Interim update – see RMWeb
During the time my website was down I started a thread about the layout on the RMWeb internet forum. The opening post there is an introduction but also covers the options under consideration for hands-free uncoupling. It fills the time-line gap whilst this site was unavailable. Readers do not need to be registered users to read posts. Post #2 is the post in the thread issued whilst this website was unavailable.
Having discovered that the initially intended, very simple, option of one power feed and self-isolating points was not going to work due to point-work unreliability that also means space is needed underneath for wiring. As the the initial board had no under space it needed modification. Also, if the trial of the wire staple uncoupling method progresses, it will need magnets mounting. I am anticipating that the magnets to be installed, will protrude below the thickness of the base. Outcome, I’ve taken advantage of the dry day to do the messy woodwork required outside on the drive. A base frame has been added today using 12mm x 65mm ply strips, including two cross battens with wood blocks at the relevant joints. I’ve also used a circular hole borer (Not sure if that is the right name for the tool though) to create large holes to run the wiring through.
When the above work was sufficiently advanced I also trialled the layout on the ironing board, it is possibly a bit too wobbly but time will tell after a bit of time using this experimental option for legs. However, after discussing this with Peter Leadley (it was remembering his Briding Noora layout that suggested the ironing board base option) he considered wobble creates a need for careful operation but wasn’t as bad as you would anticipate. That said, from experience of back stage theatre work, I do anticipate the need to add low down weight, probably just a simple concrete block (or two) in a wooden frame bolted onto the legs. That option will simulate the use of stage weights but without needing to buy any of those specifically! A possible future 90 degree side spur/extra fiddle yard area will also aid stability.
Final action with the ironing board will be to bolt the balance of the sheet of ply onto the ironing board top with the layout then attached/detached by theatre style split hinges and pins. Reason it needs to be splittable is to fit it into the car if it ever gets invited to exhibitions. I have enough distance with the car’s back seat down for the ironing board to go in diagonally on edge but not flat across the car; the slightly shorter main board will fit flat, albeit only just! The perils of recently downsizing from a Zafira to a Corsa!
Now to relay the track with isolating sections embedded, add wiring and build the control panel. That one is still a moveable feast as to position and whether it will on the board or moveable with a fixed umbilical cord.
Rolling stock dilemmas
I have been buying stock over the last few years for a model preserved line, but will have nowhere to store that larger project if I build it, therefore matching the era to be portrayed in the scenery with the availability of stock will be an issue to come. Ideally the scenery will be 1981-85 as that was when I lived adjacent to Burton Lane Junction; perhaps stretched forward to the late 1970s as York still had a few green engines kicking around.
Current reality is I have both wagon and locomotive stock for a pre-1948 scenario, but not the right ex-NER locomotives for the York area, so that is an issue. Moving forward to the BR green/blue transition era plenty of suitable locos but as I have shortage of right period/right liveried stock. It is going to be a case of making it as non-specific as possible visually and refine as time goes on. Changing the era by swapping road vehicles is probably the main option.