With the central core of the railroad being used for test operations, the time has come to begin the next major construction phase. Though conventional thought might begin expanding from the existing layout, I am turning to the upper level: Cascade Summit and Crescent Lake. These stations will benefit from construction now while I still have full access to the floor below. This is particularly true of Crescent Lake which will be suspended from the ceiling.
I began the upper level construction phase at Cascade Summit as it has relatively more conventional benchwork. I’ve described and diagramed how Cascade Summit hangs out over the top of the layout below. Now I can show pictures of this construction. The overhang, a form of “mushroom” layout design, resolves the space needed for the summit wye. It also separates operators on the two levels.
Cascade Summit benchwork high on the wall. Platform railing is in the mid-distance.
A 30-inch-high operator platform was built for the Cascade Summit operators. This channels operators on the main floor level into a path directly following the track at the base level and initial mountain climb. The three feet wide platform provides ample space for operators at Cascade Summit. The platform to subroadbed height is 60-inches. This height maintains a platform to ceiling height of seven feet—a design goal for those of us taller folk. Stools will be provided for operators and a platform lip will prevent those stools from sliding off the platform.
Cascade Summit benchwork above, main level operator “tunnel” below, and Cascade Summit operator platform under construction.
A modest but stout handrail surrounds the operator platform.
Cascade Summit subroadbed. Roadbed for the summit wye extends into the corner.
As illustrated in the track plan and Cascade Summit track schematic, my Cascade Summit will go through a couple of ninety-degree bends. One of those track bends will form the base leg of the wye. The Cascade Summit wye was used for turning steam locomotive helpers and snow removal equipment. It was unique as the tail of the wye was in a single-ended tunnel. The tunnel portal was just beyond the wye switch.
RR-West of Cascade Summit, my mainline will sweep through another ninety-degree bend to swoop out over the RR-East end of Eugene, hug the wall through the pass-through under the house stairs, and head into Crescent Lake which will be my upper level staging. You can see the roadbed hanging out over the backdrop on the left side of the photo above.
Benchwork for RR-West Cascade Summit extends out over the top of the RR-East end of the Eugene Depot area below.
Benchwork construction is an exciting time, as the physical plant for the railroad begins taking shape. The upper level construction on my layout is even more exciting as it includes features that resolved important design issues of access without direct operator conflict for two levels of layout. Onward and upward!