By Jason Thomas and Chris Rogers
The Mill was built for the EMGS 60th Anniversary competition, to construct a full layout on a baseboard measuring no more than 60” x 18.2”.
Given the criteria and to try and depict a believable scenario in such a limited space, an industrial setting was decided upon and a rail served mill seemed the obvious choice. To add interest, the layout is built on two layers with the trackbed and main section of the mill raised and coal drops, engine house and base of the tower at a lower level.
With the exception of the chimney (which is borrowed from my home layout) all structures, locomotives and rolling stock have been built specifically for the layout.
Track is constructed to EM gauge standards using PCB and bullhead rail with a constant checkrail added using L section brass, which has enabled the track to be set into cobbles in a consistent manner whilst also assisting with electrical conductivity. The only exceptions are the line onto the coal drops which uses ply sleepers and Exactoscale chairs, and a length of SMP on the sector plate / fiddle yard.
Motive power is all of an industrial nature and the list of available locos continues to expand. Currently available are a High Level kits Neilson, an RSH 14” from the same stable and just finished, a Judith Edge Ruston Hornsby 48DS. A Judith Edge 88DS is nearing completion and an RT Models post-war 100hp Sentinel is progressing nicely.
Control is DCC, with all locos using DCC Concepts Zen chips, ideal for this application due to their diminutive size. Uncoupling is performed using AJ’s, with electro-magnets secreted in four key locations and to date, have proved to be pretty reliable despite committing the cardinal sin of the most useful magnet being located on a curve (under the single slip).
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