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Hello and welcome to my new thread about my Chinese HO exhibition layout - BEIJIAO.

Some of you may remember that I had a previous thread which ran to 11 pages, but that was seriously compromised when Photobucket withdrew photo sharing rights and so I have stated afresh.

My layout is set in northern China in 2004, is 26ft x 10ft and intened purely for exhibition use.

It has an 18 road fiddle yard and the senic section is 20ft x 3ft.......



The scenic section is split into three distinct sections ....

1. A predominately steam operated industrial line at the back - shown in black on the trackplan

2. A double track China Rail line through the middle of the layout which is purely diesel powered

3. A bi-directional 'provincial railway' which connects to China Rail at a passenger station and freight yard off-scene to the left. This line still uses steam but is in the process of dieselisation.

All of these features could be seen in China in 2004.
 

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I'm using flickr - it's free!

I'm not sure if I'm getting the best out of it, but you can use the BB code (whatever that is!) and insert it into the thread - I find that that also generates some text on the screen but by deleting some of the code I can loose that.

Allow me to explain ...... here is that same image just uploaded... via Insert : Center ... it includes unwanted description, my name etc

Scenic section by PAUL STAPLETON, on Flickr

By experimenting I have learnt how to delete that unwanted text as in ....

 

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Hello (Paul?),
Thanks for starting again, it really is a most impressive layout!
I do admire you for modelling such a far off railway but one that is quite fascinating, especially at this time period. I presume you have visited China then?
How do you cope with the Chinese alphabet? I follow Greek railways and their characters are hard enough, to me - Chinese characters are just gobbledygook! I don't mean any insult by that, it's my slight dyslexia at fault!
Cheers,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello John

Firstly, yes it's Paul.

Secondly , yes, pleased to be back on MRF. It will take time but I will try to bring everyone up to date - eventually!

Thirdly, yes, I've been to China to photograph steam trains from 1993 to 2015 - about 15 times.

Lastly, I have a few railway friends with Chinese wives and so translation is not a problem.
 

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Great Subject I am Sure there was another Modeler on Here doing Chinese, In Relation to Uploading I dumped my Photobucket account about 2 months ago and Ended with a Flickr Account and Yes it is free It has a few Quirky things But once you have learned the Process it is Simple for people like me. Babs
 

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Actually - if I may interlude - paul do you have any knowledge of Chinese diesel models?. Specifically I am looking for a DCC Sound decoder for this Bachmann China model

128 DF11 Pioneer Blue / Cream DF11 - 0128

I saw on some sites there was a DXDC decoder ref 5303 here http://www.digsight.com/English/5303.html

But they seem to have disappeared and had some varying quality control issues. My option is to buy a know decoder but then try to find ound files for the DF11
Cheers
 

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Progress continues to be made - our first public exhibition will be at Bristol on May 4/5/6 - we hope to meet many of you there.

I am adding an open air gym area to the market ...



Here is a photo of a real Chinese industrial railway that was an inspiration for the layout............

 

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Apologies for lack of updates. Have just been soooo busy!

The layout has now been to two exhibitions : Bristol in May last year and Stevenage in Jan 2019. Each time it improves as we learn more about how best to run it - it is too big to set up at home so only runs at exhibitions!

Our next show is Fareham OCT 5/6 this year.

Here is a photo from Stevenage ....

 

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It was very interesting to see this layout at the CMRA St Evenage show earlier this year. Very different, and I wish that more time
had been available for a second look (I was called away, story of my life at present).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
QUOTE (34C @ 2 Jul 2019, 08:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It was very interesting to see this layout at the CMRA St Evenage show earlier this year. Very different, and I wish that more time
had been available for a second look (I was called away, story of my life at present).

Thank you 34C.

Both exhibition outings have been stressful for the operators and several operational features have, so far, never been attempted. One of the biggest issues (literally) is that the layout was far too big to set up in our old house/garden. There are twelve boards altogether and we could just about get three up at any one time for testing. Whilst we several times hired a local church hall and set up the entire layout for two days at a time, these sessions were for work and testing rather than full blown operating sessions. Consequently Bristol exhibition was our very first fully blown operating session!

One major issue has been the lack of route selection. There are at least 25 routes that trains can take and with each point control on the Digitrax handset needing four button pushes changing routes manually took time and effort. Some routes require up to 10 point changes - that's up to 40 button pushes!

Our tame DCC expert had three attempts at introducing route selection - all failed. My operating crew gave me an ultimatum - no route selection equals no operators for our next show at Fareham in October.

A move to a bigger house in order to gain more modelling space has resulted in a garden area which can just accommodate the whole layout - a huge advantage for testing.

IMG_20190630_155701 by PAUL STAPLETON, on Flickr

My original DCC expert has had to drop out due to health issues but a DCC expert living 400 miles away and a professional IT engineer (non-modeller) living 500 yards away have combined to programme the software - so now we have route selection! Selecting any of the 25 routes now involves two or a maximum of three button pushes and takes four seconds.

RESULT -

1. Happy operators!
2. The opportunity to fully exploit all the operating features which are built into the layout.
3. Now looking forward to Fareham exhibition!
 

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Scenic section by PAUL STAPLETON, on Flickr

I will try to explain the extra features we can now easily incorporate.

The parallel red lines are a double track China Rail (diesel) main line - left hand running as in the UK - and a bi-directional (steam) regional railway which starts out parallel to the main lines but then swings away at the right hand side. There is a major freight yard off scene to the left serving both the China Rail and regional lines.

At Bristol and Stevenage we were basically restricted to running these lines in the simplest roundy-roundy way - anything else was just too time-consuming to set up as we need constant movement on the scenic section.

New operating possibilities......

1. The passenger train on the bi-directional can change direction in the Fiddle Yard - IN anti-clockwise, OUT clockwise
2. Anti-clockwise China Rail trains can now change onto the bi-directional line in the fiddle yard and enter the scenic section as if coming from the freight yard and snake across the two mainline crossovers back onto the anti-clockwise China Rail line and back into the same original fiddle yard road.
3. Clockwise China Rail trains can use the scenic section crossover to run onto the bi-directional line and depart to the freight yard - and then back into the same original fiddle yard road
4. Steam powered mixed freights on the bi-directional line can change direction in the fiddle yard to give that line more variety. The China Rail tracks have five trains in each direction, whereas the bi-directional regional railway only has five trains - period! So by changing locos and direction the two mixed freights will appear to be four - I hope that makes sense!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Since my last post we have attended two exhibitions - Fareham in October and Warley in November. Both were quite stressful.

I have a BIG problem - literally - the layout is 26ft x 10ft!!!!

Since a house move 14 months ago I no longer have easy access to a close-by church hall and so that means the layout can only be run/tested at exhibitions - hence the issues at Fareham and Warley! But we learnt lessons at Warley and have been working 24/7 to sort out the issues.

Our next show is Aly Paly in March and we now think we have tackled all the problems and that at Aly Paly and beyond things will be much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here is a video taken at Warley by a professional YOUTUBER from Germany.

Unfortunately we were having some operational issues in the fiddle yards and so you see the same trains more often than I would like. We have solved those problems now and so the layout will perform much better at Aly Paly and beyond.

So the layout you see here is not as good as I wanted to be by now - but it gives you a flavour of the layout wit will be one day - hopefully!

 
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