In anticipation of my first ever operating session next weekend, I've been tuning up the layout and making a number of small improvements. I'm extremely impressed with the work that Rob Spangler has been doing on his Eighth Subdivision of the Western Pacific, and especially some of the innovative design ideas he has incorporated into his fascia. You can see his work on his thread on the Model Railroad Hobbyist forum at http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/6051. I decided to steal a couple of his ideas for fascia for my layout. Below is one of the standard control panels with bill boxes and a small shelf. All of the control panels on the layout have been built this way, with the exception of the yard panel at North Pierce. More on that later.
I have always been concerned that the small shelf would be inadequate for managing the car cards, waybills and other paperwork. I also liked Rob's idea of being able to see the label on each box from above as opposed to potentially having to bend over to see it. So I added a piece of 3/4" wood across the front edge of the shelf and the top edge of the bill boxes.
Once the glue had dried I painted them to match the fascia (well, not quite- it appears that my most recent can of fascia paint doesn't quite match the old one).
The "Siding" label is temporary but shows how the labels for each of the boxes will appear once they are installed. And the piece of wood across the front of the shelf will keep the waybills from slipping off the edge. The fascia in this area has the initial coat of paint and will get the second and final coat once the scenery is complete.
For the yard panel at North Pierce, I added a strip of 1/8" Masonite across the front in order to keep the waybills from slipping off the shelf. I didn't have as much room here as on the other panels and I wanted to maintain as much space as possible for the operators to sort cards.
Hopefully, these small improvement should make it easier for the crews to manage the paper work next weekend. We shall see.