Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Rounford Halt N Gauge Scenic Micro Layout with Continuous Run Part 2 Marking Out the Track Bed

N gauge micro layout baseboard with track bed marked out
 
The model railway baseboard detailed in my blog post dated 19 November 2014 offered a very restricted area to accommodate the track plan I had designed for Rounford Halt.  I wanted to build an interesting N gauge micro layout with continuous run in the smallest space possible using first radius track components.  The self imposed limitations would later force the use of significant creativity to make the most of small scenic areas, a challenge which kept work interesting at each stage.

When designing a model railway layout it is important at the beginning to mark out the whole area of the track bed including the ballast on either side rather than simply marking along the ends of the sleepers.  This enables a much more accurate understanding of how much surrounding space is present which can be used to develop scenery later on.

This is particularly important when designing tiny micro layouts which require every area to be studied very carefully.  Features must be moved forwards, backwards or sideways to determine best position or best fit, sometimes mere millimetres making a crucial difference.  Only when the best fit of each feature is decided should track be fixed in place.

I placed the track components onto the baseboard built for Rounford Halt and marked out the track bed.  The track bed was painted with two coats of grey acrylic paint and sealed with a coat of PVA.

I left the very minimum amount of space outside the track bed along the rear and sides of the layout baseboard but allowed just enough room to add a few accessories next to the sidings at the front.

To create a layout which would allow interesting rolling stock movements I designed the front of the model railway with a large passing loop and two sidings.  The passing loop was needed to enable a locomotive to run around its train so that it may travel along the branch line in the opposite direction.  Incorporation of the passing loop also ensured that a variety of interesting shunting operations may be undertaken.

I designed the goods yard at the front of Rounford Halt in a similar way to Cramford, another N gauge micro layout, but created sidings by fitting points into the passing loop rather than the branch line.  Many design considerations taken into account when creating Cramford sidings and goods yard, detailed in my blog posts dated 31 October 2013 and 13 November 2013, were applicable when creating Rounford Halt.

I planned to add a short, thin platform in the middle of the circuit so that I may operate one or two coach passenger services.  Curved platforms such as the one I created for Cramford, detailed in my blog post dated 25 October 2013, make good use of the space within the circle of track which forms the branch line.
 
 
Flat surface restored around the edges of the railway layout baseboard
 
Modelling putty was used to fill the screw heads and restore a uniform flat surface to the edges of the baseboard.
 
 
Corner siding created at the rear of the model railway layout
 
Corners are easy to disregard but are often able to accommodate an additional siding.  I marked out the track bed with a siding in both corners at the rear.  I knew that I would probably lose one siding in order to allow a road to pass over the track but was not sure which corner would be used for this purpose.  Marking out both corners allowed me to visualise scenic development before the track components were fixed in place.

Rounford Halt is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

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