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Dr Gerbil-Fritters

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  1. I'd prefer to clear the upper floor of bedrooms and have a larger indoors layout, but the family weren't keen. So I got banished to the bottom of the garden. It's great that it's a completely purpose built space, but i tend to lose interest between october and Easter.... partly because of the weather. In a tangent universe I have an O scale basement empire and an operating crew to match
  2. I wish that had been my childhood. My dad threw my model railway such as it was into the garden one day in a fit of rage about something or other. All my yearning towards a model railway have been based on the idea of operating it over a period of time, as if it were a real railway - just very small. Also, I don't understand the 'constant parade' approach. To me, the quiet lulls or the different tempos throughout the day are part of the magic. And the special magic of the night trains!
  3. You could always build a K's one... Wrenn did!
  4. I remember it well... ops were fun, but limited. Now, would it surprise you to know that the 'improved terminus' will be similar to Caterham? Trackplan wise at least.
  5. Can I borrow her for a bit, I need a bigger shed...
  6. Well now, I'm glad you asked. I really enjoyed the terminus - it operated well, and was interesting to play with. It did have some flaws which were a consequence of sticking with the boards I built for the original US style Industrial Switcher Layout, that is long and thin. This meant the station was cramped and lacked decent freight sidings. Not a problem if I was to go down the EMU route of course, but I quite like a liner train or two, plus cement and general merchandise. The bigger problems though were a lack of running length, and my utter hatred of 'fiddle yards' or 'staging yards'. A train would leave the station and almost immediately arrive at the end of the line, whereupon it would sit belligerently waiting for me to run the loco around, or do some other trick to reverse its direction ready to go back to the station. Try as I might, I could not get over the waste of space and the break in the illusion that I was operating a railway. Nagging at the back of my mind was a feeling that there must be a solution to this problem, and having partaken of the Minories thread, I remembered an article by S W Stevens-Stratten in the 1979 Model Railway Constructor Annual. In 'South for Moonshine'. he describes a layout that had always impressed me because of its evocation of modelling a mainline in such a way that dispensed with the need for a dead end fiddle yard. What really chimed was this, and it's worth quoting in full, as I've never been able to express it any better; 'Compared with the normal fiddle yard, a concealed return loop maintains more convincingly the illusion of 'romantic places' far afield - especially if it has more than one track, so that the last train down is never the first train back, and even more so if it works automatically. For then, when a train runs 'off the map' it is not only out of sight but also, out of mind: no one can recall what trains are hibernating in the tunnel, waiting to reappear at the scheduled time. And since what had been a down Tunbridge Wells was liable to emerge, considerably later, as an up East Grinstead, and since in the meantime the Croydon operator had to make other movements, the illusion that a train really had been where it was due to go was nearly complete. By contrast, a fiddle yard - even if hidden from public view - can never deceive the owner or his fellow operators: it can be all right for exhibitions, but falls down badly as an attempt at private illusion'. The diagrams makes clear how this works in principle: and a 'scenic' track plan suggests how the whole thing might fit into the shed; So the project for this summer is to reconstruct the current boards to accomodate an automatic return loop that can handle several trains, then construct an entirely new top deck to support a slightly larger terminus with enhanced freight and loco facilities. DCC of course some form of block occupancy detection automatic train 'driving' (some form of 'fire and forget' system, so that I can enjoy working the station and limits manually while trains toddle off and come back without my intervention enhanced freight facilities intermediate station for locals and at least one other station on the lower level as a destination for the push pull service So the disappearance of the current terminus is more of an evolutionary step, whereby I've finally accepted that to have a more interesting playtime I need to take a step back and do some more construction before building A Better Railway for the Future. Lockdown is now rumoured to be extended into August, so at least for the next few weeks progress is likely to be slow and consist mainly of clearing away the current set up and having a jolly good tidy up.
  7. Fear not - the terminus will return in an enhanced form. The current version had some inherent flaws that made ops a bit less than they could be, so an improved version is being planned. Needs some woodwork first though, not easy to get the bits in our second spell of lockdown...
  8. June... July... It's like the ghost of Beeching
  9. This thread has been brought to my attention by the Replica Suburban Coach Defence League and the Leave Coaches in State You Bought Them Society. I must ask you gentlemen to cease and desist at once from these Heinous Crimes Against Innocent Coaches. Please start scratcbuilding at once, or feel the Full Force Of The Law. Yours sincerely, Inspector Corner of The Yard PS you diesel bashers better watch out too, you're next.
  10. Doris Day and Robin Day... we've almost enough for a week
  11. Why are those coaches all one colour? What have you done with our Clive? Is it that blooming Mike Mortimer again?
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