I blame Andy (McGomez).
A recent re-read through his excellent Portland Grove thread reminded me that I'd been meaning to try out DCC Sound. Now Portland Grove is about as Spanish as I am. Not, in other words. That's irrelevant though. Scattered through the thread are some pictures of Andy's HO scale RENFE stock which I believe gets an occasional run. As a wannabe ex-pat who's buying a house in Spain with the intention of moving full-time circa 2019, I find myself thinking more and more about Spain and its railways. High speed lines don't excite me too much, but little railway backwaters do... those that have survived, that is.
Hence "The Plank". I had thought the Spanish translation was "La Plancha", but apparently that's a little metal plate that you grill meat on. The perils of knowing a few foreign words and not being at all fluent. For example, on a recent trip to Spain, I told a pharmacist that my wife was "sick in the head". I only wanted some aspirin for her headache...
So... 2 bits of wood totalling 8ft x 1ft. A little run-round loop and a siding. Having bitten off more than I can chew recently with some bigger layouts, this stands a chance of getting finished. Even if it never gets finished (scenically), it will serve quite nicely as a little end-to-end test track. A decent DCC system has been purchased. I've gone for something slightly unusual... a Uhlenbrock Daisy 2. Good reviews, but it's not as common as a NCE Powercab, for example.
Now, I always need a prototype for inspiration when beginning a new project and I didn't have to look far. The track plan owes a lot to the little metre-gauge station about a mile or two inland from the beach in Benidorm. The line runs from Alicante to Denia and is pretty much light rail rather than "proper" railway. Trams at the Alicante end and little diesel trains from Benidorm through to Denia via Calpe. The line is part-electrified and I gather a lot of money is being spent on the FGV right now. The station at Benidorm has three platforms and a couple of sidings, so I've already pruned that to fit into 8x1. I won't be modelling metre-gauge either... that has grown to standard gauge. Quite a bit of the prototype will make it into the model - the road crossing, inspection pit, platform canopies and buildings etc. Everything else will be pure fantasy.
The track has been laid. Just 3 Tillig points. As this is a bit of a "micro", I resisted the temptation to go for Tillig's extra long points. The ones used are still a little bigger than Peco's large radius points, so they should look believable. The little inspection pit has been cut and the track has had a coat of grime. Next step is to finish the wiring and test everything thoroughly. That will let me have a play with the first sound-fitted
loco unit I've ever owned, a Class 594 by Electrotren, prototype seen below. It's the DMU with the giant rubber gasket at each end. I do like the unusual...
If you have an interest in RENFE, past or present, do please chip in with anecdotes, photos, advice etc.
More soon but I'm not in a rush with this.
Edited by Pete 75C, 20 December 2016 - 10:56 .