How many of you, like me, think our new layout is bigger than our old one? Well your wrong. Using straight line measurements, that is not allowing for the curves nor loops, our old layout was 152 feet of mainline benchwork and 28 feet of branchline benchwork, for a total of 180 feet. Our new layout has a total of 213 feet of benchwork. An extra 23 feet you say, ah but here's the rub. Our old layout designer's were brilliant in there use of space.With Mike's, Lincoln revision, the mainline gained about 40 feet of length, but the branchline became about 80 or 90 feet long. Don't forget the branchline had running rights on another 96 feet of mainline. That's 176 feet of running on the branchline, only 37 feet shorter than our new benchwork. Then the mainline, with its unique 2 level mainline (in most of the layout) had 305 feet of running room, that's 481 feet in total. Our present mainline plan, double tracked mainline is a total of 426 feet, or 55 feet shorter. Hmm, we should have enough track anyway .
However, I think with our wider aisles and longer straight runs, our new design should be less congested. Let's not forget our track planning is not even started yet. Once we get the foam down we can position buildings and start planing in earnest. One idea is to change the peninsula and the east wall benches into 2 levels like our old layout. Using the double tracked mainline design, we would gain 264 feet. This could be done by cookie cutting our foam and elevating it on 1x4 or 2x4 stringers. This would make maintaining our take apart concept harder. Another idea would be to weave in a branchline some where, maybe on the peninsula.