Over the last two days I have made a fiddle yard for Grahams latest SM32 WW1 Layout. Before this fiddle yard all shunting was carried out on the visible layout, but now it can be carried out off scene. Simple construction as there is only one line, but it had to be matched up with the old ‘end board’ which is still part of the layout.
This Layout is Appearing at the Hornby Model Mag – Great Electric Show at Milton Keynes (2022)
Yesterday we attended the above Exhibition with two layouts, Grubb Lane and Morlock Heath, both O Gauge. It was a nice relaxed and friendly show with lots of old mates attending and some visitors that I had not seen since pre-covid days.
Here is a few Photo’s taken by my wife of our layouts.
Had a nice morning at the Thetford Model Railway Club Exhibition today, as a visitor. Met Terry and Bernard from the Cambridge Model Railway Club (31A) – great to see them – had a good natter. They were with a layout I sold them 12 years ago. I had it on the circuit 10 years before selling it to the lads – so the old girl must be over 22 years old and still going. It was called Hobbs Lane when I had it but Terry changed it to Hobbs Warren. Long may it continue.
I am posting every move I make with the Kato track as it may be useful to others. Today I am preparing the track on the scenic sections for ballasting or should it be ballasting between the tracks and on the edges. I have purchased two packets of compatible Kato ballast to use, but at £7 a pack for such a small amount I decided to put a further layer of cork in all places that will be ballasted later to save on the amount of ballast needed. The below photographs show how I cut the cork to size, glued it and temporarily pinned it down, the pins are Peco and all are salvageable.
I intend to do a small section to see what is the best way to glue the Kato ballast down. I will use sandpaper to make a chamfer on all the cork on the edge of the track, this should help the finished appearance. You will note that I have started to disguise the wiring for the board joins.
First thing this morning all the extra track turned up and I went straight out and fitted it all to the fiddle yard. I now consider that is the best I can do with KATO track system. During my learning on how to use the track I had assumed that they would produce various curved points! Sadly none could be found on any UK sites – so guess that they do not exist!
The final fiddle yard design finished, I made some between track templates based on the KATO point curved track supplied. Just to clarify, the middle six tracks are through tracks, the first and eighth tracks are sidings with a isolator halfway down each to hold two, two car DMUs etc.
The track will now be lifted and the backboard painted and glued down, after that the fiddle yard area will be corked. The track will then be relayed to the final design. I am looking to pin down the track if possible, if not I will have to investigate another way – we will see.
I had decided from day one of this project that I could not live with surface wiring and that all would be underboard. I also did not want to take the KATO point/power joiners off, I therefore investigated what was the smallest hole I could drill to allow the joiners to pass through, but still be out of sight and under the track. I think a 12mm or 13mm hole will do my wished for outcome.
At the moment I have not really decided on the viewable track at the front of the layout. I have had several ideas from friends including an extra curve in place to a few straights, a bi-directional passing loop or even a Stone Terminal. Whatever decided upon, the two main lines only will have overhead catenary.
Today I have been working on the scenic backboard, not an easy job with the rubbish wood I purchased from a large outlet. In the end I managed to get everything level on the backboard and also made a rear safety board to stop any fiddle yard accidents. I did have a few extra bits of track arrive today and they were duly put in place, the bulk of the extra track should arrive tomorrow.
The backboard is not glued down yet and will be painted both sides before fixing in place. Once glued in place I will temporarily take the track up and cork the whole fiddle yard.
Even although the layout is still to be corked, I just could not resist having a play with a potential track layout. This is the first time I have ever used KATO track so getting used to it seemed a good idea.
As the track is based on, but not a copy of the track between Ely Station and the North Junction, the main operational significance is that it is ‘Bi-Directional’ on both lines. There are no crossovers in this length of track giving each track its own fiddle yard in model form.
With the cork arriving next week it is just ‘play’ and things are bound to change. One of the main things I need to do is to get some stock and test the fiddle yard capacity. I also need to purchase a little more tracks to fill in the gaps.