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Blog- exeter st david’s - one for my bucket list...

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Afternoon all,


Worry not...this is not another project...just yet...but an idea I have had for a layout for a long time and during my recent track building crisis (now over ;)) I decided to build the mock up to test it and get it out of my system - having done so, it will drop back into due pecking order for my layout ideas.


I did briefly consider it as a competition entry but it fits with neither the MRJ or 2mmFS Diamond Jubilee criteria so it will be built to the dimensions as planned.


For a long time, I have wanted to capture my memories of standing on the ends of the platform at Exeter St Davids’ during family holidays west. Usually a day would be spent on the west end watching movements up and down the incline. What I loved was the diversity of motive power in those days (most of which I have accumulated over the years of 2mm modelling) and how busy the station was.


As I get older, I am more attracted to building smaller layouts due to available time, space and money constraints. There is also less chance of boredom too - hat duly doffed to all those with large layouts over many years. I prefer extracts of real prototypes with a degree of compromise to include all the elements so as people can recognise them.


My idea is to use the 1/2 station concept and try and capture a slice of the action across the platforms on a typical busy day at ESD. Ironically, I have chosen the eastern end as I felt it was more interesting. It includes part of the bay platform, the goods shed opposite as a back drop and the rather iconic towers on the platforms supporting the footbridge and (I recall) containing the lifts. The platform canopy partially obscures the view so wil be etched at work. Think brute trollies, semaphore signals and BR signage.


The dimensions are 450mm by 300mm depth and uses my same dimensions of fascia as per my recent layouts. This works in terms of viewing letterbox and lighting. One other idea is to have the layout mounted at eye level so you look through and across the platforms - one thing I am uncomfortable about with this is it means it’s not fully inclusive so people in wheelchairs can’t view it. One to ponder more.


The main concept is to have something always moving, be it a HST arriving, parcels wagons being shunted into the bay platform, a DMU departing, a short freight being tripped through the central road or a loco hauled passenger train...oh how I miss those days! Locos would be DCC and ideally sound chipped. No turnouts feature so can all be built in easitrac so if rewheeling gets expensive I can be selective.


The Fiddleyard would be based upon those of KoL using mini shelf runners and a viewing slot to get a cheeky glimpse of the rolling stock.


The other idea is that it can be fairly timeless so although based upon my early eighties memories, it could be wound back to include the hydraulics - this necessitated a rather reckless purchase this week of a Warship and a Western...and lovely models they are too :yes:


Here’s a few images, early sketches and pics of the mock up built the other week whilst I was off work. Whilst it lacks depth of field from my phone camera shots and some stock is straight from the box, a hope it conveys a sense of what I am hoping to achieve which will one day give me a chance to run my fairly extensive collection of mainline rolling stock. The new Dapol 50 would be a great addition...when it appears :rolleyes:


Extract plan of area to be captured...


Early sketch calculated dimensions based on stock lengths...


Plan shows how FY’s would be crammed with stock...


3D sketch assuming LED lighting (since replaced and as per my current layout fascias)


Front ends...The John Vaughan books always inspire me...


Early ideas have the scenic section moving not the FY’s...


Overall plan view of mock up...


Front fascia detailed as per my other layouts...


View across platforms...


Class 50 on failed HST...


Always loved to see class 46’s arrive...


Class 33 from the Waterloo Exeter...


Backdated to include hydraulics...


Again, another view across the platforms...


Overall I am very happy with the test mock up. Even at the paper track stage it excites me enough that with a small but well detailed scene with a lot of depth it could prove an interesting, albeit unusual exhibition layout. There should also be some nice photographic opportunities using a variety of rolling stock.


As I said at the start, I have done enough now to test the idea so will shortly be back on Thurso once I have the track sorted and built for Meeth.


As usual, any comments welcomed...


Thanks, Pete

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