Monday, 10 September 2007

Pen-Y-Bryn Quarry - Cubic Challenge Layout

This layout was built for the “Cubic Challenge” – a maximum dimension of 500mm cube - at the 2005 EXPO-NG. The scale is 009 narrow gauge.

It depicts a granite quarry in mid Wales. In the foreground are the sidings where wagons are filled with granite under the large corrugated iron structure, before departing to the “main line” past the engine shed and under the bridge to the left. On the upper level a short train of skips runs back and forth with stone from the quarry workings the other side of the hill.

The layout has some unusual features:

  • The design of the layout makes good use of depth and height to create the scene of the railway in the countryside, whilst providing operational interest.

  • This is complemented with a “Proscenium Arch” approach to presentation, with in-built lighting and a curved backscene

  • The fiddle yard uses a cassette system to minimise space.

  • The layout is constructed using Foam-core board, which is quick and easy to use and lightweight. This is a first for me.

  • Also a first for me is the use of “Microtrains” buck-eye auto- couplers

  • An automatic shuttle controller is used to operate the upper level track

The wagons used on the upper level have a novel design with a reversable skip, which has a full "load" on the underside of an empty skip. Thus as the "full" wagons are pushed through the unloading shed a piece of wire rotates the skip to show the empty skip.

The wagons on the lower level are loaded with real granite via a chute which (disguised as a covered conveyor) comes out the side of the layout.

Like Southon Yard, I re-used buildings originally built for a previous layout that was never completed. That layout was called Pen-Y-Bryn, so this became Pen-Y-Bryn Quarry.

For more pictures click here:

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