02 The Layout Room   Leave a comment

The original Taft Yard layout had a number of issues and retirement with the prospect of a significant lump sum, an index linked income and a supportive spouse created the opportunity to start again. This is the original layout room, a single garage with no internal fittings other than an electrical supply.

A builder I had contact with in the past was chosen to enlarge the garage six feet in width and then internally fit out the interior to suit my layout.

First step was to dig the foundations . . . . .

. . . . and steel bars have been inserted into the existing foundations and steel mesh has been laid ready for a pouring of concrete.

With the foundations dry, bricks were delivered and work was started on the walls.

All the drainage is complete, the paving between the back door and the railway room has been re – instated and the block paving has been repaired at the front of the house.

While the builders made good progress with the construction, the old Taft Yard layout had to be dismantled so that the interior walls could have a waterproof membrane added, then stud walls built before plastering.

All stock was removed from the layout and boxed, the DCC system was packed away.

None of the ballasted track or pointwork could be retreived, but all the helix and lower level track were found to be reusable. The helix was dismantled carefully so that the cut and shaped MDF and rods could be re-used.

This is my chosen weapon of mass destruction!

And as a reminder of what Taft yard once looked like . . . .

This is the only part of the layout I managed to finish to my satisfaction!

The trackwork ballasted with klear was very solid and despite a good soaking with hot water and liberal amounts of washing up liquid proved to be too stubborn to be retrieved.

I have “lost” 4 Peco points, two Shinnohara points and about 15 yards of ready weathered concrete sleeped track from Micro – Engineering Company. http://www.microengineering.com/index.htm.

A good day’s work by the brickie.

Modelling in a skip!

More destruction of  Taft Yard.

I have been able to save the helix for re-use.

The brickie has had another good day and most of the brickwork is now complete.

The base for the shed has been finished.

As part of the “negotiations” with the domestic authorities, the builders have been asked to move the shed. In the space now occupied by the shed, the builders will create a 12′ x 6′ concrete slab that will be a base for a lean-to greenhouse.

I have a purpose built railway room, my wife has a new large greenhouse, and we have storage in the shed.

The external element of the new building is now complete, the next steps will be to knock down the original wall and build the floor.

The work has been completed to a high standard with the garden and drive area kept tidy so that we could still use them.

The shed is now in it’s new location . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . creating the space for a lean to greenhouse.

Work continues with the dismantling of Taft Yard. All the elements of the helix have been saved and will be used on the new railroad

The old layout has been packed away . . . . .

. . . . . this wall has come down . . . .

. . . . . the new extension is ready for concrete . . . . .

. . . . . and domestic harmony is restored with the greenhouse base waiting for concrete.

Replacing the fence and gate and completing the floor.

The Value of Planning.

The track plan was drawn on a graph paper with the floor dimensions already marked.

With an accurate track plan, I could determine the position of the ceiling lights and the position of the lights that will illuminate the lower deck. My original intention was to use halogen spot lights – B & Q Agena 4 Spotlight Bar in white, giving a total of 56 individual GU10 40 watt bulbs. However, I was worried about heat generation under the top deck and the effect this might have on the foam basboards. The running costs would also have to be a consideration.

My intention is to have working yard and station lights, working street lights, working traffic lights and all model buildings lit. To make the most of this feature, I wanted the lights to be be operated with a dimmer switch. After a telephone call with the electrician, research on the internet and a visit to a lighting centre, I decided to use flourescent tubes and forego the dimmers. I transferred the location of each light fitting to a working plan for the builder and electricians to work from – seen pinned to the wall in this picture . . . .

The surface of each shelf will be 50mm thick “pink” insulation foam supported by L girders made from 2″ x 1″ timber.

The L girders will be supported by threaded steel rod screwed through the noggins and into the brick wall. This will make the shelves appear to “float” and will enable the wall above and behind the bottom deck to be totally flat, ideal for creating a suitable backscene.

The shelf heights are five foot one inch and three foot four inches above ground level – the builder has placed the noggins with the centre lines at these heights so that there will be a sound foundation for the threaded steel rod


This photograph shows the electrical wiring in place for the layout lighting and I know exactly the height of the timber framing that I can use for the shelf supports.

Plasterboard in place . . . waiting for the plasterer.

The bags of plaster mark the position of the peninsular for the turnback loop.



The ceiling lights are spaced one foot from the wall and will illuminate the top deck.

The wall lights are mounted four foot nine inches from the floor and will illuminate the lower deck.

The top deck surface will be five foot two inches from the floor and the framing for the deck will be one inch above the lights.

The lower deck lights will be eventually be hidden from view by a valance dropping down four inches from the top deck surface.

The valance will be painted dark green to match the carpet.

The shaped valances and matching carpet should provide a suitable backdrop to enhance and highlight the layout.

Carpet has  completed the room.




Posted March 6, 2015 by trevorsmith3489

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