Monday, March 05, 2012

The headshunt problem

The headshunt problem

Our 3mm scale 14.2 gauge layout Flockburgh has developed quite a bit from the way we built it originally. Once we'd been through the pain of making the thing work and taken it out to a few shows, people whose opinion we respected starting making helpful suggestions.

The most influential was Cyril Freezer who pointed out that the line finished rather abruptly at the end of a baseboard and we really needed to put something in to explain why it stops where it does. From this grew an 18 inch long scenic extension with a small harbour entrance and an inconveniently, for the railway company, placed chapel. The sort of thing you can't knock down and don't gain much if you do since the water edge is so close.

This worked fine for a while but more recently we've hit another problem. I can't build locomotives well enough to produce a reliable stud of steam engines to work the model. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't and I can't improve on this despite much effort.

On the other hand, I can made diesels that work. They run nicely and shunt the sidings so to reduce my pre-show stress levels, I want to build and run more of them. Fine, except the end of the runround loop in the station will only hold a loco and one wagon. Shunting is boring for both operator and viewer. Something needs to be done.

The plan is to extend the tracks on to the extension by a wagon length. Both lines will grow and a new uncoupling magnet will permit leaving a brake van further down the headshut which in turn will allow this to be used for it's prototypical purpose and save shunting over the station crossover.

We just need to get it all done before Basingstoke show on 10th March.

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