It has been a long time since I have taken Rail3D seriously, and since that time my two previous layouts (West Rolling and Network em) have long since vanished from my hard drive following various reboots and a new machine. However, now armed with an 8 gig machine I am pleased to announce that my long hiatus is finally at an end.

Allow me to introduce 1500v, the working name for a network of routes I am building. The name naturally comes from the inclusion of a network of 1500v electrified routes. The original plan was for a layout based upon a section of the Woodhead route, however the linear nature of that route does not provide much scope for anything more than end to end running. So it has now evolved into the incarnation I am working on. The plan includes a 1500v network which has been integrated alongside a system of non-electrified routes. This allows for plenty of interchange of traffic between steam, diesel and electric at various pinch points on the route that I am planning to include. At present the route mileage is around 30 miles in total. There is a substantial amount of mechanical signalling and the route is set to feature a large amount of Lever Frames. As these are set to be quite complicated in places my intention is to produce working instructions for difficult boxes and also to produce a working timetable for the route.

As this is set to be a complex and potentially large layout the plan is to work on it and release it in stages. Phase 1 is to complete what I am calling the Coast and Estuary lines, which run from a large city in the west along to a large coastal town which features a relatively large dockland to provide goods traffic and a liner port and resort for passenger services. The city features a large commuter network and numerous industrial areas. Also planned for the route is a branch line to a fishing village which is host to numerous fast fitted freights and, as a wildcard, a motorway construction site which uses a standard gauge line for construction purposes, and will be fed by numerous goods trains. This route will require a number of purpose built structures, so I hope to add a number of new items to the Library for others to use for their own layouts.

Here are a few pictures just for people to sample a feel of the route.