I’ve been fiddling with the track plan full size on the plywood surface while waiting for some track supplies to roll in. The first go was direct from the original drawing you see above. It showed problems with the turnout flow for the back siding and the turntable approach. Too clumsy. Also, the back track was just too far away from the aisle to switch conveniently.
Mockups of the station structure (based somewhat on Peterborough, NH) and a freight house helped visualize the scene. The back track wasn’t going to work.
I wanted a nice long freight house as LCL freight is a big part of the traffic in St. George. I also wanted to retain the curvy public delivery track near the station and still keep the siding at the front for a feed mill and coal trestle. Here’s the updated plan…
Updated plan for St. George
As you can see, the back siding was removed. It was too hard to reach for switching. Tracks 1 and 2 are now gently curved pushing the station back. A third parallel track was added for the freight house across from the station. The turnout at the head shunt was expanded to a crossover providing a nice pocket on the end of track 2 to spot a car or two out of the way while switching.
I like it. The new curve and crossover adds visual appeal. It gives a very railroady look with three tracks running in a canyon of sorts between major structures. Some of the tracks are parallel but none are parallel to the walls.
To fit the coal trestle and feed mill in front of the freight house, the joists at the end of the layout were replaced with longer ones. L-Girder benchwork makes that easy.
At the other end, the turnout for track 2 was moved about a foot farther out onto the curve. This adds a car length. Now a six car train plus caboose (five car mixed with a combine) can be run around. Removing the back track made things simpler as the turntable approach now diverges directly from the main track.
Turnouts are mostly #7 as before. The freight house siding is a #6. The turnout to the feed mill is a wye turnout of unequal radii. Track 2 is entered through a 52″ radius curved turnout. The outer side is a spiral transition from 52″.
All-in-all, I’m happy to have had the time and patience to see these changes through. By laying out the plan full sized with a few mockup structures, I was able to correct a reach problem on the back track and improve the overall visual appeal. The original plan was okay but now it’s much better. The crossover does add a seventh turnout but who’s counting!