As mentioned in the last but one post, it is now nine years since I started out on this adventure and I think I can now say that we are in in a position to play trains. The layout is far from finished scenically, as ripping up and relaying the track caused a lot of damage. but no dead spots appear on the track. It seems, however, that some vehicles do not like the track, as mentioned in a previous post, and one of my best runners, the Class 150 DMU, started playing up again. When travelling forward at speed step 2, it consistently derailed at one spot, a turnout leading to the yard and engine shed. Close observation revealed no obvious reason, since this derailing did not occur when running in reverse over the same spot or in the opposite direction. In the end, I came to the conclusion that one wheel was hitting a rail joiner, causing it to lift and derail. So A 'it it wi' me 'ammer. A few taps on the end of a screwdriver with a rubber mallet worked wonders.
I enclose some photos of the layout, before:
and as it now is:
The part with the buildings did not suffer much, mainly benches missing from the small park and the road had to be relaid, A bit each day and I might get finished by the end of the year.
Finally, to make mouths water, a picture of this year's Christmas cake. We do not ice it or cover with marzapan.