Over the past couple of weeks I've managed to get a bit of work done on the layout. I have begun measuring and cutting the foam insulation to cover the plywood surfaces, and at this point the whole first layer has been measured. I also got out the Liquid Nails and glued down the first layers of the Transition section and the West Yard section, i.e., the upper left corner of the layout diagram (see below). However, the other layers will need some cutting out of sections to provide a gradient for raising the track from the first layer of foam to the second layer.
That, in turn, requires that the track plan be overlaid on the foam. Fortunately, the software I am using to design the layout allows one to print a full-size version of tracks, buildings, notes etc. Unfortunately, the largest paper size allowed (as far as I can tell) is 8.5" x 11", so even a modest layout like mine requires about ninety sheets to print out a single copy. So far I have printed out the Transition and part of the West Yard sections, and the complete Engine Terminal section. I will tape together the individual sections and go from there.
A first printing of the Transition section and subsequent test-fitting of tracks, bridges etc. indicated that I did not have enough clearance between the bridge abutments for the main and interchange tracks on the lower level. So, I went back to the drawing board and adjusted the track positions, all the while keeping within the relatively strict guidelines of 12" minimum radius and easements on curves.
Here is the original "final" plan:
Now here is the updated "final" plan (best to keep that word in quotes):
Note the closer alignment of the main and interchange tracks going under the bridge. In addition, I have upgraded the interchange track to incorporate a bit of hidden staging; it won't really be a tunnel, more likely a short backdrop concealing the track as it makes its way to the outside world. The industrial spur tracks are a bit shorter, but are still eight and nine inches long, plenty of room when a forty-foot boxcar measures about three inches.
No pictures this time as there is no way I could Photoshop all of the debris and "temporary storage" out.