Thanks so much for your responses! I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I'm an "on call" recording studio session bassist (hence my avatar) and had to work.
I've got to keep that dividing wall, so I was trying to figure our a way to adapt the original
benchwork and trackplan to come through the doorway with a removable section (lift up/out) and just come through the wall with some small tunnel portals that could have acoustically sealed plugs made for them when recording. This was an extremely expensive double acoustically sealed wall and it has to stay mostly in it's entirety...bummer.
I've got no experience track planning on my own and I've proven to be hopeless with every
free downloaded computer program I've tried. I'm more of a tape out/lay out track on the
floor "material world" kind of planner. I've had some of the Atlas plan's lft. squares printed out by my local blueprint printing house which has worked great, but I just can't seem to
get anything workable. I'd certainly be willing to shorten the yard some...
Anyway, there's another thread by O'Dave entitiled "My Turn..." His plan is exaxtly 8' wide and as is, only one and a half feet "too" long. I've posted some questions there tonight, asking what would be involved with adapting his plan. It looks workable for my
weird space requirements. I'm too inexperienced to know if it would be as simple as removing one and a half feet of straight track on the sides or if that throws many other
elements (radius of curves, turnouts, etc.) out of kilter further down the line...
I'll keep playing around and torturing myself but I'm beginning to think it's best to abandon the Big Panhandle and start over. O'Dave's plan looks like it might have more realistic overall operation anyway, but I'm scared to leave the security of the snap track, cook book, idiot's plan! I went to my lst operating session on someone elses layout yesterday and maybe I'll finally know some folks who can stop by and tell me what the next step(s) should be.
I'd love to see some pictures someday of the Big.Pan. It's a great layout and wish I could have completed it. I'm hoping at least that I can find a buyer or trade it for something
as is, rather than tear it apart and just try to use as much track as I can for another design. I'd probably try flex track and other methods if I do.
You've been very kind considering my very lst post was so bizzarely convoluted!
I'll keep playing with the old layout fitting into the smaller space, but I don't understand the geometry of making changes here and throwing off a zillion other things 8' away.
Maybe take a peek at O'Daves thread and see what you think about my going that way.
Responding here might be best if ya do, so I don't continue to highjack his thread.
Thanks again for responding. If any other specific ideas occur I'm all ears :-)
Model Railroaders are the best people. I'm really looking forward to getting seriously involved in the hobby after so long away.