We got soaked to the skin on the school run yesterday afternoon so I hung the coats up to dry in the garage and everything else that was wet went in the washing machine before also being hung up to dry.
The trouble is, while the washing was spin dried before going on the line, the coats were left dripping and I didn’t notice what they were dripping on.
Charlie has just tried running his trains and one of them picked up a gooey mess all over the front end. The coats have dripped onto the layout and dissolved the paste that was holding the ballast, creating what the real railway would describe as “wet beds” (poorly drained track where the ballast gets contaminated with clay).
Fortunately real wet beds don’t swell up in a jelly-like blob!
There’s no permanent damage done, the loco has been cleaned and the ballast smoothed out again, but it’s going to take a few days to dry out.
On the bright side, I now know that the track on Princes Road can easily be “unballasted” if I ever need to replace a section.