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Author Topic: Georgemas Junction  (Read 22109 times)

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Offline jenn6539

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Georgemas Junction
« on: May 28, 2015, 09:23:05 pm »
Hi all

My current layout (and my first in N) is an attempt at recreating my own little version of Georgemas Junction.  It is the intention primarily to turn the clock back to the 1970s, so standby for some BR Blue 24s & 26s and Mk1s, that said though, I also hope to dabble back into steam days (eventually).

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the location, Georgemas Junction is situated in the county of Caithness on the Far North Line.  It is the junction of the Thurso branch from the Inverness-Wick line, the most northerly junction on the UK rail network.  The station which was opened in 1874 is situated in a countryside setting near the village of Halkirk  and is still operational today.  Up until the introduction of the class 158 DMUs the station was where the joining and splitting of the Thurso and Wick portions took place; a scene that will no doubt feature regularly is this thread once the layout is operational.  Traffic types and operation will be more or less as the prototype with a little bit of modeller’s license here and there to increase volume for more operational interest.

This is the track plan that I've settled upon and it combines various elements that have been there at some point during the stations history but never perhaps at the same time.



The main single track line approaches from Inverness (left side) and opens out running through the station area towards Wick (right side), the branch line to Thurso leaves the mainline and heads off towards the top.  The A9 road crosses over the station and splits it neatly in two halves.  The Wick side which contains three sidings to the south and also one to the north and the Inverness / Thurso side in which sits the station itself, consisting of two through platforms and loading dock off the main line and also a bay platform coming off the Thurso branch.

The scenic area is split over 3 baseboards and generally measures 3600x500mm, the board accommodating the Thurso branch is slightly wider.  Baseboards were constructed from 50mm foamboard which was then framed by 12mm ply at the adjoining ends and 6mm ply along the sides.

Trackwork on both sides of the A9 bridge is modelled, although a bit of compression has taken place on the Wick side and I've also exaggeration the terrain to make for a simpler and more natural scenic break.  Those of you familiar with the area  will be aware that the Wick side of the station is almost entirely flat and that Caithness is not known for having many trees - at least not pre-forestry commission.
 
Most structures will be scratch built, with the exception of the footbridge which is available as an etched brass kit.  There were at one point two signal boxes situated at the station; the Junction Box  which sat in between the mainline and the branch and the North Box with was more of a cabin and was tucked in next to the water tower on the Wick side of the A9 bridge.

This is my take on the two boxes - big brother / little brother


Some other structures during construction


Trackwork being laid and fixed down onto a bed of 5mm thick foam



And finally.....for tonight, some basic terra-forming being started off on the Wick end


I'll be back with more soon.

cheers
Shaun
 

« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 03:13:01 pm by jenn6539 »

Offline port perran

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2015, 09:41:53 pm »
Welcome aboard.
That looks a good plan and it's a great location to model. We passed through a couple of years ago on a trip to Wick/Thurso - a lovely trip.
Please do keep us posted with further pictures.
It's you railway so build it as you want and run whatever you like. The only rule is - ENJOY :
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Offline Mito

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2015, 09:53:57 pm »
 :welcomesign: Never been that far north but there's good operating potential there. I like junctions. The buildings look great. Looking forward to more pictures.
You know you're getting older when your mind makes commitments your body can't meet.

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2015, 10:06:11 pm »
Looks like a very interesting plan, Shaun, with some excellent scenic features :thumbsup:

Offline PostModN66

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2015, 10:19:40 pm »
Looking great Shaun; and a big thumbs up from me for the foam baseboard.  :thumbsup:

What are you planning to do for point operation?

Cheers  Jon  :)
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Offline Mr PJ

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2015, 11:40:36 pm »
I always remember this as being a really flat area, almost desolate, but broken up with a few distant hills, and - as you say - few trees. I think the biggest challenge is the scenic breaks!

A really nice location and with quite a bit of operational interest. It seems a loco was stationed up at this end to work freights to Brora and the tripped the northbound workings down from there, not sure it could manage that and the Thurso portions too. Often a train to/ from Inverness was a pair of loco's to get them to and from depot.
 I didn't get there with 26's sadly :(
From all accounts they were very reliable performers up her for the 25 years or so that they held sway on the line. Look forward to seeing this develop, the buildings be-lie the fact that they are 2mm scale....
Cheers,
Paul

Offline weave

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2015, 06:19:42 am »
Hi Shaun,

Looking good and looking forward to your progress.

Never heard of the place so googled.......

http://www.reallygoodtrains.co.uk/images/446.jpg

to save others the trouble.

See what you mean about the trees.

Cheers weave

Offline jenn6539

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2015, 04:14:08 pm »
Thanks for all the encouragement, the build is slightly more advanced than these initial pictures show, a few more to post yet before we're completely up to date.
Every Friday is a half-day for me  :thumbsup:  so I'm using the time wisely and I'm ballasting pointwork this afternoon - not fun :thumbsdown: but needs done.

What are you planning to do for point operation?

Cheers  Jon  :)


Point operation is manual via the the 'wire in tube' method with Mercontrol levers, all fixed to the boards using hot glue gun.  Each board has a small point control area sculpted out of the terrain where all the levers meet.  I'll take a picture and post it, although it's nothing special, very basic and not very neat and tidy  :-[

Never actually thought but i do have some pictures of the station that I took in 2012, I'm originally from Thurso but moved to Edinburgh a couple of years ago.

This is shot is taken from the east side of the station looking towards Wick.  There is quite a large area of hard standing here now mainly to facilitate the offloading of the 'big yellow pipes' which are destined for Subsea 7's bundle fabrication facility which is close to Wick, although in the not too distant past there was some container action too.  Even before this area was turned into hard standing it was still just as flat and just as lacking of trees.


This shot is taken from just in front of the station building, looking east at the A9 road bridge.  It's my intention to model the original and far more pleasing to the eye lattice iron sided bridge that preceded this one.


This is the station building, and now the only original structure that is left standing.


Looking west now up the mainline towards Inverness (160 rail miles away / 85 as the crow flies).  The Thurso branch can be seen joining from the right and on the left is the newly built - or at least is was in 2012 - DRS nuclear flask terminal, built for moving waste from Dounreay to Sellafield.  The fencing is sitting on what used to be the island platform and flask trains are loaded from what was and still is the loading bank.



Offline jenn6539

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2015, 08:32:43 pm »
The basic outline shape of the terrain was created from left over foam board and stuck down using the incredibly handy hot glue gun – if you don’t have one, you really need to get one.  The space in between was then packed full of scrunched up newspaper and covered in a lattice card framework, made for strips cut from cereal boxes, etc.  This was then covered with three or four layers of newspaper strips which were soaked / pasted with dilute (50/50) PVA, which once dry is pretty solid.


Once the glue was dry the entire area was painted with some emulsion that I had lying around and is now more or less ready for ground cover.  The platform sides and the loading dock are standard Peco stone edging with a little bit of painting and drybrushing to enhance the detail, these have been trimmed down considerably to recreate the very low Highland Railway platforms.


Platform surfaces now added in 1mm plasticard, this shot showing the main station area.


Station building under construction from 3mm foamboard.



The partially complete station building sitting more or less in location with the A9 road bridge (or the beginnings of it) in the background.


A closer view of the bridge area.


That's the thread now up to date as far as pictures of progress go.  One board has been ballasted but no pictures yet, maybe have time for another update at the weekend.

One more before I go, I pieced this image together from old OS maps and I think it dates from sometime around 1900 or so and I've been using it to help with track laying and the positions of structures, features, etc.  Interestingly enough the station at one point had a goods shed however this appears to be the only structure which never made it into any pictures.  I won't be modelling it, though I think it would be safe enough to assume that it would have been a similar design to that at Thurso, Wick and numerous other HR stations.



Offline jenn6539

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2015, 08:16:46 pm »
Thought i'd post a quick pic showing the ballasting in progress, this is last of the three boards.  I've been trying to do it in small stages of a metre or so per night, as if not I find it quite tedious and I end up taking less care than I should. 

Rather than the 'traditional method' of diluted PVA, I thought I'd give the WWS Ballst Glue a shot.  I initially tried applying it without pre-wetting the ballast but this didn't go so good and I resorted back to diluted PVA for the last few meters of track on the first board.  I tried the WWS stuff again on the second board, however this time I pre-wetted with a misting of water (plus some fairy liquid) and this made a big difference, the WWS glue quite literary just flowed straight into the ballast barely disturbing it at all.

The picture below is looking west showing the mainline to Inverness and the Thurso branch.  The speed at which I was able to apply the WWS glue is quite impressive also, the wet area in the pic only took a couple of minutes to do.



Back with more soon.

Cheers
Shaun

Offline DELETED

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2015, 09:20:50 pm »
Is this an old project -I'm getting deja vu from RMWEB?  No matter, something intrigues me about Georgemas -I've actually driven across it on the A9 often enough but never actually seen it.  I was up there as second mate in a delivery van about 2 months ago -probably never saw it because the guy was driving so fast (scared the bejeesus out of me)!

Watching with interest, seems a very interesting area to model :thumbsup:  There was a good modern image model of it a few years ago in one of the mags.

Rich

Offline jenn6539

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2015, 08:24:58 pm »
Is this an old project -I'm getting deja vu from RMWEB?  No matter, something intrigues me about Georgemas -I've actually driven across it on the A9 often enough but never actually seen it.  I was up there as second mate in a delivery van about 2 months ago -probably never saw it because the guy was driving so fast (scared the bejeesus out of me)!

Hi Rich
Yes, the hump back bridge there can be fun.  I also have a thread on RMweb - this project has been running about three years now, though construction itself started two years ago.  Progress has been painfully slow as a few house moves and a renovation project took priority for a good spell and as it happens, when the project was first conceived I was going to construct the model in OO.

There was a good modern image model of it a few years ago in one of the mags.

Yes saw this at Warley?? in 2013?? - I think.  It's a nice layout, but I don't think it really captures the openness and emptiness of the location - maybe I won't achieve this either.

Offline Mr PJ

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2015, 12:40:58 pm »
Coming on really well, it does look to me that it will capture the bleakness of the location. 2mm is a much better scale for this sort of location compared with "00", unless people are lucky enough to have huge amounts of space.
Cheers
Paul

Offline jenn6539

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2015, 08:39:58 pm »
Another very quick update,

Ballasting is now (thankfully) complete and the board pictured below has also had the ballast partially weathered, first with powders and then a dirty grey wash to seal them in.  Once all three boards have had this initial treatment I'll give them a dry brushing going over to add some variation to the sleepers and I'll also add some oily patches at the same time.


I really must get round to finishing the junction box at some point in the near future

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Georgemas Junction
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2015, 09:26:58 pm »
Nice job of the ballasting - very neat :thumbsup:

 

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