Sunday 27 July 2008

Brafferton Update - 1. Design Pt i

How are you doing with your Challenge Layout? Better than me, I hope. Now, no doubt some of you can knock a layout out in three months, but when you have to bring home the bacon, organise the troops (especially the junior section), and numerous other bits and bobs, then things start to slow down. Anyway, I have made some progress and over the next few posts, I'll bring you up to speed.

Firstly planning. The idea for Brafferton originally germinated several years ago and I've kicked ideas around for quite a while. Whilst the actual station was dead straight, I've always thought it would be fun to build a circular layout. Here is an early attempt to present Brafferton in that format (undated, but probably c.2000):

Much of my information came from the Allanwood Press publication "The Pilmoor, Boroughbridge and Knaresborough Railway" by Patrick Howat. Here is the 1902 Signal Plan fron that book:

If it wasn't for the Layout Challenge, I suspect that nothing further would have happened. With the advent of the Challenge, I set to revising my plans to a. fit in with the Challenge rules and b. to meet my own operational requirements as a portable, exhibitable layout:

I commissioned Alan Smith to laser cut some baseboard pieces for me. At this point he suggested a five piece circle, rather than the six I had envisaged, to add structural stability to the erected layout. Fair comment, but now I would have to rethink my design, and it would take the layout outside the Challenge rules in terms of the total area of layout. I gave the go-ahead to the boards and returned to the drawing-board...

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