The P&W layout is pretty simple, but it will still have plenty of challenges for me. It is essentially just a loop with some siding/yard trackage. The loop will be single track, although the prototype was once double tracked in the area modeled. I'll be using Eishindo flex track for the majority of the layout, and am seriously considering not even installing working turnouts due to their relatively poor appearance and performance. I may upgrade when and if better ones come out or if I get the gumption to scratch-build them.
Here we see the basic platform of the layout. It rests on a 2" slab of pink foam, with layers of foam core hot-glued on top. The base layer of foam is stiff enough to support anything I'll be adding. This layout will be extremely light! More foam--just plain blue insulation sheet--will be added to build up the hills. A backdrop/scenic divider will split the layout down the middle from top-to-bottom in this photo.
Above we see the general track plan. Going from railroad east to west, starting at top left going counter-clockwise: Trains will emerge from Schenley Tunnel in the divider to cross a through truss bridge--a "modelers prerogative" compressed representation--across the Allegheny River. Trains will pass above the Willow Grove Yard area that will be modeled at bottom left, then through Etna and BG Tower, and the Tippins Machine works. Passing Etna the railroad crosses over Pine Creek meandering along the track going west towards Allison Park, where it will duck into a tunnel in the divider.
Here's a bit closer view of the basic surface with flex track pinned to test the track placement. Pine Creek meanders in and out of the scene a couple times. I will get lots of practice with water modelling on this layout!
Finally, a track-side preview shows how the curves seem prototypically broad even on this small of a layout. Ya gotta love T-! All this in 2x3 feet!