Wednesday 1 December 2010

The Art of Compromise

Art of Compromise plan
Art of Compromise model layout plan Both images: Roy Link/Peco
The Art of Compromise
The above is my Nemesis. Published in RM in October 1978 when I was 14.

Roy Link produced several plans in the late 70s/early 80s some of which were reproduced in the recent Peco 60th Anniversary pull-out. They also included an up-and-over Glyn Valley idea and a plan of the Spurn Head line on the Humber. This plan titled 'The art of compromise' caught the eye of my 14 year old self, and I've been trying to build it ever since.... you can't... it's impossible.

The inspiration is the Fairford Branch on which most if not all the stations used this unusual track layout of: loop-beyond-the -platform. (Iain Rice returned to the idea in the Morril house layout Broadwell Green. Both were used to push products: Link - the then new Lima 45xx and Rice - Wills kits) The oh-so-tempting colour illustration is the workable part of the plan with single track, platform, and road rising behind. The bit that doesn't work is the cross-section through the coal yard and weighbridge hut: there's just not enough width of baseboard at a foot deep. 15-18" would be better.

The length sort of works: Link states in the text that a B-Set cannot be run-round... yes it can. Been there. But its very tight. The whole point of the plan is to use the platform road as a head-shunt for the goods yard to avoid off-board shunting. All well and good, but would it be better if the entry from the Fiddle Yard was to the left?

This is an itch that I need to scratch one day; it's the perfect exhibition animal: simple to build and making full use of the plethora of RTR items - simple things done well. Will I do it? Probably not. I've had three goes at it in this form since 1978 and for the reasons above it doesn't work. If it's adjusted and altered, then its not The Art of Compromise plan... it's something else... it's Unnycoombe and I've just done that.
I do have a 14xx and a B-Set in the loft though...

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