ChineseModelTrains.com - Model Projects
First Layout - Bailong 2000 - 2006
The Bailong railway was my first attempt at building a Chinese layout that taught me everything there was on how not to build a layout! Without very much planning, some baseboards using chipboard surfaces were used, supported by timber A-frames. The external dimensions were approximately 6 meters x 1.2 meters at it's widest point. It was based on a fictional area in the north east of the country.
The control system was simple DC and the track was essentially a long double track loop with a banking station in the center, used to attach locomotives to the back of a train to help push the train over the top of an imaginary hill. The rear section of the loop was hidden and used for staging and storage of rolling stock. There was a pair of hills at each of the layout to give the impression of ahilly section of track. There were a few spare sidings for industry.
Rolling stock was very limited during this years with only one major manufacturer, Bachmann China. New items were put out at a fairly slow pace and many of the models I was interested in simply didn't exist. This made scratch-building and kit-bashing American, European or Australian models to represent Chinese stock a necessity. The steam crane above was kit-bashed from a Tichy Trains 120 ton crane kit and the flat car below was an Australian flatcar which was painted and had Chinese decals applied. Road vehicles used were from a range of manufacturers and chosen to be as close as possible to what I saw in China.
At the time of building my layout, I had visited China to see the working steam locomotives in winter and wanted to incorporate a number of things I had seen at the time. The main feature was that it would be a winter layout, which is no easy feat to achieve to a realistic standard.
Demise of Bailong
After a few years, structural problems developed from insufficient support and expansion of the chipboard. After months of battling to rectify the situation, it soon became obvious I was flogging a dead horse and a good modeling friend and I came to the conclusion it would be best to scrap the layout and start a fresh with a much better foundation, DCC control and a far greater and interesting track layout. The salvage of accessories and some track took approximately 2 weeks.