I am finishing a section of my layout where i have a mainline and a siding spur to an engine shed. I am trying to decide whether to place water tower facing the spur or toward the mainline.
OPTION 1: service spur
My initial thought was to place it facing (servicing) the spur, but that would mean that the water tower could only easily service trains pulling consists headed head-first into the spur with rest of consist sticking out on the mainline. In the other direction, there's insufficient track length beyond the engine shed entrance to allow for anything other than an engine to back into the spur, so trains headed toward the camera on the mainline (left of the water tower in the above pic) would need to decouple from their cars leaving them on the mainline, then back into the spur, fill tank with water, and then go back and retrieve the previously abandoned train cars.
OPTION 2: service mainline
My second thought was to have the water tower service the mainline. It's a quicker stop, since no disconnects are required. At first, I thought this option would be worse, since there's a double crossover right there, but thinking it through, cross-over traffic is adversely affected regardless of service choice.
I'm leaning toward the 2nd choice at the moment. Any thoughts/opinions?