Here's the trackplan of the empire. Newport is on the left (majorly compressed trackplan), Medina Wharf at the top (freelance track plan, this exists to replicate the function of Medina Wharf rather than to look like it), and Cowes bottom right, the only part of the layout which has the full prototype trackplan. With work going on on Medina, almost none of the layout is actually operational at the moment and once the Medina trackwork is done I have some serious "fettling" to do over a baseboard joint at Cowes. The loops bottom right represent the lines to Sandown and Ryde. The scissors crossover will be hidden behind Cowes and simply allows trains on both Sandown and Ryde lines to use either hidden loop. Thus a train departing for Sandown can re-emerge from Sandown on its return journey. The same for Ryde trains. In hindsight, it was not really necessary and I could have saved time and money just leaving it out!
I was sad to learn the other day that Elite Baseboards, who built and installed my boards have ceased trading. I know they had had considerable health problems recently. I was one of their early customers I believe, and they installed the boards in the unbelievable heat in my loft. Even with an air-conditioning unit it was practically unbearable.
Progress generally, following my broken ankle, is now very slow....