Mike Nice to see you back posting on this topic again, and looks like a fine addition to your already stunning layout. Hopefully your health scare is behind you now. Should motivate me to get back to my layout. 1:1's are taking most of my time at the moment.
Hi Mike; I was looking for a prototype picture for you in "Southern Railway's Murphy Branch" by Michael George; but I couldn't find the one I remembered with an embanked roadbed and barbed wire fences and a grade crossing. Maybe I am remembering something I saw when driving around up there.
Yep I have the book and that field on page 50 had either tobacco or corn in it. A little past there on Governor's Island the railroad runs past a dairy farm so that area between the ridges on phase two could be any one of the three. Tempting as it is to put a siding in there for a industry of some kind I'm not going that route. That's where I went wrong before. My previous layouts ending up looking like the northeast corridor instead of a sleepy rural shortline.