Sunday, July 14, 2013

Track Plan Update

This is the second pass at the track plan using Rail Modeller that starts to clean up minimum radii, alignment and details at industries. I'm fairly happy with both the Erie and HBS yards, Maxwell House, and the float yard/carfloat areas. I'm still questioning the Seatrain pier area as I don't have enough room to separate the piers enough for ships at this point. 

At Bethlehem the piers work out pretty well so that I can get piers and ships in between them. I also still need to pay closer attention to the end of the line at Holland America and neighbors as this is not quite the prototype track arrangement. At this point there are approximately 100 switches - yowza...

Next, I will address those issues, and then I'll start adding more building footprints to ensure they work with the track. The key buildings are shown, but I will use this plan to place row houses, flats, ancillary structures, etc. For instance, the dead corner behind Litpon's at the left end of the HBS yard can hold a nice deep street scene that could extend all the way down the divider to Maxwell House and around the bend. 

I have also had a realization after working closely with the track plan and other original documents, that the HBS was no slouch of an operation in terms of amount of traffic. I have always had a sleepy little short line railroad in my head when working on the layout, but now I'm shifting to a vision of a scrappy little bulldog of a railroad. They had many run ins with bankruptcy, being sold, etc., which is probably due to the ups and downs of the industries it served. I'll need to do some more serious research on the business side of the operations, but a cursory look at their later earnings indicates that WWII was extremely busy followed by a slow tapering decline all the way to the demise in the 70s and 80s. 

Track laying will begin in the HBS yard, and then progress south (left) down the Hudson. 

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