“The Donut” is a large return loop module with 4 loops of decreasing radii. The 2 outer loops are run in opposite directions and are accessed from the single main line. They hold 3 whole trains each, so acts as 6 train storage system, operating on a first in, first out principle. The 2 inner loops are stand-alone and used for test tracks. These also ensure something can always be kept moving on the layout.The laser cut baseboards have been heavily modified where needed and all the track and turnouts is handlaid code 83, mostly built “in situ” to keep the flow of the track.
The turnouts are manually operated from microply harpstands with metal levers. Gaugmester Autofrogs power the turnout frogs and Tam Valley dual frog juicers are used for return loop polarity control.The name came from the first time it was set up – as it looked like a doughnut as is American. hence “Donut”! When the Y piece was grafted in to bring the loops to the single mainline it looked more like a lollipop, but by then the name had stuck! The scenery was added by getting a group of non-railway friends together to form a scenery “A team” and teaching them how to apply static grass, flock, and “plant” bushes and trees.