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We have been doing quite a bit of work behind the scenes in the last few weeks to make CF easier to shift and exhibit - especially as we have Ally Pally coming up in less than a fortnight. We have a truly massive fiddle yard board at the back that has undergone a weight & width reduction programme. It is now 10kg lighter and a bit narrower. Our bespoke barrier is now screwed together, making it much more robust and unlikely to fall apart in transit. And silly things like a lifting hook and lifting bar are now properly located in storage pockets in the box they relate to. All of these minor changes can save valuable minutes when erecting and dismantling the layout.
Scenically, I expect Richard Wilson will have been working on his excellent block of shops at the south end of the layout. Elsewhere, it is often the minor details that have a significant effect. The trough in Belle Isle next to Copenhagen Junction signal box has been very empty for too long. It now has a representation of the point rodding, signal wire stanchions and a couple more telegraph poles. The rodding is not to the standard of many 2mm layouts and is made from PECO trackpins and brown cotton. Not particularly impressive, but it is a technique that survives well in our hands and certainly obeys the 4' rule. I think this railway 'clutter' makes a big difference to the ambience, even with no engines in view.