At long last work has commenced on the new modules for Byron Creek. Lucky for me there is a timber yard only two hundred metres from my front door. I had them precut the large sheet of plywood and the frame pieces so all I had to do was screw it all together.
This is the flour mill module in the above pic. The cut off corner is not final, this is merely so I can still enter the room when this is in place. The final cut will be made when the liftup bridge section across the doorway is installed.
I used thinner plywood and thinner frames this time as the existing modules are extremely heavy and way overbuilt.
The new module in place with the flour mill and some track laid out to see how it all really fits. The main line is next to the mill siding with the branch curving off to the right. No doubt there will be much fiddling around with the tracks and the town buildings before their permanent positions are found.
The original track plan called for a large peninsular containing an entire short branch line to jut out into the room attached the the front edge of the module closest to the camera. This has now been ditched as it would have resulted in very narrow aisles on either side and a tight horseshoe curve in the track. It would also have taken up much of the spare floorspace in the room making it hard to use the room for anything else. This room has to be able to function as a computer room, spare room and den.
However, the biggest reason for not trying to model an entire branch line is that the terminus and therefore the trains would have to have been unrealistically short. Only the first six feet of the branch will now be modelled and then straight into the fiddle yard which will be able to accommodate much longer trains. Long enough to realistically double head branch line diesel locos for hauling the long bulk wheat trains typical of a branch line "West of the Divide".
Deciding not to build the peninsular was a long and hard decision but I know it is the right one as I've been guilty of a common sin in building a model railway...trying to fit too much in!
Space for a town scene would not have been possible on the original plan so this is an added bonus. I do really like town scenes as they give the layout a better sense of what the place being modelled is really about and added life. The two shops in the above pic will add an extra challenge as they have large windows, interiors will have to be modelled as the windows are close to the edge of the layout.
Today is the first day of a four day weekend for me, so I hope to have the liftup section connecting the flour mill module to the fiddle yard completed before I head back to work.