The Christmas rush has meant little time for progress on the layout, but I have started making more cassettes for the fiddle yard. These are to the same design as those I made for Pen-Y-Bryn Quarry, where I made 3 loco cassettes 9cm long, 3 train casettes 21cm long, and one at 30cm long. The fiddle yard on this layout allows for longer trains (40, perhaps 42cm long) and the station loop will just allow a train of 30cm to be run-round.
The picture shows some of my stock out being measured. That reminds me I have a fair bit of work to do to get the stock ready for the exhibition! Some of it still has DG couplings rather than the Microtrains couplers I now use, and some of it is overdue a visit to the paint-shop, never mind the usual fettling to get things running properly! In addition I have a few wagon and coach kits to build! But back to the point, I plan on making a couple more 30cm train cassettes, a couple more loco cassettes 0f 9cm, and perhaps one of 12cm. I know that small loco's are required for this layout, but maybe I'll run my Double Fairlie or L&B Manning Wardle sometimes, just for fun! Anyway having 3 full length trains, 5 or 6 loco's, and a shorter train or railcar, available in the fiddle-yard should be plenty for this layout!
I recently took the layout along to the Sussex Downs 009 group clubnight, where folks gave much encouragement. It even ran pretty well, which is amazing because usually the gremlins appear as soon as spectators do! However I was pressed to give a name for the layout, after all it can't be the "Alcove Layout" in the Exhibition guide! So I have come up with the name "Awngate" - it's an anagram of "Wantage", which of course was the inspiration for the station plan and building.
So, that's all for now, a Merry Christmas to all!