Over a year since my last post. Still struggling somewhat with my recovery, although I am working again albeit part time.
Some mates visited a few weeks ago and installed a beaut colorbond corrugated iron ceiling. Cost me pizza and a beer, but they were well spent. The ceiling with insulation has made the shed much more habitable. I am still in the process of reinstalling the work area and swapping out a few oversized articles of furniture allowing for aisles that are more comfortable. Operations will be much more comfortable. One mate spent several days helping complete the fitout and applying paint to the walls. He is also pushing me to get ready for the next step of proceedings, There is some carpentry to complete, cupboards to renovate and install and once done I can plan advancement of the railway.
Along the way, I have also been involved with some track-laying at the Wagga Wagga Model Railroaders' Club Rooms and a small display layout at the local Rail Heritage Centre. This has kept my hand in and made it possible to try some different ideas. Something I am learning quickly from all 3 projects is that less is most definitely more. I am also learning that hoarding is a waste of time. I have thrown out so much of late. The sort of thing that "might come in handy" one day. Basically, if I have no plan for it, it gets thrown out.
In track design as well, less is more. Working Railways are designed to be profitable, or at least not cost too us, the taxpayers, too much. We do not see too much waste, well generally. Trackage around a yard will have a purpose. A minor out of the way type of place will only have maybe a passing loop, or maybe nothing at all. A predominantly passenger through station, even on dual track, may have nothing more than the 2 main lines. If on a heavy grade, there may be a relief road. If heavily trafficked, there may be 2 or more platforms and passing loops. If trains terminate at the location there will be just enough sidings to stable the waiting sets. When planning our models, we tend to draw as many sidings and loops as will fit in a given area and then try and justify them to ourselves.
We are a competitive lot, but we seem to always try to compete in the wrong areas. Instead of looking to be the biggest, the one with the most mainline, or the one with the most complex yard, why not seek to have the most picturesque scenery, or maybe the operations of your station could be designed to accurately follow prototype requirements.
A friend was recently chided for not having a large enough staging yard. Maybe his yards are large enough to service his intentions? I myself will only be providing room for around a half dozen trains off scene. Not a lot you say? Yet what I have planned will possibly have those 6 trains providing enough work for around a 2 hour operating session. When you are actually working each train and not watching it going in circles, 6 trains may well be enough. That does not mean I will not have many options in storage, I mean I have several passenger sets with plans for more, and I can already put 4 or 5 Mail trains together.
Driving on a well designed large layout is a lot of fun, but intense operations on even a small layout can be very absorbing and rewarding. Remember, less can be so much more.......