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Work begins on my first layout for a couple of decades! It's an Inglenook shunting puzzle, set on a canal-side wharf in the Cotswolds around the year 1900, tentatively named Ingleford.


Planning and inspiration

This whole process started a couple of years ago. I started designing a layout to fit in everything I could possibly want (a vast scheme, (still in the background but very much a problem for the future) and then over time whittled away at it until I arrived at the smallest possible layout that would tick my boxes, but be achievable in the time I had available.


Armed with what looked like the perfect trackplan ( @Harlequin's take on the Inglenook shunting puzzle), and a desired aesthetic (Victorian-era canal wharf, in pleasant countryside, in the late Spring) I was able to start a planning thread and start exploring real-world touchstones over on my general musings thread, starting about here.


Inspiration was found along the Stroudwater Navigation, where canal, GWR and MR all run together through glorious Cotswold countryside, an area as industrious as beautiful:




And now, this is the plan:



305mm squares; red dots are proposed locations of uncoupling magnets - although not set in stone, I think Spratt and Winkle coupling are the way I will want to go. No idea why it's showing the gradient (0%).


The background buildings are all kit/RTP; but the foreground will be my first three bits of scratch building: A shed, a crane and a bridge. Very rough sketches, and inspiration, for these are below

Shed - front.jpg

Shed -side.jpg








The watercraft are very area-specific, in being a Severn trow (the smallest of which were very happy going up the Stroudwater Navigation through to Brimscombe Port and the connection to the Thames and Severn Canal), something like:



and a Stroud barge:



and a narrowboat (less local, from Cirencester, but a lovely scene it might be nice to model):




...and this is the layout as it stood before being packed away for safekeeping:


...in a moderately advance state of mock-up, but most things just loose.


Things stalled because I work away from home, so time is often very limited (more 'a week or two a year', than 'an hour or two a week' which has impacted my approach), and I have been lacking the pointwork to lay track (Peco Code 75 BH) until very recently. Thanks to the kindness of some RMWebbers, I'm now able to move forward :) 



The plan is to develop a few sets of motive power and stock for various dates (starting c.1880) and companies (private, Midland and Great Western). One loco, eight 'standard' and three extra 'wildcard' wagons for each. The length of the headshunt and sidings means that the Inglenook puzzle would remain functional (all moves possible) with all stock on the layout, but the general game will be the standard puzzle, with the wildcards providing some extra variety. For example, the early Midland train might look like:


(Midland full of LNWR, courtesy of the excellent Mousa Models), with one of the Midland's green-liveried Manning Wardle H Class (Hardy's Hobbies body kit for Hornby Peckett W4) doing the bossing about. One of the nice things about the layout is it allows the game to be played both ways - assembling a train of five wagons, picked at random from the eight available, the 'puzzle proper'; or taking the random train, and spotting wagons in their proper place by type or load.


I'm sorely tempted by leaving particularly these earlier wagons with three (or five!) link couplings - as they will be matched to a particular loco it should be fairly easy to keep things compatible. 


At the moment, I've got eight standards commissioned by the Gloucesertshire and Warwickshire Steam Railway  (lovely bodies on awful Dapol chassis) and wildcards from Wessex Wagons and a couple of locos



So, The layout so far...

...is just a frame. Made of 10mm foamboard, following advice on this forum, with a doubled around the outside and three full-width braces. The 'baseboard' is still loose so the first job is to turn that into one rigid piece. After that comes the bit where I'd appreciate my plan checking by people who know what they're doing!


Measure and mark for track underlay (5mm foam), stick down (Copydex). Measure, mark and lay track (Peco Code 75 BH) - also with Copydex, pins temporary only. Fit point motors (DCC Concepts Cobalt iP Analogue), doing my best to follow the instructions. And then work out how to fit the point controls (DCC Concepts S Levers), which will drive the point motors and the motors for animated scenery (to indicate the set of the turnouts). No idea where to put them. Seemed like a good idea at the time! Control is DC, via a Gaugemaster DS. Seperate power feeds for track and accessories.


Tentative wiring plan, following previous advice on RMWeb:

Wiring 2020.01.04.png

Feedback sought, please.


I think that'll keep me busy for the foreseeable! Thanks for reading, welcome to Ingleford

Edited by Schooner
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Very nice theme for the line, which I wholeheartedly approve. If it’s a shunting layout, you might find the need for some form of autocoupler rather than going doally with three links. Here’s the Great Dane hard at it:


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38 minutes ago, Northroader said:

Very nice theme for the line, which I wholeheartedly approve. If it’s a shunting layout, you might find the need for some form of autocoupler rather than going doally with three links. Here’s the Great Dane hard at it:


What a cracking display :sungum:

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Great stuff Schooner, I'll be following this with interest. I like the plan and the size of the baseboard too, giving a greater depth for the buildings. Interesting theme and era too, lot's to look forward too. :)

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