So onward and literally upward with the Pacific Coast Extension model railroad project. I’ve begun work on the upper level which will have two very large steel viaducts, a model of Union Station in Seattle with long platforms, some kind of industry switching (although I have not decided exactly what yet), and oodles of cool mountain scenery. That’s what I see when I look at it. For now it’s all plywood sheet and pine boards. My benchwork is improvised as I go along rather than pre-planned, which results in some interesting choices, as you can see below. I don’t mind the added challenge though, since it helps me improve my woodworking skills. I thought I ought to take some shots of the layout before the upper layer is mounted, because once that happens it’s probably never coming off again. Here is a view which is taken from the same perspective as the image in the previous post, which shows the upper layer benchwork that’s new. Also visible is a wide variety of trains… notably the SD40-2 #156 with the red white n blue Bicentennial paint scheme right in the foreground. Immediately behind him is a Broadway Limited SW2 which I’ve loaded up with an old Kato NW2 shell that’s actually superior to the brand new Broadway shell despite its age. Behind that are two observation cars which both have lighted drumheads although–oops–the layout was off when I took this photo so they’re not lighted. The Northern Pacific North Coast Limited is seen in green, alongside the Heavyweight Columbian observation car.
And here is a view from above:
Visible there is the ascending track which will slowly build in elevation until it unites with the upper level. Lastly, the same view with the beginnings of the top layer added. The piece that covers the access hatch from the lower level will be a hinged-section which will swing outward toward the camera, allowing top-level access to the track closest to the wall on top. Since this photo was taken I have already changed the upper two tracks in the background which will be the station platform tracks, so what’s seen here is still subject to adjustment. Although you can’t really tell it from these photos, the upper level is just below eye level for a six foot tall person, so the layout is actually quite tall. These shots were actually taken holding the camera above my head to show everything. The upper level is 20″ above the lower.