Ideas for the Layout Extension

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Eventually I intend to extend my model of Penthos to fill my garage. The garage is a little over 26' x 12'. Here are two of my ideas of what I might do, but first a reminder of the real place.

The green areas are either woods or open land. All of the railways are in cuttings, except the viaduct which is brown, the cutting sides are khaki. Roads are dark grey and the light grey is ballast.

Option 1

In this design I've compressed the whole of Penrhos North and South junctions so that the layout will fit into the garage. To do this I have had to leave out some of the exchange sidings and to reduce the length of the sidings from about 80 wagons. Less than 20 for the outer sidings. I have also curved the sidings in the opposite direction to that shown on the original plan. At the South junction (left hand end) the scenic break is through trees. All of the other scenic breaks are at road bridges.

The main disadvantage of this design is it complexity and shear 'size'. The fiddle yards are especially complex with the Barry line from the viaduct having to drop 4" so it can join the fiddle yards. The idea is to use a spiral over the fiddle yard and under the Barry cutting. The line from the Rhymney at the south end is 4" below the fiddle yards and will run under the fiddle yards and all around the outside of the layout to join the fiddle yard. It will run under the cuttings at the front and start rising up to fiddle yard level across the front of the layout.

Another disadvantage is that some of the curves are a little tight for P4, especially at the left hand end of the exchange sidings and A(N&SW) D&R entrance into the fiddle yard.

Option 2

The design is not compressed as much as Option 1 and I've turned it around so that the main viewing area is from the north. It might be possible to make the front bowed. The main advantage is that this moves the central feature, the viaduct, much closer to the centre of the layout. It also allows the cuttings to be modelled at full depth. The A(N&SW) D&R and Rhymney lines are still compressed to be able to use the two road bridges as scenic breaks. There is very little compression in the rest of the design.

There are no natural scenic breaks for either of the Barry lines to the right. However, because of the shear depth of the cuttings and the viewing angle, the trains should just disappear as they would in real life. The fiddle yards are a lot simpler. The high level Barry line fiddle yard is completely separate from the others.

If you have any ideas that might help me improve either design, or make the decision as to which to go with, please contribute to the "Penrhos Critique" topics on either the Templot forum or RMWeb forum. Thank you.