Monday, 22 April 2013

Goodbye SNE

I have to tell you that the Sunset North Eastern is no more! Did I hear a big Ahhhhhh - no, well I am not surprised. Firstly, a little background. I have mostly been developing US outline model railroads through most of my life with very occasional excursions into British outline. This is not strictly true because I have rarely developed the ideas and the collection of rolling stock etc. into a working model railroad. I did get one railroad together a couple of years ago and got that to the scenic stage but I had to destroy that as we moved house and it was pretty tightly built into the room. I won't make that mistake again.

Once we had moved, I started on a new SNE but got a bit sidetracked. I have recently retired and, in the early days, I was feeling a bit useless and under-worked so I came up with the idea of writing a freight car routing app for the iPad. This would have an iPad front end and a web back end. I got a lot of  the back end written and had done a proof of concept for the iPad. I was very concerned about the complexities of the routing software and kept putting off starting that. In the meantime, I added to the complexity of the railroad I built in our new apartment just so that I could cover all bases with the app.

Just recently, I have been updating my photography software that I wrote 10 years ago and found that some images didn't conform to the standard EXIF specification. I spent 7 days of 6 hours a day struggling to resolve this and after getting not very far, decided that this wasn't something I wanted to spend my retirement doing. This put the iPad app in total jeopardy and finally, I decided that I would stop work on it. This put a very complex railroad at risk of demolition and I finally decided to do that.

One of my problems when designing layouts is that I always want to include everything that the prototype has, so my layouts tend to be very complex. I have decided that I am not going to make that mistake again. Hence, I have rebuilt the baseboards with the intention of building a very simple OO - 4mm to the foot - British Railways based small terminus sometime in the late 1940s. I have started gathering appropriate locos and stock - based at the moment on the part of BR that came from the London North Eastern Railway. This has an advantage in that I have very little experience of full scale US railroads - having only travelled from Windsor Locks CT to New York on about three occasions, but I can clearly remember life in the late 40s and early 50s.

I am also going to lay the track using Peco fine scale code 75 track so that this will look a lot better than the code 100 I was using. Here is a photo of the baseboards in place.

It comprises of 3 boards: 60" x 18", 38" x 20" widening out to 28" and a fiddle yard of 36" x 8".
It is totally free standing and will be completed as three separate boards so that I can take it down and move it if necessary. All of my US stock and track is now on EBay and I have an approved budget for the BR stuff. Additionally, I have a really great local model railway shop - Scograil - where previously I had to get most of my stuff from the US and shipping and import costs were very high.

I will keep you up to date with much more regular postings.

BTW, I have a new blog where I put out a daily view of life on the Ipswich Waterfront - Check it out and sign up to follow it.


No comments: