Morpeth Shakes Off Some Dust

I had a couple of train friends over yesterday to give me a hand on running some curve tests to see what locos would run around the curves on the new layout I’m thinking about building. The larger locos with outside cylinders are suspected to have issues with curves with a curve radius much smaller than 1.8m (6′) but there are so few actual layouts around in 1:43.5 where I could see the locos I plan to run traversing curves less than this I determined that the only way I could be certain what would or wouldn’t run was to systematically test some locos on some curves.

Phil and Peter working together as a well oiled machine to lay the tightest of the curves (1.2m or 4′) for the tests.

After we ran the tests I managed to convince them to help me haul Morpeth up the stairs to the freshly painted train room. Phil and Peter helped me get the three completed sections of Morpeth up onto its stands and then I spent some time today cleaning the track, vacuuming the dust up and determining that the poops we found yesterday near my O-scale cows weren’t from rats but from a bearded dragon which had been in residence in the workshop a few months ago. There was a bit of very minor damage to a couple of trees which will mean a little re-forestation at some point but other than the layout seems to be in remarkably good condition.

This is the first time the layout has been set up in a complete state since March 2014. Aside from siding peeling off Parker’s Junk Yard and the lizard poo there was only some minor damage to a couple of tress which just need to be reinstalled.

I hooked up the main DCC system this afternoon and cranked it up to run a train. It was a real pleasure to just run my 20 class and a scratch built CCA back and forth a few times and take a few photos. We underestimate the mental health benefits of simply running a train at our own peril.

This photo represents a normal day on the Morpeth line and it’s only taken me 15 years to be able to get all the elements together to be able to pose such a train in this way šŸ™‚

The only problem created by running a train on an almost completed layout in my brand new train room is that it’s very tempting to think “why not just set Morpeth up permanently?” It would be very easy to draw up a plan, make a few adjustments and use Morpeth as the core of my new layout. Why change locales after all these years? And with a bit of judicious shoe horning I could probably find time for the bridge scene I’ve been hankering to build for a few years. There’s no room for a rail bridge on my version of Muswellbrook.

I don’t like exhibiting very much anyway… šŸ™‚


4 thoughts on “Morpeth Shakes Off Some Dust

  1. You are an inspiration! My 9.5′ x 20′ RR room has been in a state of almost complete since january. A bad back that limits standing and helping out with grandkids have kept me from it. It is time to remedy this!

  2. This is terrific news. Congrats!
    I suppose that now that you have all the sections set up at home, you can decide whether you want to use those as the starting point for the new home layout. Maybe it’s time to build something new – (smaller? More portable?) – for exhibition?
    – Trevor

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