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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.

19998



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.

19999
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For some reason, I seem to have got myself a lot more Duchesses than I need. A few are in their original finish, but some have been repainted, mostly in colours that Meccano Ltd never saw fit to include in their range (livery-wise, the Duchesses were a rather varied bunch). Here are a few:

20000


20001


20002


20003


20004
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some more re-liveried Dublo:

This one was meant to be 80135, but I made a mistake with the numbers, and it came out as 80153:

20050



An 0-6-2t which, aside from the repaint, had a replacement smokebox door fitted:

20051


Silver King in wartime black - a photograph taken before work had begun on the scenery:

20052


And some repainted wagons as well (although, on reflection, the lettering on the locomotive probably should be plain white - something to correct later):

20053
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've just finished repainting the station buildings, footbridge, platforms and signal box. The buildings were a bit playworn and the platforms, although they were still in their original factory finish, were painted in three distinctly different shades of that yellowy brown colour Meccano Ltd used, and some had white edges and some didn't.

I used Tamiya aerosols: Light Sand (TS-46) which was similar to the Dublo colour but a slightly darker shade, which I think suits the models better, and Orange (TS-12) for the roofs, which was a bit brighter than the Dublo colour, but not too much so.

20160


20162


20163


20164
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The die cast metal girder bridges do come up on eBay, etc. quite often.

Prices realised do vary, also depending on the inclusion or otherwise of a box.

At a price that's a bit too high for my liking, even if they're not boxed. My original layout plan was to have a gradient on the inner track and have it cross over the outer one and back using two of these bridges. 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. Perhaps memories of my first layout which had two awkward gradients in it were at the back of my mind.......

Yes, the bridges do have a certain period charm about them, but I would rather buy something else with the sort of money I would spend on getting a pair of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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. The raised section on the larger plan is the outer track, which is raised along the side where the controls are, but at baseboard height on the other side and gradients at the ends. The inner track loops under it around where the TPO is, necessitating the use of two girder bridges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
This example is from 1963 and, although it is two rail and the raised sections are constructed using Hornby-acHo parts from Meccano's French factory*, it does have an elevated section with a girder bridge:

20194


* The French produced raised section parts were, I believe, marketed also in the UK, but not for very long. I recall reading (in Michael Foster's book I think) that the TPO and the crane had difficulty in certain circumstances negotiating the curved pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
six digit man
For the benefit of those who are still trying to figure out what that was all about, count the fingers "Dad" has in this piece of Dublo advertising literature:

20195


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 finger man may not have done it, but Meccano employee Bob Moy (who designed most, if not all of the Dublo plans) did:

20196
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Well, when I started this layout, I decided I would keep it simple, say, two feeds, a few supplementary feeds and some isolating sections and that would be it. Then I decided that I would use electric signals and, for parts of the layout not easily reached, electric points and uncouplers. I also wired a couple of ammeters into the circuit to keep an eye on the current consumption of the locos (after all, most of them are around 60 to 70 years old). Then came the decision to install lighting.

The wiring was meant to be simple, as I had never wired up anything more complex than fiddle yard to terminus layouts before, but I ended up with this:

Wood Beam Ceiling Tints and shades Hardwood


The two loose wires hanging down at the end are not something I forgot, by the way, they are wires for the lights in the station car park - something I hadn't thought about adding until I started putting in the lights so, of course, I didn't have anything to connect them to.....

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Well, I now have a selection of lights to hand that I purchased on eBay ages ago - they have arrived after having been put on a slow boat from China. Once I get around to it, I will have lights in the station forecourt, the goods yard, goods shed, engine shed and associated sidingsand the Queensland Railways (I know it's out of place, but I couldn't resist it) cream shed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Something to bear in mind for the future maybe, but right now I have too many things on the go......

Speaking of which, here's what I'm working on now, amongst other things. It's still a work in progress, not all the lining having been finished yet. The Duchess of Sutherland was wearing pre-war LMS crimson lake when it was fitted with smoke deflectors and appeared in traffic afterwards still wearing pre-war colours. It is believed to be the only member of the class to have worn pre-war livery when fitted with smoke deflectors and there is a photograph of it showing this unique combination of characteristics in Profile of the Duchesses. So here is my version - a repainted Duchess of Montrose with Fox nameplates and lettering. On shed you may also notice a Dublo A4 (Commonwealth of Australia) in BR express blue - another repaint, as Meccano only finished theirs in BR green.

Train Land vehicle Vehicle Rolling stock Toy
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
My latest modification involved turning a Dublo 0-6-2T into an 0-6-4T, which entailed the obvious modifications to the rear of the chassis (using a trailing bogie from a 2-6-4T) and lengthening the body. There's still a bit of work to do, but I think you can now see where this is headed. The bolts holding the bogies in place in the coaches will be changed for shorter ones (they were all I had at the time - I bought some short ones today).

So, here is a model that Meccano Ltd neglected to produce: a Hornby-Dublo Highland Railway 39 class banking tank:

Train Wheel Plant Rolling stock Vehicle


Train Plant Rolling stock Track Mode of transport


"De-clerestorying" the roofs is taking a bit longer than I expected, but I'll get there. I also need to do a coach with a brake compartment.........
 
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