Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Evolution or a Lack of Planning?

One of the non railway projects that I have been undertaking over the past few weeks  is to digitise a number of old family VHS from the mid 90s. It was certainly a trip down memory lane, and one of the segments that I uncovered was some video that I had taken of Philip's Creek in its earliest iteration in our garage in Missouri.

It highlighted how much Philip's Creek has evolved since 1996 reflecting changes in space availability and operations. For example, when the original video was taken, Philip's Creek was a continuous layout; it is now a point of point operation. Then, it occupied a space of 3.6m x 1.8m. Now it is 1.8m longer and is now a 'L+' shape. It has also moved from the original DC control to DCC.

However, some things haven't changed. The modular arrangement has withstood the test of time and  many moves. The concept of a complete styrofoam base has made it light enough to move, but has also proved to be very stable. The prototype and time era has not changed although as I mentioned a while ago, an element of elasticity has crept into the time period.

To illustrate the changes, I have attached three photos, all of which show the same location on the layout but each separated by about 8 to 9 years. The first photo shows one section of the layout as it was originally constructed at the end of 1996 as part of the continuous track plan. The second photo shows the same area as it was around 2005. The section of through track had now become the coal mine siding. Finally, the third photo show it in its current iteration as a locomotive siding.  

Philip's Creek 1996
Philip's Creek 2013

Philip's Creek 2005

While some changes have been possible because of extra space, some have been the result of changes in the way the layout is operated.  I would like to say that these reflect an evolution of my modelling but when I look at the detailed planning done by others, combined with the time they commit to get it right, I'm not so sure. I know my own eagerness to get something running, and the reality is probably more a lack of planning, or perhaps, a lack of adherence to the plan on my part. The only thing I can say in my own defence is the old clichĂ© about 'change being a constant' on the prototype and therefore, I am modelling that change - well at least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

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