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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

So - I had enough of N Gauge (can I change my username?
). There were too many compromises as far as I was concerned. I attended exhibitions and saw sound locos running around with reliable automatic uncoupling and thought - I can't really achieve that in N gauge, at least not with my skill level (which is basic). The level of detail on OO RTR stock was also shouting out at me whenever I saw a trade stand.

As a result, I took the drastic (and I thought expensive) step of selling my quite considerable N gauge collection on eBay and decided to put the funds back into a new OO gauge layout.

Now I'm limited on space. I'm not lucky enough to have a railway room (yet <smiles at SWMBO>) and so anything I build has to fit in the wardrobe at the end of an operating session. Luckily, it's a big wardrobe. The baseboards that I had constructed for my two previous N gauge attempts were sound and sturdy, and so most of the previous setup has been saved. The new layout 'Clifton Depot' (working title, named after the village I live in) will be built on three baseboards, all measuring 99cm by 50cm, placed end to end giving me a run of just under three meters by half a meter.

The track plan has taken a lot of work. I looked at plenty of depot/MPD/TMD type layouts and eventually came up with this...



Thank you to those on the forum who helped me come up with this - I'm happy with and think it has plenty of potential. At the end of the day, 3m by 0.5m is never going to have long trains sweeping through the countryside (that's the plan for the next layout
) but this suits me well - I enjoy collecting locomotives and wagons but have never really caught the carriage bug, and don't like purchasing teems and teems of the same wagon to make a long train anyway!

Clifton Depot is a modern image locomotive stabling/repair point as well as a wagon works - that way I can buy just about whatever I want (we'll almost certainly have some steam visitors!) and the location will be flexible.

I have set myself a few rules, the two most important of which are that all the locos on Clifton will have sound and everything will have Kadees fitted.

To explain the plan a little -

At the back of the layout in dark green there will be a single platform terminus station.

Red is a fuel point, while purple is a locomotive wash plant. The yellow squares are permanent under-track uncoupling magnets for the KDs. I'm not set in stone with these locations and open to suggestions (as with anything in fact!).

Light green is a little flight of fancy - I saw a wagon traverser on a layout not long ago and knew I had to have one. I have already purchased the Heljan example.

Orange is the wagon/locomotive repair shop - I only plan on modelling the front end of a larger shop.

The long spur at the back runs behind the backscene and forms a very basic fiddle yard. I plan on using loco lifts or possibly a cassette style system. Something I learned early with my N gauge plans is that a board this size can't sacrifice too much space to 'backstage' areas.

So I set to work in the garage with my basic woodworking skills, and came up with this...if you enjoy looking at beautifully constructed benchwork as seen in many threads here, please look away now. It's not pretty, but it's light (ish) strong and very practical. It also stores quite neatly when not in use. The boards latch together and have alignment dowels. The trestles are B&Q's own, very strong and have a multitude of uses. The whole thing assembles in less than 5 minutes.











The transfer table is only in for test fitting, it's not fixed down yet.

I also wanted to share this - I purchased it from Sora Showcases, and while it was a PITA to assemble, the end result is worth it...



See Sora Showcases

On display is my currently meager OO rolling stock collection. Loving the sound on both of these locos - next on the shopping list is an EWS 08, probably from Olivia's.

I've decided to treat myself to a ESU ECoS when the colour screen version arrives (my NCE is great, but I find the functions on sound locos a bit clunky, and very much like the interface on the ECoS having tried a friend's). This may seem extravagant for such a small layout, but what the hell! Am also going to try DCC operation of the points (probably using the NCE Switch8) which will be switched using Tortoises. All track will be Peco Code 75.

If you've stayed with me to the end of this ramble - I thank you, and welcome comments!
 

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Hello.
You seem to have thought everything through pretty well. All very logical. You're not Vulcan by any chance are you ?

Those showcases seem very good.They look to be very strong. You say they were a pain to put together. Were the instructions not up to the mark ?
Looking forward to seeing how you get on. I model in OO gauge myself. I would find N gauge just to small for my liking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Tony - no I'm not Vulcan - the son of a Vulcan pilot though.

The cases are strong - but they consist of around 20 pieces of perspex and the instructions consist of ONE diagram! The whole thing is bolted together with tiny nuts and bolts - the result is very few things to block the view but boy are they fiddly!

Thanks for posting
 

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Hi James,

Well done on the move to 00. The space benefits of N are very compelling, but although I've never dabbled in it, I've just felt it's somehow too small. Silly reason, but there it is.

QUOTE (N Gauge James @ 19 Dec 2009, 21:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>[...]
if you enjoy looking at beautifully constructed benchwork as seen in many threads here, please look away now. It's not pretty, but it's light (ish) strong and very practical.
[...]
I think you're doing yourself down -- those boards look spot on to me. I also like the B&Q trestles, although it does help to have a lovely flat screed garage floor, of course...

As for space, here's a tip: leave the silver car outside! Didn't anyone tell you that railway modellers who own double garages are actually banned by law from keeping cars in them?


Cheers,

Tom

PS: Mention of your father's profession reminds me I must (1) renew my VTTS membership and (2) get to see '558 next year!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies.

Tom - I could never leave the cars outside, my other hobby is car detailing - the state that they're in present with the freezing weather is causing me great pain!

Good to see support for the Vulcan - Dad checked his logs a while back to see if XH558 was there - and indeed it was, as well as XF426 that resides at Southend airport and XJ824 at Duxford. He remembers breaking XF426 while flying transatlantic and getting stuck in the States as the yanks struggled to fix it!

Thanks for the kind words about my baseboards, I think the camera is flattering me - as is the coat of paint!
 

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A little update from me after the snow stopped me getting out!

The boards have been given a coat of black paint on the backs and fronts to try and make them look a little more presentable.

I decided to concentrate on the transfer table board - primarily because I'm waiting for point decoders to arrive and this board doesn't have any points!

So I fixed in the transfer table using the supplied fixings (quite pleased with these - it can come out any time it's necessary).

I installed the NCE power panel and also a socket for a 12v DC PSU. I then ran two buses round the boards - one DCC using 32/0.2 equipment wire and the other for the 12V DC using 7/0.2. Did my best to keep everything neat!



The transfer table is very easy to wire up, connect the whole lot to the DCC bus and it's DCC ready out of the box - all runs off the DCC throttle. The control box was fixed to the underside of the boards using velcro. That way it's still easy to calibrate the bridge at the start of each session. I added the four roads that will run into the half relief maintenance shed.

I made a little video of it all working - please excuse the quality, it's taken using my digital camera, think I need to head out and get a camcorder!

Transfer Table on You Tube

Overall view of the Transfer Table from Heljan/Wathers:

Good points:

Excellent DCC integration
Easily fixed in place (when you've got the hole right, see below)
Generally good indexing
Fairly well made - although my sensors have both needed to be reattached
Good user manual

Bad points:

The cutting template is simply too small for mine, it needed an extra cm all round!
Circuit boards/wires visible in the operator's hut
Toy-like deck lights which are WAY to flimsy
Calibration is hard on anything other than spotless rails
No sound
Expensive
 

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I think the video is great. Thanks for posting it.

David
 

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Dan - sorry, missed your reply over Christmas.

Fair enough about the motors, that's a good reason. Just so long as it wasn't a partner or teenage child wanting to access the cars without going outside, or anything silly like that! Coh!


As for your old man, what a legend! When most of us observe, "Oh cock, I broke it..." it relates to a domestic appliance or modelling tool, not a four jet, delta-winged bomber! Happened to pass XF426 the other day as it happens.

Cheers,

Tom

QUOTE (N Gauge James @ 20 Dec 2009, 21:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for the replies.

Tom - I could never leave the cars outside, my other hobby is car detailing - the state that they're in present with the freezing weather is causing me great pain!

Good to see support for the Vulcan - Dad checked his logs a while back to see if XH558 was there - and indeed it was, as well as XF426 that resides at Southend airport and XJ824 at Duxford. He remembers breaking XF426 while flying transatlantic and getting stuck in the States as the yanks struggled to fix it!

Thanks for the kind words about my baseboards, I think the camera is flattering me - as is the coat of paint!
 

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Vulcan,

QUOTE (N Gauge James @ 20 Dec 2009, 08:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...and welcome comments!

Just one comment.

The transfer table looks distinctly non-British and out-of-place to me. Some UK building works had them, but I don't ever recall seeing them used in any kind of running facility such as an MPD where its failure would cause the stranding of many locos (which of course did happen with turntables and is why the UK generally didn't adopt the round-house approach).
Unless anyone knows otherwise ?

You've already got the turnouts in place to service all of the shed tracks, so why not just leave the transfer table out as it really isn't serving any useful purpose ?

Graham
 

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Video is grreat. I like the work you have done with the transfer table. Nice to know there are things out there that are easy to install.

Mike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Fair point Graham - as I said in the very first post I'm well aware that the transfer table isn't exactly prototypical, however - as Doug has said it's intended as a bit of fun, adds some operational and viewing interest and similar examples can be seen at modern repair works.

Yes, nearly all of the shed tracks can be reached without the table - but not everything is easily accessible (such as the wash plant) if other parts of the depot are occupied.

To me, operational interest and a bit of variety (this is a very common layout format after all) are more important than vehemently obeying prototype conventions - this is a hobby after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
QUOTE (frame69 @ 7 Jan 2010, 03:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The boards look good Dan,may I ask why its called Clifton?
Regards Frame.

Hi Frame - I live in a village called Clifton, nothing more exciting I'm afraid. It's a working title.

Thanks for lots of positive comments from people
 

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Having seen your video of the transfer table I WANT ONE! (Shame the railway funds are at zero at the moment
)
 
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