Alan’s layout update

“Hi Al,

This is an update on my new lower FY.

I found the lack of hight between the top & bottom yards made it impossible to turn the train without de-railing everything. So I have made a rather basic means of turning by constructing an extention leading from the FY on to a legnth of track just long enough to accommodate a train.

FIrst thing to consider is the fact that it will be just a few inches from the door, it cannot be a turntable.

As the fiddleyard is at an angle to the door there has to be an intermediate curved section which also has to be hinged to allow access through the door. ( first picture )

A support leg needs to support this curved section when in use, I have a temp. one at the moment.

Also, a support on the wall has to be fitted to rest the cassette on. I carefully measured the hight and drew a line on the wall but when fitted I found that it was !mm lower than tha line. when I test fitted the cassette complete with rail I realised that it ran under the baseboard supporting the canal. There was 1mm of clearance!!! ONE CASE OF A MISTAKE BEING A GODSEND!

Of course I don’t need to turn the diesel raicar or auto train, just a goods train but I have just tested the cassette and it works perfectly.

When the train runs on to the cassette I unclip the electrical connection, lift and turn it (very carefully I may add) and replace on the supports. The train then runs off on to the fiddleyard ready for the return journey.

I have included a seiries of pictures showing an overall view of the layout.

Please excuse the mess.

Happy modelling


I do love seeing how folk solve the problems their layout throws at them. Big thanks to Alan.

That’s all this time my friends.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day get going on your very own layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

28 Responses to Alan’s layout update

  1. Steve from Exeter NSW Australia says:

    Nice work Alan. Great looking layout!

  2. Mike Ansell says:

    Loved this.

    Alan : I too have British set up but live in Canada. Mine just started and in Southern Region late 1950’s-early sixties. Whta is your proto-type?

  3. Mark Allen says:

    NICE work Alan!! Thanks

  4. Roland Burch - United States says:

    Amazing layout Alan. Great idea about the train yard. Using tunnels as entrances.

  5. Ron from Manchester says:

    Your layout looks really good Alan, some good ideas as well.
    Regards Ron.

  6. Richard Pignataro says:

    Great thanks, please tell me about the backdrop i like those house pictures where did you get them

  7. Joe says:

    Great work.I like the back drop also,do you remember were you got it?
    Thanks Joe

  8. Thomas Meleck says:

    Fantastic layout. Thanks for the photos of the lift-out ( I mean drop-down).

  9. Andrew Lee says:

    A lovely layout

  10. Barry Read says:

    Your layout looks very interesting. Do you have the facilities to do a video or even better, a drivers height video tour. Any back drop information appreciated, they look very good.

  11. Alan Goodley says:

    Great layout were did you get the back scenes from and who makes them are doing anymore to the layout if so please post thanks ..Alan

  12. Ron from Manchester says:

    I think the backdrop’s are from the Gaugemaster company, they are real photo’s, I may be wrong , but i’m sure they are.
    Regards Ron

  13. THOMAS says:


  14. D.B. Lewis says:

    Very nice, Alan. We don’t tend to use fiddle yards here in the states, but I would like to incorporate one into my new 4’x5′ N scale table … So, how about it, UK cousins: Post some FY photos to teach us how over here!

  15. Rod Mackay says:

    Smashing job. You might want to add a microswitch so the power to the approach track is cut off if the bridge section’s folded down though, someone at our club had a very expensive whoopsie with an A4 Pacific that way…

  16. paul king says:

    Love you layout if mines becomes as good as yours ill be a happy man thanks for sharing with us all
    cheers paul

  17. dave says:

    Very nice !! one day I will get my Garden railway built and post it on here .

  18. George Henderson says:

    The back scene is from a company called peco. They are also available from eBay. They come in oo gauge and also n gauge.
    They are about 30 inches long and 5 inches high they all join together as different scenes eg a village, a port or a city backdrop.
    I hope this helps anyone.

  19. John Reynolds says:

    Very nice

  20. Ken Hecker says:

    Alan, this is a work of art. A lot of excellent railroad in a small space. Love the scenery.

  21. steven stclair says:

    Very nice layout.

  22. Chanda says:

    It is very very amazing ilike your work and layout.chanda

  23. Jim says:

    Very nice layout. Really like your backdrops.

    Jim AZ

  24. What is a fiddle yard???

  25. Robert Brady says:

    A fiddle yard in my guesstimation is a freight yard / staging area.We here in us have them.Wish i had the room to add one. Great job! Do I tend to see a little Dangerous Dave in your layout Alan?lol ?

  26. James Yuille says:

    That’s really good, well done.

  27. Great job!

  28. Herman Crauwels says:

    Hello Allen,
    Great Job and beutiful made.
    HC Treintje Belgium.
    Herman C.

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