Nou Nădlac: an article

Layout photos below use my East German rather than Myles Rumanian stock.

I decided to build Nou Nădlac after a discussion with Myles about his layout for the March 23 exhibition. The layout is inspired by Nădlac station (above and below) but as it doesn't follow the prototype it was given the name Nou Nădlac (New Nădlac).

Planning          the line through Nădlac was a minor cross country line from Arad to Mezőkovácsháza built when both were in Hungry. In 1920 the Treaty of Trianon moved the Hungarian/Rumanian boarder westward cutting the line just west of Nădlac. A cross boarder service was not felt viable and the track west of Nădlac was lifted. There are plans to reinstate the lifted track between Nădlac and Battonya (see the line).
From Google Maps I realised the track had once extended beyond Nădlac Station. Research had picked up Salam de Nădlac a traditional pork sausage spiced with garlic, mustard, pepper, caraway and for conservation & tastes salt & sugar added. Maturation includes smoking and air drying, takes four to six months where it loses about 40% of its weight. It is traditionally smoked in summer with plum, mulberry, or beech sawdust. I had hoped the line ran to the sausage factory and feel rather diddled that it didn't!

A number of concepts were drawn from Nădlac. Historically the Rumanian railways built platforms by raising ballast to rail top height at Nădlac concrete sleepers were added (see the first two photos). There was a goods shed (above) and concrete panel fences (below).

Rumanian railways were much influenced by French Railways and have similar station buildings (below). I decided to use a suitable building I had in stock. As the photo below shows even the colour was correct!

Next I created and photographed mock ups of the layout and sent the photos (below) to Myles

Myles also received a track plan (below).

After some e-mail correspondents it was decided to lengthen the layout to seventy two inches to handle longer trains.

My next move was to build the baseboards (above) and lightly pin the points in place. The baseboard was built from in stock materials much off it recycled. The traverser rides on old rails soldered to copper paxalon sleepers pinned to the base board. I've tried a new approach with the front of the traverser liping on to the board hopefully making it easier to line up and not move when the trains run on and off. This was followed by a trip to Myles's to check that the trains fitted. It's good to check as the trains didn't fit. The traverser needed extending by two inches and the points moved to the right. At this stage the alterations took less than an hour. I decided to splash out and bought some one inch square timber to replace the rather mank recycled ply that formed the sides of the traverser and were now to short. I also got a few items from Addlestone Model Centre so the out of pocket cost of the layout was less than twenty quid.

Engineering     I laid the 3mm thick cork and Peco code 100 track that I pinned down in the normal fashion. The electrics are basic with a centre off switch controlling power to each track on the traverser and the rest of the track being permanently on. At the same time I was painting the back scene. As Nou Nădlac is on the Great Hungarian Plain there are no hills and very little on the skyline so the back scene was given the two coats of sky blue then I dry brushed white paint to give a misty and more distant look. This didn't work as well as I'd hoped possibly spray paint would have been better.

Scenery phase 1          the rails receive two coats of Humbrol 70 Brick to make them look rusty. Next are two coats of Humbrol 98 Chocolate to remove the sleepers' plastic sheen. The sleepers in the sidings were dry brushed with light gray paint to make them look as if they are rotting. The exposed ply was coated with a mix of cooked (to remove the bad smells) earth and sieved builders ballast glued down with 'modellers glue' watered down wood glue with a drop of washing up liquid.

Buildings         the station building is recycled from a French layout with station name board and adverts added before fixing in place. The goods shed is made from card with the sides painted and the roof veneered with Plastikard pan tiles & painted. The doors were made from Plastikard planking painted dark brown and the window frame is a Peco moulding sprayed white to remove the plastic sheen. The loading dock is made from card (Plastikard is to smooth) painted to look like concrete. Before gluing in place the goods shed and loading dock were weathered and the window glazed. The fence is Peco concrete fencing recycled from another layout like the prototype it's seen better days. The platform was a challenge as the prototype is recycled concrete sleepers laid on the ballast. I didn't have any recycled concrete sleepers and if laid on model ballast I felt the sleepers would be all over the place rather than a reasonably tidy platform. I therefore went for a wooden platform made from 'stirry stick'. I made panels of three planks glued together with off cuts. Next I joined the panels with more off cut. This was followed by yet more off cuts as the legs. I left the platform to go solid then gave it a couple of washes of brown paint to bring out the grain and glued it in place.

Scenery phase 2          next came ballasting the track with my own mix of Woodland Scenics fine ballast 60% light gray, 20% cinder, and 20% buff glued down with 'modellers glue'. This proved perplexing as the ballast has dried and the layout can be turned upside down and shaken but the ballast feels as if it could be easily rubbed off. I'm unsure how to respond. In the end I dumped a lot of modellers glue on the ballast, waited several days while it dried, then tidied up the ballast and added yet more glue - the ballast is now firm.  Ballasting was followed by recycled trees, bushes, and in stock flock all glued in place with 'modellers glue'. I then added flowers and weeds.

Details I added the people, animals, and on the loading dock crates, boxes, mini containers, barrows etc. Buffers are a Peco and two Hornby. The signal was made by Myles.

Operation        the layout is designed for two trains one on the traverser and the other normally on the station board. Passenger trains arrive and the loco runs round and the train departs. Goods and mixed trains are more interesting with wagons shunted to and from the goods sidings the train re-marshalled and depart. Myles is looking into the possibility of push-pull trains.