Saturday, September 11, 2010

Layout idea - Mini Crich

Mini Crich

Standing on the over bridge at the Tramway Museum, Crich last weekend, I had an idea for a layout.

Model tramways suffer from the problem that operation can be little more than dull. Unless you model one of those rare systems (in the UK anyway) with a bit of freight traffic then every movement involves a single unit car moving between one point and the next. Building a model tramway would be fun as there is loads of interesting detail work to be carried out for effective street scenes, but I wouldn't want to be stuck behind it for a weekend at a show.

The other problem is that although large tramways might have a variety of cars, it's never going to be a huge range. What you really want to do is run trams from around the country. That way you get a variety of liveries. What better a prototype than an museum ?

This doesn't solve the operation problem but if we can find a way of automating this then it's just a case of keeping an eye on things and drinking tea. I also would prefer to keep the stopping and starting off stage or some clever electronics to provide the trams with simulated inertia will be needed. Admittedly tramway modellers don't normally seem to worry about this nicety preferring the on/off control system, but I want to go better.

Finally, from my efforts with the Hellingly layout, pantographs only please, no trolley poles.

While a bit bored at work today (my computer was in for repair) I doodled this little plan, sort of based on the layout in a box. The only running happens along the back lines. Stopping and starting happens in the fiddle yards. Sorry about the lines but the only paper to hand was my notepad.

On the front I suggest that you could do a nice little event, such as the one I was attending. It was a VW car show and in the yard were lines of nice clean cars. In front of the tram sheds were trade stands. This stops all movement in the yard of course but does provide an interesting focal point. To make things even easier, the trams in the shed can be static diecast models. I reckon only 2 actual working models will be needed although a couple more for spares would be a good idea.

Of course the plan isn't scale and I have no time to build the model, but if you fancy a go, let me know how you get on.

More of my photos of the "Beetle Drive" event.

VW lineup

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