At this point, it has become clear we will need some extra staging space. I suggested we use the storage closet as a means to stage trains. In fact, to be more precise, we had a returning loop built into the closet. My idea is to make is a semi-helix and build a lower staging level under D'Estimauville where we will have a few track to stage trains. This will act as Limoilou yard - the de facto division point in Quebec City area.
Yes, it may looks complex, but in fact, it helps us to get rid of most annoying trackage in D'Estimauville and get more main line run out of our space. I had a hard time to imagine how to handle the scenic proximities between Villeneuve and D'Estimauville. Everything looked clumped in that area. With the new staging idea, we get more place to let things flow naturally as they should. Better, the tracks will now ends under Boulevard Henri-Bourassa's overpass, like the prototype. Scenically speaking, it is also easier to build and easier to make realistic.
Believe it or not, this is the 60th version of Hedley Junction track plan, not including the other section of the layout depicting Charlevoix!
So, once again, we got rid of useless trackage. Jérôme was the first to recongnize that Murray Bay Subdivision will see a lot of traffic. Much more than we anticipated. Our three towns (Villeneuve, Montmorency and Clermont) have enough activities to support two regular trains that will handle more cars than were thought. In some sense, it proves again that if you understand and choice well your industries, you doesn't need dozen of them to justify rail traffic. At this point, it won't be unusual to see 20-cars trains at Villeneuve.
D'Estimauville's role will be reduced to a simple main line and a siding where MoW rolling stock is stored. This is more prototypical and less crowded.
There's now only 13 turnouts left on this part of the layout, meaning many were unrequired in the previous iteration. Also, I remember reading somewhere that for mid-sized layouts, 3 towns was a good number to keep balance between operation and main line. I think it was right.
By the way, you will notice trains can only pass each other at Villeneuve now. Not that Murray Sub saw enough traffic to have many encounters during the 80, but it makes sense to me passing is not a trivial thing that can be done anywhere. D'Estimauville siding isn't a real passing track, much more a storage track. Only a very small train could dinf shelter there.
On an other train of thoughts, I gave some insight into locomotive tonnage ratings from old CN timetable. Very interesting and it will surely find its way on the layout.