Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Cost of Compromise

I'm sat here enjoying one of those lovely late autumn, early winter days where the light is just right to take the camera out for a bike ride. Or, to sit down and make a serious start on the scary art of track laying.

It is is so so tempting to get the camera and bike out, but since my darling wife has gone out shopping for today perhaps it is time to take the soldering iron by the bit (I've done that a few times in the past) and get practical.

So I have done, though it being around fifteen years since I last built any track, and thirty since I last dabbled in EM, I'd forgotten how much preparatory work I had to do. Which is why I find time now to pause and reflect whilst the sleepers are steeping in point stain solution.

In a reply to a comment from Geoff I mentioned that I was struggling with the geometry of Llanrhaiadr Mochnant. A late night yesterday has seen some real progress made on that front. I'm still not sure how to reconcile all the photos but I've worked out some of the subtle curvature involved although at the cost of increasing the baseboard width to two foot. 

The apparently simple modification of swapping the in use platform from being on the down line to being on the up line of the loop has had an awful lot of knock on effects including the need to presume some alterations to the geography and history of the line. I'll share more on that when I post the next version of the track plan.

In the meantime I've started laying some track on the hastily constructed test baseboard. I'll spare you the photos for now, but being unable to resist the urge to place some OO gauge stock and the buildings from Apa on to it to see how it looks has made it rather obvious that I've subconsciously built the first couple of feet of "The Art of Compromise" 

At this stage we need to add another compromise into the mix, which is our new car. Somehow I've been persuaded that after a few years of running around in a comparatively spacious Merc A class that  we should buy another Toyota IQ before they go out of production at the end of the year. As the non-driver in the family I feel a little railroaded into this, but there you have it. Anyone familiar with the IQ will recognise that one description that can't be applied to the luggage space is "spacious". Not that that should matter, of course, because in theory the layout doesn't need to be portable.

If I did go down the route of building TAOC it would still be an intermediate step to LM. Llansilin Road would be the obvious Tanat Valley station to adopt to suit with a  few elements of Blodwell Junction thrown into the mix.

Lets see how the track building progresses this week.

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