Kilsby Drift – Layout Planning

The house move has slowed to a crawl now and with all the layouts except Sturminster Newton in storage thoughts have started to turn to the potential setup in the new house and the options I have available. The plan as it is today is that I’ll have a shed for the layouts and I’m going to plan on between 5 and 6 M long and 3-4 meters wide. I’m currently thinking I’ll have an S&DJR based L shaped layout across one end and the front of the shed with the Nelevation at the end and a 5M space across the back for the exhibition layout. This will be the home for Kilsby Drift.

I’ve been working on the plan now for sometime and it had slowly got longer over time as I wanted to be able to run longer trains and have the space around them to breath. I’m going to have to compromise as I do want to be able to set and leave the layout up both for the initial build and then to run the modern stock on so have shortened back to 4 boards.

The current design sits on four 1.2M long boards by 768mm (2 feet and 6 inches) wide. This is just short of 4 feet which should make them a little easier to fit in the car and the shed.

The concept is based on the DIRFT container port north of Northampton on the WCML line between Northampton and Rugby. This is near Kilsby hence the name.

To keep operations at exhibitions simpler and trains moving the double track main lines will have no points on the scenic side and run into the 8 Fiddle yard sidings, these are split into 4 up and 4 down. I’m thinking that the outer loop on each line will be used as a run around if I’m short handed and have stock that can legitimately run around ( Multiple units, Pendolino’s etc) . The current reality is that I dont have enough stock to fill the yards anyway so not a problem today. I will look at automation for the main lines initially as the fiddle yard roads should each take at least 2 and maybe 3 trains.

I’ve played around with the design and have tweaked the inner (3rd line ) to be a continuous loop with a feed on the scenic side to the exchange sidings which I have now included 3. The intention is that most of the container traffic /stock will remain scenic side and moving around at the end of any shunting movements. These will arrive from the right and depart on the left as per the prototype. There is a head shunt provided and I may remove the point at the end as I cant see my using a run around manoeuvre for access to the container port sidings which I’m planning to set up as two pairs. Unloading and loading is undertaken here by vehicles and I have some PD models white metal ones of these for this. I’ve also included a siding which will go into the large sheds on the backscene and exits onto the 3rd line in the fiddle yard. This isn’t ideal as the locomotive need to be removed to bring the train back around but I need to see how reliable the container wagons are being pushed.

The plan is for a class 08 Shunter to be stabled in the yard for pulling the containers off of the trains in the exchange sidings and pulling the containers back down the headshunt. Once clear then pushing them into the port sidings. I do need to test the manoeuvre works with the stock. Itt may be that i also push the containers into the building rather than pull them in?

I have based all the points on 164mm -Long points except for the 3 ways in the fiddle yard. If these prove problematic in testing I’ll replace with long points as well. Uncoupling will be using Dapol Easi Shunts and magnets as I have found these generally work well on my other layouts.

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