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Author Topic: Making a fresh start  (Read 821 times)

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Offline 25901JFM

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Making a fresh start
« on: September 12, 2017, 03:44:52 pm »
Well I’ve been lurking on the forum for some time now, making the odd contribution now and again, where I have been able to hopefully make a useful contribution.   I have been living in our new build for almost 3 years (another 2 months it will be!).  I have still not started on a new layout even though I managed early on to identify an area for it.  The acquisition of a set of three folding tables from Lidl in August meant that I have been able to lay a basic oval of track on to run some of my newer purchases (using two of the three tables).  I’ll apologise now for the mix of imperial and metric measurements, I’ve tried to show both so that both sides know what is what without trying to convert one to the other.  The main area available to me is 3 metres long (approx. 9 feet – 10 inches), the maximum sensible depth needs to be a maximum of around 76cm (2 feet – 6 inches).  This is because I’m vertically challenged and need to be able to reach the back without causing damage at the front and still have the boards at a reasonable height so as not to bend over too much.  Around 3 feet high is my preferred working height.
This will be predominantly a “Rule One” layout, possibly based around a heritage line.  Most of my loco fleet is diesel (of varying liveries) with a handful of steam loco’s.  Basically, stuff I like!  Also some that have memories attached to them from my interest in the BR scene of the 1980’s and 1990’s.
I had thought about using a similar principal of Ditapes’ retirement plan with a traverser at the front, but even though I’ve got some extra room to allow for a longer run, I was not convinced I could achieve a shallow enough gradient to allow some of my larger tender drive steam loco’s to take 6 mark 1’s up the climb.  On Sunday, I made my first visit to TINGS and saw the “Nelevator” in action.  I had previously dismissed this idea on cost grounds, but having seen it in action I’m really impressed with it.   The extra storage roads alone make it worthy of consideration.  Even my wife liked the look of it and thought that it would be a good idea, even after I told her how much they were! 
I’ve been really struggling to come up with something that works for me with my wish to be able to run 6 coach trains.  The middle sized “Nelly” would allow me to run a 2+6 formation HST and even 7 coach loco hauled trains. 
The attached is what I have come up with using a “Nelly”.  The “Nelly” area is not scale and some alterations may need to be made accordingly.  It is only 60cm (approx. 2’) deep for the most part and tapers out at either end to form a U shape.  I did consider jigging up something that would let me run around the room, but that got too complicated as the desk and computer needs to stay in the room.  That said there is room for a small shelf behind the desk for a 6” deep shelf that could hold a small “Minories” style terminus for the DMU’s…  I like playing running trains, so this plan will not be to everyone’s taste.  More train orientated than landscape…  The station is inspired by Fareham, but I’ve not got any area or region in mind.  It is predominantly single line as I want to keep away from overly sharp curves.  The minimum radius is 12” (around 30.5cm).   Certainly not a definitive and final plan, but it currently works for me.  I may consider giving the loop boards an extra inch or two and make it a double track circuit.  The plan is done using Peco code 80 streamline track and all points will be electrofrog.  I have a big pile of code 80 points most of which are still in good condition.  That said I wouldn’t rule out using code 55, especially after seeing the layouts at TINGS.
I just need to get the boards constructed when my brother-in-law as some time to spare, as he is a carpenter, and my woodwork skills are next to non-existent.  It will be conventional DC control.  I currently do not have the desire to go down the DCC route.  All comments, questions and suggestions welcome. 


Offline newportnobby

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 04:23:01 pm »
I like the curvaceousness and the freight avoiding lines.
It complicates things a bit but how about a 3 way point at the left hand end of the station so as to make the dead end into another loop?

Offline 25901JFM

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 05:17:08 pm »
I like the curvaceousness and the freight avoiding lines.
It complicates things a bit but how about a 3 way point at the left hand end of the station so as to make the dead end into another loop?

Hi Mick, thanks for your input.  The station was inspired by the rationalised look, similar to that currently at Fareham, for something a bit different.  The dead end platform would be predominantly used by DMU's and may be the odd loco hauled train.  The bay at the bottom I'm not sure as to it's purpose, but was possibly a loading dock in times gone by.  The Goods line and the two (refuge) sidings was a bit of an afterthought that just fell in to place late last night. 
Originally I had considered something based on Highley.  In my scenario though the Engine House would have been replaced with something similar to the Diesel stabling area I've put on this plan.  Highley being the less is more principle.   I did consider something with curved platforms, but to me unless you can do really gentle curves through a platform they tend to look odd in my opinion.
John

Offline newportnobby

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 09:18:38 pm »
I did consider something with curved platforms, but to me unless you can do really gentle curves through a platform they tend to look odd in my opinion.
John

Totally agree, John. If you get them on a radius too small the poor passengers have to pole vault into the carriages! I'm sure someone on this forum suggested 24" radius was the minimum that could be got away with.

Offline 25901JFM

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 08:39:40 pm »
 :hellosign:  Following on from yesterday I've had another play with Anyrail.  This is a double track version with some amendments to the layout at the right hand end of the station, which I feel is better than what I had before.  This has resulted in a minor shortening of the platforms, but nothing significant.  Minimum radius is still 12" / 30.5cm.  Just noticed that I've left a random LH point lying around!

Some thing else I considered was having the "Nelly" mounted slightly higher than baseboard level and have a slight incline up to it so that on the right hand side where the board is narrower all four tracks would not be on the flat.  That said I'm conscious of not wanting to make the climb too steep.  Being a mathematical Numpty am I right in saying that a 1% gradient is a rise of 1 unit over the length of 100 units, regardless of unit of measure?  For example 1 inch rise over 100 inches is 1% gradient and 1 cm rise over 100cm is 1% gradient which presumably is the same as 1 in 100?   :dunce:

 :thankyousign:

John


Offline newportnobby

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 09:43:49 pm »
You're quite right in that 1% is 100th of any measurement you want to take.
I'd estimate the max gradient for N would be maybe 2% - less if there is a curve involved in the gradient.

Offline 25901JFM

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 10:31:05 pm »
Thanks Mick, yes curves would be involved.  It is the reason why I'm wary of including gradients especially has the curves involved are 12" radius... The area on the right could always be non scenic...
John

Offline 25901JFM

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2017, 11:26:22 am »
Back to the drawing board!  The right hand side of the U will interfere with reaching the window...   :censored:    >:(

I am getting a little frustrated now as every idea brings a new snag that I hadn't previously thought of.  A compromise is going to have to be made somewhere and at the moment and  I'm struggling to come up with something that works for me.  Ideally the operations need to be realistic-ish in that ideally I don't want the same trains running in the same direction all the time, however this is looking increasingly like the compromise I will need to make. 
Whilst most of my loco's and stock can cope with 9 inch / 229mm radius curves a number of the small fleet of steam loco's are not so keen and all of the new Farish ones do state a minimum radius of around 10.5 inches including my 0-6-0 Fowler 4F.  The 4F doesn't like the 9 inch radius of the temporary test circuit!  Which is why I really want to make the minimum radius 12 inches (305mm) which takes up more space than you think.  My judge of dimensions does not match the reality of the measuring tape!   :dunce:

Anyway, time to get something to eat as I'm on late turn and need to leave home around 12:30  :food:

Offline newportnobby

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2017, 11:42:50 am »
I don't want the same trains running in the same direction all the time, however this is looking increasingly like the compromise I will need to make. 


Surely the Nelevator completely solves that problem?

 
Whilst most of my loco's and stock can cope with 9 inch / 229mm radius curves a number of the small fleet of steam loco's are not so keen and all of the new Farish ones do state a minimum radius of around 10.5 inches including my 0-6-0 Fowler 4F.  The 4F doesn't like the 9 inch radius of the temporary test circuit!  Which is why I really want to make the minimum radius 12 inches (305mm) which takes up more space than you think.

You'd be amazed at what will go round 9" curves e.g. all my diesels from 3-8 axles, my Duchess and other big locos, but they tend to be Farish as there seems a bit more 'slop' in the drive which permits this (some do look very sheepish on 1st radius curves though :-[ )
My main lines end curves are between 10½-11" radius and all my stock runs through with no problems. I do have Peco large points on the main line scenic side but all the fiddle yard points are Peco code 55 small electrofrogs. Again, no issues.

Offline 25901JFM

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2017, 11:05:29 pm »
I am amazed at what goes round 9 inch curves, but the Fowler 4F isn't one of them!  All my diesels do, I've also had the HST round the circuit, but the Mark 3's look a bit silly...

Anyway I've had some spare time to day and I've been playing around with AnyRail again.



This is a double track convoluted dog bone, which requires trains to climb a gradient.  The maximum height to be achieved only needs to be around 2 inches / 5 cm.  It runs round the room and could just about make a 1% gradient, but involves curves, which I'm still not convinced about.  Also the representation on the Nelevator is a bit small as I plan on having the middle size one, not the small one.





This one is all on the flat and again is a convoluted dog bone.  This one uses Peco second radius curves for the end loops so minimum radius will be around 10.5 inches, which looks as though it will work on the right hand side (second & third radius curves) and will allow easier access to the window.  Representation of Nelly is increased on this plan.  I will need to be a bit creative with the scenery, but on the whole this plan seems to work for me.  The station plan might will probably change as I have not sat down and tried shunt moves, such as fuel tanks to the stabling point.  I've not finalised the stabling point plan either.  Plenty of time for that...  The bonus with these plans means no real need to uncouple locomotives from trains other than to swap them from time to time. It should also give me what I would like from an operational point of view... I think I can live with the coach sets always being the same way round regardless of the direction they travel through the station.

I just need to source some second radius curves to test some of my fussy loco's on before I get too carried away.  A double track test oval and two trains running around in circles!  Then I just need to get my brother in law to come round and do is wood working magic and order a Nelly...

John

Offline weave

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2017, 11:29:36 pm »
Hi John,

Have only just come across your thread but wanted to say hi as all looks very interesting. Will read from the start when the Friday night sherbets have worn off.

Cheers weave  :beers:


Offline newportnobby

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2017, 09:04:20 am »
I do like the first plan as the flyover is reminiscent of Bletchley, scene of much of my trainspotting days and hub for access to Bedford-Sandy and Oxford in my time.

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2017, 09:07:57 am »
Impressive planning! You just want to watch trains go by, rather than shunting, then?
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline 25901JFM

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2017, 02:45:18 pm »
I do like shunting, but I find that it is a bit of a faff in N.  Peco couplers are fine because they don't have springs and I don't mind using a "shunters' pole" to uncouple them.  The  spring fitted Dapol & Farish models I find the wagons tend to lift rather than the coupling.  The NEM pocket rapido in my experience is even worse especially when coupling, you can't do a gentle couple as you just seem to end up pushing the entire train backwards, similar to the spring fitted ones.  I do have some Dapol easy shunts that I intend to try at some point as I do like the idea of hands free shunting, but keep putting off the inevitable conversion process for the wagons and coaches that do not have NEM pockets.  I did see a demonstration at TINGS with I think it was D&G couplings or something similar, almost like mini tension lock couplings, but too fiddly for me!

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Re: Making a fresh start
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2017, 10:11:06 pm »
I do like the first plan as the flyover is reminiscent of Bletchley, scene of much of my trainspotting days and hub for access to Bedford-Sandy and Oxford in my time.

Part of me likes the idea of the first plan, again there may be some slight changes to the station approach.  I'm just wary of the gradient, but I should be able to achieve a 1% gradient although it would still involve curves.  The only minus is the relatively short length of the return loop to the right of the station, not quite long enough to be holding / hiding a Loco plus 6 coaches, whilst pretending it is on its journey to the end of the line and back.

 

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