Friday, December 21, 2012

The continental question

The good thing about planning my return to railway modelling is that i can evaluate all of the options and alternatives, the bad thing is i have so many options and alternatives to evaluate. Reading the Continental Modeller magazine has led me to consider a mainland Europe layout. The railways of Germany, Switzerland and Austria for example look so interesting...

The problem with this of course is i have a lot less knowledge of these railways so it could easily go so wrong (but maybe thats part of the fun?). Its also rather more expensive than British layouts though not insurmountably. As nothing is set in stone yet i still have time to decide. At the moment a layout perhaps based on somewhere like Assmannshausen which i went to in the late 80s could be on the cards? Maybe this train set can start me off.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Designing my layout

At the weekend i bought some model railway layout design software to help me develop my future layout. RailModeller is a great tool which allows you to play around with layout designs using real track elements. I have not decided on what the overall theme of my layout will be yet though and have experimented with double and single loops, both with and without branch lines and shunting opportunities.

One current idea thats ticking the right boxes is a double loop mainline plus branch line layout similar to Hatton. What i plan to do is buy a trainset next month (maybe it can be my end-of-year treat) and this can help me get back into the groove. It will also help me visualise the layout i am planning especially when i build the boards. Then i shall get more track and more stock and see how we go from there.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Going N?

My model railway layouts in the past were always OO scale (apart from a brief excursion once into the smaller N gauge) but now i am planning my return to the hobby i am thinking of going with the smaller scale again despite still having my old OO gauge stock, buildings and track in boxes.

The reason is space, as in i don't have a great deal to play with. Atop my desk in the study looks to be the best place for the layout and this would allow a board of about 150x70cm. In that space i could have a basic end-to-end OO layout but it would be pretty limited. If i use N gauge however i could easily get a much more extensive loop layout with a fiddle yard. I've been playing around with a layout planning software tool and think i could just about get a double loop!

This would allow me to have the early 70s BR layout i've always wanted. Class 20s and 25s hauling freight passing a DMU... Well thats the dream and maybe next year it can become a reality.