I've been pointed toward this forum by an O scaler on another board, and wanted to share the latest project layout myself and my fellow operator - Ford - have been working on.
We've been exhibiting my HO scale layout for a couple of years, which wasn't really planned, it just sort of grew, and now isn't really designed for transportation.
As such, we decided to build a new layout that is designed from the ground up to be taken to shows. We've both been interesting in O scale for a while, so decided that we'd build something for the handful of O scale 2-rail models we already have.
The idea is inspired by the fun we've had working on my HO layout, and yet again the theme will be for a heavily industrialised urban area somewhere in the South East of the USA. My N scale layout is set in Virginia, my HO scale layout in Kentucky, so we figured why not set the O scale layout in Georgia? That's possibly subject to change, but with the name decided as Piedmont Blues (a nod to the naming style of Jon Grant's layouts Sweet Home Alabama and Sweet Home Chicago), I'm thinking Georgia will stick.
As a departure from my usual slapdash approach to layout construction, every aspect of this new layout is going to be planned from the ground up from the start. Ford insisted on it, and I don't blame him, going on my track record! Most of the work that was needed on my last two exhibition layouts were caused by my terrible planning and mediocre skillset.
This will need to be bulletproof before the first piece of wood is cut.
A trackplan has been settled on, and thrown together in SCARM to check clearances. All track is going to be handbuilt, and will follow the "FUnitMad" approach of tracklaying for that added realism - wedges of packing underneath individual ties at random to give that badly maintained shortline appearance.
The layout will be 12' x 2', with an option to extend it to 16' on the left hand end by the addition of a couple of 4' staging cassettes feeding the spurs there that go underneath the warehouse buildings.
The intention for the layout is to have full lighting, sound, and animated features, and Ford has even been kicking around the idea of an automated (or not) Day/Night cycle to make exhibitions even more interesting.
Whilst the actual construction of the layout is looking to be a while off yet, we've both started working on various other aspects of the build - I've begun work on rolling stock and structure projects, and Ford has been working on the lighting and using Arduino to animate doors, roller shutters, etc.
Further progress will be shown here as and when there's something to show.
Here's the trackplan along with 3D renders of it - courtesy of SCARM.