Interesting track plan, Tupper Lake & Faust Junction

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Yesterday I finally started cutting plywood for some of the multiple decks of my new layout. Started out with staging level decks. Surprisingly I was able to get most of my 3 area staging cut from only 2 full sheets of 4x8 foot sheets of plywood. Photos coming later today perhaps.


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Trimming the Waterfront Scene

I had posted earlier in this discussion,...
2) My Waterfront Scene
I have this WONDERFULL waterfront scene I purchased from an estate sale. Perhaps I could place it at the very end of my peninsula on the lower level. …..the more modern stuff (containers,etc) in the first portion of the peninsula, then this 'older style' waterfront at the 'pointy end' ?


Might have to modify its footprint a littlbit. Trouble is it would set a tone of detail that I COULD NEVER match anywhere else on the layout....:)

I made a scale image of this overhead shot,...then placed it around a few spots on the layout dwg


I've been VERY concerned with cutting up (trimming) this great piece of modeling, but yesterday I had to bit-the-bullet and give it a try. I needed to cut an end off of the scene that had 3 small buildings on it, make room for the double track mainlines that will cross behind it.


I used my trusty old Swedish made hand saw as I needed to get 3 layers of foam and 1/2" plywood.

Now I will need to get to a couple of other edges, AND figure out how I am going to place it on/in the layout deck such as to be able to easily remove it when working on the brick factory behind it, and whatever I end up placing in the corner of the layout on the very top deck.

BTW, I'll find another place on the layout to utilize those 3 small buildings,...particularly 'Rocky's Tavern'....ha...ha


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More Plywood Deck Cutting

After some trimming of that waterfront scene I figured I best get on with how I was going to fit it into its corner piece of plywood deck. I'm desiring to make the waterfront scene 'removable' at times so I can work on the structure that will behind it, and those structures i'll end up putting in that same corner on the very top deck (still to be determined).

Some plywood deck cutting and fitting so far,...

With paper template laid over plywood,..

Here you can see the good clearance between staging deck and main deck at door's entrance,..

Steel Mill corner piece & its outer frame support, ...

The reason for the 2 different beams, angle iron beam & alum extrusion. is that i wanted the alum beam to exist where I intend to build a work station under the deck there.

With all these multiple beams at the same height in the room I am able to slide the big, heavy 3/4" plywood sheets around to different positions to get access to items underneath, or to trim them, etc.


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I was doing some tweaking on areas of the main deck, and playing with ideas as to the reinforcements and ledges to support the waterfront scene. Hope to finish that tomorrow after one more gluing stage.

That steel beam lying on TOP of the deck is being utilized to locate where to drill the bolts holes in the plywood for bolting to the support beam underneath. I decided this was much easier than drilling the holes up from underneath,...and I did not have to remove the staging beams in order to get the drill in there from underneath.

Those white items under the edges of where the waterfront scene will sit in are just 2" square alum tubes they utilize for screened in porches down here in FL. Had to glue a little 1/4' wood spacer onto their bottoms so the next 'ledges' are the correct height to match the depth of the existing waterfront scene.

Played around with clamping a few pieces of random plywood on the very upper deck beams just see what it might look like. I plan on going ahead and cutting/fitting the upper deck plywoods prior to any track laying.


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Fitted Waterfront Scene

It fit in my cut out area pretty good. It sits on ledges of 3/8 plywood I provided off of the aluminum beams I provided on 3 sides of the scene,....easy in and out.

The existing scene had about a 3" drop down to water level, so I had to support it from ledges on the bottom WITHOUT taking up too much space that might interfere with the staging tracks below.



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Beiland, nice progress! Looks like things are coming together very well. Are you going to leave the seaport scene there, while you work behind it? Experience has taught me that frequently things get damaged in places like that. Of course, not having scene finished has its disadvantages, however damaging stuff which is very pricey or time consuming to fix, is something I'm trying to avoid these days, as I've learned my lesson the hard way, too many times in the past. Keep those photos coming!


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Center Peninsula Deck

Took a day off for some other projects, then yesterday I cut out the 24" wide piece for the peninsula deck, and the 24" piece for the very upper deck in the back.

Might be hard to tell from these photos, but I feel the aisles are plenty wide for a single operator.

And the access to the staging area below this peninsula is superb,...

BTW, the very tip of that staging deck is only rough cut at this time, until I test out the clearances for someone a little 'thicker' than me.
Upper Deck

I was getting ready to start cutting the plywood decks for my final and upper level of my 3 level layout. Something kept telling me I should have a look at the height of that blast furnace I had previously acquired before proceeding forward with the piece that was going to be overhead of it,....the Santa Fe station and SF diesel engine maintenance building.

This is what I discovered. The blast furnace tower was taller than I thought,...a good bit over the 20” I had set as the distance between my main level tracks and my upper level tracks,..

I spent much of the day contemplating what approach I should take. I finally came to the conclusion I was going to have to 'abbreviate' the piece of deck over the blast furnace,...and this would require my moving the Santa Fe station, Santa Fe maintenance building, and the 'west coast' container facility over to the other side of the layout/shed.

So now that Santa Fe station will move over to that corner across the entrance way and be over the waterfront/brick factory scene.

Basically I am going to have to redraw that upper deck plan, and concurrently try to arrive at more definitive arrangement for the coal mine and lumber mill scenes.

At least now my 2 opposing cites (Balt east coast, LA west coast) will be in diametrically opposed corners of the room,...on different decks.

...back to the drawing board


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Why not 'abbreviate' the blast furnace? To me, having a structure from one level poking its head up into a second level would be disconcerting.

That thought entered my mind, and perhaps I will have to give it more consideration. I think I will let it shimmer this weekend while I go forward with a few other projects.

One other thought that arose was that having the blast furnace 'out front' of other structures back under a completely covered upper deck might be a bit 'claustrophobic'. That prompted my thoughts of abbreviating that upper deck in the corner, and putting something a little less 'busy' in that upper corner.

And fortunately I had never yet made plans on the other corner of the upper level.
Regarding the blast furnace situation, how about trimming down the smokestack some. Also maybe take 1/4" off the bottom of the bottom, and 2" off the lines into the top of the furnace? Not saying it would be perfect, but a lot of people aren't familiar with every detail of steel mills. Another alternative would be to switch it, and the rolling mill.
There have been times in the past when I considered placing the steel mill / blast furnace in the 'background of the scene' (back against the backdrop images),...
Steel Mill Scene in a Corner

....but I have decided against this in favor of my current location. I just didn't see how I was going to place it in a corner where I also needed reasonable large radius mainline tracks,..2 of them. Perhaps if I had a bigger layout things could have been arranged better, but I am working with a fairly small layout.

Having it 'outfront' at the edge will allow folks to get a better view of the various cars utilized in making steel. And I think my 'mirrors' will make the scene appear more massive (maybe 2 blast furnace in a row). Please excuse those temp mirrors I show in the pics, I did not have any plain ones at this time,...only the decorative ones I had salvaged off an old house remodel job.

And the double mainline tracks will run behind the steel mill unseen for a short period, hopefully they will not appear to be running right next to, or in between, the blast furnaces.

I'll abbreviate that upper deck just over the blast furnace so it can attain its full height. I just need to figure out what I might place in that upper back corner?....a refinery and tank farm have come to mind??

BTW, I had hopes my 2 mill image might look a little like this



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Experiment with moving Steel Mill to upper deck
Yesterday I decided to make a few experiments with changing some locations of some structures. A biggy was relocating the blast furnace/steel mill scene to the upper deck. So I grabbed a spare piece of plywood decking I had and placed it in that upper corner. I tried to set the blast furnace as far back as I could while still maintaining the fairly large radius curved mainlines behind it. In order to not hind the blast furnace behind the rolling mill I had to locate the rolling mill behind like this.

At the 60" height of my upper deck the structure appeared more inspiring, as it was likely in real life. And of course the full height of the tower was accommodated under the ceiling of my shed. I determined I would likely cut that upper deck plywood back to just in front of that slag car track in front of the BF.

I experimented a little with the mirrors that worked best when the BF was angled just a little.

Not totally sold on this idea yet, particularly when I would have to redo all my previous plans down below, including the lifting bridge images that would not go well with the Santa Fe station just across entranceway. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to