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Taking the slow line



Well, as predicted in my last update, the first running over the layout did occur the following evening, using the bus wires temporarily lashed up to an old Hornby controller. Much to my pleasure, and a little surprise, the whole thing worked perfectly, with my new-to-me (a £60 secondhand bargain!) Bachmann C looking very smooth as she coasted down the gradient into the station, before exploring all the sidings.


I fitted the feeds to track through the bottom of the baseboard, using some cut down drinking straws as wiring conduits to avoid potential problems with the foamboard. These were installed by the high-tech method of a large screw driven through the cork, taken out again, and then the hole cleared of any residual foam by poking a screwdriver through it.


I then spent the weekend in ponderous mood, namely the thorny issue of point control. I'm undecided whether to power the points or not -I sold off my stock of Tortoise Point Motors a while ago, but if I do, it will be those again - but with the small size of the layout Wire in Tube operation is also a possibility. This also led me on to powering the frogs to aid reliability. This is something I've been particularly lazy with, and haven't done before - causing the unintentional opening of a can of worms on the subject of Frog Juicers, a rather nifty looking (to me!) product from the States which handles most of it for you. It seems to be something of a Marmite product, some love them, some think they are the work of the devil. I've looked into them, and for me, it seems they make a job I'm not keen on (wiring) a lot easier, of course at a cost, but equally so, it's no use having a layout full of beautiful stock if it won't run properly...


Late last night I decided to press ahead, and made the simple modification required to one of the points in the yard, so now will need to order a couple of the aforementioned Juicers to get things up and running again. Of course, this morning would be the time the car decides it needs a new cambelt as the water pump is rapidly failng... (and you can't change one without the other) - it may be time to dig through the boxes to see what can be sold off to booster the modelling coffers.


These changes have also seen me - finally -finalise the trackplan. I did some mocking up on Saturday - quickly knocking together the shell of a station building from some card from the recycling bag, but when placed in its intended place on the layout the platform looked a little narrow. So - the dock is to be shortened, which rules out an engine shed but will allow for the more realistic livestock pen, and the platform road and runaround have been pulled to the right, rather than going straight on. This has three of outcomes - firstly it buys a tiny bit more space at the front for something to block the scenic exit, the 'skewed' platform road enhances the nicely flowing look, and also it will allow space for a 'proper' station building. I'm at work at the moment, but will add a photo next update to show how this looks.


So - continuing to step in the right direction, and a change made which will improve reliability and in all honesty I should have been doing long ago. It's a marathon, not a sprint -there is no rush, and I intend to enjoy the journey

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  • RMweb Gold

Glad to hear there is progess. I agree very much about enjoying the journey and not sprinting along (well that's my excuse anyway!).


Looking forward to seeing the photos of the new design.

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