#WarrenYard #RealisingaDream Realising a Dream - 4 - How Do I? Ok, I have been luckier than many in my life and worked hard to get what I have achieved but please don't be put off, my articles are applicable to all sizes of layouts and I have made plenty of mistakes along the way by diving straight into a large layout as my first attempt. What I aim to do is give you food for thought and save you from making my mistakes so you can invent your own! Let's plan! How on earth am I going to fit my dream in the space I have available, I think we all try and pack far too much into the space available but if you specify some criteria in the form of limits it becomes manageable. My criteria is for a layout which supports operational end to end running and for watching the trains go by, it went something like this :- 1) I want some open countryside depicting late spring to early summer, my favourite time of the year. 2) Trains should not be perceived as running on a circle of track they should dissapear from view for a while. 3) All the layout should not be visible from any one spot. 4) Industrial areas should only be cluttered as in real life 5) Last but not least "Less is More", my wife has very good input on this despite having no interest except that I'm happy doing it. It was rapidly obvious that I could not fit all this onto one layer in OO and I really did not want to go down to N gauge, far too fiddly. AnyRail to the rescue or perhaps it goaded me into meeting the challenge. 1) Open Space Being a freight orientated layout I dispensed with a passenger station early on which gives me space for an open run of track. A station even if your trains are limited to 6 coaches still requires more than 7ft (or 2m) in OO, they are truely enormous in practice. I have really only seen realistically long platforms on Doug Wilson's railway because it is in a very long outbuilding, much longer than most of us can even contemplate. The only passenger service that stops on my railway is a railbus to the docks to serve the steam packet service, a halt next to the cattle pens, don't upset the driver or he may just stop at the pens! Although coaches can weave their way down to the Euroferry port (implemented as a fiddle yard) as I believe they did to the Isle of Wight ferry. Two images show trains in uncluttered scenic space, a Class 37 on empty hoppers with a brake tender and an Ivatt on local passenger duty. Vintage Triang and Hornby. So that gives me a lot of space back, now to avoiding the tail-chase, where a train is never out of sight. 2) Avoiding the Tail Chase The first and most obvious is that the trains are not too long relative to the longest straight section of track, only narrow gauge trains would typically be weaving around multiple curves at once. The second approach is scenic breaks, they can be created in multiple ways e.g. land rising to allow a tunnel or a cutting or the track dropping below the land surface into a cutting. But remember when full size railways were constructed gradients were minimised and took an average course through a rolling landscape. Spoil from cuttings was used for embankments in valleys. To loose a six coach train or a twenty wagon train needs a rather long tunnel or cutting. However there is yet another option a folded figure of 8 circuit. The trains are seen on about 2/3 of the circuit drops down to lower level for 2/3 again then rises up again. 3) Avoiding seeing all the layout at any one time I arrived at the nominal height of the main boards surface at 54 inches (137 cm) (I was just under 6ft, now shrinking with age) so that hillsides aided by trees provide significant breaks, I like lots of trees. A high board level also makes it easy to do train spotting down at ground level for the main boards without backache. But beware, can you still reach track for cleaning and rerailing stock? I use a toolbox designed for standing on, don't use anything inappropriate. Further images show a hillside with tunnels and cuttings providing a scenic break and also disguises the ramps to the lower level and to holes in the wall to fiddle yards in the next room. Scenic breaks can also be used to split the railway into distinct sections, e.g. countryside, suburban, urban and industrial in a short space. Gives more of a feel that the train has actually travelled somewhere, this works on any size of layout. 4) Avoiding non-prototypical clutter An easy one, as it says anything placed should be pertinent. 5) Less is More In reality track layouts are very large areas and curves much larger radius than we can actually use, so use the largest radius points possible and spread buildings out, even if it means that some are not fitted. The less cramped the scene the more realistic it will look e.g. a TT used only for turning locos around. All of this is my personal take and I welcome open discussion on anything I present. My other articles can be found at #warrenyard To be continued, Jim.

Posted by Jim Franklin at 2021-05-03 11:03:01 UTC