Saturday, June 4, 2022

Container depot

With all the track now laid on the layout it was time to re examine to see how it all works together. A purchase of 13 bogie container wagons gave a reason to incorporate sidings somewhere on the layout to create some shunting interest. Ideally both inside and outside corners are ideal for this purpose. The container sidings were laid out on the inside of the curve and were within easy reach for shunting.

Early design days

As can be seen by the above photo the outside of the curve will have a siding for cement and a private siding general goods. Having a siding that would only have capacity for 10 container wagons meant that a shunt would be required to load/unload the remaining three wagons. This is not a problem as it adds interest and a lot more shunting required.

Two sidings for containers

While the idea of shunting to unload the 13 container wagons was ideal and added interest , with a growing fleet of wagons it was considered more ideal to provide extra container wagon capacity in the actual container area. To achieve this an extra siding could be attached to the front of the existing two sidings laid.
Can we squeeze in an extra siding?
It was easy enough to attach the timber for the extra siding and the end result turned out for the better. The only downside was that the control panel only shows two sidings. This is not really a problem as the points to these sidings are hand thrown.

A wye point would lead into the third track

The new Y point in position

The third track to the container depot came off the dead end track closest to the edge of the baseboard. This was the only work around to get the extra capacity. Not 100% ideal as to shunt the inside siding this track has to be clear enough to get the required number of container wagons into the siding. Again it adds some interest to shunting. Luckily there was enough room behind the control panel to squeeze in this extra track

The third container track now in place

It was fairly straightforward to add the extra track and next job was to add some paving around the tracks. This was done by using cork sheeting which is easy to cut and takes colouring well. As a guide to cutting out the cork sheeting the top of the rails were painted and then the cork rolled over the paint as a cutting guide. Afterwards the paint can be cleaned off.

Cork sheeting is laid between and around the tracks

I think the cork works well and the sheeting was purchased from the Spotlight store. It is certainly easy to colour. I decided to go for a bitumen look rather than doing a concrete finish.

Cork in place ready for colouring

Colouring added and ballast added to inside track

Marvellous how hindsight works. In the above picture I have laid solid loading areas around tracks 1 and 2, what I should have done is have the loading areas around the inside and outside tracks and have the middle road ballasted and available for the overflow of wagons. This would have meant loading on the edge track and further loading on the inside track where the ice cream bucket is. Oh well live and learn.

Weeds are starting to grow already and two dogs turn up

AN8 has the honour of shunting the first container train

There is a lot more detail to go into this area, such as containers, lighting etc etc. That will be on another blog in the future.