Downsizing



In the early autumn, we sold the house and moved to a flat. Having made sure that the layouts survived the move without damage…




 … I immediately cut them to pieces. It was clear from the outset that downsizing was needed, as the only place to store the layouts is in a small attic room reached by a narrow flight of stairs.




The Down Bay was the first to suffer. The sky backscene was dismantled and the integrated fiddle yard was cut away, leaving a 92 cm scenic board.




The Old Yard was given a similar treatment. A third of the scenic section was cut away. It’s built on foamboard, so I was able to make a good clean cut with nothing but a craft knife.




That left a 100 cm board (left). The off-cut went into storage, maybe it will return as a diorama some day.




A bit of work was needed on both layouts to adapt the track to the new formats.




An attempt at repairs. Looks a bit like Texas! The Down Bay still uses code 100 track, whilst the other layouts use hand laid C+L.  I don't really mind the difference.




My third layout, the Goods Depot, didn’t need shortening. It’s a micro built in an Ikea box, which fits neatly in a large old closet. I’m still negotiating for access to the lower part of the closet!




In order to operate the now truncated layouts, my trusty “Bumblebee traverser" was adapted with extra tracks and sturdier height adjustment legs. It continues to work well against all odds, and is now able to feed all three layouts.




So trains are now running again at Farthing. Hurrah! Here is the Old Yard set up on the dining table. The small size of the layouts means that I am able to enjoy some relaxing “shunting puzzle” operation in our living room during weekends, without too much bother.




Here is the Goods Depot, which is small enough to operate on my new desk/workbench, also in the living room. I have an agreement with my wife that when seated here,  I'm invisible. She gets the point but says my activities are not exactly "invisible" :-)




And finally the Down Bay, taking up a tiny bit of space on the dining table - ahem!  The retaining walls need to be realigned and proper sky backscenes are on the cards.

So that's the current status. Ironically, there is room for further layouts as long as I keep them small enough. Plans are afoot for a modular approach, but more on that later.