Not yet anyway. With an impending trip to Duluth coming up who says I won't return fired up and ready to go building this model. Of course the subject doesn't have to be a grain elevator there are also several cement terminals in the twin ports area which would make another possible subject.
Anyway so far I've covered the first two steps of my approach to small model railway design.
1. Knowing what size of layout you can transport.
2. The attack of the muse.
So I'll now ramble about track and stock for a while.
Track is pretty important. Lets face it it's what you're going to run your trains on. It's pretty important, the way I develop my designs to have an fairly intimate knowledge of the track that I use on my layouts. In the past I pretty well used PECO exclusively, being a Brit that's hardly surprising. It is the best. You may well be convinced that Atlas is the best. I won't argue with you. It's a question of what you're comfortable with. KNowing your track means that you can look at a section of your sketch and say.
"Ah yes with this three points there that section will be 20" long."
A while ago I bought some Micro Engineering points/turnouts/switches for my aborted P87 scheme and they really are quite alien to me from a planning point of view. They are very nice quality models but planning wise I can't draw them into one of my sketches and be sure it would work. Yet. But test fitting the track onto those old baseboards the other day shows that I'm getting the hang of it.
Running along the tracks of course is your stock. Locomotives and cars/wagons. It's vital to know what radius curves these will navigate and function on.
The size of your stock will do a lot to influence the size of your layout.
I know a lot of people who use short wheelbase locos and older, shorter freight cars to pinch a few inches in length and shorten their layouts. A case in point is this design.I call it "concrete canyons" inspired by the Plymouth, MN industrial park I see from my office window everyday. (if you're interested in the concept I'll explain more another time) When this concept was published in the magazine Model Trains International it was presented as a plan of about 5' long, using shorter locos and stock and small radius switches. When I sketched the idea out I envisioned it much as I see the prototype. With modern locos and cars and large radius switches. I envision the layout being about 8 feet in length. Quite the difference. Small layout planning for modern stock is quite the art in itself.
So a good knowledge of track and stock is very important in developing these designs it's the difference between a small layout and a larger one.