SORTEM
Shunting Puzzle

Sortem is a hands on shunting puzzle that can have 2 users each sorting out and putting their 9 trucks in the right Order. It has been tried out with the public as just a bare board with no scenery at the Linnet Clough scout technology camp and also at the Cheadle church one day hands on exhibition. It seemed to go down very well at both of those events and before it attends the 2017 Heywood Model Railway Group annual exhibition I will be adding some scenery to it. Progress on that can be seen below.
Although Sortem is actually 2 separate shunting systems I have added the two points in the head shunt so that I can use it at home and have it working as one integrated layout. The operation of these two points are from recessed switches on the side of the model that can be made inaccessible to shunters when the layout is being used by the public.


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A start on adding the scenery has been made.
Here the insulation foam has been cut to shape and glued in place. One of the two sections has been given a coat of green emulsion so that if any of the flock that will be added later comes off it will not show a bright yellow patch.
One of the two simple control modules that are on each side of the layout. The red buttons allow the user to select which of the 3 siding they use and the green ones operate the uncoupling units.
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Some further progress with the scenics on Sortem. Here the whole of the landform has been given an initial coat of light green then the ballast has been added to the track. On top of that multiple colours of flock powder in coarse turf has been added. Then the outside of the track area has been coated with finer grass flock powders of several different colours. once all the PVA has dried then the hillside can receive a similar treatment with course turf and bushes.
The hillsides have now received a coating of various flock powders and some small buildings have also been added.
Next items to add will be some small trees and some people that will also make it easier to spot the location of the uncouplers.
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What a difference a few trees make!
6 trees have been added at the head shunt end of the layout. They have been made from the "Woodland Scenics" realistic tree kit. The kit gives you enough armatures and foliage to create 6 trees. It has been necessary to shorten the larger ones so that they are not too high and the layout can still be folded for transportation.
The uncoupler positions have now been marked with loading gauges which should make it easier for users to line up the stock items to be seperated.
Here the two trains are in position ready for sorting to begin.
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For a short video trip on the layout click the link on the left.


Sortem will be at
Heywood Model Railway Group exhibition 18th and 19th of March 2017
Southport exhibition on Saturday the 29th of April 2017


This page updated 24th February 2017