The week prior to the recent Aberdeen exhibition was spent getting my little P4 layout ready to show, but of course when you are in the middle of one project thoughts generally turn to what will be the next one. I had put down some of my thought around the frustration of wanting to work to higher standards, but not being able to balance that with producing something on my own that would have the operational capacity I was looking for. I remember some years ago reading a piece by one of the popular American designers who spoke about listing your "Givens" and "Druthers" - whatever that means - in essence what you really want and what you would like. As usual if you want to create a reasonable representation of a prototype you cant get everything you want. So how do we assess our priorities?
I sometimes feel I end up trying to do things to please others. I work in P4 and enjoy the company of the small band of us that exist in the NE of the country. By its nature the geography of the area means that we are rather spread out and cannot meet more than irregularly. If they were producing something I would be happy to contribute but doubt if I would produce my home based work in P4. Why? Because I could not realistically run the sort of trains that I currently can on Balbeggie Sidings.
Now here is the thing. Balbeggie Sidings is set on the east coast line in Fife, between Dundee and Edinburgh and hosts regular long freight trains and express passengers. I have a lot of stock and simply cannot afford to rewheel etc either in terms of time or money. One of my givens was to be able to run full size trains.
|A1 no 60152 Holyrood lifts an Aberdeen bound express away from the Firth of Forth at Kirkcaldy and past the Balbeggie Sidings.|
Now I have a real soft-spot for the GNoSR and would love to be able to do something from that area. Claterinbrigg represent a small GNoSR halt but I would prefer something a little more elaborate than just the two sidings. Looking at my priorities the ability to utilise existing stock is higher on my list than absolute fidelity to scale. So if I am going to do anything with this it is likely to be in 00, with handbuilt track. The use of more than 1 loco of the same class is assessed as a greater benefit that having it in a finer scale.
Writing this down in a list of essentials and options allows you to move the various pieces of the puzzle around and compare one against the other. Would I rather have this, than that. Getting that list is a real help in focussing on what it is that you really want to achieve.
Now, about the trackwork on Balbeggie Sidings?