Railway modelling miscellany

Layout with track back down

Railway modelling – a summer catch up (Part 1)

A layout refurbished

The summer to date has seen me getting back into active railway modelling. This was initially courtesy of sprucing up the train set I originally made for my daughters circa 1990 so that my grandsons could use it.  As a piece of modelling it is nothing spectacular, just a fun to operate circle and sidings, which will hopefully keep the boys interested in trains and modelling as they grow out of Brio.

Picture original layout

The train set as originally built (1989/90?). The legs, reused off an old coffee table, are even older.

Railway modelling in action - the layout with track back down

Relaid track down ready for boards to have some repainting done. Not doing badly for a 28 year old veteran.

A layout scrapped

Sadly however the summer also marked the end of my former Classic Train Set layout. The storage area used for it needs to go and without any, current, replacement area being available sadly it required dismantling. It had gone into storage originally not due to any lack of enthusiasm but because it was proving too cumbersome to move to/from exhibitions and once there, too bulky for easy assembly.

Image - part dismantled layout

Dismantling commenced on The Classic Train Set layout 15 July 2017.

As the picture above shows the final reason for its demise was the lack of anywhere at home, other than outside on the drive, as a place where it could be assembled for testing and operation. All track and other components have been saved and eventually a replacement will be built, as to timing – if/when by de-cluttering other stuff storage space for a new build can be found.

A new layout started

As described above working on refurbishing what over time had become Ellie’s layout for her two boys to use (my grandsons Ted and Matthew) has also rekindled my own interest in railway modelling. Finding the time to progress the new layout Plum Hollow (see last blog post) is, however, not proving as easy as making up my mind to start.

A layout – work in progress

The Pebbles End project will also get some more attention over the autumn and winter. Like Plum Hollow it is small enough to bring indoors to be worked on using our fold-up camping table and then put away again. Both layouts can also sit on the spare room bed in the periods between visitors coming to stay provided we keep a space free for them to go either out in to the garage or up in to the loft on a temporary basis when the beds are needed for sleeping!

Hobby burn-out

Pebbles End photo

Pebbles End at the MOMING event in 2011

With Pebbles End I learnt a valued lesson, even with something you enjoy as a hobby if you put too intense an effort into it you can become burnt out for that activity. Back in 2010 I had committed Pebbles End to the MOMING event to be held the following year and then, as consequence of unsuccessfully using too many experimental construction techniques, the build took much longer to complete than expected. The display was not of the standard I had hoped for and I became disillusioned with railway modelling as a constructor. This disappointment did not kill my interest in railways overall, only for railway modelling, but after completing the MOMING show visit the 85% completed project went into storage, and was not touched again for some time. My modelling mojo had been killed. When I eventually got over that and felt interested again in modelling I was surprised to discover that mental block on undertaking active model making had lasted five and half years!

An existing layout rediscovered

In a de-cluttering and tidying of the garage exercise recently undertaken I rediscovered the baseboards I built back in the 1990s for a layout that would have run completely around the inside of the garage. The proposed layout was to have been based on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) incline and Goathland station. The boards had actually been neatly stacked behind some other items and forgotten, not scrapped after all. Nothing has yet been done with them, nor is anything likely to be done with them in the immediate future (due to the space constraints mentioned above) but at least the baseboard build is one job saved on a future project. As for that NYMR proposal; I realised the track plan would have worked in the space available but only with use of train set curves – if I was going to put the time and effort into finishing it that a project of that size deserved those minimum curves were a compromise too far. With the benefit of hindsight the abandonment was a blessing in disguise, if I had progressed further I doubt it would have been completed.

Railways – a summer catch up (Part 2?)

The above concludes Part 1 of this summer catch up post but there will almost certainly be a second, and possibly even a third, instalment. On the research front it has been, and continues to be, a busy year and with visits to railway related venues too, there is undoubtedly more to come.

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