When the idea for a new exhibition layout was discussed at the West Wilts. Gauge 0 Group (WWG0G) a set of criteria were laid down. It should be light to move, interesting to operate and observe, and allow the maximum number of club members to participate in its construction and most importantly learn new skills
It was decided to build the base boards out of 6mm ply using the 'sandwich' technique which it was claimed would make the boards lighter. Well slightly! This also provided space between the tracks for scenic items, but in the end we filled this in and placed scenic items on the top. It was decided to build our own entire track including the points, a good learning experience for all. We agonised over DC or DCC and in the end decided upon DC, with the plan to move to DCC with accessories first and then the track. However as we had a high level track that would run back and forth the computer gurus used DCC for this with sensors at each end and also a timed stop at the station each way. (Obviously the best of both worlds.)
The 2014 Westbury show was our first experience with a layout with full(ish) scenery (we had been to the Mere show but with limited scenery), and the layout ran all day, so did the computer driven section. Lessons have been learned for the next time but we were pleased with our results.
The to do list has grown, but then no layout is ever finished, ballast the track, more improved scenery, more life, vehicles, people etc. ( the one thing we are not short of is running stock). Add some vignettes, make the cassettes more user friendly, and have more space around to store them,
Did we achieve our aims ? The layout is robust, most of the club members participated, either passing on their knowledge or learning new skills, and members enjoyed operating it.