John Armstrong was a freaking genius, was he not? This is just the kind of layout that makes boys big and small pucker their mouths and go “Oooooo!” Or at least that’s what it did to me. I go gaga for layout track plans with lots of track looped on top of itself with a crossover in the middle, and if there’s a cockpit where I can sit right in the middle of the action while I make the trains go round and round, all the better.
This layout gets a much longer look from me because it’s all about passenger train movement. That’s a five-track passenger terminal in the upper right-hand corner, and there’s another major passenger station right in the middle of the layout where the figure eight crosses itself. Four other stations lie in various corners of the layout: a nifty curved stop called 54th St on the lower left, another one on the curve in the upper right corner, North Orange in the valley to the right of the crossing, and Hillside at the top of the layout in the middle right.
The only change I would make to this layout is a second cockpit in the middle of the “bottom” loop. I’m sure Armstrong left it out because he didn’t want to overdo it, or for some other artisitically sound reason, but I’m no artist and I would want as many different points of view as I could stick my head into, so that little town on the bottom would get cut out and I’d have another seat right in the middle of it.
I am seriously considering tearing out what I’ve already laid down and starting over with this plan, because it’s such a good plan and because I never really had a plan to begin with. A plan like this would make much better use of the limited room I have. And I love that trackage.