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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all.

I am, at last, building my first proper layout (as opposed to something knocked up for the kids 20+ years ago). I have opted for Z scale as I want a reasonably complex railway which is also compact. It measures just 180x31cm.

As I am a tyro when it comes to design (and a lot of other things!) I was wondering if anyone would care to have a look at the track plan and make any (helpful) comments. Building has not started yet, but I am hoping to get going in the next couple of weeks. The railway is loosely based on German practice, running both modern (EpIV) and 'preserved' stock, so running is on the right.

The track plan can be found at http://trains.manvell.org.uk/layout/ .

With best wishes,
Chris
 

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Not bad, not bad at all.
Constructive critisism: The long train might look a little to much like a tailchaser, depends on whether you're going to have a long tunnel or two. The only other thing I could think of is that you may want more sidings somewhere to allow for more complex shunting operations, but I can't see where they could go.
Love your website btw. It comes in very useful. I've had it on my favs for a year or two. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (poliss @ 23 Oct 2007, 23:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Not bad, not bad at all.
Thank you. The statioin design (three tracks and branch) goes back to when I knocked up a 'trainset' for my children and then was long forgotten. The storage sidings are a completely new design. The basic idea could be extended (and may be in my yet-to-be-built N scale layout).

QUOTE (poliss @ 23 Oct 2007, 23:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Constructive critisism: The long train might look a little to much like a tailchaser, depends on whether you're going to have a long tunnel or two.

Absolutely. However, I doubt that the locos could handle a train that long anyway. Even if one could, the idea was that it would only do one circuit at a time, reverse and then wait for a while. On my simulation I have also looked at the idea of having a light loco waiting to take it back (on the wrong track initially) in the opposite direction.

Maybe I shoud explain where I am coming from here. I was inspired to design this layout after attending an exhibition in Inverness about five or six weeks ago. A friend of mine was exhibiting a small layout (one oval, two passing places and a single goods siding) there and it was the first time in 20 years that I had operated a train! I decided, there and then, to build a layout that I coud exhibit. (My N scale one will be a permanent fixture at home.) So the storage loops will be partially hidden from the observer, being entered via a tunnel on one end and a deep rock cutting on the other. The branch will be a push-pull operation and limited to very short trains.

The station itself is supposed to serve a dormitary town not far from a large city and, as such, is busy with traffic, both through and terminating. The space in the middle will consist of only one street, with the rest of the town off to the left. I have done some sketches which I will scan today and post on my site, so have a look this evening if you have time. (I will post here to say when they are up.)

QUOTE (poliss @ 23 Oct 2007, 23:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The only other thing I could think of is that you may want more sidings somewhere to allow for more complex shunting operations, but I can't see where they could go.

I totally agree. However, as you say, threre isn't much space, especially with a road going off left. Originally there were only two sidings and they were purely for storage. The other problem is uncoupling. My friend's layout was 'under glass' as he found that dust from the exhibition area could cause havoc with wheel-rail contact so essential for smooth operation. So I shll do the same. That means that all shunting etc. is strictly hands off. As far as I can establish, Marklin uncouplers only work if one is pulling across them or doing a push-stop on couple-pull operation; there is no pre-uncoupling. I still have to think about that one.

QUOTE (poliss @ 23 Oct 2007, 23:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Love your website btw. It comes in very useful. I've had it on my favs for a year or two. :)

Thank you; there is more to come too. It's a lot of time and work but does attract a reasonable amount of vistors. I rely heavily on the N-Modelle-Datenbank site as a souce of information and thoroughly recommend it. It is all in German, but one soon gets round that. I have a 'hidden' search entry page, in English, on my site; go to the bottom of the home page and click on the 'Last update' date. Only sections 1 to 3 and the sort facility work which is why I do not have a public link to it.

Finally, a nice little touch. There will be a small park near the station which will contain a working quarter scale model railway. I say no more as I am still not quite sure how I am going to incorporate it.

So, thank you for your comments; much appreciated. I will let you know when the sketches are up.

All the best,
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Neil. Thanks for taking the time to look.

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 23 Oct 2007, 23:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Looks very good Chris. You have managed to get a lot into a small area. Z scale must be hard on the eyes though. Nice website too. Some good info on the locos and trains.A bit too much I would suggest; I should have made the board a bit bigger, but it has to fit in the car and be 'luggable'. I've been working on the signalling and electrics design - a nightmare!

Once I start building, I will also put up some photos of the layout. (Don't feel it is 'kosher' to post them here, esp. for those w/o broadband.)

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 23 Oct 2007, 23:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Where on Skye are you? I used to live on Harris so I know the area fairly well. Beautiful part of the world.
South end, not far from Broadford. Came here in August '78 and just remember the wind and the rain (non-stop until January) which was truly Hebridean! But we survived. But we love it here. I came from Bristol but there was little that I missed. (It's even better now as we have a small orchestra here.)

All the best,
Chris
 

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QUOTE (cmanvell @ 24 Oct 2007, 15:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Neil. Thanks for taking the time to look.

A bit too much I would suggest; I should have made the board a bit bigger, but it has to fit in the car and be 'luggable'. I've been working on the signalling and electrics design - a nightmare!

Once I start building, I will also put up some photos of the layout. (Don't feel it is 'kosher' to post them here, esp. for those w/o broadband.)

South end, not far from Broadford. Came here in August '78 and just remember the wind and the rain (non-stop until January) which was truly Hebridean! But we survived. But we love it here. I came from Bristol but there was little that I missed. (It's even better now as we have a small orchestra here.)

All the best,
Chris
I would imagine the signalling is hard on the eyes too.

Round Broadford is nice although I have generally stayed in Portree. Sometimes on holiday and sometimes when I was waiting on the morning ferry from Uig. I would hope to move into that area when we come back from Ozz.

sliante

Neil
 

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Hi Chris,

Come in a bit late on the thread, but I like what I see & agree with the previous posts.

I think most of us can try to cram a bit too much in, but at the end of the day we are supposed to be enjoying ourselves & your plan looks like a lot of fun to operate.

Please keep us posted on the progress - I would love to see it "in the flesh" when finished, but distance may just preclude that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Neil.

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 24 Oct 2007, 07:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would imagine the signalling is hard on the eyes too.Not really; at lease, not where I am using semaphore. Colour light is fine when it is lit. The plan is to make most of the signalling train controlled. (Normal: danger - train approaching: clear.)

I have scanned several sketches (landscape, signalling, power etc.) and they are now on line at http://trains.manvell.org.uk/layout/. Do bear in mind that this is the first proper layout that I have worked on so some areas will be a dit dodgy.QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 24 Oct 2007, 07:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Round Broadford is nice although I have generally stayed in Portree. Sometimes on holiday and sometimes when I was waiting on the morning ferry from Uig. I would hope to move into that area when we come back from Ozz.Broadford is convenient for the Bridge but further north is more interesting.
) Did you look at my Skye etc. pages? (http://skye.manvell.org.uk)

Agus Sliante va. (Akchooly I don' hav the Gaelic - or French, or German - just English.)

Chris
 

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QUOTE My friend's layout was 'under glass' as he found that dust from the exhibition area could cause havoc with wheel-rail contact so essential for smooth operation. So I shll do the same. That means that all shunting etc. is strictly hands off.
The answer to the dust problem that I came up with on my 6'x2' layout was to make a hinged lid with a drop down front which will house the control panel.



 

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Hi Chris,

Welcome to the forum.

QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 24 Oct 2007, 08:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Came in a bit late on the thread,

Er likewise, so may repeat some earlier comments.

I really quite like the track plan but I think you may ave overdone it at the top of the plan (as viewed on screen). Some of thje scenic ideas look interesting.

Keep us posted

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Brian.

Many thanks for your comments. This is my third attempt at a reply! (I had auto refresh on and in both the first two cases it kicked in just as I was about to post - Grrrr! It's off now.)

QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 24 Oct 2007, 08:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think most of us can try to cram a bit too much in, but at the end of the day we are supposed to be enjoying ourselves & your plan looks like a lot of fun to operate.
Absolutely. However, my interest is purely in operation and a busy passenger station with basic freight facilities suits my interest. (There is also the challenge of designing the electrics and other background tasks.) This will be my first attempt at landscaping and I am not looking forward to it as I know of no-one up here who can give advice and, more important, practical guidance. I know what I want, I just don't know how to implement it.

QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 24 Oct 2007, 08:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Please keep us posted on the progress - I would love to see it "in the flesh" when finished, but distance may just preclude that.

I guess I shall have to keep a progress record on my Website. So far all that has happened is the building of the baseboard and a dry run on each of the four main groups of pointwork. All OK there. I shoudl receive my Merkur roadbed this week and then I can lay the two main loops and actually run a train!

All the best,
Chris

PS. I didn't know that the Ardennes were in Kent!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi. Thanks for the idea.

QUOTE (poliss @ 24 Oct 2007, 15:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The answer to the dust problem that I came up with on my 6'x2' layout was to make a hinged lid with a drop down front which will house the control panel.

I'll think about that one. The thing was that he had his layout totally enclose and just removed the polycarbonate lid when someone wanted to take a photo.

With best wishes,
Chris
 

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There was a very nice Z scale layout that featured several times at the scale four Rail Wells show, in 2006 I've looked for names on their web site but there's no reference unfortunately. The layout resembles a star with three distinct area's with a port yard and town. It ran very nicely, and attracted a lot of interest, and the layout design was such that it made excellent use of space (most Z scale layout do). You might want to investigate N gauge layout design to make the most of what you have, certainly some of CJ Freezers designs would in concept be well suited to you scale.
There's one in modelling the steam age plan 9 which I'll willingly scan for you if you can't obtain a copy, The other CJF design that I recall is Beal ( named after Edward Beal ) if I can locate that amongst my collection I'll also scan that for you (off list). I think you just want the concept to generate some thinking outside of the box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Britho.

QUOTE (BRITHO @ 24 Oct 2007, 16:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Welcome to the forum.
Thanks. Actually, I have been here for a while but didn't contribute much (see number of posts). I'm not a very good typist so messageing is slow. Also, though retired now, I have an awful lot on my plate.

QUOTE (BRITHO @ 24 Oct 2007, 16:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I really quite like the track plan but I think you may ave overdone it at the top of the plan (as viewed on screen). Some of the scenic ideas look interesting.
The tracks you are referring to are what I call 'storage/hidden sidings' and everyone else calls the 'fiddle yard'. The two outer ones are for long train manoeuvring. The next ones in are the main running tracks for 'tail chasing' (minimum facing pointwork). The other two are bi-directional and can each carry two short trains. They can both be entered and exited in either direction. Leaving aside private enjoyment at home, if I do exhibit (and I hope it will be good enough to do that) trains would be set up prior to operation and a sequence worked through. BTW, the short spurs at the entrance and exit of the hidden sidings are to hold locos for ringing changes.
QUOTE (BRITHO @ 24 Oct 2007, 16:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Keep us posted
Will do.

All teh best,
Chris
Best wishes,
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hello again.

Once again, thank you for taking an interest.

QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 24 Oct 2007, 17:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>There was a very nice Z scale layout that featured several times at the scale four Rail Wells show, in 2006 I've looked for names on their web site but there's no reference unfortunately.

It wasn't, by any chance, featured in Continental Modeller, or other mags? I have a few kicking round the house somewhere.

QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 24 Oct 2007, 17:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The layout resembles a star with three distinct area's with a port yard and town. It ran very nicely, and attracted a lot of interest, and the layout design was such that it made excellent use of space (most Z scale layout do).
That is worth bearing in mind. Unfortunately my railway room will also be my 'office' (I do some editing work) and various other things which really dictates that the railway keeps to the wall with computers and other paraphenalia in the middle of the room and under the railway.
QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 24 Oct 2007, 17:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You might want to investigate N gauge layout design to make the most of what you have, certainly some of CJ Freezers designs would in concept be well suited to your scale.

There's one in modelling the steam age plan 9 which I'll willingly scan for you if you can't obtain a copy, The other CJF design that I recall is Beal ( named after Edward Beal ) if I can locate that amongst my collection I'll also scan that for you (off list). I think you just want the concept to generate some thinking outside of the box.
The Z scale is a bit of a sideline, though I appreciate that I could become addicted to it! I have CJF's Model Railway Design Manual and a couple of his other books of track plans somewhere in the tip that is my current 'office'. However, if it is no trouble, I woud be grateful if you could scan the plans you mention. You can use my [email protected] address.

Well, that's it for now. I must do some practising - I have an orchestral rehearsal on Saturday and am still having a problem with some of the music.

With best wishes,
Chris
 

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QUOTE (cmanvell @ 24 Oct 2007, 21:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Neil.

Not really; at lease, not where I am using semaphore. Colour light is fine when it is lit. The plan is to make most of the signalling train controlled. (Normal: danger - train approaching: clear.)

I have scanned several sketches (landscape, signalling, power etc.) and they are now on line at http://trains.manvell.org.uk/layout/. Do bear in mind that this is the first proper layout that I have worked on so some areas will be a dit dodgy.Broadford is convenient for the Bridge but further north is more interesting.
) Did you look at my Skye etc. pages? (http://skye.manvell.org.uk)

Agus Sliante va. (Akchooly I don' hav the Gaelic - or French, or German - just English.)

Chris
Hi Chris,

I was just imagining how small and fiddly the signals would be. Are you mainly using Maerklin products?

I did have a bit of a look at your Skye pages. Brings back some pleasant memories. Dunvegan or Trotternish would be nicer for scenery but the wind in winter is harsh. We used to get blasted in Harris with some fierce winds. Portree is a bit more sheltered and you get the view of the Cullins as a bonus.

Yes Gaelic isn't the easiest language to learn.

Good luck with your layout and keep us updated on how it progresses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hello again.

** Can anyone tell me how to post a private reply rather than to the list? **

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 25 Oct 2007, 00:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I was just imagining how small and fiddly the signals would be. Are you mainly using Maerklin products?

Yes. I decided at the beginning to do that, especially after I found that Peco didn't do pointwork. I do have a few items from other manufacturers but the vast bulk is Marklin.

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 25 Oct 2007, 00:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Good luck with your layout and keep us updated on how it progresses.


Will do, via my website + a few pictures here as well.

All the best,
Chris
 

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I see you figured out the PM thing so I wont tell you that.

Maerklin have a pretty good range of Z stuff from what I have seen on the online catalogues. I have never actually seen any in real life though. I love the blue S3/6 you have shown there. I think they did the Rheingold set in z too with a model of Neuschwanstein castle. I'd have loved to have got one of these in HO scale.

Look forward to seeing it develop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Neil.

I did a reply to your message but had to break off to get my tea and when I got back it had gone! :eek:( So, here we go again.
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 25 Oct 2007, 23:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I see you figured out the PM thing so I wont tell you that.
I did the sensible thing and went to a PM I received the other day. :eek:)
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 25 Oct 2007, 23:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Maerklin have a pretty good range of Z stuff from what I have seen on the online catalogues.
I agree, the range is very good. However, I also note that quite a few items were short lived (less than 5 years). It is a shame that there is no 'N Model Database' for Z scale though 'The Z Collection' does cover some of the information but is not easy to use.
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 25 Oct 2007, 23:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have never actually seen any in real life though.
Ach! All the more reason to visit next time you are in the area.
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 25 Oct 2007, 23:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I love the blue S3/6 you have shown there.
I shall change my signature image every so often so keep your eyes open!
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 25 Oct 2007, 23:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think they did the Rheingold set in z too with a model of Neuschwanstein castle. I'd have loved to have got one of these in HO scale.
I am actually waiting ofr one right now! (In Z of course.)
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 25 Oct 2007, 23:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Look forward to seeing it develop.
Well, keep an eye on that webpage. Also, I will send the occasional image to the list as well.

All the best,
Chris
 
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