Thanks to some re-decorating work in my house the inglenook layout is on hold for the moment. I do however have a new project. Something of a rarity, it includes both N and 00 scale running.
When I first started building layouts I had a large 00 circuit based on one of Hornby’s track mats. This worked well and gave me many years of enjoyment even though I never got around to adding some finishing touches. A few years ago I started to model in N gauge as well as 00 and having no room for another layout the one I did have would need to be scaled back. The 00 layout ended up half its former size and I now had two layouts, both 3’ x 4’, one in each scale.
This worked Ok for a while, the N gauge never got further than ballasted track with a few card buildings and the 00 gauge only progressed to the nearly finished stage because it was built on the baseboard of its predecessor. After a while I got bored with the 00 layout. It was too small and as the track was only two circles that didn’t even join together it didn’t offer much in the way of operational enjoyment. I wanted a bigger 00 layout again but this would mean getting rid of the N layout. Or did it?
I remembered an article I had seen on split level layouts that used the difference in level to show different locations or, more importantly, different scales. It was with this idea I set to work. Using the massive plywood offcut from the inglenook layout I made a new baseboard measuring 5’ x 3.75’ it is on this I have set down a new 00 plan. When finished, it will have two circles of track and trains will be able to cross freely between them thanks to some point work. I have made provision for a station, something the last layout didn’t have, and there is a siding for the station pilot.
In the middle of the baseboard, where others would either cut a hole for the operator to sit or cover in scenery, I have sited a raised baseboard where I had planned the N gauge layout to sit. I haven’t fixed this raised area down, the plan was to leave it detachable so it could be lifted off and used on its own elsewhere. After having tested this I have realised it’s too heavy to be practical and visions of smashed stock and scenery should I drop the board were enough to persuade me I need to re-site this board somewhere more practical. I’m thinking of putting it on one of the ends.
Watch this space for more news of both the new double level experiment and the inglenook layout.