July 31st, 2014

About 6 months now since the last update and as you can probably guess, there hasn't been much, if any work done on the layout. To tell ya the truth, the layout is no more.

There comes a time when you ask yourself if you should keep going on a project even if you are not happy with it. That was how I felt when I started doing a bit of switching in the yard. I wasn't happy with the height of the layout. I suppose I grew accustom to the higher benchwork on my friend Bob's Texas Central layout. During our monthly op sessions, switching his yard at 54" was a whole lot more enjoyable than bending over to switch my yard at 42". Granted, his layout was single level but man, did I sure miss the up close and personal feeling those 12 extra inches gave me. Double decking my layout was a trade off, more main line and running room but not the best height of decks. And until I started on the yard, I was OK with the deck heights. But the more I ran trains in the yard, the more I didn't like it.

So it was back to the drawing board, or should I say measuring tape. At this point, I'm looking into a room extension to add another 10 more feet to the layout room. There are quite a few hurdles in my way, namely the city and the HOA. Past that, I have a few contractor friends that can help me build the addition. If all goes as planned, then I would have a layout room size of 21' 3" x 18' 6". Then its REALLY back to the drawing board. And no more double decking.
I just might be able to get away with a mushroom design.....

Anyhow, here's a few pics of the demo. I left a section of track in place to at least run a locomotive back and fourth for testing purposes.


I'm standing where the helix once was, looking at Walker River above and Mammoth below.


Looking back at where the helix was. Note the 2 holes in the wall, those went to the staging tracks in the laundry room.


I left a small section of track in place on the upper level from the door opening on the left to the right of the 2' level.


The center peninsula has been taken out and the whole room is now open.


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