Although I have been exhibiting Fisherton Sarum since November 2006 feedback from my operating team has resulted in suggestions and ideas for ways to continually improve the way we operate and exhibit. The main and largest change to date was as reported in my Controlling interests #1 post that added a third controller to enable independent up and down main line operation whilst still allowed movements to carry on in the shed area.
We now operate with each fiddle yard operator driving trains towards them, each fiddle yard operator has a small indicator panel to communicate the type of train to each other (as different length trains require different length fiddle yard cassettes to be positioned) and this also shows them that a train is set up in the opposite fiddle yard and ready to be driven. Following this modification the indication panels gained a switch to enable them to operate the approach signal without having to move across the to the main control panel.
With this method of control now having been used at a couple of exhibitions there have been occasions when the next departing train is set up the previous train is either still moving or the controller has been left on causing the next train to start too early. To overcome this a push button has been added to fiddle yard indications panels that an operator will have to press to energise the power feed to the train they about to drive in the opposite fiddle yard. Once on the main board the push button can be released and the train will carry on.
These indicator panels also reduce the need for the operators to have to shout at each other which prevents viewers of the layout from hearing the fact that my locos’s are neither DCC or sound fitted!
This latest modification to Fisherton Sarum will be used for the first time on 8th / 9th March 2014 at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Model Railway Society show being held at the Aldworth Science College, Basingstoke, RG22 6HA i hop[e to perhaps some of the readers of this blog there, please make sure you say hello.