It's taken a while but we have managed to purchase a new house and should move in later in March. Quite a challenge in a rising market! It's been a busy time with little opportunity to pursue hobby interests or accept those kind offers to get a train fix.
The house is a down-sizer but it does have a reasonable double garage 6.1*5.5m. This means that the area available for a remodelled Philip's Creek will be in the order of 6*2.7m, slightly longer than my earlier planning figure of 5.4m.
I am still wrestling with concepts for the reassembly of Philip's Creek. My last post identified a possible configuration but the need for more access and storage along the length of the garage has led to a reconsideration of that arrangement. While the location of the helix has moved, the key change has been to place narrower modules in positions which will increase circulation space between the car and the layout. The revised concept as at now is shown in the two sketches below. It's still a work in progress.
Both staging areas will need to be reconstructed and the Singleton
staging area will need to be first cab off the rank followed by modules
for the lower level (Philip's Creek and Mount Windeatt). A backdrop will separate the staging areas and the adjacent modules. These modules, Hall Creek bridge and Mount Windeatt (lower level) and Kingston Plain (upper level), will only be accessible from outside the layout space. A folding bridge will be needed to facilitate access through the lower level into the layout area.
Once work on the lower level is complete, I'll focus on the helix, the upper level staging area and finally the upper level modules.
Work on the rebuild is unlikely to start any time soon as experience has taught me that domestic calm is best maintained by completing other moving-in projects first.
In the meantime, I need to make a couple of decisions.
Firstly, I'm must decide whether to rebuild the Philip's Creek modules or simply refresh the existing modules. Although I had already completed some of the refresh work before moving, presently, I am leaning towards a rebuilt as it will allow me to simplify the track plan while increasing the holding capacity of the coal mine sidings
Secondly, I need to decide what to model on the upper level noting that I have the potential to create a reasonable run linking the helix to the Werris Creek staging area as well as the Kingston Plain branch line. Currently, I am considering a version of Muswellbrook (perhaps a Muswellbrook Lite) which could include another coal mine loader, turntable, roundhouse, goods sidings and station building.
All of this is predicated on one thing, there will no decrease in enthusiasm. Unfortunately, this is something that I know can happen after such a significant disruption like a house move. At least this time I won't be attempting to balance work obligations and house extensions as well.
Time will tell!