Jonathan asked to see the clearances between the backboards and the line to the fiddle yard. Here you are: The 4 wheel coach is about 54 mm long and 24 mm wide (approximately 2.1 x 1 inches). The clearance between the coach and the backboard is around 7 mm (approx. 9/32 inch). The distance between the coach and the mounting block holding the screw is even less, around 3 mm (approx. 1/8 inch).
I hope none of the passengers lean out!
My friends know that I want to spend this summer making the scenery on my layout.
So, why have I spent the last 10 days building a fiddle yard?
Well, there is method in my madness. Before starting the scenery I need to make the backboards. However, the track leading to the fiddle yard will be very close to the backboards. I need to lay the track to the fiddle yard first, then position the backboards to ensure there is adequate clearance for the rolling stock. Then I can start on the scenery….
I decided to go for a simple cassette fiddle yard system. I, erm.., borrowed the design from Michael Campbell and used U section plastic trunking for the cassette. There are brass clips to connect the cassette to the track leading to the layout and provide power to the track.
The fiddle yard unit is connected to the layout using a couple of bolts and wingnuts. This will make it easy to remove for transport.
The track coming from the layout to the fiddle yard unit is curved. It was difficult to fix the rails so that they will stay in place and remain well aligned. In future, I will never connect a fiddle yard to a layout using curved track. It is straight track for all connections from now on.
Some layouts are the result of careful planning, others just emerge.. somehow.
I brought an oval of set track on eBay so that I could test the models I am building. Every time I wanted to test something I had to get the track out, assemble it and wire up the controller before I could start.
I decided to put the oval track on a baseboard so that it was available instantly. A quick rummage in the garage and I found some thin plywood for the base and a length of 25 x 32mm pine for the frame. These were ideal and a simple 78 x 58 cm baseboard was quickly created.
When I stood back to admire my work and I realised that I have seen whole 009 layouts of this size.
Perhaps I could be a bit more ambitious and create a small layout on this board?
That’s when the fun started. Out came some track, points and I created paper templates for the curves. What emerged was a simple oval track plan with a country station featuring a passing loop, a goods siding and a loco siding. It seems to fit (!) and will be a much more interesting than the simple oval test track.
Now all I need to do is build it.