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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my new layout, I started the build in June 2022. I have made the layout modular like my last layout but this time it is easy to pull apart and I do not need to crawl round the back to access the fiddle yard. I am using the fiddle yard from my old layout which is 18" deep, the new section is 20" deep from the fiddle yard, apart from a extension I have added on the right front so I can have a small goods yard. The two ends are "L" shaped boards with two boards joining up which I have made from ply rather than the conventional 2x1, the track bed is 9mm ply. These two boards are intentionally curved inwards, the layout is a folded over figure eight with two levels like my old layout.
The idea of the layout is scenes from the book East Lancashire Lines, Bury to Heywood by J wells and pics by EF Bentley. I also have another book on Railways around Bury by J Wells which is also a source of information. So the layout is fictional but with scenes from around this area. I just completed wiring the scenic layout and have tested my Z21 for the first time. I have put the wires in ready for when I get round to laying track for the goods yard.
Picture frame Wood Track Engineering Railway

Table Picture frame Wood Flooring Floor
Table Wood Electrical wiring Engineering Office equipment
Shelving Wood Gas Machine Automotive design
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well I have done some testing and connected my Z21 and the scenic layout works ok, I run my 8f and class 31 on all four tracks. I did have problems though, it was the first time I had used the Z21 and I could not get a loco to move. I checked I had track voltage, the light was blue on the Z21, the problem was the Lenovo I am using just for the layout had re connected back to my internet. I only found out by watching somebody else on Youtube and noticed I did not have the blue light on the app. Anyway you live and learn, I now know how to connect up, I am currently trying to finish my fiddle yard. I extended the fiddle yard by 12" moving all the points to the left, I need to finish wiring the droppers then I can run some trains proper.
 

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Premium Member
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693 Posts
Hi Chris Your boards look good and I really like the use of the wheels but I have to ask how tight is the join between the removable board and the fixed ones? I see that the layout looks like it is in a room in your house as opposed to a loft or shed if so I imagine that expansion ect is not such a problem ? What I wonder is that whilst removing or replacing the board the track ends/ joins might be damaged have you found this to be a problem? Jim
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for your replies, the room is a loft room, that beam the one with my clock on it dictates how high the layout can be. This is my fourth layout, I tried to make the last layout modular but found my design made it difficult to un assemble. This layout comes apart easy, I disconnect the two ends from the fiddle yard and then pull the scenic boards forwards, the layout is 9’ wide, I can then separate them easy for work. You have to watch the track joins, ie make sure you do not damage them, once I have done the wiring it will not be pulled apart so much only for repairs or to add extra wiriing. I have made the layout has wide as I can In the room I have, I can get round the back if I need to but want to avoid crawling on my knees at my age….lol. Chris.
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I should add some of the track joins at the front I am using Modeltech aligners, but the other joins especially the ones at a slight angle i have used the solder to screws method. The fiddle yard which I have extended the tracks from the old layout, splits in two half’s too, so once I have installed new droppers I can turn the board on its side for the re wire. The plan is to run the last of steam and early diesels, I have already tested the new track with my 8f and my class 31, once the fiddle yard is finished I can do more testing before ballasting. Chris.
 

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In depth idiot
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8,456 Posts
I really enjoy the steam to diesel transition, partly because it is what I saw, but also for the historical aspect. Here were items and infrastructure 70 and more years old alongside 'the new', some of which sixty years later is still out on the network. (There's a set of garish yellow mk1s fiddled with for some engineer purpose, topped and tailed by a couple of EE type 3 just a mile from where I sit now.) Unlikely to ever arise again.

The sheer variety from this situation is something else. There are 20 core traction classes for the area and date span I model; and another 46 classes that put in appearances. Haven't ever tried to count the variation in rolling stock...
 

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Premium Member
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693 Posts
Hi Seems to be a popular time for many and an excuse to run almost anything not that it should matter i'm sure it will be enjoyable . From your pictures I could not tell it was a loft though you seem to have it sorted. I wish I could use N it offers so much more space I look forward to seeing more please. Jim
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I have finished the wiring for the fiddle yard which I extended the tracks by 12”. I have fitted all the point motors and checked the polarity of the frogs. I had a slight problem with one side, then I found I had missed a insulated joiner off one point. I have a mixture of old points and the new unifrogs points which do not need insulated joiners, that’s my excuse anyway. I need to shorten some of the tracks where the scenic section meets the fiddle yard, I have got some very close joins, the fiddle yard is on a different district. After more testing I can start on the dreaded ballasting, I will be using Ballast magic again I think.
Then the part I love doing the scenics, the first job will be a small station based on Ringley Road ( Radcliffe) off the old East Lancashire Railway. That station was in a deep cutting, unfortunately my interpretation will be in half a cutting, the north bound platform to Bury is still there on the Outwood Trail, that was the platform that had a small station building. I will be putting the station on the northbound down line on my high level section, I have calculated I can just fit it in and maybe the road over rail bridge too. If you look it up on Disused Stations web site the one and only pic shows a signal at the start of the platform, not the end of the platform, that puzzles me a bit. Chris
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well last night after setting up the three points on the low level with my Z21 I run my 8f 48773 round the layout. I had to do some tweaking of one or two rail joins, strange thing is they were the joins using Modeltech aligners. I tried to run my class 40 but for some reason in the clockwork direction it had a problem with the unifrog point for the siding. I found that turning the loco round and running it the other way it was ok. I checked the bogies, they have small wheels at the front that seem to be a loose fit but could not see a difference between them, it seems to lift up when it hits the frog rails.
Anyway I will do more testing tonight and then i can start thinking about ballasting and then scenery. Chris.
 

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6,484 Posts
I think 48773 was a Northwich loco and the only 8F to have the cab side yellow stripe, I do not think the sound is correct but then it is over 50 years since I recall them working mainline trains, still a commendable effort and Z21 is the way I have gone but I decided to forget about sound as it never seems correct for instance a Gresley A3 at speed sounded as if it was a 4 cyl loco missing a beat and that is never recaptured by DCC sound, the many preserved locos are often over maintained and never get up to speed with big loads and with professional neglect the case being as a steam loco failed it was scrapped just recall that from 1948 to 1968 21,999 steam locos - about- were scrapped by BR.
As to East Lancs I lived there in 1980-1983 in Accrington so the heart of the area so look forward to further updates.
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks Kris for your comments. Of course the original East Lancashire railway went from Accrington to Clifton Junction through Bury and Radcliffe. The old station's re Bury Bolton st now East lancs railway again, and Radcliffe Bridge now well buried under a road. The old line has been made into a trail and goes over the Radcliffe viaduct, at the back of Radcliffe Asda, over the river Irwell. I have walked and cycled down there many times, the north bound platform at Ringley station is still there. I am planning on modeling part of that station, it was in a deep cutting, unfortunately mine will be half a cutting so not completely accurate. Re the sound steam loco's I quite like them, the 8f is amazing the things you can do with that loco. I made a video on my old layout Irwell Valley Railway of that loco with unfitted wagons coming down a gradient approaching the signal, the video was well recieved, it sounded pretty good. I am on youtube has lilchris26, it is still on there I think. Chris
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is where I am up to at the moment, I am waiting for a parcel with more ballast but I am preparing the site for Ringley Road station. I have done most of the woodwork now I need to measure up the road over rail bridge which is going across the board join on the left of the picture. I have extended the board back about 2 " to make room for the station building, it was a bit tight for room. This will be the north bound platform, which is still there on the Outwood trail. There will be the path going up to the road to the left of the platform. In the real location the station is in a deep cutting, my station will be a compromise with half a cutting because of course I have the lower level track across the front. It should be good though the bridge to the left was fairly high, I want to get that effect if possible. Chris
Wood Transport hub Naval architecture Urban design Automotive exterior
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I have bought some more ballast, my dilemma is I have different colours of ballast and not enough of just one colour to do all the track. My preference in the past has been Woodland scenics dark brown fine ballast, I have one packet and a bit. I could not get any more from my usual supplier so I have bought some Dcc Concepts ballast, it looks very good, there are three shades in the pack so a decision is going to have to be made what colour to use. I have now painted the track with Railmatch sleeper grime, then of course cleaned off the top of the rails before it dries. I should have done that last night, I could have been ballasting tonight, never mind I have a bridge to design. Chris.
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Latest update: I have laid some ballast on the high level using the Woodland scenics brown Ballast. I then decided to use some Dcc concepts grey ballast on the lower level, to be honest I think I have enough of the Woodland scenics ballast for all the layout, I was panicking without reason. I have also been measuring a local bridge which I am planning on modeling. It is a large brick arch with half a arch on either side, mine will be a representation of the bridge, not totally accurate, giving myself some lee way there…lol. I was not sure what to use for the brick work but I have bought some Faller red brick card which I am happy with. I intend to make the main structure out of styrene and cover it with the brick card. I want it rigid because it will be placed over a board joint and needs to be removable, it well also help to disguise the join. Chris.
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tonight after some calculations I realised the Faller brick card is overscale for my use. so I have ordered some Redutex which is a bit dear but I do like it. I am not very good with measurements, not one of my strong points but remembered reading measure some brick work then divide by 148 to get the correct size and that put me right. The ballasting is nearly finished, I still need to do some tidying up, clear ballast off the top of sleepers for instance and make sure it is set. For some reason the Ballast magic I have used seems to leave patches where it does not seem to set, I make it a fairly strong mix so no idea why it does that. I could have done it the old fashioned way by the time I have finished. Chris
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I have spent the afternoon designing the bridge and I have managed to make a mock up out of card. I have had to make some compromises, I have made the main arch wider than I wanted to make it look right. It’s not perfect but I am happy with the result, the next stage is make the copy out of styrene. The plan is too fix wooden blocks to the layout to locate the bridge in position, has I have written before it needs to be removable. Chris.
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have now made the bridge out of 60 thou styrene, I am happy with the result. I now need to make the small plate girder bridge to go over the front low level tracks. I realised after making it I need to raise the front boards of the baseboard to match the scenery. I had cut away parts of the front boards shortly after making them, I think I was a bit hasty. Any way I have made two pieces of ply and glued them on the front and shaped them accordingly. I will post some pics later when I am on my computer. Chris
 

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engine driver
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96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well here is a pic has promised, I have now fixed the two pieces of ply to the front. It needs some more sanding and painting, it will fit in with the scenics better. I have also fitted two pieces of dowel inside the bridge support pillars, with two matching holes in the baseboard. This will locate the bridge in position, for easy removal if required. I am not happy with the ballast magic, bits of ballast all over the place that has not set, kind of defeats the object of using it. Chris
Wood Rectangle Composite material Gas Automotive exterior
 
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