Monday, December 26, 2011

City Dreams re-imagined

So, the Christmas celebrations left my brain with nothing much to do but mull over Tom's rather neat little scheme for an APA box. I liked it as a starting point and I've been working up concepts myself for urban locales so I thought I'd have a bit of a fiddle with it and see if I could incorporate some of my favourite design elements in there. 
Here you are. It's not dissimilar to Tom's scheme. Same amount of entry/exit points and sidings I just messed them around a bit. 
For many, many years I've toyed with the idea of using boxcars as view blocks, and why not? They are the same size as the trains you're trying to hide. Seems pretty perfect to me. It also suggests to folks that maybe these industries depicted here are at the end of a larger freight yard and a yard switcher can quite feasibly keep shuttling back on and offstage delivering cars to the industries.
Next I moved the industry that Tom had at right front to the back of the layout and ran the siding inside the building. In my exhibition experience people like to see cars going in and out of buildings and with the end of the siding hidden inside the building who knows how long it is? It looks like the siding is long enough to take one car. But with a cassette there that is two cars long you can mess with peoples minds a bit. Not unlike a magic trick. That building isn't big enough for two cars so how do they get in there? Perhaps parent would have fun explaining that one to their kids...
The industry at left serves as another view block as well as being another "spot" (or two) for boxcars. A traverser off stage here would also means a loco could exit offstage on one line and re-appear on the other, perhaps suggesting this is a passing siding/loop.
The road was placed there to break things up a bit, a working crossing light would be a nice touch on a small layout such as this, perhaps the crossing would have a working barrier. It would be up and down all the time though and perhaps the mechanism is likely to get worn out very quickly.
Anyway, just another way to look at the same thing.


  1. Interesting discussion. I think, the Z-shaped track layout consisting of just two turnouts forming a single crossover is a very valuable but still underestimated small layout design. The reason why most small layout modellers prefer some kind of inglenook design might be that the Z-shaped track layout requires the operator to move vehicles between different tracks outside the layout. However, from my point of view, it's an excellent design for boxfile layouts or operational dioramas