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Author Topic: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning  (Read 1208 times)

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Offline NW2017

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North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« on: September 28, 2017, 06:57:05 pm »
 :hellosign:

Well that seems a good way to start my first real post. Iíve been into railways since I was a kid, all thanks to my dad, and despite being in the East Midlands, well ish, the WCML and Manchester have always held a fascination for me.

I dabbled in N during my teens, but gave up and stayed with OO, most of which was disposed off years ago. I came back to the model side of the hobby last year, again in OO, but just couldnít get anything to work for me. I got tempted into O gauge, which is wonderful, but a small shunting layout just didnít do it, so Iím in the process of selling it.

Suddenly occurred to me that the reason nothing was working for me was due to me looking in the wrong area and the period. I enjoy rail operations, but like to see full length trains in the landscape. Iíve always gone for the late 80s when I was growing up for the traction types and liveries but I now think thatís where Iím going wrong, so...

Iíve decided to look at N gauge (yes, but of size shock from O!) based around the current day railway scene, perhaps in the future the odd 1980s working might appear but not to start with!

Iím lucky to have a 20í x 12í (roughly) space to work in, and not being restricted to the sides Iím thinking of something like a heavily modified figure of 8 layout, depicting the WCML on two and four track working, running through the northern fells, with long sweeping curves and a station based around the Warrington area, but modelled on the track layout of Stafford.

A little bit of modellers license could allow ATW Manchester-Llandudno loco-hauled services, and the Cumbrian 37s might be extended south too. But the thought of pairs of 86s and 90s on full length intermodels really appeals. The layout will be full DCC, and as Iím starting a fresh with no stock at the moment, Iím thinking everything will be DCC Sound fitted from the start and detailed where possible. Trackwork will be Code 55 - Iím assuming electro frog points are best with DCC?

This raises a few questions. Iím struggling to find an N Gauge Pendolino, are they produced? I think Graham Farish have done the 221 Super Voyagers in the past which I can hopefully pick up.

The layout will have electrification on it - are the Dapol masts any good, or do people use others? How do people do the wiring? I assume the pans on electric models will raise? Are CR signals good for colour-lights?

Iím currently working on a track plan, which if anyone is interested Iíll post, once I can get my head around this SCARM software!

Any help or pointers would be much appreciated. As itís my first proper post I hope Iíve got things in the right place on here!

Rich

« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 07:31:12 pm by NW2017 »

Offline weave

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 08:21:26 pm »
Hi Rich,

Welcome aboard. Sorry but can't really help with your questions except that yes you are in the right place and yes I (and am sure others) would be interested in the track plan so just to say hi really.

All sounds interesting. Also, with regards to the catenary, I'm just going to go with the Dapol ones (don't think you can have wires) which are a bit delicate but cheap. I think Viessmann catenary is the way to go if you want wires but expensive.

I presume UK electric pantographs raise. I model Continental and they all do raise although some of them can be a right b*gger with my undelicate fingers.

I'm sure better answers are on the way.

Looking forward to your progress.

Cheers weave  :beers:
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 08:32:08 pm by weave »

Online port perran

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2017, 08:25:17 pm »
Welcome Rich
Your era is all a bit modern for me but good luck with your build. I'm sure plenty of help and advice will be forthcoming soon.
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:-

Offline jpendle

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 08:34:56 pm »
Revolution are producing a crowd funded Pendolino, but there aren't any for sale, but I dare say that once the model has actually been released you may find some for sale on ebay, etc.

The Dapol OHLE masts look good but that's all they make. N Brass locos do a more complete range of brass kits, including the OHLE portals.

Voyagers are only available second hand, beware the motors in the Dapol version, I don't have a Farish version.

Also make sure you are aware of what is new and what isn't.

For example the Dapol CL86 is a new model and comes with a 6 pin DCC socket. All mine run very well but the lighting wireing is a little fragile.

The Farish CL87 and CL90 are both much older models which are not DCC ready.

New Dapol CL66s have much better motors than older one's, some of the older ones don't have a DCC socket.

Older Farish CL66's require a soldered DCC decoder, newer ones have a DCC socket.

If you aren't aware of Revolution trains,I suggest you visit their website, I, like you, model the present day North West and I'm in for almost all of what they are planning on producing. Both wagons and EMU's.

Regards,

John P

Offline NW2017

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2017, 08:55:21 pm »
Chaps,
Thanks for the welcome, really appreciated.  I've wondered several times whether I should actually join a forum or not, so looks like I made the right decision!!

Weave: Thanks for the pointers, I'll have a look at Viessmann - a lot of this is knowing where to look for things.  I think I might be able to make things like the four track spans (depending on how the wires could attach) - something akin to those on Dallam Sidings (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/77518-dallam-sidings-warrington-n-gauge-wcml-2001-and-now-a-175/page-41) which I've been following, but the smaller masts could be a bit too fiddly for me.  I've got a rough layout of the area drawn out and track layout for each section mapped out (all 'back of a fag packet' style drawings) but was hoping I could get to grips with SCARM to do a decent job that people could follow!

John: Thanks for that answer, that helps in so many ways.  Not comes across N Brass, so I'll take a look at them as well, and Revolution.  To be honest, I'd heard of them, but hadn't realised they were N gauge! Thanks also for the pointers on new and old models, I'm reasonably happy to deal with a soldering iron and fit chips, but obviously better and easier if their fitted, or plug and play so to speak.  You mention you model modern day North West - is your layout on here or the web at all?

Does anyone know what the minimum grade should be in N gauge - bearing in mind that there may be an 9 or 11 coach Pendolino pushing up it, or a Class 66 with a rake of 20 bogie wagons behind.  I've no experience in this, so any pointers are welcome. I know people say the longer the better, and I'm sure I can stay well away from the minimum, but for both looks and haulage, does anyone have any thoughts?

Rich
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 08:56:48 pm by NW2017 »

Offline jacowin80

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2017, 09:19:36 pm »
If you are looking for a pendolino I think that they are available for sale through C&M models Carlisle.  The dapol catenary looks very good but like has been said in an earlier post only one piece available.  I do think that they are adding more in the future and they are listed on the gaugemaster website.  The nbrass website looks very good with the catenary and lots of other items.  I also think the dapol class 86 looks good which would also fit in the the west coast mainline.  Looking forward to seeing the layout develop.

Offline newportnobby

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2017, 09:38:57 pm »
Hi NW2017,
As someone living in Lancashire I'll be looking forward to seeing your layout develop.
What an enviable space! :envy:

Check out this thread whereby the 'knitting' has been very well reproduced and it may contain answers to your questions.

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14741.0

Gradient wise I would not go harsher than a 1 in 40 and make it less if possible. If there are curves in the gradient this will make things even tougher. If in doubt, put together a test 'plank' and run locos/stock up it.

Offline jpendle

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2017, 12:49:06 am »
Hi Rich,

My old layout, Bolton RD, is on the forum. But it is now half demolished as we moved house and I now have a large train shed to play in.

Gradients, I fried a CL66 going up a curved 3% gradient with 20 bogie hoppers on!

I had a rebuild and all my stock can handle a 2% straight gradient with 20 bogie wagons or equivalent. The Pendolino has two motorised cars, one at each end. It's going to be able to handle anything that looks reasonably 'correct' as far as gradients go.

BTW a 'Flying Junction' will need around 8-10 feet in N Gauge at a 2% gradient (that's with just one line climbing and one staying flat), I was in the course of building one before we moved.

Before you ask which DCC controller to use, don't bother, you'll get as many opinions as there are N Gauge enthusiasts on the forum.

The best advice is to research as much as possible on line, ask SPECIFIC questions here or on other forums, and finally find a friendly retailer, even if you have to drive to Yorkshire!, or even worse down south so that you can try out the DCC systems that you think you want to use.

Regards,

John P



Offline Bealman

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2017, 12:54:16 am »
G'day from Australia, Rich, and welcome to the NGF!  :thumbsup:

Your plans sound fantastic! Looking forward to developments  :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Ben A

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2017, 09:18:05 am »

Hi Rich,

This sounds like a fascinating project, and in answer to your first post yes, please could you post a track plan showing your ideas.

Our club layout Horseley Fields is very loosely based on the area just south of Wolverhampton station and we use a combination of Dapol catenary masts and portals from N-brass and StatesmaN, though I do not think the StatesmaN portals are still available.

For the price, I think the Dapol masts are excellent and can be useful placeholders while more accurate types are built.

Cheers

Ben A.



Online njee20

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2017, 09:43:01 am »
Sounds good, will watch this with interest. Great space to have.

There's huge amounts of stock available for the modern WCML, but a lot of it is out of production, so you'll be chasing second hand sales.

Farish did the 220 in both XC and Virgin liveries
Dapol did the 221 in both liveries
Farish 350s are available disgustingly cheap at the moment
Revolution Pendolino as mentioned, plus their forthcoming 92, which you can still order here, plus KFA container flats here
Dapol IKA Megafrets are about to be re-released
Farish IFA Multifrets can be found
Dapol Silver Bullet china clay tanks, the weathered ones are stunning models, great pairing with a 92!
The N gauge forum do the KSA timber wagons as a kit

If you're running long trains I'd seek out Farish 66s over Dapol, their haulage capability is far better than Dapol, particularly if you've got gradients. The Farish 60 is very powerful too.

I echo others than Dapol masts are a decent representation given how cheap they are. If you want to be a bit picky they're mk3 masts, which isn't prototypical for much of the WCML which uses mk1 OHLE. N Brass portals are good. They do do single masts too, not tried them personally.

Offline Vonzack

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2017, 10:39:24 am »
Hi Rich,

Welcome to the forum.

Sounds like you've got a cracking project for yourself there and a nice space for it ;-)

To discuss the DCC and Sound with you, this is something that has only recently been introduced to N Gauge by the manufacturers and for the Modern Era you are looking at Revolutions Pendolinos / Revolutions or DJ Models 92s and Dapols 68s when they are released. Otherwise you will typically find that current models are only DCC Compatible (needing to be modified), DDC Ready (has a plug for a chip) or DCC Installed.

Dapol 86s for instance are DCC Ready being a relatively recent design. Farish 90s are quite a bit older and require a bit of work to fit even basic DCC. As the chassis is live, the loco has to be completely dis-assembled and the live chassis halves have to be modified to isolate them from the motor.  The main issue with this model is that, to accommodate the pantograph, there is no room between the chassis and the roof at all. Wires for the decoder (placed in a cab end) have to be run down the side of the chassis, as there is no space between the body and chassis sides, you have to mill a conduit for them to run in.

If you're wanting to run block trains with 20 wagons or so, I'd strongly advise you look at Farish locos, as these tend to be a little heavier than other models and have better traction. As an example a Dapol 66 will be around 75g and a Farish 66 will be 105g. Another advantage to having Farish locos is that you can easily get spares, so if in the worst case they break down, you can get them back running again, without having to find/buy a donor model for parts.

If you are looking for a Voyager unit, my advice would be to get a Dapol Super Voyager if you can. These are by far the best versions available. The Farish versions are a little bit low geared, so can be slow and they have the worst coupling solution I've ever seen. If you like fiendish puzzles maybe it's for you ;-). The first run of Voyagers from Dapol were poor runners, they did not use pin-point axles due to the bogey design and this created allot of drag for the unit. In contrast though Dapols Super Voyagers are superb. Essentially the only real difference are the bogies, which this time have pin-point axles. A Farish Voyager will need 2 chips, a Dapol voyager will need 3. I think the Dapol voyager would be an easy conversion for sound given the design, there's quite a bit of space available in the coach power car.

The Dapol masts are OK and can usually be picked up quite cheap. For me though, they are prototypical for single or double track and a four track would typically have either a portal WCML or like the ECML Posts with wires strung between them. I made up the OHLE for our layout and used the N Brass Locos portals which I can recommend. We chose not to model the actual wires as our OHLE is detachable so we can shift Eras with the layout. If you are planning a WCML layout, I think the N Brass Locos portals will be the most prototypical for you and he does 2 / 3 and 4 line versions.

On pantographs, Farish will pop up to their maximum height and require something like wires to run on. Dapols can be set at a certain height so you don't need wires. On my Farish locos, I've slipped a little bit of plasticard into the base of the pantograph arm and this limits the height it reaches. I think the Revolution and DJ Models pantographs are going to be similar to Dapols, where the height can be set. There are plenty of layouts with and without wires on their OHLE for you to have a look at and see what will work for you.

For modern signals I can certainly recommend CR Signals, we use them on our layout and they are fantastic.

Sorry that's a bit long winded. If you are inclined, there is a blog you can read for our layout here - http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/979-heworth-sidings/ and also, if you search for 'Heworth Sidings' on YouTube there's a mix of video's showing progress while building and show running. If nothing else it might give you an idea of what stock will work for your own layout.

Cheers, Mark.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 10:46:34 am by Vonzack »

Offline newportnobby

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2017, 11:04:07 am »
Another stonking layout but without the knitting.....


Offline Bealman

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2017, 11:26:22 am »
I have always adhered to the idea that, in this gauge,  overhead wires are unnecessary. The sanctions/pylons along the track imply the wires which make track cleaning and maintenance almost impossible.

My advice would be to plant the overhead masts, leave the wires off, and run with paragraphs up. Looks ok in this scale, I reckon.

But make sure the pantagraphs clear any bridges and tunnel mouths!  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 11:27:29 am by Bealman »
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline paulprice

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Re: North West England - Modern Image Layout planning
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2017, 11:57:16 am »
cool another Northwest modeller

 

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