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Grange Halt

19211 Views 66 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Dave c
yes, FINALLY, we have now completed our move to Somerset and after 3 months I have completed all the jobs about the house and can start to get the workshop ready to lay some track. 2 pictures to get you started, the workshop is 15 x 7 and needs to be insulated, I should start that this week. I'm not sure how often I will get to post progress pictures but I shall try to keep up to date.

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Good to hear you're still making progress Dave! Sounds like you have some great ideas.

Please don't be nervous about posting pictures - after all, they are worth a 1000 words as (I think) the saying goes. I think most people on hear like seeing , as well as hearing about, developments and I'm sure the only comments you will get will be positive and constructive!


ok, here goes.........

in reverse order

First, a mock up where the station will go

with some water - the wrong way round in the photo

the base boards going in

the bases under construction, we had just had our old fence replaced as it was old and fell over a lot, a bit like me, so I asked the gardener to leave me the posts and I have used them for the legs. 12mm ply on top

I had trouble over the weekend, the surface mounted Peco point motor I used works and flicks from side to side in my hand but doesn't have the guts to flick the point when on the board, and the SEEP under board motor I installed doesn't do anything, I think because it is behind the heel of a point and I need to feed power from the bus from the other direction through the toe of the point. That is this weekend's job, that and converting a class 37 to DCC.

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Looks like a solid base there Dave. Nice idea of a station beside the sea, like Dawlish. Look forward to more pics. as you progress.

Well after 2 or 3 weeks of trying to install my first ever point motors and getting nowhere, I rang Steve at Buffers and after describing to him what I had been doing he said I should be using a separate power supply rather than my bus that runs from the NCE Powercab. So I had a go yesterday and hey presto.
I can crack on now with the fiddle yard. As it is the first proper track I have built I had thought about laying all my track and motors etc and test test test before putting any cork down and gluing it all in place, but I think that will be too much work to take it back up again, so cork laying begins this weekend.

Well good luck with the build, I really worry for you about the incline required, you cannot have less a difference than 80mm so you get a clearance of 70mm allowing for thickness or boards and track ballast/underlay.

As Robert says anything less than 1 in 30 is a killer so you must avoid that, I use 1 in 33 which is OK, now in order to have room for the hand of god (you) then anything less than 132mm less 12mm board giving 120mm clear is a bother, so to get up this gradient you will need 4356mm plus transition curves at say about 200mm as a minimum, in other words to get up this height you need 4476mm which is 14 feet and about 8 inches, - you do not have this length so the design is made to climb 80mm only even then it would need 2840 mm or about 9 foot 4 inches. In the plan they talk about 'absolute minimum heights of 75 mm which I think gives no strength, my steamers are up to 67mm so this leaves nothing and gradients of 1 in 68, hmm looks a bit unlikely to me.

In that case you will not get into the fiddle yard, so sorry to say I view this plan as a bit of a Cyril - looks OK on paper but no one has built it,

My advice is build this end first, one part solution is to lift the left side by half the height and this will reduce some gradients but make other ones climb where they are flat now. On my 1 in 33 gradients by no means does every loco perform well and the decoder chosen can allow runaways in some cases, so you need to do a lot of testing as you go. The other thing is that you will need access, once laid the upper main lines jig saw cut the boards so they can lift out and you can get underneath, I suppose you could always build a rack railway........
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Hello again all, I can't believe where the time goes, I work 8-5 mon to fri and I don't get home till 6, sometimes I get 30 mins in the evening to pop out and do a little bit, but trying to fit in all the jobs around the house, holidays in the motorhome, building the railway I forget to come on here and update you guys, plus our PC has not wanted to connect to the internet properly for 6 months, all sorted now though.

I'll try to pit the pictures in order, the layout has changed since I last updated. The fiddle yard under the layout rising up has gone, the figure of 8 layout has gone, a friend of mine pointed out if something de-railed on the far side of the room I would forever be climbing underneath to get there and back. So instead, where the track comes out of Dawlish towards the door it will split, 2 lines coming back on the inside to form the main loop, and an outside line that will go up by the door and along the back wall to a terminus station at the end, sort of a branch line, the pictures will explain where I'm at I hope.

I had great fun doing the point motors, I followed the instructions, watched some youtube clips, and somehow missed the fact that with the seep point motors, position D and E in the middle are for the track feeds to feed the V in the middle of the electrofrog point, so when the point switches it takes the polarity from position D or E, I hadn't found that written down anywhere, so when I thought I had all my point motors in place and had chopped off the heads of the bar that comes through the point to start testing, locos kept stalling on the V, it wasn't too much work to then take all the point motors out, wire in a pos and neg feed and put the point motor back in place, I shan't repeat the expletives I used on here, it's all a learning process though.

In the picture below, i've made these as stock holders and hopefully one day I can design in a feature where I can drive the locos/coaches on/off onto the maintrack and back again, just somewhere else for me to hold stock and also I get to view them when they are not in use

This was the early fiddle yard with 7 lanes until I changed my mind about the figure of 8 and then having the branch line running up the back

Dawlish in progress

None of the lines had been fixed in place here hence their wobbliness, I tried the road in front to see what it would like and how easy it was to use. The piece of track behind it will be moved, it is my setup track, it's been moved twice already lol

The return loop and branch line section, the board will be hinged and I have started on that last weekend

Ballasting has started, I have never ballasted before and wanted to try out the process to see how I got on

The next 2 boards are just mocked up, not fixed in place

The branch line terminus station mock up

I have tested locos pulling 4 coaches from top to bottom and apart from 1 Hall class, all cope easily, I have fitted the DCC concepts powerbase magnet system under the track just in case, bit of future proofing. I doubt i'll ever run anything longer than 4 coaches but my class 73 has pulled 6 coaches up the entire layout.

Hopefully it won't be so long till my next update
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That's great looking progress. I look forward to seeing more

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Hi Dave

Super space, super progress...

Been said by someone else - not overly enamored by the 'S' bend approaching the station... if it was mine, and I know it isn't, I'd be inclined to straighten it out and possibly curve the station to suit, maybe using some flextrack rather than pre-formed curves would give it a far better look, more appealing, more prototypical, if you know what I mean... I assume the station area will be the main focus of attention on the layout... other than that, it's all coming together very nicely.....
Hi there good to see progress, I do have one reservation, the main 2 track loop goes under what looks to be a higher level on top - yet to be built, but the 45mm section wood used as a stiffener makes access all but impossible and the high level looks about 80mm above the lower which is very tight, I use 132mm (from the Metcalfe viaduct) which gives 120mm clearance and that is barely enough, access is crucial and trust me in this, the gremlins will get your loco where it is least accessible, my layout has lots of access to hidden areas but believe me they still come off at the worst possible places!
Hi Mike, your right, Dawlish will be the main feature, hopefully, and I was trying to use my set track curves as I have loads of them but I agree that flexi track would look better and give a better line.
And I'm not sure on the height Kristopher, I need to get a measure out, locos do pass underneath at the moment but your right, I do need more room. It's not screwed in place just yet, it just rests on posts. The other thing I forgot was the support at the back is very close to the up line, so again that needs more attention.

I've had a measure up today and the right hand entrance is 140mm to the bottom of the board and 110mm on the left, I might change the 45mm brace for posts as there is a brace across the back and will hopefully give access from the front.

A few updated shots:-

The revised exit from Dawlish station, you can see from the painted section below the easier route

The end board has been raised and the supporting beam removed, I will be putting more supports in, there is a beam at the back of the board. i also cut a section out where the supporting beam is on the wall so the back fits a bit flusher

Ballasting has been completed in the sidings, I used the Dapol large bucket of ballast and we find it's a bit light in colour, and recommendations for something a bit darker ??

The end board has been lowered half an inch to make the transition less, hinges added


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A quick wash of black paint will get the ballast darker, you can use as many coats as you need to get the effect you want.
Is that a water based paint Andy ??
Looking brilliant Dave, well done
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And is the wash once it has been laid or while it is in the bucket before ballasting ??

I use a wash of Acrylic (just cheapo artists type in tubes) thinned down with water.

Once the ballast is down and dry, a wash over with a large brush, you made need to adjust the thickness of the wash or add more coats to get the finish you want.

What I like about this method is it gives a more random finish to the colour of the ballast, you can also mix in some washes of dark brown.

Obviously cleaning off the railhead as you go.

I usually paint the sides of my rail before I do this and don't worry about the wash going over the sleepers as it adds to the effect.
Excellent, thank you Andy, I see a trip to Buffers coming soon.
Hi Dave,

Found you're thread again - I think the change of name did throw me off the scent a bit! I will try to keep an eye out for updates now. Nice progress. The ballasted area looks good - something I keep putting off!


Hi Mike,

I kept putting it off too but I watched some video's on youtube and tried on some test areas first and now I quite enjoy doing it, but i'm still putting off doing the points just in case they don't work afterwards.

I got out for 3 hours yesterday, re-worked the area by the door to make the main lines go further along by the entrance door and the incline/decline is a lot better.

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