20th October 2018
Having looked at the many varieties of railway on the Gnatterbox, I realised that I wanted something a little bigger than either a di orama or ‘pizza’ layout. I have nothing against these, and the examples on the forum show a very high standard of modelling. But I wanted a layout where I could have some fun operating, or just watching the trains go by, as the mood took me.
As noted earlier, I found Longstone, particularly in its second iteration, very appealing, but slightly too large for the baseboard I could afford and accommodate (4’ x 3’). The Berger Hall Railway, by Bilco, set me thinking about a ‘multi-scene’ layout. However I was not able to come up with a plan to have multiple scenes, plus shunting capability, within the space available.
The other layout which I’d single out as being a big influence was the (sadly unfinished) estate railway by Ian-IoM, although I won’t be attempting to fit my cottage with a bathroom to match the example in his estate house. Look it up if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about.
The overall size is 4’ x 3’, with each square on the plan being 3”. All the curves will be 9” radius, which is quite acceptable with a Smokey Joe chassis. Track will be Peco O-16.5 narrow gauge track, except the points in the fiddle yard which will be Peco OO Setrack.
The area at the top, which will be behind a 15” high backscene is the fiddle yard / storage area. Note that this is not overlapping the baseboard edge, as it appears in the picture. I was being miserly with the printing, and didn’t want to waste 6 sheets of paper just to get the extra couple of inches printed out!
The three buildings in front of the backscene are (from L to R), a packing shed, a small garage and the house (Washtub Cottage from Petite Properties).
The circuit will allow continuous running, to watch the trains go by. There will be the possibility of automating this using a controller and sensors from Heathcote Electronics, or similar.
The packing shed will take goods inward from the estate, and send packed goods out. I have yet to decide what these ‘goods’ will be! By extending the line through the back of the shed into the fiddle yard, goods inward can be swapped for packed goods outward.
The garage will be used to display one or more vintage cars - eg an ICM Ford Model T to go with the ultra glamourous ICM Female Mechanics (supposedly from 1910!) and / or a Revell Bentley Blower, both of which are under construction at present.
I’m now awaiting delivery of the baseboard and legs, so that construction proper can commence.