As I move forward to build the layout (a water pipe must be rerouted this weekend before construction begins), a last scenic issue as to be addressed. You probably recall I removed the tentative lower line a few weeks ago. However, I didn't address what would happen with this layout area.
The first option was to extend the scenery East of Monk a few feet. It would represent the first few hundred feet of Glendyne Subdivision toward Edmundston. I envisioned either a wooden area or a marsh like Lac-Therrien. However, I didn't feel it was right at all. A question was raised: what's more important?
Trying to answer that question left me to analyse the small mock-up once again. One thing got on my nerve and it was how sudden the transition from staging to Ste-Euphémie was short and sudden. I feel it's better when a scene has buffer scenic zones on each side so you can prepare yourself when your train is arriving. I do recall Lance Mindheim suggesting to keep at least 2/3 of the layout for what he called scenery zone only areas. Also, a long scenic curve on a grade before reaching the town would be a great way to display locomotives working hard to reach their destination.
On the other hand, I felt adding track East of Monk added nothing to the game... a simple mainline disappearing behind a tree line would be more than required. So I decided to make the connection to the staging visible which added about 6 feet of mainline West of Ste-Euphémie. I still had in the back of my head this idea to replicate a classic NTR steel viaduct on the layout and that area would be perfect to frame it. After careful measurement, I found out I could replicate an almost full scale rendition of Rivière des Abénakis bridge on a 52" radius scenic curve. The bridge itself would be made of three deck girder spans for a total length of 27". We are talking about something substantial here.
With this small scenic issue out of the way, I'm ready to cut some wood!