Thursday, 8 August 2013

Quiet Before the Storm

I'm sat here at eleven PM in my home office, having just about finished work for the day. The windows are wide open and I can feel a storm coming.  I can also feel a storm of modelling activity approaching. My darling wife is away for the next week which is a good time to arrange for a few parcels to arrive. In fact one already has, from C+L Finescale, but I'm not opening it just yet.

The combined contents of all the boxes heading my way should be more than enough to kick start my adventures in EM. The one thing I've forgotten to order in time is a set of wheels for the Sentinel from Ultrascale.

In a way this EM gauge goodness actually gives me a fresh impetus to finish the Apa project, and if the weather holds out I'm hoping that by Sunday it will at least appear finished.

So what is in the boxes?  Hopefully the makings of a couple of 4'x2' baseboards for a start, some basics to get me practicing track laying, and a Mainly Trains replacement chassis for the Ratio 4 wheel coach.. Plus a couple of structure kits for a cattle dock and a water tower which are called for by the new layout and which don't seem worth scratch building.

So if I'm about to start building baseboards do I have a final trackplan in mind?

Well yes, well two actually. Yesterday's ruminations about combining the real track plan from Llanrhaiadar Mochant, and two of my other favourite plans, Llanastr and The Art of Compromise have led to two options.

The first is the small space version, though that small space has now extended to 8' by 2' in total, including a sector table/traverser.

The second is 12' by 2' including the sector plate, and takes less liberties with Llanrhaiadr.

You might note that the first 4' of both plans look very similar. In fact the differences are down to some evolving thinking and the idea is to begin with the first plan and then extend it by inserting a middle board. A few things would need adjusting, notably the positioning of the weighbridge and the ground frame. The first wouldn't really be a problem, the second would because it would mean rerouting the point rodding. I might take the easy way out and leave the ground frame off stage for the first iteration.

One consequence of using the first plan is that operation could be a little odd, or interesting, depending on your point of view. Imagine a passenger train pulling in.  By this stage in its history Llanrhaiadr had become the terminus of the Tanat Valley, and only the old up platform was in  use. Given the limited space probably just the one bogie coach would be in view. So the loco uncouples and runs up to the water tower, then runs round back out of sight under the bridge....ah and you see now it doesn't matter whether that is the engine which couples back on to the train or not, because it is out of sight, which frees the original train loco to do something else.

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