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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Well after spending a lot of time at the computer and tinkering with designs I have over the last two days built the baseboards for the new layout. If anyone is thinking 'hang on, wasn't he building a quarry terminal?' then I should probably explain that I decided that Aslanvale wasn't really fit for its purpose - the multi level layout wasn't conducive to getting it in and out of a wardrobe and I realised that in my heart of hearts I want to be able to run long trains and have a tailchaser layout.

The brief for the new layout is the same - it has to pack away in to my double fitted wardrobe (which admittedly is HUGE). With that in mind I decided to keep the existing boards I already had...





But topped them with fresh 12mm plywood as the old surface had some blemishes (namely a whacking great whole for the turntable). I also negotiated with the local planning authorities (aka bought another handbag
) to allow me to use the shelf at the top of the wardrobe for further boards storage meaning I could use this track plan on 6 boards...



The track plan is based very loosely on Coleshill (hence the name Coezull...) Parkway and the freight terminal at Hams Hall. The layout is again going to be DC (I don't like the idea of installing decoders myself, and don't really want to double the cost of a loco to have someone else put on in...) which gives me much scope for complicated wiring involving lots of isolating sections and many points to switch electronically. I also intend to fit Micro-train couplers to most stock if I can and have magnets all over the place!

With the track plan sorted I moved to building the other boards...

Here are the frames all assembled, although the trestle arrangement here isn't great, more on that in a minute...



And the frames again topped with fresh 12mm ply. Here you can see the new legs I've cut for the non-scenic boards (that's everything except the front/middle two) the boards all bolt together snugly and the legs are modular so that I don't have to remember which goes where. All-in-all it's extremely sturdy.



Finally we have the whole thing (well, almost, I didn't buy enough) topped with 1/8 inch cork. It's still drying as a I write, the stones happened to be lying around in the garage and seemed the obvious thing to keep it all down while it dried!



Track order is going in to Hattons very soon, I'll update when I have more to show.
 

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Good luck with the progress!
Looks like you're tackling it with methodical precision!
 

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QUOTE (Kimbo @ 29 Oct 2008, 22:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Good luck with the progress!
Looks like you're tackling it with methodical precision!

Its looking very good James, Do keep us informed of your progress in the coming weeks.
I not sure if you can get an "N" gauge Reachstaker for the terminal but good luck. Are you going to model the large overhead gantry ?. I used to operate that and boy is it high mind you it was great for a bit of train spotting on the main line i could see over the trees!! Happy days.


Kind regards
Paul
 

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QUOTE (N Gauge James @ 29 Oct 2008, 21:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello all,

Well after spending a lot of time at the computer and tinkering with designs I have over the last two days built the baseboards for the new layout. If anyone is thinking 'hang on, wasn't he building a quarry terminal?' then I should probably explain that I decided that Aslanvale wasn't really fit for its purpose - the multi level layout wasn't conducive to getting it in and out of a wardrobe and I realised that in my heart of hearts I want to be able to run long trains and have a tailchaser layout.

The brief for the new layout is the same - it has to pack away in to my double fitted wardrobe (which admittedly is HUGE). With that in mind I decided to keep the existing boards I already had...





But topped them with fresh 12mm plywood as the old surface had some blemishes (namely a whacking great whole for the turntable). I also negotiated with the local planning authorities (aka bought another handbag
) to allow me to use the shelf at the top of the wardrobe for further boards storage meaning I could use this track plan on 6 boards...



The track plan is based very loosely on Coleshill (hence the name Coezull...) Parkway and the freight terminal at Hams Hall. The layout is again going to be DC (I don't like the idea of installing decoders myself, and don't really want to double the cost of a loco to have someone else put on in...) which gives me much scope for complicated wiring involving lots of isolating sections and many points to switch electronically. I also intend to fit Micro-train couplers to most stock if I can and have magnets all over the place!

With the track plan sorted I moved to building the other boards...

Here are the frames all assembled, although the trestle arrangement here isn't great, more on that in a minute...



And the frames again topped with fresh 12mm ply. Here you can see the new legs I've cut for the non-scenic boards (that's everything except the front/middle two) the boards all bolt together snugly and the legs are modular so that I don't have to remember which goes where. All-in-all it's extremely sturdy.



Finally we have the whole thing (well, almost, I didn't buy enough) topped with 1/8 inch cork. It's still drying as a I write, the stones happened to be lying around in the garage and seemed the obvious thing to keep it all down while it dried!



Track order is going in to Hattons very soon, I'll update when I have more to show.

Wow, talk about rocky land
scape! No seriously, good to see that you take the base seriously, look forward to follow the progress on what looks like a exciting design, Per
 

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Hi there,

A much better design and proof that the old KISS principle is still the best (Keep It Simple Stupid). I Look forward to seeing your progress.

I'll be interested to see how you get on with the Micro-trains knuckle couplers. I tried to install them but found that a) they required major mods to some rolling stock and
they are damn fiddly to install. In the end I gave up and have gone for DG Couplings from Model Signal Engineering. Still a bit fiddly to assemble but once you get the hang of it you can assemble them very quickly on a production line basis, They are also very easy to install in most locos & rolling stock and are almost invisible when blackened up. I'll try to taake some pictures of the ones I have installed and post them for you to have a look at.

Happy modelling.
 

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Hi James glad to see the baseboards down
no stopping no now, if you are looking for a reachstacker they are available from N detail .e in Germany Dapol are expecting a delivery soon but they will be around £40 each
an alternative Poliss found is a Top loading lift often seen in a container terminal shown here
http://tinyurl.com/6xc3sz
not sure on postage to the U.K. as i have messaged them and as yet no reply they have several listed there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello all,

John - yes, bracing has been considered, but is not very practical when it comes to storing the layout. Most of the weight is taken by the very sturdy sawhorses that support the scenic boards, the other smaller boards (which will only have track and point motors on them) are bolted to these boards very firmly and the legs are bolted to the layout firmly, so while it may look like it can move about, it can't. The wooden legs are there simply to keep the boards level rather than take any weight.

Expat - oh dear, I got my wires crossed or read your posts out of order at some stage! I've read your posts on couplings and thought you'd gone for the micro-train couplers over DGs! I'd love to see what you've done, thanks for the offer of photos. Thanks for your thoughts on the design changes too, good to know all these changes are positive - it's been expensive!

Nick - again I have an eye on your hunt for the reachstacker - £40?? They don't look like £40 worth of model to me...

Paul - I'd love to model the overhead gantry in some form, but after hunting around I think it may have to be built from scratch, eek. I could do with Heljan producing their container crane in N gauge!

Changes in recent days - I couldn't get the huge sheets of cork to stick down evenly, and after talking to a more experienced friend of mine he suggested that topping all the boards with cork may be overkill. So it came off (salvaging 90% of it) the boards were sanded back and then painted primer grey.

I'm currently producing the wiring schematic - and was pleased that a huge pile of track and points arrived from Hattons today - as well as 34 point motors.
 

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James the top load lift there is one from the states the £40 one is from Dapol
another overhead crane available from Walthers http://tinyurl.com/6nw4hh but it is designed to fit in a building and would need some kind of support if used free standing ....... probably your best solution would be the Volmer one
 

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QUOTE (N Gauge James @ 6 Nov 2008, 00:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Expat - oh dear, I got my wires crossed or read your posts out of order at some stage! I've read your posts on couplings and thought you'd gone for the micro-train couplers over DGs!

Hi James,

No I don't think you got your wires crossed as I did originally state that I was going for the Micro-trains couplers. I had used the original Kadee couplers when I had an 00 layout and found them to be superb both from a reliability point of view and aesthetically. It was only when I actually tried fitting them to N Gauge stock and realised how fiddly they were and the amount of surgery necessary, particularly to locos, that I went back to my original plan to use DG Couplers. It may be that I didn't update my thoughts on the Forum and for that I apologise.

There is an excellent article on assembling DG Couplers here http://www.minimumgauge.info/viewtopic.php?t=3318 and, although the demo is for Gn15 scale, it should give you an idea of how they go together and how they finally look. (This is part 1 of the demo but part 2 is also on the same site) The only difference is that, due to the size of N Gauge couplers, you will have to use the supplied phosphor bronze wire to make the loops. There just isn't any soft steel wire available that is sufficiently fine and yet still sufficiently strong and the hard steel wire supplied for droppers is very difficult to form into a loop. That means soldering I'm afraid but it's good for honing your skills. I will try to take some pictures and post them tomorrow.
 

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Hi James,

As promised, here are a couple of shots of the N Scale DG Couplers. I had to go into macro mode to get these shots and, as I don't have tripod, please excuse any fuzziness. I also had to take the shots against a white background as against track ballast they become almost invisible. The first shot is of the couplers installed on a loco and carriage respectively and the second shot is of them in the coupled position. It is normal, however, to only have a loop at one end of a carriage or wagon with just the hook part at the other end as it does tend to look a bit ungainly when two looped couplers are connected together.

Motor vehicle Gas Rolling Military vehicle Auto part
Wheel Motor vehicle Gas Vehicle Combat vehicle

Sorry I couldn't get any better shots but I'm still on crutches at the moment and it was a case of grabbing A loco and A carriage from my stock drawer and, as dictated by sods law, I happened to pick a carriage which had loops at both ends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Trevor - many, many thanks for this and all your other helpful posts in recent days, especially on crutches!

The couplings look excellent - I'm going to order some asap and then have a play with everything when my experimental micro-train purchases arrive from MG Sharp. I bought some guinea pig wagons from eBay so as not to cause any lasting damage to anything I value!
 

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QUOTE (N Gauge James @ 6 Nov 2008, 23:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm going to order some asap and then have a play with everything when my experimental micro-train purchases arrive from MG Sharp. I bought some guinea pig wagons from eBay so as not to cause any lasting damage to anything I value!

Good plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Track laying has commenced.

I was terrified of laying curves - until I discovered that Rail Modeller will print a 1:1 scale plan for you, so 50 sheets of A4 and a load of masking tape...



...I started laying the track straight on to the plan, and boy does it make life easier! I'm not even sure I need to remove it.



I'm laying the ovals first so that I can actually get something running - plus the switch I need for the scissor crossing is yet to arrive.

The track is a mixture of concrete and wooden code 55 flexi. I think I bought far too much, oh well!

I realised in the interest of economy that laying cork may not be such a good idea, it will mean replacing the point motors I have as the actuator pins won't reach through board and cork. The cork would then have to be painted and makes painting the board seem a bit pointless! I also removed the crossover that was planned for between the station platforms as I realised 1) that Coleshill Parkway's is outside the station in my 'off stage' area and there are two crossovers in the fiddle yard and 2) it saves me the cost of 2 large points and 2 motors. Trackwork was nearly £300 after all.

Here's a last pic with some stock on for scale. I'm really pleased with the overall design, having played with some of my new Farish Intermodals (side thought - why the silly coupling between the pairs, these don't always run in pairs do they?) I'm pleased that I can take 10 in the longest siding of the yard with locomotive. Not quite the same as the real Ham's Hall (Google Earth shows 20+ in each siding) but I'd need a 6m board for that!



Expat - I found the source for the DG couplings so have ordered some. Comparing the prices of Micro-trains and these, I've actually asked M G Sharp to cancel my Micro-trains order which they didn't have in stock anyway. Out of interest which epoxy filler do you use when converting things to DG?
 

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Hi James.

I use a 2 part Marine Epoxy Filler which comes in a stick with the hardener as a blue layer around the core. That way you can just cut a thin sliver off the stick and mix it to make a very small quantity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Track is all laid! Wooo, it seems to have taken forever, but it's all down. I thank my Xuron cutters...









Ok, so nothing is wired, all the points need modifying still for live frog running and about 10,000 extra sleepers have to go in - plus the giant trackplan has to come out from underneath the lot of it, but it's getting there.
 
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