Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Original and Best

The last couple of weeks have been spent in a limbo of constantly changing travel plans.  Such is the lot of a management consultant but with the end of the annual leave year in sight it has been very frustrating not to be able to take a few days off to make progress. In fact I ended up managing to grab a couple of days only to see them wasted chasing phone line  problems with Talk Talk.

At least the clocks have changed which  means that it is easier to fit in some cycling and also to get modelling done in the evenings.

The current priority is conversion of an old Triang clerestory to a vague approximation of the E40 brake third that was commonly used during the last days of passenger service on the line.

I need to start thinking about couplings as well.  I'm torn between three choices.  The likely choice is Sprat & Winkle but I'm half temped  to try AJs because they are less visible.  The third option is one of the several variations of Iain Rice's "imprecise" design. I suspect my ideal choice would be s combination of the hermaphrodite AJ hook with the S&W paddle counterweight.

Meanwhile I got an intriguing email on Friday that brought the original Art of Compromise design back to center stage. Not as a TVR version but much more as Roy Link first envisaged it with the station building based on the shelter at Wilmcote.  More of that later but it made me go back to both the original 1978 article as well as the one from 2012.

Conventional wisdom is, of course, that TAoC cannot be built as Roy drew it. What struck me looking at the design yet again though is the subtly of the curves he used.   I've always presumed that they were  the result of a draughtsman fitting things in that could be drawn as a single line on a plan that wouldn't fit when converted to actual track work. Certainly I'd never managed to recreate them in layout planning software.
Spurred on by the email  I loaded up Trax and had another go. This time I focused on getting the curves to match the plan and then fitting the point work on top.

And Lo! It seems to have worked. Using An excellent points seems to be the key.
There are a few issues.  The engine release road will be very short once a scale bufferstop is in place and one of the points lies slap bang over a baseboard join if you use 3ft long boards.
None of these are insurmountable though.

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