As with any layout the old adage says “it is never finished” this is true of Fisherton Sarum. Regularly after operating the layout at an exhibition, more often or not in the pub over a pint, ideas for modifications / ‘improvements’ are suggested by the operating team (usually a combination of Mark and Roger…), some more radical than others, mulled over and sometimes they eventually get implemented. With the next couple of exhibitions looming in September (Worthing MRC) and October (Hornby Magazine Great Electric Train Show), I have set up Fisherton Sarum at the clubrooms of the High Wycombe and District MRS to allow me to check everything over and also make another one of the changes previously suggested.
Such past modifications / ‘improvements’ have included:
- Controlling Interests #7 The adding of a third layout controller so that each fiddle yard operator can drive trains towards them
- Controlling Interests#6 and #8 Adding electro-magnetic uncouplers
- Controlling Interests #2 improving the operation of the turntable using a stepper motor and MERG control system
With the two fiddle yards now able to independently control the main running lines, including remotely the operation of the two signals it was suggested that to increase engagement with the viewing public, an aspect at a show that all the operating team enjoy, that the main control panel could be located to the front of the layout. In actual fact the most suitable location was actually at one end of the scenic section but in front of the ‘west end’ fiddle yard. This has necessitated new mounting brackets for the control panel and some longer cables between the control panel and each scenic board (with grateful thanks to Roger). As can be seen from the picture to the left I have now made this change, although the control panel can still be switched back to its original position should it be necessary. We shall try out his new configuration at the Worthing MRC exhibition on the 26th/27th September and see how we get on.
Following the success and hands off operational interest gained from the installation of a ‘Dingham’ electromagnet uncouplers, as outlined in my previous Controlling Interests# 6 and #8 posts, I have added a further a uncoupler.
This new uncoupler is located in the coal stock road just behind the shed to provide additional operational flexibility leaving either the ash wagon or a coal wagon, newly fitted with the iron wire dropper to be activated by the electromagnet. Good eyesight is required from the new control panel location to stop the locomotive in the right place, however a new member of the shed crew has been suitably positioned so that as soon as he is out of the shadow caused by the wagon to be uncoupled it is the right place to stop and operate the ‘Dingham’ electromagnet.