Hole In The Wall

What sort of post can I make about an absence? When I got home today I found a hole: it was a neatly trimmed hole but a hole none the less. If you go back and look at the plan I posted a few weeks ago in Destruct Construct you’ll see that the plan shows a piece of track bisecting a circle in a space labelled “garage”. This is a representative drawing for a train turntable I built last year. This turntable allows operators to turn complete trains that are 1.5m long (5′) without any lifting or touching of the stock. 1.5m hardly allows for long trains however this limitation is one compromise that needs to be made if the stock is to be free from possible damage from operator’s fingers. This limitation on length was imposed by the length of my trailer: Morpeth was designed as a portable layout intended for exhibition. As the length of the turntable is limited to 1.5m this means the trains will also be limited to this length.

If you’ve read the Destruct Construct post you’ll already know that the plan posted along with the text was my solution to getting a fiddle yard into the plan. Earlier versions of the plan had seriously toyed with the idea of not including off scene storage. However I knew in my heart that this wouldn’t work for my long term plan to run this layout as an operating model railway, so the solution reversed the operating scenario: originally trains were to enter the scenic portion of the layout via Queens Wharf and end their journey in Morpeth yard. Essentially what I’ve settled on makes QW the terminus of the line with Morpeth a station stop along the line. This is not an ideal situation but it has the great advantage that it utilises the layouts I’ve been working on for the past 8 years and it also allows for off scene storage. The fact that this storage is in an adjoining room is an added benefit because it separates the non-scenicked fiddleyard from the rest of the layout, thus helping to add authenticity to the operating experience by not having the storage visually intrude into the operators view of the layout as they run a train up the line.

The one problem with this plan was that it required a hole be cut in the brick wall, the wall that I had so recently spent good money dressing up with plaster board and paint.

This photo shows the hole as it appears prior to filling, sanding and painting. It will eventually disappear behind the layout's backdrop but I still want to dress it up and paint it.

This photo shows the hole as it appears prior to filling, sanding and painting. It will eventually disappear behind the layout’s backdrop but I still want to dress it up and paint it.

When I got home from work today I found myself the proud owner of a hole. As you can see from the photo it’s not just any hole: it’s neatly trimmed in pine to help it look sleek and professional and it will be painted in the next week or so. The significance of this hole in the wall of my train room is that it will allow trains to be made up on the train turntable and then enter the scenic portion of the layout via the opening. I hope you’ll agree that this is a far preferable scenario to having the storage in the train room or worse still, not having any storage at all.

Of course that pre-supposes that I will leave the fiddle yard arrangements limited by the restrictions of the short train turntable. With a new space available for the storage and turning of trains that is not restricted by the dimensions of my 5’X7′ trailer, who’s to say that I won’t come up with some other, more imaginative way to store and turn trains. We’ll have to wait see about that possibility hey? 🙂

 

Fiddle Yard Sizing Up

Image

This photo shows the beginnings of the fiddleyard hooked up to the end of the third scenic module for the first time. The black, spoked "wheel" that can be seen in the front right hand corner of the photo is the turntable "spider" that will be use to allow the train turntable to operate.

This photo shows the beginnings of the fiddleyard hooked up to the end of the third scenic module for the first time. The black, spoked “wheel” that can be seen in the front right hand corner of the photo is the turntable “spider” that will be used to allow the train turntable to operate.

1. Layout Storage

Image

1. Layout Storage

Having a trailer for layout transport has another great advantage: it can also be used for layout storage! This photo shows my new layout, Morpeth MkII, in situ in it’s trailer home. Before I could load QW into the trailer I needed to unpack all this. I’ve removed one segment of the layout some of the way out of its alloted place to give a clearer idea how things fit together.

4. Queens Wharf Segments

Image

4. Queens Wharf Segments

If you have seen the photo I posted called “The Coffin” this photo will make more sense. It shows the halves of QW before they are nested and packed into the trailer. Before I started work on this layout I was worried that arranging things so that the buildings didn’t crunch into each other would be quite difficult, but this has turned out not to be the case. I found it quite easy to make sure that the buildings sat in positions that cleared each other. As one of the segments lives upside down most of the time you do need to make sure everything on this half is well attached.