Sunday, April 17, 2016


It certainly came as a surprise to Dad and Dave, when they stumbled to the edge of the layout and looked out over where there was once a layout they enjoyed riding on. Sorry boys no more.
Progress has been made since this shot was taken, in the middle of the photo above is now a baseboard that was formerly Bega. Luckily Bega was made up of baseboards 1.8 metres long, so two were dedicated to form the new town of Eden.
It has been decided that at least the first build of the new layout will be on modules that can be taken apart for whatever reason.
Two boards now reside in the centre of the shed, wingnut bolted together. The legs are also wingnut bolted together, the finished product seems fairly sturdy.
Since the last blog finally some track has been laid. I have started on the main board that has most points on it. This includes the loco shed area and a few goods sidings. The main line out of Eden will be on a left hand 30" radius curve. Although it's stated that the NA's will handle an 18" radius curve I hope I don't have to go down that sharp. The broader the better. My lottery dream is to one day have a G class garratt run on the line, so I have to provide for it now.

NA's where a loco shed will end up and coal hoppers in goods yard
Well as can be seen with the above shot, the track laying has commenced. I am using the Peco narrow gauge track. I am not a great fan of the ragged edges of the track as I don't think photos I've seen of the VR track looked that bad. I might be able to cut the edges straight. In the end it will be well covered in dirt/ballast and won't be so noticeable.
30" radius curve out of town

Being new to DCC is have sought wire advice from Marcus Ammann. The gauge of the wire is certainly much more thicker than required to get my old layout going. I have cut the webbing under  the rails to hide the solder joints, just a bit fiddly lining up the holes. Although the Peco package containing the point advises that the points are DCC ready without modification I have chosen to run a wire down from the frog area in case its required in the future. I hope not as that will require further switches being installed.
Two NA's have a chat in loco

I was wondering what form of point control I would use on the layout. Initially I was going to use the Peco point motors, but after the fun I had under the last effort at Candelo on the old layout working out diode matrixes to enable route control, I decided to virtually go mechanical. I was given some wire from a mate Kevin many moons ago and it was stored under the layout. Surprisingly I refound it and decided to use it for point control. I drilled a quarter inch hole under the middle of the throwbar. Into the centre hole in the throw bar the rod was bent 90 degrees and fed back to the layout edge in a channel formed with a router (thanks Kev). Around the rod I placed an 1/8th tube. At the edge of the baseboard the rod will again be bent up 90 degrees and a 44 gallon drum will be placed over it to form a knob for point operation. Although this will be not as quick as electric point operation it will be more realistic to my mind.
Rod for point control
Rodding cover with 1/8th tube
The trough with the rodding in can be filled in later with either tape or pollyfilla to make level with the baseboard.
Rods at baseboard edge

The above photo shows the rodding at the baseboard edge to be finally cut later. I will finish this off with the drums for knobs. The channel to the edge of the baseboard for the rods were made perpendicular to the point, this resulted in a few channels crossing over each other, but one channel was made slightly deeper to overcome this issue.
As can be seen in the photo is the outline of the old HO track. I am laying the track directly to the baseboard and don't see any need for underlay on this section of track. The former Bega was also directly laid to the plywood.
Today I have started to lay the track on the second board. This will have the station, transfer shed and a few good roads on it. The tracks have to cross over the join here. It would be nice to be able to just lay straight across the boards, but if it is to be truly portable I will have to do the hard yards now, so it can be pulled apart in the future.
With a bit of luck I may have all the trackwork laid soon and then the test will come with the power applied, hoping it all works.


  1. Hi Bob,
    I have done a similar thing with my points only mine are under the baseboard in case I decide to electrify them the wire and tube are easy to remove.
    The other thing is when they are crossed as they appear, in a hurry you could become confused with which is which, and move the wrong one. Mine are square to the edge of the module and opposite the point which it connects to. Just a thought !!

  2. Hi Bob. I use mechanical linkages to throw my points, and like James I mount the hardware under the baseboard. The push-rods are mounted into the fascia. You can see how I did that in my blog at

    Also, if you're ever going to feed power to the frog (which I recommend) you'll need to include a switch to route the power correctly. I've included that in my throw-bar mechanisms.


  3. Coming along really nicely there Bob!