Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Was going British the right thing to do?

Unreservedly, YES.  Why? Well, firstly, I seem to have been to my LHS (Local Hobby Shop - it's an American expression) every day since I started this. Secondly, the help that I am getting from the forums - Model Rail Forum particularly - has been in a very friendly manner rather than the "why don't you know this" way that I was finding on the US forums.

It has been a pleasure working my way through the design and then the construction. The layout design got a lot of help from a contributor under the name of bear_1923. Long, well thought out and expressed,answers to my queries meant that I completely changed what I was planning with the result being a clean and simple layout design.

One of the decisions was made for pure commercial reasons - I was going to go for Peco Fine Scale track but my LHS didn't have enough in stock for me to start. I am not regretting going code 80 so it didn't matter in the end. My budgets have just expanded as I have found out that one of my PPI refund request has been settled for a very nice sum.

I think that I will have spent well over £1,000 by the time that I have all the track down and a minimum of stock to run a typical day's service. One expects N Gauge to be cheaper than OO but, of course, the material is the only thing saved because of the reduction in size. The bulk of the cost is in the design, making and shipping which isn't really much different to the larger scale. Hence locos cost about the same (£100 - £150 without sound). I am needing around 5 locos, 10 coaches and some 30 wagons. Luckily, I had all of the point motors that I needed. Kitting 15 points with Cobalt IP motors would have come in at £300.00!

I now have most of the track laid in the main station. I am just about to start on motorising the turntable. I haven't gone for an indexing setup - I have bought a simple motor and will drive it from a cheap decoder. The advantage of that is that I can set the top speed of the decoder to a very slow one giving very good control.

I have, also, decided to throw away the small layout that I built originally as it would be hard to reconfigure into the main set up. I will design a new layout incorporating a wharf and make the baseboard a complete one to cover the available area rather than cobbling together bits into the final board. I am hoping that this layout will last so I want to do it properly.

OK, that's enough for this time. Next time, there will be lots of pictures and some running trains!

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