Saturday, 26 January 2013

Model Railway Update No.1

I'm soon to commence work on creating a new railway layout. I've only done a single small layout before which essentially a single loop with a passing loop and a siding using only direct current (DC), but I have something slightly more ambitious (hopefully not too ambitious) this time.

We recently purchased a new house and this has provided me with the opportunity to make some room for model railways again. The new house has a lock-up garage which is currently filled with odds and ends, parking the car in it is not essential because we have a car-port and will be putting in a solid gate. There is also a small garden shed and a lean-to shed so storage of the odds and ends that is currently filling the garage is not going to too much of a problem either. The garage does get hot though. Lismore has very hot summers so I might have to scratch my head and think of some way to alleviate this.

I've already began painting the inside of the garage, done about a quarter at this time. I've set up some storage areas for tools and general house maintenance equipment (some of which will be used on construction of the layout). Slowly sorting out the odds and ends to make room will be done at the same time .

My first thoughts are that I would like a moderate sized semi-mobile main section of layout with future modules attached to two sides. The Garage width means that I can comfortably fit something about 1600mm  and have room to easily walk past (and carry bulky things past) on one side. One side will be pushed up against a wall and the future modules will probably all be located along the same section of wall. There are also several other things I know for certain:
  • Will use digital command control (DCC)
  • Will use British n-gauge (1:148) scale rolling stock and locomotives
  • Will  use either code 80 or code 55 track, flexible where possible
  • Will have the ability to attach future 'modules' to certain parts of the main section
  • The 'modules' will be semi-mobile
  • Will not have curves on the mainline greater than about in 300mm radius and on the branch lines no greater than about 270mm in radius
Each of the points above I will discuss further in future posts. There are good (and bad) reasons for doing the layout.

My first 10 things for my approach are (researching other peoples approaches at every stage):
  1. Save money
  2. Continue to prepare garage
  3. Planning - develop concept plans
  4. Planning - detailed design of favoured plan
  5. Planning - create works plans using SCARM and develop concept electrical plans
  6. Planning - plan construction of baseboards and support table
  7. Purchasing - purchase materials for baseboard and support table
  8. Building - main baseboard support table
  9. Building - main baseboard
  10. Purchasing - order track based on SCARM
The Garage - A lot of cleaning and preparation still to do
Being my first decent sized layout and my first DCC layout I want to proceed carefully and plan things as much as possible so that I can minimize mistakes, but I'm sure there will still be many. I don't have a lot of time at this point so I'll be slowly be working on each aspect. But for the time being I need to take a picture of the starting point and get on cleaning, sanding, painting and generally fixing up the future work site at every opportunity I can. I also need to start saving so I can afford this.

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