Fairlight Works

Official blog of the High Weald Light Railway (1977) Co. Ltd.

A few steps forward

009 fairlight lxd2 model-railways narrow-gauge

Uncharacteristically, I’ve been pushing on with track laying rather than procrastinating. It seemed to make sense to use a sub base on top of the foil surface of the insulation board, both to allow flexibility in the layout and to compensate for the slight irregularities in it. I built this up from layers of 3mm foamboard, in sections, with extensions to support the point operating wires.

First point committed.

These parts were carefully cut to allow the switches to be fitted – they have a suitable throw to operate these 009 points as well as switch the frog polarity – and with channels for the wiring to feed through.

Switch fixture

With the advantage of using simple tools – craft knife, wire cutters, glue gun and solder iron – this came together pretty quickly, taking an hour or two each evening over a week.

Fairlight station board

As things progressed, though, I found that the track alignment wasn’t quite as accurate as it could have been and the tracks of the loop tended to widen throughout it’s length. The result was that a fairly elongated crossover was required to bring them back together, and the lead in track from the fiddle yard ended up shorter than I wanted.

At this stage it wasn’t too late to make changes, and after considering things for a couple of days decided to adjust it.

Loop realigned

By bringing the track spacing down to 40mm (it was previously up to 60mm at it’s widest) I regained a few centimetres of lead in and found that the whole station site was on a subtle curve – not quite as planned but nevertheless a pleasing result.

L45H on a passenger service

The final positioning of the sidings, plus their isolation sections and uncoupling magnets, still needs to be done but this feels like a good step forward. Having a working layout is great!