Sunday, September 18, 2011

This Time For Sure

I've started the benchwork for Picton Mk II and work has been progressing well so far. I decided to use L girders this time around as it will be easier to get the grades right as well as the multiple levels for the spiral and storage yards. Ian T sent me some photocopies from Linn H Westcott's article in Model Railroader describing how to build L Girder benchwork. This article would be nearly 50 years old now but is still relevant today. One things for sure, the bench work is much stronger than Picton Mk I.
I've been spending about 2 hours a night since the last post and so far, I've built the L girders for 3/4 of the Loopline which is attached to the wall plus the top and bottom for the standalone parts of the layout. I've still got to build the cross members which the roadbed risers will attach to plus the roadbed itself so there's still quite a bit of work to go. Plus the bottom deck, the backdrops and the facias so I'll be busy busy for a while yet.
Fortunately, I've been able to re-use all the wood from the first benchwork attempt so I've not wasted anything in the rebuild except for my time.

Thirlmere is over on the back wall and the spiral from the bottom to the top deck will be in the foreground

Another view of the bench work where the spiral and the storage sidings will be

Looking down the aisle to the work bench. Hill Top used to be attached to the wall on the left

I'll keep building away for the next couple of weeks and see how it goes. Not long to the Liverpool exhibition either so lots of train action in store.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


As I've said in a previous post, Ian T came over and suggested I make some changes to the layout design as the current plan wouldn't have been practical as I get older and less mobile. So, in the meantime, he's been slaving away at his computer and has come with a whole new track plan and design. And it's a heap better than my feeble attempt, not that my track plan wouldn't have worked, it's just that Ian's version has something "extra" that mine didn't. The trap I fell into was the old "must use all available space" which isn't necessary if you have a 6m x 6m space. The other problem Ian has solved is where to put my work bench, now its facing the back wall next to the window and with no railway to hinder things. Here's how the new track plans look,

Bottom Deck

Top Deck

The new design has meant that the first attempts at layout building need to be rebuilt and with that, everything has come down. It's amazing how quickly things come apart compared to putting them together. Everything is now pulled apart and I've rebuilt where Thirlmere is and have moved the 2 top and bottom decks from near the garage doors, where Hill Top is on the plan, to where the hidden exchange sidings will be.
The lesson here, I think, is to vett your plans with other people, particularly people who have built a few layouts otherwise you might end up making some critical mistakes like I would have. Luckily, I wasn't at a point where it was too late.
A Big thanks to Ian T for putting in the time and effort to come up with the new plan and helping me get it right.