It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my shelf layout… because it’s been a while since I worked on it at all. My plan was to use my speeder shed diorama as a test for whether or not to do tie plates on the shelf layout. I don’t feel like I’ve got a good result either way yet and decided I didn’t want to continue waiting on that since I haven’t been able to spend time on it lately. I also knew I’d need rail even if I went with more conventional hand-laying but I didn’t want to do conventional hand-laying and then take it all up later so I ordered some ME flex track. The idea being I can fine tune the layout idea and start working on basic land forms and buildings with the flex track and then decide later what I want to do, and if I want to I can replace sections of flex with hand lay (and just cut the rail away from the plastic ties)
Well having ordered and received this track I start thinking (which is usually a not a good idea). I was using a secondary track towards the back as a scenic abandoned for revenue service track with a jordan spreader ready for snow fighting duty. I also have this unused assembled Walthers Medusa Cement structure, which got me thinking could I incorporate it somehow. This lead me to thinking what if I had an active industry that wasn’t part of the layout operations. Something where I could swap out cars at this industry between sessions to give a little bit of scenic variability.
Then I got to thinking what if it wasn’t in the background, but was the foreground. So in a normal operation session the train will enter the scene in the background and push cars past the cement industry to get to the served industries. If I need a simple switch job for the kids it’s still connected to the main or if I want to throw in a bonus complication there could be a special move that involves moving the spreader to the cement siding in anticipation of an upcoming snow storm.
This is what my little helper Jacob and I came up with this afternoon. An additional advantage is that it allows me to move my switch further away from the top right which gives us a little more room for switching and a little broader curve the upper left side.