|The layout February 2011|
|The layout February 2011|
|The same spot in February 2012|
In the last year I have built about 60 feet or 20 meters of benchwork and in another week I should have all the track laid on the benchwork that has been built. My goal had been to have all the benchwork built and track laid in the first year, but reality has kicked in and it will take at least another year to reach that target. It hasn't helped that I spent some of the past year dithering about the track gauge and I have laid track twice on some of the layout.
Since the last post I have been busy laying track, wiring and installing lighting and valances. I have also made some changes to the trackplan returning to my original plan shown here. I went away from this plan because the staging yard was at the same height as the yard at Mt Bogong but under the buildings of the town. It didn't take me long to realise that this just wasn't going to work, so I moved Mt Bogong to under where Sterling is on the plan. While this worked well, I didn't like how the layout was going to operate so I spent quite some time rethinking my plans.
The saying "couldn't see the forest for the trees" applied to me here. I went back to the original plan and realised it would achieve all that I wanted if I lowered the staging under Mt Bogong by about 150mm or 6 inches. This makes Sterling the highest point on the layout but that gives me a good hill to climb out of Geehi that will require short trains or helpers.
The disadvantages are that the duckunder is now 150mm lower. That is going to mean that I have to build a liftout section instead of a permanent duck under. I am not mad on the idea but it is something I am willing to live with. The other weakness of the plan is the hidden staging. It would have been nice to have staging that was open or had better access but I don't want to give up space that I could use for scenery. The staging yard will be only for storage and not a "fiddle yard" so should be ok. Another point a friend raised with me is that most of the time an operating session will only have 1-3 operators so there won't be a huge number of trains needing to hide.
Last weekend I decided to make the changes. I removed the staging yard from the centre aisle and lifted the spline trackbed in a steady grade from the MerriMeric River bridge to the town named as Sterling on the plan above. It should be very satisfying standing at the end of the penisula watching a train climb the hill.
Finally I would like to thank all of you that have shown an interest in what I am doing. I am amazed that there would be 34 people who want to follow the blog and that there have been over 4500 visitors to the site. There have been visitors from over 20 countries from places as diverse as the USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, India, Egypt, South Korea and of course Australia & NZ.