It is not “cheating”, just theatre! Iain Rice would have approved; he helped out as a stage hand.
Ray and Cida Earl used to regularly exhibit an EM layout called Brookfield which had many of the attributes of Nick’s cameo. Read MRJ 142 if you can. The blind side of wagons were marked with white axleboxes so the operator could align them with blind-side markers for the uncoupling magnets (the layout was operated from the rear). You do not need to have a creative bent for theatre although it probably helps; Ray was a Chartered Engineer.
Well Done, Nick. You are continuing an EM tradition! Will you exhibit this?