Gateside and Northbridge – the Epilogue, lessons Learned for a future re-incarnation......
Sorry but I just cannot let this one fade away, I gave a lot of consideration to joining a club but after discussion with Mrs Luckymucklebackit she actually encouraged me to look at building something in the loft - I think the idea of lots of weekend exhibition attendance had something to do with it, at least if I am in the loft she knows where I am!!
OK time for a bit of reflection, generally through luck more than judgement the layout looked quite good in my eyes, the different stations blended well together and there was a good Central Scottish Feel to the Layout, when everything worked the layout was great fun to work - BUT.....
What was bad - OK all new modellers planning the big layout lend me your ears - here is where I tore my hair out.
1) I skimped on the wiring, old telephone cable is cheap and it does conduct electricity, but it is brittle and wire breaks during construction and afterwards were frequent and difficult to trace sometimes, lesson learned (#1) – use good quality wire for all electrical feeds, map and identify all wires.
2) Board Construction – 2” x 1” timber was used with a chipboard top, which was OK, but having used 12mm ply for Allenshaw I see the benefit (although it is still considerable more expensive), but using old bits of furniture to support Gateside was not a good idea, lesson learned (#2) – simple – don’t skimp on the basic board construction
3) Access – This more than anything was the biggest bugbear. invariably when there were issues with locomotives stopping unexpectedly, points failing, locos and stock derailing, or couplings separating, it would happen in the most inaccessible parts of the layout, lesson learned (#3) – try and keep as much of the layout easy to access, avoid hidden track where possible and at all costs do not have pointwork in these areas
4) Planning – Gateside and Northbridge was not planned as a whole, originally it was going to be a simple terminus/fiddle yard based on Northbridge, the rest of the layout find of grew up around it, with various bits being chopped and changed, for example what eventually was Mavisbank was originally a terminus, resulting in some areas where the track layout was not optimised, lesson learned (#4) – spend as much time on planning as possible and rework everything until it is as close to optimum as possible, incorporate #3 above and design the boards (#2) to suit
5) Short cuts were taken to get things finished, for example Gateside had only four motorised points with the rest hand worked which resulted in damage when changing points after scenic details were added in front, Lesson Learned (#5) If you can’t afford the full project, wait until you can, don’t take shortcuts
Finally – Size isn’t everything – by most standards Gateside and Northbridge was a big layout with a lot of track that needed to be kept clean, a lot of locomotives and a lot of stock, this final lesson will be a hard one, if I am to proceed with another version (which would be version 5 no less) I need to give careful consideration to the overall size, possibly keeping the general concept but with a much simpler track plan. The loft has been surveyed and although there are challenges a layout is possible, pencils are being sharpened and set squares cleaned (no SCARM here mate). Lot of work to be done on the house so it will be a long time before any construction starts, so watch out for various schemes and ideas…..
This Signature Left Intentionally Blank, but since I have written this and I intended to do it, this Signature is intentionally not blank. Paradox or What?My layout - Gateside and Northbridge