The arrival of 3714, ‘City of Gloucester’, a ‘City’ Class 4-4-0 acquired from Fine Scale Brass. I resisted this locomotive for months as I already have a Bulldog 4-4-0 and, strictly speaking, 3714 is out of period (just) having been withdrawn from Oxford in November, 1929. Then I thought, why? It’s a beautiful model and, since my whole layout is based on an imaginary place, what is wrong in extending the life of a loco a few years. I’ll try and limit my timescale to no later than 1935 but who knows.
The fiddle yard, consisting of four sidings of varying length, the shortest for use by the auto service. Four shelves provide storage for rolling stock not in service. As yet I have no turntable and turn tender locos by means of a piece of cutdown square drainpipe.
Each siding has a dead section at the far end to bring the trains to a halt automatically. The short siding (foreground) has a push-to-make switch on the control panel which allows me to override the dead end and bring the auto train back without manual intervention (providing the loco’s at the right end!)
View from the station throat now that the bridge has been removed. The foreground signal can now move about six inches towards camera and achieve the correct distance from the trailing point on the left. The ballasting can continue along with the usual bits of lichen and other greenery. I still haven’t finalised the scenic additions in the region of the signal box.
As an experiment, I have removed the road bridge which spanned the station throat. There are three main reasons –
1: I will get a better view of approaching trains and therefore more value from them;
2. I will be able to resite the signals so that they are correctly positioned;
3. I will be able to redeploy the bridge to form the break between the station and the fiddle yard (and a fourth reason, I will only have to paint one side of the bridge!)
This view also reminds me of how desperately I need to repaint and age the signal box.