In order to fit the Adena yard into my space the east end of the yard ladder will curve the wrong way compared to the prototype. As you can see in the below photo the yard ladder practically starts at the bridge over the Short Creek and then curves right. My yard will unfortunately curve left here but that's just sometimes a fact of compromise when building a prototype based layout.
|820 pulls a westbound coal drag over the Short Creek and into Adena yard.|
To preserve the bridge being as straight as it's prototype I designed a section of benchwork that carries it above the dryer and water heater. This piece of benchwork had to be strong and removable to access the water heater if necessary, so I built it out of 3/4" plywood instead of my usual foam base.
At this point I'm sure some of you will be quick to point out I should not be building something that close to my Water Heater's exhaust flue, and you're right. In my quest to try and keep bridges and whatnot as prototypical as possible I felt building across the top of my Water Heater would be ok. Once I had this piece built and in place I immediately felt extremely uncomfortable about it and took it down.
For the last month I wrestled with how to re-approach this section, keep it and just remove it when the layout wasn't in use or do a full redesign? Knowing that my son would want to run trains when I wasn't around to help get this section back in place, I opted for the full redesign.
Compromise once again appeared and I decided to curve the bridge somewhat to get around the Water Heater. The plan here is after exiting Adena Yard and crossing the Short Creek the mainline will disappear into Long Run Tunnel and head into a staging yard representing all points east (Pine Valley Yard, Mingo Junction, and Martins Ferry). The small yard at Herrick in between Adena and Dillonvale is another victim of compromise, hence the run straight to Long Run Tunnel. As seen below, I used cardboard to mockup a new safer design.
|Cardboard mockup with a slightly curved bridge.|
|Cardboard mockup in place.|
I still needed this section to be removable so I stuck with the same construction methods as before but this time I used some Birch plywood for added stability. The cardboard mockup ended up being sacrificed as a cutting template.
|Much better, plenty of space and available airflow.|