4. Second Chances

A little over a year after starting—and quickly abandoning—the project, I was organizing some file archives on my PC, and came across a sketch I'd rendered of a the original layout the way I'd imagined rebuilding it as a possible, but unused, option for the aborted WR&N VI (below left). I immediately sensed where I'd gone astray with the current project: I'd allowed myself too much leeway with revisions to the original track plan.

So I sketched a new plan, paring things back and bringing it closer to its roots, but retaining the unusual crossing I'd fabricated at the outset of the project (below); it was too interesting—and represented too much work—to discard. The result was the revised plan, above right. Amazingly, the exercise reinvigorated my interest in working on the layout, and I pulled it from storage.

The first thing I did was carefully remove all track that was affected by the changes. I found that if I saturated the VHB tape with alcohol, I could slip a packing knife under it and separate it from the subroadbed. It didn't go smoothly—some track was damaged as a result, such as the curved turnout at the lower left, which had to be removed and reinstalled—but it worked well enough that the Gatorfoam remained intact. In the image below, the pink lines were removed, and the green one was added.

Then I assembled new portions of track to complete the revisions.

I also pulled the structures from storage and began posing them on the layout. I was officially layout-building once more!

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