Bryan.Lane Show full post »

PeteA wrote:
Hi Bryan,

1. To quote Sir John Harvey Jones (TV’s ‘The Troubleshooter’: “Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. 

Yes indeed Pete, very true - often found myself quoting this when I was a Project Manager !

3. At the end of the day, it’s your retirement project: and you should enjoy it - not be a slave to it! - Good advice ! I’ll keep that in mind.

I hope you’re enjoying your retirement, not wanting to wish my life away over the next four years, but after 40 years in the Rail industry, I’m looking forward to some freedom in my retirement ! Can’t wait !

Thanks for your kind advice  

kind regards,


Quote 1 0
Love the drawer handles.

As for planning, I have always seen it as an enjoyable part of the process, particularly when it takes you into the area of social history.  As examples my own layout is set in my home area so I have looked into where local branch lines used to run and what evidence there is left of them nowadays.  I have discovered the old canal that the railway replaced, which was subsequently replaced by the road.  There are some superb ex railway buildings around here, now mostly privately owned and converted into homes.

The biggest area of interest however has been the discovery of the fact that I am only around two miles from Nocton.  It took me a while to realise that the Bachmann Nocton 009 gauge wagons were named after the same place and what the potato railway was all about.

The thing with planning is that I think it is important and beneficial to have a plan in place to give you a direction but it must also be flexible enough to allow changes.  My layout started off with a live steam ring and that dictated so many aspects of it however I eventually decided to drop the idea.

I think planning is a necessary and very useful aspect of the build but modifying it along the way also makes for a rewarding hobby.
Quote 2 0
The Drawer handles I found on the internet 
a company in England Gloucestershire from memory who make garden seats with a railway theme.
other railway companies are available 
The top drawer is a work surface 
must have spent a lot of time helping people/firms who followed the advice 
That planning is an unnatural process!!
Surly failure to plan is planning to fail
Quote 1 0
Peter Rust Rusty Pete
That is why people land up grovelling under baseboards chasing unidentifiable  wiring faults.
It is why my layout will tip on its backscene, or come apart in modules for individual attention on a Workbench.
So much easier than fixed baseboards.
Wiring? Panel wiring , loom-making etc is usually done on a wall-mounted structure. Also, l never do any wiring without first doing a wiring diagramme.
If l have a wire showing on the surface, then l have failed.
Also, l fit all my sub-modules, motors etc, with plugs where possible, easy for trouble-shooting at exhibitions, if necessary, but then l buy the best components that l can to avoid issues, successfully, so far. Even this is part of initial planning, only being altered if a superior product comes along.
Just my way
More than one way to skin a cat ðŸ˜‰
Quote 1 0
Pad-Ply-Pen wrote:
The last 3 photos are intentionally upside down for Southern Hemisphere Modellers 😀

Quote 1 0
Hi Bryan,

Sounds like a great plan, and I commend all the thought you've put in to it and the early planning and acquiring of stock you're doing.

I did the same in the few years up to my retirement 15 months ago, to spread the cost, and have so far managed to complete all installation of trackwork and electrics on my layout since retiring, and am just about to start on scenery.

My layout is all on one level, constructed in a purpose built garden shed, with a scenic area on one side of the layout and 18 road fiddle yard on the other, and I have constructed my layout with Peco code 75 track and Electorfrog points, with Cobalt IP digital point motors (84 of them).  I have divided my layout into two power districts, and used NCE Powercab with a booster, so that the scenic area and yard are are both independently supplied.  I've found this mix to work well, and like the fact that I can operate the IP digital points both through DCC and separately with two control panels I've constructed.

I would recommend the merits of the IP Digital point motors, which are far more prototypical in operation than solenoids, and very easy top install. I have a number of points close together, including an adjacent double slip and single slip, and with careful planning you can fit the bodies of the point motors comfortably together in quite tight spaces.  They are expensive if you need a lot of them, as I do, but spreading the cost over two or three years makes it easier to acquire the number you need.

That's a nice tribute to your friend's father to be re-using the code 100 track in your storage level, and makes perfect sense with the track and points you have acquired, but you won't regret going for code 75 for the scenic section of the layout.  My previous model railway was built in code 100 track, and the visual benefits of code 75 are worth the extra cost of moving to the finescale track.

Good luck with your layout plans, and my only advice would be to do as much as you can before you retire, because if you might find you don;t have as much time available as you would hope when you do retire (it's amazing where time goes, and I now believe people who said to me that when you retire you won;t know how you had time to ever work !!) , and it's good to be able to spend some of that time running trains, as well as constructing the layout.

best wishes,

Quote 0 0

Hi Gary,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post. It’s great to hear from someone who is well down the path that I’m planning to follow and gives me the confidence to move forward as planned, albeit with some amendments brought about by listening to the advice and discussion on this forum. I’d always intended to go with live frog points as I fully understand the concept of switching the frog and the obvious benefits that brings, but my original plan to use solenoid points has been scrapped in favour of Cobalt IP points as you and many others on here have highly recommended. I’ve planned a visit to go and see the guys at DCC Concepts in a couple of weeks time - I’ve almost finished fine-tuning the railway plans that I’ve produced using AnyRail software and will e-mail a copy to the guys at Settle ahead of my visit.

Other refinements to my original plan brought about by advice here are the use of PowerBase, particularly for the helix and iTrain control whic I’ve already downloaded the trial software for, connected it to my Z21 controller and had a quick play. This looks very exciting and has led to me already considering detection on the layout. 

It was my birthday two days ago, retirement is now two days less than four years away ! Thank you again for your kind advice, and thanks to anyone else reading this that has also contributed. I’ve listened to everything you guys have said, you’re all wonderful and your comments, help, advice and opinions have really made a difference. 

I look forward to meeting the guys at Settle on 2nd November 😊

Kind regards 


Quote 0 0