NEW 10/30/08>>>In August, 2008, the concept of active staging struck me. The changes to the railroad resulting in freight trains having Glenn Yard, albeit a small one, meant that the upper staging tracks were under-utilized. The idea of switching passenger trains at Brighton Park was gaining traction with me and while sitting at the computer one night it hit me! BOY! That really resembles Chicago Union Station underground! To that end the upper staging yard has been modified to become Chicago Union Station! Here are some shots of the revised CUS Staging!
Here is the Burlington Freight House with express cars spotted for loading. On the right a Burlington NW-2 spots an RPO at the Post Office platform for loading, presumably for the California Zephyr!
Here is a view of the Post Office platform and the Burlington freight house shot from the Harrison Street overpass! On the right the photographer catches the Harrison Street overpass and the U.S. Post Office building located on "air rights" above the station throat.
The upper level of staging represents all of Chicago. Four tracks tie into the two tracks coming north from Brighton Park. The installation of a double-slip switches allows trains to go from any track to any track. The staging yards are built into the room's entertainment center which was the first thing built when the original railroad was started!
The tracks in upper staging are Atlas Code 100 "Old Reliable." I chose to use Code 100 here as the height of the facility is above eye-level and requires a step stool to re-rail anything that derails. Code 100 presents a much more reliable rail with 0% derailments. In the above/left photo you can see the old level of the upper staging tracks which were raised approximately 10 inches in the renovation/rebuild.
In these three photos you can see the double-slip "puzzle" where the double track from Brighton Park converges. Behind my right hand is another switch for the four-track primary Chicago staging tracks. You may also notice a pair of tracks with a switch not yet connected. This track will run behind the scenes with connections to the B&O at Brighton Park, Santa Fe at Corwith, and IHB at Argo. The above-right photo shows the separation between the upper deck and the base height of the railroad. St. Louis staging is located to the left of the 32" television (for size comparison). Each vertical support is spaced 48" apart with the center section which houses the television being 60". Below is the end of Chicago upper deck. Below the the lowest level of books and boombox is the future location of additional St. Louis staging for Alton & Southern and passenger trains.