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Author Topic: The Tora Bora Line  (Read 3148 times)

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Online Dizz

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The Tora Bora Line
« on: January 10, 2018, 11:20:19 am »
 :hellosign:
It has been bout 20 months since I introduced myself on here (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=32825.msg377927#msg377927) and boldly stated that

“I am now ready to make a start laying track for Churston and the mainline circuit, but it will be another couple of weeks yet before I can start because I have a laser cutter to install / set to work and some other projects to complete first.  I will start some form of online progress thread when I get going again, explaining my reasoning and further background to the layout.”

To be fair I knew the project was going to be a slow burner, but with one thing and another I didn’t actually make a start on the track laying until about 10 months ago.

After 5 major growth periods and with 14 points, 1 crossing, 1 double slip and approximately 42 metres of track laid and wired, I have finally finished track laying/ wiring.  Am now moving into a long testing phase to check the track for reliable running before starting on the scenic work which I will show on here.

However, first some back ground on the layout over the next few days……………………………

It was Easter 1997 when I originally started work on the 2 baseboards representing Brixham station to covering the period 1943-1963.  Wired for DC in switchable sections with isolated ends to sidings, we were successfully running short trains around the station area and about to start adding buildings and scenery when a house move got in the way and the boards went into storage.  Further progress fell in the “too difficult” category and we gradually lost interest.  Sixteen years later and my semi-retirement allowed re-kindling of lots of projects, including the Brixham Branch.

I have the use of a 12’x12’ wooden cabin so I sketched out various ideas how to make best use of all the extra space available.  I settled on a continuous twin track run on a scenic shelf around the inside of my new man cave with the Brixham branch line joining the main line at my interpretation of Churston.  Things have moved on considerably in the world of N gauge and model railways in general, so DCC was the obvious way forward for me.  Using Anyrail and taking on board some helpful comments the plan has developed from this in April 2016:



To this as laid:

« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 03:08:12 pm by Dizz »

Online Dizz

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Re: The Tora Bora Line
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 11:34:41 am »
The general "civil engineering" concept was pretty straight forward: a suitable width shelf around the shed with reasonably large radius corners and some supporting structure for the Brixham station and fuel depot boards.  Visible curve radii have been kept as large as possible or will be disguised by scenery.  The biggest issue was how to tackle crossing the doorway.  I toyed with fitting a hinged lifting section, but once I finally settled on what the scenic sections were actually going to represent I decided to construct my own version of the Royal Albert Bridge across the Tamar.  I have a laser cutter and have been able to make many near scale structures for the layout in 2017: more of which later.



I have enjoyed researching the project (so much easier with the internet) but have still mainly relied on printed reference material, chiefly

The Brixham Branch                                C R Potts         Oakwood Press
Newton Abbot to Kingswear Branch Line   C R Potts          ABC Press
GWR Journal                                           Various Issues
Brunnel in Cornwall                                John Christopher  Amberley Publishing
The System                                            Michael Winner    Odeon Entertainment

My Granfather was a Signalman at Goodrington box in the early 60’s and it was nice to find a photo of him the Newton Abbot to Kingswear book.


Online RailGooner

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Re: The Tora Bora Line
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 11:53:05 am »
Layout plan looks great and your take on the 'Royal Albert Bridge' looks fantastic. :thumbsup: Any chance of a larger pic of the bridge please?
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Offline Newportnobby

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Re: The Tora Bora Line
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 01:48:44 pm »
I much prefer the 'as laid' version of the track plan as it has less straight track, and your bridge is quite a spectacle. Is it a simple lift out edifice, and how have you connected it to either side electrically please?

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Re: The Tora Bora Line
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 03:03:09 pm »
Thank you both.
I plan on fully explaining how I made the bridge in a couple days, but in the mean time here are a few more photos.
Apologies for the first one being on it's side: it is upright in the image on my phone.  Anyway,  my requirement was for a double track and single span to cross the doorway.
Track clearance/separation is standard using a Peco track gauge.







These photos are of a more prototypical one I cut for Graham Slope to stand on his solid baseboard (many thanks for allowing me to have/use the photos of his finished bridge)





The straight track up the right side and across the top is behind the back scene boards for Brixham and the fuel depot, so won't be seen when everything is done.  The DCC bus is "above ground" there too for ease of connecting up.
My bridge is a lift out section as in photo 2 above.  Located with Brass dowels as used for baseboard alignment with pcb pads and sprung brass connectors to make the electrical connections.  Much more detail and photos in a couple days.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 10:15:39 pm by Dizz »

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The Tora Bora Line - Brixham
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 03:13:30 pm »


Back in 1997 I tried to emulate the track layout as it was immediately before the station closed in 1963.  As I have said, it was originally built for DC control with 4 power sections and several isolating sections.  The real platform at Brixham was divided into approximately two equal sections for passenger traffic and a fish loading dock by a run-round point: one of the changes I have made from reality is to extend the length of the platform and move the point further down to leave just enough head-shunt space to accept a tender loco for run around.  I also compressed the distances around the signal box to shorten the overall length of the station limits to fit more comfortably on two 600x300mm (2’ x 4’) boards. 



Until the late 60s there was an iron over bridge over Northfields Lane about ½ mile from the signal box just before the start of the Fuel depot loop.  To fit this in the track length, curves and incline have been adjusted to fit the available space. 



The line and station were closed as part of the Beeching cuts, but in my world the line has remained prosperous with buoyant passenger and goods/fish services running thoughout the period I am modelling (now 1943-1966).  Before the track was lifted in 1964, Brixham station appeared in a film called “The System” directed by Michael Winner and starring Oliver Reed.  Renamed as “Roxham”, the station was a summer holiday destination for a Class 22 pulling 4+ Mk1 maroon coaches.  Churston station also makes an appearance in the film as the characters’ departure station. The film has provided some very useful scale references and I have the stock to replicate the opening scenes in the film…...... well you have to don’t you?  :D


Online Milton Rail

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Re: The Tora Bora Line
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 04:54:57 pm »
That's a cracker of a bridge, look forward to seeing your next posts on it

Offline port perran

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Re: The Tora Bora Line
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 05:01:48 pm »
The bridge is amazing.
I can’t imagine how long that took to build.
It's you railway so build it as you want and run whatever you like. The only rule is - ENJOY :
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Online Dizz

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Re: The Tora Bora Line
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 05:09:03 pm »
The bridge is amazing.
I can’t imagine how long that took to build.

Only a few hours actually. 
However there were many hours CAD drawing/ making up the cutter files and then several hours feeding ply and balsa to the laser to cut the parts.

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The Tora Bora Line - Northfield Lane Fuel Transfer Sidings
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 05:16:48 pm »
The Ministry of Supply fuel transfer sidings were built at the start of WW2.  It was deemed too dangerous for tanker shipping to transit further up the English Channel (threat of E-Boat attack, etc) so Brixham was selected as a port where they could be safely unloaded.  The fuel traffic through the port was almost exclusively high grade aviation fuel, but lubrication oils were also handled.  A pipeline was constructed from the Breakwater fuel jetty to underground storage tanks near Berryhead.  A further pipeline ran from the base of the breakwater, around the harbour and through the town to the transfer sidings in the fields approximately ½ mile towards Churston from Brixham station.  Tanker wagons were brought from the main goods sidings at Goodrington (Paignton) 10 at a time for filling in the sidings.  Full tankers were returned to the same and made up into 40 wagon trains which ran overnight approximately twice a week to another transfer depot in the Cotswolds where the onward distribution to RAF Stations via a further underground pipe network was carried out.



Working in the sidings was covered by token, taking out the whole length of the branch line length from Churston to Brixham station limits.  The token also unlocked the ground frames for access to the fuel sidings loop with wagons being propelled through the wire gates into the Ministry sidings.  GWR engines were not permitted past the gates by the 3-way point: any subsequent movements inside the depot were carried out by wires and electric capstan.  After the war the breakwater fuel jetty and associated underground pipe system were run by ESSO until closure of the fuel depot in the late 50s. 



Under rule 1 I will not be blocking out the branch for fuel depot working and I will allow engines into the sidings.  Still have to decide on what uncoupling method to employ.  I have actually put my name down for a NGS Hunslett shunter in ESSO red livery to be permanently based at the sidings.  I have also added a short head-shunt to stable the shunter and allow movements whilst branch traffic passes, however overall the configuration of the loop and sidings are close enough for me.

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Re: The Tora Bora Line
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 06:23:12 pm »
What a magnificent model of a railway!

Churston has always been a favourite of mine - no idea why; I just like it - so it's good to see it included in your system.

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'.)


The Table-Top Railway is a train set trying and failing to be a model railway.

I believe that train sets and model railways are fun.

Offline keithbythe sea

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Re: The Tora Bora Line
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 07:40:31 pm »
 :greatpicturessign: I think IKB would be impressed with the bridge model  :thankyousign:

Offline Bealman

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Re: The Tora Bora Line
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 09:15:33 pm »
A most impressive layout.  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

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The Tora Bora Line - "Churston"
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 12:24:13 pm »
Thank you all,



Using Anyrail software, my version of Churston track plan has been through many, many iterations and does not fully replicate anything that actually existed at the station, but it is close enough for me (Rule 1 again!)  :thumbsup:

 

First divergence is that Churston is actually only a passing station on the single line Paignton to Kingswear route.  Working from right to left changes I have made are: the down refuge siding starts in the wrong place; the up loop is complete fiction and will be set in a deep cutting behind the station through what were open fields and then the Grammar School; no goods sidings or loop on the Brixham branch; added a double slip (was there in GWR broad gauge days) and crossing to help access to/from the Brixham line; position and orientation of the road bridge has been altered and will be used to disguise the end of the fuel depot back scene; cattle dock and Bay platforms have been extended in length to take longer trains (the bay platform could only accommodate a 14xx plus 2 autocoach, it will now take a 22xx with 3 carriages).  Platform lengths are about the right length and will accept 10 coach trains. There is a trailing crossing between the two main lines at the Kingswear end where in reality there was/is a single point serving the up and down platforms………………and the station curves the wrong way.  Other than that it is quite obviously a model of Churston!  :smiley-laughing:

« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:00:16 pm by Dizz »

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The Tora Bora Line- General Stuff
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 12:45:45 pm »
Continuous run of the down main is 15.2m with the outer up line slightly longer at 15.4m.  The length of the branch line from bay platform to the buffer stops in Brixham is 6m. 

Most track joiners are soldered but I have left some “free floating” with small gaps to allow for expansion in the summer.

There are 3 storage loops and one refuge storage siding, all of which can accommodate at least a 2+7 car HST set. 

All track is Peco code 55, all points (29 assorted + 1 x 3-way + 1 x double slip) are Peco Streamline electrofrog.

Points on the three branch line boards are powered by Hornby R247 decoders and Peco solenoids with associated PL-13 frog polarity switches.
All the main line points are powered and switched by Gaugemaster solenoids (the double slip has Peco point motors and PL-13 switches) via 5 x DCC Concepts AD-S2SX units and one AD-S8SX unit.  For remote indication and confirmation of route setting I have wired red and green LEDs to the AD-S2SX decoders controlling the Trago Loops.

The diamond crossing polarities are under the control of a Gaugemaster auto reversing loop unit.

Overall DCC control is from a Hornby Elite controller and I have RailMaster software available on my laptop for the future.

There is a single DCC bus running around the mainline with a spur for the branch and 70+ pairs of droppers connecting to the track.  At the moment everything runs off that bus and I haven’t had any snags to date: will see how it performs when testing proper starts (wiring has been planned with the option to split into 2 or 3 separate power districts if needed with the addition of 1 or 2 power boosters and cutting 8 rail joiners).

 

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