Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Here we go again!

I mentioned in my post about EXPONG last October that the challenge for 2011 sounded interesting, it is to build a layout in a boxfile. The trouble is I have a weakness for this kind of thing, just look at Southon Yard and Pen-Y-Bryn Quarry - you could say I have "History". It didn't help that even my wife thought it sounded interesting, and for the next few weeks I was doodling ideas.

The "Dave Brewer Memorial Challenge" is detailed on the EXPONG website, however the rules are pretty straightforward. The model (narrow gauge of course) is to be built into a boxfile such that the lid can be closed, and "sticks" of track (or "cassettes") may be added to one end to facilitate operation.

I thought I'd like to do a 2' gauge industrial railway, the sort with small internal-combustion locos and skip wagons (or variants built on their frames). This is tricky in 009, but there tempting me at EXPO was the KBScale stand. As I have mentioned I have long admired the Roy C Link range of industrial 2' gauge models in 7mm scale, 14mm gauge (now in the KBScale range), and the boxfile seemed an ideal opportunity for a mini-project to dip a toe into the waters of a different scale. However I must confess I do enjoy designing and building micro layouts too, and the deadline and silly limitations of the boxfile (let's fact it, it is a daft idea) is good fun.

Now I happened accross an empty boxfile (well it is now), and so out came some track templates (photocopied from the Link manual) to see what could fit. This sort of layout is best planned full-size, it's the only real way of knowing what will fit, however I did find a novel way of "drawing" them. I photographed the paper template plan with my mobile phone, then used an "App" to doodle all over them; here are a couple of ideas I came up with.

The first uses the boxfile as the inside of a factory, with tracks entering through a door, and some dirty windows looking out to grey sky along the back - kind of a reverse of the normal approach! Sidings inside the building could serve a boiler-house, a door through to "Goods Inwards", and a loading area. Battery loco's might suit this best, so a short kick-back to a charging/servicing point has been squeezed in.

This idea is for a railway serving a nursery (the kind that grows plants, not Kindergarten), and yes there is a prototype for this at Poppleton near York. In this concept the greenhouses are served by tracks (O.K. they are only one wagon deep in reality) for taking fertiliser in, and plants out, while next door there is a store, and boiler-house requiring coal. The tracks exit left though a gate in a tall wall to another part of the nursery.

Next time I'll reveal the plan I chose ... and it is neither of these!
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1 comment:

Phil Parker said...

For more ideas, admitedly standard gauge, in a boxfile - try here: http://www.doubleogauge.com/boxfile/