A video update this time, of a test run on the newly laid track on the main circuit. I decided to try a propelling move using a Heljan 86 with their notorious droopy couplings and a three car rake of semi-permanently coupled Bachmann Mk2f and Oxford Mk3 RFM. This triplet set is coupled using the Bachmann bar couplings because when I installed lighting in the RFM, the gimcrack Oxford coupling cams lost their springs and as it would be spending at least 50% of it's time being pushed as well as pulled (it's for the 1993 London-West Midlands rake) I had to make sure that the broken coupling cams didn't cause a derailment, hence the semi-permanent coupling. This was the formation which, if any track wonkiness was present, would find it like a bloodhound.
The video starts on the "drawbridge" across the doorway to the shed. This took a couple of days to get the trackwork right at the hinged section and this propelling move was also a test of that joint. I had run a variety of other units ranging from a Hornby-Lima hybrid HST to a Bachmann Class 170 so was confident the joint could cope with just about anything from Lima Pizzacutter wheels to Hornby's slightly wobbly motor bogies for their Class 153, and the more stately, finer scale Bachmann mechanisms, but propelling moves and Heljan's jelly couplings were the final acid test.
The rails in the scenic area have been painted, and it seems I need to go over it with a rubber as you will hear the sound cut out but the slow speed running and propelling round the unfortunately slightly tighter curves than I would have liked (24 inch radius) was deeply satisfying. Of course, there's still much to do, the fiddle yard, ballasting, weathering, OHLE and Wombourne but I feel I can see the end in sight.