One of the most fun parts for me is planning a project. This micro layout has started to take form in my mind and I’ve been playing around with real track to see what fits.
It’s certainly not easy fitting a dockside into a small space…
This is based on 25″ Ordnance Survey maps and photos from the time, such as these from Jaggers Heritage. I have got the track work as close as possible to the real thing although the right is a little cramped and could do with a few more inches to space it out.
The main scenic area is the central darker area. The paler track will be code 75 Bullhead track and the rest is OO9. Staging or fiddle yards are the paler areas to each side. These may be cassettes or solid fiddle yards. I haven’t decided yet but the layout scenic area fits in the area in my kitchen on top of the range cooker…
The two plans differ only in the staging. The first plan has a crossover like the real thing but in the staging area. The second one has a two track sliding cassette thingy. That’s a technical term! The main line staging needs to be about 40 cm long but the OO9 only needs to be around 25cm. The wagons are diddy!
The front is the bottom of the layout and you are standing in the sea as you look at the layout.
There’s no run around for the OO9 locos but I think they always need to be on the right anyway as all the points are fed that way. Certainly, every photo I’ve seen has them on the right. The standard gauge just comes in and leaves and I’ll swap the loads in staging. It’s taking out slate and coming in empty.
The brown rectangle to the left is a road and should be slanted but the track planning software defeated me on that one. It will have a level crossing gate that moves. The top left is an incline which comes out in a tunnel – great modelling – and I need to think how to make it look like it’s an incline working whilst still using a hidden engine to actually pull and push the wagons on and off the layout. The buildings should help mask it. The tunnel will need some kind of cloth to reduce light leakage. There’s a wooded and housed hill along the back. At the front is the dock and the sea.
The points will be stub turnouts and I’m hoping they will be a little shorter than these so I can get more even curves. Probably not though as the Peco points are fairly sharp.
I think I need to selectively compress the buildings as they won’t fit. It’s either that or I add a few inches on the front, which I can do. That would allow more curves but end up in a bigger layout but I do have a few inches of room spare.
I will definitely cove the corners as it looks better.
I’m considering using DCC Concepts Powerbase so have bought some to play around with for the OO9. I’m wondering about magnets on the wagons or they are so light, they’ll just come flying off the track. It’s hard to shunt if they just derail.
If I decide not to put it in the range cooker cubby hole then it will all stretch out on the right a bit so it looks less sharp. Mind you, the real thing is really sharp.
So over to you guys – what do you think?