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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

Anybody who has looked at my Felixstowe Station thread may have wondered why I'm scratchbuilding the station building of the former GER Felixstowe Town. Initially, it was because I wanted to. Now, having sat and looked at my now-defunct layout (Belborough, since you ask, after His Lordship of Chigley) for the best part of three years with not a scrap of scenery down and a less-than-satisfactory track plan, I have decided to make Felixstowe into a proper layout.

So last weekend I set to in the garage and took up all the track, ripped out the electrics and put it all in a big box. It's quite therapeutic, although a lot of work's gone down the Swannee. Part of the problem with Belborough was that it was a tail-chaser with central well, which I had to duck under to get into (bad planning - no lifting section!). Coupled with the garage storing an ever-increasing number of bikes and the odd comment from Management about congestion, this was becoming an issue that needed fixing.



The baseboards have largely been re-used and rebuilt. The longer arm of the L ends at the garage side door and blocks off access to freezer, cupboards etc on the light blue area (garage is an odd shape!). The solution was to hinge the last two boards so they fold up and back, ending up vertical for storage and access. The carpentry is mainly done - pics to follow.

History

Felixstowe Town was built in the late 1800s to serve the growing fashionable seaside resort. It grew steadily with both passenger and goods traffic.



Until about 1970, all traffic for the growing port had to reverse at the Town station as an original connecting spur had been taken out in the early part of the century (very short-sighted, but it produced a good modelling scenario). This link was restored in 1970 allowing freight to go direct to the port.

About this time one of the two platforms was closed and like so many others the station fell into decay and the building was sold off in the 80s for retail space. Fortunately it was listed so saved from outright demolition. The station continued to operate, as now, from the far end of the platform left for the purpose. More on Wikipedia for those interested.

The model (plan)

Period is roughly late 70s, but will go earlier as well as I have a fair bit of steam stock I want to run. Slight bending of the above history - the docks link was never restored and freight continues to come into the station. The decay never set in, and the station is still busy. Apart from that I want to keep as close to reality as I can within the space constraints.

TTFN
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Photos of the hinged baseboard construction as promised.

Fiddle yard end - to be extended towards camera by another 6 feet or so.


Folded baseboard


You get the idea...


and finally...


It's supported on temporary legs - to be fitted with bracing and hinges so they fall fold down when the baseboard is unlocked from the 'park' position.

It remains to be seen how this is going to work out in practice once it has a station on it, but was the only way I could see to get the space required.
 

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Ooo, ahhhh - nice looking benchwork Gavin...moving right along
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Been busy over the weekend on the sector plate for the fiddle yard...



It's a bit of old kitchen, laminated chipboard sliding on a few pads of the same, with a sheet of ply glued to the upper face to take the track. Electrics yet to be sorted but likely to be via brass bolts. It should take six tracks.

On this end of the sector plate will be a turntable with the same construction, which will hopefully link with at least two of the sector plate tracks. Got this idea from Cyril Freezer's Model Railway Design Manual, although his was used with a traverser, so I'm not sure of the geometry yet.
 

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QUOTE (lmsboy @ 10 Jun 2013, 21:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It's a bit of old kitchen, laminated chipboard sliding on a few pads of the same, with a sheet of ply glued to the upper face to take the track. Electrics yet to be sorted but likely to be via brass bolts. It should take six tracks.

I would be very interested to see how this works out, and any construction details that you share. The only fiddle yard I have attempted was done with points, which are a bit expensive and take up a fair bit of room. Looking forward to seeing more.


QUOTE (lmsboy @ 10 Jun 2013, 21:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>On this end of the sector plate will be a turntable with the same construction, which will hopefully link with at least two of the sector plate tracks. Got this idea from Cyril Freezer's Model Railway Design Manual, although his was used with a traverser, so I'm not sure of the geometry yet.

I have seen some of his plans that have a turntable at the far end of a fiddle yard. At the time I was a little bit sceptical; operationally it seemed a good idea, but turntables are not cheap items. Must admit that a home-made non-scenic turntable had not occurred to me.
 

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Very nice too........


QUOTE from Cyril's Freezer , that white thing,in one of the pic's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
no dt, 'cos that'd just be silly....

Anyway...

Richard - thanks for the interest and herewith are some pics of the construction details. Pretty it ain't, I'm an engineer, not an architect!

the sandwich


the pads it slides on - the one furthest away is for the turntable


pivot - previous temporary screw now replaced by a baseboard alignment dowel (female half is in the sector plate) so now it can be lifted off and the track can go over the top of the pivot point if needed


Whilst the melamine faces together gives a fairly smooth slide, I've found a dose of dry lube spray helps no end.

So far, so good - but it could still go horribly wrong. That pesky brick pillar gets in the way and the swing of the sector plate is limited by that and the baseboard frame. Hopefully there's enough movement on it to cover what I need!

Some rolls of cork arrived in the post today so there will shortly be some track laying done.
 

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Looks good Gavin - quality work. Just clearing up is half the battle IMHO. BTW - what / who makes those neat wall cabinets - nice shelf spacing.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
QUOTE (reddo @ 13 Jun 2013, 07:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>what / who makes those neat wall cabinets - nice shelf spacing.

Cheers

Reddo - they are Lidl units from late last year, they were available in two sizes, these are the small ones. £50ish for the pair IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is the last bit of the construction to show you.

I found that the turntable tipped off its pivot quite easily so have placed a couple of extra pads either side for stability:



This is the general arrangement with infill pieces - to stop nasty 'loco-meets'floor' incidents (edges still to be tidied up!):



I'll need some sort of handle to turn the thing, I think. And finally the end of the sector plate needs chamfering off, roughly where the lines are, to allow it to swing now the infills are there:



Anyway, onwards, time to lay some cork....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The geometry of the sector plate and turntable together means I can get 7 tracks on the sector plate, and numbers 1,3,5,7 of these should be able to connect to the turntable.

I've been considering how best to work the electrical connections to the turntable. Current thought is a small piece of springy brass soldered to the underside end of each t/table rail, which will make contact with the corresponding rail on the approach tracks, like wiper pickups.

Anybody got any other ideas?

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Evening all

Several weeks on...and much thinking later...I now have a working turntable!

turntable demo video

I replaced the pair of dowels as the t/t pivot with a stereo headphone plug & socket, which allows the power to be fed through this with no wires to get tangled up and 360-degree rotation. These connect to the green and yellow wires seen in the picture.



The DPDT switch is wired to change polarity, necessary if the turntable is swung through 180 degrees between moves. The operating sequence requires both the change of polarity and a change of direction on the controller - otherwise there's a short as the loco crosses from the t/t to the fixed track. The rotary switch is to select the approach road that receives the power. I wanted to avoid all being live at once as I can foresee stabling locos on them at some stage.

The main drama with all of this has been the alignment of the approach tracks with the moving one. I soldered the fixed ends to brass screws set to the right height, and was quite careful but even then it's not perfect: note the plastic shim under one end of the t/t track! There's a little bump on some lines as the loco goes over but it's quite acceptable for a fiddle yard.

Meanwhile, the sector plate has been the subject of more thought. In practice I had to reduce from the planned 7 tracks to 5, as the swing just didn't allow any more to connect at both ends. However they do all go to the turntable, so that counts as a win.



I have yet to finally work out the electrics though, but the plan is to have an insulating gap a loco length in from each end to allow the sector plate to be set for arrival or departure on each track. This will prevent me inadvertently sending a train through on a line that isn't connected at the far end (track can't be connected both ends at once) and thus stop it plummeting to the floor.



Since the plate is designed to be demountable for transport (in case we ever move house
) I'm thinking of using computer VGA cable for its multiple cores and only one plug. The plan is to get a pre-made cable, cut it half and put the plugs together, connecting the free ends to track and switch panel. Will this cope with 12V 1A, or is there another multi-way connector that would be better? How do the exhibitors overcome this sort of issue?
 

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QUOTE I have decided to make Felixstowe into a proper layout. A very good decision Gavin, I do not think your "scrapped" layout, was in vain.
You must have learned a lot from it.

QUOTE I've been considering how best to work the electrical connections to the turntable.

If you sit the electrical exam paper, you can then, attach, the word electrical,in front of the one you have already gained.
There, easy, you are now an Electrical Engineer,


Enjoying your posts Gavin..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
cheers gents, appreciate your interest! Shaun, your traverser looks like a fine piece of cabinet-making - mine's very rough by comparison.

...dt... Electrical?
Civil, sir, very civil.

I forgot to mention the issues I had with the brass bolts. They were Screwfix finest but were too sloppy in their mounts to align the turntable properly. To fix this I got a piece of brass tube which fitted inside the keeper end and soldered it in place (blowtorch job, more plumbing than anything!). This was too small for the bolts to go into so I set up my makeshift lathe (power drill) with the stripped down bolt in the chuck, and 'turned' them down a few thou with a file. They are now a good fit and there's no wobble on the t/t.

I have bought a VGA lead today so bear with me whilst I experiment...
 

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Loved watching the station build and im in a similar position to you having spent a few years on a tail chaser but its too much for me to operate, so im currently in the process of changing it to a GER seaside terminus, name not yet decided.

Although im trying to work with what I've already done, I think im gonna have to take the plunge like you and rip up all that's been done before and start afresh, this time with a smaller manageable project.

Good luck can't wait to see the progress.

Paul
 
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