I started doing some layout planning in the APA box.
Basically this is playing with some point (switch) templates, some track and some stock to see what might be possible. Lots of fun 🙂
There’s not a lot of space, the plywood base is roughly 650mm (25.5 inch) long x 300mm (12 inch) wide.
Yet people have created great layouts in these boxes. I am very impressed by Geoff Potter’s ‘Deer Valley Vegetables’ On18 (O-9) layout. Geoff has managed to include an oval of track inside the APA !
(There’s a video of Geoff discussing the layout here, start at 7 minutes 57 seconds for Geoff’s interview.)
To create an oval I reckon I’d need to use 5 inch (127mm) radius curves. That’s sharp – even if it is On18 or O-9.
A quick test showed that short, four wheel wagons fitted with Peco 009 couplings will go round this radius with no problems. I was surprised and impressed !
Next I tried a couple of Kato N gauge chassis. These are the workhorses under many On18 / O9 locos.
The Kato 11-104 and 11-107 chassis negotiated the curves with no problems.
Perhaps, the 11-107 (on the right) will be slightly better because it’s a bogie chassis. This gives less chassis overhang on the tight curves. That may lead to better coupling alignment.
I’m encouraged by these tests.
I think it might be possible to have an oval of track and a shunting puzzle….