I haven’t had a layout in my bedroom since I was 13. Mind you,then it was a little shelf layout against the wall that overhung my bed. At least, this time, it isn’t like that.
What is happening? Well, as explained, I have had to clear out my “hobby room” to make way for MIL to come and live with us. This has taken the best part of a week and a half to clear out and get most of my “stuff” into storage. How my wife puts up with me having so much “stuff” I will never know, but she does – and she encourages me to have my hobbies. I mentioned, in the previous post, that I was going to lay the railway on top of my desk. However, SWMBO came up with a plan. It is very good of her as she loses her dressing table top. The idea is that she clears the top and then I can put my railway across that top and on over my computer desk into the corner. This is fine because the computer desk is a fancy adjustable height one that I was given as part of the Open University disabled students scheme.
Now that was settled, I could get on with rebuilding. My first step was to get some black 5mm foam core. I have found that this is more stable than the white as the foam core itself seems to be harder. Unfortunately, Hobbycraft don’t sell black so I had to pay the “real” price rather than their discounted one. Hobbycraft charge £12.00 for four sheets (used to be £10) and black foam core is £6.83 per A1 sheet. I needed three sheets.
Before I could start, however, I had to agree on a layout. As mentioned in my previous post, I was thinking of one of the layouts in the “Modelling Branch Lines” book. I finally settled on “Chagford” as amended by the author. I laid all of this out on Anyrail using Peco N Gauge Finescale as I was unhappy with the fragile nature of the code 80. As the rail is buried in the sleepers for the code 50, it actually makes the track more robust. This is my final version of the plan.
The size is 72″ x 16″ with a small fiddle yard on the end. This fits perfectly on the dressing table/desk combination with the exception of the fiddle yard, which might need some creative thinking! I printed this out in full size to ensure that the track went on correctly. Normally, I don’t need this because there is, somewhere on the layout, a straight that is parallel with the edge but there is no such thing here. I placed the printout over the boards and pushed pin holes through at the point sites.
Everything is on hold for the moment as I have two deliveries coming tomorrow. One is for a reel of multicoloured solid core wire. I know that solid core isn’t liked but I get on OK with it and it is easier to get into Cobalt motor connections than multi-core, which you have to twist up carefully or bits stick out. The second one is a couple of right hand points coming from Hattons. I would normally buy these from my LHS but, when I bought the main stock of rail last week, they didn’t have enough of these for me. These are coming because I bought a double slip, as required by the plan in the book but hit some snags. I am not used to using electrofrog points in the way that most N Gaugers use them so I set up a test bed to understand how it was done. First I set up a point like this:
Usually, I wire the running rails to the stock rails, cut a break in the frog and wire it from the Cobalt motor. This time, I just set it up to use the stock rail connection for the feed. With the Cobalt installed and no frog feed, this worked first time. I then set it up to use the double slip.
This time, I got lots of shorts. I am getting a bit fed up with hacking points around and was very reluctant to get into cutting rails on the double slip so I asked a question on the forums. From someone who should know, I was advised to move the frog wires to the opposite motor – something that should have been obvious. Unfortunately this didn’t change anything. I played around with the wires to the Cobalt and there was no improvement. I am lacking a bit in patience with these things nowadays and want a simple life so I reworked the layout to use two right hand points back to back instead of the double slip. There is enough space in the design for this to work without any compromises.
So here I am. a lot of the layout down and waiting for the last two points and the dropper wire. Everything starts again tomorrow afternoon.