Oh no not another plan.......... Well let's hope this is it..............
After finally making it to the December Scalefour Area Group meeting and riding the initial comments of 'Who are you?' and 'Hello stranger', I was treated to some advice........ 'You need to get something running'. Well, I must admit, I have been beating about the bush a bit, and probably spending too much time composing blog entries although it has all been about setting the scene and developing my world around Grogley Junction. I do feel it is coming together but the guys are right I do need to get something running. I was impressed with Gordon's Fish Dock shunting puzzle layout as a quick essay in layout building and came away with renewed thoughts about trying to build an Inglenook Siding style layout.
Over the past couple of weeks I mulled over the question: What to build? What ever it is, it still has to fit the following parameters:
1) Be part of the overall project so any stock can be used on subsequent layouts
2) Be smaller than my original proposed Boscarne Junction starter layout
3) To be achievable as a first project.
The story so far with the different layouts:
Grogley Junction? Far too big and advanced for me at the moment.
Boscarne Junction? Considered too big, but have not totally discarded the idea.
Polbrook Engine Shed? Discarded on size and I'm not sure it fits in with the project.
Wenfordbridge? Would be nice but even when compressed, with the scenic section at 12ft long, it's too big.
Ruthernbidge? Again too big.
Nanstallon Halt? Nice but only one siding, so minimal operation and could well end up with more hidden sidings than scenic section.
Dunmere Junction? It is what it is, a junction and even if extended to Dunmere Wharf would only be one siding and become too big.
Dumere Halt? Again nice but no sidings.
While all these thoughts and plans were being mulled over there were two photographs in my collection of books that kept popping into mind. That of a Beattie Well tank crossing the road at Hellandbridge crossing and a Beattie Well tank shunting at Tresarret Wharf, both on the Wenfordbridge line. I've been intentionally avoiding any serious considerations on this line due to it being a 'goods only' line. I then suddenly saw this as an advantage. With the pace I've been working and time available it does considerably reduce stock requirements. So how about combining the two images into a fictitious wharf on this branch? Recollecting that Tresarret Wharf had a siding removed in 1932 .... eureka ..... there was my Inglenook siding layout. OK not exactly the 5:3:3 ratio of the original Inglenook but never the less it is in a similar style.
Ultimately this will need hidden sidings at each end to allow through workings of china clay trains but on its own, without the hidden sidings, I think it could be a small shunting puzzle. Not a very complex puzzle but something to operate in 7ft. The loop holds three wagons, the siding holds seven wagons. I may take up a two to three wagon spaces at the end of the siding with a small unloading vignette. From the left hand baseboard edge to first point there is enough space for a 57xx and three wagons. At the right hand side just enough space for a 57xx and one wagon. I know the 57xxs didn't work this branch but until I purchase a suitable loco I'll have to make do.
Why Tredethy Wharf? .... Tredethy is the other side of the river to Helland. My alternative history is that Tredethy financed the bridge across the river Camel and so this area became known as Tredethybridge not Hellandbridge. Hence the layout being named Tredethy Wharf .... tenuous I know and I do apologise to the inhabitants of Hellandbridge for taking this liberty.
So in reality this layout is set at Hellandbridge but with the wharf siding the other side of the road, not behind the farm buildings as the original siding. My Tredethy Wharf siding would have stayed open until 1970 which was when Tresarret Wharf closed. This will allow me to build a loco roster consisting of a Beattie Well tank, 13xx tank engine, and Class 03, Class 08 diesel shunters. I will probably only need a selection of fifteen wagons before embarking on building a couple of rakes of china clay wagons. The layout is much smaller than I was hoping but more than enough to keep me going for the next twelve months.
Better get an order off to P4 Track Company for their new line in turnout chairs then start building the baseboards..............