Phil Z

 

Phil lives in sunny Arizona. Sunny isn't the half of it, he's got some heat in the summer, and has had to work out expansion issues on the rails.

Here are some pictures, and I'll be posting a track plan soon.

(By the way, thanks Phil for keeping my house safe! Phil is a pilot and flew over my house with a load of fire retardant when we had bad fires in San Diego).

OK, so let's take a tour of Phil's layout. Phil's back yard is on the North side of the lot, so the back wall is North, the right hand is East, and the Left hand side is West.

This is a "virtual" tour, so just pretend you are following the track around as I narrate. 

This first picture is from the West end of the yard, looking almost due East.
Notice the location of the patio structure on the right.
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This shot is still looking due East, but now you are further South, looking "through" that patio structure.
You can now see the Koi pond, and the tracks go from the raised area to a trestle.
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We will start our tour from the loop in the Southeastern corner of the yard, right next to the wall.
This picture shows a diesel just starting North behind the tree trunk. This loop is 10 foot diameter:
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This picture is looking back South along the East wall, near the Koi pond.
As you come North from the loop you come by the Koi pond.
You can see the loop at the very back of this picture.
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As you continue North along the East wall, you pass the the Koi Pond, and meet the rest of the layout.
Most of the layout is raised  from the back yard with 3 courses of block wall.
You are on the raised trestle as you pass the Koi pond.
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You are now headed to the Northeast corner of the yard.
You can see the trestle that meets the raised area on the right.
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Here's a closeup, you are looking North, towards the NE corner of the yard, as you have just come by the Koi pond, and you are on the trestle.
You are on the right hand track as you heat North.
You can see the raised area just ahead.
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You continue to travel to the Northeast corner of the yard.
You are nearest the wall, and will go behing the coaling towers and the two palm trees whose trunks you can see in the distance at the left rear of this picture.
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You are now going to be headed West, coming "towards" the camera in this picture.
The main line is the third track out from the wall, there are 2 sidings here with coal cars on them.
You will pass by the station on the main line.
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Here's a long shot of a train against the back wall, proceeding West.
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Here's another shot looking West and at the back wall.
As we continue our tour, you go from right to left on the main line, near the back wall.
The track that goes over the bridge and viaduct is the main line returning.
The track in the foreground is a siding.
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You're now getting close to the West end of the layout, where the track will loop back.
You are looking West in this picture, the main line stays near the wall.
The main line loops and returns, you can just see see it through the Ocotillo.
it's the track that goes to the left of the tan "bowl" and to the left of the Ocotillo in the forground.
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Here you are at the very West end of the layout.
You can see that you passed the "bowl" in the far right, and have circled around the two palm trees in the left side.
Now the track comes back out close the the retaining wall and heads back East.
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As you head back East, the train snakes along the retaining wall, past your old friend, the Sago palm in the "bowl", and the Ocotillo.
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You are now coming to the narrowest part of the layout.
You can see the main line, the long sidings you passed before.
You can also see the end of the siding nearest the pool.
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As you proceed East on the main line, the layout widens.
The Westbound main line is just visible on the left.
You, however,  are headed East, and will cross the Warren truss bridge and the viaduct.
The track on the right is the siding that jogs around the steps.
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As you continue East, you return to the Northeast part of the layout.
Here you will rejoin the main line double track on the East wall, or
continue onto the long siding that curves back West, in the foreground.
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Here's a view of that "intersection" from a different angle, looking South.
If you stay on the main line, you will take the curved track nearest the coaling tower.
This route will take you back to where you started, South to the koi pond and the first loop.
If you take the switch, you will take the track on the right, which is a long siding that turns back East.
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If you decided to take the siding, you would be on the track in the foreground,
looping back around to head East.
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Travelling East on the long siding, you see a couple of short sidings.
You pass the switch tower, and jog around the steps.
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Here is a view of the siding from the West end, looking back.
It's a long siding
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Thanks for the tour Phil!