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Little Salkeld

13245 Views 49 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  linka
This is my latest and probably my last layout. It is in a shed on the North side of our bungalow in an area that never gets the sun and is not much use for anything else. The shed is nominally 24' by 6' but part is sectioned off for gardening tools and things. Allowing for insulation and lining this gives me a space 18' 10" by 5' 7" or 5.74m by 1.7m for the model railway. That is a good length compared to what many people have but the width is restrictive. Like my previous layouts it will be L.M.R. of B.R. in the late 1950s/early 60s and will have a flavour of the Settle and Carlisle line.

I had nearly finished the previous layout in the shed, which was a plain roundy-roundy on one level, when I realised why I had not touched it for several weeks. It was because there were too many things about it which I did not like. They were :-
(a) Regular derailments at the lifting flap which I had obviously not made well enough.
Even more regular derailments at the point leading into the up line storage loops, even after I had replaced it with a new one.
© I didn't like the station main building being at the front of the layout.
(d) I wanted a longer scenic run.
(e) Peco had brought out their bullhead rail with very much improved points.

I decided that I would completely dismantle and rebuild it. This time it would be a double roundy-roundy with storage loops below the station. Also the whole thing would be built high enough that ducking under to get in and out would be easy, so that the lines across the doorway could be permanent fixtures. (The fact that I am only 5' 7" means that I can easily duck under 5' or a little less.) The main station building would be at the back of the layout. I spent hours on Anyrail checking that the proposed track plan would work while keeping to the 24" minimum radius that I had on the previous layout. I decided that I would have the minimum workable gap between levels so that gradients up to the station level could be as gentle as possible. In the end I chose 70mm between levels and this resulted in gradients of between 1 in 70 and 1 in 75.

I chose Little Salkeld from the stations on the S&C because I wanted one where the refuge siding went behind the second platform and where the goods yard was to the left of the station building looking from the main lines. I think that it's the only one with these characteristics. I shall make two changes though; for visual and operating interest, I will give it an extra siding, and I will put home and starter signals on both main lines, which the real station did not have.

If I can do it successfully, here are two pictures of the storage loops before the station baseboard was put on top.

I have got quite a bit further with the construction but this will do for a first instalment.


P.S. I haven't yet got the hang of transferring pictures from the gallery.


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Here's a link to the topic on putting images in a post rather than attaching them. I have a vague recollection that the 'attachment' space available to members is quite small whereas the gallery allowance is much larger.

Thank you. I will do that some time tomorrow or later in the week.


Nice trains in the storage!

Delighted you have worked out various ideas from the discussions you have started.
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If I can do it correctly here are the pictures that I meant to include in the last post.

They show the lower level storage loops before the station boards were put on top. The lines are at 47mm centres in order to get six of them in 300mm width. You may be able to see that each loop is long enough to hold two complete trains. The engine of each train is held in an isolated dead section after being driven in without slowing down. This means that when power is put into the isolated section the engine will immediately start moving again without instruction.

Here is a picture of my control panel.

The DCC Concepts levers in the middle will control the points and signals on the station level and are not yet connected. The lever switches each side of them control the points on the lower storage level. There are infra-red sensors under the front isolated sections and the LEDs light up when they can "see" a train above. The push-to-make buttons each send power to a front isolated section.

When I want to send a train up onto the scenic section, I push the relevant button and it moves off. When the I.R. sensor "sees" that the train has gone it temporarily sends power to the rear isolated section and that engine immediately moves forward and then stops when it gets into the front isolated section. It thus automatically moves up and makes room for the train which has gone round the layout to come back into its place on that loop. I did extensive testing of this set-up before putting the station boards on top.

I think that will do for now.

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The next step was to make the lower curves at the ends and the inclines up to the station boards. Here they are in their raw state.

I have to admit that inclines going opposite ways so close together does look a bit odd, but I have to accept that to get the length of scenic run that I want. Here they are with 2mm cork underlay, the track bed painted grey, and Peco code 75 bullhead rail laid on top.

I like the little track joiners that come with this type of track but at first found them really fiddly to deal with. However I have found a simpler way to use them. I put one on the end of a spare piece of rail about 30mm long and offer this up to the last piece of track that has been laid. It is then reasonably simple to slide it along and remove the short piece of rail. I find that offering up the next piece of track to the one already laid with joiners is easier than offering up the next piece with joiners on it.

I then built the upper curves at each end. First the door end. The lower track will be in a tunnel. You can see from the back scene still on the door how much higher the new layout is compared to the previous one.

And the opposite end. I am not sure how I am going to do the scenic work in this area.

I then installed the boards for the station level, laid the cork for the double track main line, painted it, and then laid the up (or rear) line. It is nearly finished. It looks finished in the picture but the two points and the piece of track to the right are not glued in place and do not have droppers.

Looking at this line, I wondered whether a train would run through it successfully. It would have to rely on track joiners for power at this stage but that might not matter. Also I had removed the springs from the points but had not yet fitted their Tortoise motors so the blades were floating free. However since they were trailing points, this might not matter either. Well it worked!

Here are links to two YouTube videos of up line trains going round the layout. Please excuse the tools and other junk at the back of the layout. I was never the tidiest of workers.

I have got further than this with the construction but I will leave that for the next post.

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Looks very neat, efficiently 'packing in' as much run as possible in the space.

I have a plan for my 'duck-under' as I get older. Got me an old wheelchair so I can ride under when bending becomes a challenge. Much
simpler than any lift out section. Old wheelchairs are chucked out quite regularly, the one I have 'had to go' because it had no locking
wheel brakes.
I might get a rolling chair one day. I might even just put some castors that I've already got onto the bottom of a small stool.

Hi Robert Nice to see some progress and to see some trains running. Although I have yet to build my shed I hope to have a little more in width and length than you have there with luck starting in the spring. Its interesting watching your progress as
a lot of your problems if we can call them that are ones that I am considering. The height of your baseboards the duck under and multi level being some . What you have done so far looks very good and the infa- red track sensors look very interesting.
I like the look of the Peco bullhead track to, do they make all the code 75 points with bullhead rail now? Thanks for sharing . Jim
Jim, Peco have only released the bullhead large radius points so far. They are the same size as the code 100 large radius ones.

The double slip, single slip, and long crossing are due out soon, but they have been "due out soon" for about a year. They told me in an email that they would be available in shops before the end of this year but that now looks unlikely. Others have been told early next year.

I believe that medium radius points are on the drawing board but when they will be available is anyone's guess.


P.S. A shed 7.2m by 2.4m it says in another thread! I'm envious. A pity that the width is not quite enough for O gauge.
I like the track gently snaking through the platforms. You do know that these bullhead points can flex a little without any modification
'as they come out of the packet'? I haven't permanently laid any of mine yet, but having gently curved plenty of code 100 and 75
Streamline large radius points over the years and not a single problem, I will go on to do the same with the Bullhead. (I have a scale
half mile radius curve through my 'station that is to come' into which the points will fit seamlessly by this means.)

QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 20 Dec 2019, 22:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...I believe that medium radius points are on the drawing board but when they will be available is anyone's guess...
I have to believe that Peco are working at whatever may be their full capacity to expand the range of points; because my local model
railway shop owner tells me the sales of the BH track have way exceeded expectations. Of course they may be getting hung up on the
slips: these will be a problem is my feeling because of their small radius. (In my ideal world Peco would have abandoned Streamline
geometry, and gone for prototype representation. I have a very neat double slip from Marcway based on five chains radius. Not
outrageously large, an item I need for Hatfield East side yard.)

QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 20 Dec 2019, 22:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...A shed 7.2m by 2.4m it says in another thread! I'm envious. A pity that the width is not quite enough for O gauge...
Then again, even 3.1 x 10.2 metres isn't sufficient for dreams of world domination. O gauge would fit, but not therequirement for a
pacific pounding away with 12 or more on, sigh. Our fundamental problem, the real railway sprawls...
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Thank you for your comments, 34C. (Why can't you at least give us a first name?)

The curve through the platforms is 9m radius as worked out on Anyrail. I know that the points curve a little, and they do follow the curve through the platforms., although that's not obvious unless you get your eye down to track level and look along them. By the way. those platforms are the ones from the previous layout and are just plonked there to show roughly where the new ones will go. They will have to be replaced because they are slightly too tall as I used thicker cork on the previous layout. Also they follow the curve pretty well but I don't think they are quite right in that respect.

I am interested in what you say about the double slip because I need one for my goods yard. However, I will use the Peco one when it becomes available. The main reason is that I bought two right-handed large radius points which I intended using instead of a DS because I thought they might still not be available for a long time. If they arrive early next year I will go back to the retailer and ask them to swop the two points for a DS. Also I'm not one that likes shunting; it's trains rolling past that I like so it won't be used that often. It's true that any train put into the up refuge siding will have to pass through the slip so I hope that won't cause a problem.

If I had Jim's shed I would model a single line passing station in O gauge and be content with a few small engines like 4F or Jinty. Actually, would I be content with that? I will never know. On reason why I would like to work in O gauge is the nearly correct scale/gauge combination. I couldn't do EM (let alone P4) because I don't have the skill and eyesight nor the time for it. Or come to that the width necessary.,


P.S. I have since finished the down line but haven't yet taken pictures or videos of it. I'll do that after Christmas when I will be away with son, daughter-in-law and the grandchildren.
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Good to hear that Peco will be releasing these other points in the not to distant future maybe in time for me once the shed is built . I agree with 34c about the track work flowing through the platforms something about curved platforms just adds to the look
. As for O I think OO is expensive and O is twice the size and even much more than twice the price let alone the space needed, definitely a lottery win. Can I ask if your base board above the storage area will be removable for access? Like you I would like the whole base boards scenic with the storage hidden, mine under a removable hillside. Plenty of those on the Settle and Carlisle nice choice by the way. That is where the infa red or camera's will come into there own with the removable scenic only required in the event of a breakdown, derailment ect. Jim
Jim. the station boards are not removable. They are 600mm wide whereas the storage level is only300mm wide. I designed the track plan so that all of the points in the station area (except possibly one not yet laid) are in the front 300mm so that Tortoise motors can be fitted below without fouling the tracks underneath. I have four Dapol working home signals to fit with their projections below board level. The two at the left hand end will be in the front 300mm so no problem. The other two will be at the far end of the platforms. The up line one will be right at the back and so should miss the curve of the tracks below. The down line one is a problem and might have to go round the corner.

The boards are 12mm hardwood ply and so don't need cross bearers. They are supported by 70mm x 18mm wood along the back and front. There are six substantial legs half way between the front and back at roughly 1.2m intervals. This means that the front of the storage area is open and I can just about reach in to remove rolling stock if necessary. It's not easy but possible, so I hope that I don't have to do it very often. It's why I did extensive testing before fitting the station boards. I have a CMX track cleaner to use for the storage tracks in particular.

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QUOTE (PAPPA.B @ 21 Dec 2019, 14:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>………... As for O I think OO is expensive and O is twice the size and even much more than twice the price let alone the space needed, definitely a lottery win......
When comparing 00 and 0, don't forget that a doubling in linear scale results in an 8-fold increase in volume and a 4-fold increase in area, so rather more materials are required to make the model that the simple doubling of scale first seems to imply!

True, John, but I have heard more than one O gauge modeller say, "A little O gauge goes a long way". I think they mean that you need far less rolling stock and so the cost is not outrageously more expensive.

I can see why you would love O gauge but for me I like steam engines big or small mainly British, North, South, East or West . The larger ones pulling eight coaches is my aim so with the space I hope to have it has to be OO gauge. Like you Robert I would really struggle with anything smaller otherwise I would have gone for N. Thanks for explaining your storage I can see how that is going to work .I'm pretty much with you on the shunting running trains is what I'm looking at but I may have a small goods yard just in case I fancy a change once in a while. Jim
Time for another update.

I've now properly finished the up line by sticking down the two points and the last piece of track and adding droppers to them. I've also finished the down line. On this line the trains wouldn't go through the trailing crossovers so easily so I've had to fit Tortoise motors to them to hold the blades in the straight direction but I haven't wired power to them yet. Here are pictures of the completed double tracks through the station boards. You may notice that I have cleared some of the junk at the back of the layout but not all of it.

The next picture is intended to show that I have slightly bent the points so that they follow the curve through the station.

I'm not sure that it does that very successfully.

Here are links to videos of down line trains.

The next thing for me to do is make the new platforms. Until that is done I can't lay the sidings. I also think it's time to move the backscenes (which will have to be cut down) from the roof to their new positions. I'll post another update when I've made significant progress.

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