Last QW Buildings Removed

Over the past few days I’ve been working on a magazine article and needed to draw out some plans of the development on Queens Wharf from its life as a drop in module into my current layout through to what exists today. Then I drew a plan for the yard as I’d like to arrange it if I wasn’t crimped by the existence of the buildings that pre-dated the needs of the current layout and were restricting what I could do.

Then I started to take the next logical steps:

After removing the dairy buildings last week this small section of scenery and buildings was the last of the old Queens Wharf which existed prior to the current layout. I couldn’t make the extensive track changes I would like to make with these buildings in place. The buildings beyond the line are part of the new station scene which can easily be lifted safely out of the way before anything happens to the track in the yard.

The inevitable conclusion of thinking about where you’d like to get to is that you start looking at ways of achieving that goal. I don’t know how many times I’ve stood in front of this part of the layout and thought to myself, “it’s a shame these buildings are in the way. If they weren’t here I could…” There are quite a number of ways this sentence has ended over the past couple of years. However I’ve never sat down and drawn out a plan of what I might do with Queens Wharf yard if there was nothing in the space getting in the way of where I’d like to lay track. In making up the diagrams for the track plans I was working on for the article I had to put them side by side on a single sheet of paper so they could easily be compared.

Now you need to remember that a week or so ago I’d made the decision to upgrade the track at the entrance to the dairy siding about 2m (approximately 7′) further up the line, so I’d already removed half the scenery that was crimping what I might be able to do with Queens Wharf’s track arrangement. Then I started working on a scale plan of what I could do if I had nothing in my way. You probably know where this is going…

One of the reasons I’d never contemplated removing the buildings from this part of the layout was that I knew the bases the buildings sat on had been installed with both screws and glue, lots of glue. Any removal would mean a fair bit of damage and after I took to this scene with my favourite old prying chisel (that’s my name for an blunt old chisel I keep at the back of a drawer for this type of work) I inflicted a lot of damage. However most of the damage was to the surrounding foam scenery rather than to the buildings themselves so everything can be repaired. The other reason I hadn’t contemplated the removal of this scene was that it’s one of my favourite parts of the layout 😦

It took about 15 minutes to remove the buildings from this part of the layout and about 1 1/2 hours to work out why trains would no longer run on a section of track just beyond the new station. All the buildings are now sitting safely on shelves in the storage cupboard that occupies the corner of the layout room. I’ve made no attempt to repair any damage. I’ve just gathered up the bits that came loose as I hit parts of the bases -bases that certainly weren’t designed to be hit with a hammer – placed these in a plastic container and put them away without looking too closely at the damage I’d caused.

I’ll save posting any photos of the damage to these structures when I’ve pulled almost all the track up, made brand new track (including 5 or 6 new turnouts), wired it all back up and made a new control panel and then set about working on the scenery of Queens Wharf. I can’t publish the track plans I drew that prompted this destructive phase because these are destined for an upcoming issue of a US track planning magazine which appears annually. If I can ever get it written to my own satisfaction and the editor considers it worthy of inclusion. It’ll probably appear about the same time I get all the work on QW’s new track arrangement completed, sometime in 2022 would be my guess.

Two days ago I removed the ship model next to Morpeth’s pier and took it inside to start completing it. I’d last worked on this in 2018 but I’d never completed it so I thought this would be a good time to get it finished and back on the layout. I was even thinking about making a blog post about it. How the heck did I go from working on a model of a ship to ripping out completed scenery and most of the track at Queens Wharf? πŸ™‚

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