After spending some time with my current layout in it's new space and trying to come up with a design for the expanded railroad that would include those original modules, I've come to the conclusion that they just would not fit the space well and I'd be better served starting over from scratch.
With that in mind I dove into researching and designing a brand-new layout that would make best use of the space available and would allow me many, many years of enjoyment. I don't ever plan on moving from this home, so this layout will be my fourth and FINAL layout. My dream railroad.
The track plan above (click to view larger) is still a work in progress but it incorporates just about everything I enjoy in model railroading. The plan is simple, but allows an operator or two plenty of operational enjoyment. If I'm not in the mood for operations, I can even sit back with a beer and enjoy running a couple of trains around in circles. I've included a yard, a nice industrial area, and a couple nice, unencumbered areas where I can enjoy my favorite kind of modeling: Scenery.
True to proto-freelance modeling, the towns and industries located on the layout exist in real life. (though I've taken plenty of liberties with the locations and track arrangement to best serve my needs) The town of Usk stands-in for several towns found in the Pend Oreille Valley and just like on the prototype, the yard at Sandpoint is the Valley's connection with the rest of the world. I've also included a few key scenes found on the prototype including Blueslide tunnel near the crossing of Highway 20, a trestle, and the iconic Box Canyon Bridge.
Designing this track plan has been a challenging and rewarding experience and I have to thank the many talented people on the Model Railroad Hobbyist forums for their expertise in helping me come up with this plan. I'm excited to get started and I cant wait to share my progress with all of you!