The last blog post was in February 2015 and the last one to do with any progress on the layout is over a year old. 2014 was really a year of no modelling whatsoever. Stevenson Road is still sitting with electrics and track complete but very little else, and the Rede Valley line didn’t run a train for over 12 months. Such was the state of the Rede Valley Layout that when I tried to switch things on during the Christmas holidays nothing worked. This was simply due to an accumulation of dirt on wheels and track. A whole day was spent just to get something moving unreliably.

2015 is going to be a different state of affairs:

Firstly the blog is getting a makeover and I’m going to start posting regularly. I’ve never been happy about the quality of some of the photos on the blog so at the end of last year I took a blog photography course. This gave me lots of new tools and techniques to get better results from both my DSLR and my iPhone! The course is running again, starting Monday 19 January and I’d highly recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their photography. The 28 day blog photo bootcamp is run by Emma Davies, and for me the selling point is its English and not American and produced to a very high standard. Emma specialises in flower photography, but so many of the techniques are transferrable to model railway photography. Indoor lighting, strong composition, and getting the background right.

If you want to check it out follow this link Its really worthwhile.

I’m biting the bullet and rebuilding most of the Rede Valley. I want something that works reliably and can be running as soon as I walk into the railway room. All the turnouts need to be converted for DCC use so I’m not relying on the blades for electrical connectivity. Block detection gets included for some automatic running and hidden sidings move behind the back scenes. There are even 3 new engines, including P2 Cock of the North with Twin Track Sound sitting in their boxes never run. The new reliable layout is needed urgently.

More about this in future posts, I have a design, and a box of new turnouts has arrived from Hattons……

Stephenson Road is going to get finished too. Whether it ever gets exhibited is another matter. Actually finishing a layout will be a rarity for me. Usually I get new ideas and start these instead of completing existing projects. Work stopped half way through building a row of railway arches, so finishing those will be the first task.