Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Going Round The Bend!

This week we finally got around to creating the rest of the embankments on either side of the road bridge and, in so doing, formed a cutting which nicely matches the cutting on the other side of the gap - albeit somewhat smaller. Please see previous post entitled 'Valley Good Work'.
However, just like Topsy, it somehow grew and became rather longer than we had originally intended inasmuch as we decided to continue the embankment around the top of the loop so that it would connect with the retaining wall on the other side. 
There is not much space, at this point, between the track and the edge of the baseboard, so we had to make the embankment here somewhat lower and narrower but it should look okay especially when a backdrop is finally put into place behind it.
Actually, we were uncertain as to whether a cutting was the right way forward here before we started but, now that it is in place, I think we all felt that it was the correct decision and it should look very good when fully landscaped.
You can also see where I have replaced the two Hornby crossover points, that lead to Platform 3 and the Brewery Siding, with ones by Peco which are much superior. Surely it is high time that Hornby improved their track, especially their points and diamond crossings, to make it more compatible with the fine-scale wheels that are found on today's rolling stock.
You might also notice that we have made provision for an Operating Mail Coach Receiving Bin on the up line, between the end of the embankment and the points. A Pick-up Hook is going to be installed on the down line, opposite, so that we will then have one of each accessory at either end of the layout. The intention will then be to run an overnight sleeper service in each direction with an operating mail coach coupled to the rear of each train. This can then collect / drop off the mail bags whilst the train conveys its slumbering passengers between Sueston and Davemoor.
Okay, so this might be nothing more than a toy something that, I am sure, many a serious railway modeller will not even contemplate using. However, the whole objective of this layout is to have as much fun as possible and to make it interesting to operate as well. That is why we have several such operating accessories at various locations around the layout; they all provide our trains with a reason for running and give us a lot of pleasure into the bargain.


  1. We all have the problem of 'the end of the layout' where scenery just has to stop!

    There are loads of precedents for your narrow embankment or side of the cutting, which is what it really is, yeah? It you look on it as one hill through which the railway was cut, then you've a perfectly good piece of higher ground which simply has to end where it does because there's no more model!

    Believe me, Derwent Midland has just he same problems!

    On the issue of track - I think Hornby is still looking at the 'toy train' market with its track and many of its model buildings and accessories, come to that. But most of its modern locos and rolling stock is made for the 'adult collectors' market' - and sure as heck there's a big difference!

    I also think that Peco is almost universally available and far superior so there'd be little commercial point in Hornby going into competition with a 'scale' product.

    Of course if you want a 'proper' track system you can always try P4 and build your own!

  2. Hi Micky,

    Thanks for the comment and you are so right about the 'end of the layout', the scenery just has to stop somewhere! Glad to know that you have had similar problems at Derwent Midland.

    Actually, I suppose we could extend the baseboard here by a few inches which would allow for a slightly larger embankment and this might yet happen.

    I agree with you wrt Hornby track, it is definitely aimed at the 'toy train' market, as are a lot of its buildings and accessories although, with the latter, we have decided to use some of them anyway just to add a bit of fun to the layout. This, however, is at odds with some of their locos which, as you say, are definitely aimed at the collector.

    Yes, P4 would certainly be better track but we decided on a compromise, given the size of the layout and time constraints. So far, at least, we have been entirely happy with Peco track.