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.