Saturday, July 16, 2011

Building a model railway part 2: needing a new plan B

So in a follow-up to yesterday's post I discovered last night that I had affixed the new track substantially more securely than the old track I pulled up before. I can't take it up again, so I have to live with the overly long passing loop and that the whole lay-out is skewiff with the side of the baseboard.

To add to the sense of frustration taking up the last remaining original track caused me a major panic when I inadvertently broke one of the new sets of points I had put in. Thankfully I was able to reposition the spring, but it was touch and go for a while. I also have a nagging feeling that now it's relaid it isn't as true as it was originally.

Disappointing, but a valuable learning experience.

The good news is I was able to then shift attention to a new part of the project - building a card kit of a signal box. I did this with the help / guidance / project-management of my wonderful wife Cathy, without whom I think the whole exercise would have been doomed to failure. My cutting and sticking skills are less than rudimentary.

Anyway, a few hours later (and a lot of PVA glue on my fingers), I think the finished article looks pretty good.

The kit came with the added bonus of the other two structures, seen in the photo - a lineside hut and a fuel shed. I'm pretty pleased with it / them.

The only thing that is slightly out of place with it is that it's based on a LNWR prototype, so isn't really "correct" for a West Cardiff location (GWR was generally the theme around here). I have two answers to that conundrum. Firstly, this is going to be a railway heritage centre and it's not uncommon for signal boxes to be demolished at their original site and rebuilt in a preserved railway environment. Secondly, it's my railway and I like it, and that's really what matters.

This is the first in a series of buildings I want to add to the railway. My next task is to find the 'right' engine shed that will fit the space and house two track lanes. At some point I also want to have a water tower, and some platforms. I think I have a creative way of addressing the spacing issue to get the platforms running along the long stretch of track - but more on that later.

I'm also looking into adding rolling stock. I plan to publish a full manifest for the WCRHC at some point, but I've just won a new wagon off eBay so I'm going to wait until that arrives before I start taking photos and posting them for your enjoyment.

(I know this is geeky, but I'm loving it.)


  1. Nice looking signal box. I did ask Mrs D. whether she'd be prepared to spend all night building a signal box. And she said YES! So, maybe I should get a model railway sorted too. My status as an Christian would be assured!

  2. Would be good to have someone to compare notes with.