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Ray's new layout - based on North Wales' Coast line

53939 Views 250 Replies 45 Participants Last post by  Doug
Hi folks,
Well as I am going on holiday for 3 weeks, I thought I would commit myself into building a new layout on my return. My last effort was a 9ft x 4ft point to point with continuous run, but the curves were too tight and lots of locos can't run properly on it. So it will be ripped up in the near future and a new continuous run 10ft x 5ft (or 10ft x 6ft if I can squeeze it in) will be built in my garage.

The new plan will be a purely fictitious station, MPD and goods yard somewhere on the North Wales Coast line.

This is an 8ft x 4ft version designed by S. Jay that I will slightly modify.

There are several reasons for choosing the North Wales location (even though you won't glimpse the sea on this layout!).
First I am a LMS man even though I was born in GWR country (Hereford)
There was a large amount of traffic on the line, freight and passenger, especially with summer holiday traffic. Crack expresses like the Irish Mail and small local trains, it's all there!
I can run just about everything the LMS used from small tank to pacific and still be prototypical (except perhaps for the Coronation Scot - I have no record of that - but it won't stop me!)
There was some interesting architecture to be seen on the line.
In BR days, some unusual visitors were seen including B1's and even the Gas Turbine GT3.

I have a large loco stock so I wanted to include a MPD, just to have a few on display and operational.
The design is interesting enough to operate three trains (2 passenger and one goods), with plenty of scope for exchange of engines and also some shunting.

So that is the plan. I will take this thread all the way from baseboard construction, to track laying, wiring (DC not DCC) and scenics (mainly urban).
I will try to salvage some stuff from my old layout but there will be a new LNWR station building, Bangor style footbridge and other interesting bits and pieces. Other bits, like Engine Shed and Signal Boxes, I have already prepared (see Ray's Building Site thread below).

That's all for the moment, will continue in May, all being well.
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Just spend the afternoon doodling around. This pic shows all stations extended by 1 foot and also the lower viaduct.

I have made the lower engine shed into a coaling stage as the size of the lower station does not really warrant a shed.

The upper engine shed is blanked off at the rear and so the lead in becomes a station pilot headshunt. I also indicated a loco release crossover in the upper station. The upper goods shed needs moved back a bit on the plan but that is a minor point.

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Well, Iain Rice's Urban Layouts book came - and went! Nothing in there to suit my requirements unfortunately. He is a great modeller, but I rarely see a plan of his that I like. Just a personal thing.

Anyway, I got the pen out and modified the plan yet again.

I have reverted the top loco shed to double ended - that will mean modification of my already built Scalescenes shed!

The upper goods shed has been moved back along the siding. The top siding close to the station will be made into a platformroad for parcels traffic, I think.

The bottom coaling stage was incorrect as it had an approach via the turntable, so I moved the goods headshunt and put in another approach.

The lower station platform can be extended slightly to the left to balance train lengths.

I think the (final?) plan should be ok. It doesn't have a continuous run, but that will stop me being lazy and actually have to operate the layout to some sort of sequence!

Anyway - here it is (I think!). All contributions welcome as usual !

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Well I have decided to run with this one (Plan 60) although I may tinker and try to fit 2 loops under the top station.

As with all multi-level plans you need to start at the bottom and work upwards.

The lower station will be stage one. Pretty self contained and can be run as a little layout until time and money permit stage two (Intermediate station) then Stage three (Top station)

PS Bruddersford comes from J. B. Priestley's fictionalization of Bradford.
My stations will be Belmont (Main station) and Dormington and Mordiford. (From my childhood in Herefordshire)
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Hi, folks!

I undertook a couple of planning exercises yesterday.

Step 1 was to work out spot heights and gradients. The maximum gradient is 1:40 which is acceptable for a train length of around 4 - 5 coaches.
The lower station is at 0", intermediate station at 1", tunnel exit under station is 2.5" and upper station about 6"

Step 2 was to work out the points required.

Step 3 was to mark out DC feed points and section breaks.

Just need to work up the courage now to tackle the garage, dismantle the old layout and tidy everything up in preparation for new construction! - Don't hold your breath !!!

PS Some interesting photos of the original Bradford Exchange Station to be found here

Gives a good idea of the overall roof and retaining walls required.
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QUOTE (PAPPA.B @ 4 Jun 2012, 13:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Ray Glad you decided to stay with us. The Plan looks busy plenty to hold your interest is it one of CJ Freezers from trackplans for various locations? I've been trying to get a copy had one on order for 3 weeks i've been told it should come this week. mmm ! Like you i'm hoping that it will give me some inspiration. So if this is based around Hereford what will you be running period and stock wise ?Good luck with sorting your garage been there now got some baseboards to build. Cheers Jim

Hi Jim. The plan is from the PSL book of model railway track plans ISBN 0-85059-905-9.

I have only borrowed the names Dormington and Mordiford from local hamlets/villages near Hereford. The name Belmont comes from Belmont tunnel at Bangor North Wales on the old LNWR coast line. I will be running LMS and BR steam stock.

Have just made a start by ripping up some trackwork! Sad in a way, but the curves on my old layout were too tight. Looking forward to building the new one in a few weeks I hope. Will keep everyone posted!
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Nothing much further to report. I bought a roll of lining paper at the local DIY and have started drawing up the plan life-size. Unfortunately it doesn't photograph well !!

That will be about it for a couple of weeks until I clear the garage and buy some wood.

Will post again when there is some definite progress.....
Hi Derek. Lowest baseboard height will be 3ft (92cm) to suit my bar stool seat plus heights of sockets. There is open access to both right and left ends. I intend to put stock storage drawers underneath.
I should just add that plotting out the track plan full size is only to make sure everything will fit the baseboard dimensions.
When it comes to putting down the actual track, there will still be a degree of final adjustment to ensure there are sufficient clearances between tracks and also that buildings, platforms, etc fit properly. Only when everything looks good will the track be fixed in place! This process will take place for each of the build stages.

Also, it is extremely useful to do plenty of research into the prototype by getting your hands on books, photos, etc especially in colour if possible. For example, the LNWR and LMS had distinctive water cranes, signals, station buildings, coaling stages, etc. Being an amalgamation, LMS structures varied according to the railway company that had been amalgamated, i.e. LNWR, L&Y, Midland, etc. These would remain mainly unchanged even in BR steam days although the colour of the paint might change.
For those interested, this is the book where I got the plan. Quite a good selection in here.

I would also recommend C.J.Freezer's books on Signalling (ideal for novices to signalling such as myself) and also Operation (gives you a grounding on how railways actually operated).

Also books on North Wales Coast :-

North Wales Steam Vols 1 & 2 by E. N. Kneale

London Midland Steam in North Wales by W. G. Rear

Steam on the North Wales Coast by Michael Jones

British Railways Past & Present No. 36 North Wales Part 2 (Can't see Part 1 though!)
British Railways Past & Present No. 6 Chester & North Wales

also British Railways in Colour - The London Midland Region by Alan Earnshaw & Kevin Derrick (General LMS - good for colour referencing)
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A little more plotting out on the lining paper today. The low level station will comfortably hold a 5 coach train and the two lower sidings are 3ft and 4ft respectively.
I must say that this plotting out full size has turned out to be a useful exercise.

I have managed to squeeze in another siding onto the bottom sidings and found out that my amended pointwork for the coaling stage and goods headshunt had to be swapped around because the headshunt curve would be too tight.

Better finding out now instead of when I came to construct it !

The good news is that it all seems to fit.

It is only when you see 11ft of drawing that you discover just how big it is and just what you have let yourself in for ! Having said that I should really crack on with dismantling and clearing space in the garage!
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Some pics of the lining paper plan...

Overall plan of lower station

Some detail

And some pics of adjustments made to the original plan

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QUOTE (PAPPA.B @ 9 Jun 2012, 19:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Ray come on stop putting it off and get and sort that garage
.The linning paper is a good idea i bought a roll of poster paper it was on offer not sure how that will work out.I also got my CJ Freezer track plans for various places at last, it looks interesting when was your plan book published?This one was published in 2010 i wonder if you have some of the same plans. Always interested in different plans as you have done they can be adapted to your own needs is the book still available? What track will you be using will you recycle some from the old layout or start new? The plan you have chosen certainly looks like you won't get bored with which is some thing i'm trying to find. For me i want to keep all the track on one level as it's my first real atempt and due to the the fact 3 of the 6 baseboards will be removable. Anyway will be in my garage tomorrow building the first 2 of the 6 boards having bought the timber today.I'll be following your progress with interest not sure that i'll be keeping up the pace with you though but thanks for sharing your project with us when i've made some progress i'll post some pictures myself. Cheers Jim

Hi Jim. My book is 1993 but available used. I will be using peco code 100 as I have many old locos. Will reuse as many points as I can but probably mainly new flexi track. Big issue is all that length of retaining wall to build.
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QUOTE (PAPPA.B @ 10 Jun 2012, 10:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Ray morning, i ment to ask you how did you draw the curves on your full size plan? And are the lines to the outside of the sleepers? Cheers Jim


I draw curves in a couple of ways. For the fixed curves on the viaduct I determined the radius from the original plan, then used a pencil on a piece of string to draw the centreline(s). Then put a piece of flexitrack in place along the centreline and drew a pencil along the outside of the rails. I probably could have used a long thin piece of hardboard but didn't have any to hand.

For siding curves, I drew in the straight sections (centre to outside of sleepers is 1.5cm each way, ie track is approx 3cm wide in OO) then drew in the positions of the points and finally used a piece of flexi track to join up the two ends.

Peco templates are useful to print and cut out. Mark the centres between the rails to join up with straight sections. When in place, mark the positions of the rail ends to obtain size and direction.

So yes the lines are the outsides of the sleepers but I also put in the centre lines on the paper as much as possible since I will be using Woodland Scenics track underlay which is split down to middle for ease of installation on curves.

Thanks for your interest and good luck with your layout.
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Just as an aside, I will be using the Scalescenes downloadable retaining walls (two types) on my layout. With around 20 feet of retaining walls to build this is by far the cheapest option although they do take some time to construct. My main issue will be on the lower "viaduct/embankment" which lowers from 6" to about 2.5". The problem is how to keep any arches vertical - you can't just cut off the base at an angle as this would change the verticals ! Any ideas??

May have to "design" my own templates as adjusted versions of the Scalescenes ones using a gradient instead of horizontal.

Some pics of some Scalescenes wall I have already built.

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QUOTE (PAPPA.B @ 10 Jun 2012, 18:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Ray Thanks for your reply i did have some ideas just wondered how you did yours. Regarding your embankment/viaduct can you not build the embankment around the arches sorry if i,ve miss understood what your trying to do .Have you been in your garage today ?I have built the first 2 of the 6 so had a productive day and pleased with the results hopefully will complete the baseboards by the end of the month. Cheers Jim

Hi Jim. No productivity today, too busy studying my Open University course. Just took a break to draw in the final siding beneath the loco coaling siding.
I think I have worked out the arches. Keep them vertical and well below the level of the track. The wall above will slope with the track gradient and the parapet above that will therefore remain parallel with the trackbed.

As another aside, I thought I would show the mimic board that I used on the old layout. It is simply made of hardboard on a wooden batten frame with a painted front. The bottom is hinged for drop down access to the rear and a piece of ribbon on one side stops it at 90 degrees. The rear is a bit of a rats nest! This is a DC layout.

Point control is by peco stud and probe. Simple but very effective. Wires are soldered to the back of each stud. The probe is powered by a 16v supply from the controller. Touching the probe against a stud throws the point. Two studs are required for each point.

Finally I use this American unit to obtain some limited sound effects. I will switch to a Mr Rails sound system for my next layout I think.

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I've just taken an hour off from today's studies to plan out there the lower station baseboard joins will be and where the support battens will be. A bit of a tricky job in some areas due to the amount of pointwork ! I will be fitting under-board point motors so no wood will be under the ends of the points. Also, I have tried wherever possible to place a join either on plain track or at the very end of a point.

Back to studies now!
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A reasonably productive day today ! (For a change!)

I brought two bags of cement that had gone solid to the council tip. Then I finally removed all of the old track from the baseboards.

On the subject of track removal. I use a pair of track cutters to remove track pins as you can get the blades really underneath the heads of the pins. Hold the track by the pin down with one hand while levering the pin up with the cutters.

You need to take care when removing the track. First remove all the obvious pins, then starting at the end of track, lift and jiggle the track gently at the same time. Any resistance is likely to be a hidden pin.

For points, remove the point motor tie bar on above ground motors first by gently pressing down on the point tie bar to uncouple it from the hole on the motor lever then slide it to the side away from the motor.

The next major job is to clear out all of the boxes of stuff under the baseboards so I can get underneath! Then I can unsolder all the joints to recycle as much wire as possible!
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QUOTE (Long funnel & tiresome @ 12 Jun 2012, 17:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>A very DANGEROUS thought.

Take my advice stay with the purely hypothetical layout: its cheap, its a great space saver...and never goes wrong.

Just look at that poor Ray: he's always humping heavy cement bags about or trying to chip the wrong lettering off his new scratch built diesels.

Best of all you can always post on other folks' threads to offer corrective advice.


I also checked that I had room past the station crossover for a large loco like a Duchess, 8F and LMS 10000 !
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