State Line Yard is the southern end of the layout. Physically, it resides 8 inches below Pittsburgh but it is about 80 miles away by rail. This yard wraps around two sides of the room. The main line comes through the wall from Waynesburg and divides into 5 tracks. These tracks then go around a 90 degree corner and branch to 11 tracks. The longest tracks are about 17 feet long while the shorter tracks are about 16 feet long. This track arrangement has an advantage that was not recognized when it was designed. Consider any pair of tracks such as 1 and 2. Both are about 16 feet long. If, however, a train has already terminated in track 1, then there is no need to avoid fouling the switch between the two tracks. This means a very long train can now arrive in track 2. A very attentive dispatcher will keep this in mind and use it to full advantage late in the session.
As with North Yard, all switches are powered. Their controls are a diode matrix system and one rotary switch that allows the operator to dial the desired track.
Access to some of these tracks can be tricky. Fortunately, the layout is against a set of alcoves formed around structural supports for the house. These alcoves are small but I can fit in there to tend to maintenance issues that arise from time to time.
Look for an article about the project that led to the redesign of this staging yard to its current configuration in an upcoming issue of the Layout Design Journal published by the Layout Design Special Interest Group. Learn more at www.ldsig.org.