Sunday, June 28, 2015

Track modifications in Villeneuve

Before painting track in Villeneuve, we decided yesterday to slightly modify the track arrangement to improve operation.

The right yard ladder was a complex assembly of curved turnouts branching off the main line. Worst, it meant the track radius was getting quite sharp there. Also, there was no hierachy in turnout location, so it was always confusing.

We decided to get rid of every curved turnout on the mainline and only use a large one on a straight stretch of track. We also made room to have enough place for a switcher and 3 cars to make move in the ladder without having t ofoul the main. The prototype did have something similar.

While operation later during the evening, it was evident we did the right thing.

I also took some pictures of my newly weathered cars on the layout. To be noted, the backdrop looks good on my pictures, but in fact, it looks quite ugly in real life. We are seriously thinking about bumping our season from April to May to be able to better handle the scenery with trees with leaves.


  1. Salut, Matthieu:
    That's an interesting comment about the background - about it looking better in photos than in real life. Is it because you're actively looking at it, so you notice the faults? I have a plain blue curtain for a backdrop and if you look at it, you see wrinkles and other imperfections. But when running trains, it simply disappears from one's perception - which is exactly what I wanted it to do...
    Always interesting posts - thanks for sharing!
    - Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

  2. Trevor, I felt it was my own bias, but Louis-Marie and Jérôme how are more "carefree" about that kind of issue had the same perception. I think there's two factors in it. First, the printed photo was far darker than expected. It means you see it before your eyes can focus on the foreground trees. The second issue is the trees themselve. At this point, it's only mock up but we can see through them too easily (which probably explain why the eye doesn't focus on them). At this point, I think better trees would help to make a denser foreground. The lack of vegetation near the track is also another visual issue! I think the solution would be to reprint the backdrop with muted colors. Replacing the trees with something that can make a "scenic block" defining strongly where the scenic zone starts. I now understand better why Gordon Gravett said winter scenes are extremely hard to model. I'm not sure I'm crazy enough to build thousands of leafless trees!