And of course the best laid plans of mice and men turned into frustration.

Frustration and wasted time

I managed to set aside most of the afternoon of Day 3 so I was hopeful that I would get all the wiring done but, to do that, I needed a drill, the right drill-bit and my soldering iron.

Of course, I couldn’t find the drill I wanted to use but that was ok, I had two others I could use. Yes, a hammer-drill is a little overkill but any port in a storm.

But then I realised that overkill didn’t really matter because I couldn’t find the drill bit I needed. I could find plenty that I didn’t need but the one that was right for the job was nowhere to be found. Frustration!

Even if I had found the drill-bit I would still have been frustrated because I then discovered that I couldn’t find my soldering iron. I could find the solder and the flux but the soldering iron must have been hiding in the same place as that elusive drill-bit.

I was totally pissed off with myself but the afternoon wasn’t entirely wasted because, while sitting there looking glumly at the layout, I began thinking about what industries my narrow gauge railway would service and this is what I came up with.

Not totally wasted

Apart from the required goods shed (freight house) there will be an aggregate dump at the left front that will ship loads out in open wagons. Loading will require nothing more than a skid-steer loader or similar piece of equipment.

Behind that dump will a shed for items being shipped into the quarrying company that ships the aggregate.

While the sign … that you can’t read … in the middle rear says ‘station’ it’s only going to be a very simple shed/office because there is no passenger service … not unless I expand the layout in the future and buy/build a carriage or two.

This kit of the office block at Culcairn in NSW from Model Train Buildings caught my eye at the Brisbane exhibition and I think that it’s going to look good as the ground-level ‘station’ building.

The siding at the back/right of the layout is going to be the engine servicing area so there will be some simple buildings there … maybe an open-sided shed and a disused wooden coaling platform left over from the days of steam.

The third siding from the front/right will be for loading fruit into covered vans. While many fruit loading points around the country had some sort of shed and/or cover over the siding there were some where the produce was loaded direct from the back of trucks and that’s what will happen here.

The second siding from the front/right will have a pedestal crane for unloading machinery and heavy loads the siding nearest the front siding on the right will serve the goods shed.

I stuck “labels” on those sidings to help me get a better visual impression of how the track layout would work and it’s also giving me an idea of how much rolling stock I’ll need to operate the layout.

That helped ease the frustration of not being able to find those items and kept me going till Day 4 when I could get down to the hardware store and replace the items I couldn’t find.

Day 4 in a hardware store

And what happened to the rest of my spare time on Day 4? When was the last time you were able to walk into a major hardware store, pick up the items you were looking for and be out inside five minutes?

There are just so many interesting things to look at in any hardware store …