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So a new layout dawns! I will soon be starting construction of "Etruton". The name being a mix of Etruria and Wolstanton. The layout will be built to a modern image specification however, allowing operation from 1960s onwards as by this point the local mainline had been electrified. Based upon the pits of the North Staffordshire coal field I intend to take the best features of particular mines in the area and combine them in to a 4mm scale model. The layout will feature a working pit and I will be engineering a workable cage that will bring tubs out of the ground.This will form part of a perspex fronted display case I am aware that traditional Staffordshire collieries were very deep pits. Mine will be a scale 230ft. The story being that due to the local pottery industry, the land is not available to open cast and the resources unworkable from other mines in the area due to geographical faults. It is my intention to build the layout to exhibition standard and will be DCC in operation. This will be my first step into scratch building buildings for the layout as in my opinion there is nothing "ready to plonk" available. For rough dimensions, the layout will be 9 meters long or 30ft in old money. The boards will be constructed in such a way that they stack into the smallest possible space. I will have nowhere at home to erect the layout in its entirety so will be building the layout in "chunks" and testing in a spare building at work (subject to allowance!). The boards will be constructed out of 9mm ply for rigidity. The basic overview of the track plan will be a 2 track mainline to the rear of the layout curving through the scene with the colliery complex and exchange sidings to the front. I don't intend on having masses of track Rolling stock in use will primarily be HAA hoppers but I am intending on purchasing a number of 16t steel mineral wagons as I believe these were still in use until the late 80s before HEAs took over house coal. I am going to have a play around later on XTrckCad and produce a track plan which hopefully I will be uploading later. Progress will be slow over the next month or so with the run up to Xmas but I plan on starting the buildings as soon as possible.