I really did not like the passenger cars I had. They look too big with the little 4-4-0s and they make the small size of the mainline painfully obvious. I decided that Number 22 and the three ex Colorado & Southern passenger cars would be put on permanent loan to the Colorado & Southern Shelf Museum. In place of the passenger cars I would build a 18′ passenger car and a 18′ combine from Mount Blue Models. The smaller size looks much better with the 4-4-0s and the shorter length (and one less car) help to de-emphasize the mainline loop. Well a little anyway.
I’ve also decided to expand the Chiver’s Finelines equipment roster and decide later which 18′ Bachmann pieces would remain and which could be sold to other RR companies.
I didn’t completely neglect track planning during all of this. I tried many different arrangements. Some were pretty bizarre:
This fixed all of the problems but would look horrible. Since I’ve decided that this layout is about improving skills, learning new ones and making a pleasant to look at layout it just wouldn’t do.
My style of operation is that I like to build and run trains and do light switching but mainly I like to watch the train go around. I often turn on the layout and put a train on the mainline chasing itself slowly around the layout while I work at my desk. A continuous run is essential for me at the moment. With that in mind, my current thinking is that the new property to the left of the freight station will be an engine yard with a turntable, a short caboose track and simple engine facilities. The previous service track will be re-designated as a team track and a small refuel area will be added by the depot.
I also finally decided that I need to realign the street from the depot to the town center (off the layout). The Christmas Village buildings we had all had 4.25″ deep bases, impossibly small in O Scale. By realigning the street I can fit between three and five smallish buildings into the area.