Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
LongHairedDavid
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody.

I normally do this through my blog at http://www.gmrblog.co.uk but I thought that I would try and tell you of my progress in a posting here.

I have been modelling US outline HO for many years with only a couple of unsuccessful forays into British OO and OO9. However, I have got a bit depressed about the costs of buying stuff from the USA. Finally, I have decided a) that I want to do something where I can pop to my local model shop,
that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg for postage/added VAT and handling charges and c) gives me more room for a railway.

Hence, I have taken down the HO layout. I am slowly putting all of the equipment up on EBay and am now building an Gauge layout. My basic area is one leg of 9'x 2' and a second leg of 6' 6" x 2'. In HO/OO this is quite tight but in N it is acres!

The problem is that I know little or nothing aboutBritish Railways having been brought up in South London (Streatham to be exact) and thus was only exposed to Southern Electric in my youth. I have decided that I will use basically LMS equipment as I can cope with 3F, 4F, etc. andI like Duchesses and Jubilees.

I went off down to my local model railway show - Scograil in Ipswich, which seems to have morphed into Orwell Model Railways and now run by Brett (of Scograil) and Kevin(of Coastal DCC fame!). I must say that we are very lucky to have both a top quality model shop AND a genius at DCC - in Kevin Dickerson - within 5 minutes drive from me. It seems that this results in daily visits!

Where am I then. I have designed the layout - basically a medium sized terminus feeding a small branch end of line and a fiddle yard. Location seems to be in the north west. I am thinking of making it a seaside resort where you can see the Lake District in the background feeding out to a small town with a Creamery as its biggest employer (Seascale way).

The terminus looks like this:


and the branch like this



Telling my wife that this would be cheaper than US HO, I went round to Orwell and spent £350.00 on some track, a loco (Ivatt 2MT), some passenger coaches and goods wagons. I then acquired a 4F. Having tried DCC Concepts DCC decoders (I am a Digitrax man) I swapped them out for some Zimo as Zimo seems to manage coreless motors better (thanks Kevin). This was when I was thinking of building just a small board for fun. Having turned it into something bigger and better(?) I then spent another £350.00 on the track for the terminus. Given that I am expecting to run a Jubilee or a Duchess into here with some "blood and custard" Mk1s and some extended coal trains, I haven't yet explained that I am not finished! Fortunately, I have all of my HO stuff to sell so that should offset the costs somewhat.

I am quite disabled with arthritis and can't stand up for too long so my model railway sits on top of some B&Q kitchen units that sit on the floor. This means that I can roll around on an office chair and do most things sitting down. I can't contemplate climbing underneath baseboards so I build everything out of 5mm foam core, extensively braced. This makes a 9' x 1' 4" baseboard light enough to pick up but strong enough when sitting on a stretch of kitchen worktop.

I use DCC extensively and thus have Cobalt IP motors and I drive them from JMRI buy setting up routes for specific trains. These sit underneath the layout but if there is any issue, I can just flip the board on its side and fix it. To make the shunting on the branch more interesting, I have reverted to wire and tube for the point operation but the fiddle yard (which will be behind the branch eventually), will be wired into the DCC bus and JMRI.

I have a good friend who is an artist (see his website at Brunswick Fine Art). He has painted some back scenes for me - and I built his web site for him. I am in the process of fitting these. As the layout may need to be lifted, the back scenes are all removable.

Anyway, that is the story so far. Here is where I am with the layout itself.

The main board.



and the branch terminus

 

·
LongHairedDavid
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I didn't explain about the "I don't have a name yet". I am thinking of something like"Grange-over'Sands" or "Wells-Next-The-Sea" - in other words, something that tells you it is a seaside location. So far, I have come up with nothing!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,047 Posts
Hi and a suggestion, with a Duchess that limits you to major routes and basically the WCML, so the only place where the WCML actually sees the west coast is at Hest Bank near Lancaster. Now nearby Morecambe used to be called Poulton so that might might work for you say Poulton le sands etc.

Just a comment on your main terminal, the two tracks coming in/out are not laid out correctly, general British practice is to arrive on the left and leave on the right as you look from an arriving train. I do not think you would get a double sided arrival platform with no release road so it would;d be better to have the single sided for departure if at all, even so railways did watch costs so this is inefficient, I add below Cheltenham St James a long gone terminus that the Midland and South Western Junction used but the layout is good, the station pilot can sit centrally, there are release roads and freight does not interfere with passenger movements, your loco shed is fine as when released a loco would return to the shed to be ash cleaned and coaled to await return whence it came and this was always a conundrum, arrival side or departure side? I prefer arrival side so that works.

The station pilot has no where to take released coaches either so have a look at this plan and note that some CLC stations, Bath green park and others had this general layout and if you follow the path of the locos, the coaches moving from arrival to departure and the movements you will see it is nicely arranged, I suspect you would be frustrated working your current arrangement.

Look how the pilot can sit in the middle of the whole thing and go anywhere from the stub road, I think this is very neat and used the basics for my Adolphus Square station but without the space you have. Anyway please do not take umbrage you are the fat controller in this instance and it is your choice entirely of course.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
When it came to finding a name for my layout I thought long and hard. Then one day I had a eureka moment, PARKVALE. I arrived at this by combining the first part of my surname with the first part of my wife's Christian name, PARKER and VALERIE became PARKVALE.

As you wish to be coastal maybe Pennington Sands or Pennington Hoe.
 

·
LongHairedDavid
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As it happens, my wife's name is Valerie as well! Not sure how combinations of David, Valerie and Pennington work. There is a village in Sussex called Pennington so it is actually used as a place name. I used to live in a village called Tuddenham St. Martin (named after the church in the village). I quite like that form but it probably won't work for a town (except for Exeter St. Davids).

I will think on.

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

·
LongHairedDavid
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"Hi and a suggestion, with a Duchess that limits you to major routes and basically the WCML," I know. I think that I would be better off using a Jubilee or maybe just a Black 5 or some such. I have to get a Black 5 for the main goods trains so another would work. I am busy learning about British Railways.

Thanks for the plan change suggestions. There is one hard limit on my plan - 13 points - as that is the limit of Cobalt motors that I have and there is no budget left (I am retired) for any more point/motor combinations as each extra point costs me £30.00!

I was going to lay some track today so maybe I should delay that and work on the plan some more.

Many thanks for the contribution.
 

·
LongHairedDavid
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have had a look at the planand realised that there was no way for a train in the lower platform to get out onto the right side of the doble track main! I have reworked it.I know that it makes a bottleneck between the platforms and the turntable lead but I can't see a way round that without more expense so I will have to live with that. Anyway, here is the plan. The two points with * against them aren't points but are used to get the curve right.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,684 Posts
Pausing on the planning and learning more about British railways (LMS) is an excellent move.

You don't have to use all 13 points - or - if you need one or two extra you might wire control them. Also - to the best of my knowledge you can work both ends of any crossover off a single DCC control drive. Maybe someone can confirm this.

It would be advisable to run your double track all the way through to the stops of the main platforms. Once there you might have a centre release road or not. Everything else builds around this.

Why would long coal trains be arriving at a beach terminus? Cheltenham St James (and a lot of other small termini) has no goods facility. "Small town" goods could be provided but a lot of coal? Where's it going to? What for? - All apart from " 'cos you want it there".

Interesting traffic other than coal - warranting a 4-6-0 would potentially be fish traffic - in Fully Fitted fast workings.

 

·
LongHairedDavid
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I know. That was left over from a previous idea. It will need some coal traffic, as everywhere did, but not that much! I like the idea of the fish traffic, though. That could work. As a newbie to UK railways (I always think of iced reefers) are we talking ventilated vans or what?
 

·
LongHairedDavid
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Regarding point motors, as I said in my introduction, I use JMRI to set routes. I am a bit of a computer fan - spent the last nearly 40 years messing around and earning my living from the things so I enjoy the challenges in setting up something like JMRI. For my HO layout, I had a freight car routing program that I wrote for the final year of my Open University course so such things are important.

Hence the need for Cobalt IP motors. Never mind about the little bit of single track at the station throat. I know so little about British Railways that I am going to do a lot of stupid things, however, I don't really care. I took my US outline HO layout very seriously but now, at the age of 72 3/4(!) I intend to have some fun.

It is a real treat to find how friendly and easy going these forums are - quite a difference from the US ones that I used to frequent where I often had a loco driver for the Union Pacific in Texas instructing me (!) about where I was going wrong, forgetting that, as Model Railroader magazine has come back to saying "Model Railroading is FUN".

Thanks for the comments. As mentioned, I will take on board the thoughts about Duchesses and coal wagons.

Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,684 Posts
Your railway - your FUN


That said I'm going to urge you to not have that bit of single track. Apart from making the whole thing look "wrong" - which will come back to nag you sooner or later - it will confine everything to going through that bit of line - and the points each side of it. Consequently if you get any problem with either point you will be nobbled. The fun thing that tends to happen next can be that as soon as you fix one set of points the other set mess up. Still, if you enjoy "messing about"...


Not sure about fish vans for LMS. I think they were probably chilled (ice) NOT reefers. $wheel XP vans I suspect. I think it was the LNER that had a bunch of 4 wheel revolting blue fish vans - may have been BR? Try E Bay for Fish Vans LMS. Plus any similar Google etc search. From where you "are" I think they'd probably run point-to-point to Manchester and surrounding area. The two-way working could be the job of a Manchester area shed - there will probably be people who can tell you chapter and verse on this - even down to probable loco numbers at certain dates.

If you have steamer fishing boats they would want coal. There would usually be a regular arrangement for getting this from the siding to the dock/wharf if there was no direct rail link. A Direct rail link could be a "Siding In Section" - potentially worked as a Trip Working - a kind of extended shunt. You have a choice here - model the action on scene or only work the shunts - from train in to Trip working (coal wagons out to fiddle yard - possibly with no brake van or brake not at the back (Special local Rules for this). Then there would later be the return empties.

Return empties are always a significant traffic except for general goods - where a back-load can avoid non-revenue mileage.

In a previous post - ages ago - I have written a whole load of stuff about the vast array of traffic a coastal terminus could have - a lot of it relatively small stuff.

All goods wagon / siding traffic needs space next to the siding for road vehicles - originally horse drawn - to get access. This massively impacts on the look of all UK layouts. While wagons were placed across other tracks in PAVED yards it was not a preferred practice in the UK. This is very distinct from US practice - and creates a strong visual difference between US yard practice and UK practice. Another element with this is that UK practice tried to minimise wagon standing times. There were a few exceptions - but the consignor or consignee had to pay "rent" on any wagon standing and acting as a store for their goods. Even when there was only one goods train or two in a week wagons had to be emptied or loaded very promptly so that they were ready for the next move. A small yard would tend to accelerate this - good for the modeller as it pushes up frequency of movement. This means that you could be better off cutting out a siding to give vehicle space but more movement.

There would not be a specified brake van road. Brakes would be "parked" where appropriate - and relocated if necessary during shunting.

A station of your size is unlikely to have a designated goods arrival road - that would (possibly) be the other side of the pond. Goods arriving would tend to go into the platforms, be run round as necessary and then shunted/broken up as needed. If you don't have an available road for a passenger loco to run round while a goods is being sorted out the goods loco might act as station pilot. However - UK practice tended to not have locos sitting around as pilots at small termini. You might also use a branch loco for this job. Talking of which - your branch passenger service might be a push-pull set. (Some nice LMS 2-6-2 tanks for that I think?)

Your earlier drawing showed "storage" sidings. This might be a temporary description you have adopted. Why store (what) there? I would suspect that, if there were a carriage siding it might be between the inbound Running Line (Almost certainly the "Down Line") and the turntable. This would enable shunts back into it from the platforms as a propelling movement. Like the turntable road you have shown the connection into the carriage siding would be a Trailing connection in the Down Line. The factor of carriages standing on this siding would tend to push the main (Stop) arms for directing into the platforms higher to provide sighting for Down trains approaching on the curve.

Your signals - some at least - might be old Furness Railway or Maryport and Carlisle Railway. These might be "original" and Lower Quadrant - or - "original" structures with LMS Upper Quadrant arms substituted - or - LMS UQ signals. Getting really technical - an old wooden post might have been "Grandfathered" - that is the main post braced with heavy timbers bolted flat to appropriate sides from the foot of the post (below ground) to six to ten feet up the post. Between the Grouping and WW2 the railways had quite a bit of trouble with wooden posts reaching "life expired". this is partly why they turned to tubular steel posts (or concrete in some cases). It wasn't common but some signals did break and fall over.

Double- tracking right through - you could push one or both crossovers back around the curve toward the fiddle yard and also push the connections for a carriage siding and the turntable back. This can be juggled around. It's possible that access to the TT would not be a single shunt from both platforms. It is also possible that the carriage siding would only be freely accessed from one platform - this was resolved by selecting the platform the working normally arrived in - when train crews got sent to the other platform and had to mess about berthing carriages they tended to get a bit upset. No idea why.
If available in N gauge you might even use a scissors crossover???

DCC points operation? Is it possible to switch all 4 ends of a scissors (or of a double slip) on one control?

Okay, that's probably enough waffle to help you get to sleep for today.



PS If he was UP he would have been an "Engineer".
 

·
LongHairedDavid
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
"Might you turn the creamery into a wharf?" That would make some fish traffic from the branch into the town and then out to the main line.

"Your railway - your FUN"
True but I want it to be as good as it can, within budget. I will try getting rid of some of the storage sidings(still thinking US) as this might free up a couple of points to improve the double track issue - and give me a bit more room for "town" which will please the wife!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,047 Posts
Sorry could not post last night.

Not much keener on this one David, a bit better but to get max length sidings you have ended up with multiple headshunts which is nasty, rail modellers seem fond of these but they are naff really. A dairy might work usually 3 or 4 tankers to shunt around and a quay might help for later that could handle some coal the fish and general goods alongside the loco shed/turntable.

I think you are simply trying to pack too much into the plan so have a think and look at a few terminal stations, there were lots that were turned into goods depots some small such as Preston West Lancs, Yarmouth Southtown, Plymouth Friary, Bradford Adolphus Road, Chesterfield Market Place, Southport any of them, there are quite a few that are very interesting and Stamford Riverside (was Water street) Plan 15 in the Peco Set track plans book and also Leicester Belgrave Road is very nice.
 

·
LongHairedDavid
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am thinking the same way. I can probably ditch the storage sidings so long as I have somewhere to put stuff when making up trains.

Do you mean, thinking left to right on the plan, move the goods stuff to the left from the right and avoid the "come in - back into" moves, if you see what I mean? This could mean widening out one end of the board - I actually have 24" available although I am restricting it to 16" at the moment.

I will have a go and see what I come up with.

Thanks for all the input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,684 Posts
I'm not aware of what couplers N gauge British outline uses now. Are they Automatic/remote controlled? This would help.

May I suggest that, working front to back, you consider -
  1. A Bay platform line (not full length of the platforms - this might also have an end dock facility. Use this for a push-pull branch working.
    Platform
    Arrival Platform (arrival only)
    Release road - if there is room for it. This can have a dead-end spur if you have enough points (although this one could be manual and/or combined with the other end of the crossover) The outer end of this release road trails into the outbound line beyond the platform.
    Next is the outbound (only) platform road.
    Then comes the outbound platform.
    Beyond this it's a matter of how much space you have left up to the back scene.
    What exactly goes on with a yard here is a very open subject... Maybe others can come up with ideas... The thing to keep in mind is that here must be space for road vehicles (horse) to manoeuvre. This has the great advantage that it opens things out so that you can actually see your "trains" i.e. goods stock in the siding(s). Unlike US practice we don't usually line stock up side-by-side so that you can only see the roofs. Hence- no "storage sidings"


    That's all at the left hand end and toward the middle.

Deep breath... think...

Okay, so any passenger train other than the branch shuttle is going to work into the arrival platform (probably platform 2 - as seen from the concourse at the end of the line/beyond the buffers).
  • Loco would push the stock back clear of the crossover (to either the release road or the other platform line road - depending on how you do it in the space).
    Loco detaches and draws forward.
    Loco runs round
    Loco attaches to the other end of the passenger stock.
    Train pulled out onto Up Line.
    Train propelled (SLOWLY) into Platform 1 line.
    Loco can then go and turn while carriages cleaned in the platform and passengers board.
    Loco then onto train and ready to go.
    When turning the loco will take on water but will probably have enough coal for the return trip.
    • IF there is any coal arrangement here it would probably only be a standing wagon - maybe also a wagon for ash - sometimes only occasional ash wagon to be loaded from a heap - by hand. (Great fun - especially on a windy day)
      A coal wagon would usually be pushed straight across the tt into a spur NOT put on the table, turned and then manually shoved off. Worse would be the outbound effort. Spurs do not slope toward the TT!!!
      Whether there would be any spurs for locos is a moot point. Your shed at the branch end looks after the branch loco. It's carriage would probably be berthed in the loop overnight - and, potentially, Sundays. (In the loop it is trapped in and can't escape. If you change the creamery to a dock there would be an extra trap arrangement to avoid any risk of the carriage landing in the water.

    An alternative move would be for a passenger train in platform 2 to shove its stock back into a carriage siding between the Down Line and the turntable. You might extend this siding off scene to get enough length - the stops end of it could be alongside the throat into the fiddle yard.

As for goods movements...

  • In the amount of space my feeling is that a goods train will work into platform 2.
    loco will run round (as above).
    The brake may then be picked off - and put in the dead end of the release road - assuming nothing else is in it. Alternatively it might be parked in the end of the Bay platform - this could mean that the Bay platform (number 3) had trap points at the outer end. Such traps could allow the branch coach to be berthed in platform 3 - unusual to be berther away from the loco but not impossible - potentially following changes in operation after the branch went push-pull.
    Having got the brake out of the way the loco can draw the goods stock out - this can go to either the Up Line or across it into a headshunt that curves around the outside of the Up Line.
    If you make this headshunt long so that it extends to the scenic end you will push the Running Lines inward (to the left). This might cause you problems.
    The size of the yard that will be possible will, however, mean that you will not have massively long goods trains..

    NOTE!!! Figure out the lengths of platforms etc before you go much further!!!


    The good news is that if you need the headshunt to be short - due to a wall or rock face getting in the way - you can work the goods wagons from the inbound train in stages. This adds to opportunity to play trains.
    If necessary goods stock could be shunted into the release road (if there is one) to free up Platform 2 for an arrival - loco released by the goods engine making the stock shunt to platform 1.

    Having got this far we have ended up with a whacking great space at the right hand end across from the turntable. You might well add a short private owner coal siding here - unloading toward the back scene. It is possible that you would add another siding next to the headshunt for wagons to/from the dock to stand when traffic is busy. This line and the headshunt could be of very different lengths - their use could alternate depending on how busy the traffic is.

    Remaining space in the right hand corner is where you put the wife - Oops
    Sorry - I meant the wife's town scene - of course...

This is all "suggestion" . In general the way to design a layout from scratch is to figure out what the traffic would do.
There are all kinds of variations both to the layout and how it would be worked.
If you look at the other stations that have been suggested you might figure out how you would work the traffic at them.

For a larger facility and a later period it might be that both platforms received Down trains and sent away Up trains. This would probably add to the points needed and would definitely add to the signals required.

KEEP HAVING FUN!

 

·
LongHairedDavid
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow. Thank you. First off, I have thrown away the "storage sidings" and the goods yard - for now. I have been thinking about the passenger facilities. On the way I found out, amazingly, that I had the dimensions the wrong way round. The main station had been given 6' 6" and the branch 9' when it is the other way round. I couldn't work out why I didn't have more room!

The dimensions have been flipped and I am working on. Hopefully, I can put up something later on - to be shot down again - I hope!!!!

David
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top