E23359A7-868B-4FD8-BD13-81D45D10B07CI do love a plan especially when it comes together! For me the planning etc is all part of the fun and I see it as a way to minimise risks of getting things wrong. Maybe it’s a throwback  to my professional career but I like to have an order of doing things. I know my friend Andy is the complete opposite and likes to make it up as he goes along. The diagram or mind map as it’s known is not particularly in order but then I will take each section and break down further to give me a more granular approach. I can hear the groans and sighs but it’s what make me happy and it’s my railway as the saying goes. I haven’t quite got to the point of having post-it notes on walls in agile/scrum fashion as even I think that is taking it too far but the digital cork board works for me and as we have access now to all this technology it would be rude not to use it.

I would say that this map is pretty generic to any model railway as there is a set progression that to a certain extent can’t be altered. Obviously nothing is going to happen with out a baseboard and wiring without track is pretty futile. But all this helps me to build up a picture in my mind of how it is all going to fit together and I feel that will lead to a more positive outcome from my efforts. Some might say that all this time spent putting plans together could actually be used building stuff but for me the time spent noodling ideas out will in the end lead to a much better railway. I also prevail on my friend for long chats that also help flatten out all the kinks which also helps with the outcome and in fact I think this is a very useful method of layout planning and whether you talk to a friend, go online forums or hang out at your local model shop (if you have any now) yakking with people there just getting different opinions will possibly help you to create a better layout.


Above is the initial plan for my layout in rough form and one that has not been tested out  in real space and for all the 3D planning and mocking up it’s no alternative to the thing in the real space and as I have found many times before that one can be seduced into thinking it will all fit then only to be disappointed that it won’t. I suppose that that’s where the “make it up” brigade kind of win out as the are just making the track plans to fit the space they have.

As you can see there are three levels to the layout with helix turns at either end. The journey starts at the bottom level which will be an underground station like Chur and there is the possibility that it could share space with standard gauge push-pull sets but storage space maybe an issue and also it would mean buying non standard stock which I am not going to do in the current mode of downsizing all the extraneous stuff. I have yet to see if there is enough space to fit in all the rises and desents and although the Kato stock handles some pretty fierce gradients I want to make these as trouble free due to the nature of inaccessibility of the track. But again the real, tactile mock-up at 1:4 scale will hopefully illuminate any glaringly obvious foobars I may have made.

So that is a taste of what I am trying to achieve. I have a number of tasks and ideas to carry out before I can move the bedroom build forward but look out for more of this story unfolding in the forthcoming weeks. I am also planning on documenting some of this in video but I have a lot of steps to get to that point, not least my inexperience of creating anything like this. I know from my own experience that the moving picture is far more engaging that the written word but I do like this format and plan to carry it on alongside any video.

Till the next time..