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Having created a 2 line example of the trackplan, it occurs to me that anything representing a Ranelagh Bridge site, even vaguely, is a bit short on passing lines and would need both fast and slow lines in and out to give a reasonable traffic flow, so a 4 line example is included to the right.


This however will open up another can of worms; not enough fiddle-yard space. You could shrink the inner yard and expand the main or outer yard, or failing that, raise the inner yard up a couple of inches and run the main yard under it. The main fiddle-yard could then be made considerably bigger and far more able to supply a regular and varied number of movements. This, however, would mean that access to lower yard could be described as “difficult”, but it would be possible to make the yard smaller and even removable in the event of disasters. If the yard is to be made removable, why not make it a traverser and minimise the area consumed by numbers of points, not to mention their cost. Is me or are track “formations” getting horrendously expensive. They never were cheap, but…... 


Another advantage of using a traverser is that it will make the switching of locos on trains or assorted light engine movements that much easier and could remove the need for man-handling and the eventual ruining of a locos good finish, not to mention potential damage which may occur. I have in mind something of this ilk:-

A "Crib"  Part 2

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The relative dimensions of the fiddle-yard are unimportant, all that is required is that the locos etc. may be run to the end of traverser, detached, and then run onto the holding track at the end, to allow suitable track alignments to be made to provide a run-round. Nothing mind-blowing really.

If the traverser was made to allow the movable board to extend fully across the base-frame, access to any operational problems (derailments, stalling etc.) in the main yard underneath, could be quickly rectified.

Mentioning traversers, the “regulars” at the club will be pleased to know that the good news is that I have bought a book on the subject and an reading it avidly. The bad news is that most of the stuff in there (while being useful) is already the sort of thing I know and why I have tried to experiment on the mini Water Orton model with position “locks” and auto connection of power when tracks are aligned. Still it is all grist to the mill and may yet provide inspiration to overcome some of the “quirks” so fare presenting themselves. Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and even Einstein had to fiddle about with a lot of pencils and paper before E=mc2 emerged and showed the world the way forward.

Now the reference to Water Orton, reminds me of the much cursed fiddle-yard, which I have slowly been  attempting to alter so that route-setting is not really required. Having begun to redo the Western end in accordance with the new thinking, so that it is “user-friendly” rather than “capable”, sod’s law has of course shown that nothing is sacred. I found this, while internet dredging: 

Holding track

The Route Processor allows easy recall of programmed routes for your entire layout. Routes are simply programmed by selecting the route memory and then operating the points via any connected MultiPanel so the route processor learns which points or signals form the route.

Route Processor features    24 routes per processor.

                                               Up to 192 points/semaphore signals per route.

                                              Active monitoring for all enabled routes (see below).

                                              Program disable (locks routes into memory).

                                              DCC control.

And route processors can be daisy-chained  MPT