I now have the baseboard finished and the track laid. I was very lucky as I mentioned on the Märklin forum that I was planning to buy all of the track and had an offer from a local chap. This offer was for a mix of new and used track and was generally around half price. I now have the layout down but I found that the board was a bit too deep to reach over easily. I have had to disobey my wife's request that it all be run manually as I have installed point motors and digital controllers in the points on the far side of the board.
It got even better as, when I mentioned that I was going to extend the rolling stock with some purchases from Germany, my new friend who sold me the track made me an offer of two locos, 6 coaches and a pile of freight wagons, all at exceedingly good prices. I also picked up some local coaches and a collection of freight cars from my local hobby shop (LHS) Scograil. He doesn't sell Märklin but Roco cars work perfectly fine. As a result I now have four locos (or Loks as I am learning to call them), six mainline coaches (Rheingold express), four locos, four 4-wheel, coaches, around 20 freight cars and a few kits for stations and so on. More than enough to be getting on with.
The locos are: Class 23, Class 24, Class 78 and Class 94. These numbers don't mean much to me at the moment but I am learning.
First off, a panoramic view of the layout:
Class 23 Train and Class 24 (in the background)
(with only 2 out of the 6 Rheingold coaches)
The box below, with the lights, is the control box for the uncoupling tracks.
Interim Tunnel and cliffs
I have to complete the tunnel and scenery around it. I have kits for two stations that need to be made so that I can think about the rest of the towns can be created. I need to get some freight wagons onto the layout to get a better idea of how traffic could be run. Once I get the last point motor, I will be able to create the "fiddle yard" - or "staging" off the right hand end of the layout. Once this has been done, I will be able to think about the total traffic flow. I can't wait!