The past few weeks work has seen a bit of a milestone reached, that being track and points laid and operational on the last module to be completed (highlighted in green), which means that for the first time, apart from the lift-out section across the doorway, trains can and have been run completely around the room.
Looking back, construction of the layout began on the 15th of February 2016, so a little over two years has passed to get to this point. Trains could have been running a lot sooner, but it would have been at the expense of finishing off the backdrops, sky panels, fascia panels and the LED lighting, all of which were quite large jobs that took time to complete. However, it is a decision I do not regret making as even though there is no scenery as yet, having the trains running in front of a proper backdrop under proper lighting as soon as each section is completed looks so much better than it would without them. That, and I feel that if some of these jobs were not done in the beginning, day they may not end up getting done at all, as once trains are running it can be difficult to get the motivation to do these more difficult jobs.
This module we have just completed has both the main line leading into Gunnedah, which has to two sidings coming off it, one representing the BP oil siding and the other the Vacuum (Mobil) oil siding, which are located towards the front section of the module, and at the rear of the module is what loosely represents Emerald Hill, which is where trains end up after running through Gunnedah and out the other side.
So whilst the main line into Gunnedah with the two oil sidings and the loose representation of Emerald Hill are both located on this module, they are in effect on completely different sides of Gunnedah. Doing it this way makes the layout operationally far better, as trains travel a much greater distance around the layout going to and from their destinations.
As the Emerald Hill section of this module bares little resemblance to the real thing, and the fact that it is a terminus rather than a through station, I’ve been thinking that it really should be called something else, and something fictional. So last night whilst pondering this subject it hit me, why not call this station/yard “Anbeon” (Or possibly “Anbeyon”).
As the title of this blog is “Gunnedah and Beyond”, if you slur your words together slightly, “and beyond” quite naturally morphs into “Anbeon”. So, it seemed logical enough to adopt this name for this station/yard section, and quite honestly, does it sound any stranger than other actual names like Awaba, Attunga, Oberon, Oolong, Elong Elong, Illabo, Kinalung or Uardry!
Part of the Anbeon yard continues on to the corner module, and I’ve made a slight modification from previous plans, so instead of two sidings with dead ends, I have added a set of points and brought these two sidings together forming a runaround, which will make this section far better operationally, as well as probably being more prototypically correct.
Yet again I am very happy with the neatness of the wiring underneath the module. I’m also happy to report that using the cable ties, leaving the tag about 30mm long, giving it a slight smear of glue and inserting the tag into the baseboard foam, once dry forms an amazingly strong bond, and requires a surprising amount of strength to pull the tag out of the foam, far exceeding what the weight of the wiring would ever amount to.
Whilst not located on the most recently completed module, I’ve included a couple of photographs of a sort of mixed goods train sitting in what will be the colliery siding, just because I’m sure most people like looking at actual trains.