Saturday, May 25, 2024

Can an 'Inglenook Sidings' switching puzzle also be a Wargame?

A G-scale LGB Inglenook Sidings shunting layout. Making a Inglenook Sidings into a wargame by shunting military wagons.

One of the YouTube-channels I follow is the UK based Budget Model Railways, which I find very inspiring as this father and son Enterprise has a creative and inspiring approach to model railway to find good and cheap solutions. They're also into 3D-printing, and it might seem like they're in some degree are also into military modelling and motorcycles as well. -All the things that I like, so what is it not to like about their YouTube-channel? If you haven't visited it yet, I highly recommend you to pay them a visit.

Lately they have focused on shunting- or switching puzzles like the 'Inglenook Sidings' in different scales and gauges. -A type of shunting puzzle that really appeals to me for some time, but I've never made my own even if it's very very simple (just 2 switches and some track). Recently they made an 'Inglenook Sidings' in O gauge (1:43,5/1:45/1:48) while claiming larger scale might work better for higher ages, and it could be an 'investment in your hobby' to start early. This really hit me; I'm mainly into H0/00/H0e/009 scale/gauges, but after going into something that should only be a limited adventure into G-scale, I find myself doing more G-scale-stuff now than any of my other scales and gauges. Due to I had to remove my Garden Railway I had some tracks in spare. Highly inspired by the YouTube-video from BMR, I also wanted to try out an large scale Inglenook Sidings shunting puzzle.

What is an Inglenook Siding?

I don't assume that all the readers of this blog is familiar with model railways (becausesome of you might be here for the wargamingstuff), so first of all; what exactly is an Inglenook Siding shunting puzzle? An Inglenook Sidings is a very simple model railway switching puzzle invented or influenced by Alan Wright. It's  decipting a small yard of 3 tracks and a head shunt, made by only 2 switches/turnouts and some tracks. There are some rules how many wagons each track should hold, and how many wagons you should use. In it's classical form the Inglenook Sidings holds 3-3-5 wagons + head shunt of 3 wagon and a locomotive and it's played with 8 wagons and a locomotive. This gives 6720 different combinations to shunt your train in the right order. For even more information about the Inglenook Sidings, I recommend you to visit The Railways Shunting Puzzles Website, as this is the most complete on the theme.

My own improvised and very temporary Inglenook Sidings

After I lifted the tracks from my Garden Railway I actually had the tracks needed to make a simple Inglenook Sidings; 2 turnouts, some straight tracks and I even had a couple of buffer stops too. So while my wife was out of the house an afternoon I laid out the trackplan on the livingroom floor to see what it was like. It's possible to make a classic G-scale (IIm) Inglenook Sidings holding 3-3-5 wagons and it just measured 3,14 meters x 50 cm.
A G-scale LGB Inglenook Sidings shunting layout. Making a Inglenook Sidings into a wargame by shunting military wagons.
After the track was 'laid' it was too tempting not to try it, so I collected some of my large scale rolling stock which was easily available after  the last running session at a friends. To make a wagon-randomizer, I just took a photo of each wagon and printed them so I got 8 different 'wagon-cards' in a small deck to shuffle and randomly select.
A G-scale LGB Inglenook Sidings shunting layout. Making a Inglenook Sidings into a wargame by shunting military wagons.
And then the game could begin. These are photos from my very first Inglenook-operation session:
A G-scale LGB Inglenook Sidings shunting layout. Making a Inglenook Sidings into a wargame by shunting military wagons.
A G-scale LGB Inglenook Sidings shunting layout. Making a Inglenook Sidings into a wargame by shunting military wagons.
A G-scale LGB Inglenook Sidings shunting layout. Making a Inglenook Sidings into a wargame by shunting military wagons.
A G-scale LGB Inglenook Sidings shunting layout. Making a Inglenook Sidings into a wargame by shunting military wagons.
The locomotive is RC-operated by PIKO, and that controller is so slow so it gives a feeling of a heavy train taking time to brake and come to a halt. -So some planning is needed when shunting.

Since only using military wagons on this game, I imagine that this also in a certain extent also could be a wargame, as it's the shunting crew's mission to make up a specific military train in a specific requested order (usually decided by orders, dispatcher, destinations or where they are to be shunted later) to serve different units with their requested supplies along the line or in the front.
Battles are often fighting over the logistics. 

While operating, my youngest son, Nikolai, came along and did one operating session as well, and we had a great time together!

So, can an Inglenook Sidings shunting puzzle also be a 'Wargame'? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment-section below:

2 comments:

  1. Enjoyable post, great idea and an encouragement to have a go ourselves. It is a game , taking place during a war ( probably) with war materials so is a wargame.
    Alan Tradgardland

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my question.
    When my fellow MRC-members saw this, several of them wanted to make a similar as a 'club layout'. Many of them are, as you can see from my earlier post, into large scale trains and garden railways. Such a 'layout' could also easily be brought to exhibitions too.

    ReplyDelete

You may also be interested in: