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Pre-construction details



The track plan is probably more Kingswear than Penzance but is really neither although the name clearly references both. I have a love of Devon & Cornwall in preference to South and West Wales so didn't research anything involving the Severn Tunnel in its connection to Headquarters. I did originally intend a river under the station approach (Kingswear has this and Penzance has one a little further up the line) but I have to start the gradient where the up and down main tracks on the plan displayed in the previous post end. I want to have a tunnel mouth soon after that so the two would conflict. Breaking the view of the layout seems important as it gives a sense of coming and going. I have already created Box Tunnel's west portal (the Box end) as a OO scale line drawing in AutoCAD to print on A3 so I can have the wrap-around effect of the sides. The basic portal won't fit on an A4 sheet, relics of the broad gauge obviously! Twerton's west portal will get the same treatment for the other tunnel mouth and I will make both available as pdf's once completed.


I greatly admire those who have the skills, time and patience to construct their own track but I'm afraid I have to set targets that are achievable for me, given that I have a spouse who demands quite a bit of time and some grandchildren who need regular sitters and support, other life gets in the way of modelling all too frequently. The shabby pile that is Gruff Towers will be too much for us at some stage in the not too distant and life in a single storey building will beckon too so the plan incorporates the option to be dismantled and moved as and when necessary. Since I am not hand-building the track or turnouts, a significant investment was made in Peco's Code 75 Electrofrog turnouts from Northampton's Model Shop and a cutting list sent to my friendly nearby timber merchant J K Timber & Packaging who conveniently delivered everything to my door.


Although I printed the whole layout track plan at full size, when I laid them out on the baseboard decks I found a notable difference between the plot and the physical devices. As I have several turnouts in series the errors are compounded. Surely I had made a mistake? No, checking and re-checking showed that there is a discrepancy between the Peco Code 75 components in AnyRail and the real thing! Rather than go back to the drawing board, I drew the track centre-lines on the right corner and its adjoining baseboard decks and after assessing the deviations, I decided that the best solution was to slightly tighten the radii of the main up and down lines on one side and expect that the platforms may be slightly reduced at the other end. That may result in 6 rather than 7 coach train formations but I will have to accept that, after all these stations would always have had 8 coaches or more arriving so yet another compromise. I am using Tortoise turnout motors to set routes so a clearance of 50mm radius from each turnout tie-bar centre has to be provided from any baseboard edge framing or cross-board support brace and this defines where the baseboard bracing bars can be mounted.


The previous paragraph's issues have caused something of a delay whilst I adjusted everything. The route forward would seem to be that I construct the first two baseboards before doing the next adjacent boards with adjustments being made along the way. Thank goodness I didn't outsource building the baseboards according to my AnyRail track plot! Now, provided SWMBO doesn't provide a new list of tasks for me tomorrow and it isn't so cold I can't work outside, baseboard construction can begin properly with the two key boards. Hey ho, a new dawn brings a new day!

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