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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would post the current design for my new layout here to see if anyone has any comments or suggestions as it is a bit isolated here as far as model railways go. I am currently waiting for building work to be completed on our house here in Spain which will result in me having a 10m x 7m area for my layout. The original layout was going to be in the garage but what with dust, cars and motorbikes that idea has been abandoned, so plan B. The layout is nowhere in particular but all the locos (with one exception) where to be found around Peterborough to Newark around the east coast main line. I have a few Deltics etc, set approx. June 1962. My main criteria is that trains exiting to the north return from the north. I have been involved with a permanent visitor attraction in Birmingham where I got to test out Digitrax, Cobolt point motors and Train Controller software so will probably go down that route although quite interested in the Megapoint servo controllers.

Anyway here is the plan, please fell free to ask questions and even constructively criticise if you feel the need

DaveH

 

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Welcome to the forum.

My first thought on seeing that plan was - given the space, why are you using curves of such small radius? I think it would look much better with curves of a metre radius or larger.

One further comment. If I had that space available I would be working in O gauge. This is something I would dearly love to do but don't have room.

Robert

P.S. 10m by 7m isn't a room, it's a dance hall !
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,

The curves are a minimum equivalent to Hornby radius 3 any bigger and they won't fit round the board ends. I had thought of just two runs rather than an E shape for the scenic areas but I would loose a lot of running space.

The garage space was going to be around 5m x 3m and the original layout from which much of the stock comes was a similar size in the UK, hence OO gauge. I'd love to take the opportunity to model in O gauge but I don't think swapping everything out would be acceptable to the other half now I have spent so much already.

Just hope the builder gets a move on then I can start building the baseboards. Not sure of the design yet. I say a great thin ply design like an aircraft wing but have since priced up plywood here in Spain - owch. I am thinking of an OSB board support on which I will put 40mm insulation board. I will make a test board up over the next few weeks and post it here for comments/suggestions.

Thanks for the input.

DaveH
 

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*** I concur with Robert. Its your choice of course but I do feel its just "Too much track for the space". I once built an S&C layout in a 20m x 13m room and even then there was only enough space for 3 stations and one industry to be done realistically - and they were STILL compressed in some areas!

I'd find a way to put the fiddle yards under the scenic areas and preferably increase the end radii by at least 50% - even doubling them if possible. No point smaller than medium Peco, long where possible.

Running, and appearance will be significantly better if you do, and the increased aisle spaces will be more benefit than you might imagine.

Your chosen prototype runs lots of long stock and trains - and there is no way for a passenger train to look even close to realistic otherwise.

Richard

- a full E withQUOTE (DaveH_Murcia @ 31 Aug 2015, 04:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi, The curves are a minimum equivalent to Hornby radius 3 any bigger and they won't fit round the board ends. I had thought of just two runs rather than an E shape for the scenic areas but I would loose a lot of running space. The garage space was going to be around 5m x 3m and the original layout from which much of the stock comes was a similar size in the UK, hence OO gauge. I'd love to take the opportunity to model in O gauge but I don't think swapping everything out would be acceptable to the other half now I have spent so much already. Just hope the builder gets a move on then I can start building the baseboards. Not sure of the design yet. I say a great thin ply design like an aircraft wing but have since priced up plywood here in Spain - owch. I am thinking of an OSB board support on which I will put 40mm insulation board. I will make a test board up over the next few weeks and post it here for comments/suggestions. Thanks for the input. DaveH
 

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So is 'the quarry' to enable the High **** ironstone branch to be modelled? There's a proper use for the O2s we are expecting from Heljan fairly shortly. Lucky man, you can also run the 'Aldwarke job' from High ****, the UK's only scheduled fully fitted express mineral train booked for a pacific, usually a Pepp A1 or a Gresley A3.

I will echo the advice on curve radius already given. I determined by experiment that for full size ECML trains to operate truly reliably I needed a 30" minimum radius curve, and the Peco medium or large radius points in all the running lines. If scale speed running is observed, even the DCC system tripping out will not cause derailment of any trains that happen to be on a curve. That becomes rather important on an extensive layout, you don't want to spend half an hour finding all the derailed vehicles after a DCC system trip.

Another aspect that I suggest needs to be reconsidered: it looks like your fiddle yards require 'duck under' accesses in order to reach them. How can I put this, duck unders very quickly become very tiresome. You have the length of run to make very slight gradients possible, the ECML's ruling gradient of 1 in 200 is quite possible. Model railway barely notices such a gradient (in fact many 'level' layouts will be found to have such gradients on them) yet with some careful planning these could enable you to have the fiddle yards underneath the layout as already suggested: try for below the front edges of the scenic sections.

I recommend the Kadee coupler for reliable auto uncoupling operation. Neat gesture toward something prototypical in appearance for the ECML, as the GNR started using the knuckle coupler from 1895.

And finally, do some careful thinking about the number and size of trains you will want to operate. Your plan shows what I estimate at roughly 80m of off scene storage in the fiddle yards.

My ECML operation covers the KX inner suburban area, and is similarly on the plan of all trains which go North eventually return going South. To make a decent stab at a full representation of the scheduled traffic I have a planned 32 train formation slots, and eventually 110 locos* to operate these; the operation starts out all steam, and moves forward in time through the diesel transition until the Brush type 4 appears (then it is reset to all-steam and starts again.) I don't take locos and stock off track but shunt them, as experience has proved this is the way to minimum damage and trouble; this matters when you have a large operation to maintain. That requires about 120 metres of off scene storage track, and there always needs to be a through road kept clear in any fiddle or sorting yard to enable both the traffic to flow and shunting to be performed.

(*In case anyone is curious, now at roughly 90% of plan, and mostly from RTR produced in the last 15 years. Shy a few steam loco classes, all of them relative 'rarities', the biggest gaps an A2/3, K2, J19, B16 and N5; need more ex-GNR design coaching stock, and the wagon stock needs significant augmenting with LMS design wagons to supplement my existing kit builds. I got lazy there, reasoning that Bachmann surely must 'press-on' and offer LMS designs in matching quality to their LNER opens and vans. But this looks increasingly unlikely.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses. I tried to avoid lower level fiddle yards because of access but in light of the comments I think it may be worth taking another look. On the plus side it would allow me to open up the curve radius at the left hand side as the prongs of the E could be further apart (wider aisles). It might also allow for the end of the middle prong to be expanded to enable those curves to be opened up too.

The main points on the scenic area are SL-E88 (right),SL-E89 (left) or SL-94 (double slip) (given to me for help with another layout).

At the moment I have around 30 operational locos split between steam and diesel. I am not planning to increase this much in the near future (although I am sure something tempting will come along). The trains are evenly split between passenger and goods. Most will be in fixed trains on a semi-permanent basis but it is still my intention to use Kadee couplers throughout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just a quick update with a revised track plan. The original post had fiddle yards top and bottom but after discussions with "her indoors" I have a further 5m space (not shown on plan) into which I have moved the top fiddle yard. This allows wider spacing of the main scenic areas as suggested by Richard. I have also taken the opportunity to expand the radius of curves in some places and removed the station from the middle prong of the "E". Unfortunately I still have to leave the bottom fiddle yard where it is for now. Spent some time today with a router and 40mm insulation foam with a view to cutting 5-10mm grooves into which the supporting woodwork can be slotted.

 

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*** You will enjoy that extra space - I had a friend start a large complex MRR with narrow aisles - by the time the scenery was done, what were seemingly OK aisles needed him (and most guest operators) to breathe in somewhat when traversing them as the waistlines had expanded during the long construction time :).

Amusing to watch when the guy furthest from the entry needed to exit.

Richard
 

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Dave,

You have an interesting project and I wish you well with it. Looks like operations could be very enjoyable.

I do have one question though ........... the return through route starting on the "southern fiddle yard board", then running direct to the "goods yard" board at the top appears to have an out and back configuration. This duplicates the out and back of the route that runs through the stations. In practice I would imagine you running trains in both directions through the stations and using the through, no stations route as part of that circuit. Why do you need to also run trains out and back on the through, no stations route?

This is just me thinking about your plan but there is potential here to simplify the "southern fiddle yard" trackwork and at the same time enhance the number of storage tracks in that area plus ease all the curves.

Of course, you may have an operational model in mind that requires the track plan as shown in which case my thought become redundant.

Best regards ............. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Greyvoices,

Thanks for the comments. The main line route using the two big stations going past the engine shed is my representation of the ECML. The idea of the double track that heads to the single small station on the bottom left is that it is a secondary route. In practice a big chunk of it from near where it says quarry to around the point where it says "Track rises to left" at the top will be hidden. My idea is to have trains stop in the tunnel before reappearing some time later. Something like a train leaves Peterborough for Newark via Nottingham and comes back to the ECML at Newark. Mainline goes to Grantham then Newark. Really it is just for additional operational interest and somewhere to run my small DMUs.

I am looking again at the issue raised by others in respect of the fiddle yard. I have drawn up a revised plan where the southern fiddle yard is underneath the layout allowing me to spread a little. It also gives me more fiddle yard space too. I just need to investigate further if this will give me more access and build issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Whilst the track plan is ongoing I have been having a further look at the baseboard design. In the UK I would probably use plywood but here in Spain it's mega expensive. The new layout is going to go in the attic once the builder has put on a new roof increasing the available height in the process (it's only 1.25m at the moment and not insulated). I am trying to keep weight down, so am planning to build the baseboards using 15mm OSB for the long support sections with 12mm OSB for the cross sections. I then plan to use 40mm insulation board as the surface. This will have 10mm deep slots routed into the underside so the OSB cross frame goes into the insulation board. Can anyone think why this won't work?

I have made a mock up out of card to show what I mean, se pictures.





 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not sure if this is progress but the picture below shows what will be the train room (once it gets a new roof). Just hope it doesn't rain any time soon!

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, I thought I would post a quick update. Needless to say my builder keeps getting dragged off the job to do other things so progress on the layout build is zero.

I have revised the plan somewhat. I should point out that curves are a minimum of Hornby radius 4 but will be more gentle in places once I come to mark out full size. Now the space actually has a roof and walls I have been able to measure the actual size available (hence some modifications to the plan). The Northern fiddle yard is not shown but is located under the centre section of the E shape and is by far the biggest.

Anyway here is the current version of the plan. The blue dots are the train detection areas.



Oh and just because I can, here is a picture of the (disused?) turtable at Murcia station here in Spain.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just thought I would post a quick update to my project. The builder has finally finished what will be the model railway room (although he is still on site). The room has some minor painting, electrical and cosmetic bits to finish off before it is ready to start layout building. Since my last post I have made a test incline to check that all my trains will go up the proposed inclines to/from the lower fiddle yard and, where appropriate, over the branch line which has a slightly steeper gradient. The only things stopping me getting going are 30+ deg C heat upstairs at the moment and the fact I am off on a motorbike trip for a month. So it looks like building will start properly in September. I have been reading other posts and am still thinking of installing DCConcepts poerbase on the climbs (1:80 and 1:60) just in case - any thoughts?

Anyway a couple of pics of the room.



 

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That looks great...


David
 

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QUOTE (DaveH_Murcia @ 23 Jun 2017, 19:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have been reading other posts and am still thinking of installing DCConcepts poerbase on the climbs (1:80 and 1:60) just in case - any thoughts?From the size of the room I expect you will be running quite long trains, so on that basis alone I would use powerbase.
My gradients are 1:33 but then I can only run 3-coach trains at best.
 

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Mine are 1 in 33 as well and climb 132mm.

a 4-4-0 is a bit weak but Hornby B1 takes it easily as do 8 coupled anything, nothing wrong with powerbase in fact my Q1 tank hauled 23 Wrenn wagons up the grade my best performer but hauling 12 modern wagons/5 coaches is an easy job.
 

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Hi

I would use powerbase if in any doubt, it is not that expensive and you don't want to lay the track and then find you need it. I have a couple of video's on my Thornton layout posts that show the effect.

Derek
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well the motorbike trip was cut short for various reasons so I am back in Spain earlier than anticipated. At well over 30 deg C most days you can't get a lot done but I have made a start on the baseboards. In the end I settled on steel framing (70mm stud wall C section) with OSB 3 tops. The pics show my simple jig for making the basic upright frames. I also have a jig on the cross-cut to make sure all the steel is cut to the same lengths. You may notice on the 3rd pic that some sections have 3 steel joing rails and some have 4, this is to make sure I don't have omega sections where there will be points. The legs have wooden blocks inserted with laminate flooring sections attached to stop them digging in to the laminate flooring proper. I have also squeezed a small amount of silicon sealant under each leg just to help keep it in place although it does all seem pretty solid. Anyway a few pics of construction just to keep this blog updated. As usual any suggestion much appreciated.







 
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