Here is a big fantasy design I've been thinking about.
(It's not completely out of this world. I've measured up and it would actually fit in my house but I would have to make some huge sacrifices!)
The givens for me are:
- It has to be 4mm and OO.
- It has to be classic period GWR, 1923-1939.
- I want to see the railway in the landscape.
- I want to see mainline locos and varied traffic.
The last two givens pretty much rule out BLTs because:
- BLT stations usually fill the model leaving little space for landscape
- Realistic operation would probably be quiet and infrequent
- BLTs typically relied on a limited cast of rolling stock and small locos
So the brief is this:
- Have space to express a section of the GWR network in a more representative and open way than the tightly compressed layouts that are typical of OO.
- Model mainline trains where they are doing their natural thing: running at speed in open countryside on big sweeping curves - not where they are slowest, approaching or departing a terminus or running on very tight urban curves.
- Model the most prolific type of station - a double-track wayside station.
- Show simple railway in the landscape. Don't get sucked into covering the baseboard with track to make it more "interesting".
- Show a good mix of traffic and the interactions between them: slow, fast, long distance, local stopper, passenger, freight, specials.
- Fit the design in by rationalising and combining instead of compressing.
- Big enough for representative train lengths without them looking silly. (Castles hauling 5-11 coaches. 2-8-0 heavy freight locos hauling 30-60 wagons.)
The consequences of the brief are significant:
- The layout is going to be BIG!
- It must be a roundy-round to rationalise the fiddle yard behind the scenic area and so that trains can run through the scenic area at constant speed.
- To give the longest possible landscape run, the station must be at one end of the scenic area or the other, not in the middle.
- Scenic track length must be at least twice the length of express passenger or express freight trains.
My chosen location is the Berks & Hants line from Reading down towards the South West where rail, river and canal dance around each other.
In a parallel universe there are pockets here and there where the geography is subtly different than our world. So settlements are in different places, they have different names and road, rail and canals take different routes.
One such pocket is between Great Bedwyn and Newbury. The river is no longer the Kennet, it is the Hannet. Where Hungerford should be there's only a small village with a basic station. A few miles further east is the larger town of Upton Hanbury. (The station takes it's name from the town but it is actually closer to the village of Lower Hanbury.)
[Click to enlarge]
The scenic area trackwork would be all Peco bullhead track (er, except for the small diamond crossing in the goods yard, dammit!).
The fiddle yard trackwork would be Code 75.
Scenic breaks of a tunnel mouth at one end and a road overbridge at the other are a bit "on-the-nose" but I think they are appropriate for the setting.
I have a feeling that the fiddle yard could be improved.
Here are a few questions that you knowledgeable folks might be able to help with:
- Does the station layout look convincing? (Is it OK to use the refuge loop as a headshunt?)
- Does the goods refuge loop look right? (Is "refuge loop" the correct term?)
- Would slow up freights ever use a refuge loop on the down side of the tracks by running clear of the crossover and propelling back into it?
- If commuter traffic from the east (e.g. Reading, London) terminated at Upton Hanbury would the sketched-in west crossover be needed? Is there any traffic movement that would need, or be made easier by, a west crossover?
Edited by Harlequin, 05 November 2018 - 08:27 .