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Shelf Island

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An Eastern Extension



With nearly all of the fleet converted to DCC, I have built an extension onto the running line. The extension is a long siding and it takes the railway through a small display box, along a link span and then around a 90 degree curve onto a broad shelf made from a flush door. So the layout is now on three sides of the room instead of two. The door is on long shelf brackets (Spur shelving), the rest is hung on furniture and adjoining baseboards. The new track is all Kato Unitrack.


Here is the display box. The railway can be on an embankment or a viaduct, and cross over a roadway or water course:


The display box is from Tim Horn. It is made from sheets of 6mm birch ply, laser cut and interlocking together with tabs and slots. Really easy to build. There is a panel to cover the front and hide the joints, I will add this when the model inside is finished. To begin with I have added a lid from 6mm MDF to stop awkward shadows coming from the lighting rig above the main baseboard.


I now have most of 7.5 metres (25 feet) of run from end to end - about 0.4 miles in 1:87 scale. This is enough to start a train and watch it in motion for a while ... enough to give the feeling of a train travelling from one place to another. This is one of my main objectives for "Shelf Island" but I'm not sure how well I can pull it off - I want a model of "a railway" not just a small part of one. The idea is, to lay out some more Unitrack on the door and find an arrangement I like the look of; and then build a baseboard to take the place of the door. This baseboard could replace most of the link span as well; a 5 x 5 ft L. In the meantime I've updated the plan of the layout to suit.


This is the first time I have been able to sit back and watch a train running for over a minute, except on an oval of Unitrack on the floor. Very happy with the result.

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