If you've followed this blog for a while then you will know that Jerusalem was an N gauge (2mm to the foot) model of a standard gauge railway running through a mostly rural scene. For my next layout I'm intending to go for the exact opposite; an OO9 gauge (4mm to the foot) model of a narrow gauge industrial railway. Firstly while N gauge gives me more railway in a small space, I do find the 2mm to the foot scale very small compared to the modelling I did in OO gauge at 4mm to the foot (for example the 3D printed wagons I designed). Having now built a continuous run model, where I can sit and watch the trains go by, I'm happier with the idea of a more interactive railway, and so the end-to-end nature that going up a scale will necessitate doesn't worry me as much as it did before. Having said that the dimensions of the layout, dictated by its storage box, are just 1135mm by 232mm (or a little less to make sure it fits). At 4mm to the foot this allows me to model, at the most, 283 feet by 58 feet which isn't actually very much. Given the space constraints narrow gauge seems a good idea as the track will still be just 9mm wide (the same as in N gauge) and will require less clearance and allow tighter curves than modelling a standard gauge line. The choice to model an industrial railway is simply that I fancy doing more building construction rather than focusing on the landscape as I did with Jerusalem. Of course describing the layout as being a narrow gauge industrial railway still doesn't give you any idea of what I'm planning.
One thing about modelling in OO9 is that I'll need to build most of the rolling stock, including the locomotives, as there is currently very little available ready-to-run and there are been a couple of locomotives I really fancy building.
Firstly we have a Quarry Hunslet locomotive from a kit by Brian Madge (although I'm having problems contacting Brian to order one). I've always liked the look of these narrow gauge locomotives and the kit looks like something I should be able to handle; the chassis comes part assembled and the whole kit can apparently be assembled with super-glue if I don't feel up to soldering it together.
As most of you know I definitely prefer my locomotives to be steam powered, but I've been fascinated by the Narrow Planet kit for this small Baguley-Drewry locomotive since it was still in the design stage. The main body shell is 3D printed and then augmented with etched metal parts and was being designed at the same time as I was designing my first 3D printed wagons. Again it uses a pre-built chassis so should be within my capabilities to build. My thinking is that with these two locomotives I could run the layout in a number of guises covering a number of time periods, which would extend the interest both for me building it and for anyone who gets to see or operate it.
So that's the locomotive power sorted (when I actually manage to order the kits), in the next post I'll give you more details on the setting for the railway and some possible track plans.