8th August 2020 – After 3 weeks of dithering, snags and problem solving except for one problem I can honestly state that Ennitoun’s tracks have been screwed to the baseboards and the layout finalised sans the “Bridge the Gap” track. I’ve decided to accept the fact that in its current configuration it is not viable to have a continuous track/loop. However all was not lost as we did accomplish several things and sorted out several problems:
Baseboards were levelled, joins were smoothed so track was not bouncing or jig-sawing. Hornby points were replaced by Peco points, there is a slight difference in them but one that proved beneficial to running DCC engines with the smaller wheelbase i.e. 0-6-0 and some 4-6-0. As well as the station have a more simplified approach, which by the way allowed the addition of two platforms. This in turn has given more operational options. The curves have been sorted as has the fiddle yard. The fiddle yard now hold 6 trains which is ideal with the station having 6 platforms. No major changes to the shed layout – tracks have been fixed to the board there as well. At present the layout has been set up with BR liveried locomotives (all steam outline). I can set up running sessions under LMS, LNER, and for one engine North British – or SRPS (Scottish Railway Preservation Society). Not all engines have sound chips, but all are DCC (Digital Command Control). On one of the FB groups I joined the following questions was raised – “DCC sound, it’s nice and all but is it just a tad unnecessary? Do manufacturers take advantage of this by adding it to locos to bump up prices? I get the impression that to some people Sound is not for them. I went to DCC as I wanted the sound of steam – it added to my enjoyment. However, I will admit that have or more engines sitting in the station and all with sound on can be annoying. I know I do not like it when I am a model railway exhibition – were some sound is extreme. The good thing is sound can be turned off. The track is actually screwed to boards, I opted to use track screws instead of pins it is easier to get screws out without damaging the track.
Since I undertook the DCC route I have learnt the following:
- DCC can be expensive whilst you can run a DCC fitted engine on a DC (analogue) system you can’t do the same with a non-DCC loco on DCC track..
- Use Peco points in preference to Hornby – it is all to do with the isolation gap on the frogs of the points.
- Decoders can do the task – but some engines need a little boost – like having a stay-alive capacitor fitted. Most those of the smaller wheel case configuration, or older models which have coarser wheel flanges. Modern track is set to to the finer scaled wheels of modern models. Older models having larger wheel width and larger rims can short out as they cross the frog – this short cut power. A stay-alive capacitor retains enough charge so the model carries on and the system does not record a short.
- Avoid a large group of points/turnouts. Keep it simple.
I have shot a small video showing the new layout, it is approximately 8 minutes long – You will notice I refer to the City of Sheffield as the City of Liverpool (which was on the station track – platform 1). There are no train movements just a look around the revised layout. I will get some movement shots when I get a bit more competent in videoing and operating the train.
Things still to be done – build station platforms to meet new width and track lengths.
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