With Alice Springs (A town like Alice) in final stages of completion, there is still plenty to do, trees fences etc and..... eras, see below:
However, thoughts have turned to the next big project. Alice Springs has taught me more about construction and processes than I first thought.
Some are simple others are more latent.
- Construction can be further simplified and thus construction time can be reduced.
- Scenery construction can be more vertical with a change of technique.
- A dedicated construction area, means a more functional workshop type environment and a better process flow.
- Only equipment required for operations should be in the “Train Room” IE remove stored equipment, this includes out of era or prototype equipment.
- A layout the size of Alice Springs will fit in the trailer with ease and thus only require two people to assemble if the layout goes to an exhibition.
The next big project should incorporate the learning's above, here is a short list of demands.
- Construction time should be half or less than that of “A Town Like Alice”, IE less than two years.
- Have Deeper boards, for more vertical Scenery.
- Have three or more locations, if possible a model of a hub location, IE where trains can spread out from. Thus there is the possibility of more than one or two movements in an operating session, thus provide for more operators.
- Operational locks and control features to be incorporated into the boards, for example switch locks to have an actual locks installed inside the board.
- Bus wires and defined locations for any signaling.
- Capable of going to an exhibition. However the operational design is not to be compromised by exhibition requirements, we should be able to work around them.
- Able to be a walk in layout, or be that a hinged section or that the design enables a walk in layout.
- Aisles that are 3ft in width or more, prefer 4ft for high traffic areas.
- Based on a real location with less compromise, not all of the satellite locations need to be as accurate, more of the fact that each movement has a job to do and that both ends of that job can be modeled.
- I already have or have on order the locomotives and rolling stock to furnish the prototype locations without great expense or very little stock is required for the layout.
- Be fully planned out, and checked for any access issues or track configuration problems prior to construction. This means that I will need to create a full size mock up of the layout prior to construction, this means yards are laid out and board widths and aisle widths are checked and functions confirmed before construction.
- Backdrops to be incorporated into board sides, for both home operations and any exhibition displays, these don’t have to be the same.
- Fits into the current trailer with ease, so if it does got to an exhibition its only a two person job.
- Fits into the current train room.
I have a number of locations in mind, I will probably make up a proposed track and boards diagram and then apply it as a full size mock up. This will tell me if the proposed layout is even feasible or if there are operational or scenic flaws in the design, that can either be corrected or modified prior to construction.
To this point, the shed has been cleaned out of all non required equipment. Just tools, gardening equipment and any construction stock storage. Thus I have made sure that I have space to build.
Barcoola has been removed from the shed, I will check operations and it will be sold off.
Any future layout storage location will be just for layout storage, no dual purpose.
So stay tuned and lets see where this will take us!