Anyway, I did know that the point control box needed an upgrade. The original was squeezed into a tiny box I happened to have to hand and the wiring was from two lengths of six-core flex whose strands were just a little too thin. There was never a proper mount on the layout so it often dangled and swung! The result was regular electrical failure; a combination of overthin wire and excess stress.
I started with some decent wires of various colours (to match the existing wiring plan). The packets say "7/0 2mm", but I tend to go with what looks right. These were soldered to a new 15 pin plug in the same format as the old one. The housing and cable restraint were affixed and then cable tidy was looped round the twelve strands of wire up to the new box.
The box is about three times as big as its predecessor and I thought wiring would be easy. However as the switches were identical size to the old ones when combined with the thicker wire, soldering up was a bit of a fiddle. Maybe should have gone for some bigger toggles too!
I drilled and filed two keyhole slots in the back of the casing to allow the unit to be fixed firmly but temporarily to the layout. The track plan was drawn with a paint pen and ruler following testing. Each pair of points is operated by one toggle. The crossovers are obvious pairings. In the goods yard/coal cells, I opted to pair the two outer points and the two inner. This seems to work and two dots remind the relationship between the switching for the outer pair for those unfamiliar operators.
This should make operating the layout easier both at shows and at home.
Elsewhere, I've been splodging paint onto pristine Farish coaches and thereby reducing their resale value by 95%. But who cares? I'm never going to sell them!
Minor titivations are happening to scenery too including the addition of some timbering at each end of the yard crossing:
Brafferton will be at Ormesby Hall on 23rd and 24th March. One of my regular operators will be sunning himself in the relative tropical climes of Ally Pally and on the Sunday I'll be flying solo as the lad is off to a swimming gala. If you'd like to come and play trains on the Sunday, even if only for a couple of hours, PM me and I'll arrange for you to be an official operator for the day. Otherwise I hope I'll see some of you there as punters.