First off I'm still preparing for the Proto Meet. I'm out of ink in the printer, so that's a project for tomorrow. I'm printing up some informational things as well as photos to put around the layout for the tour.
The bigger challenge, however, is that the addition isn't complete yet. So I'll clean up the basement as much as I can. I'm sure a couple of folks will stop by on Friday to check things out. There may be construction in progress then. The same applies to Saturday, including having a few of the guys over for dinner.
It looks like Saturday night (after our church concert), and Sunday morning I'll be doing a final post-construction clean-up for the layout tour. I'm assuming, of course, that they're only working Friday and Saturday.
In the meantime, I've started some planning. After this project is completed, we're going to move the laundry out of the basement. That means that the ex-laundry room will be available for some expansion. The first thought is to try to squeeze in the New Hartford branch. I think that it would be possible (but cramped) to try to do New Hartford, Collinsville, and potentially Unionville. One thought would be to have an intermediate staging position to allow me to alter the consist to accound for Plainville work.
The major issue with this approach is that the ex-laundry room is still the utility room and requires working around the furnace, hot water heater, etc.
I will definitely be putting Berlin line staging in the room as well, although the intention would be for that to be hidden behind the scenicked New Hartford branch. But a few things occurred to me as I was taking measurements and visualizing the space.
First, I can provide locomotive storage/staging in this room. I was planning on trying to squeeze it into the main staging, but this would work better.
Second, I could put a turntable at the end, or a cartridge system, for turning the steam locomotives. It's not essential, but an option.
Third, I have the hookups in place, so I can install a utility sink and move the spray booth into this room, using the existing dryer vent.
I was also looking at how I'd rework the current Whiting Street Yard to connect to staging here. That's when a different approach came to mind. I could model some more of the Berlin Line industries, and build the Whiting Street yard in the utility room. This would allow me to extend this line. I could even go so far as to model down to the Berlin wye. The advantage of this is that YN-3 does the work in Berlin, as well as Cremo brewery.
So I wouldn't be able to extend the New Hartford local run, but I'd get work for another train in exchange. In addition, I would have additional work for the New Britain switching crews between New Britain and Whiting Street Yards. It would also be a simpler project to build, although I'll now have to rethink the spray booth/sink option.
I'll have to take some more measurements and draw up some plans for the various options.
So here I was thinking that I was just preparing for the Proto Meet and now I'm back to some layout planning. I won't even mention what ran through my mind regarding the helixes...