Circle the Wagons!
You may think there’s something familiar about the design of ‘The Blue Circle Layout’. It’s the brainchild of Paul Rolley, and his ‘Castle Works’ layout of a similar circular design was featured in the May 2012 issue (MR169). His self-assigned brief was relatively straightforward: to create a portable and original layout that would fit through his loft hatch and which he could build in a few months. The inspiration? Regular visits to the Wenvoe quarry on the outskirts of Cardiff.
Before his plans had progressed any further than a simple sketch Paul paid the site a visit, during which he took photographs of the buildings and infrastructure so he could ensure that the model was as accurate as possible. ‘Castle Works’ featured a diamond crossing to create a figure-of-eight shape for non-stop running. This time, he opted for a folded, figure-of-eight arrangement with gradients taking one track over the other. With a diameter of just 4ft, he had to use first radius curves to get the track plan to fit.
To get the layout through his loft hatch, Paul designed it so that it could split into two 18mm MDF sections that could be connected with wooden flat dowels when in use. It worked well but it did make the layout heavy!
You can read the full article in Model Rail 265 - Out Thursday September 5th!