The concept for this model was inspired by three things: first, the Scalefour Society Challis Challenge, where entries had to be within a 'footprint' of 18.83 sq.ft.; second, we had built only end-to-end layouts before, and had never had a continious run; third, our honorary member had started the Challisenge [as it became known] by building a totally circular layout, with curved inner and outer edges to the baseboards. We decided that a circle would be just right, but preferred on balance to have straight-sided boards, which put us over the 18.83 sq.ft. area, so we decided not to take the Challenge [operating as we have done at our usual pace, we'd never have met the timescale requirements anyway!].
The fiddle yard was a challenge! We had three main criteria: 1] to keep the non-scenic 'off-stage' length as short as possible; 2] to use our standard cassette storage system, used on all our previous layouts [except the first, short version of Tibberton]; 3] to access the cassettes from the operating well on the inside. After several ideas were sketched out, we came up with the plan you see above, with two tightly curved approach roads crossing at quite an acute angle. Building the track here was quite a headache, and getting it all wired properly took some ingenuity. The operation of the FY will be described later. The next instalment will cover baseboard and track construction.