I have been thinking again, and as my wife says – that is very dangerous!
I think its fair to say I have always tried to get as much track into the space available, whatever gauge I was modelling. What makes a layout move from a multi operational layout to a cluttered sea of track! I have never come up with a percentage, but I am now sure, in my old age, that anything over about 75% is definitely cluttered.
I have usually tested a new track design by temporarily pinning it down. The number of times I have added, just one more siding, or just another crossover, etc. etc. In these days of trying to do something a bit different and escalating costs just expanding the scenic area and reducing track coverage may be an option.
My thoughts have all come together on my new OO DMU layout – hopefully without compromising operational interest and fiddle yard storage. The overall track to size ratio is under 50% giving plenty of space for adding interesting scenic areas.
It would have been easy to add at least one or two more sidings and a crossover, but I have resisted and am looking forward to a small engineers yard and possibly a small Industrial area. I have now added the platform edging and am just waiting the plastikard to complete the job. This should then give a sense of space for scenics. The wiring is reduced to a very routine job and hopefully quickly achieved.
I may well call this Layout – Horshall Common, as per ‘War of the Worlds’ as it’s an inner fight for less cluttered Layout!