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Less Is More - A Space Oddity


dseagull

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A couple of days ago I mentioned that I had finalised the plan, at long last. Of course, a layout is much more than just a track plan, something which I feel is sometimes missed - that's why I've generally tried to call it the plan, rather than the track plan, as whilst the track is obviously important, it is how that it fits in with the 'minds eye' vision I have for the layout as a whole, that is more important to me.

 

That leads nicely onto the change - the bay. Most of the variations of the Litlington plan have featured one, as I've long wanted to replicate the rather attractive feature of Hailsham Station, that saw, up until 1885 at least, the cattle dock on the same siding that led to the engine shed. Unfortunately, despite many attempts, I couldn't fit this in how I wanted - it looked too cramped, so it had to go. I then tried taking the bay out completely, before going back to it, and then again trying to fit cattle pens and a shed into the space.

 

That's where that word comes in again - plan. It's easy to draw out a plan on XrrkCad, or even on the back of an envelope, but sometimes, somehow, that doesn't translate well when you have track on baseboard. In my last post, as well as the bay, I mentioned skewing the platform roads slightly. As usual, a picture paints a thousand words, so here then is the final track plan (word chosen deliberately that time!) for Litlington.

 

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Apologies for the somewhat ropey quality of this, it was difficult to fit it all in with the tablet camera, but I hope it shows the general arrangement well enough. I've added to this a first mockup of the platform in finest printer paper, - which, now I've cut back the bay line can be extended a little. There is also, just about visible, the floor plan of the station building. This is, as has been mentioned previously, the Station Building from Hailsham. Hopefully it will look something like this photo from the excellent Disused Stations website.

 

The 'bible' for the Cuckoo Line, on which Hailsham station stood, is a book by Alan Elliott, printed by Wild Swan - well worth keeping an eye out for if you have an interest in railways in this part of the country. For the modeller, it has plenty of inspirational photos and also plans of nearly every structure along the line. Unfortunately I have misplaced my copy - but in a moment of foresight, I did scan in the drawings of the station building early on in the Litlington project, so have been able to print it and tape to some scrap cardboard as a mockup to test if it 'fits' in with the plan. You'll have to excuse the 'wonkiness' - the card is really too thin for the job, but it is at least the correct dimensions.

 

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I'll be building this from scratch - an early attempt was started before, but looking at it with fresh eyes, I'm not happy with it and will start again. As I mentioned the other night - no rush!

 

Finally for tonight, I've now secured all the wiring to the underside of the board, and hopefully installed the frog juicers correctly, so when I can locate a suitable DCC decoder for the C Class next week, I can have a proper testing session. Once I'm content it works, it'll be ballasting time!

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