Innsdorf – the construction of a Swiss Alpine Model Railway
Whether or not to add lighting to a model is a difficult matter. Lighting definitely adds “life” to models but can give some odd effects: for example, because I am using traditional DC control it is not a simple matter to light the carriages of my trains (although battery systems do exist, at a price,Continue reading “Lighting the Village (1)”
Innsdorf is intended to represent a typical resort village in the Engadin valley early in the winter sport season. There is a “dusting” of snow in the village, but skiing is taking place up on the surrounding mountain slopes. I wanted to create the sort of busy scene that a visitor would see in suchContinue reading “Building the Village”
Swiss signalling is very distinctive and I had no idea (a) how it should work or (b) where I could buy the signals (or parts to make them). I searched on the World Wide Web for Swiss railway signalling and found some very comprehensive information, including a very helpful article on Wikipedia which I haveContinue reading “Signalling Innsdorf Station”
Before I could do much in the way of planning my Alpine layout I really needed to visit Switzerland specifically to look at its railways. While I had visited a few times, always by rail, I had not really looked at the railways themselves very much with a view to building a model. Although IContinue reading “The Pre-planning Fact-finding Tour”
To some extent the scenery has been progressing along with the construction of the railway. I have been acquiring buildings, vehicles, trees, people and scenic materials of various types while I have been buying the track and trains etc., and some of the scenery has to be built as the railway is built: the stationContinue reading “Scenery: the village and the mountain”
All my previous layouts have used steam or diesel outline locomotives and trains, with just a touch of London Underground third-and-fourth rail electric. So the installation of overhead electrification equipment was quite a challenge. I don’t, or didn’t, know much about overhead electrification at all, and was unaware of the specifics of RhätischeBahn equipment, orContinue reading “Overhead Line Equipment and the Seilbahn”
Once the track was wired and tested, it was time to add the gravel ballast. The cork underlay provides the actual ballast effect, but to give it a realistic appearance, real granite chipping are added between the sleepers. Most chippings sold for OO and HO track look too large to me (see the pictures onContinue reading “Ballasting the track”
I always enjoy the wiring of a model railway layout. It is a good exercise in logic and problem-solving! This may be why I am not especially attracted to the digital systems now becoming quite popular; at least, not attracted enough to pay for all the requisite kit, like a decoder for each locomotive, signal,Continue reading “Control Panel and Wiring”
Track-laying needs to be a job that takes time and care. I used Peco HOm gauge flexible track and live-frog points. Never having used a narrow-gauge trackage system before I had to learn about clearances, minimum radii, etc., so it wook a while to come up with a suitable practical and Swiss-looking layout. I printedContinue reading “Laying the Track”
Back in the seventies and eighties I used to exhibit a model railway called Kingsgate. It was a fictitious compact terminus in the City of London, with services similar to those of Moorgate in steam days and assumed to be somewhere just north of London Bridge, near the Bank of England. I did not actuallyContinue reading “Kingsgate: an exhibition layout in OO gauge”
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