Friday, June 26, 2015

Swizzle yard


Here's a clever idea spotted at the weekend. The fiddle yard on Loughborough Midland is vast and it's important to stop trains in the right place.

What you need is some handy markers that can be seen over the top of the model trains. What better than swizzle sticks normally found in pub drinks?

Best of all, if you break a few, there's likely to be a supply at your nearest hostelry for the price of a drink or two. Something to think about if you are enjoying some Friday refreshment.

(If you need swizzle sticks faster, they can be bought from here.)

1 comment:

Huw Griffiths said...

Using swizzle sticks in this way sounds like an excellent idea.

If anyone wishes to take this idea further, additional refinements are possible:

-- A number of bar and catering suppliers offer these sticks in large bags of mixed colours - which might make it easier to identify which siding / section you're looking at from a few metres away.

-- Some stationers also sell "polka dot" stickers - in a range of colours and sizes - which could be used to similar effect.

-- Failing that, there's nothing to stop anyone getting a few rolls of different coloured insulating tape - pressing strips of tape onto the heads of said "sticks" - and trimming the tape with a scalpel a few hours later. Either that, or the low tech approach of dipping the ends in paint.

Some people might think my comments here seem a bit obsessive - I'm not so sure.

Over the years, there have been a number of major train crashes, in which "signal sighting" is thought to have been a contributory factor - train comes round a corner - driver has trouble working out which signal applies to his track (and, by the time he's worked it out, it's too late) - that sort of thing.

Some people working on instrumentation, plant computer and telephone installations can also encounter similar issues. When you're faced with a "sea" of "identikit" gear, it can be difficult to count how many of the things you've passed in any direction - unless you've got a clear, unambiguous, way of seeing which item is which, which wire is which, that sort of thing.

Of course, none of this detracts from the excellent idea of using swizzle sticks as markers - and they're not the only things sold by catering suppliers, which might be of use to modelmakers.