The problem with making throw away statements is that they can come back and bite one. My simple comment of “I can build that” did exactly that. As a child all I had to do was put up my train set – in a big circle and run it. As a young man I planned and built a model railway, but did not get round to doing any of the scenic work . However, I did have station, bridges, some houses and a painted road and and painted grass. It did have electric points and signals but no extensive backscene, history or logical reason – it was a big boys toy train set. In 2002 I had the basic layout set up with a continuous loop as well as two terminal stations. I never got round to completing that one. So here I am with an L shape layout. Track laid and dead (isolated) sections in place. All has been tested using temporary wiring for providing power to the isolating tracks and of course for stopping power.
A total of 23 isolated tracks are installed in the layout, 6 of them have manual switches built in – the other 17 need to be wired to a control board of some sort. A control board would sort out the confusion I encountered whilst testing the isolated sections. Sid provided the skill and soon had a panel ready for me to wire up. A straightforward task I thought… Hmmm. I started off and soon realised his was not going to be an easy task. I had opted for plug in connectors, one side is female the other male. They were selected to allow the removal of the control panel to facilitate access to underneath the baseboard in event of problems. they were in set of 12 so I had 24 wires to connect, 12 each side. 17 connectors = 34 connections. I then had to wire the said 34 connections to the 17 on/off switches. Two days later I had the wiring completed and tested. Along the way I had to resolder some of the wiring as the solder joint failed. Sort out miswiring – tracing the wire back to the track concerned. Friday night saw me barely controlling my temper and frustration, as for Saturday I was totally exhausted bain wise by the end of that day. However all was well, the tracks isolated and became live at the flick of a switch I could feel the frustration seep away after each successful test. I now had a working control panel complete with a very rough drawing of the station and she layout lines drawn on the panel face wired into the layout.
Yes control is the thing, or one of the things needed to build a model railway. Temper control, work control and frustration and stress control. Building a layout is such fun………hmmm
My thanks go to Sid Morgan for the woodworking skills, to Susan Wales who took many of the pictures used in this blog for her diary and gave permission for their use in my blogs. Next step is ballasting…Oh the joy, the joy.