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Best laid plans...

David Holman


Casting my mind forward to June & Arigna Town's hopeful debut, started thinking about operational sequences. When planning the layout, deliberately went for a turntable fiddle yard because this complimented the on scene loco turntable and would minimise handling of stock. Initially thought all was well, but then found that could only fit in 4 roads, not 5, so the railbus & railcar would have to share a track. Again, this seemed ok, but then realised that Railcar B does not need turning, but the railbus does. So, now a question of how to swap them over as part of the operating sequence?

A bit of scribbling found this was possible, with both on the layout at the same time, but this was not really what I wanted. An alternative would be to break the fourth track in the fiddle yard, so each railbus/car only operated from one end. In mind simple minded way, decided this would be ok, until then realised that the railbus would need turning by hand, which is definitely not on the agenda. Bit of a bummer really, though an option would be to use a small cassette on the fiddle yard, so the railbus and trailer could be turned round easily. Have used cassettes on several previous layouts & they are very effective. In this case would use the same aluminium L shaped angle as the 'track' and glue it to some plastic sheet, so that the top of the angle matches the top of the rails. If I go on that route, will share how I manage the electrical connections.

However, another issue presented itself, in that had been initially aiming to run with just the one Small Tank [Hazelwood], but use it to hall both the mixed train and the goods. Guess you have already spotted the fault here - more crane shunting in the fiddle yard! Beat me round the head with it and I get there eventually...

So, looks very much as though I need to build my other Northstar kit before the layout's debut. Given that Railcar B will have taken around 5 weeks of [fairly full on] work, then am hoping can get the second Small Tank done in a couple of months. It is as well I don't have much work on at present [increasingly semi retired], methinks. Equally, am feeling the need for another change of direction, so will probably have a go at the signal for the entrance to the station. Will be based on the splendid 3 arm jobbie shown in the Sligo Album. Main post has two slotted arms [one for each direction], with the secondary doll having a third arm. The two on the main post will be the starter and the home signal for entering the platform road, while the one on the shorter doll will be used to indicate entry to the other side of the loop, eg for the goods and coal train. Have got some Tyrconnel etches for the arms and a range of bits and pieces from Wizard Models. Have use Andrew Hartshorne's stuff several times and more than happy with its quality. The tricky bit will be fitting 3 operating mechanisms on the one main post. Arigna Town is a very simple layout, so anything that expands its operating potential has to be a good thing.


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