The first challenge was to fit a reasonable representation of Leicester Central station and also storage yards into a room 6m x 2.5m. Over a period of months I created a basic plan using my preferred software Anyrail.
Using the different layers in Anyrail I have views covering just the track plan, occupancy detectors, power zones and also accessory decoders for the points. Everything is planned out in detail.
The track libraries in Anyrail are comprehensive so Peco Code 100 is fully covered, but even my Shinohara Crossover is present. It’s all proved to be millimetre accurate. Printing the plan out in 1:1 scale on sheets of A3 paper allowed me to visualise the plan in actual size and it’s pinpoint accurate; a massive help when it comes to track laying.
The layout has 4 power zones and currently 12x Digitrax BDL168 covering detection in almost every area of trackwork. The plan above shows the location of every detection zone and the corresponding number programmed into the BDL168.
The reason that most of the layout is covered by detection is to enable the most effective results using the Traincontroller software. This means that a train can be set to start and stop at virtually any point on the layout. This will be described more in the DCC Blog posts.
The station area is on top and will be scenic, the lower half of the plan is the storage sidings and loco storage area. Almost all of the storage sidings can be accessed from either direction.
The loco storage area has been created just for fun, it’s not based on Leicester at all. It will however be scenic and will enable me to turn and store locos.