First, and most importantly, the Brighton MRC exhibition, our club show, was a success. Numbers through the door were up, and we got some positive feedback.
However, running on Dufftown was very patchy. This is perhaps unsurprising, given the age of the stock, and the fact that the first time the layout had ever been run was on Saturday morning! Specifically, we encountered major problems with:
- Pickups and chassis – some locos were only picking up on two wheels, causing problems at points, and two locos essentially pegged out during the show!
- Points and polarity – I have gone off Peco points, because even new turnouts (some are “recycled”) were not switching polarity however much we cleaned the blades, and PL-13 switches will have to be fitted to all of them!
- Couplings – we standardised on bemo-type couplings, but some of these were at different heights (again – a factor of time) and wagons were left behind with great frequency.
Despite all these flaws, the layout proved popular, especially with the youngsters who liked the tunnels (“where’s it going to come out now?”) and the fact that the blue livery made our Peco “James” look like a popular children’s character (“Daddy! There’s Thomas!”). The scenery and the track layout was commented on favourably, too, confirming that we’ve stuck a good balance between operational and modeling interest within the limited space we’ve given ourselves. Here are a couple of photos of the layout at Patcham.
These were taken on Saturday, by the end of Sunday a number of details had appeared, including the first golfer on the course!