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I was interested in the layout plan for Pwllheli in the January edition, as it seems a very attractive and unusual concept, but there were a number of queries that perhaps you or the author could answer.
Firstly there must have been a good reason why the passenger and goods stations are so far apart. I assume that there are either historical or geographical influences, but it would help to know the real cause, which must surely have provided a bit of an operational headache. A little sketch to show the relationship between the two stations, before the necessary modifications to make it fit into the room, would help to get ones bearings. It is also a pity that no photographs were available to illustrate this location, as views of it, particularly during its heyday, seem to be few and far between.
What I cannot understand is the arrangement of running tracks. I can see that the rest of the main line, away from the area, is single track, but does it become double at the location where the three-way point is shown? If so then arriving trains cannot access the platform edge on the landward side of the platform - is this correct? If it is double track alongside the goods station signal box, should there be some form of trap point or headshunt to prevent stock in the two adjacent sidings from straying onto the main line? Alternatively the landward side line might be a long siding connecting the passenger station to these sidings, perhaps for storing carriages, which would then make sense. Given the ambiguity of this arrangement I would expected a brief commentary on how the real station was operated.
The real puzzle is the use of a diamond crossing near the goods signal box. It would appear that access to the cattle pens is only obtained directly via the three-way point off the main line. Similarly, access to the loco shed and coal yard seems to be via the abbreviated headshunt near the fiddle yard, which looks extremely awkward. I thought there might have been a double or single slip missing, but the 3D graphic doesn't show one either.
Finally, is it a very sensible idea to have the fiddle yard as part of the lifting section? I would have thought that it would be best if the yard were not to be moved, as most people will have it full of stock, and one of the main ideas behind fiddle yards is that you do not need to handle stock between operating sessions, but in this case everything will have to be put away before you can even leave the room!
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