There was a block on the completion of my Montana Rail Link 4th Sub layout which occupies the lower and middle deck of my home based, never to go to shows, layout. I really, really was not keen on any sort of bridge across the entrance doors to the cabin – it was an absolute ‘Given’ in my planning that there should be no bridge. This, combined with a determined bit of bloody-mindedness over the inclusion of a trestle on the 4th Sub line resulted in a struggle with the final bit of track planning, holding up the middle deck of the layout.
In the end, I looked at the possibility of using aluminium angle to create a rigid and stable removable bridge across the doors to the cabin. The experiment worked and thus a route for the secondary 10th Sub line could be included in the plan, resolving several track planning dilemmas. Also, this move clarifies where the west end staging yard (Sandpoint) will be located.
Some care was needed to ensure good alignment at each end of the lift out bridge. This allows a single track line to run round the opposite side of the room from the main line (4th Sub route) and allows the junction with the 4th Sub at Paradise to be modelled.
With that planning change, work could commence on the building of the baseboards, inserting the spline track bed and preparing for track laying. The layout is based on shelf layout principles and the boards above are only 10 inches wide, minimising impact on the room but increasing operating potential of the layout.
The picture above shows a view of testing work on the new door bridge using temporary wiring before completing the back drop and fascia. A switch to prevent trains entering the bridge zone will be installed to prevent accidents!
The door bridge project turned out to be more successful than I had hoped. I can now make further changes – installing a Pratt through truss bridge (4 spans) on this stretch of 10th Sub line to cross the Flat Head River and a similar truss bridge on the main line close to Paradise Yard. This fills my bridge building urges and means the originally planned trestle can be dropped. At last, the over-thinking (or analysis paralysis) is over and practical work on the layout has recommenced – and all resolved by adopting a more flexible approach.