Friday, 6 September 2013

Lateral Thinking

A couple of thoughts have been kicking around my mind today.

The first is that I need a more lateral approach to the sector plate idea, or else it is going to take up a disproportionate amount of space when the layout is assembled.   I think the solution to this has been hiding from me in plain sight for the last few weeks. I think the way ahead lies with a combination of  Jack Trollope's "fiddlestick" idea for a micro layout  combined with the Iain Rice mini L girder sub base to produce a slide out section on which a sector plate can be mounted when the line is in use.At the moment I'm trying to avoid over complicating the design.

The other thought, having built one 4' x 2' baseboard is whether or not to build a layout that would just fit in that space as another stepping stone

My first thought was something like this.

It is based on an idea I had years ago for a OO9 layout based on Devils Bridge station on the VoR railway.. I've always like the idea of building a layout that provides a natural viewpoint that isn't square on and  I think this plan might just work, with a 16" long traverser hidden by the bridge just long enough to take a pannier and a short bogie coach.

Having my half scale baseboard to hand I mocked up a N gauge version to see how the angles actually worked out.

Along the way I ended up with that very curvaceous backscene and a suspicion that the way to make it work would be to do away with points altogether  and have two sector plates, with one short one accessed via a hole in the backscene hidden by the good shed, as it is on Apa Valley.

You know in N gauge that could fit into an Apa box.

In fact a little more experimentation this morning shows that in 4mm a Sentinel could fit on the short sector plate even on this 2ft by 1ft board


  1. I like your first idea much better. The two sector plate variant will look a bit spacier but as your trains lengths are limited by the length of the larger sector plate.

    Pointless layouts are ... pointless IMO :-)

    If you put two APAs side by side you might even be to do H0 - especially if you decide to use shorter, stubbier "toy-grade" switches.

    But this is just me ...

    1. Yes I agree the first option is much better. It probably needs a 5ft by 2ft board to become practical in EM, but that would still be a one board layout. I will play around with Templot when I have a spare six weeks.

      Generally I agree with you about pointless layouts, but I'm beginning to wonder if the two sector plate scheme is actually the one I should have built as an Apa project, whether in N or EM. The advantage it has is that it is wholly self contained yet operable, and could I suspect be built as a 3-2-2 version of an Inglenook puzzle. In which case the siding at the front could possibly, in HO/OO at least, be served by a real point and still fit in the space. The second sector plate is a bit of a gimmick - and a bit more trial and error suggests it needs to be a traverser not a sector plate - but would add just a touch more flexibility.

      Incidentally the Peco loco lift could just about be butchered with care to provide both the sector plate and the traverser as long as the Sentinel is the biggest loco used. I suspect the common small industrial o-4-0 diesels - the Judith Edge 48DS and the Roxey Howard would also both fit.