This layout was built over about a month as a quick (relatively speaking) project to provide a simple display layout for the Bala Lake Railway stand at the 2019 Warley model show. The inspiration and design criteria are as follows:
- My first firing turn in Bala was in very snowy conditions on Alice (See: https://youtu.be/IQUOXNkB-AU )
- A walking trip to the Dinorwig slate tips in September 2019.
- Kathy Millat’s “snow and ice” series of YouTube videos (and yes she did get to see the result of my work in person).
- I like snow and have always meant to do a snowy layout.
- Easy to assemble (a few minutes).
- Packs away into the smallest space possible (a standard IKEA crate 39x28x28cm)
The layout is built using an aluminum frame and balsa wood for the track bed and foam-board backking, so is very lightweight. The scenery was built up using real slate waste for the tip, painted over with AK snow paste products. The single operational point is a prototype for a reduced size version of the Stub point design already used on Chwarel Cwm Bach 2.0.
The electrics are based on a single BBC Microbit which acts as both a servo driver for the point and as a PWM generator to drive the loco via a standard motor driver module. The Christmas tree is a not a permanent addition, it was put there just for fun!
Inspiration from September 2019: