Laurel is just a connection point for the Frannie Cutoff into the NP Mainline. No effort has been undertaken to model any of the real features, except for the general scenery of the area. 

Laurel also represents Scottsbluff, Nebraska, as a staging yard for trains bound east from Orin on the CB&Q Wendover - Torrington and eastbound line.

The track in Laurel:

The top is north in this diagram.

Laurel will have relatively simple scenery - it's purpose is to support the operation of the railroad, and to occasionally let me run really BIG trains that won't fit on the rest of the railroad.

We're looking at the beginnings of Laurel, Montana. This shot is taken from the unattached end of the peninsula, which is the west end of Laurel.
04-03-30 1st Train into Laurel.JPG (82083 bytes)This is the first train into Laurel - it's a "work" train on the curve that leads around a support post near the west end of Laurel yard (check the picture above - we're looking down the track from the opposite direction).
On the double crossover coming into Laurel from the west. The left far end of the crossover will lead to Frannie, on the top level of the layout (some day far away).
Looking west from the end of track in Laurel, as of April 2nd, 2004. Isn't that scenery beautiful?! I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the supporting column on the left - it will be in the scene. Maybe I'll just paint it blue or deep green and be done with it. Or maybe I'll camouflage the bottom part of it as a big oil tank. Any ideas?
05-01-31 Doodlebug WB from Laurel 3.jpg (81866 bytes) Here's Doodlebug 9099 just leaving Laurel in this photo from January 2005. Comparing it to the photos above, you can see that progress is being made, although it's agonizingly slow!

In early planning for operations, I've come to the conclusion that I need a turntable at Laurel, to allow locomotives on Burlington trains from Frannie to turn around and head back with a new consist headed into Wyoming. I also probably will need a dedicated switcher - it looks like Laurel, acting as both Laurel and Scottsbluff, may wind up handling a lot of trains. Engine facilities will include turntable (perhaps rather large), and some servicing facilities.

I thought about adding a hidden reverse loop to the NP mainline just east of Laurel (where the line runs under the helix), and I may still go that route. But I may relocate Cody, and that will free up a lot more real estate for Laurel. If I do, that will make room for the visible engine facilities.

NP Main