Rod Cameron wrote:
John Farmer (Re6/6) and I had been thinking about Balcombe (Brighton main line) as a modular end-to-end layout on which we could run full-length EMUs such as 6PUL/6PAN etc including a representation of the Ouse Viaduct. None of these tiny shunting planks for us!
I then thought about the attraction of seeing these trains snake over some nice P4 trackwork, and Lewes floated into my head again, as it is wont to on occasions like this.
So, having Templotted Balcombe
I then had a go at Lewes - '....see those trains traverse the junctions from the London end to the Newhaven end and vice-versa.....run trains on the route between the Oxted lines and Brighton. ....The "Brighton" fiddle yard is double-ended, so that it can receive trains from the Oxted lines via Lewes, and also Brighton-bound trains on the main line which would 'disappear' after crossing the viaduct....what about joining the Eridge layout on? And so I arrived at
I'm exhausted just thinking about that
Now to have all these joined together in an exhibition would be a fairly gargantuan affair, but we're quite serious at having a go at this .... Baseboards for Balcombe itself are being designed, and I'm planning on getting started on the trackwork in Lewes later this year just to get some momentum going.
Should all keep us busy for a while!
Maybe too busy?
At our recent Toerag meeting we discussed your layout ideas and thought we'd like to offer our assistance. But none of us knows a thing about the railways of the South East. After a fair amount of head scratching and the like we have two proposals:
1) We'll make some or all of the fiddle yards you need. Having a lot of success with cassette fiddle yards which have evolved over time, we have now improved the concept to what we believe is the ultimate cassette based system. Originally we started with 4' long cassettes, but they were too short for some trains. So we then tried long cassettes, but they are too awkward to turn and resulted in at least one train fell to the floor
so we tried something shorter. Anyway to cut a long story short we now use single axle cassettes
. We have also experimented with different aluminium sections, 12 x 12 and 25 x 25 were the first two tried. However, sometimes stock comes off and will no rail by itself, even with the right bits between the tracks to drag wheels back into line. 12 x 12 is too tight for even small fingers to gain access to the offending wheels. 25 x 25 is too big and prevents tracks entering the fiddle yard at the correct double track spacing. So we eventually settled on 12 x 12, but cut down in height for most of the length so the wheels can be accessed. Oh and end stops have their very own requirement, but to cut that short the best source is a certain discount shop with underground car-park near the Scaleforum venue.
2) We were so taken by the upside down fiddle yard concept of one of the layouts at Houten that is appears perfect for the end fiddle yards. Yes, honestly trains appear to fall off the end of the layout, they don't crash to the floor, but line up orderly under the layout, UPSIDE DOWN.
So we are going to investigate that a little further and see if it will be of use.
Sorry to have hijacked your thread, but a poor fiddle yard can cripple an otherwise excellent layout. On the other hand a good fiddle yard goes unnoticed and makes a layout a pleasure to operate and view.