Here are just a few modeling ideas based on the real-life Minnesota Commercial Railway and thier Hiawatha District switching plans. They are all located on Hwy 55 in South Minneapolis [exit I-94 and go about 1 mile south] and can be found by simply looking for the grain elevators.
First up is ADM Milling Company's Atkinson Mill. Here there is a lot of room for cars but also a lot of special instructions...
GM Mill on the left with their critter, the Atkinson Mill is on the right... Andy Inserra photo - Nov. 04
The north half - as seen from the 38th St Station. South half is below at 38th St. Andy Inserra photo - Nov. 04
At 38th St facing north, Atkinson Mill on left, GM Mill on right. Google map street view image
Right at the edge of 38th St. - when they say no clearance they don't fool around. The General Mills mill is on the right...
On the left is the mill for General Mills - click here for more on that mill. On the right is the Atkinson Mill. Note the small maze of tracks on the road and leading up to the mill areas. This is 37th St. Andy Inserra photo - Nov. 04
This is Nokomis Mill. Anyone driving along 55 knows it, this is the one that places cars right next to the road. This one is a bit tighter and has the nice feature of a hill that will add to the switching fun.
Nokomis Mill looking east (Bing maps image)
Nokomis mill - Sanborn map
Next is Elevator T. This one is on the other side of the mainline for those of you that have plenty of space. This one uses its own power to move cars -therefore you have jobs for that little GE or other critter you have waiting to use.
So there you go - a few ideas to work with for some tight switching layouts. All plans are real track plans too so no need to worry about "is this realisitic?" any more!