Sunday, November 16, 2014

Peninsula - Setting Better Standards

If our almost 8 years building this layout told us, it's that you always set wrong and diminutive standards when you start off your project. Over optimistic goals quickly plague your design and operation has you tried to get the most out of anything by using the smallest standard available.

I know, I've been there and done that for decade. Space was always at premium and the logical reflex was to cram everything at any cost. Since this spring, I've tried to fought back this ridiculous train of thoughts by streamlining my goals to the essential. Doing so helped me to find out I had much more space than I assumed, thus enabling me to move toward better standards.

Yesterday night - or should I say morning since it was 2 AM - Jérôme talked about how the layout was now much more mature than it never was in the past. Discussing about the peninsula, we were recognizing its building standards were subpar. The track radius, which is something like 22 inches is starting to be a problem. This part of the layout is really capricious and 6-axle locmotives like GMD1 have a hard time to run there. Forgot any passenger equipment, it is plain ridiculous. Also, the very thight radius induce a lot of stress in long freight consists.

Anyway, we will have to partially rebuild the peninsula when Clermont station will be built. I think we should take this occasion to buff up the standards. That means larger radius curves. I consider 30 inches to be a minimum. If I could, I would go for 42 inches, but doing so would make the aisle impractical and I don't think Louis-Marie would accept that!

That said, upgrading the track there has a positive effect. It adds a few feet to main line length in such a way that Clermont scene won't contaminate Montmorency. That was the case in the previous version, but now the run along the river shore is longer, giving the feeling the train is travelling a few extra miles in remote area.

Nothing is cast in stone, but I feel some serious thoughts should be given to address this future issue. At this point, priority is on D'Estimauville and Villeneuve, but rebuilding Clermont and removing remaining code 100 track on the peninsula and Montmorency could be the biggest challenge in 2015.

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