I have been kicking around the idea of scrapping the current layout, and starting over with a mostly new plan. As of right now, the Washington Street yard and the interchange is all that I plan on keeping, but on a new layout and shifted further forward to allow for staging.
Playa Desnuda 2.0 will be a total length of 147 inches long, 18 inches wide, with a possible 12×24 inch extension at the end of the branch with D’Amato Lumber and a possible second freight station or team track. The issue with the current Playa Desnuda layout has some serious flaws when you look at the actual track plan. When I designed it, I simply lengthened a TimeSaver and made all of the sidings the length of a piece of Atlas Code 80 flextrack. Nothing challenging about having room for 9 freight cars.
Yesterday, I switched Rick Watson’s Exeter Branch again, this time I worked the Locan/Sanger/LacJac local, using an ALCO HH600. Rick’s layout is a Plywood Pacific that is painted, have paper/core foam buildings and maybe a dozen trees scattered all over it, and you never notice the lack of ballast while looking for an odd PFE reefer. Working Sanger proved to have it’s challenges, and the biggest one is that there is only one way to fit a 17 car train in this town. He has multiple industries on the same siding, and some have only room for one car. This layout is designed to make you think, and I am thinking that I want to have Playa Desnuda operate similarly with a 10-15 car train that would be delivered out of a small staging yard and delivered to The Washington Street Yard, and to treat that yard like the one in the center of Sanger.
The new Play Desnuda will have more switches, less track, and more buildings, and will be fully sceniced. I plan to have the break in the layout be at a point where the layout can be split in half easily, and allow for an extension. the minimum radius of 12 inches, which a real Baldwin VO1000 could handle. I plan on making one section 72 inches long, and the second one 75 inches. My original idea was to put a concrete lined storm drain in, but Ballona Creek wasn’t channelized until after the Pacific Electric dropped the catenary, and the end of electric power on the Santa Monica Airline, and Coyote Creek in Cerritos was channelized in 1963, so a storm drain would be out of place for 1953.