Not so much a layout, more of an experiment. 



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The building of Cramdin Yard 

   Cramdin Yard was originally conceived as a small project to allow me to experiment with modelling techniques after a 35 year break from the hobby. As with the majority of my projects it seems to have gown into something a little larger!

The original layout was designed to occupy a relatively small space along one wall of the small room optimistically called "The study". The space available was a mere 6' 2" by 19". The idea was to build a slightly augmented shunting puzzle style of layout based on the theme of a wagon repair facility. The track plan below shows the revision 7(!) plan.

   At the rear of the main board is a double track mainline that could in future be linked into something more grand. For intial operations a fiddleyard can be attached to the left end from which trains approach crossing over into the yard and into a receiving road (there is a trailing single slip on the mainline and a double slip on entry to the yard). From here a shunter can pick off the wagons and move them into the works roads. There is a tiny (one or two wagon) run round loop in the works and fairly short headshunts.

To the righthand side is a 2 road loco fueling/stabling point that is accessible fom the mainline. This is to allow a bit of variation in locos on show rather than the mandatory 08 moving wagons around.

The original aim is to have the layout capable of being used for modern image locos or 50s/60s steam/diesel. The loco stabling lines are just about big enough to accomodate a fairly lengthy loco such as a 66.

The pointwork was built from SMP code 75 copperclad kits and married to SMP flexitrack. Points are operated by Tortoise point motors and the layout can be operated using DCC or traditional DC.


To the left is an early progress shot from October 2007. The main scenic board has been created using softwood framing and an MDF top. As originally the layout was designed to be permanently fitted to a wall the framing and construction are not overly substantial. A set of lightweight temporary legs have been fitted so I can work on it comfortably in the garage.

Track is starting to go down with the twin main lines running along the back of the board and the start of the yard entry point complex being laid. Points were built as they were needed rather than ahead of time. Just as well really as the design changed as I was laying the track on a day to day basis! The white template marks the site of the dreaded double slip that I was still summoning up the courage to build.

At this time I had discovered DCC and acquired a Bachmann E-Z Command. Although the capabilities of this controller are pretty limited it's cheap and very effective. I was hooked and from this point onwards pretty much every loco purchased has been chipped

This view also shows the rather odd shape of the original baseboard with the lefthand end chopped off at an angle! As the board was designed to fit on the wall of my study the corner had to be pruned to allow people to get in and out of the door. Of course as the layout has never actually been moved to the study this became a redundant feature. More of this and other exploits later.


Below is a view from December 2007 showing all the trackwork laid and mostly ballasted. A bit of basic land forming has been done along the rear of the layout to break up the flatness and some basic rough grass texture has been added using hanging basket liner. A scenic back board has also been added.

It's progress but there's still a long way to go.


Over the Christmas break more work was accomplished and the scenic break at the righthand end of the layout emerged. The shot below shows the narrow road overbridge under construction.

The brickwork of the bridge is contructed from Linka plaster castings with girders built from cardboard. All this was built in situ around a core of softwood and MDF offcuts.

Work has also started on the fuel point with the construction of a small office building and installation of a concrete base. At the moment it appears to be supporting high octane fuel for the builder rather than diesel!



 Copyright © 2009 Dave Renshaw. All Rights Reserved.