Smithick Vale is a 20" by 10" 00 gauge round and round layout that is designed to not depict any era or location, this means that almost anything can run and not look out of place.
Work on Smithick Vale has progressed and track laying has taken place. We have even had a few trains running already.
D1067 Western Druid Makes its way along the fiddle yard section, some of its coaches kept becoming uncoupled when entering the section, so some adjustments are being made to solve this. In the foreground is a RNA barrier wagon converted from a HEA, this will appear in the specialist modelling pages soon.
Click on the image below to watch 37698 thrash through Smithick Vale
With the track laying now complete, we are now planning the layout wiring. The intention is enable both the use of conventional analogue control as well as DCC. Points will be electrically controlled and a number of track sections will be installed to allow some interesting working. The ten road fiddle yard will allow a large variety of trains to be run on Smithick Vale.
A couple of members feel that by coincidence Smithick Vale closely resembles the loops at Lostwithiel, so to demonstrate this, during a running session one evening, a Class 66 with an almost prototypical length train of 36 CDA china clay wagons was running around on the layout. However, due to the size of Smithick Vale however, the loops are only able to accommodate 17 CDA wagons plus a loco.
Now the track wiring is largely complete, we are turning our attention to the ballasting. We have started by spraying the track with a brown track colour, this hides the plastic appearance of the sleepers and the bright rail sides. The rails will need a coat of suitable rust coloured paint as well.
Work has been commencing well on Smithick Vale. With the track laying and section wiring complete, it was time to start ballasting. We decided to use a grey ballast, mixed with a grey blend, both available from Woodland Scenics.
The next step is to clean up the track and have a running session (for testing purposes) before commencing any further scenic work.
Wiring of the layout and control panel is well underway and attention has now turned to the scenery. Initially we have been building up the land around the two tunnels which form the scenic breaks.
Progress on the scenic section has been ongoing and the rural scene is taking shape. After detecting a few running problems in the fiddle yard, we decided to renew some of the track, this has improved things significantly. Other work has also taken place on the signal box which is now nearing completion. Originally a Hornby product, we were unhappy with the pitch of the roof, so we fitted a 3D printed one which has greatly improved the appearance.