I must admit that I am a builder rather than operator, taking more pleasure in trying to recreate my little slice of countryside than running trains, so a simple sleepy branch line is more than enough to satisfy my needs. I operated Penhydd to a simple sequence but never all in one go. Instead I would just walk into my modelling room and run the next train as the mood took me. At other times I would break up spells on the workbench by doing a little shunting whilst parts set or paint dried. I found this approach to be hugely satisfying and so designed the new layout to expand on the idea.
Layout design should mean just that and take everything into account not just the track plan. So I drew up a list of features which I would like to model and the sort of scenery the line would pass through. Next I took the likely goods traffic into account and apart from the usual general merchandise and coal I decided that both mineral traffic from one of the quarries and a creamery could well be justified but as off stage industries rather than being fully modelled.
A first for me was the decision to model a through station served by two sector plates rather than a terminus served by cassettes. I had always felt that having two sector plates or storage yards was a waste of space but by rearranging my modelling room I found everything would fit with the visible section being exactly the same size footprint as Penhydd. Another plus point was that I could use the old layouts baseboard frames meaning only one new frame and another pair of legs would be needed.
So out came a roll of lining paper which I spread out on the floor together with a few point templates and lengths of flexi track. After much juggling about I came up with a suitable plan which my friend Simon Dunkley ran through templot. Once he had mailed me the basic plot I set upon adding the detail using "Arcsoft Media Impression" software, the end result can be seen below.
Well I did warn you it was going to be a simple layout, no run round loop, one long siding serving a goods shed, coal merchant, mill and another siding disappearing behind the scenery only to emerge at one of the sector plates.
The latter serves the off stage quarry and creamery of which only the roof line and chimney will be modelled against the back scene.
Trains arriving from Presteigne enter the scenic section from behind a view blocker comprising of trees and a feed store.
|This is a slightly larger version of the feed store at Penhydd, built at the same time but rejected due to it's size.|
The end portion of the building will be changed from half to full relief and new handrails fabricated for the stairs.
The line then crosses a bridge very similar in style to the one at Penhydd but over the River Lugg rather than a road.
|Imagine if you can a river swinging around to the left rather than the road. With rough grass embankments and hillside rather than cottages in the background|
The signal box and cottages which are currently in build will appear next but with only a single track crossing, the road continuing to the feed store in one direction and behind the cottages to a derelict cattle / loading dock in the other. I imagine the backscene to be pretty much the same as you see in the photo below but would like to attempt something like Martin Goodalls backdrop to his model of Burfod as seen in MRJ No.220 and 221 for the village section. If you don't have those magazines then take a peep here..............
|Photo reproduced with the kind permission of Andrew Bartlett|
I have no photos or sketches of the station and goods yard area yet but if you have seen Woolverstone by Iain Rice ( MRJ 39 ) then you won't go far wrong as much inspiration has been taken from that lovely little layout.
The station building will look something like this...http://hallatrow.blogspot.co.uk/ and the goods siding will also be on a slightly lower level which is another feature of Woolverstone. At the other end of the layout the view blocker will be inspired by the scene below,
© Copyright David Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
At one time a single track railway line was set into the road in the above scene. For my modelling purposes it will be reinstated and form the tail end of the goods siding. A coal yard will be situated roughly where the car stands and the line will cross over an unclassified road in the foreground by means of an ungated level crossing.
Well there you have my ideas laid out before you, I have just got to build it all now. It will not be a quickie so don't expect rapid progress. The baseboards need adapting and two sector plate building but it is far two cold in the garage at the moment to get the project moving. On the plus side most of the track is complete and several buildings including the signal box and cottages are on my modelling bench.