Allt-y-Graban is Bernie's first attempt at a P4 layout, and the opportunity has been taken to see how many model railway / toy train conventions, long accepted practices and habits can be ignored. This iconoclasm has undoubtedly led to “Too many knobs being twiddled at the same time”, and I will find out the hard way how few will have to be reinstated.
The layout was not built using the “Usual Methods”. The baseboards have no structural frames – the plywood is on the sides and ends only to protect the extruded foam slabs from damage.
Any future layout will probably dispense with the wood entirely and use 3mm plastic sheet around the foam. Track is Exactoscale Fastrack laid on Woodland Scenics foam underlay, fixed with Johnson’s Klear, as is the ballast. No PVA has been used - not anywhere on the layout.
There are several other unorthodox methods used around the layout. Control is by NCE Powercab and Procab. CT Elektronik DCX75 / SL75 decoders are becoming the standard. Points are worked by Cobalt motors via an NCE Switch-8.
Bernie acknowledges the help of the late and greatly missed John “Ruyton Road” Spencer for the splendid signal box, bridge and huge amounts of practical help, advice and inspiration.