Friday, 6 February 2015

Lady pleasers 2

Still with the same title. Mr. Hill will remind me that my ideal exhibition layout is one that is set low with lots of details for Mums to bend to look at. Preferably in the summer with the wearing of loose strappy tops... I'm not denying this, but it's only part of the reason. The AoC plan is still bugging me. It should be the next project, but I'm not satisfied with how it will work at a busy exhibition. Trouble is if I move the plan around, then it becomes something else altogether. And with 6 x1' baseboard space - which are already in stock the options become limited. Now I'm the first to point out that limitations are a good thing; they focus the thinking. However, in this case the frustration is mounting.

1. If you run AoC as it is (see plan below) then it is only possible to run one train in at a time as it's not possible to hold both the train AND the loco in the loop. Max complete train length is 27" (Pannier and B-set). In an ideal world I would want to run one in before one departs.

2. If that is changed and you look at an absolute max of 5-6 points on the board then you end up with one of three shapes: a) the Gammon End - loop and a siding off each end (Edge the last 009 piece, or Svanda above, start from this point)
 b) Seaton - platform with release road and one or two siding roads/bay behind platform. Mr Parker has used this for Edgeworth. Which is also the classic light railway plan.
Or c) Ashburton. With the kick-back off of the bay. What these give you are a longer platform road that will hold the entire train - passenger waits in platform road, goods arrives loop etc. You can add odd sidings here and there, but remember there's only 6x1' to play with and if you are not careful it becomes all pointwork.
Goods only is a different proposition. CP's Sutton Wharf is smaller in size and is a lot busier track-wise, but he ain't trying to run round 27" of passenger train. Going freight only is another possible.

3. Any of the above will work and improve the density of traffic, but then as the Irishman on the horse replied when asked directions, 'If I wanted to go there, I wouldn't want to start from here.' The plan has now ceased to be AoC - you are now starting from scratch.


  1. Chris
    Do you want a B set?
    what about 3 four or 6 wheel coaches ,it could be shorter.
    Mind you you could go 3mm and try and fit it into 50 inches.

  2. I agree with Richard, I think a B set would visually shrink the layout and show up how small it is. The combination of an E40 and an S18,as used on the Tanat line, is the longest I would contemplate using, but to be honest I think a Heljan railcar would be ideal for the passenger service. That in theory would let you run a passenger service whilst a freight service is assembled in the yard, It really is a one engine in steam layout though. Re-reading Roy's article it seems that in a domestic situation he was suggesting it could even be built as a pure shunting layout without a an optional extra.

    The one option I've considered is the addition of a headshunt off the loop. In the end I decided it wouldn't add that much extra flexibility. Alternatively how about extending the road with the coal staithes on it and using that as a stabling point for a second train? It would mean pushing the GS towards the end of the baseboard, but then you could use the GS as a scenic break

  3. Turn it into a tram terminus, a la Ramsey I o M or somewhere Mediterranean, like the Soller Tramway. The loco release and adjacent goods shed siding then become the depot with covered accommodation for the trams and trailers and the goods facilities relocate to the far siding. Front of the baseboard is beach/sea while the rear has white painted houses and palms. Catenary is an option as you could use steam trams. With shorter power units and cars you get more movement in the same space.
    Train comes in. Loco draws ahead for servicing/stabling. Spare loco draws out of depot to pick up train with option of adding or dropping off a trailer depending on number of passengers. Once daily mixed train includes a few goods wagons for shunting.

    You could replace the loop point and goods shed point with a turntable servicing a small roundhouse like that at Soller and get more trailer/tram storage roads.

  4. I like the tram terminus idea. You might even be able to compress the layout enough to have the fiddleyard within the 6ft total length.. Another quick thought to maintain interest at an exhibition would be to scrap the coal staithes siding and replace it by a simple single track narrow gauge mineral line

  5. @ James
    Interesting idea. At Soller in Majorca the Soller Railway interchanges with the Soller Tramway. The real thing is much too big, but it could be done with both lines entering from the fiddleyard and then sharing some of the depot facilities.

  6. Point taken about B-set, though I have one. Railcar would be a bit late period, though I did perk up with the recent announcement of a steam railmotor.

  7. The AoC just begs for a mixed train. Think the CVLR 14xx plus Thompson Brake End plus a few wagons. Or if going back in time a 4 wheel coach or two plus goods stock.

    If one was to move the entrance to the loop a few inches towards the bridge a little operational leeway would be gained.

    And to provide interest one could assume that just beyond the bridge was a dairy, quarry, clay dries (Beattie Well Tanks would fit the layout perfectly), fish quay or some other industry allowing goods only trains to run into the station. And modellers licence would allow the industry to change with each operating session. Then shunt back off scene (or onto another module*, built subsequently) before finally returning to the loop to run round and depart.

    *Or it would be possible to build several different modules and ring the changes as the whim took one.

  8. There's another obvious route. Same plan, longer. Two boards of 3' 6" should still fit in the car but the extra length makes it much more workable.

  9. Which would mean sticking the bits sliced off back on. The two 3' boards in stock are the old Rhiw 3'6" ones that have been sent to the Rabbi.