In 2016, it was decided that the NWR would, after years of no interest, abandon plans for a seperate, freestanding N Scale Layout along the West Wall and main aisleway. Questions of what to do with the benchwork varied from "Bar and Serving Area for Cookouts" to "Hey, lets build a new HO scale Switching layout. Plans and input by several members were drawn up, analyzed, and mashed together into the plan you see above.
The New Expansion would have a more modern asthetic to it, with a number of new industries that still complimented the existing layout industries. It would be functional on its own, but the new layout would be connected to the old by a liftout bridge (later replaced with a folding bridge).
The first industry you see walking in is at the far end of the Expansion, the new Bethleham Steel is a compacted model of a Steel Mill. The Mill produces rolls of new Steel, which are exported off layout, but also shipped to Wundrum Metals in Cementville. Among the many materials coming into Bethleham Steel is scrap metal from Lambert & Harris Scrap in Hankinsville. A Balloon track circles the Steel Mill, allowing switch crews to circle around the train as needed.
LaSalle Automotive is a low-relief building scratch built by John Lockwood Jr. Three loading tracks at the opposite end of LaSalle Automotive load up Autoracks. Parts are brought into the assembly plants on angled sidings. Beyond LaSalle, the empty space is reserved for a Bakery or Flour Mill of some kind.
The Middle of the new layout features a Holding Yard for the various industries. To the right of this yard is an Ethanol Plant.