March 28, 2011
These photos show how staging was built. This part of the layout took about a year to build, but it was time well spent as this part of the layout would become inaccessible once part of the layout would be built over the top of it. The track that I chose for this area was Atlas Code 100 and I also chose to use Peco Code 100 turnouts as they are known for their superior performance and reliability. The layout has been built over the top of this for a year now and there have been no issues or problems with track in this area. I used Christmas LED net lights to provide some illumination for this area. Clearance between the staging deck and the lower edge of the layout is 8 inches for reaching into re-rail or manipulate trains. So far, this has not been much of an issue. Most derailments are caused by reaching into the staging area rather than from operation or moving trains.
This is an example of some of the benchwork that was built to support the staging yard. You can see that the vertical supports project an additional 8 inches to support the layout deck. The staging yard is built “inside” the vertical supports and the layout deck is built on the “outside” of the vertical supports giving me a little more room on the layout and additional room below the layout for operator ease for those larger at the waistline.
Here is the same area again, but now with the plywood deck and homosote applied, and some track and turnouts installed. The track to the right hand side is the track that services the Streator end of the layout. The track being laid on the left is the track that services the Joliet end of the layout.
This now shows the staging as it follows the curve shown above and proceeds into the room and loops around to form a peninsula . This is an optical illusion as there is no tilt or incline anywhere in the staging. It looks that way because of the transition from parallel to spreading tracks to make the curve at the end of the peninsula.
This slightly offset view shows the vertical two by’s that will support the scene break from the two sides of the layout. Look at the photo above to see how well they were lined up! I added some re-railers in staging for some additional help.
This view takes us back to the begining of staging to illustrate how of the six tracks that serve Streator, three will be for receiving trains and three will be for sending trains out onto the layout.
Each track is capable of holding two trains end to end which means that I can have 12 trains waiting in staging to come on to the layout.