The Shady Creek layout started out with a single module. I built this module when I was a member of Tex-N modular railroad club. I decided to create an industrial scene with plenty of switching possibilities. This module was displayed in the club layout at several model railroad shows in the Dallas and Ft. Worth area. As a member of the club, I was fortunate to attend operating sessions at a few layouts including Dr. Kamm's Sue Line and Cliff Robertson's Marquette Union Terminal. This introduced me on to operations.
In order to build this module, I had to first design a track layout. The main lines had to be placed in specific locations to allow the module to match up with the rest of the modules in the club layout. The main line arrangement is an alteration of NTRAK standards. Regular NTRAK modules would have three tracks running along the front and an elevated track running along the rear of the module. The club altered the standard by removing the elevated rear track and moving one of the front three tracks further back on the module.
I designed the track layout with the aid of computer software. This made it easier to try different track arrangements. I had to fit in the three main lines, industry spurs, and industries in some combination. The building placement was easier since I was using some kits that I had already built for a previous layout. I was able to use exact measurements for the buildings. The track layout went through many changes before I was satisfied. The track layout for this module can be seen at the top of this diagram.