On Andrew Crosland's Dining Table

A small N gauge layout for exhibition at Haddenham County Infant School's Curriculum evening. Inspired as to what could be achieved in a small space by a layout called Little Brimton I set to work. All track is code Peco 55 with electrofrog points. Further inspired by the late David jenkinson I've avoided the use of straight track on the main line and hidden as much as possible of the sharp return curves. This does mean that the hidden curves are even tighter but still allow a Farish Jubille to run.

Here's an overall view "On My Dining Table" where a lot of the work was done. The backscene was painted by my wife, Avril. All buildings and brick are from the Scalescenes range. As you can see, it's not quite finished yet, with some scenic work required around the station frontage and the terrace to be competed up the hill.

The baseboard is of the "old school" timber framed with plywodd top construction. This is topped with a layer of fibreboard laminate floor underlay. This takes Peco track pins very easily, but they protude just far enough into the ply to be held fast without being difficult to insert. The fibreboard can be sculpted to give a few mm of relief below track level. The track plan was drawn in XTrkCad. You can see the tight curves and short passing loop that are now behind the backscene.
This shot was taken in my converted garage where I have a 16' run of Wickes budget kitchen units on which to build a larger layout. You can just make out some of the lightweight ply/foam composite baseboards being made for the larger layout.

The station is from Scalescenes, provisionally called "Ar Wydder". If you take your time and read the instructions carefully in advance, these are excellent kits, superior in my opinion to other pre-printed kits. The trade off is in the extra time taken to build them. Cutting the notches in the valance boards was tedious!

The station steps are not clearly on view from the front of the layout, so the fact they don't quite lie flat is not usually noticed. Photographs can be quite cruel to a layout!

Coal hut and one set of staithes are again from Scalescenes and built by my son James. The second set of staithes were built from scratch to avoid another whole colour print of the Scalescenes kit.

Point control is achieved with micro servos controlled by MERG CBUS. Here's the front view of the simple control panel.

The switches movements are encoded into CBUS events by a MERG CANACE3...

...and decoded by my own CANSERVO8. A straight control arm is fitted to the servos. One end is extended up to the point tie bar with piano wire. The "over center" springs are removed from the points to give quiter and smoother operation. The other end of the control arm activates a microswith for the frog polarity.
You may consider it overkill, but part of the reason for building this layout was to act as a test bed for the technology when used "in anger".

I hope you enjoyed this short description. Watch out for updated photos as I complete the layout.

Andrew Crosland