Plum Hollow, introduction (N Gauge model railway)

My new layout – Plum Hollow, Illinois.

Plum Hollow, set in Illinois and to be built in N gauge, is the replacement layout for my former Reindeer Landing layout and supplements my Pebbles End layout. There is a running overview of Plum Hollow on the main website but unlike previous layouts the updates will be made via blog posts (as here) with links onto that main page.

Update – 1: Base construction commenced.

Using fruit boxes.

The first query I suppose is do I still call them baseboards?  The construction uses standard fruit boxes obtained from local supermarkets and topped off with a single large cardboard sheet. The latter came from our local cycle retailer, the chain store Halfords, and again free after asking as traders have to pay have their trade waste removed.

The three boxes and top.

The three boxes and top. The dark box is the peach box, the other two were plum boxes and recycled from RL.

 

under bracing

The completed angled under bracing for strength.

The boards are not complete, I intend to add a polystyrene slab above the base using 60mm sheets from a local DIY store so as to add some extra depth. The depth is so that I can add a river crossing, most American scenic railways appear to have such a crossing, and also so that under track level electric points can be added. I had thought of using a push rod, wire in tube method, but that would restrict positions where the layout can be operated from. At this stage it is likely that I will use a control panel separated from the layout via an umbilical connection allowing flexibility in operating position.

Modelling decisions – still TBC

The main issue outstanding currently is deciding on which coupling type to use. Some of the stock has damaged couplings so a decision is not academic. In N Gauge the Rapido type is standard but it is not easy to decouple for switching. Also some of my older stock I have discovered pre-dates the NEM coupling pocket system so swapping couplers requires a new fitting to be added. There are several automatic systems available, but they are do not appear to be universally compatible.

For the short-term my plan is to get the track loosely pinned down and powered up so that operational practicality can be assessed using the stock that has the working Rapido couplings. Once that is finalised, and the scenic treatment also determined and mocked up, the couplings issue will be determined and if magnets are required get them installed.

I also need to refine my scenic sketches so that I can add a screened off area to facilitate stock exchanges off set and exactly where I need to cut the polystyrene layer for the river valley.

NB With apologies for the heavy edit after the working page draft was accidentally published earlier as a post!

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