Phase I

The Carolina On30 Conspiracy was an On30 modular club started by Andrew Gillette. On the Palmetto Division Southeast Region NMRA Carolina Conspiracy sub-page it reads .. “The Carolina Conspiracy is an On30 modular club. Our goal is to be able to take our modules to several regional train shows each year and spread the good word of On30 modeling. Our members model everything from Maine two footers to Carolina swamp loggers to the Owens Valley of California to the Klondike in Alaska. Our current members range from across the two Carolinas and Georgia. Our modules are built to the standards of the Texas Outlaws and California Central Coast groups whom we hope to be able to set up with at some point. Contact info:
Andrew Gillette

Andrew was a Deputy Sherriff with the Sumter, SC Police. He was killed in the Line of Duty on February 25, 2020.  RIP my friend.

We displayed our modules at the the 2011 National Narrow Gauge Convention in Hickory NC .. Andrew was not there as he was at the time in the US Air Force and was on active duty overseas. On my return I put my two modules up on the wall of my bedroom as a small shelf layout where they have stayed ever since.

Since the two modules were intended to be part of other modules there was only a single siding with the coke ovens the focal point aong with the bridge crossing the river. The On18 track above was added for interest.

Phase II

I mounted the modules against one wall of my bedroom leaving a 28″ space for a 90° leg to form a L-shape layout. This was an attempt to add some operation but really ended up more as an “Operating Diorama” due to the limits of space. That’s fine as this is my first layout and I have used it to learn the hobby.

I found myself focusing on the short leg while bemoning the lack of space to do what I have come to really love and that is the scenery and structures. The original module area was ignored for the most part although I did detail some areas.

Phase III

I removed the coke ovens and track to from the left side of then ovens. The intention is to put a small yard in that area. I looked at some of the ways people have made small switching layouts such as the ‘Time Saver’ and ‘Inglenook Sidings’ and I think I have come up with a track plan. This will also allow me to add more structures.

I have Fast Track jigs for #5 switches coming .. so more on that later.

Inglenook Sidings

The Rules & Operation are explained at Inglenook Sidings Rules & Operation. There a bit down the page it states … “The challenge of fulfilling this shunting order is linked to the fact that some advance thinking is required – due to the fact that there is limited space available to juggle around the rolling stock, as determined by the lengths of the individual sidings and the headshunt. What looks like a simple task can thus provoke quite a bit of headscratching.”
It seems to me that given the small space I have that this might very well work for me. In addition there is the Inglenook Sidings Layouts & Variations.

Rules & Operation

The object of the Inglenook Sidings shunting puzzle is fairly simple, the order for the shunting crew being (translated from British to American English):
Form a departing train consisting of 5 out of the 8 wagons railcars sitting in the sidings.
In addition (and this is where the “game element” of the puzzle comes in) the shunting switching order states: – “The 5 wagons railcars are selected at random.
On the original Inglenook Sidings, Alan Wright employed what he called the “Tiddlywink Computer” for this task, i.e. distinct tokens for each wagon railcar drawn from a mug. No matter how these 5 items of rolling stock are determined, the order in which this happens is important because: – “The train must be made up of the 5 wagons railcars in the order in which they are selected.

In the diagram above the switcher is on the main. Let’s label the sidings as A and B (top to bottom). The main siding holds 5 cars while each of the sidings hold 3 cars.

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