My office is roughly 11' x 14', and I was able to fit the original 12' long, scale length model of the mill trackage along one long wall. The street trackage coming down Pine Street will be represented by a short stretch including tracks in the road and a hopefully noticeable grade replicating what I've experienced driving down the street myself.
There will be a lift-out section across the doorway, followed by the small yard and track feeding the spur from the CN line along the Welland Canal. Past the yard and across the other end wall will be a scale length representation of the railway bridge across Hwy 406, a chemical plant, and finally a connection to the mill trackage for when I just want to see trains run.
The fascia is made from black plastic, a method that I saw Trevor Marshall demonstrate on his modules on a Trainmasters.tv series. I cut roughly 8" wide strips from a 4'x8' sheet and glued them to the benchwork with No More Nails. It went on easy, allowed for adjustment of level, and dried quickly. There is an overhang along the top edge that will be trimmed to follow the terrain contours once the scenery has progressed. I'm very pleased with how the fascia came out.
The switch machines are going to be a combination of Southco's (www.southco.com) small E3 compression latches driving Bill Brillinger's (pdc.ca) Simple Switch Machine. I've always wanted something simple to install, mechanically rather than electrically driven, and slow-motion. Because the latches move axially as the key is turned, that movement can throw the switch machine, with the rod connecting up through the benchwork to the throw bar having some flex to hold the points tight against the rails.
Here are some videos and photos illustrating the concept:
In the photo above one can see both winghead and keyed installations of the latches; I will be proceeding with the keyed version as I feel it better replicates what happens on the prototype. The operator playing the role of brakeman/conductor will have the key and be responsible for throwing the switches and "locking" them after each move.
My next step is to order the remaining switch kits that I need from Proto87 stores, assemble and install them with the key-driven latch/switch machine combos. Then I will build the liftout, lay all the connecting track, and hopefully start running trains!