Phase 2: continuing the outer loop and adding a long passing siding Well, the track going West (North property line) was only to be the future expansion to the front yard. This was because the track was 21 inches in the air, and that elevation continues West to the fence. For reference here's the view from East to West on the North side: First, all the way to the east, you see where the track is coming from as it goes counterclockwise. The track is coming from inside the planter that you see by the back fence. It then proceeds behing the fireplace (made the landscapers crazy by specifying a full foot of clearance between the fireplace and the wall. It then comes up to the narrow section you see in the left foreground. The track is now 21" above the level of the rest of the track. Looking West now from the narrow section towards the west end. The protrusion is a large fountain. Having found a solution (shown later) I not only continued the track westwards from here. While extending the main line to complete the outer loop, it occurred to me that I could use a passing siding on this long stretch of track on the North side of the property. Of course, even though 10 years ago I had thought to ensure all structures were 12-14" away from the property line, and all large plants the same, the wiring and plumbing to the fountain gave me a clearance of only 10"! So, it took 2 days for these conduits and water lines to be moved. Now I had 14", enough to give clearance for double track behind the fountain. This changed the length of the passing siding from 10 feet to 34 feet! Wahoo!. The siding starts just about 6 foot West of the fireplace. Looking back east from the above picture. Now to the solution: After just 5 minutes looking at my 2 year dilemma, R.J. says, just make a hairpin here, and then come back east to get to ground level. Amazing. Here's the very West end (nearest the front yard), the loop is just mocked up. See the WR switch that will continue straight to the wall? I will eventually bore a hole for the track to head out to the front yard, which you can see in the distance. It will be used for a helper cutoff for now. The passing siding connects back to the main. Here you see the temporary supports for the track and loop. Very important to note: with the extreme downgrade coming, and the desire to run long trains, the track is dead level at the approach and through the hairpin. The downgrade ONLY starts on straight track. The picture below shows the start of clearancing the track. The shed was too close to the house to allow clearance Now the shed has been moved out 4 inches, and while hard to see, there's 1 inch of clearance at worst case both to the house and on the chord that the car cuts across the inner side of the curve. Now that I have clearance, a series of supports will continue the 5.5% downgrade behind the shed: Unfortunately, it also blocks the man door into the garage, but that's ok, there's a huge car behind that door so we cannot use it anyway. Now the track continues it's downgrade back East towards the back yard: The part that is there in the courtyard, in front of the fountain lifts out: So, a bit more downgrade and we finally hit ground level again, yay! Now the track is ready to connect back to where it started, first it continues along the back of the house: Then it parallels the back of the house, with a passing siding. The left track connects to the inner loop, the right track will complete the outer loop. Notice the crossover to bring the outer loop to the inner loop? Here is the detail of the crossover, I use a short length of straight track, 15 centimeters. This give me exactly a 7" center to center on the parallel tracks: An ovehead view of the crossover that gives a train access to the inner loop. d finally you can see how all this fits: Yes, that bottom center switch is wrong, I was mocking up the track, that switch is changed to a right hand as it will lead to the switchyard in the bottom right corner of this picture. And remember, just a bit more counter clockwise is the other crossover to let a train "out" of the inner loop onto the mainline.