As I awoke feeling considerably under the weather today (not swine flu I hasten to add) I decided that it would be unfair to subject my work colleagues to my coughing and hacking and sneezing and decided to stay home. Which for you lucky readers means I will post another past distraction for you to look at.
This dates from the time when I was considering a scrapyard layout and is inspired by scenes on the Trafford Park Railway in Manchester. A wonderful location where the railway line runs alongside the road and crosses it at wierd and wonderful angles to access the industries it serves. In its heyday the system covered 26 miles of track handling 2.5 million tons of goods a year. Nowadays it only serves a handful of industries, one of which is this scrapyard on Mellors Road. This shot of the fence was all I had to go on but that didn't stop me imagining what must have gone on the other side of the fence.Once I had sketched out this idea I had a look at the site on Google Earth and I have to say that my interpretation is nothing like what the site is really like. But my interpretation makes for more interesting operation.
This layout calls for short wheelbase loco's and a two sets of scrap wagons. One full and one set empty. A loco would push a couple of empty scrap wagons and a brake van onto the layout, round that fierce curve. The train would pass over the points and drop the brake van in the headshunt and wait. Then automagically the gates to the yard open and the scrap yards private loco lumbers forward and picks up the scrap empties and shunts them into the front of the two sidings and pushes them offstage. It then returns to the rear of the scrap sidings and appears with a couple of full scrap wagons from behind the pile of scrap metal you can see. It then takes these full wagons to the waiting BR loco which then hooks up to the brake van and departs to the fiddle yard. Quite a bit of activity and 2 different loco's to boot.
There are a couple of things that work against the design. One is that the BR loco will mostly be hidden by the scrapyard fence. I was also very keen on the entrance from offstage around that sharp curve until I realised that it was going to make this a rather deep layout, perhaps as much as 2'6" deep. Still it might work well in N scale though.