25 January 2010

That's better...

Amazing what a bit of tidying up can do. The space looks so much bigger (and lighter) now!

B1 has been in and out of its frame a few times over the weekend while I've been continuing to lay track and points. Some of the corner joints have not fared too well with the stress of it. I think I might need to do some reinforcement of the section frames. It will also be better, I guess, once the lids go on the back sections.

Not much else to report at the moment: I keep plodding along.

21 January 2010

The disadvantages of a cramped loft

Working in a small, cluttered loft certainly has its disadvantages. Below is a picture taken this evening of the layout space. No beautification or kindly angles; it just tells it like it is.

I feel a serious tidy-up coming on. Quite apart from the hazards, I am increasingly finding that I have to move half a ton of stuff before I can do anything. For example, today I have been laying track on B1l, to do which I had to take this section out of the frame and move it into a workable position. As the above shows, I had no choice but to stack it on top of other bits of baseboard, tools, materials, and goodness knows what else. There was just nowhere else to put it.

So I think next time I go up to the loft, I will spend some time sorting out what I really need from what I can do without. I need to tidy up, reorganise and rationalise.

And oh yes, I made some progress today as well. Equipped with a set of curved points, I have laid the curved crossover on B1l, complete with motors. See below, with track template still in place. The above rant notwithstanding, things are continuing to move forward.

09 January 2010

Track laying #4

More work on the storage sidings today: I completed the throat on B1-B2, including the motors. I am pretty pleased with the alignment, and some quick tests show that all routes run smoothly with no risk of derailment.

I can't do much more on either throat now until I get some curved points. Until that happens I will have to work on other jobs. Plenty of those to be getting on with.

03 January 2010

Track laying #3

After the predictably long Christmas break, work has resumed on laying track. The first picture shows the view along B4 to B5, with all tracks aligned properly. Nothing beyond B3 is fixed yet because I haven't settled the alignment of the pointwork on the B5 throat.

Below is a closeup of the throat area on B5 as laid out before fixing. This is a transitional view as I am in the process of changing some of the points from straight to curved, to soften some curves. The curved point shown in the centre of the picture replaces a straight point in the plan, and allows the feeder track leading away to the right to have a larger radius. The right-most point, currently straight, will also be changed to a curved point to allow a similar relaxation on the other feeder track.

The original plan called for a branch-line spur leading off the storage sidings on B5 (the track bed is visible in the above photo under the spare point on the right). Unfortunately the turnout for this spur sits across the B4-B5 section break, which makes it unfeasible in the current modular construction. I don't want to have to abandon the spur, as to do so would put the final nail in the coffin for the old branch line route, but I can't presently see a way to avoid it without compromising the modularity of the layout. Sigh. Such is life.