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After a few years of service our club's existing Children's Layout had seen better days and over the winter suffered from poor storage and the boards warped out of shape so a replacement was required. With this years show 6 months away (28th September) a new layout was needed. Yes, a "childrens" layout can be built very quickly, and simply but, that isn't what we want or offer in our club. Our club tries to inspire the next generation of modellers so having a rough and ready layout just isn't going to work it needs to instead look the part. That means proper scenery, working signals and more. Whitebelle is going to be the new club's children's layout and construction has just begun. And it needs to meet the following requirements: - simple track plan to minimise failures and running issues on "show" day. - supports two trains running to allow two children to use it at the same time. - be robust and able to withstand a certain level of bumps, knocks and bashes. - be portable and able to be stored underneath our permanent layout "Whitewebbs Park" in our main club room. - be big enough to be interesting to use but small enough to fit into the corner of one of our exhibition halls. - feature working signals to add interest. Based on all of this - the layout will be 1200 x 1200 mm in size (4ft x 4ft) entirely scenic that splits into 2x boards 1200 x 600 (4ft x 2ft) sections that can lock together into a cuboid for storage. The track plan is shown, with two simple sidings but mainly its just two running loops with a tunnel to add a bit of the surprise factor. The boards are constructed from 6mm plywood with 42x21mm pine framing spaced at 300mm intervals for strength.
As the title suggests, I have been making custom wooden trains. I did that since I was a teenager as well as getting back into the hobby of model railways. I had a lot of childhood models mostly the Thomas wooden ones and the BRIO stuff, but I plan to sell off my wooden train models. However, I have a good mind to showcase some of the models I've done here in comparison with the Bigjigs models of the Black Five and Duchess of Hamilton models I have with me. Expect photos of the models, soon.