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entry 1 Jan 2012, 08:42
Spent big chunks of the day looking at my inclines. Now they are mostly in place I can take measurements to see exactly how badly I have been playing it by eye. I know, I know, this is not the best way of going about the business, but I figure it is easy enough to make adjustments at the formers stage. A little hacksaw here, a little Dremel there, here a noggin, there a noggin, ...

The height of the lines running along the back of the layout get up fairly high over a couple of metres. Unfortunately this means that getting them back down to earth at the other end caused some significantly dangerous declines. I can see the 4:30 from Sheffield careering out of control into Langwith Junction which would not be a good look. The solution so far is to begin to lower the back lines 10-20mm and raise the floor at the front of the layout. The Langwith Junction area had been planned to be directly on the plywood base, so I have dropped in a piece of 16mm MDF across the entire area. This has given me an inch and a half back overall on the drop. Additionally I have raised the mainline out of the tunnel so it is pretty flat all the way around, now falling off only 10-15mm over a couple of metres to the end of the layout.

The end result is the mainline comes around now on an embankment, dropping down to the flat in time to come into Shirebrook Station. The drop off is still probably a little sharp down the hill out of Whaley Thorns, but at least it now seems acheivable for the little engine that could. Hopefully this has reduced all the problem areas down to reasonably calm inclines.

Now all I need is a decent engine to test the theory. The Dapol B1 that I bought really hasn't performed in any sense. Lucky if I get any motion out of it even on the flat. I don't like that little cam shaft that comes across from the tender to drive the worm, it just doesn't effectively seem to do the job. Unfortunately there is a real dearth of dcc-ready N-gauge English steam locos available here in Perth, so it might require an import. But then I have to wait, and waiting isn't my strong suit...

 
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