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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I haven't posted recently as I haven't had much to show!

Some of you may have seen my first attempts at creating something after 10+ years out of the hobby - Aslanvale.

This was a small branch terminus with a quarry terminal, set in Somerset and based upon a Cyril J. Freezer trackplan. The whole layout has to pack away in to the wardrobe to keep local government
happy.

I was progressing quite nicely, making loads of mistakes along the way of course but had had a go at scratch building somethings, done a load of wiring and laid and ballasted a load of track.

But, I hit major - in fact fatal - problems with the design. The different levels gave the layout far too much height to be easily put back in the wardrobe without damaging it considerably each time. Plus, most importantly, having toyed with what stock I have on the trackplan itself I realised it was a little limited, and that I'd tried to squeeze too much in to the smallish space. In 2m * 0.5m I had the station, the quarry terminal, a quarry terminal feeder line, a preserved railway an the fiddleyard.

So, I decided after much soul searching to strip it back and start again. I think I did this just before the point where starting over would have been emotionally and financially disastrous - I can still regard the first attempt as a learning/test bed.

Having thought about it, what I like to do is collect rolling stock (particularly modern freight) and see them running, not being too restricted by what looks out of place. I also like to have a good play with shunting things around, lots of points to throw and different sidings to put things in.

A few weeks ago I visited Coleshill Parkway station to collect the other half and noticed the Hams Hall freight terminal. This sparked an idea in my mind and I returned home to look at the whole thing on Google Earth. It seemed to have everything I was after - a large container yard next to a fast mainline with a small station. I've seen all sorts of thing things on the particular tracks as I motor around the region in all sorts of liveries.

The basic brief of the baseboards hasn't changed - the whole thing still needs to pack away in the wardrobe. This time however I have given the whole of the main 2m * 0.5m boards over to scenic sections - on one level this time. By clearing the shelf at the top of the wardrobe I have the chance to store some more boards and so can add 2 more to build the fiddle yard on and 2 more to connect these to the scenic boards.

So here's what I'm thinking of - of course I cannot hope to model the terminal in all its glory, the length of it is prohibitive even in N gauge, but I can get the correct platform length in for Coleshill Parkway station (to the bottom left of the plan). The yard has been turned backwards but is pretty close to the actual freight terminal. The scissor crossing appears at the entrance to the yard, although there are actually four lines running up to the yard from the mainline. I originally tried to include these but couldn't turn the upper lines within the confines of the still narrow baseboards. Minimum curve radius is 300mm - not that the curves will be seen anyway. The design has a total of 6 boards, I've tried to learn from a past mistake and have all lines that cross the joins perpendicular to them. The station building will hide the exit stage left and I plan to put part of a large motorway (the M6 moved a little...) at the other end. This seems to me more realistic than tunnels.

I still plan on using code 55, although this time around I plan to use mainly concrete sleepers. Is there a reason why points aren't made with concrete sleepers?

I'd love to know what people think of the plan - it's certainly not set in stone yet!

 

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QUOTE (N Gauge James @ 21 Oct 2008, 22:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Is there a reason why points aren't made with concrete sleepers?

When concrete sleepers came in switches and crossings were still built on timber bearers, probably because each one had fixings in a slightly different position so had to be individually manufactured unlike the sleepers which could be cast by the thousand. However in the last 20 years or so this has been overcome and most S&C now uses concrete bearers. Unfortunately the makers of model track haven't caught up with this fact.

Incidentally, pedant's corner, when used under switches and crossings it's a bearer not a sleeper.

Good luck with the layout, plan looks interesting. No doubt you'll be using some of the wonderful new intermodals from Farish and Dapol!
 

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I like the curved lines at the front of the layout ,Its much better visually to make a sweeping curve instead of a boring straight.lLoks good and much more natural .Trackplanning is a nightmare .I always dream up a better plan just after I have just finished ballasting .
 

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My only concern would be the fact that once a train leaves the terminal station, the only way it can get back is to be reversed into it.

I think that you should perhaps look at putting in a revesing loop.

John
 

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Presume trains could run round in the centre tracks of the fiddle yard, however this could be tricky if you can't see this area or reach it to uncouple.

I would think about moving the siding at the RH end of the container terminal so it is accessible from all the terminal tracks and therefore locos can run round in the terminal without blocking the main line. I think you can do this by replacing the short red straight between the scissors crossover and the junction with a left-hand point leading into a short siding alongside the main. This could maybe form a headshunt giving access to a couple of loco sidings.

I wonder also if you should delete the ladder of crossovers towards the left hand end of the terminal. Instead you might consider having the loco trapped against the buffers while un/loading takes place, with another loco being moved down from the short siding I just suggested to take the train away. The first loco could then go into the siding to await the next train. While a run-round is likely to be provided on the prototype - no operator would want their locos trapped for a significant length of time - it does mean that trains on some tracks can be nearly twice as long and I'm not sure a container train with three or four flats would be very convincing!

Along similar lines you could make the main line curve on the left non-scenic and extend the terminal tracks towards it, again allowing longer trains.
 

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Hi James, Just been reading your topic and i thought i would offer you some help if you need any with the track plan at hams hall as i used to work there as a reachstacker driver and the crane operator. I know from the ground how the track is laid and how many twin sets it can take and so on!!. Please let me know if you need any information.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to everyone who's replied.

madon37 - thank you for that. I may well make use of your experience there, even though (as you no doubt can see!) the design is only inspired by Hams Hall there will be plenty of things I include that can be found in the area itself.

Edwin - a very useful post, thank you. Your idea for the headshunt is an excellent one - one of the reasons I posted it was that I knew somebody would be able to see a possible place for it, it hadn't even occurred to me to put it there.

Regarding train lengths, I hear you on every count. The only two boards which are scenic are the centre two with the terminal itself on them, all the curves are off stage. The reason for this is that the 'curve boards' have to fit in a very narrow space at the top of the wardrobe, so I can't put anything except for track on them. They're also a little tight for my liking anyway. Extending the terminals sidings on to these boards isn't really an option, however much I'd like to. As for the ladder - I thought I'd leave scope for both - running around and trapping the loco against the buffers. All the blue crossings are double slips - partly due to my love of intricate trackwork I've already mentioned. Is it very 'un-prototypical' to have stock parked over these crossings and points? The real yard ends in a single line, with the four others all feed back into it. I changed some points for double slips in order to create the extra length in the sidings.

As for being a pedant - please continue, you'll hear no complaints from me.

Is this what you meant?



The headshunt is a little shorter than I'd like at only 18cm, but it's long enough to stable a Shed!

John - yes I hear you too. I had the potential for running around on the original plan I drew up before I connected the front boards to the fiddle yard - it's another thing that got sacrificed when the two other mainlines went bye bye. As Edwin has suggested, it'll have to all happen in the fiddle yard. I'll have easy access to this.

Rossi - thanks, the curve was essential to make space for the station, but I think you're right about it adding something. It's not as sweeping as I'd like mind you.
 

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QUOTE (N Gauge James @ 22 Oct 2008, 20:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Is this what you meant?



Yes. In an ideal world it would be longer and perhaps kick back to a couple more loco sidings in which case the other siding further up might be redundant. However I now see that your storage arrangements make this impossible.

People try to avoid double slips wherever possible so if space was available I'd guess they would use simple turnouts. However the shortest road would probably then be down to zero length.

You also have an interesting challenge of setting all the sidings tracks, double slips included, into a "concrete" surface for road vehicles to drive over. And doing this in a way that doesn't look too awful with the overscale N gauge flangeways. I think Tomix do some tram track which might help, though I've never even seen it and I doubt it includes a double slip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (Edwin @ 22 Oct 2008, 20:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yes. In an ideal world it would be longer and perhaps kick back to a couple more loco sidings in which case the other siding further up might be redundant. However I now see that your storage arrangements make this impossible.

People try to avoid double slips wherever possible so if space was available I'd guess they would use simple turnouts. However the shortest road would probably then be down to zero length.

You also have an interesting challenge of setting all the sidings tracks, double slips included, into a "concrete" surface for road vehicles to drive over. And doing this in a way that doesn't look too awful with the overscale N gauge flangeways. I think Tomix do some tram track which might help, though I've never even seen it and I doubt it includes a double slip.

Regarding the concrete, the real Hams Hall yard doesn't have concrete round most of the track, just a very small paved section at either end in a fashion rather similar to a level crossing. I was planning on replicating this. Having tried to pave round the track of the aborted layout, I don't fancy having a go round a double slip!
 

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QUOTE (N Gauge James @ 22 Oct 2008, 20:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Regarding the concrete, the real Hams Hall yard doesn't have concrete round most of the track, just a very small paved section at either end in a fashion rather similar to a level crossing. I was planning on replicating this. Having tried to pave round the track of the aborted layout, I don't fancy having a go round a double slip!

That sounds like an excellent reason to base your layout on Hams Hall and not somewhere else!
 
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