Prototype Trackplan: Sn2 K&DR (Part 5: two concepts break from the pack)

In part 3, I presented six concepts and in part four I placed Bigelow into 4 concepts. Three concepts are refined in post. Only two make the grade (actually two version of the same concept)

In part four, I test fit a free-mo version of Bigelow. The free-mo was a quick way to “test”, but was not representative of home layout implementation of Bigelow. So the next step in evaluation required inserting a compressed version of Bigelow.

The upper plan show the free-mo version of the Bigelow yard while the lower plan is the compressed version inserted into the concepts of this post. The compressed version keeps the key elements of the design element. The compressed version does not contain the turntable lead, so one has to image how the turntable will get added to each concept.

Looking at the free-mo version of Bigelow yard, it is clear that extra straight sections could be removed from each end. Additionally, the turntable and frieght house turnouts from the main could probaby be compressed or made curved turnouts as required for the concept.

In the compressed version, I just removed the track, converting the yard from 8′ to 6′ in length. Some readers are gong to scream “foul” as the turnout lead is missing and one turnout is not connected. But I say…Don’t get stuck on details, we are still in the concept phase.


Concept #1: Around the walls

In part 4, I indicated that concept #1 “looks promising”, but in reviewing it again, I feel that comment was mis-leading. The fitting of Bigelow did look promising, but the concept as a whole is not promising in comparison to Concept #6. Thus “Concept #1: Around the walls” as been eliminated.

Concept #2: Stubbed Peninsula

Part 4 showed a stubbed peninsula version with promise. A promise of the longest mainline if double sided. It was clear from part 4, that compression of Bigelow is required to ensure aisle to walk around peninsula. Below is an attempt to have Bigelow and Kingfield on the peninsula.

Concept #2: Bigelow is at the rear of the peninsula. The backdrop isolates Bigelow from Kingfield. However, the Kingfield switch at right will be a challenge to operate.

The version above has Bigelow on the backside and Kingfield on the front. A backdrop divides the two locations and additional backdrop on the end of the peninsula protect each town from hapless viewers walking down the tight aisle. Additionally the end backdrops “divide” the scenes even more, preventing a viewer from seeing both Kingfield and Bigelow from the one location in the layout. This divsion would be good for TT&TO operation.

This version does preserve proper orientation of Kingfield and entering and exiting via the Kingfield switch. However, operation of trains through the Kingfield switch would be challenging, so challenging.

Here is the final evaluation points:

  • pro: Long mainline
  • pro: Proper orientation of Kingfield
  • pro: Bigelow and Kingfield are isolated
  • con: Kingfield switch is challenging to operate
  • con: Aisles are tight
  • con: B, C, D scenes are narrow

The cons outweigh the benefits when one compare to concept #6 and #6r

Before giving up on Concept #6, I thought it best to give it one more try. Below is an attempt that reverses the orientation of Kingfield to make it easier to operate the Kingfield switch.

Concept #2: This version fixes the issues with the Kingfield switch, but has other issues because both the Kingfield and Bigelow tracks are very close to the backdrop.

In the concept above, the Kingield switch has been reversed, thus trains from Bigelow go forward into Kingfield rather than backing in (as on prototype). I feel this is an acceptable compromise, as Kingfield is still on a stub, preserving the essence of the operation.

However, the compromise creates new problems. The junction switch is on a curve and the Kingfield track is forced directly next to the backdrop. Also, the only good location for a runaround will compromise Kingfield design.
In the end Concept #2 still does not work well. If one is willing to be more free-lanced than this concept could probably be made to work.

At this time I’m going to eliminate Concept #2, but would re-evaluate if Gary decides that a more free-lance K&DR is desired.

Concept #6: Kingfield in the middle

This is the concept I like the most, so I want the to show that compression keeps the concept at the top of the list.

Concept #6: The compressed Bigelow results in some space to model the sawmill. The space is sufficient to get 4-6 freight cars and possibly a log train within proximity of the sawmill. The sawmill would likely be a flat (or partial model)

In the image above, the compressed version of Bigelow fits in well. 2-3 feet is available to create a representation of the sawmill area. While certainly not as much as one would like, it is sufficient to store off four freight cars and possibly a log train. The sawmill would have to be compressed on the backdrop. If the turntable lead is made on a curved turnout, then there is room for the turntable with the 3-stall engine house flattened on the backdrop. At least one stall would be operable, possibly two.

In my mind the image above keeps concept #6 in the running. But I must admit, I’d like another foot or so for the sawmill. The image below shows how one could get more length to the sawmill.

Taking some liberties with the track arrangement of Bigelow, it’s possible to add another 9-12 inches of length to the Bigelow sawmill area. The liberties do not compromise the depot and freight house, so seem acceptable.

The above version of Concept #6 changes which track goes to the sawmill. In doing so, an extra 6″ is gained on one on the tracks. Additionally, the front (fascia) track going into the into the sawmill area could be split right behind the depot, doubling the capacity of the sawmill. The rear spur to be curved to serve another freight house. There is plenty of room for the turntable and possibly the whole engine house but again a curved turnout is required. I like this version too.

Concept #6r: Kingfield in the middle (rotated)

Concept #6r: Bigelow easily fits the space with five feet length in the sawmill area.  By far, this is the best concept for prototype modeling of Bigelow

Of the part 4 concepts, Gary liked Concept #6r the best. So it automatically moves to the next round. Since Concept #6r already had a “fitting Bigelow” I’ve not bothered to insert a compressed version.


Unless Gary says otherwise, Concept #6 and Concept #6r will move on to the next round where they will get fitted with Kingfield.

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