Progress on the railway continues to be limited to say the least. I continue to try and plan my next railway with little success. So many ideas, and so few that really excite! But the last few weeks have been pleasant enough – a chance to get out for a few meals, the always interesting (if you like rabbits and cat litter) ESNG Zoom meetings, and a pile of good books to read.
But what are my problems in design…..
- “Eyes bigger than his belly.” This may not be true for some of our club members, but it sums up my design problems. I keep designing layouts that are frankly too big. The fact that I can run a ten coach train at an ESNG meeting doesn’t mean that I will ever be able to do that at home. And much as I would like to run my Brighton Belle unit, even a five coach train might stretch things a little.
- Fiddle yards. I have too many trains, and the fiddle yard is always too big – usually larger than the scenic part of the layout. I’m not confident of building a traverser or some other space saving idea. Cassettes would be an approach, but it’s too easy to drop your expensive train whilst turning it around.
- Couplings. I still hate NEM and Dapol EasyShunts. Big and ugly (again a bit like our club members), but I suspect my eyesight isn’t up to three-link couplings in ‘N’!
And are these the solutions?
- Be realistic and build something small.
- Accept that my layouts will only accept some of my stock at any one time and swap them around occasionally.
- Or just build something esoteric that limits what one can run (for example, Isle of Wight lines or Wisbech and Upwell tramways.) Keep the rest for the day when club nights start again.
- Experiment with couplings. I do have ideas here.
- Experiment with fiddle yards.
Or to put it another way, do ANYTHING! Just start building again.