Friday, 20 December 2019

Annual Apprasial

Looking out from my temporary home office on to the ELR it is hard not to be depressed.  The goats and chickens have removed most of the ballast, and the changes we've made in the garden mean I'm going to have to relay at least a third of the line next year. On top of which Teddy is away for repair and Tug has one of those annoying electrical faults that I can't find time to explore.

More to the point, I still don't have power in the new studio/office, though hopefully, Jason, our brilliant local electrician, will be fixing that in the next few days. In fact he is hard at work as I write this

But there are reasons to be cheerful. I've got a nice mix of projects to get underway as soon as the workshop has power, and Teddy will be home soon. Well sometime next year, anyway

This year I just lost the time to keep on top of the maintenance of the ELR, given the additional damage caused by the goats and chickens and the wettest autumn here since 1880. A major challenge for next year apart from remedial maintenance will be getting the line fenced in to prevent livestock incursions. Another will be working out an alignment so that I can run a second road into the engine shed and build a lean-to for the carriage road.

It is also easy to forget that I've laid quite a bit of new track in the front garden. It is a strange perceptual thing though that plain straight track across an open lawn never seems that impressive, whilst the same amount of track with a curve and a view blocker seems so much longer.

I don't really see Tug fitting in with my long term plans. A BE loco pretending to be something else has never appealed to me. The CJF controller though has really impressed me and made driving  A BE much more satisfying than I could have imagined, so an idea is forming in my mind.

A Tug replacement? The new loco from ride on Railways
The track has become to resemble a WW1 trench railway

This was the same stretch the day Teddy first arrived, four years ago.

On the model railway front a few ideas are beginning to become more concrete with the prospect of moving into the studio. I've got several 7/8ths projects to finish off, and still no idea of where the 7/8ths layout will go without getting in the way of the 7 1/4" gauge plans.

I think I've just about come down on the side of 16.5mm gauge for TAoC project. It just seems to be in the spirit of the layout that it should be doable by anybody. I might even stick with tension lock couplings. It is, after all, all about compromise.

The other priority is a much-modified version of the Scalescenes boxfile layout using HOf/ 006.5m for the quayside line.

The five backburner projects are the expanded Cadeby layout, a portable 7/8ths micro layout, the next version of the Tanat Valley line, a Kinver Light  Railway style tramway and a 15mm scale  C&L line - though again I've no idea where that one will fit. It would be a bigger version of an aborted  OOn3 layout I started a few years ago that was a simple loop with a single siding.

Power at last!

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