After more than a year of planning and about 6 iterations of the track plan, this projects finally entered the construction phase on January 23, 2015! I went up to Georgia for a "long weekend" to mark the layout contours on the floor of my customer's new basement and start building benchwork modules.
The final plan still depicts the Great Northern Railroad between Whitefish and Havre in Montana (set in 1929) but now evolved into a "mushroom" design from "along the walls" - style. This gives much longer mainline runs than before but also creates new challenges as far as aisle widths and grades are concerned.
Here are the two levels of this final plan:
When I arrived at the site, the divider wall was already up for a while. And this wall was in fact the reason why I had to travel to Georgia since it was apparently built per the "eyeball" method: no consistent curves and barely a straight stretch in it. This meant that the majority of the benchwork will have to be built on-site, taken back to my workshop for track laying and wiring, and then hauled back to my customer for installation.
The following pictures show the layout room as per the 23rd and 24th January, 2015:
(Click on an image to open it as a popup)
The next step is to assemble the benchwork modules in my workshop, lay track, wire, and the fun part: test it.
Stay tuned for more...