Langstead – Episode 14: Extensions

The Mainline as of August 2013

The Mainline as of August 2013

I promised myself that once I moved into my new flat I would in someway look at expanding my layout, now known as ‘The Mainline’ for sake of giving it a fancy title for this new site.

Possible areas to expand into marked in yellow

Possible areas to expand into marked in yellow

Now, I’ve not got acres of extra space to work with: Either side on the left and right there is perhaps 10-12 inches of spare room between base board and wall. Nonetheless I think it’s just about enough to think about an expansion in some way.

Option 1: Split and Insert

Option 1: Split and Insert

First idea is to separate the two boards, move them both into the yellow zones and insert a new board in the middle where the red line is. You may remember that my original design factored in this potential method for expansion.

No major track work will need to be done, it’s just a case of adding another straight to each oval. It will be slightly fiddly to plug the scenic gap but nothing too difficult. The major problem with this plan is the two speaker stands at the back of the room. Currently the baseboard nestles snugly in between them both and are flush against the back wall maximising space. If I were to separate the two boards to add a new piece I’d either have to move the speaker stands completely, or, bring the entire layout forward (and off the back wall) to accommodate the expansion. I don’t like the sound of either of those two plans.

Option 2: Expand on the left hand side only.

Option 2: Expand on the left hand side only.

Second idea is to expand in one direction only. In this scenario a terminus station or yard could be considered for scenic and operational interest. I’ll be honest, this was my preferred idea for quite sometime… I’ve since discovered that I much prefer sitting back at my desk (where these pictures are all taken from) simply enjoying running various trains. I’ve found I’m much more likely to do this rather than sit at the layout itself and make lots of complex operational changes… after all, that’s what Salford Chapel is for… The Mainline has become much more an outlet for running trains whereas Salford Chapel is becoming the more detailed ‘model.’ Therefore, maximising the number of trains I can run would be priority in this expansion project. The station or yard option above would allow me to switch stock around however I’d definitely have to look at motorising points so I’m not constantly leaning over the entire layout all the time. (I’ll admit this gets a bit irritating).

Option 3: Elevated Line?

Option 3: Elevated Line?

Option 3 is a bit… out there… Build a completely new oval, elevating it above the rest of the layout. I really like the idea of adding height and it’ll mean I’ll be able to run a 3rd train at any one time, but logistically I really don’t know where to begin in making it a reality. Far too complicated.

Option 4: An outer oval.

Option 4: An outer oval.

Same as Option 3, but less wacky. There’s a relatively unused siding at the back of the layout. I could essentially develop this into another full outer oval, expanding in all directions but hopefully in such a way that I won’t have to move the speakers or take up too much room at the front of the layout. Now we’re talking!…

The Outer Oval

The Outer Oval

Ignore the fact there’s some track missing from the above layout on the inner ovals, this is because the free version of the AnyRail5 software I’ve used only allows 50 pieces at any one time. The green piece of track at the bottom will need to be lifted to make way for the outer oval curve. Overall the layout will expand only 3 inches at the sides and 3 inches at the front, but will allow the operation (and interest) of running a 3rd train.

Now I could add braces to the underside of the original baseboard to support a 3 inch strip of wood all the around the layout. However, I thought it would be far easier to buy completely new boards, slightly wider than the old ones, to accommodate both the new oval AND the old boards themselves…

Lifting Track

Lifting Track

First job was removing the redundant siding at the back of the layout. Old ballast was chiseled off and the section of track lifted. I’m not worried it left a bit of a mess, I’ll model over this in good time.

Deforestation...

Deforestation…

...Is required

…Is required

Corners of the board were sawn off to make way for the outer oval.

Changing Legs

Changing Legs

Legs and leg plates were removed from the old board and added to the new ones. See Episode 17 for this process!

Old on New

Old on New

The old boards were then laid on the new ones now clearly showing where the outer oval will eventually go. It’s worth noting that they are still in two parts – to enable dismantlability, and still leave room for the speakers to remain in place at the back of the room. There’s also a height difference between old and new which will add some much needed depth to the layout. Gentle gradients will rise and fall from the old siding at the back of the old boards to accommodate this.

Buildings reassembled!

Buildings reassembled!

I’ll be off to ebay now to get some more track! Stay tuned for results soon.

– Andy Carter

3 thoughts on “Langstead – Episode 14: Extensions

  1. […] Scenery slowly progressed with the addition of some trees and foliage bellow. I’d wanted to expand the layout since I started, and the baseboards being in two halves gave a provision for this, assuming a new piece would be inserted in between. Instead, it turned out it would be easier to expand in all four directions and create a third runnin… […]

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s