Having gone through the various options about what form of layout I would look to build, I am fairly clear on what it will and will not contain and even have a reasonable picture of how it will look.I am settled on a rural location, with a busy but not overpowering schedule. I actually want those gaps in the sequence so that when operating alone I can do some routine maintenance such as cleaning wheels.
I am not a huge fan of railway stations. Possibly because I spend far too much time at them, but I do find them generally unattractive. Not the buildings themselves - although anything built in the last 60 years is pretty awful - but the overall setting. And people spoil photographs, both in real life and on models. So I have scoured the maps looking for a location where I can have enough interest without a station and came up with a number of options;
- A fish manure works
- A vitriol works and engineering foundry
- A sugar beet factory
and one or two others, none of which really fitted with what I wanted. I am therefore leaning towards a small station, but making the focus of attention the signal box.
I have always been fascinated with signal boxes. Perhaps as a result of early adventures at Longforgan box, watching the trains going by and all of the activity related to ringing bells and pulling levers. My idea is to focus on the working of the box and having the station as a secondary element on the layout. Not quite sure how that will work but I'll give it a try.
So with the layout progressing I am left with the subject of location. Where on the map will this station be located? This brings me back to the prioritising as a decision making process. I am fixed on the location being the ECML north of Edinburgh and based either to the north of Dundee or to the south. Well that leaves plenty scope! I intend to run the layout in two period and this brings us to the options;
- North of Dundee, South of Kinnaber Jcn - on the + side:- LNER power, reasonable traffic density, good scenic options, reasonable BR Blue diesel traffic and power. And the - side:- No LMS power, LNER swapped engines at Dundee so less southern power (Haymarket), less variation on diesel fleet especially the class 26/7's.
- North of Dundee, North of Kinnaber Jcn - + side:- LNER & LMS power, high traffic density, good scenic options, reasonable BR Blue diesel traffic and power. And the - side:- More stock required, LNER swapped engines at Dundee so less southern power (Haymarket), less variation on diesel fleet especially the class 26/7's
- South of Dundee in North Fife + side:- LNER power, reasonable traffic density, good scenic options, reasonable BR Blue diesel traffic and power. And the - side:- No LMS power.
|The use of "signature" items to help set the time and place is something to be considered. The use of the Sulzer type 2's says Scotland and having them run the hourly Dundee - Edinburgh services locks the location.|
The main differences are the use in the early period of LMS trains and in the later period the use of class 26 & 27. Now this might come down to a straight "I want this more than that", however one other factor is significant. I only have a limited number of fiddleyard roads. The prospect of adding another whole series of trains will likely become problematic so as it stands today the practical solution is in order of 3, 2, then 1. Now thats not to say that I wont have a crazy turn and do something different, but the logic dictates the answer. The question is then, is running my existing stock (26 & 27's) more important that adding something else new. At this stage it probably is. So having gotten all of the maps for the Dundee to Aberdeen line, I will now go and start again with the Dundee to Kirkcaldy line.