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I recently posted this picture of the Atherton engine facility asking if anyone could spot the deliberate error.
I could still possible shuffle things around, with the exception of the ash pit which obviously is sunk into the base board close to the turntable.
You can't use both tracks anyway if you are receiving coal and sand, so just make one track the through track.
Steam was long gone from the AC&Y by the time I was hanging around so I never saw it in action. I would not expect to find an ash pit near a Espee roundhouse unless you were in Northern New Mexico. I can recall an old layout article In MR in maybe the 1950s about a Wisconsin, Milwaukee Road branch which had minimal engine facilities. I would not want to be the guy putting 25 or 30 tons of coal into a tender with one of those bucket or wheel barrow operations.
Engines uncouple, back round the train a short way and then can head to the inbound service track.
The coaling facility is under construction and could fit either between water and ash on inbound or just before sand on outbound.

The blueprints were scanned and then section at a time placed on an Illustrator art board and line art created.
Think of a terminal that coaled through trains that were powered by articulated or Texas types or Berkshire locomotives. A loco has to get into a roundhouse under its own steam and assuming that you drop the fire into the ash pit, you’re on borrowed time.
But I’m leaning towards water, coal and ash (in that sequence) on the inbound track and sand on the outbound. Basically, start small and upgrade as appropriate as my operational plan increases traffic.
The wireing is ok but to turn with the motoer you need a DC controler to power the motor for the turn table. After turning (possibly with a stop over in the engine house) they exit on the outbound track and can run around to the head end of a newly assembled Westbound train.
A single outbound track off of the turntable quickly split into two - outbound road power and outbound to the yard.
So, I can't definitively answer the question of why the ash pit was placed where it was.

The engine was coaled using a bucket hoist coaling shed, a water tank or standpipe provided the water and cinders were dumped on top of a piece of sheet iron covering the ties. The facilities can be small like the fore mentioned bucket loader or extensive like the ones in Walthers Catalog.
I would put the track on a table and put some adhesive on it to glue the track and turn table down. I believe one of the blogs on here shows some very good branch type engine terminals in the comments.
Now you would understand the need for more than one track, it depends on the work that was needed to be done. Also as was mentioned the engine may be coaled and watered on the way in or the way out depending on the work that was needed. There are lots more reasons to do something or not to and there lies the interesting thing about maintaining the steam locomotive.

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