Winnfield (current). The loose flextrack against the right backdrop is where I plan to relocate the new yard lead for the rear yard. The track that curves to the lower left after the turnout is used for continuous running by myself. This section is actually the end of Rock Island's main at Winnfield during Ops sessions.
Originally there was only one track leading into the yard (just out of the picture on the right) which can seen in the second picture below. This was later split into the two tracks to eliminate the yard being a large reverse loop like it was designed for when it was our staging yard for our Bend Track modules. Now the entire yard is nothing more than two run through open staging yards that are folded and became an extended section of the mainline.
Heres another broad view of Winnfield and the yard leads.
The track against the left backdrop is the ICG. The next track to the right is the lead to the front yard which also connects to the track on the extreme right just out of sight to the bottom.
Here's the plan!
I hope to shift the rear yard lead closer to the backdrop as it exits the yard, thereby giving me a broader curve as it passes through the backdrop and enters Haskell. The turnout may actually have to be moved to the Haskell side. If this move happens, it may result in being the first and only powered/remote turnout on the mainline.
This will probably mean that ALL the tracks in Haskell will need to be ripped up and relocated closer to the fascia. The two tracks that are ballasted (leads into Malvern) will more than likely need to be moved as well.
I do not plan to revise the existing track plan, but rather just shift everything to the fascia. I'm not sure though how this will affect the Riceland, Ind tracks or it's switching lead? Hopefully they can stay untouched. However, the entrance into the Riceland tracks have experienced some issues, so more than likely they too will be pulled up.
I may wind up just ripping everything out and starting over, it might just be easier.
I'm not sure how far I will rip up the tracks on each side, but I can see the possibility of a little bit on the Winnfield side? And as far back as Fordyce. I say that as I have plans for Fordyce later, but if needed I will do this while the tracks are already ripped up.
I'm not sure when this undertaking will commence? I have a few things that will need my attention first, such as the UR92 when the throttles show up. But sooner than later.
I think this is where the saying
"A layout is never finished" came from?