When I last wrote about Minories, it was late 2021. Since then, building (successfully) a pair of modules for the N-mod and sorting out the ESNG exhibition has rather taken up my time. The modules need a little more scenery, but that can wait, and I decided to return to my Minories.
This was the original plan that I was working to.
As I began to lay the pointwork, a number of challenges came to light. I had laid all the track bases in place, and (1) one was a little out of alignment. Not enough to prevent smooth running, but I wasn’t happy with it, Then (2) it was very difficult to fit point motors (Cobalt, as I have a good number in stock) with so many closely linked points and under the raised arches.
And, of course, as I mentioned in December, Finetrax have greatly improved their Code 40 point kits, with track bases with the rail chairs included, rail-built frogs and pre-formed point blades. As I mulled over the design, typically I decided that I really didn’t like it that much. Especially, although the terminus throat pointwork is the most interesting part of things, I’d made the platforms too short. I also didn’t really like the ‘hidden’ platform ends on a short added board, yet I didn’t want to extend the board size over 4′ long.
So I looked at the design again, and the shape of boards that I had already constructed. I also returned to the rather simpler Ian Futers ‘Victoria Park’ design. And this is what I’ve come up with. As you can see, the scenic sections and boards have remained the same – I’ve always been very happy with them. The two sidings at the top can be used for a short EMU, parcels, and the odd loco.
I have two possible options for the fiddle yard. With a double track entry to the station, both tracks will seem bi-directional, with another crossover offstage. So sidings on both tracks in the fiddleyard could hold six trains. Alternatively, if the lower main line is shortened to become a loco siding, the fiddleyard could become a sector plate.
I guess that this is a much simpler design, shorter, with less points, but keeping some of the character of the original. Overall, I’m a lot happier with it. I’ll think a little more about this, but am confident enough to have ordered the new point kits today.
Of course, if I make these changes, it won’t really be a Minories….. but never mind.