Tuesday, 22 October 2019
Re-jigging the Hopwood fiddle yard
The issue was this: the plan presented to me was for a 'home' layout with a two road FY and a 'space' for a controller (top right in the photo). This area would be open to the front. That threw up some basic problems
a) if the layout was to be used and shown beyond the build deadline (there was some discussion about where it would finally end up) then it would need to be exhibitable in some form.
b) if this was the case then a decision would need to be taken as to front/back operation. My preference is rear-op as this looks a lot more professional and theatrical. This meant that the 'space' could be closed off to the front and used for stock storage as it's just big enough for a coach length.
With that decided the layout was built. However, the two road arrangement might be fine for home use, but was a little minimal for anything like a slick operation at an exhibition. Considering that the traffic is mainly units the FY could be opened up a little. Not super slick, but an improvement.
The length is short - too short; and the original idea of 3' boards would have been better. Dropping to 900mm squeezes it to impossible. I tried a small radius point to split the lower road. This ain't quite enough and the crossover is about 5mm too close. A rummage in the box found a small Y and some more plain track. The few mm saving in length and wider split solved it. The result is with the upper road now split electrically with a break in one rail and a switch, and the doubling of the lower road, the yard can now take two heritage two car DMUs and two single cars, or one and a loco as shown. The total hold for the whole layout using DC is now nine items. No less than you could, or would need to use with DCC.