Trains are such fun and I can remember as a child getting a Hornby HO set, and my father and brother taking it off me to play with it. I really wrecked it over time and look back with some fondness – but this is a grown up take of a layout and I really want to think about what I want to do, and how I want to do it.
These first two films are all about this and some of the technical issues that you do need to think about which will influence what you can achieve. I am talking though relatively small scale here. I mean, I’m not building a warehouse scale model anything…
I want to build something that is really quite lovely, which involves a concept, sourcing the materials, getting the electrics right and up-to-date, designing it with software if you wish, making sure you get the right couplers, and the list goes on and on. None of it’s hard but it really saves you a lot of time and money if you think it through now.
Now we’ve got to build the hardware that goes underneath the railway and that’s a very interesting process. It really didn’t take very long to rip this out for the ‘red earth railway’ but I also have built a small demonstration set and take you through it blow by blow.
Not only do we finish the bench work but we start designing the incline some building them, drawing the track onto the timber, and glueing down some rubber to go under the track. I really do have an aversion to buying stuff off the shelf!
Laying the track #1
I really enjoyed this part because its just plain fun laying track however you look at it. I use a lot of flexing track and realised very quickly that if you do this you have to have jig is to help you do it. It’s amazing how quickly and simply you can make jigs and then how quickly and simply you can lay the track.
Laying the track #2
I lay the track using a caulking compound and using scrap metal to hold it all down while it dries. Honestly this is a jig makers paradise. I can really see what making model railways is so plain addictive.
Laying the track #3
What’s good about this video is that I finally realised how to take some flexing track, join it on one end and bring it around to join another track almost perfectly. I actually did it and thought, I’ve got to video this in detail because I don’t want to lose this. Why haven’t lost at and it’s right here.
After for the track together I ran a little video camera over at that track level and saw these hideous turnout changing contraptions from a train drivers perspective. This was not a good thing to do because then I was driven to rip the more often think about how I could replace them.
This video continues addressing the problem that I became obsessed about and we see the development of some under track linkages attached to some electrical switches that I just use for the mechanical accuracy of their throw to deliver perfect turnout changing without the hideous turnout changing contraptions!
So using the small demonstration set we plan to wire up DCC to the track using what they call a bus wire under the board with droppers et cetera. We talk about all of this and start wiring up.
In this one we sold the droppers to the tracks, join it all up underneath, test it and then we get to this glorious point where we act to have a train running on the track for the first time. It’s a sublime experience!
In this one we take a step back and I demonstrate how to remove a piece of track that spin soldered and wired in and then how to replace it with a minimum of hassle. Then I show you the red earth railway and we take a look at the electrical points and the two reversing loops that are built into it.