Sunday, 18 November 2007
Another day, another track plan! On the basis that I'm now (once again) intending to use the garage, albeit perhaps still a year or two away, I've reverted back to the 3 baseboard scheme. (11 ft long rather than the 12 ft I was using before to allow sufficient room for 'off-stage' storage (3 ft 6 ins) and a further 6 ins 'manouevering room' for dismantling the layout should it be required (the garage is 15 ft long).
In addition to extending the plan to include the loop entry crossover I've changed the position of the engine shed - I was bothered by it's location before, requiring engines to run into the goods yard to gain access to the shed road, which seemed an unlikely prototype layout. I'm still not 100% convinced with the new location but think it's better here than where it was before. I suppose it could be argued that there isn't really a need for an engine shed at all at such a small branch terminus, but I just like the idea of modelling a small shed scene with the additional scope for engine movements.
I've also kept the line to a double-track formation beyond the loop entry crossover. This is partly because it looks odd having this turnout and the goods yard turnout staggered (which would be necessitated by the baseboard joint in the middle of them) when in real life the track formation would probably flow more smoothly. Also, having the extra running track adds the potential for some extra train movements although to be honest I'm not quite sure what!! My only recourse to a prototype is Llanfyllin where the track continued double for some distance beyond the loop entry crossover before reverting to single track - I don't know how far or why though!
What is gained, I think, by extending the length is not only the obvious benefit of having a little more space to actually run trains (a train-length or so, at least!), but the opportunity to add a little more 'breathing space' to the overall layout of the station area. While spatial compression is often necesary on a model railway to give an overall visual continuity to a scene, too much compression can lead to a cramped feeling that detracts from the spacious, uncluttered atmosphere that characterised many rural railway stations. Some of the best models I have seen have managed to protray something of that sense of space, without trying to fill every available square inch with scenic clutter. A good example is Stephen Williams' Farringdon.