Operating the layout was one of the main things that I wanted to do before building the layout. I really wanted something that I can operate realistically, and as a puzzle as well. The next to last plan that I drew up was basically a large Timesaver. By moving the switch that created the switchback of the Timesaver and placing it on the main, I still had the same number of sidings.
I also lengthened all sidings, so I could use the 2 sidings and the main on the East (left) end like an Inglenook puzzle. I can also set up a train with the same types of cars that are already spotted and switch them out. After I have buildings, I will be able to spot cars at the doors for more of a challange.
The south (rear) siding on the east (left) end will be a warehouse, and the north (front) siding will be a Walthers ADM grain elevator (re-lettered to a local name) to help break up the view. On the west end, there is only one siding and it will be a liquid feed plant. These plants tend to have tank cars and covered hoppers. I will need to build an office, warehouse and tanks. I have placed a pair of Floquil spray can caps (at least those were useful) and a 35MM film canister as temporary tanks. I plan to put the tanks between the main and the siding and the other buildings on the other side of the tracks.
I only started this layout this week, and have seen a lot of progress. Until the layout and track is painted, I am stuck. After the track is painted, I can ballast the track. I am also thinking of a road on the west end with it leading into the parking lot of the grain company.