I can't claim that I
designed this plan. My only contribution was to take it from Iain Rice's book 'Light
Railway Layout Designs' and redraw it for HOn30. Also I kept the original, probably non-American, name
I. Rice used.
While I really like the operating opportunities this plan offers with its switchback to the
upper level and the small yard on the lower, I'm not totally satisfied with the design.
Especially putting the
mine in front of the yard sounds like calling for trouble. It is too easy to knock parts
off while manually uncoupling or rerailing trains.
In the present shape I think this would yield a nice logging layout with a log
loading area on the upper level and a logging camp or even a small mill on the lower
Also I remember an article in a British magazine about a switching puzzle based
on a similar track arrangement as the upper level here. That puzzle required sidings
with a length depending on the length of the cars used.
This puzzle is called 'Inglenook Sidings'. Thanks to Paul J. Banker, who also pointed me to
the Railway Modeling Shunting Puzzles Website
this and other similar trackplans ( including the famous Timesaver' ) are described.
It is not clearly visible on the plan, but
one track leaves the layout to the left through a tunnel under the mill.