@Nick's Tracks posted:
Thank you for the kind words, Michael! I finally had a chance to look at your layout thread and I really like what you're creating. I really wish I went with Gargraves track like you did, but sadly I had too much Fastrack to justify getting rid of it. 40s and 50s era is exactly what I am modeling, too; perfect choice haha. I'd really like to get some backdrops in similar to yours.
Nick, thank you! When I was starting to plan the Allegheny Crossing layout along with my dad, we both decided that we wanted to lay a good foundation, which is why we decided to go with Gargraves and Ross switches. All I had from previous layouts was a lot of Lionel tubular track and Lionel 031 switches. So, that made the decision a little easier for us. I'm sure if I had a stockpile of "better" track and switches I would have considered using what I had. I have never used fastrack, but I'm sure it is great to work with and it looks great on your layout. The Gargraves track, Ross switches and Midwest cork roadbed is all new to me, so I'm definitely going to be learning as I go with the trackwork. The good folks here have already given me lot's of good tips, tricks and advice.
For my backdrops I used Backdropwarehouse.com. They make a nice product that looks super realistic. The only downside is their website is a little clunky and it takes a bit of planning and effort to get what you want, but the end result is very nice. Mine is actually 4 different sections. 2 bottoms half's and 2 upper sky extension half's. I rubber cemented it to a Masonite backing wall that was built on top of a grid of furing strips attached to the block wall. You can see some of the construction on my thread. It is not perfect, (especially if you look at it close up, haha) but overall I'm happy with how it turned out for our first time. With all your beautiful mountain scenery you might just need some sky backdrops to finish it off.
I was going to tell you, a neat project for your layout at some point, would be to build an operational incline plane (funicular) at your horseshoe curve scene like the one they have there. But then after thinking about it, I don't think that was there in the 50's. I believe they built that later on.