Phase 1: Building the first loop of track around the back lawn Construction My idea was to have 2 independent loops of track so continuous unattended running could be achieved. Also being able to see most of the track while I was sitting in one place in the back yard was high on my list. This first loop was conceived when the landscaping first went in. It goes around the grass in the back yard. In order to be able to mow and edge the grass, The idea was to ballast the track, along the patio and in the planters. I had the concrete poured to very closely match the track curvature. This put the loop of track in ballast next to the grass. This left me with an S curve and issues trimming the grass next to the ballast. I had more concrete pouted, allowing for a short straight to eliminate the S curve and keep all the track on the concrete, much easier to trim. My track is free-floating in ballast except where it lies directly on concrete. Here you can see the track which follows the curve of the patio, and then goes into the planter. In the picture below, we have travelled counter clockwise around the loop. There is a second track "outside" of the loop, which is the main line. You can also see the wye trackage that heads off to the upper right, the switchyard. There is a 10' diameter switch on this loop that is part of a passing track on the main line. Below you see the track as it goes along the property line and curves to the back fence. This is an early picture that shows the crossover between the inner loop and the outer main. This crossover was made of 2 Aristo WR (10' diameter) switches. This proved too tight for long passenger cars, it clearly makes an "S" curve using switches, a double no no. The track to the right, which goes off to the rear is the main line and goes up a 3.5% grade paralleling the back fence. Below is the crossover as changed to use two #6 switches, much smoother, and trouble-free. There's even room for a short section of straight track between the switches. The picture bleow shows the inner loop progressing through the planter, and the main line starting up the 3.5% grade along the back fence.