Starting a blog is always a bit awkward...what to say and what you do...is anyone listening? The purpose of all this is to chronicle the development and building of a smallish Pacific Electric Railway switching layout inspired by Bruce Petty's track plan. As is the case with these kinds of projects, it's difficult to get a clear vision of what the final product will look like.
There's the adage that the camel is the product of a committee gathered to design a horse and so goes most Model Railroad projects. We start out with the simple notion that we only want to run our engines about a small, finely detailed layout that would make John Allen and his Z scale progeny David K Smith proud. What we end up with runs the risk of looking like we threw a pot of spaghetti on a 4'x8' piece of scrap ply "cauze we hate to see wasted space". I won't approach design at this point, suggestions on the internet being as common and as annoying as fleas. I hold close the notion that keeping it simple rates as one of the paragons of wisdom in the Model Railroading world and the acceptance that it's the most difficult to live by.
I've designed hundreds of layouts on my trusty Anyrail program Anyrail web and they all started as a simple loop and a few switches and then, just another, and then...oh crap...spaghetti! With that I rolled over and accept the unwitting help of Bruce and his much clearer vision of what works and what's a wild donkey chase. His simple Pacific Electric Railway switching layout featured on his website http://lariverrailroads.com/train_layout.html looks to be a great starting point.
Here is what Bruce came up with and later, once I have the drawing finished, will post the slight design alterations I did to it. This layout allows for a removable loop at the right end for running engines in a roundy round as space permits. I want to do this in 5' modules so I can take it to shows and to accommodate my rather gypsy lifestyle these days.