I hadn't thought of that - I normally use an old towel (white in colour to make bits easier to spot) on top of a cutting mat (which I put on the table just out of habit now), which seems to work.
Haha - thanks very much! I try to make it funny and it's nice to know it works (sometimes at least). A lot of the humour comes from Victoria Wood; to the extent that one of the shops on the layout is to be named 'Acorn Antiques' when I get around to it.
I've made a couple of changes to Oldmoor-on-Sea today. I say 'a couple', but really it's just adding two sidings. This diagram explains the changes (this is like a government briefing, isn't it?):
View attachment 93363
(Don't worry about Thomas - he's there because he put sugar in the engine of the Fat Controller's car this morning and he's being kept off the rails until a tunnel can be found to brick him into)
The new siding, shown with the green line, is going to serve the yet-to-be-built railway hotel. It'll be long enough to hold a small engine and a few wagons containing supplies for the hotel and should hopefully add a bit of interest to the station. I can keep the curved loop as I can just park trains on top of the points leading into the new siding. To allow for the hotel to fit on the walkway, I'll need to add a couple of extensions to the latter - these are shown with the red triangles. The actual sand area is going to be a lot smaller on this version of the layout than that without the new siding, but I think (or hope) it'll work.
The new siding to the top of the picture started the changes I've made today; the idea for this bit of the layout was, before Oldmoor-on-Sea, to have a heritage railway station with a two-track engine shed, and this is something I wanted to try and replicate in some form here. I like the idea of maybe being able to have even a tiny heritage operation running from the station, even if it is just an old Class 121 or 14xx and autocoach. Moving the end platform section, it turns out, has allowed for an extension to the pre-existing platform as well: only by a small amount but it should make the difference between having, say, four wagons in the platform and five.
That's it - that and to say that I didn't get around to having a look at the Deltic at the weekend: I need to get that done at some point. I've found a YouTube channel called 00Bill, and the guy on there fixes engines like that all the time so hopefully I can use his videos as a base for my own servicing.
Well done for making it through all that; it's the model railway equivalent of 'what I did on my holidays' (reason being I've said a lot without actually saying much - see, I said it was like government), but hopefully of at least some interest to someone.
Some nice ideas here. It is hard to see how to change the layout to reduce the number of points and still keep everything you want. I suppose you could merge sidings 1 & 2 as siding 1 looks to be the same length as a point on the map. I was going to question the second cross over at Oldmoor-on-Sea but you explained why it's there and I have something similar on my layout! With the connection between platforms 3/4 and 1/2 it could also be used as part of the platform face for platform 4 giving it a extra coach length. Don't worry about the pointwork being hand operated as all of mine is operated by the 'hand of god' on my layout.I've had that same thing with my layout more times than I'd like to admit - although I'm rarely adding new bits; it's normally because I've moved things and can't be bothered to tidy them away!
I've come up with this trackplan for the railway centre/Oldmoor Junction area:
View attachment 93810
I know there's an awful lot going on in this diagram so hopefully I can help explain it here.
- The railway centre has been squished into a smaller area to allow for the larger area it once occupied to be taken over, in part, by the mainline depot. The railway centre is now comprised of three sidings, but this won't be a massive issue as I've got an idea to store some heritage stock in the Oldmoor-on-Sea area as well so heritage stuff will still be on the layout. The way for visitors to access the railway centre hasn't changed; there will be a service, probably formed of an autocoach with the 14xx, running from Oldmoor Junction platform 1 to the goods shed (which has a platform, hence why it's being used as a makeshift station), where people will alight and start their railway centre visit.
- The Goods Shed for the railway centre will still have a form of road access. There will be a small road going along the side of the building which will connect to the main road as marked on the diagram: this smaller road will end in a gate preventing random people gaining access to the railway centre. The road will be fenced off from the mainline depot and will form part of the railway centre site which visitors can walk around.
- Siding 4 on the diagram is a shared section of track between the railway centre and the mainline depot; I felt that it was a bit silly for the mainline depot to expand to be so close to the railway centre and the railway centre would be too close to the depot if it was to be expanded. This section of track is also necessary for engines to enter and exit the depot: because of the track design, engines need to run into Oldmoor Junction platform 1 before reversing and heading into the depot.
- The depot (I'm also calling it a Traction & Rolling Stock Maintenance Depot (T&RSMD) - apologies for any confusion) will be comprised of three sidings, with one large shed covering them all. Each road in the shed will be a different length depending on the length of the siding it covers: this seems to happen at a few depots and so it's not totally unrealistic.
- From a realism perspective, all of the pointwork in the railway centre/depot area will be hand-operated; I did think about having a small signal box at the end of Oldmoor Junction platform 1, but that seemed a bit silly considering the station already has a signal box at the left-hand end (on the diagram) of platform 5.
Please do let me know what you think of this: I quite like it as it manages to work in everything I wanted - the only issue is the cost of all those points!
Also I see you are on the RM web now