It is I think time that I started a thread specifically for my embryonic layout "Modbury". I did wonder whether to do this in a blog away from RMweb, or even post updates on the Western Thunder site, but in the end I feel that here in the 2mm section of RMweb is probably the best place simply because the area is well visited by fellow 2mm Finescale modellers. I will however continue to put items within my RMweb blog that are not layout specific.
My railway interest has always been the GWR (although I do have a soft spot for the Midland Railway too). From a modelling point of view that interest centres on the Edwardian period, I think it the attractiveness of the liveries of the coaching stock and the polished (and well looked after engines). Another bonus (for me) of the period is that GWR wagons could be seen in 3 or 4 different liveries too (although two of them were just transposition of the lettering and numbering).
So to the layout...
Modbury is a real place in the South Hams district of South Devon, unfortunately though it never had a railway station, the nearest lines being the GWR's main line skirting the souther reaches of Dartmoor, and the Kingsbridge branch from it. However, had things gone differently Modbury could well have been served by the South Devon Railway.
Originally, the South Devon Railway had intended to build their line down from Paignton, crossing the River Dart somewhere near Dittisham, then continuing the line along the western bank of the River Dart to Dartmouth and thence along the coast to Slapton before turning westward towards Kingsbridge before heading north-west towards Aveton Gifford, Modbury, Yealmpton and hence to Plymouth.
In my imagination, the South Devon Railway built the Exeter to Plymouth line to their initial plans as a single track line built to Brunel's Broad Gauge, and provided a two platform passing place at Modbury. After the South Devon was absorbed into the GWR in the 1870's, the latter company built the more direct Newton Abbot to Plymouth line skirting the southern reaches of Dartmoor leaving my imaginary route as little more than cross country branch. It is assumed that the original South Devon line would have been built as Brunel's Baulk Road, which would have been "narrowed" along with the rest of the remaining Broad Gauge on that fateful weekend in May 1892. My model is set some 14 years after the gauge conversion, and it is in that narrowed form that I am modelling my track work.
The layout itself is about 10'0" long, having a central scenic section of about 6'0", and 20" train tables at each end to serve as fiddle yards.
Baseboards are conventional plywood construction, the track bed also being plywood. The track bed also has a layer of 0.8mm bass wood where the tracks are. A "Templot" plan was printed out full size and transposed onto the bass wood trackbed to allow all of the track to be built in situ. The track itself is made from HO scale PCB sleeper strip laid longitudinally beneath the rails (the "baulks"). The rail is simply Association plain rail as 2mm scale Bridge Rail is unfortunately not available - hopefully the fact that the rail isn't "bridge rail section" isn't going to be too obvious. The "transoms" (wooden timbers which hold the longitudinal baulks together or apart and to gauge) are represented by 1.5mm x 1mm plastic strip.
Track building in progress :
and the same turnout in a much more complete state :
Operation is old fashioned DC, but turnout and signal operation is much more modern utilising memory wire to move the TOU's and signal arms. I have tried to design the electrics so that the signals activate the relevant sections of track thereby ensuring that unsignalled move will not be possible.
The current state of the layout as seen at the recent 2mm Expo at Chelford :
Edited by Ian Smith, 29 June 2015 - 20:51 .