Covid-19 diary #30

Still no modelling progress.  It’s been great to see some of the club on Zoom, but I’m pining for club nights and exhibitions – and that’s a surprise for an anti-social loner like myself!  Still – I have read a lot of books, and got a lot of exercise….

One interesting development was discovering three large boxes on top of my younger daughter’s wardrobe.  All full of railway, in OO and O gauge.  I’ll post some pictures soon, as the box includes some interesting early scratchbuilding.

The good news is that I think that I have a plan for the next layout.  As I said last time, I’ve been continuing to mull over what I really want to build.  I conclude:

  • Size:  It really has to be small.  I learnt from Kuritu that a 6×2 ft board is not manageable at my age.  Even 4×2 gets cumbersome.  So all boards will be no greater than 1000 x 400 mm, perhaps 800 x 400 mm, like N-Club.
  • If possible, it will be a ‘shadow box’ design, like my recent US switching layout.  It is so much easier to build convincing, well lit, scenery with a built in back scene and a proscenium arch.
  • Which really means this will be an end to end layout.  That’s OK, as one day I hope that we’ll be back to club nights and a chance to run trains round and round.

What about prototype location and period?  This is where I am….

  • Most of my stock favours BR steam and transition periods.
  • I have a number of kits for stock from this period.
  • I am really going back to my roots with an interest in early SR EMU’s.
  • But pre-grouping is also attractive, with Terriers and C Class 0-6-0’s in the stock box.
  • Looking at my history books, the LSWR opened it’s first 3rd rail electric lines in 1916.  So running both periods won’t look totally wrong, if one ignores the road vehicles and people and signals.

So this is still a bit up in the air, but probably early BR is best.

Trackwork and control:

  • I really do want to try some scale Code 40 track.  It looks so much better.
  • So that means Finetrax.  I may consider using their turnout kits, but it would be more flexible to lay my own track.  No fears here – I did it in OO (or was it EM), albeit many moons ago – especially with the jigs available.
  • But this means I need to have another go at learning Templot!
  • Control will probably remain DC.  DCC is tempting, but probably unnecessary.

All this tends towards a Minories sort of layout.  I don’t really want to build a pure Minories, so my thoughts have been around something similar, but different.

One bugbear of mine is the fiddle yard.  If one isn’t careful, it is bigger than the layout.  This is still an idea in progress, but the options are probably a traverser (small, but more difficult to build, though I’ve done it in O gauge) or reverse loops (slightly larger and much wider, and probably using smaller radii curves – eg Peco SetTrack 2, 3 & 4 radii.)

Next time, I hope to be able to post a close to final track layout.  Perhaps….

About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
This entry was posted in ESNG, Jon's layout ramblings, On my workbench and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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