Time goes by and I am still not able to do anything physical with the challenge at the moment but I have been able to acquire some ‘things’ for the project as you can see from the picture below. I managed to get all of this for under five quid from a very generous chap who must of had these in his gloat box for quite some time, the going rate for the gauges are now £5 each and as you can see the price tag of £1.50 my guess is that it points to them being c1980’s.

As you maybe able to see from the photo on  one of the jigs it denotes that these are for code 75 rail, now this being an cheap n cheerful project I have to think about how it is going to interface with the Peco track that I already have. Also sourcing Code 75 cheaply is going to be a bit of a challengeI think. I also need to find the PCB ties(sleepers) to build the turnouts and although I know you can get a sheet reasonably cheaply it then needs to be cut to dimension and this is where it then gets tough. So I will now look at other avenues. I know the 2mmSA do them but they will be over sized as the track gauge is 9.42. Would I want to individually cut each tie or leave them as is and try and cover up the additional length. Then theres always Fast-tracks but this is not a cheap option. I have been looking at and thinking about getting one of these tools but as most of my track planning is done on curves it would not seem to be suitable for this method.

Although I have manage to source some foamboard I am trying to work out whether this will be suitable for the project. I would like to build the picture frame effect and am not sure if a) I have enough FB b) it will be strong enough to support the weight of the proscenium effect. However the ease of construction and the amount of bracing can over come this given the right amount of materials to do it. The other option would be to use ply. I do have some 12mm ply, this is not light, from an old table tennis table but am not sure about the the structural integrity of it as it has been leant up against a wall for 20 odd years. Also the weight may be an issue. Cutting along long straight lines has never been one of my strong points and so I would have to beg, borrow or steal, (well maybe not steal 😉 ) a power tool of some sorts to assist me in this task.

So now the hard part I just have to come up with a track plan that is believable. So its off to scour Google Earth for an appropriate location in Vermont, New England. I want to keep it simple but have enough operational interest to keep ones attention and given that this will be a micro layout that maybe a bit of a stretch as generally the spaces needed for NA locations is greater than that of UK prototypes. I like the idea of switching cars out using a card system and that ties in with project three but don’t want to make it too complicated as to spoil the fun! Having now recovered my goods and chattels from storage amongst a whole bunch of things I had forgotten about I have uncovered some hefty book tokens and couple of iPhone programming books. Maybe an early Christmas present to myself of some Python books or maybe the new Gordon Gravett; Wild Swan scenery books will take precedences so I may get side tracked with those possibilities…