Top deck progress on the layout.

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Building effort on the layout project has focussed on the top deck and the British Outline EM gauge theme. Two fiddle or staging yards are now in place with a cross-over between the Up and Down lines linking the two. Wired up and running, the yards are being tested with a variety of different stock. Track laying on the scenic area of the layout remains to be started. Working on a defined layout theme definitely brings two realisations:

  1. It concentrates the mind on specific stock suitable for that theme. Suddenly, I seem to have a lot of stuff not appropriate to the layout theme! Will those models ever get to see a running session? Or does Ebay beckon?
  2. You soon find the weaknesses in your models, particularly with respect to couplings, wheels and traction. I will have some serious work bench time to put in, with upgrading to do, not to mention repairs. I really wonder how stuff stored in stock boxes actually manages to become damaged?

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I have a weakness for mail trains. Here’s one set of stock being tested on the layout – the vehicles will be used to make up my South East Travelling Post Office set when operations start in earnest on the top deck layout. In the meantime, the stock runs along the off stage area of the layout in testing mode. It has had to have couplings adjusted and A1 Models close coupling gangways fitted – starting with the Super BG coaches at either end of the set. I do such work one vehicle at a time before checking performance and moving on to the next.

So I admit that my lack of posts recently has been due to this layout building activity and some heavy writing deadlines too. Whilst it’s great to have stuff out of the boxes and on a layout, I can only notice how much remedial work is needed: from fixing the odd piece of glazing back in place, to checking wheel back-to-back measurements. It’s all good fun, though!


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