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Author Topic: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge  (Read 7840 times)

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Offline Train Waiting

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2017, 02:35:13 pm »
It will be nice to see how your layout works out. Have you seen the one built in a coffee table in this months Model Rail Magazine, this forum was mentioned in the read up although I do not see to recall seeing the layout on here.

Thank you, Chris.

I tend to ration myself to 'Railway Modeller' and 'Model Railway Journal', so I have not seen this layout.  Thank you for telling me about it.  I have an agreeable business trip up to Berwick upon Tweed on Friday, so I'll buy 'Model Rail' and enjoy reading it on the train after the work's done.

Are you going to simulate the Triang Transcontinental series stock and locos of the day?

Many thanks: I'd love to try this!  My first train, when I was about four, was a dummy blue and yellow Tri-ang 'Transcontinental diesel locomotive and a couple of blue carriages.  There were also several goods wagons and a very short LMS crimson lake carriage, again all Tri-ang.  The track was the old 'Standard Track' with the grey plastic base.  All this was second or third hand, as things tended to be back then.  I remember that one of the wagons, a grey van, was too narrow to fit on the rails.  It was also smaller than all the others.  I was very confused by this state of affairs!

This set-up did not last long and, after a few years of the usual distractions, I received a Tri-ang 'Flying Scotsman' and some 'Super 4' track when I was 10.  There has always been a model railway (of sorts!) since.

With all best wishes.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

Offline Train Waiting

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2017, 04:09:39 pm »
Hello

The weather here for this morning and early afternoon has caused my planned activities to be postponed, so I had some unanticipated model railway time.

The first job was to get a datum line across the table-top baseboard.  The plan is that as many measurements as possible during construction will be taken from this line.  The location where straight track becomes a curve at the left hand end of the baseboard, as viewed from the siding/s side, appeared as good a place as any for the datum line.

 


The red line is the datum line.


This allowed me to rough out the pointwork at the siding/s side of the baseboard so that I could drill the pilot holes for the actuating pins for the point motors.
 




The track furthest  away from the camera is two ST-11 double straights and one ST-2 short straight.  These will be the track for one of the lines through the station at the other side of the baseboard but are here as a reminder of the required length.  This is because, acting on particularly helpful advice given to me on this Forum, I am not using 'Setrack' turnouts but rather Peco 'Streamline' SL-E395/SL-E396 medium radius turnouts.  These are not to the standard 'Setrack' lengths or geometry and cutting is required.  Therefore, the correct length is not guaranteed as is the case when one only uses 'Setrack' pieces.  Best, for me anyway, to have a visual reminder of the required length to hand.

The critical dimension if using 'Streamline' turnouts to 'Setrack' track spacing (the 'six foot') is the length of plain line which needs to be placed between the diverging tracks of the two turnouts in a crossover.  The Peco Technical Advice Bureau very kindly advised me that the required length is 30mm.  What a useful resource this bureau is: thanks to them for their help.

Hopefully, the photograph shows the trailing crossover and the trailing connection into the siding/s.  I have now removed the track and drilled the pilot holes for the actuating pins for the point motors.

That's all for now.

Many thanks to NPN and Bealman for their invaluable advice.

All the very best.

John 
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

Offline newportnobby

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2017, 04:28:59 pm »
Glad to see the electrofrogs in use, John. The wiring can be a little more tricky but, once you have the principles, it becomes almost 2nd nature. If you need any help with that, once you have your track plan done, put it in this thread and you'll get plenty of help.

Offline port perran

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2017, 08:10:15 pm »
Great stuff John.
It's you railway so build it as you want and run whatever you like. The only rule is - ENJOY :
My Layouts -
Port Perran:- Trepol Bay:-

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2017, 11:46:58 pm »
Looking good. This is a great project!  :thumbsup:

I suppose if you wanted to simulate the old Triang standard track, you could substitute Kato or Fleischmann  track, and I  believe there's an American  product too.

However, I realise you are copying  Super 4, and the Peco code 80 looks the part.

I  still have a couple of those old brown Super 4 point motors that used to clip onto the side of the point lying around somewhere, by the way!  :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Train Waiting

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2017, 01:40:31 pm »
Hello

One of the potential drawbacks of a table-top base board is weight.

The one I'm working on at present has the re-used frame of a 'sixties' kitchen table, which is made from real wood with pressed steel corner brackets.  The top surface is 9mm Sundeala, which I think is ideal for this purpose.  However, Sundeala has one disadvantage that, in my view, it needs to be well-supported or it will become very uneven.  I chose to use 9mm MDF below the Sundeala.  This created two layers where one would be sufficient in other circumstances.  Therefore, more weight.

To reduce the weight and to ensure that the Sundeala continued to have the degree of support I think it requires, I came up with this...

 


Holes where there won't be track above, solid where there will be.  Total weight saved is 10oz.

Incidentally, the new table-top is off-centre on the original table's frame.  This is deliberate and will allow sufficient overhang for the below-baseboard point motors which will be at one side of the layout only.  At least I think it will!

I think I've bored you enough with my efforts to construct this table-top baseboard.  Time to move on...

All the very best.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2017, 04:18:03 pm »
John,
Have you conditioned the Sundeala board to prevent warping? I have used Sundeala hobby board for every layout I've started, have conditioned it and had no issues, although anything kept in my garage does end up very curved! I had a water leak in my mancave last year and now have to run trains with speed restrictions owing to 'subsidence' ::)
Also bear in mind when cutting it - please wear a mask!
The 9mm I use makes great (but heavy) platforms as you can shape it then top it with 2mm plasticard of your choice.

Conditioning......
https://www.sundeala.co.uk/images/media_files/Sundeala%20Ltd%20-%20Conditioning%20and%20Fixing%20Information.pdf

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2017, 08:43:50 pm »
John,
Have you conditioned the Sundeala board to prevent warping? I have used Sundeala hobby board for every layout I've started, have conditioned it and had no issues, although anything kept in my garage does end up very curved! I had a water leak in my mancave last year and now have to run trains with speed restrictions owing to 'subsidence' ::)
Also bear in mind when cutting it - please wear a mask!
The 9mm I use makes great (but heavy) platforms as you can shape it then top it with 2mm plasticard of your choice.

Conditioning......
https://www.sundeala.co.uk/images/media_files/Sundeala%20Ltd%20-%20Conditioning%20and%20Fixing%20Information.pdf


Thanks again, NPN.

And many thanks for the link.  I dry condition it.  The wet conditioning process looks most interesting!

I find, as long as it is sitting on a good, stable, foundation that Sundeala is an ideal material for model railways.  Here it is on top of 18mm MDF built on kitchen units on 'Sandrock': six years in place and absolutely no problems.  And, of course, I have stood on it many times!
 



Thank you for the helpful hint about platforms.

All the very best.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2017, 09:14:11 pm »
Not many use Sundeala as they've had bad experiences with it but I find, providing it's conditioned and used in a half decent environment, it's great stuff. It doesn't resonate as badly as plywood and takes track pins very easily.
My conservatory temperature can vary hugely dependent on seasons but I had no problem until a cowboy roofer caused a leak which was so bad I bought a water butt to use in there before I went into hospital in Jan 2016.

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2017, 05:06:06 pm »
It will be nice to see how your layout works out. Have you seen the one built in a coffee table in this months Model Rail Magazine, this forum was mentioned in the read up although I do not see to recall seeing the layout on here.

Chris

I bought 'Model Rail' today at the now reopened (and much improved by getting rid of the self-service tills!) WH Smith's at Waverley so that I could read it on my return from Berwick upon Tweed.  What a lovely layout!  'Feldspar' and its charming builders are a great advertisement for British 'N' Gauge and model railways generally.  And, as a bonus for me, Mr Lunn has an interesting article on miniature railways in the magazine.  The Ravenglass & Eskdale and North Bay railways are the main focus of his attention.  The 'Ratty' is a favourite destination for Mrs TW and I.  The North Bay looks interesting and we look forward to visiting.

Thanks again for bringing this to my attention: as I mentioned earlier, I don't usually read 'Model Rail'.

All the very best.

John






 
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2017, 01:16:57 pm »
Hello

Compared to some of the masterpieces of modelling that one can see on the Forum (Escafeld's superb hand-built switch and crossing work for example), this is basic stuff.




This is all the pointwork for the Table-Top Railway.  I thought it might be easier to prepare it as a bench-built unit and then re-assemble it on the baseboard, rather than try to construct it in situ.  Mixing Peco 'Setrack' with 'Streamline' points requires some cutting and the sleepering pattern can then go awry in places.  I have simply inserted 'cosmetic sleepers' to fill the gaps.  The whole assembly has been prepared to be the same length as the two 'Setrack' double straights and single short straight on the opposite side of the train-set oval. 

Many thanks for looking.

With best wishes.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2017, 01:39:41 pm »
Looks pretty good to me, John :thumbsup:
Have you fitted 2 x insulated rail joiners between the two points making up the crossover?
Just checking ;)

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #42 on: July 30, 2017, 06:43:49 pm »
Looks pretty good to me, John :thumbsup:
Have you fitted 2 x insulated rail joiners between the two points making up the crossover?
Just checking ;)

Many thanks, NPN.

Yes, these are in place, but if I had forgotten them, your helpful and timely reminder would have enabled me to insert them when I reassemble the formation on the baseboard.  And that would have saved me a lot of bother!   :thankyousign:

There are actually several more insulated joiners in the formation as I have an ambitious (for me!) notion to divide the simple train-set double track oval into absolute block sections and station limits.  I'm still mulling this over, but the wheeze is to be able to have two trains on an oval at the same time, although only one will be moving.  It will be a shocking simplification of the Absolute Bock Regulations and jolly well ought to earn me a well-deserved rebuke from a Signalling Inspector.   :unimpressed:

Thank you very much for 'just checking'; having a timely reminder from an experienced modeller is invaluable to me and much appreciated.

With all good wishes.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2017, 09:05:15 pm »
Thanks, John. I tend to be very good at exhorting people to avoid set track points and to use electrofrogs without necessarily remembering some of 'the rules'.
Apart from on points, the only time I ever use IRJs is to provide isolating sections in sidings e.g. in a loco shed area.

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Re: A Table-Top Railway in British 'N' Gauge
« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2017, 03:18:41 pm »
Some Progress on the Table-Top Railway

The pointwork is complete, having been bench-built away from the layout and the track planning has been done using Scrap Rail.  Yes, scrap rail - a box of second-hand track and points obtained very cheaply.  This enabled the layout to be planned on its baseboard.  Of course, this is completely the wrong way round for most normal model railway applications.  But the Table-Top railway is most certainly not a normal model railway.  There was a bonus - some of the scrap rail and all of the points are suitable for re-use on the layout.  I'll need to replace some fishplates as these have taken a bit of a bashing.  I popped into Harburn Hobbies yesterday (how fortunate we are in the Lothians to have a proper model shop) and obtained the various parts I needed to complete the dry run at track laying.

Here it is, then, outside just before a downpour.



I'm quite pleased with this and gratefully acknowledge Mr Lunn's 'Plan 6. Extending the oval to include double track, or the Axmouth and Beer Railway' from the Peco 'Setrack 00/H0 Planbook'  as inspiration.  This is exactly what I would have wanted when I was 10 or so: double track mainline, a trailing crossover between the up and down lines, a couple of sidings and a passenger station (to be built on the plain line at the top) - a train set, trying, but not succeeding, to be a model railway.  All in 3'3" by 2' on a table-top.

Other points of potential interest:-
The up main line at the left-hand side of the layout comes close to the baseboard edge.  This will be disguised by a must-have improbable tunnel.  That other essential, an overbridge with an omnibus (broken down in this case), will be at the right-hand side as one would expect.  The coloured drawing pins represent the power feeds (red) or insulated rail joiners (green) to enable two block sections.  The insulated joiners for the pointwork assembly are not shown as these are already in place.  The holes for the power feeds are already drilled, as are the holes in the MDF layer for the four point motors' actuating pins.  The slots in the Sundeala for these will be done later.

Thank you very much for looking.

All the very best.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

 

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