The new layout required a change in concept. The 1950's layout only modeled the northern half of the railroad.
I wanted the whole branch because I wanted the crews to have to turn their engines, I wanted them to complete a trip , a tour
of duty, not just run the train from one end of the layout to the other and then go get a different train. That meant
I had to have a completely new trackplan. The new track plan is simpler with no lower level staging. The design
train is about 12 cars and a small engine, about 6-8 feet long.
I will have the terminal at Wilmington, with interchanges to the PRR and B&O, plus a staging track representing the
Delaware River extension (the line to the Pigeon Point car ferry) and one representing the King St. (downtown area).
There will be three major on line switching locations, Montchanin, Coatesville and Birdsboro. From Monchanin will be
two short branches serving mills along the Brandywine River. Coatesville will be about half the size of Coatesville
on the original layout. It will also have the connection to the French Creek Branch. 1900 Birdsboro will be smaller
than 1950 Birdsboro also. I will have a portable staging yard to represent Reading that will be out in the hallway .
There will be a continuous running connection from Montchanin to Coatesville on the peninsula. The major advantages
of this are that it retires the drop connection across the doorway and allows continuous running with full access. The
down side is it will require 18" radius and a relatively short continuous run (basically an oval about 15 feet long).
One new approach I intend to try is "cassette" staging to allow for cars to be removed from the layout without a lot
of handling. It will be used at all staging and interchange locations.
After the first operating session I realized I needed to add Reading staging, so a portable staging yard was designed
and built in October/Novemeber 2010.