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Ambitious or just plain crazy?

Posted by 10800 , 11 March 2010 · 809 views

John and I had been thinking about Balcombe as a modular end-to-end layout on which we could run full-length EMUs etc including a representation of the Ouse Viaduct. I then thought about the attraction of seeing these trains snake over some nice P4 trackwork, and Lewes floated into my head again, as it is wont to on occasions like this.

So, having Templotted Balcombe

Attached Image: Balcombe templot.jpg

(OS map is over 50 years old so out of copyright)

I then had a go at Lewes - 'just for a bit of fun' you understand Posted Image

Attached Image

and thought wouldn't it be great to join this on to Balcombe and see those trains traverse the junctions from the London end to the Newhaven end and vice-versa? But then it would leave two stub ends and a possible lost opportunity to run trains on the route between the Oxted lines and Brighton. So, in a moment of inspiration/madness I came up with the following 'structure' which would enable all four lines at Lewes to be used.

Attached Image: World1.jpg

The "Brighton" fiddle yard is double-ended, so that it can receive trains from the Oxted lines via Lewes, and also Brighton-bound trains on the main line which would 'disappear' after crossing the viaduct.

Still with us? People who know my background might guess what's coming next Posted Image - instead of just having a fiddle yard for the Oxted lines, what about joining the Eridge layout on? And so I arrived at

Attached Image: World2withEridge.jpg

Now to have all these joined together in an exhibition would be a fairly gargantuan affair, but we're quite serious at having a go at this (the Eridge team think we're mad, but haven't said no in principle - we'd use the Eridge stock in any case! Posted Image ). Baseboards for Balcombe itself are being designed, and I'm planning on getting started on the trackwork in Lewes later this year just to get some momentum going.

Should all keep us busy for a while! Posted Image





I'm going to have to change gauge if you do.

I'm going to have to change gauge if you do.



Posted Image

You'd be welcome to come and help operate, Raphael!
That's a very impressive madcap scheme and very cool. I think it'll keep you both out of trouble for a very long time indeed :)
I dunno Rod

Seems a perfectly sensible thing to do to me!

Cheers

Jim

jim s-w Posted Image
Today, 19:52 I dunno Rod

Seems a perfectly sensible thing to do to me!


Phew, that's a relief Jim! So we're not bonkers after all!Posted Image
The basic idea is that it'll be able to be publicly viewed from all angles. It will be of a modular 'Fremo' style, so that parts and combinations can be joined and exhibited as required. I've seen this style of layout very well exhibited in Holland, Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
I have dispatched the men in the white coats to your house, they should be there in the morning, there coming to take you away! Posted Image

bonkers, you are, but if you pull it off, it will be something very special indeed.
I look forward to following the progress

bonkers, you are, but if you pull it off, it will be something very special indeed.



I think that pretty much sums it up for us Trevor - the prospect of doing something 'very special' will help to overcome the self-doubt over the sanity of what we're embarking on! But Jim thinks it's entirely reasonable - perhaps we should attach BNS at the top? (Noooooo............!!! - now that would be silly!)Posted Image
I don't think we're anticipating running a full authentic service Posted Image , just an indication of the types of trains (that will be enough in itself!). Next step will be to build some small-scale mockups to see what it really looks like!
Raphael, here is an idea of a FREMO set up. On the continent some of them are simply huge. They would make Balcombe/Lewes look small!

We have no illusions that it's going to be a demanding project. We are planning to try 'quick' baseboard construction, using the 'new' ply framed 50mm insulation board method so effectively used on the likes of 'Pempoul'.

Being fed up of building 'planks' this will be the antidote!...hopefully.Posted Image
I really like the FREMO concept - do your own thing then bring it together for a communal effort - I have also spotted a fair number of images of FREMO operators with lovely looking bottles of German beer to hand - [which is nice!].

I think that pretty much sums it up for us Trevor - the prospect of doing something 'very special' will help to overcome the self-doubt over the sanity of what we're embarking on! But Jim thinks it's entirely reasonable - perhaps we should attach BNS at the top? (Noooooo............!!! - now that would be silly!)Posted Image



Hmmm, now you might have started something, BNS at the top! JSW "Insert various random expletives here"? You then go on to the Chunnel terminal at folkstone at the bottom, the best bit is that it would not even have to work that way it could totally prototypical !!!!Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Right I going for my dinner, been on the road for 8 hours, all the way from Costa Del Essex to Leeds and back again, just to get a replacement company car, I'm knackered.....ZZZZzzzzzz