Develop the new board design.
In Stephens absence the previous week, Laurence and Geoff had suffered minor misgivings about 'hacking into' the heart of our lovely layout and started to investigate an alternative option. Stephen had pursued the centre-insert 'idea' and produced a few sketches along the lines of the sketch below.
Just to let the original idea run its natural course, the foamboard sheet was reinserted and the scheme worked-up to scale and with more accurate trackwork. The option chosen included a reverse siding into the stone cutting building to enable wagon exchange, but there simply wasn't enough space to create a feasible shunting area. The central insert was suitably abandoned!
Geoff then explained that a new board between the bridge and fiddleyard board had been investigated and looked much more promising. Firstly, however, a board length of 800mm had been chosen (rather than the initial 650mm). This was to create a 'pair' of scenic boards that could be assembled together for transportation - perfect. The downside - it wouldn't fit in the workshop. A hole in the lightweight partition between the workshop and garage was proposed, and the fiddleyard relocated into the garage(?!).
Moving on swiftly, the sketches for the new board were explained. The first consideration was whether it was necessary to maintain the same connections for the mainline to the fiddleyard from the new board. If an extra connection was created on the fiddleyard edge, a different exit for the mainline could be accommodated. (Different connections would be used for the different length layouts). This agreed, space was available for an engine shed and an industrial unit - possibly timber but probably stone based. The tunnel link to the fiddleyard would be under a hill extension, but the industrial unit could also form part of the enclosing structure.
Several new variations were now considered and sketched up. However, thoughts soon turned to wagon exchange. Ideally, this would be placed at the back of the layout for easy reach. A straight into the fiddleyard (with another cassette connection) couldn't be ruled out, but the pointwork could be difficult. It was then suggested that the siding route into the building was pointing to the rear of the tunnel line and a sector plate suddenly occurred to us. This was developed for a while with more than tacit approval.
By now, we were all mentally exhausted, but we had a new plan to develop further, next week.