Over the last few blogs I have been giving gentle hints that
all's not well at SCR. The blog updates when they appeared have been few and
far between and they were mainly to show new locos I had bought. Many had been
on order for quite a while. Although now retired from the workforce, and the
understanding that you now have plenty of time to devote to your hobby, well it
hasn't worked out that way.
All I can see for the past two years effort is the
rebuilding of Candelo.
|Candelo - June 2008 Original Terminus|
|Candelo - July 2014 Rebuilt and looking in opposite direction from above photo|
While this was enjoyable to replan and rebuild, this was
only part of a complete rebuild I had planned for the layout. I had been
restless for a while contemplating whether a change would get me out of the rut
I was in.
I considered building a busy British terminal layout where train would
come in, locos changed after being sent to the depot for recoaling, watering
and turning. A plan was devised and drawn out. Now for some reason I went off
that idea even after purchasing a copy of the Railway Modeller Annual for 2015.
|Proposed British terminal layout|
Then there was consideration for a small intense American
shunting type layout where many sidings could be shunted and trains broken up
and re marshalled. I regularly visit the Model Railroader forums as well as the
Model Railroad Hobbyist forum and read their monthly e magazines.
I was getting frustrated with the layout. I only had a small
fleet of locomotive numbering under 20. These were still DC as I hadn't made
the jump for an extra 'C' to become a DCC modeller. Rolling stock had been
slowly pruned back over the past few years, getting rid of many superseded
models and ones that didn't fit the era. Why would I need 6 Lima TAM sleepers?
These were models we seemed to accumulate, we always planned to convert these
twelve wheelers to "another code" but it never happened. We always
believed that if they were kept under the layout long enough a ready to run
model would eventually appear.
Another idea I had was to have just a small layout, a spaghetti
bowl with a mix of electric changing over to steam/diesel to make it
operationally interesting. This got to the planning stages with the proposed
diagram shown here. It didn't get built but was an interesting project. Small
trains and small locos to match.
The current layout was started back in 1999 after the former
20 x 12 single garage had a 4 x 4 metre extension added on. As I said to the
wife when we had a concrete truck coming to pour the floor for a family room
extension, it would be a shame to waste it. So that's when the shed got
extended. If you find yourself in a similar position, tell the wife that it
will add capital value to the house if you ever decide to sell it.
Not wanting to push my luck too far with the finances, I
decided to erect the shed extension myself. I did woodwork for two years at
school and hoped this would get me through the build. Google and Youtube wasn't
a big thing back then but with a set square and Pythagoras theorum in my head I
started the rebuild. I remember having to demolish the rear wall of the shed so
it could join up with the new section. I don't think the asbestos hoodoo was a
big thing back then, so the back wall was taken down and disposed of. So far so
good I am still here fifteen years later. But the thing that nearly put an end
to everything was when I had to remove the back window. It was rather large and
after I had sawn through the nails holding it in, I then tried to ease it out
and lower it to the ground. Doing it single handed, little did I realise that
it must have been quarter inch glass or something similar. So when it came out
free of the frame it fell straight down to the ground, knocking me off the
ladder. Luckily it didn't break itself or me. A bonus was that I got to recycle
the old kitchen window from the house to be used in the shed. Who cares if it
was mission brown? The shed was eventually completed (and still stands today)
It was lined, painted blue and more flouros fitted.
The old layout in the original garage was slowly
dismantled, a new design worked out. The final plan was eventually decided upon
and a panel was made. Being DC, I decided to provide a panel that would operate
each section of track with a gang of 5 push buttons. These pushbuttons originally had eight buttons on them but I removed three as I thought I would never have eight operators at the one time. Don't think I have even had four controllers plugged in. This way any of five
controllers all could have access to every section of the layout.
took a while to complete. It was done on a sheet of perspex that had each side
protected with brown paper. The idea was to draw the final layout plan in
reverse on the backside of the perspex. 5mm strips were then carefully cut out
with a razor blade, gently peeled back and painted a single colour for each
|Finished Panel Central control|
This took a while to do and then hole had to be drilled for
the push buttons. Also the holes for the push buttons for the point motors and other
various switches. I had to be careful that the gangs of push button didn't
infringe on each other on the backside of the panel. Then many hours were spent
wiring it all up and running out the power wires to the various sections.
|Backside of panel|| |
The design of the layout had to be final as it was almost
impossible to add or change the panel once the brown paper was cut on the
backside. When the last of the track
sections had been cut out and painted, then a spray of black gloss paint was
sprayed all over the back. This then sealed it all and when viewed from the
front provided a panel that couldn't be scratched off. The panel has been
successful. Everything went okay except for one operating session when one
section wouldn't work. But the train took off when I opened the panel and
stopped when it was closed again. Rather than try and solve the problem there
and then I spent the rest of the session opening the panel each time a train
would enter the problem section. It was eventually sorted out. You hope when
you first do the panel that if you do it properly then you shouldn't have any
issues later on.
(To be continued next posting)