Nearly a year has passed since I last updated this thread.
Looking back at how it was a year ago to how it is now, it is quite surprising how things have changed even though you think to yourself….I haven’t done that much.
To start with the layout now has a name ‘Dominion Dock Goods’.
The docks in Liverpool seem to have used up all the former kings, queens, princes and princesses, notable politician names of the Victorian era, as well as the cardinal compass points and docks showing main destination e.g. North Docks Goods, Canada Dock, etc, so I thought this would fit, and I liked the sound of it too.
The end of the layout as it enters the fiddle yards has been redesigned. This follows another series of ‘sketches’ from Brian after a discussion with him about how best to use the space.
The engine shed for the docks railway has been replaced by a set of coal drops. The road under the tracks is now a canal that all the tracks need to cross.
Yes I know Liverpool is hardly criss-crossed by canals, but hey-ho Rule 1 and all that..!!
This has of course meant the construction of several bridges to cross the canal and making the coal drops, and the realisation of the need to add literally thousands of rivets to the girders that would be needed.
I have used the Slaters embossed rivet sheets cut into single strips for some of the girders, and made rivets for the others, especially the top plates, either using a drop-weight type riveter, and lately using a wonderful G.W.Models riveter, which is a wonderful piece of workmanship which will help no end with all sort of future builds.
A tunnel was built to allow the canal to disappear under the mail order warehouse
The mail order warehouse at the back now has an extended loading platform to accommodate a greater variety of parcels traffic.
The sidings in the goods yard have been altered slightly to better serve the new goods shed.
The fruit and veg warehouse to the right has a cold store added to the side to increase traffic potential.
Replacement foamcore dummy buildings have been constructed to get a feel for how it will look, but they will all be replaced over time with properly constructed buildings.
The position of the signal box has been moved and a perimeter wall and entry gate added to define the edge of the layout better. Again inspired by another sketch.
The wonderful signals from Jon have all been fitted and are operating well.
I did have a problem with using the MegaPoints board though for the ground signal.
The board should allow a normal or a reverse signal to be sent to the server to operate either clockwise or anticlockwise depending on the linkage to the arm/board, however for some reason the board refuses to reverse the servo for the ground signal and I needed to get a servo reverser off eBay.
The number of available locos and rolling stock have been steadily increasing, including dedicated fruit vans and parcels stock.
So much so that extra storage is now needed for the items that don’t fit..!
But you can never have enough stock, right?
All the stock has been fitted with Dinghams couplings. I don’t use the magnetic release option, preferring to use a bamboo skewer with a hook on the end to flip up the loops.
Many of the locos now have crews on the footplate from the excellent range available from Detailed Miniatures.
I have always preferred to operate my layouts rather than just ‘play trains’.
In the past, I have used various methods to generate traffic. My previous foray into’ modelling US railroads lead down the path of computer switchlists and the dark art that was Ship-It’.
For the last layout prior to this one though I had swapped over to using carcards and waybills to generate and control traffic movements.
I have put that same system into place now on the current layout.
It means that arrival and departure of trains, and the shunting in between, are less random, and can generate some interesting moves.
This makes operating sessions more enjoyable and worthwhile, with a sense of completion when one cycle of arrivals and departures is run.