As I keep saying, there is still a lot more to do. I have a Marklin footbridge kit and a few more bits to go with it. It's horrendously high as supplied so I thought I would cut it down. However, cutting it down to the landing hight on the steps up leaves it just to low so it look s like I will have to have just 4 or 5 extra steps to lift the bridge part. I'm not sure if my skills are up to that though so might see if anyone in the UK could do the job for me, given suitable payment.
A well as the footbridge, I want to add a train shed. However (again), the only one available is designed to span 2 tracks. I bought a couple of N-scale kits but, though they will span three tracks, that's it. Not wide enough to go well onto the platforms. So, again, some kit bashing is required. (Incidentally, that is why the platform lighting is incomplete.)
Can I ask if you like the AnyRail design software? I only ask because I can across it recently and it mentions you in their examples!
Superb layout by the way; as a recent returnee to Z scale after a break of some 30 years I can only look with envy at the results of your labours!
Re your question, it depends what you are after. AnyRail (originally DRail) is, essentially, a layout planning software in as much that the only views you can get are plans. I tried a lot of different applications before I discovered it after reading a message on one of the forums recommending it. Other applications either were too complicated to use, like flying a jumbo jet instead of a one seater to nip over to France for a shopping trip, or they crashed frequently. Over the 3 years that I have been using AnyRail it has developed a lot and the owners are very responsive to users' suggestions (several of mine have been incorporated). For a beginner it is pretty well intuitive as all the bells and whistles can be ignored and that is how it was when I fist started using it. I suggest you download a copy from their website and install it and try it. (The only limitation is that you will be limited to 50 track pieces if I remember right.)
If you want to run trains, there is a facility to do so with Train Player 3.x though, as with AR, it is in plan form only.
As for my layout... Like you, I came back to the idea of 'playing trains' as I approached retirement. I bought loads of N scale stock (as you will have seen on my website) but all that went into abeyance when I saw a friend's Z scale layout at an exhibition. (I will still go back to N later.) I decided to build a layout for exhibitions - ambitious oaf that I was - and Breitenfurt — Ost is the result. So this is my first 'proper' layout.
Well, I have slowly cleared most of the dead links on my website, either by reinstating the pages/images, auto-redirecting or putting a dummy message there. Can't really complain as I deep link to other sites, but it is most annoying.
I've added a few photos of people and things are looking good (not necessarily the photos though).
Hello everyone. This morning I received my order for 50 passenger figures, including a few children, and have posted a couple of photos on my website (
and click on the trackplan to see them). I've also bought a Railex Z scale Bavarian PtL 2/2 (Glaskasten) which can be found on my Epoch 1 locos page under the class id. At just over 3cm long it's a sweet little thing (and a lot more robust than the N scale equivalent)!
Thank you you for your updates Chris. I really like the idea of your enclosed layout case, plus the idea of the description cards. I could see someone replacing description cards as the locos or rollingstock are switched in. It not only adds more detail, but 'invites' the viewers to learn more.
Been testing the layout and locos. Two burnt out turnouts - a real mess - and no time to change them out (assuming that I have spares anyway) . Fortunately one is not used at exhibitions and the other is, theoretically, only used in trailing mode so can leave the blades floating. Oh well, carry on testing.
PS a few minutes later. It's not just two. ALL the exit routing (except the double slip) on the hidden yard left end exit has burnt out. I can only conclude that I put something heavy enough to press down all those routing buttons down on the panel. That's going to cost some. No wonder the room stank. The only facing turnout affected was seized solid but I have managed to loosen it up a bit so that it can be manually operated.
It's OK guys. Four of the turnouts are used in trailing mode and the one that isn't I have freed up so that it can be operated manually. I do have some spare points but not the time to rip it all up and relay it all up. Fortunately, the double slip is OK. I'll survive.
My main problem now is the loss of two sets. They must be somewhere in the mess that is my room, and I don't think that they were at the last two exhibitions which is good. It's just that I would like to take them this time and make a nice display of early Epoch 1 trains.
Well, folks, that's everything ready for setting up on Friday except for final track cleaning. One set (the expensive one) turned up under some papers on a bookshelf (no, don't ask) and the other cannot be far away but I am not looking at the moment. I have cleaned up the area around the burnt (and I mean *burnt*) out point motors - what a mess. Haven't looked yet to see what spares I have stored away. (Tim, thank you for your offer. I'll let you know if I need to take you up on that. Two left and three right are completely U/S.
No pictures at the moment - wait until after the expo.
Exhibition went pretty well. I had to retire a couple of G8.1s fairly early on but the remaining one worked fine with 12 2-axle wagons with few problems in spite of my lousy track-laying. In spite of the baseboard being on a slope one of my pacifics (S 3/6) happily managed 7 coaches. (The most I have ever managed was 9 Bavarian 4-axle coaches.) I wonder if I could do better with a few drops of oil around the rolling stock; nine would be most impressive. There were many positive comments and the kids were fascinated by the branch line even though I only had one train on it this time. Got to find a way to stop them coming round the back to look though.
One thing that went down well was the "Spot the ..." activity that I initiated after one child spotted all the birds unprompted. So we had spot the birds/sheep/climbers. Some kids were really good at it while others had to be prompted almost to the item itself! Maybe I should do this more often.