Recently I found a schematic map of the electric railroad track in Sacramento (where I live) and thought I would share some bits of it that I consider interesting for Layout Design Elements. The schematic below is of an area about 1 mile wide and about 400 yards deep (three city blocks.) The track plan for my current layout is based on the Sacramento Northern trackage in this area. The four-track yard on the left is a locomotive storage area (electric and diesel locomotives were stored in the open air) and freight house. The large double-ended yard on the right was a division-point yard where incoming trains were broken down to be delivered to interchange points or the other division-point yard on the other end of town. There are two interchanges, with Western Pacific and Southern Pacific, from this yard. The single-ended spurs are industrial switching areas, leading to a cannery, a nut processing plant, and a dairy. The two areas are separated by an overpass that carries the old Southern Pacific mainline. Obviously, a foot-by-foot model of this layout would take an area of about 60 feet by 15 feet--not unfathomable, but kind of large for a limited geographic area. I "unkinked" the bend between the two yard areas, and selectively compressed the areas with about a 5:1 ratio, ending with a shelf layout 12 feet long. I also built the yard as single-ended, but if I get a longer space for the layout I can add another module to the yard to make it double-ended. Here's a slightly more complex example, from the other end of Sacramento Northern's belt line in Sacramento: This area is about the same as the above: about a mile wide, and maybe a quarter-mile deep. The layout, though, is different: on the left is an industrial switching area (and the mainline that eventually leads to the mainline tracks in the other schematic) and an interchange with the Southern Pacific (SP trackage is represented by the lines with cross-hatches through them.) The middle secton with the wye is an interchange with Western Pacific and the entrance to the Southern Pacific's industrial belt through Sacramento. The right-hand side is a riverfront dock/warehouse area (freight was transferred to and from riverboats here) and the small four-track yard is a freight-forwarding house and LCL center, as well as a place for freight motors to lash up for the night. There is no classification yard here--that is a couple of miles down the mainline over the Sacramento River. This section could be split into three different LDE areas or modules of a shelf layout: the industrial district and SP interchange, the WP interchange and wye, and the docks/freight house area. Just some food for layout-design thought, really. The drawing is represenative of the 1945 configuration of the track--it was electrified until about 1953, and ran diesels (mostly 44 and 70 tonners) afterward. The track in the second example was pretty much all taken up by 1966, the track in the first example was mostly abandoned by 1972 and the last part, Haggin Yard on the right, was taken out in the late eighties to early nineties and is now Rails-to-Trails trails.