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Dublo Three Rail Layout

8107 Views 40 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Anthony Richards
Back in 2016, after a break of a few decades, I decided to get back into railway modelling. For some reason I can't quite fathom, I decided not to create a scale model with modern models, but instead started accumulating a range of Hornby Dublo three rail equipment. Fast forward to 2018, and the layout that I eventually built took shape as a very old-school double track oval with reversing loop, goods yard, turntable and engine shed and a four track terminus, all on a board that is 8'x4'. The funny thing is, I'm getting more enjoyment out of it than I did from all the terminus to fiddle yard scale models I have had in the past. Both our grandsons love it too. It's too early to say whether or not our granddaughter is interested, although she has watched the trains go around, but then she's only one year old.

here is the track plan. All the points, signals and uncoupling ramps that are not easily reached from the control panel are electrically operated.


Here is an overhead view of one end of the layout. The Flying Scotsman is a Trix model and the Caledonian locomotive at the far end, somewhat improbably hauling a rake of Gresley LNER teak stock is a GEM body kit on a Tri-ang B12 chassis converted to three rail. Everything else is Dublo.

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... Before construction commenced I began to have doubts about the desirability of having 60-70 year old locomotives ascending and descending a gradient with each circuit of the layout, so I redrew it without the gradients and bridges...
If some did come along at a reasonable price, you could alternatively go for the totally un-Dubloesque* scenario of a two level layout with the bridge sections deployed to enable one line to cross another (or road and/or river and/or canal) with no need for gradients.

*What with my knowledge being limited and all, was there ever a two (or more!) separate level(s) layout ever used in H-D's publicity? I don't recall six digit man pointing enthusiastically at such a thing...
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I should mention, as it's not at first obvious from the plans, that the raised section on the smaller of the two is simply an oval of track which is at a constant height and unconnected to the lower track...
Which we might add has the appearance of not having been fully thought through. Surely more (girder) bridges required to take it across the low level tracks into the station, and over the loco siding buffer stops and the like? (Perhaps that's why it never got constructed, six digit man wasn't given all the necessary pieces. ;))
That answers my questions very neatly, thanks.
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...I seem to remember at the onset of DCC , reading somewhere that it cut down on all the wiring of a conventional DC layout. Not quite sure what was meant by that ...
It surely does, if the layout wiring scheme is well designed. But it is only a reduction, not an elimination.

Major difficulty is that there is no track system designed to fully integrate with DCC. This means that if motor actuated points are to be used a completely separate wiring scheme is required to each point motor. It doesn't have to be like this, but no track manufacturer has made the necessary development leap AFAIK...
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