Post by m a y o r 79 on Mar 22, 2017 12:34:19 GMT -5
Okay a few of you have asked so here's my latest set of plans for the future Chestnut Street / Beer Line layout. I've tried to cram as much layout as I can in a rather small space (this is all I could manage out of our basement). Its intended to be a solo operation or maybe with one other operator since there's not much space inside. The upside is I think this is actually an achievable layout for me, not some massive 1000 sf basement empire that would take me forever to build.
The main intention is to represent the very end of the Beer Line where the large breweries were located (Schlitz and Pabst for online, and Blatz loading). There were a few other industries at the far end of the line but the breweries were the biggies. I decided to do a two level layout, initially it started as a way to get staging below the layout but I figured if I'm going thru the hassle of getting down a level why not put scenery on it as well.
So before getting too far into this, here's the background:
- HO sale layout based on the Milwaukee Road Beer Line circa the early 1960s.
- Room is just shy of 7ft by 11ft with one door and no windows.
- Right now I believe the tightest curve is right around a 25" radius (largest rolling stock will be a 54ft hopper, typically 40 and 50ft cars and 4 axle switchers though, and mostly #4 switches with a few #6 in various spots.
- Grade between levels will be steep, 5.5% give or take (only trains are 2 engine transfer runs)
- I do have an annoying sewer discharge pipe to deal with but it has been incorporated as a scene block and will be wrapped in Masonite to hide it.
The sewer discharge for the house is also dictating my layout heights, lowest level is going to be 36" and the upper level about 52", giving me about 13 inches of height for scenery on the lower level once benchwork thickness is taken into account. Its a concession I'm willing to make. I'm thinking the benchwork is mostly going to be shallow depth shelves attached with metal wall brackets. Haven't worked out the details yet though.
The main idea is to model the extreme southern end of the branchline with all the breweries on the top level, and select industries from the rest of the branch on the lower level, some of which directly support the upper level breweries. The main point of the lower level was a staging yard which I decided will be scenicked since there's no where to hide it. I also want to be able to do continuous running on the lower level for my kids to be able to watch trains, and for me when I don't feel like operating.
I think most of the time it will be just me operating, sometimes a second person as well but that's about it.
Starting at the bottom level, the main point was a staging yard which will be a generic representation of North Glendale yard and the North Milwaukee tower (which guarded the entry to the Beer Line) and the depot. There are a few industries planned for the lower level that don't support the upper level (fuel oil dealer and lumber company), and the two main industries are the Schlitz Grain Elevator and Terminal Warehouse buildings. Unfortunately both shrunk considerable from reality.
The middle level is the 5% grade up to the top deck. The pink line on the lower level plan is a Masonite backdrop to try and hide the ramp up as best I can. Based on some sightline tests I've done you really shouldn't ever be able to see a train going up unless you're sitting in a chair.
The only industry on this level is at the very top, a coal dealer on the Milwaukee river that used to offload coal. its really mostly visible at the top level though as it's only about 2-3" below that track level.
This is the top level of the layout. It really starts at Humboldt yard which is the main yard that supported the breweries. Non brewery related industries on this level include a cement plant, a warehouse, a team track, power plant, Milwaukee Road freight house, and a warehouse at the very end that also was where Blatz loaded insulated boxcars. The brewery industries include the Schlitz A and B elevators, bottle return, keg shipping, ice house, cullet loading (for my cullet hoppers), and the Pabst shipping facility and grain elevator.
One of the biggest pieces of feedback I get is that I have too much crammed in here but the real beer line was more densely packed than this so I think its a good compromise. Ive seen another layout that is very similar to this in size that works rather well, though without the lower level.
Hopefully the room is ready enough to start construction next winter.