The upper deck covers a space of 7ft (left), 10.5ft (center) and 7.5ft (right). The space at the bottom of the sketch will not be filled as I have a few cabinets for household stuffs. As you can see there will be a 2-3ft wide peninsula which will be the BNSF Galveston subsdivision from Tower 17 to Virginia Point, north side of Galveston Bay. At present, I have not thought of anything for the left side which is meant for San Antonio. However, the right side will be Galveston Island.
The lower deck will be hidden staging yard. I have not worked out the grade yet but will make sure it is less than 2%. Point A is the UP Glidden at San Antonio while Point B is meant to be BNSF Galveston at Temple. Northbound BNSF trains will make a loop as it descends to lower deck from Point B, while Westbound UP trains will descend at Point A. Is this possible? You tell me.
As mentioned earlier, Point A and B are entrance and exit to lower deck. The space on upper deck is undecided yet; hence, the question mark (?). I wonder if I can put an alien marking on the Texan plain :D
Tower 17 Rosenberg is the focal point. The peninsula will be BNSF Galveston to Virginia Point. There are two branches; one to UP Popp subdivision and another BNSF Mykawa subdivision. The Smither's coal quarry is the one of the industries. Other industries will be determined as I research more. The BNSF/UP trains will continue towards Virginia Point where it will meet UP Glaveston subdivision branch from Houston.
A closer look at Virginia Point. The trains will cross Galveston Bay before the respective railroad terminates at their own yard on Galveston Island.
Zoomed into the lower deck. A reverse loop allows me to turn both BNSF and UP trains back to their subdivisions. Either railroad does not have trackage rights westward and northward of Tower 17.
Amtrak Sunset Limited will occupy the additional staging yard and climb at Point A to continue its journey from San Antonio to Houston via UP Glidden. The only exception here will be the Sunset Limited will proceed to Galveston instead of New Orleans. This Houston-Galveston service was published in Houston Chronicle in 2007. Thus, I am using my creative license to extend Sunset Limited to the beautiful Galveston Island.
Please feel free to comment. I am looking for a volunteer to transform this sketch into a computer drawing. Anyone?
Stein from Norway has captured what I wanted in the above drawing. Tusen Takk! I have inserted the labels for easy identification. This is the upper deck.
Point A (San Antonio) descends to lower deck and follow the trackage directly below the BNSF Galveston to a staging yard beneath Tower 17 and along the peninsula.
Point B (Sealy/Temple) descends to lower deck beneath San Antonio and makes a loop and follow the trackage directly below the UP Glidden trackage to a staging yard directly beneath Tower 17.
The lower deck on the peninsula will hold a staging yard and a reverse loop for BNSF and UP trains go back to Point B and A respectively. Either railroad does not have trackage right westward and northward of Tower 17 (Correction - see note 1). Hence, a reverse loop is necessary. I am considering no staging tracks beneath Galveston but a lower deck will be built to keep the boosters, rolling stocks, books, etc. when not in use.
As for dispatcher desk? Well, I am thinking of putting a Post-It board on the wall near Galveston for Tower 17 dispatcher and Galveston dispatcher. Yes, I need 2 dispatchers. The amount of activities at Tower 17 will definitely keep the dispatcher superly busy.
Layout Critique - Model Railroader Forum (more comments here)
Layout Critique - TrainBoard (more comments here)
Layout Critique - NScale.net (more comments here)
1. I examined UP system map closely and discovered that UP actually has trackage right from Tower 17 to Virginia Point on BNSF Galveston subdivision as well as BNSF Mykawa subdivision from Alvin to T & N.O Junction. This is because the UP trains need to get to Smither's Lake and UP Popp subdivision at Arcola as well as UP Angleton subdivision at Algoa.
UP also has trackage right on BNSF Galveston subdivision up to Sealy north of Tower 17.