Everything changes – again

I never seem to get any further than laying track with my layouts. Since I shut our model shop in 2012 I have built six layouts – in order – N Scale US, British OO, British OO9, US HO, US HO, US HO. Each of these has had to come down soon after the track was laid and working and all for good reasons. If you wish to follow the pathway of my railway modelling, going right back to August 2009, you should check out my Gentle Model Railways blog.

This time, I think that I had it sorted. A nice big roundy roundy with a decent sized station so I could run everything from small local goods to fast passenger trains and still with a nice little branch to build off the side. Then my mother-in-law(MIL) fell ill and had to go into hospital. MIL is 92 and blind but has been living in the apartment above us with my wife providing her care. It is obvious, now, that she can’t come home to that situation so we have had to have a big change around which means that I have had to take my railway down and clear out the room  to turn it into a bed sitter for her once she leaves hospital. I am now squeezed down the end of our, admittedly quite big, bedroom.


As you can see from the image, I have a nice big desk for my Macintosh computer (courtesy of the Open University Disabled Students scheme) but no room for a model railway. Well, that isn’t true.  If I clear the front of my desk, I have 63″ of desk width and 18″ of depth. Ample space to hold a portable railway. I still have to store it so that is a bit of an issue which I have yet to sort out with “she who must be obeyed”! However, I am working on the theory that I can get away with a 72″ by 15″ board (as a bit of overhang won’t matter). This would stand between the drawer unit that is seen on the right and the wardrobe door(just out of sight). Fortunately, we don’t use that end of the wardrobe much so this could be a goer!

The next step, carried out in between clearing out the hobby room, sending everything to storage, filling holes, repainting a wall and getting MIL’s apartment into good condition so that she gets her full deposit back, will be to plan a layout. This will have to be a smaller branch terminus rather than the busy seaside one that I have the stock for. This means putting the Mk1 carriages and the class 47 back in their boxes. I don’t think that I want to make a dockside station now so I am “EBaying” my stock of Dapol fish vans with the intention of reinstating a creamery so using the funds to buy some more 6 wheeled milk wagons (as I like them).

I am perusing the Crowood book “Modelling Branch Lines” and looking at “Chagford” and “Alston” as described in there. Chagford needs me to buy two double slips and I have run out of railway budget after my investment in a 14′ double track layout! Hence, I am think along the lines of Alston.  I will draw up my versions of these using Anyrail and then discuss them here.

As an aside, I had a try of SCARM but found it very difficult to design a layout using flexi-track. I have a suspicion that SCARM was built more for continental modellers who are sticking to the track systems of the major manufacturers. This seems to make designing a Peco layout quite difficult. Tell me I am wrong!


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