Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 15/11/2012

Choo Choo


Choo Choo, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

With the dark nights now upon us, it’s really time I go on with the model railway I’m trying to build for my son. He used to have a 6ft by 4ft layout but we decided to try and utilise the space where the set was and build a bigger layout at the same time. At the moment I have three separate boards built, and need to finish a fourth but that’s where the real problems start. I’ve designed used a specialised piece of software to create the design using standard track pieces, however what it doesn’t do is test whether such a layout is feasible when it comes to fixing the electrical components to the track. One rail has to be positive, the other negative, and in most part never the twain shall meet, however it is possible to create layout where the two do come into contact which would be disastrous for any and all equipment connected. Going “old skool”, I printed out the track plan and went through each of the tracks to ensure that they didn’t create a short circuit, it took some time, and some brain power, but I’m fairly sure we should be okay to go ahead with the track. There are lots of little bits of things I need to get done before i can start laying the track, so much so I’ve decided the only way to progress is to draw up a project plan. It may seem a bit extreme to produce a gantt chart for a play thing but there’s a definite “critical path” some of which requires some more resources such as hinges. So what was supposed to be a bit of fun is now turning into a major engineering endeavour… perhaps I should call Kevin McCloud in to film my Grand Design (or Wallace and Gromit more like!).

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