Thursday, February 21, 2019

Welztalbahn: Draft Environmental Impact Report for layout extension

I took the module plans for Untergroeningen and Gaildorf/West as planned for the future Murrbahn layout, and reviewed how they might fit into garage as a modular extension outside the Welztalbahn layout room. In the garage the layout needs to yield to other uses of available real estate. However, I've come up with a way that has a chance to be workable until we are ready for a larger bedroom shuffle in the house.

The grey blobs represent storage cabinets that can be moved if necessary, but do need to remain in the garage. The brown blobs are shelving units that need to remain in place and can not be used for the layout. The redish blob on the left is my work bench.

On the Murrbahn layout, Untergroeningen will be a terminal station, but since the prototype station was originally planned for a possible extension towards Aalen, the track layout works as through station as well.

The Untergroeningen module connects with the existing Welztalbahn layout on the south-side of Emsingen where I investigated turnout trouble last week. From the new turnout track proceeds in a wide curve through the wall to the pointed end of the Untergroeningen module. The module will be built into IKEA Hejne shelf units. The light yellow sections of the module will be built into the shelf unit, while the orange section will be removable, and installed only when operating the layout. Attaching Untergroeningen to the Welztalbahn this way will be Phase 1 of the project. Untergroeningen will expand the operational possibilities of the Welztalbahn and can be operated as a branch line terminus, or even take over the role of the imagined Prechtal destination currently represented by a single staging track on the Welztalbahn. Untergroeningen by itself does not add any additional staging, so in Phase 1 I continue to rely solely on the Welztalbahn staging tracks.

Phase 2 will add 3 Hejne units across the aisle from Untergroeningen to host Gaildorf/West and connect it with a wide curve to Untergroeningen. Again, the orange section is removable, as is the curve. With Gaildorf/West and Untergroeningen the branch can support quite a bit more activity and likely keep a third operator busy for a complete session. The freight yard at Gaildorf/West would be used for end-of-line staging and building / breaking up trains as needed.

Finally, Phase 3 would add a temporary staging yard on top of my work bench. This would significantly expand the staging track capacity for the layout, open up possibilities for more through trains, as well as different routing for local freight trains. The expanded possibilities for car routing would likely overwhelm the small yard at Emsingen and I expect to revise car routing completely if and when Phase 3 gets built.

This Draft Environmental Impact Report was conditionally approved for Phase 1 by the local Land Use Committee. I will build Phase 1 and then submit Phase 2 for approval.

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