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Navigators Model Railway Group

Established 2013 with more than 150 years experience!

Frustration Halt:  I acquired this layout as an ongoing project from the Sheila Simner, widow of a long standing Professional Engineer, Peter Simner who spent  42 years working in the Civil Service.  Sheila tells me that Peter was a prolific builder of things from furniture to model railways.  Certainly, this layout would have been a beauty had Peter been given the opportunity to complete it.  

With the help of friends Frank Hartfree and Mike Sheppy, we journeyed to Orpington to dismantle the layout, transporting it from a garage setting to its new custom built loft conversion.  Reassembling baseboards was relatively simple, save that intricate point work overran board joints.  The layout had been wired for DC operation with points being contact operated.

The layout measure approx. 18’ x 8’.  Baseboards are standard fibreboard on ply over a 2x1 softwood frame.  Everything is glued and screwed.  Hand built track and point work is pinned to cork underlay.

Despite following detailed wiring diagrams we failed in our attempts to champion the DC operation.  After many hours spent looking and testing, including at least two days borrowed time with an Electrical Engineer, we admitted defeat and decided that we would need to rewire.  This decision then lead to a second decision DCC or DC.  We decided to go the route of DCC as this would match much of the stock that I held.  

The following is a brief diary of what we have done in the hope that this will inspire other to follow in our footsteps. Please feel free to ask questions / make comment.

Andrew Klimaytys

The Layout

Track work

DCC Conversion