#WarrenYard #RealisingaDream Realising a Dream - 6 - Form The form a layout takes is a very important aspect of your railway, the foundation of which is the balance you have to make according to the 3 factors in C.J Freezer's book, namely time, space and cost, referred to in part 2. Building on those 3 factors if you have a good balance available across them further factors are at your disposal to determine the form your railway could take. Are You Sociable? Given freedom of choice it then depends on how sociable you are, most can take that for granted, but I have generally been self reliant, so my railway is for a one man band from the ground up, my personal world of escapism. But if you want to exhibit, size really matters. Size Matters Layouts can take many physical forms and hence sizes, portable, luggable, transportable and fixed, so even I considered these options, I define these here as :- 1 Portable, easily carried by one person and fits a car boot. 2 Luggable, needs at least two people and an estate car. 3 Transportable, needs a team and a van to move. 4 Fixed, will only be moved for demolition! I did wonder about making an additional portable or luggable layout in addition to a fixed, however I am not that socially inclined or a keen traveller. Yes, that's ironic seeing as I model what was the most prolific transport system in the UK when I was a kid. But, perhaps that is why freight interests me much more than passenger trains. A little of my background is now given to put into context my personal reasoning on how I realised my dream. My Background As a kid and living with parents in limited space, building any layout beyond the carpet was out of the question. In my early days at work my employer had a railway club which operated a large layout, it was built by engineers in the late 1960s very solidly, which meant it was very heavy. It was built in sections for storage in a shared hut and could support 13 operators. This fell firmly into the transportable category and generally needed a large Transit or Luton style van to transport and plenty of sweat to shift. We were invited to work open days, school model railway events and charity events. Stock was member owned so I just bought locos and rollingstock and ran it on the club layout. However I drifted away from railways during my engineering studies, and pursuing an engineering profession, the downside of growing up! But now, as a retired, 3rd age wrinkly, I quickly realised that visiting exhibitions wasn't enough, it's not as they say a spectator sport for me. I wanted my own action. Abilities The options available are very much determined by your abilities, notably your mindset and your skill set, I am a keen DIYer and have developed many practical skills both from my engineering days and domestic DIY. So virtually all parts of layout creation were possible for me, construction, assembly and later maintenance. However, maintenance is only viable while my faculties remain agile enough, hence I build redundancy into the infrastructure, e.g. every rail section has droppers to a power bus, if one fails there should still be sufficient conductivity via fishplates from track attached at either end to feed it as a last resort. This is valid for AC, DC or DCC. If your layout is to be for long term enjoyment be aware that parts especially difficult to access when young later become impossible as age reduces your flexibility. Your future enjoyment of your railway could be seriously affected just when you need it's escapism the most. There are many techniques for implementing the structure and infrastructure of your railway, so you need to choose those that match your abilities, or hire someone to do it for you. It must be remembered it is a hobby, a voluntary escape to a relaxing but at times challnging hobby, so to severely over estimate your abilities will be expensive and demoralising. Preferred Activity This is personal and varies enormously, I think I fall primarily into the creating group, and running my railway second, more time is definitly spent building than running. Once you have considered all these factors you can go on your way more confidently. The next factor to consider is, where? To be continued, Jim. Image shows elements of my railway, shunting wagons, a pre-green diesel, contemporary and vintage, stock and scenery freely mixed.

Posted by Jim Franklin at 2021-05-05 12:31:14 UTC