One of my projects that I aim to finish this summer is the broad gauge portion of Coolamine yard. Observant reader will notice that I have shifted the location again. Earlier in the year I had the pleasure of a visit from Damien & Lucas from Melbourne. While Lucas was busy running trains Damien & I discussed the options I had for where the broad gauge should be to look realistic. We agreed that having it on a diagonal angle to the narrow gauge didn't look right. I pondered my situation for a few months, until I worked out that I had plenty of room along the wall if I made Coolamine the end of a branch like Upper Ferntree Gully on the Gembrook line. I had been trying to make the broad gauge a mainline station like Wangaratta, Moe or Colac.
I now have the track and turnouts so all I need to do is find the time to lay them. I have enough room to have a goods shed opposite the station. Hopefully one day I might see a Veteran models K class shunting the yard, but at my current pace that could be some time away!
The other project that is keeping me occupied is working on improving the running qualities of the narrow gauge track. When Lucas was here, he gave the layout a real workout running trains from one end to the other and unfortunately it didn't preform as well as I would have liked. About a third of the layout uses wooden flex track which I sourced from the USA. While it looks great I have found it difficult to keep in gauge. The temperature variations in the shed while not huge where enough to create issues. I have persevered for nearly four years trying to get it running well without success so it was time for me to bite the bullet and change to something else.
It is frustrating to be removing track and replacing it as there is a cost in both time and dollars. I am installing Micro Engineering code 83 that matches the rest of the layout and the number of derailments has dropped dramatically. At the end of the day for me if the layout doesn't run well the frustrations mount and my enjoyment and motivation drops away.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas and that 2016 is a great year