N Gauge Forum

Your Layout and Models => Layout Planning => Topic started by: jamespetts on August 11, 2018, 01:39:17 AM

Title: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on August 11, 2018, 01:39:17 AM
I have recently had a shed built in my garden for model railway purposes. I plan to build two layouts in it, separated by height: an N gauge layout intended to be viewed from a seated height and an OO gauge layout intended to be viewed from a standing height. The shed is 7.5 x 2.7 meters in internal dimensions. I have not started work on the layouts yet as the shed has not been fully decorated/fitted out.

I have posted about both planned layouts on another forum, but I thought that it might be useful to acquire fresh insight from the N gauge specialists on this forum. Apologies to those who are members of both and will have seen this before. The plan that I show here is an evolution of an original plan refined with feedback and consideration over several months.

Having decided to use Peco Bullhead track for the OO gauge layout, and also that I really need to wait until the slips and crossings are available in that range before working on the OO gauge layout (they are due in late 2018/early 2019), I thought it prudent to work on the N gauge layout first.

The latest version of the basic plan is as follows:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2020C.png)

For reference, all the track in shades of blue and green is fiddle yard track; white is main line scenic track and red represents scenic sidings/yards.

The setting is the Western Region in 1989. As with the name, the layout's setting is intended to be a portmanteau of Didcot and Oxford, with a four track mainline on the up side (left) and a two track mainline on the down side (right). Most local trains from the London direction will terminate. There is also a small branch on the down side, intended to represent the Bicester branch at Oxford.

As this is a fictional portmanteau location, we imagine that the GWML branches off a little way beyond the station (and perhaps that the line was four track all the way to this point in the pre-Beeching era, the line reserved for the branch perhaps once being part of the main line), and the Cotswold line a little way beyond that.

Services will include regular HSTs and locomotive hauled Intercity services to Bristol/South Wales on the GWML, hourly Network Express trains from London terminating at Oxcott (except for a few trains in the peaks continuing on to Banbury), half hourly local services from Reading, bi-hourly local services to Bicester (possibly with peak time through services to/from Reading, although I cannot see these mentioned in my summer 1989 BR timetable), ~hourly (irregular) local services to Banbury, ~hourly (irregular) cross-country services, a few services a day direct from London to Hereford, ~hourly (irregular) local services along the Cotswold line, some mail traffic and regular coal trains (and possibly container trains, too).

I intend the layout to be DCC and computer controlled, running to a timetable (I have built a small test layout to evaluate how best to set up the hardware and software for this; that evaluation remains ongoing). I have already acquired some stock (including three Intercity and Inter-City Dapol HST sets and quite a few Farish 47s and NSE Mk. 1s, as well as some 101/121s - I do wish that somebody would produce an N gauge class 117).

I initially intended simply to use Peco code 55 track (as shown in the above track plan). However, having built the test layout using this, I have found it to be very unsatisfactory. Its appearance is poor (admittedly, the test layout is unballasted), looking like an N gauge model rather than an actual railway, and I find it very difficult to work with the track on account of the weird practice of burying the rail in the sleeper webbing.

I have spent a long time considering what, if any, alternative is preferable, especially as I have no experience in building points. One possibility that I considered was 2mm finescale. There is somebody (a Keith Armes, whom I believe has a very good reputation) who will, for a price, build points in 2mm finescale to various specifications. The plain track from the 2mm Society is, from what I understand, easy to build, and it looks good. However, using 2mm finescale track would involve re-wheeling every item of rolling stock and having hand-built points in the extensive fiddleyards, which might be a bit excessive.

The other option is fiNetraX. Initially, this did not seem very promising, as only bullhead track is currently available. One possibility might be to mix this with 2mm finescale plain track with concrete sleepers (which N gauge stock can navigate without difficulty), although having different widths for the plain track and the points might look a bit odd. I did check with Mr. Armes whether he might build points to N gauge standards - his reply was that he might possibly do so, but only if he had enough time, as 2mm finescale work is his priority, so that leaves this way of doing things rather uncertain.

I now note that British Finescale is planning to release concrete sleeper/flat bottom track and turnouts in the (fairly?) near future. Unfortunately, there are no immediate plans to release turnouts with flat bottom track and wooden sleepers as were prevalent in the 1980s on the main line (I note the bullhead track in the yards):

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1723/41594866855_a3e9300980_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/26nAyLP)Didcot station (https://flic.kr/p/26nAyLP) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I have posted on the fiNetraX thread inquiring whether painting the sleepers in the forthcoming concrete sleeper turnouts might produce an acceptable appearance.

One advantage of using either 2mm finescale or fiNetraX over the Peco track is that it permits more realistic large radii of points. A version of the above track plan taking advantage of fiNetraX geometry in the scenic sections is here:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2020C-FT.png)

One thing that I have been planning to do for a while is buy a single sample fiNetraX turnout kit and jigs and try building that to see whether it is within my capability, although I am a little reluctant to do that before I am able to work in my shed, as I do not really want to do any serious filing in my study.

Somewhat ironically, having initially decided on building the N gauge layout first in view of the current unavailability of the track that I am after for the OO gauge layout, I am now possibly in the position of also having to wait for a track product to be released for this layout, too. Whether this will be rendered moot by the time that  it takes for my shed to be fully fitted out remains to be seen.

In any event, any comments on the track plan and/or choice of track would be most welcome.
Title: Re: Oxcott
Post by: Webbo on August 11, 2018, 06:21:18 AM
James, fulfilling this plan and an OO gauge layout as well is going to keep you busy for some time as I'm sure you well appreciate.

Before giving up on Peco 55, I would try painting a test section of track (rail and sleepers) and ballasting it as well. I've seen some examples of Peco track (and Kato as well) treated this way that look mighty good.

Webbo
Title: Re: Oxcott
Post by: Bealman on August 11, 2018, 06:57:11 AM
Was thinking the same thing. Going down the 2FS route on a layout that size is going to be a lot of work, and that's not even vectoring the 00 layout into the equation!
Title: Re: Oxcott
Post by: Train Waiting on August 11, 2018, 09:18:04 AM
James, fulfilling this plan and an OO gauge layout as well is going to keep you busy for some time as I'm sure you well appreciate.

Before giving up on Peco 55, I would try painting a test section of track (rail and sleepers) and ballasting it as well. I've seen some examples of Peco track (and Kato as well) treated this way that look mighty good.

Webbo
Was thinking the same thing. Going down the 2FS route on a layout that size is going to be a lot of work, and that's not even vectoring the 00 layout into the equation!
Hello James

I think the above quotes are important.  I think your 2mm project is impressive (just look at these hidden sidings!) and will be a splendid main line in miniature.  And, of course, there would be a lot of concrete sleeper p way to be seen in 1989.  I have a bit of experience in building points (in P4, not in our scale) and it is satisfying but time consuming.  If you stick to British 'N' gauge, at least your extensive hidden track could be Peco Code 55.

With careful work, Peco Code 55 can look amazing - please have a look at the magnificent Wrenton thread.  As Webbo suggests, you might find that Code 55 track is just the thing.  And, as both concrete and wooden sleepered types are available, you could have concrete on the main lines and wooden sleepers in your sidings and byways of the scenic section.

Bealman's point is worth repeating; as you are going to be building two substantial two layouts, you are going to have a lot of work anyway.  Therefore, it might be helpful to see if you can find a way to use the excellent Peco Code 55 track, at least in the off-stage area.

I think this is a great project and wish you all the success in the world with it.

With best wishes.

John
Title: Re: Oxcott
Post by: jamespetts on August 11, 2018, 12:01:25 PM
Thank you for your thoughts. I had had largely similar thoughts about 2mm finescale - having it in the large fiddle yards and re-wheeling all of the stock may be somewhat excessive. (The only slight complication with that is the ability to have points made by a third party in 2mm finescale that may well not be possible in N). That really leaves either Peco or fiNetraX, the latter of which has the various conundrums outlined above.

In relation to Peco, can anyone recommend any online photographs of this track ballasted and painted to look very good? I still think that it is probably worth me at least trying to build a fiNetraX point - I am told that the process is really quite easy in view of the cast frog/crossing, but I should try it myself before committing to it.
Title: Re: Oxcott
Post by: Train Waiting on August 11, 2018, 12:59:05 PM
What about this:

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=38682.msg520574#msg520574 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=38682.msg520574#msg520574)

Title: Re: Oxcott
Post by: jamespetts on August 11, 2018, 01:18:16 PM
That is a lovely layout - but, even when dressed that well, I am still not convinced by the appearance of code 55 rail - the paint and ballast, even well applied as in the Wrenton example, does not entirely hide the dubious rail height.
Title: Re: Oxcott
Post by: jamespetts on August 19, 2018, 06:18:42 PM
I have been spending some time lately investigating automation software, and reached the provisional conclusion that Triancontroller Gold is likely to be the most suitable system, JMRI lacking the timetabling features necessary for robust operation (and scripting an entire timetabling function being impractical).

Looking into Traincontroller in more detail and what people have been able to achieve with it, it seems that it is quite possible to change locomotives in the fiddle yards. Being able to do this would allow me to alter the design to eliminate the reversing loops. This, in turn, allows for a larger fiddle yard with fewer conflicting movements and more storage space.

For comparison, here is a slightly revised version of the layout as originally posted, with the road now correctly scaled:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2021C-FT.png)

whereas here is the version with the reversing loops removed and the enlarged fiddle yard:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2021C-FT-non-reverse.png)

The design with reversing loops had a total of 18 long fiddle yard storage roads plus 9 short dedicated DMU storage roads. The new design has 27 long fiddle yard storage roads, 13 short dedicated DMU storage roads, 16 dedicated extra short locomotive roads, and one road that can be used either for DMUs or locomotives.

The main and relief lines on the quad track side now have a separate set of storage roads to each other (although 5 long storage roads, those shown in bright green on the left hand side, are shared), reducing conflicting movements, and through running in both directions and from both main and relief lines remains possible for fully circular operation (as in running-in, testing, etc.). Freight trains with open wagons (i.e., coal and aggregates trains) have paths to allow them to circle in only one direction to permit having an identical set of empty and full wagons of each type.

As a result of the removal of the reversing loops, the scenic area has been able to be extended slightly at the ends, allowing for slightly longer carriage sidings at both sides of the layout and a few centimetres more of scenic running.

The large space at the back that would have had town scenery has been reduced, but this is not a problem, as I was unsure how to fill this, and I can now simply use much low relief scenery: there is still room for the multi-storey car park that I am keen on having.

I should be interested in anyone's views on this revised version, especially as to whether there are any operating issues that are apparent to anyone that I may not have spotted.

In relation to the track situation, I note with interest that British Finescale is planning to release by the end of the year flatbottom turnouts in code 40 whose sleepers do not have a distinctive concrete profile, so can be painted to give the appearance of wood, as well as releasing in the quite near future concrete sleepered plain flexible track. Subject to testing the turnouts for ease of construction, this is looking the most promising at present for the track to use in the scenic area.
Title: Re: Oxcott
Post by: jamespetts on August 25, 2018, 09:28:37 PM
Some more slight revision:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2022C-FT-non-reverse.png)

I have removed a redundant crossover from the fiddle yard, tidied the front of the baseboards somewhat, added more road to the right hand side of the layout together with a bridge, adjusted the size to take account of the measured dimensions of the shed (it is a few cm longer inside than on the plans), and modified the sidings to the left to make them longer and a little more flowing, taking advantage of the slight change in position of the road.

I have also altered the branch fiddle yard to allow long freight trains such as that depicted here (https://flic.kr/p/hFhJAv) to use the branch: the short passenger trains will use the dedicated branch fiddle yard as before, but the long freight trains will be re-routed into the main fiddle yard by a new crossover.
Title: Re: Oxcott
Post by: jamespetts on September 23, 2018, 05:50:37 PM
Having spoken to the people from whom I have sought a quote for making the baseboards, I now have at least a rough idea of where the board joints are likely to need to go and how wide that they will be. I have thus revised the layout to try to accommodate this by trying to avoid having point motors positioned over the board joint width. I have marked the board joints including their width on the plan in grey as shown here:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2024C-FT-non-reverse.png)

I have also taken the opportunity to redesign the carriage siding and locomotive stabling area somewhat, and have shown the carriage sidings now in orange instead of yellow to make it clearer where they are.

Further, I have made some slight amendments to the fiddle yards to create three new short train sidings on the right hand side in place of some areas formerly dedicated to locomotives and multiple units, which are intended to be used to house short sleeper trains (1 class 47, two mk. 3 sleepers, one mk. 2 mini-buffet and one mk. 1 BG) as in reality ran between Poole and Glasgow/Edinburgh in this period so as to take advantage of the recently announced Dapol mk. 3 sleeping carriages.

I should be grateful for any comments on whether the redesigned carriage sidings are an improvement, and, in particular, whether I have left enough clearance for the point motors in the vicinity of the board joints.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on September 29, 2018, 05:40:31 PM
I have added some details of where the point motors and uncouplers might be located:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2024C-FT-non-reverse-with-details.png)

For these purposes, I have assumed that I will be using Cobolt IP point motors (although I have not made a final decision as to that yet; but they have many recommendations and I have the dimensions), and that it is possible to offset them considerably and with some flexibility (as implied here (https://www.dccconcepts.com/manual/offset-mounting-a-cobalt-point-motor/), albeit without detail).

I should be interested in any feedback as to whether the point motor positions are likely to be workable and also whether any issue with the uncoupler positions are likely. I have kept most uncouplers as passive uncouplers using permanent magnets, but I need four roads in the fiddle yards for freight trains with open wagons where there will be pairs of identical rakes of wagons, one full and one empty, each half of which pair will always traverse the layout in the same direction, but the locomotive of which will traverse the layout in alternate directions, hence needing the uncouplers to be able to allow both coupling and uncoupling at the same point, something not needed elsewhere.

I am not entirely sure whether I need active (i.e. servo-mounted or electromagnetic) uncouplers here, or whether I can simply use small rare earth permanent magnets and push back somewhat when coupling (and then run forward a little and set back again) to prevent the locomotive from being over the magnets when coupling. This would require a slightly shorter train than the maximum that could be accommodated using electromagnets or servos, but I suspect that the difference would be only one wagon and that the difference would be worthwhile to save on wiring.

If anyone has any experience of this arrangement and whether it works well automated, I should be most interested to find out.

Incidentally, middle click and open the .png in a new window to see the detail fully.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Tank on September 29, 2018, 09:12:48 PM
I look forward to seeing this one coming along.  :) :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on October 07, 2018, 12:23:12 AM
While I await the completion of the interior of my shed, building the layout cannot yet commence, but further planning and rolling stock accumulation can occur.

Firstly, on the subject of rolling stock, I have acquired three complete HST sets, one of which can be seen running on the MRC's test tracks:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_221524_001.jpg)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_221502.jpg)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_221433.jpg)

Air conditioned Mark 2 carriages are a slight difficulty, as the good quality new ones are not likely to be out for at least a year, so I have been accumulating and modifying some older Farish types, adding NEM pockets, replacing the wheels and adding Electra Rail Graphics transfers (only to the one carriage so far, after a few failed attempts):

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_213944.jpg)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_213906.jpg)

They are a definite improvement on the untreated Poole era carriages:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_213951.jpg)

I still have quite a number to complete:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_213858.jpg)

Having seen some pictures of "Doncaster Enterprise" at Reading and Oxford in 1989 and having found a bargain secondhand example of the Farish model of this at Hattons, I have added this to the collection:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_214008.jpg)

And also some freightliner wagons, again secondhand old (Poole era) Farish:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_212700.jpg)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_212706.jpg)

Some other Class 47s have been renumbered, including 47613 "North Star" (from 47612 "Titan"):

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20180913_203823.jpg)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20180719_202544.jpg)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20180719_202557.jpg)

And also 47573 "The London STANDARD" (from "Great Eastern"):

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20180723_200010.jpg)

Changing the colour of the front panel from black to yellow was quite a challenge and some of the imperfections in this work can be seen close up, but are not really noticeable at normal viewing distances:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20180723_200030.jpg)

There are also DMUs - I have a number of 101s awaiting renumbering and other cosmetic work, but I have added NSE flashes to this Dapol 121:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20180712_014014.jpg)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20180712_014009.jpg)

I also acquired a Dapol class 122 to convert into a 128 using a 3d print, but I am not sure whether I will proceed with that now that RevolutioN trains have announced a ready to run class 128, so here is the class 122 running on the MRC's "Lacey Dale" layout using that layout's JMRI powered automation:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_195144.jpg)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181004_195139.jpg)

I am waiting with some anticipation for the Dapol class 50s, whose release is said to be imminent, and am planning to acquire one of the "Fifty Fund"'s limited edition locomotives (to re-number/re-name to Ajax, as "Defiance" was in Railfreight livery hauling china clay in Cornwall in 1989), two of the other blue/grey (one to re-name to "Centurion" keeping its base number and the other to re-number/re-name to "Hood") and two in original NSE ("Illustrius" to remain as supplied and a further to be re-numbered/re-named as "Indomitable", which my spotting books record that I saw several times in the late 1980s).

***

In terms of detailed planning, I have calculated that I have a total of 27 fiddle yard roads for long trains, 3 for short trains, 14 for locomotives, and 14 for multiple units (not including the branch fiddle yard).

Layout operation will be automated, and locomotive hauled trains will automatically change locomotives in the fiddle yard to increase running variety and remove the need for reversing loops while still ensuring that a train that disappears into the up fiddle yard does not re-emerge again from the down fiddle yard, and only ever head in the one direction.

The layout is intended to be a portmanteau of Oxford and Didcot both in name and services, which is reflected in the below.

Of the 27 long roads, four will be dedicated to open wagon freight, two for coal and two for aggregates, as these will work unidirectionally: one rake of coal wagons (full) will always head up, and one identical rake (empty) will always head down, and likewise with aggregates. These require dedicated roads because the uncouplers need to be in different positions and also (possibly) to be able to be turned on and off (to allow a different locomotive to re-attach itself to the same end of the train from which the first was detached), possibly using the Kadee electromagnetic uncouplers.

For the multiple units, I have plans for the use of 7 of the 14 slots, being a mix of class 101 and 121s for the Network SouthEast stopping services to Reading and Banbury, a single class 121 for the branch, plus a class 150/0 and 108 for the Provincial services to Worcester and Great Malvern. I might add an extra 150/2, since I have recently found photographic evidence that these were used on the Oxford to Great Malvern services in 1989, increasing the utilisation to 8; and an additional 101/121 combination for the Reading/Banbury services to add variety, increasing utilisation to 9 of 14. The remaining slots can remain spare/unallocated pending future DMU releases, such as the 128 and any possible 117 from another manufacturer in the future (or alternatively if I ever manage to get a scratch/kit built example).

For the 3 short roads, these are to be used exclusively for the Poole to Glasgow/Edinburgh sleeping services consisting of a Class 47 and four carriages (two mk. 3 sleeping carriages, a mk.2 buffet and mk. 1 BG), three sidings being needed as the trains do not cross in the station, thus there will be two with uncouplers set for trains arriving from the down line and one with uncouplers set for trains arriving from the up line, as the trains would cross north of Oxford in reality.

For the 23 long roads not dedicated to freight open wagon freight, 3 would be used for HST sets (for GWML services as well as the one a day Hereford service that was run by an HST in 1989), 4 for Network Express services (I may well have 5 rakes for this, but at least one would almost always be in the carriage sidings), 1 for a GWML locomotive hauled train (class 47 and 6 mk2s), 2 for the London inter-regional (Paddington-Birmingham, Paddington-Wolverhampton, Paddington-York, Paddington-Manchester) services with class 50s and mk.2s, either InterCity or NSE, one TPO rake, two cross-country rakes (class 47 and 9 air conditioned mk. 2s with a mark 1 RMB and BG) two parcels rakes, one local parcels rake (perhaps a class 31 with two GUVs until I can obtain a 128 one way or another; obtaining the 128 may then free a long slot), one freightliner rake (class 47 + the Farish container flats), one petroleum train (class 37, possibly double-headed, plus ~10-12 TEA tankers) and one military freight train with an RFD class 47 and ~17 vans of various types, this using the down branch, but connecting to the main fiddle yard.

Given that I need to have two spares (one for the up and one for the down) to prevent gridlock, this leaves 2 unallocated. I may well have to use those 2 to increase the number of Paddington - inter-regional rakes, since the services going further than Wolverhampton seem to have catering vehicles whereas the ones going no further than Wolverhampton seemed not to have these.

The plan is, for all the Network SouthEast services to keep full track of the rakes of carriages and locomotives so as to have a realistic turnaround rate. By this, I mean that, given that the journey to London takes 1 hour, that the service is hourly, and that there would be slack built into the timetables at either end at which carriages waited in carriage sidings, at least 4 different rakes would have to operate the service in any one day, and this is not counting the peaktime services. Thus, a set of carriages which has departed for London should not return from London until it has had time to reach London, wait in the carriage sidings while another train forms the next departure, and then returned to our fictional station an hour away. The same would apply to the stopping services to Reading (a half hourly frequency with an hour's journey time) and Banbury (a 2 hourly service with a half hour journey time). This may not be possible to achieve fully on full consideration of the real timetable (a great many services started from Oxford/Banbury of a morning - I am not sure that I can even fit all those into the carriage sidings, which will only accommodate two 9 carriage trains), but it would be good at least to get close.

For the InterCity services, at least two rakes are needed for each service pattern to avoid seeing the exact same carriages almost immediately returning from whence they came or, worse, running more than once in the same direction before coming back, but because of the greater journey time and variety of these services, it is not possible to keep full track of these, and likewise the freight services (the MGR trains will have to be considered to be essentially fungible - one would have to look very closely indeed to see any differences in any event, especially if all the wagons are red cradle HAAs). However, variety can be given by automatic swapping of the locomotives in the fiddle yard so that at least a train with the same rake of carriages looks as if it might be a different train because it has a different locomotive.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on October 07, 2018, 01:34:29 AM
looking prototypical already
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on October 11, 2018, 12:40:31 AM
Researching the timetable a little more, it seems that no fewer than 8 9 carriages sets of Network Express stock (i.e. NSE mark 1s and early mark 2s) would have been required to work the weekday diagrammed Paddington-Oxford/Hereford/Banbury through services (excluding the Cathedrals Express, which was an HST). (I have asked a question about how the trains would have been stabled in Oxford in reality here (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=42884.0) in case anyone can assist with this). There were 8 consecutive up departures before the first down arrival (and there would have been no time for balancing ECS workings either).

This may be a little difficult to accommodate (I had hitherto planned on only 5 such sets - the Farish mk. 1s in NSE livery are now sold out everywhere, although there are good stocks of the NSE mk. 2As), and fiddleyard space may be a little tight: it might be able to be done if the locomotive fuel train can fit into one of the fiddle yard roads set aside for DMUs, suitably provided for with uncoupling facilities, but this would limit options for changes later (and requires removal of the aggregates traffic, although I had planned to abandon the idea of having this in any event as this traffic seems not to have gone via either Didcot or Oxford with any regularity, but rather used the line towards Westbury). Also, there is currently space for only 5 sets to be stabled in the carriage sidings (assuming that one of them is an 8 carriage set: there was an 8 carriage blue/grey mk. 1 set running on these services in 1989, so this should in principle work) in the currently planned layout.

I am quite keen on having at least the services that are part of a diagram in which at least some services terminate at "Oxcott" to have fully tracked rolling stock (i.e., for any given set of carriages that has departed towards London to return only from the London direction and after enough time has passed for it actually to have got to its destination and back with appropriate turnaround time), although inevitably other services (such as freight workings and through Inter-City/INTERCITY workings) will have to be somewhat fungible in their coaching stock as I cannot use my neighbour's entire garden as a fiddle yard.

Quite what to do about this I have yet to decide - some further consideration of the question will be required.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: red_death on October 11, 2018, 02:31:54 AM
Hi James

FWIW I agree with you about the appearance of code 55 not being up to scratch, though for me the problem is sleeper size and spacing rather than the scale height (which shouldn't be far off scale).  I think that, particularly on a layout as large as yours, you have come on one of the first challenges which is where to compromise - that is a very personal choice that no one can really answer for you!

Again FWIW I don't think that you would be disappointed with the appearance of Finetrax, but for FB on wooden sleepers you might be better off hand building track (still to my mind quicker than re-wheeling everything and you would still have to handbuild wooden FB track in 2mm FS). I wouldn't have any qualms about using Peco code 55 in fiddle yards (that is precisely my plan).

Cheers, Mike
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on October 12, 2018, 01:30:14 AM
Thank you for your thoughts. As to track, I am very much hoping to use fiNetrax throughout the scenic section, although, once the decorating/fitting out of my shed is completed, I should be able to buy a fiNetrax point kit or two and test how easy that they are to make before committing myself to this system. I hope that the flat bottom points will be available before long. I do not think that building points from scratch by hand is a practical proposition for a first layout (other than the small automation test layout that I have constructed).

As to compromises, the current thing that I am having to consider in relation to possible compromises is how to deal with 8 consecutive up departures of NSE locomotive hauled trains without having the same rake of coaching stock arrive from the down line when it last departed on the up line, and how I can fit 8 rakes of stock into my layout.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on October 23, 2018, 08:19:01 PM
Having been spending some time planning the timetables for this layout and how it will operate (and having managed to work out, through some information from the real timetables, that I can reduce the number of Network Express sets to 6, but that it is not possible to keep full track of them, although they can at least spend a realistic time off layout before coming back), I have made some modifications to the layout plan to reflect this, as well as a few miscellaneous improvements, as shown below.

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2025C-FT-non-reverse.png)

The main changes are:


My decorator has been ill as now is the person who is to be designing the baseboards, so there has been and will continue to be for a short time a delay in making practical progress on this layout, but hopefully it will be a splendid thing when it finally is built.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on November 05, 2018, 10:15:16 AM
I have recently taken delivery of some lovely custom transfers from Railtec for which I had been waiting since July, which are intended to go with Class 121 DMUs. I have had the desk replaced in my study with a lovely antique desk (my old desk will go in the model shed when the fitting out has finished), and I am reluctant to use Brasso on the antique desk, so I am limited in what I can do in terms of practical work (renumbering, etc.) at present. However, adding these custom transfers does not require removing numbering already on the body, so I can make a start.

The transfers consist of destination blinds and "C1"/data panels, the latter of which were applied to the guard's end of the class 121 (I am not sure why Dapol omitted these from the base model).

The destination blinds are especially tricky, as they have to be applied from the inside so that it gives the appearance that one is looking at the destination through glass.

Here is the finished result:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4900/30782095407_18dd744bd3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NU7hwT)Dapol class 121 with custom destination board transfers (https://flic.kr/p/NU7hwT) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4839/44808590995_2ef898b97d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2bgzJZH)Dapol class 121 with custom destination board transfers (https://flic.kr/p/2bgzJZH) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

and here is the prototype for this particular unit (albeit in 1988, rather than 1989, so I am supposing that NSE branding has been added to the side and NSE style destination blinds have replaced the original destination blinds shown in this picture by 1989):

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8287/7809023750_a6ca453a98_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/cU4hGw)Class 121 124 55024 Slough (https://flic.kr/p/cU4hGw) by Tony Walmsley (https://www.flickr.com/photos/75514026@N03/), on Flickr

I will not be moving the overhead lines warning flashes to their correct position at the top of the windscreens, since the windscreen wipers are in the way, and it is a bit much to get special custom reverse transfers just for these.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Tank on November 05, 2018, 05:46:17 PM
Great job, very neat.  I'll look into those transfers myself in the future.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on November 08, 2018, 01:00:49 AM
I have now completed work on the first of two NSE class 121s, adding the destination blinds and also no smoking stickers which for some reason were absent on the NSE version even though present on the blue/grey version of the base model.

I have also replaced the numbering as, although I wished to retain the unit as 55028/L128, which was the factory printed number, it is apparent that the factory printed number was far too large and coarse compared to the numbering on the real unit. Further, I had to move the Network SouthEast logo, as it was in an unusual position on this unit, part way down the body side rather than under the guard's compartment window, and was also slightly larger than that on the base model.

Here are some photographs of the unit as modified:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4875/44860111405_de1014221a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2bm8NdD)Dapol class 121 as modified (https://flic.kr/p/2bm8NdD) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1968/45773280021_1157b2c729_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cJQ2r8)Dapol class 121 with custom destination and other decals added (https://flic.kr/p/2cJQ2r8) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

And here is a photograph of the real thing at Reading in 1990:

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1632/24128200120_9f2551d36f_o.jpg)

It is just a shame that the Dapol class 121 in NSE livery comes with the marker light, which was not fitted for most of these units' lives in that livery. However, I think that removing that is a step too far at this stage.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Newportnobby on November 08, 2018, 09:42:15 AM

It is just a shame that the Dapol class 121 in NSE livery comes with the marker light, which was not fitted for most of these units' lives in that livery. However, I think that removing that is a step too far at this stage.

Can someone educate this old codger as to what a 'marker light' is please? :dunce:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on November 08, 2018, 10:55:15 AM
Forgive me, I believe that I used the wrong term: I was referring to the central high intensity headlight that I believe was fitted in about the mid 1990s, after these units were no longer in regular passenger service in the Thames valley.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on November 08, 2018, 11:03:56 AM
If you look at the photo of James's model and the prototype photo you can see the model has the additional headlight in the middle. As James says I'd call that the high intensity headlight, the marker lights are the outer ones present from build.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on November 10, 2018, 11:57:00 AM
For some reason, I am not able to post links to pictures on Flickr on this thread - I have been trying to post some more pictures of the class 121s, but have been confounded by errors.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on November 10, 2018, 04:55:16 PM
I often get that too.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on November 11, 2018, 11:24:11 PM
I have been working on modifying some old Poole Farish mk. 2s into Mk. 2Bs for cross-country use using Electra Rail Graphics vinyls, also modifying the couplings, wheelsets and underframe detailing:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181111_231322.jpg)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/20181111_231342.jpg)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on November 25, 2018, 11:31:59 PM
I have modified the track plan slightly to take account of the need to accommodate the width of the twin slot rails on the walls of the shed, following discussions with the person who is to be building the baseboards of this layout.

The revised track plan is below.

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2028C-FT-non-reverse.png)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on January 18, 2019, 01:03:33 AM
I thought that, while waiting for my desk to be set up in my shed (whose floor has recently been laid) so that I can carry on with modelling/renumbering work, it might be helpful to carry out an audit of what items have yet to be released by manufacturers that are either necessary or desirable for building this layout.

This is in part because I am also planning to build another, OO gauge, layout in this shed (separated from this layout by height, this being on the lower level and the OO gauge on the upper level) and that layout is awaiting the release of Peco Bullhead slips in order to be able to lay the track, but is not short of anything else in terms of availability of manufactured items.

I have categorised the list into essential, highly desirable and desirable items: essential items are items without which the layout cannot be built at all or cannot be operated fully. Highly desirable items are items which are necessary to enable a small number of planned operations to take place. Desirable items are not necessary for any operations, but would enhance the depth or realism of operations.

Essential items

Highly desirable items

Desirable items
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on January 31, 2019, 01:19:24 AM
Not much progress at this juncture on modelling, design or construction: I have been concentrating recently on the shed, which has recently become available for use, and in particular storage.

I have decided to store all my rolling stock for both this and the OO gauge layout that I plan to build in 4l "Really Useful Boxes" lined with foam inserts supplied by "Ten Commandments". A stack of three wide and six high on castors will fit underneath my baseboards and the castors will allow the stack to be moved easily out of the way whenever I wish to work underneath that particular part of the layout. Each box can contain 18 vehicles (probably more in the case of short wagons, although I have yet to acquire any short wagons).

I spent many hours this evening transferring items from their original boxes, complete with detailing packs, to the boxes. The boxes make a much more convenient way of storing things, but it does then leave a huge pile of empty original boxes to go to the loft.

My apologies for the varying quality of the pictures: they were taken on my mobile telephone using indoor lighting.

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/51077045_10157085556923169_1679837240760467456_o.jpg?_nc_cat=100&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=ecc026b82a99ccfcd8da7086f4adbafa&oe=5CC1A956)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/51078313_10157086528333169_6166644237493338112_o.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=5d7442b365bc1e0c635120823b52a7b1&oe=5CB771BF)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/51200793_10157086528348169_4007234088082604032_o.jpg?_nc_cat=104&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=94373d432c438c4c82ba59cf08e9b04e&oe=5CFE4BDD)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/r270/50770426_10157086528393169_4365155295068946432_o.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=c1d8ee8d1e9d6ea2017ebe9fc7d22cef&oe=5CEB9923)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/r270/51283567_10157086528508169_3959489221575573504_o.jpg?_nc_cat=106&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=5c41abbdbb57055d3d51899e0db5c625&oe=5CBBC417)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/r270/50902116_10157086528548169_322844075935924224_o.jpg?_nc_cat=108&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=d884d19f6f9b4532e5cbec7c7739296c&oe=5CF69303)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/r270/51095745_10157086528578169_6271582323032981504_o.jpg?_nc_cat=108&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=d3928823a5e1fe6f7018fd5ed66f4f9b&oe=5CF7DE65)

[ing]https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/r270/51695063_10157086528743169_2529018044013871104_o.jpg?_nc_cat=102&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=d6b60504c9ac8a0d70a8d216204808ca&oe=5CC12034[/img]

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/r270/51070825_10157086528768169_1156477406815453184_o.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=b16e963677e78adca158ba6aa5353715&oe=5CC00386)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/r270/51579213_10157086528823169_7138075400722186240_o.jpg?_nc_cat=101&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=6a2e6cd2ff61b9d92b2385b1e24ba989&oe=5CFC5748)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/r270/50976903_10157086529128169_6069151855718432768_o.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=1dd8ed82fcc1a6dd92c5217e2a1b9be4&oe=5CFD6AAD)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/r270/50979520_10157086529178169_4770396858289750016_o.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=6dd2872c90d0a6db8363979011ffeeac&oe=5CBBDEB6)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/r270/51229501_10157086529238169_3869611335780139008_o.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=8568dde47ba431a1cbcc9ed9f2700896&oe=5CF7142B)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/51567825_10157086529383169_2931985233072881664_o.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=d79015ea0a5e63459242132ab039e190&oe=5CBDD329)

(https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/50900069_10157086529423169_3586446100459945984_o.jpg?_nc_cat=102&_nc_ht=scontent-lht6-1.xx&oh=db9830f1f5caee4aa31c41df10bd57be&oe=5CF29BEE)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Tank on January 31, 2019, 08:43:19 AM
Great looking collection.  Similar to mine!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on January 31, 2019, 09:39:31 AM
That's a neat storage solution. I can never decide what to do with mine and just use the original boxes, which actually means that I just put stock on the layout until it was full, and then basically everything bought since is still in its box totally unused because putting everything back in the original boxes is a massive PITA. £7.50 per insert though, I'm not sure I can make myself spend a couple of hundred quid on foam!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on January 31, 2019, 10:47:12 AM
Great looking collection.  Similar to mine!  :thumbsup:

In which case, you have excellent taste in models.

That's a neat storage solution. I can never decide what to do with mine and just use the original boxes, which actually means that I just put stock on the layout until it was full, and then basically everything bought since is still in its box totally unused because putting everything back in the original boxes is a massive PITA. £7.50 per insert though, I'm not sure I can make myself spend a couple of hundred quid on foam!

I do recommend these boxes - it makes storage so much easier than the manufacturers' boxes. The amount of time and effort required to put things in and take things out of the manufacturers' boxes is huge.

As to the foam, you are not paying for the materials so much as the labour of cutting and sticking it. You could probably make your own with some foam slabs, a saw and some glue.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on January 31, 2019, 02:34:12 PM
Yep, which is why I never bother, and have entire rakes of wagons that have never come out of the boxes!

Where did you get the trolley from, my Google fu is weak today? You may tempt me yet! Wasn't particualrly disputing the value in the foam, the JB Storage ones are cheaper, but only 8 slots, although they do also do smaller ones for 4-wheeled wagons etc.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on January 31, 2019, 02:54:11 PM
Yep, which is why I never bother, and have entire rakes of wagons that have never come out of the boxes!

Where did you get the trolley from, my Google fu is weak today? You may tempt me yet! Wasn't particualrly disputing the value in the foam, the JB Storage ones are cheaper, but only 8 slots, although they do also do smaller ones for 4-wheeled wagons etc.

It is not actually an independent trolley: it is the Really Useful Boxes stacking system with castors. One can order it on the Really Useful Boxes website, as I did.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Tank on January 31, 2019, 02:59:39 PM
I use JB Models, and I always buy the larger foam trays that allow two carriages side by side.  I also have the larger Really Useful Boxes (50L?) to put them in.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on March 03, 2019, 01:15:26 PM
Here is the Inter-City Executive HST on the Model Railway Club's test tracks:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7895/47260489991_1a6c51cde1_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2f1fn9k)Dapol HST (https://flic.kr/p/2f1fn9k) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 08, 2019, 10:16:39 PM
The people building my baseboards tell me that they should be ready to install them on the 23rd of this month.

In readiness for this, I have been reviewing the track plan and trying to work out where the track occupancy sections should be for the purposes of reliable automation. This is what I have come up with:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2030C-FT-non-reverse-with-section-breaks.png)

You will have to right click and select "view image" to see this clearly. The purple lines are the occupancy section breaks. Assume that all turnouts are isolated on both rails on all roads so that all turnouts are effectively in their own occupancy section.

If anyone who has any experience of automation can spot any flaws with this design, I should be most grateful.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 24, 2019, 08:46:04 PM
The baseboards for this (which I had professionally built and installed) went in yesterday. This is what they look like:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47679802791_691cf89022_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fDisen)Shed (https://flic.kr/p/2fDisen) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47679801171_174c3021a0_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fDirKr)Shed (https://flic.kr/p/2fDirKr) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40713506903_ee4d252932_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/252Hnaz)Shed (https://flic.kr/p/252Hnaz) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40713503973_f14eba8db6_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/252Hmi4)Shed (https://flic.kr/p/252Hmi4) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The bracket on the wall above these baseboards show the height of the other, 00 gauge, layout that I also plan to build in the shed (with the same baseboard suppliers).

The baseboard builders recommended, sensibly I think, laying at least the fiddle yard tracks for this layout before installing the boards for the 00 gauge layout otherwise it would be very difficult to reach all the way to the back for long periods of time.

This is potentially complex, as the code 40 flatbottom turnouts that I need for the scenic section have not yet been released by British Finescale (although at least the plain track is available now). This involves either:

(1) building the fiddle yards (which are to use Peco track) now and leaving the scenic section until later (possibly after work on the 00 gauge layout has started);
(2) attempting to find a way to build these N gauge flatbottom turnouts in code 40 myself (perhaps using 2FS equipment?) - I am sceptical of my ability to do this, however;
(3) seeing if I can get the flatbottom turnouts built for me by Keith Armes or similar; or
(4) using the existing Finetrax bullhead turnouts instead of flat bottom turnouts on the main line (but using the concrete sleeper flatbottom plain track for the main lines).

I am not sure which of those is preferable at present - either (1) or (3) seem the most appealing, and I am leaning towards (1).
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on April 24, 2019, 09:14:28 PM
like the photos of the office james,superb well constructed boards and a light airy office. chris
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Newportnobby on April 24, 2019, 09:28:06 PM
a light airy office

A light airy office?! I've been operated on in hospital theatres not as clean :goggleeyes: :no:
Good luck with the build, James.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on April 24, 2019, 09:31:47 PM
thats what it looked like to me mick / james
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 24, 2019, 09:34:41 PM
thats what it looked like to me mick / james

It is, I suppose, a sort of operating theatre for model railway equipment. I regularly perform surgery on locomotives and carriages, and my trusty scalpel is most useful for cutting transfers from their backing paper for renumbering operations.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 03, 2019, 01:48:01 AM
Some further progress: a large quantity of Peco track for the fiddle yard arrived this afternoon, although I am still short of a number of necessary turnouts and most of my cork has not been delivered yet, so I cannot commence track laying work. I am still hoping that British Finescale will release the flat bottom turnouts sometime soon so that I can start work on the scenic section before too long, but may have to consider alternatives if this transpires not to happen any time soon.

I experimented with removing the PCB from a Farish class 47 and hardwiring a Zimo MX622 decoder, the aim being to fit more stay alive capacity. Although I was able to get the class 47 to work with a hard-wired decoder (after hours of trying to work out how to wire the LEDs), the large number of resistors needed and the mass of wires made the shell still unable to fit on the chassis with a stay alive fitted; moreover, I managed to destroy the decoder by accidentally bridging the gap between the solder pad for the ground and a programming pad when fitting the stay alive. I have posted about this in more detail on the MERG forum.

However, a more successful operation has been the renumbering of a Farish class 101 and other modifications.

One of the more challenging aspects was replacing the destination blinds, which come as supplied with the rather out of area "King's Lynn" and "Cambridge". These destination blinds work by having a two piece transparent plastic insert into the recess in the cab front. On the back of the outer piece of plastic is printed the destination indicator.

I had some custom transfers for suitable destination indicators made up by Railtec, and initially tried to have replacement bits of transparent plastic 3d printed to get a very precise size and shape, but it transpired not to be possible to make one this small, so I resorted to the more traditional method of fabricating these parts from an A4 sheet of 1mm thick transparent plastic sheet with a sharp knife. The transfers were then inserted into the gap between that and the rear transparent plastic piece, which I retained, and, if the plastic sheet was cut so as to be a press-fit, the destination blind will readily stay in place.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/46971481894_b6836a3211_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2eyH877)Graham Farish class 101 (https://flic.kr/p/2eyH877) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/32817153917_a3156aa926_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/RZWuwz)Graham Farish class 101 (https://flic.kr/p/RZWuwz) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I also renumbered the set to L207 (http://www.hondawanderer.com/L207_Oxford_North_Junction_1990.htm) (in its 1989 condition without subsector markings, which had appeared by the time of the Martin Loader picture in the link previously, taken in 1990).

(https://live.staticflickr.com/7321/9111864796_c0dfe925e2_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/eTbFXb)1989-06-10 54396, 51221  Windsor & Eton Central (https://flic.kr/p/eTbFXb) by John Carter (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jncarter1962/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/33883785858_15cf4e7ac4_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/TCcg3s)Graham Farish class 101 (https://flic.kr/p/TCcg3s) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Edit: I have just noticed that set L207 did not have NSE flashes in 1989; I think that I shall have to get the Brasso out to remove these.

After renumbering the set, however, I realised that the Farish DMU represents a power twin, whereas L207 is a DMBS+DTCL pair, so I had to convert the DMCL to a DTCL. I did this by removing many of the motor gubbins underneath the chassis and repositioning some of the other non-motor gubbins to their correct positions. The battery box had to be cut in two and positioned one half on each side. Still missing are the prominent vacuum brake cylinders, hangers and tanks visible in pictures such as this:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/7373/12538292963_3b02fd0b5d_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/k6Y2ET)L207-54396-51221 (https://flic.kr/p/k6Y2ET) by darren reay (https://www.flickr.com/photos/darrenreay/), on Flickr

as these are not something that I can simply re-purpose from some of the motor carriage gubbins. I may well have to have these 3d printed, although the underframe does not look too far off now; one can at least easily tell that it is a DTCL rather than a DMCL.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/32817154137_e55649de9d_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/RZWuAn)Graham Farish class 101 (https://flic.kr/p/RZWuAn) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/32817154257_cb1f0c730b_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/RZWuCr)Graham Farish class 101 (https://flic.kr/p/RZWuCr) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/32817154357_f60ae8348b_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/RZWuEa)Graham Farish class 101 (https://flic.kr/p/RZWuEa) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

A slightly trickier job than anticipated was removing the exhaust pipes on what became the DTCL, as these were quite firmly glued in place and removing them removed much of the black paint surrounding them. I had to use Milliput to fill the holes and file it down, then paint over with black. I am not entirely happy with the brushed finish on this paint, but I am not sure whether it is worth the effort to mask and spray the ends as these are barely visible when the units are coupled.

I also fitted a stay alive to this unit. The decoder is a Zimo MX622N and the stay alive is a Zimo SACC16 kit with 5 220uF tantalum capacitors, giving 1.1mF capacitance in total. Two of the capacitors are soldered directly to the solder pads on the SACC16, the other three are soldered to a pair of scrap pieces of brass that I had earlier used for solder practice, wired to the terminals on the other side of the SACC16 and covered in thin electrically insulating tape to prevent shorts. It was done this way because the body would not fit over the chassis with double height capacitors. The extra capacitors are in the recess near the guard's door in the DMBS unit; a slight downside is that these are just about visible through the door, although they may be less visible if I use black rather than yellow electrical tape. I believe that I could probably fit another 2-3 capacitors soldered to the other side of the brass strips, as there is a reasonable amount of space in this area.

Performance with the stay alives is good; I am able to get the unit to go at least a fair distance around my little test layout, including over points, at speed step 1 without stalling.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 03, 2019, 03:31:31 AM
looking good james with the class 101, a favourite unit of mine !!!

to give asuggestion to think through


you noticed that set L207 did not have NSE flashes in 1989; I think that I shall have to get the Brasso out to remove these.


it applies to n gauge too but i read up on :

http://www.replicarailways.co.uk/transfers/transfer-application (http://www.replicarailways.co.uk/transfers/transfer-application)

t cut remover from a motorist's shop, cocktail stick

just had that thought. chris
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Graham on May 03, 2019, 05:24:19 AM
very impressed with the intended layout and shed. an inspiration.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Bealman on May 03, 2019, 06:30:29 AM
Wot he said.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Newportnobby on May 03, 2019, 09:53:42 AM
Excellent work on the 101, James!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 03, 2019, 09:58:51 AM
Those destination blinds particularly look great, well done.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 03, 2019, 01:09:47 PM
Thank you all for your replies and kind words.

Crewearpley40 - I am aware that some people use T-Cut and cocktail sticks for removing printed on detail, but I find that I get good results with Brasso and mini cotton buds - is there a reason to think that the T-cut method is better, or is this just an alternative idea?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 03, 2019, 01:33:39 PM
either method works well, if you have your preference james go
with that. the brasso works as well.the dmu looks fine and thank you for corresponding with photos. brings back memories
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 04, 2019, 07:06:56 PM
Encorkment progress:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/46984170264_4c625d987b_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2ezQ9V7)Shed progress (https://flic.kr/p/2ezQ9V7) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The plan with the cork is to cover the whole baseboard with 1mm cork, and then, under the main running lines in the scenic area (intended to be code 40, rather than the code 55 of the fiddle yards), add an additional layer of 1.5mm thick cork, transitioning to the base cork layer for the yards and sidings, perhaps via a short itermediate section of double 1mm cork.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 05, 2019, 01:02:25 AM
The base layer of cork is now complete:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47775424141_d6e6244cd9_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fMKx8k)Cork complete (https://flic.kr/p/2fMKx8k) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Edit: Testing cork levels, it seems that 1mm of extra cork height is enough to compensate smoothly for the height difference between Peco Code 55 track and British Finescale fiNetrax code 40 track:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47723281492_248771fdaf_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fH9hW9)Code 40 (right) vs code 55 (left), the code 40 track packed with an extra 1mm of cork. (https://flic.kr/p/2fH9hW9) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/33898578918_9c9eb762a1_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/TDv5vd)Code 40 (right) vs code 55 (left), the code 40 track packed with an extra 1mm of cork. (https://flic.kr/p/TDv5vd) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The carriage runs over this joint very smoothly. I have yet to test with the 1.5mm cork, but I suspect that this will be too thick. I may well end up not using my 1.5mm cork, although will have to test this.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 05, 2019, 05:02:07 AM
looks corkingly,meant  very professional , looks good
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 05, 2019, 06:35:09 PM
Taking a break from cork and fiddle yard track, I have spent most of the day assembling a British Finescale fiNetrax B8 turnout kit. The result is as follows:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/32837864287_04381b12ad_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/S2LCZV)British Finescale fiNetrax N gauge B8 turnout (https://flic.kr/p/S2LCZV) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Testing with a Graham Farish mk. 1 carriage, this appears to work correctly, at last from a mechanical perspective. I have not yet dealt with any electrics: I will have to give that further consideration shortly.

This was my first attempt at building track from kit and I am quite pleased with how easy that it was to produce a working turnout. This does make me happy that the idea of using British Finescale track for the scenic section of my layout appears to be a sensible option.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 05, 2019, 06:47:05 PM
Seriously looking good james. Sure somebody could help with wiring and electrics. Hope your pleased with your work
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 15, 2019, 01:05:46 AM
Some more progress with laying track:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40885350193_a6bdaf4d52_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/25hU7bV)Track laying progress (https://flic.kr/p/25hU7bV) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40885350573_ccebeab3b8_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/25hU7it)Track laying progress (https://flic.kr/p/25hU7it) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I have now laid out all the turnouts in assemblages for the fiddle yards, but for some unfathomable reason, I have four right hand medium radius turnouts left over and am short one left hand medium radius turnout.

I have also tested the clearances for the DMU roads at the back, and they will take a 3 car DMU without fouling adjacent tracks.

The next step is to cut more plain track to length and add it to the assemblages. The idea at this stage is to lay it all loosely rather than pin it down just to make sure that the geometry works; since most of the geometry in the fiddle yards is governed by large assemblages of back to back turnouts and the length of sidings in between, this seems to be a better way of proceeding than using a template to get the exact curvature of track as one might in the scenic section.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 15, 2019, 03:16:19 AM
James. Seriously taking shape. I would take time, keep away from baseboard edges, ensure points can move freely. And it will all line up.  i regularly check to ensure wiring, accessibility, signalling and above all . . . Good luck
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Newportnobby on May 15, 2019, 10:07:56 AM
Good progress, James. I envy you that length but not the cost of the track!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 15, 2019, 10:41:48 AM
Nor the time to build all of that code 40 track!

Good job on the Finetrax turnout, surely you need to have a go at handbuilding on copper-clad now, so you can have some more 'custom' formations!?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2019, 12:18:45 AM
Thank you for your replies! I realise that I had mistakely posted the same picture twice rather than posting the other picture that I had intended to post, an error which I have now remedied.

As to copper clad - I have planned the whole scenic section with SCARM using geometary from the British Finescale range, which, splendidly, is actually included with SCARM. However, the flat bottom turnouts are not yet available from British Finescale, so I am contemplating whether to have a go at producing these with 2mm FS kits/parts, which I believe that I may have read somewhere can be made up as N gauge using replacement jigs/gauges (not the Easitrac type, but perhaps the "Versaline" chair type); but I am not sure whether this will be beyond my ability.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 16, 2019, 07:32:55 AM
Thatís significantly more complex than just building direct onto PCB sleepers, without any of the versatility, I really wouldnít do that.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2019, 08:24:47 AM
Thatís significantly more complex than just building direct onto PCB sleepers, without any of the versatility, I really wouldnít do that.

But without the chairplates, surely one just has blobs of solder between track and sleepers on the turnouts, which do not look like reality at all?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Bealman on May 16, 2019, 08:45:17 AM
It worked for Peter Denny's Buckingham Branch Lines  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 16, 2019, 09:15:12 AM
Quite a few layouts use this approach. The 2mm Scale Association book on track is worth reading, itís got lots on the different methods of construction.

If you get uniform Ďblobsí of solder (like by using solder balls) then it does look like a chair plate, which are so tiny in N anyway Iíd not be too concerned.

Personally for me the cast frog of the Finetrax grates visually far more. Wayne blackens his though, which looks immeasurably better. Certainly makes construction easier too.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2019, 09:18:38 AM
I do have the 2mmfs book, which is very good - I can't imagine being satisfied with blobs of solder. I can see the individual chairs on the fiNetrax points very clearly.

I was planning on blackening my cast crossing, too, which otherwise would look very silly.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Bealman on May 16, 2019, 09:27:34 AM
I have no experience with this trackage system, but to me the cast frog/crossing seems to let it down when trying to achieve something closer to 2fs.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 16, 2019, 09:28:30 AM
I believe Burton on Trent uses plain PCB pointwork, and that looks stunning to me.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2019, 10:16:41 AM
I have slightly modified the plan for the fiddle yard so as no longer to require the SL-U396 that I was missing and to take advantage of one of the extra SL-U395s that I have:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2032C-FT-non-reverse.png)

The modifications are visible on the right hand side. This does actually increase the lengths of one of the fiddle yard roads by a few cm, which is a good thing.

As to the trackage, the cast crossing looks silly in its raw state, but should look fine once it has been chemically blackened and the running tops cleaned. I really think that I would notice blobs of solder instead of actual chairplates: the layout is designed to be eye level for sitting down, so the track will be looked at quite closely.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 16, 2019, 10:21:08 AM
Have you looked at Burton on Trent? You may be surprised what it actually looks like, rather than what you assume it does.

Bear in mind you donít really have chairs on FB track anyway, and how small is a scale Pandrol clip, about 0.3mm maybe? Do what you think is right of course, but I think youíll be surprised.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2019, 10:28:53 AM
Have you looked at Burton on Trent? You may be surprised what it actually looks like, rather than what you assume it does.

Bear in mind you donít really have chairs on FB track anyway, and how small is a scale Pandrol clip, about 0.3mm maybe? Do what you think is right of course, but I think youíll be surprised.

I have seen pictures of this method of track laying in the 2mmFS book, but I do not believe that I have seen this particular layout; do you  know where I might find any pictures, especially high resolution/close up pictures of or featuring the turnouts?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 16, 2019, 10:51:11 AM
Short thread with pictures here (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=30081.msg567561#msg567561), with a much longer one on RMWeb here (https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/100029-burton-on-trent-in-n2/).

Cav's using 9.42mm FS standards on plain track, tapering to 9mm for the pointwork, but I believe it's all just plain copperclad. Chaired is great for BH, but IMO not for flat bottom.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2019, 10:56:32 AM
Short thread with pictures here (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=30081.msg567561#msg567561), with a much longer one on RMWeb here (https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/100029-burton-on-trent-in-n2/).

Cav's using 9.42mm FS standards on plain track, tapering to 9mm for the pointwork, but I believe it's all just plain copperclad. Chaired is great for BH, but IMO not for flat bottom.

Thank you - I will have a look at those.

It is interesting that you mention a difference between chaired track for bullhead and flat bottom - can you elaborate on the significance of this?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 16, 2019, 11:07:56 AM
There are exceptions, of course, but flatbottom track doesn't use chairs, it uses Pandrol clips (or similar), which are far lower profile than a chair, original ones were a bit bulkier, but on the newest track they're even more low profile:

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7R5pWnJSNi0/R1h4ZLp9OUI/AAAAAAAAADU/wAUDs0dm8Sk/s400/DSCF2126.JPG)

Bullhead in the background, with the bulky chairs, and flatbottom in the foreground, with much lower profile clips holding the base of the rail onto the sleepers. Those are actually the older style Pandrol clips too, current ones are smaller.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2019, 12:36:35 PM
There are exceptions, of course, but flatbottom track doesn't use chairs, it uses Pandrol clips (or similar), which are far lower profile than a chair, original ones were a bit bulkier, but on the newest track they're even more low profile:

([url]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7R5pWnJSNi0/R1h4ZLp9OUI/AAAAAAAAADU/wAUDs0dm8Sk/s400/DSCF2126.JPG[/url])

Bullhead in the background, with the bulky chairs, and flatbottom in the foreground, with much lower profile clips holding the base of the rail onto the sleepers. Those are actually the older style Pandrol clips too, current ones are smaller.


I understand the difference between actual fixings for flatbottom and bullhead track; but what I meant to ask - my apologies if this lacked clarity - was as to the significance of this difference in real practice to how suitable that model chairplates are for turnouts in 1:148 scale.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 16, 2019, 12:42:59 PM
You're presumably using FB plain track as well, as FB turnouts with BH plain track would be a bit odd? I would assume (but freely admit I don't know) that the main running lines of your chosen prototype were all FB in 1990s, with BH in the sidings/subsidiary lines.

Model chairs, as with Versaline kits are grossly overscale for FB pointwork clips, where a (tiny) 'blob' of solder would be more akin to the real thing. The chairplates, used in isolation, would (IMO) be a bit pointless and you may as well use plain PCB construction IMO.

Which components are you actually thinking of using?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2019, 01:35:49 PM
You're presumably using FB plain track as well, as FB turnouts with BH plain track would be a bit odd? I would assume (but freely admit I don't know) that the main running lines of your chosen prototype were all FB in 1990s, with BH in the sidings/subsidiary lines.

Model chairs, as with Versaline kits are grossly overscale for FB pointwork clips, where a (tiny) 'blob' of solder would be more akin to the real thing. The chairplates, used in isolation, would (IMO) be a bit pointless and you may as well use plain PCB construction IMO.

Which components are you actually thinking of using?

I have not yet studied the components in detail, as I am not sure whether I will be doing things in this way or not. I may yet wait for British Finescale/Wayne to release the fiNetrax flat bottom turnouts and work on the 00 gauge layout once I have finished laying the fiddle yard track, or try to get the flatbottom turnouts built professionally.

I will have to study the 2mmFS book on track building to see what is workable; I am not even sure that the Versaline system does actually represent the clips of flatbottom pointwork now that I think about it; I seem to remember that there was a system that does this, but I am not entirely sure. I will have to check the book. Perhaps I misremembered this and the copper clad/solder method is all that can be done for flatbottom in any case. The Burton-on-Trent layout does have good track - although the lack of any clips on the points (or flatbottom wooden sleepered rail as can be seen in some places) is somewhat noticeable, especially when these clips are readily visible on the plain track.

As to plain track, I will be using a mix of the fiNetrax flatbottom concrete sleepered track for the main lines and the fiNetrax bullhead track for sidings and other minor lines such as the bay platform.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 16, 2019, 01:51:38 PM
I've not looked closely, but I don't believe the Versaline system (like many 2mm SA products) is designed for FB at all. Easitrac is, but obviously no use for N gauge turnouts.

With the utmost respect to both you and Wayne I would strongly dispute that Finetrax FB turnouts will look better than Cav's, even if his doesn't have a representation of the clips. If anything I would say they are overscale on the Finetrax plain line, albeit obviously through necessity due to their structural nature. Again, your layout of course, and it will mean homogeny between plain line and turnouts which I can understand the appeal of.

If you're getting FB turnouts built professionally how do you think they'll be done? That's no different to if you do them yourself. Given the cost of parts (largely trivial) why not have a go? Then you can decide if you find the aesthetic jarring? If you do then you've wasted a few hours of your life and £5 of bits.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2019, 02:29:50 PM
I think that I will have to check the 2mmFS book on track again before considering this further - my recollection of the position as to the various methods of constructing flatbottom turnouts, which is somewhat vague, but is to the effect that there is a specific standard method supported by 2mm Finescale Society components for building flatbottom turnouts with a better representation of the fixings than can be achieved with blobs of solder, is not entirely consistent with the information that I am reading here, and I am not entirely sure which is correct.

I do not need to make a decision on what to do about the main line pointwork straight away, as I have not finished laying the fiddle yards yet (and may well wait for the British Finescale flatbottom turnouts to become available), but will need to give some consideration to this in time.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 16, 2019, 02:42:33 PM
Also entirely possible my recollection is wrong, but having looked at the 2mm SA shop it appears to confirm there are no Versaline parts with representations of FB fixings, only chairs for BH. Like I say, the issue you have is that scale Pandrol clips will be minuscule, and are probably better omitted than including something overscale. Would be interested in an alternative though.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 17, 2019, 11:47:20 PM
Also entirely possible my recollection is wrong, but having looked at the 2mm SA shop it appears to confirm there are no Versaline parts with representations of FB fixings, only chairs for BH. Like I say, the issue you have is that scale Pandrol clips will be minuscule, and are probably better omitted than including something overscale. Would be interested in an alternative though.

I have now checked the book: the position is that it is possible to use Versaline chairplates to represent the clips used on flatbottom rail, including turnouts.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 18, 2019, 06:36:38 PM
Ta. I thought the chair plates were just rectangles you solder to the sleepers (and in turn solder the rail/chairs to)?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 18, 2019, 06:52:57 PM
Ta. I thought the chair plates were just rectangles you solder to the sleepers (and in turn solder the rail/chairs to)?

I have not studied them in detail - what I know is that the book recommends using them to represent clips.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 19, 2019, 02:45:39 PM
Since I had 3 spare SL-U395 (right hand medium radius turnouts), I thought that it would be efficient to revise the design to increase the storage capacity for locomotives and multiple units a little on the right hand/west side of the layout, where there was a little spare space. The revised design now makes use of the three spare turnouts:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2034C-FT-non-reverse.png)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 19, 2019, 02:49:28 PM
Looking good that plan james
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 20, 2019, 01:05:20 AM
Track laying continues slowly as I add the longer fiddle yard roads. I am soldering all electrically connective joints to ensure maximum reliability.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47832515962_e576675afb_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fSN9x5)Length testing fiddle yards (https://flic.kr/p/2fSN9x5) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Testing for length, the roads are plenty long enough:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40918041043_9a6cdf8a99_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/25kME3g)HST in partly laid fiddle yard (https://flic.kr/p/25kME3g) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

One difficulty is that laying the track as I am doing (loosely without pinning anything down until the geometary of everything is confirmed to fit into everything else), it is increasingly difficult to get the track, especially those in which there are curves, to remain stable as more track is added.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Graham on May 20, 2019, 01:34:45 AM
a possible solution could be to use drawing pins / thumb tacks, until you are ready to properly pin them. that is what we do at our local club.

cheers
Graham
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 20, 2019, 03:01:39 AM
James. Looking good. Take your time the end result will be worth it
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 20, 2019, 09:10:57 PM
Ta. I thought the chair plates were just rectangles you solder to the sleepers (and in turn solder the rail/chairs to)?

I have not studied them in detail - what I know is that the book recommends using them to represent clips.

I've been away for a few days so didn't have my copy of the book to hand, but have just skim read the first chapter. I most certainly don't want to labour the point, as it's your layout and you need to do what's right for you, but they are a little contradictory, for modern FB track they say both: "rail soldered direct to PCB concrete sleepers, Versaline chair plates for pointwork", and, of pointwork specifically "(plain soldered) ...is faster than Versaline or Easitrac as there are no chairplates... With FB rail it's a very good representation of more modern track."

I would still advocate plain PCB, using solder balls for the closest to scale appearance of 'modern' FB pointwork, and wouldn't use either chairplates or chairs myself. Given the space you have I think you're absolutely crying out for some proper handbuilt track, you could have some fantastic long crossovers, which would look superb, and (IMO) superior to Finetrax purely due to the totally custom geometry and larger sizes you would inevitably be able to use. I think writing off handbuilt pointwork for reasons of realism would be a big mistake.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 20, 2019, 09:26:59 PM
Ta. I thought the chair plates were just rectangles you solder to the sleepers (and in turn solder the rail/chairs to)?


I have not studied them in detail - what I know is that the book recommends using them to represent clips.


I've been away for a few days so didn't have my copy of the book to hand, but have just skim read the first chapter. I most certainly don't want to labour the point, as it's your layout and you need to do what's right for you, but they are a little contradictory, for modern FB track they say both: "rail soldered direct to PCB concrete sleepers, Versaline chair plates for pointwork", and, of pointwork specifically "(plain soldered) ...is faster than Versaline or Easitrac as there are no chairplates... With FB rail it's a very good representation of more modern track."

I would still advocate plain PCB, using solder balls for the closest to scale appearance of 'modern' FB pointwork, and wouldn't use either chairplates or chairs myself. Given the space you have I think you're absolutely crying out for some proper handbuilt track, you could have some fantastic long crossovers, which would look superb, and (IMO) superior to Finetrax purely due to the totally custom geometry and larger sizes you would inevitably be able to use. I think writing off handbuilt pointwork for reasons of realism would be a big mistake.


There are three quite separate issues:

(1) whether to try to build hand-built pointwork at all;
(2) if so, whether to use the PCB soldered method or Versaline chairplates; and
(3) if hand-built pointwork be used, what geometary that it should be.

Whether to use hand-built pointwork at all

I am certainly open to having a go at this, although I have made no final decisions yet as I am still laying the fiddle yard track, which is all Peco. The Model Railway Club is having a point building workshop for members on Sunday, which I am planning to attend. That will focus on EM gauge (relevant for a club layout on which I am working), but I anticipate that the techniques will also be of relevance to N gauge.

However, if I find this too time-consuming or difficult or decide that it would be more efficient to start work on the 00 gauge layout and focus on the N gauge layout later, preferably when British Finescale has released its flat bottom turnout kits, I might decide against it.

Whether, if hand-building track, to represent the clips with Versaline chairplates

This is still not something that I have looked at in detail, and it would not make any sense to make a decision about it until I have looked at it in detail, nor spend the time and effort necessary to look at it in detail unless and until I decide finally in favour of hand-building track.

It will be a matter of working out how much more effort is involved in using the Versaline method, how much better that this looks, and then weighing one against the other.

Track geometry

I have planned the layout in SCARM, which includes templates for most of the current range of British Finescale turnouts. I can find no data on any other shapes of turnouts, especially flat bottom turnouts, and, even if I could, I am not sure how to integrate these into my existing SCARM plan.

The plan:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/Oxcott%2034C-FT-non-reverse.png)

is not one where there seems to be any space left for significantly longer crossings: as it stands, I had to use the C9 rather than the C10 points/crossings on the main line because of space constraints. I am aware that flat bottom turnouts use slightly different geometry, but I have been unsuccessful in finding any detail of this geometry, and will have to live with C9/C10 geometery unless and until I am able:

(a) to find sufficient detail about flatbottom geometry; and
(b) to find a workable way of integrating this into my layout plan.

In any event, thank you for your thoughts on this.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 21, 2019, 11:09:33 AM
Wrote a nice long reply to this last night and then lost it, couldn't be bothered to re-type it on my phone, so waited until I was at a computer this morning!  :doh:

The key thing to think about with handbuilt pointwork is that you're no longer constrained by the off the shelf geometry. So, taking the crossovers at the leftmost of your plan, adjacent to the bridge. If you were handbuilding them you can have them on the gentle curve starting before the bridge (I realise that's the scenic break, but purely an example), and continue the curve all the way through the crossover, making it twice as long as the existing ones if you so desired. You'd probably want to redesign out front to capitalise on this. You could have the entire layout on a very gradual curve, which IMO looks better than dead straight track. I accept that Didcot and Oxford are largely straight however.

The SCARM point is very valid. Templot is the best (IMO) tool if you're handbuilding track. It can generate modern FB templates and is free, so you can play with it and have a look at how it may work, even overlaying the templates on a SCARM plan. However, because it's designed solely for handbuilt track it doesn't contain any libraries of conventional trackwork, so you'd probably end up with two plans - the fiddle yard with the Peco track and the 'scenic' bit with handbuilt/Finetrax stuff. You could use Templot to plan Peco geometry but it would be needlessly laborious. If you still wanted to use some Finetrax pointwork that wouldn't be so bad, you can draw a straight C9 crossover, but it's not as point and click as SCARM.

Ultimately it's obviously your choice, and I fully understand why one wouldn't want to go down the route of handbuilt pointwork, just don't not do it because you don't think it will look as good (think that's a triple negative!), as IMO that's misguided - if you're pursuing Finetrax and building a modern layout I'd definitely explore it in detail, even if you mix and match. I stand by my recommendation of not using chairplates, but consider using solder balls to give a consistent size fixing, with chairs to represent the slide chairs if you're so inclined. Obviously it remains to be seen what the FB Finetrax points will use, but they'll need some sort of mechanical fixing to keep the rail in place which will mean consistency with the plain track. I'm not sure it's actually markedly harder than Finetrax (having not built a Finetrax point), possibly a bit more time consuming, but things like wiring become easier because the points are electrically connected via the bearers, so you don't need as many wires as you do with Finetrax - the closure rails are electrically connected to the stock rails by default.

It's certainly a great project, looking forward to watching it continue to develop!

Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 21, 2019, 11:31:53 AM
Thank you for your thoughts.

A very large amount of work has gone into fine-tuning the design in SCARM really very precisely indeed, and I really have no idea how one might realistically go about working out how to integrate hand-built items of non-standard geometary into such a plan without the expenditure of such an extreme amount of time and effort (many, many tens of hours of intense work just on the planning) as to put it beyond what can reasonably be contemplated.

Do you know of any techniques that would make this process realistically viable?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 21, 2019, 11:44:20 AM
Like I say, that's not the way to think of it. As you're not constrained by what shapes you can get, I'd re-draw the scenic area entirely. If you don't want to do that (which is fair enough) then I'd either look at certain areas you could integrate and re-draw those then simply merge the plan images, or just sack it off and stick with what you've got!

Bear in mind though that the FB points may be sufficiently different from the BH ones in profile to make the plan you have need amends anyway. Seems risky to have spent hours refining a plan for which you plan to use a track system that doesn't exist...?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 21, 2019, 12:42:55 PM
 Given that I understand that Templot is extremely difficult to use, and given that all of the sidings in the scenic area will still use British Finescale turnouts, redrawing the entire scenic area is not feasible.

Can you elaborate on how one might practically integrate and re-draw sections?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 21, 2019, 01:04:10 PM
I personally haven't found Templot at all difficult to use, but I do find it extremely satisfying! It's different to all the other tools out there because of its versatility - consider it Photoshop whilst SCARM is MS Paint! Some things are perhaps a little counter intuitive, but most software has its foibles! Designing a whole layout is quite challenging, because it's really easy to get carried away when you're not inhibited by off the shelf trackwork. Individual templates are pretty straightforward though.

I'd probably take the image of your plan from SCARM and lay it as a background in Templot. This would then allow you to design templates over the top of the existing layout plan, so no changes necessary to existing curves etc - that assumes you don't want to make fundamental changes to the plan. Alternatively you could simply design any particular bits you think could be re-worked and then layer them in an image editing software having scaled appropriately. Templot generates similar looking templates to SCARM. Likely a bit trial and error, but the end result should be fine.

I assume you're planning to print the plan 1:1 and lay the track on top of it? If so then you could still print your SCARM plan, and your Templot ones and physically lay them on top on the board to check alignment. A lot of people, if hand building, would do so away from the layout, making the 'module' easier to move around, and then transplant the finished item onto the layout once complete. Presumably as you would with Finetrax turnouts?

Like I say, with Finetrax turnouts you could still draw those in Templot - they're just 'standard' geometry after all. You'd need to draw them once and then you can clone them just as you may in any other layout design software. Peco would be much harder because they don't follow prototypical designs, but still doable if you really wanted. I'd suggest that's overkill though.

It will likely take longer than SCARM though, so given the time you have invested already, and the potential to need to make amends in future, it's probably not a desirable route to go down.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 21, 2019, 08:58:28 PM
Just as an example, the longest bit of this entire thing was uploading the image to Flickr so I could link to it.

Crossover at the LH end replaced with a D10 crossing, curved to match the existing curve. I just pasted your trackplan as a background in Templot (obviously it's a low-res copy) and drew over the top. As you can see, that buys you more than the length of the C9 point, so you can move/extend all subsequent points if you wanted to make everything longer, perhaps continuing that curve slightly further around and then curving back through the station.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47902517701_6052910548_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fYYVBB)Oxcott (https://flic.kr/p/2fYYVBB) by njee20 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/46244709@N04/), on Flickr

Like I say, just a thought.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 21, 2019, 10:47:53 PM
Thank you for that - that is very interesting. I will have to look into this.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 21, 2019, 11:05:50 PM
No problem, happy to help.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 22, 2019, 09:30:51 PM
I am looking into this now using your suggested method. I have been able to import the background image, but one problem that I have is that it is very difficult to be sure that the background image is exactly to scale. Presumably, even if it is very slightly out of scale, the trackwork that I produce using this method might be very significantly wrong? Is there any reliable way of getting this to scale with precision?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 22, 2019, 10:24:35 PM
Well the Templot templates will always be to scale, you can't distort them, so if the rails line up then you're good! Probably the best thing to do when you think you're there is to print out the Templot plans and the SCARM plan and physically stick the Templot ones over the top, again may be a bit of trial and error.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 23, 2019, 12:52:23 AM
Well the Templot templates will always be to scale, you can't distort them, so if the rails line up then you're good! Probably the best thing to do when you think you're there is to print out the Templot plans and the SCARM plan and physically stick the Templot ones over the top, again may be a bit of trial and error.


I have been having a go at this. Here are some results of what I have done so far with the eastern junctions:

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/oxcott-templot-1.png)
(Diagram mode)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/oxcott-templot-2.png)
(Detail mode with background image)

(http://bridgewater-brunel.me.uk/misc/oxcott-templot-3.png)
(Detail mode without background image)

As will be noted, I am having a difficulty with gaps appearing on crossovers. I am not quite sure what to do about this.

However, there is potentially a more fundamental problem. As can be seen, there is noticeable curvature on these points. However, the real Oxford and Didcot (and, I think, most places with rationalised track) had turnouts that were all on the dead straight: see, for example, this photograph (https://flic.kr/p/9Uh5pZ) from Oxford or this of Didcot taken by my father in 1985:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/1723/41594866855_7ea80f4c9d_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/26nAyLP)Didcot station (https://flic.kr/p/26nAyLP) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Or this from the same vantage point in 1989:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/256/31520877042_b3a4552fda_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Q2oJzh)Didcot (https://flic.kr/p/Q2oJzh) by Roger Goodrum (https://www.flickr.com/photos/138063305@N03/), on Flickr

Or this of Oxford:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/4160/33454957774_50007ce4b6_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/SYipoN)50038 (https://flic.kr/p/SYipoN) by Redhill Bull (https://www.flickr.com/photos/53055234@N08/), on Flickr

Or this:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/4686/25668634638_dc97c871d7_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/F7fsNb)50023 (https://flic.kr/p/F7fsNb) by Redhill Bull (https://www.flickr.com/photos/53055234@N08/), on Flickr

Although some curving seems to have existed in very crowded locations as depicted in this (https://flic.kr/p/dfJ14i) photograph of Westbourne Park in 1988.

I could just use straight templates and curve the plain track as in the current design, but I am not sure how well that those would fit. Do you have much more information on the prevalence of curved pointwork in rationalised 1980s trackwork?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 23, 2019, 01:19:00 AM
thanks for the photos.the class 50s looked better in original blue and large logo, never liked the toothpaste NSE livery on those beautiful locos
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 23, 2019, 07:21:44 AM
Ha, I was going to say the exact opposite that it looks stunning in later-NSE.

As will be noted, I am having a difficulty with gaps appearing on crossovers. I am not quite sure what to do about this.

...

I could just use straight templates and curve the plain track as in the current design, but I am not sure how well that those would fit. Do you have much more information on the prevalence of curved pointwork in rationalised 1980s trackwork?

To do crossovers I always draw one turnout and then use the ďcrossoverĒ button, which should mean you donít have a gap. They remain separate templates. I wouldnít worry too much about a small gap though - as long as you can line it up to build.

Re: curved pointwork I donít have more info, to be honest, Iíd suggest itís not the case that the GWML doesnít have curved pointwork, rather it has a lot of very straight track full stop, Iím a WCML man myself, and thatís more wiggly! In real life pointwork will be put where it needs to be, rather than in a certain location to avoid curvature. Given you have have some curves in a model Iíd suggest it would look far better having fluid trackwork rather than straight pointwork with curved bits in between. 
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 23, 2019, 07:40:21 AM
you mean the post 1988 revised livery ?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 23, 2019, 12:49:18 PM
Yep, definitely my favourite!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 23, 2019, 01:03:47 PM
and remember 86401 in nse livery on the northampton cobblers train ....
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 23, 2019, 01:26:18 PM
Thank you for your replies. I should note that I was already using the crossover tool to create the crossovers, so I am not sure quite why I am getting the gaps.

I am still not quite sure about the position apropos curved turnouts. Oxford had some curves to the north, but the turnouts avoided this and were consistently on the straight. Are curved turnouts harder to build than straight ones? If they are more than very slightly more difficult to build, this might explain them being deliberately avoided on the main lines after the 1960s when labour costs were much higher. It is difficult for me to check in detail at present as the main source of photographic information, Flickr, is down for major upgrading work. The video on this page (https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/western/great-western-mainline/oxford/) seems to suggest mostly straight turnouts, but it is hard to be sure (and one is of course mostly looking for the track that is being taken up, not the track that is going down; 1:37 gives a good view, as does 2:10).

However, another complexity arises: to get them all to fit in on the straight, I have to use a 1:9 crossing angle, which is shorter than I believe would have been used on the main line at this time; curving them, I can use a 1:10 crossing angle (or a 1:12 for the first crossover on the relief lines). The question may well therefore become whether curving points or a short crossing angle is the least worse compromise to have to make.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 23, 2019, 02:00:59 PM
Prototypical pointwork on running lines can have 1:24+ crossing angles, theyíre massive in real life. Take a Google maps background and overlay templates on that, you get 2m long crossovers! A bit less prolific in the 1980s Iím sure, but still. Given all formations were made for each location I canít imagine there was any marked complexity in making curved versus straight turnouts, I wonder if there was a tendency toward straight ones for safety reasons.

I personally think curved pointwork looks better, it looks less toy-like to my mind as it flows better - like avoiding having track parallel to the baseboard edge. Having a curve which ends with a forced straight point looks less good IMO, but I fully understand what youíre saying about the prototype. That said of course the curves on the prototype are vastly more gentle, so you donít get the slightly jarring curve-straight transitions you can on a model.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 23, 2019, 02:08:01 PM
Having travelled over fine examples at bristol temple meads,york and newcastle upon tyne that gave me that idea too. Well worded. . . Just got to plan what radius you want to use
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 23, 2019, 03:53:37 PM
The mention of Bristol Temple Meads is interesting, as this is very much a Western Region (indeed, GWML) station. Pictures:

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/Bristol_Temple_Meads_railway_station_MMB_82_220XXX_43154_43127.jpg)

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/Bristol_Temple_Meads_railway_station_MMB_64_221133.jpg)

show that this station does indeed have curved points on the main line, albeit the station is on a curve and this is not a high speed section of track.

How easy are curved turnouts to build compared with straight ones?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 23, 2019, 04:12:07 PM
am afraid im no expert, just a thought, you may have to ( disclaimer ) check the track section on this site


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFR8sTK5Lko (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFR8sTK5Lko)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Build+N+Scale+Curved+Turnout+Part+1+of+5 (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Build+N+Scale+Curved+Turnout+Part+1+of+5)


would this help james :

Build N Scale Curved Turnout Part 1 of 5

apologies trying to be helpful, ust the idea of the temple meads sprung to mind !!!!! and i was thinking of the curved point in the photo of the voyager

Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: RailGooner on May 23, 2019, 04:20:35 PM
A couple of crackin' pictures there James! The section of track on the right of the 2nd picture, illustrates that even the pros occasionally have trouble with creating smooth curves!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 23, 2019, 04:25:43 PM
A couple of crackin' pictures there James! The section of track on the right of the 2nd picture, illustrates that even the pros occasionally have trouble with creating smooth curves!

I should note that these are not my pictures, but are linked from Wikimedia Commons.

The video is interesting, albeit it seems to focus on using a specific US supplier's materials. I will have to look at that in more detail when I have some time.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 23, 2019, 04:31:16 PM
there were 5 altogether,timer consuming, but interesting - maybe able to work the gist of it -a lso when i have time !!!

Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 23, 2019, 06:32:51 PM
I guess building curved turnouts is slightly harder than straight ones, you canít use a straight edge to set it all up, but the converse is that it doesnít matter as much - as that photo shows the radius can vary quite a bit on the real thing!

Iíve only just built a straight one, having build a number of curved ones, I didnít find it easier or harder particularly, but Iíve found theyíre getting neater and needing less adjustment with each one, unsurprising I guess!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 23, 2019, 09:54:49 PM
hope the points go well, immuch more au fait with the trains though !!!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 24, 2019, 08:16:24 AM
Thank you for your thoughts.

Njee20 - I notice from your Flickr album:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/7886/33537793028_1a008d5ac5_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/T6BXqQ)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/T6BXqQ) by njee20 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/46244709@N04/), on Flickr

that you are making your own curved points in N gauge (and I think that you have mentioned it here, too). Do you use a jig for filing the crossing Vs and switches? If so, where did you get hold of it/them? If not, how are you able to do this accurately and consistently?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 24, 2019, 09:56:40 AM
Indeed I am, currently in code 55 as I've shoehorned a couple of crossovers into an already built layout (I don't recommend that!), with a view to building my next layout in code 40 throughout, using Easitrac with PCB pointwork.

I have got one of the 1:10 2mm SA jigs, which I modified slightly to fit code 55 FB (they're designed for code 40 BH), which works alright, but the others I've just done by eye. In N the tolerances seem somewhat sloppy, so you don't need perfection. I've built 1:8, 1:9 and 1:10 crossovers so far. Like I say, they're getting better as I go along (I think I've built 8 now).

I really like the idea of the Fast Tracks jigs, but they're bloody expensive (even before factoring in shipping from the US), and from what I've experienced so far it doesn't seem entirely necessary.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 24, 2019, 11:32:13 AM
Interesting, thank you. How have you found filing these shallow angles by eye - how do the trains run over the resulting pointwork?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 24, 2019, 11:47:08 AM
looks good

hope the videos helped
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 24, 2019, 12:12:47 PM
looks good

hope the videos helped

The videos are based on jig use, which is part of why I was asking about the jigs - are those American jigs actually suitable for producing UK flatbottom geometry curved turnouts?

If not, then I will have to make them (if I decide to do this at all) without jigs, which presumably would be significantly different to much of what is shown in the videos.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 24, 2019, 12:21:27 PM
unsure.sorry was just being helpful, im looking into a problem of my own with track at the time, but have resolved
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 24, 2019, 12:29:23 PM
US track is all flat bottom, so ignoring things like sleeper spacing then yes, the content is relevant. I see they're actually using the Fast Tracks jigs too.

My first efforts are totally acceptable, marginally better running than Peco, but not exceptional - I've got a small vertical bump in one, which is annoying. I did have a video of stock running through my first effort, but can't now find it, maybe I didn't actually upload it. Will try and do so in due course. I'm about to relay another 4 crossovers with handbuilt ones, replacing two Peco scissors that have never worked properly, particularly in a ladder formation where stuff always derails. Not prototypical for the location either.

I found filing the angles fine, I tended to do them approximately, then put some double sided tape on a Templot template and solder them 'in situ' - using a reasonable amount of solder and then filing back to ensure the angle matches. It's a probably a bit heath robinson, and using a jig would probably give a better result, but they work fine for me.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 24, 2019, 12:32:27 PM
US track is all flat bottom, so ignoring things like sleeper spacing then yes, the content is relevant. I see they're actually using the Fast Tracks jigs too.

My first efforts are totally acceptable, marginally better running than Peco, but not exceptional - I've got a small vertical bump in one, which is annoying. I did have a video of stock running through my first effort, but can't now find it, maybe I didn't actually upload it. Will try and do so in due course. I'm about to relay another 4 crossovers with handbuilt ones, replacing two Peco scissors that have never worked properly, particularly in a ladder formation where stuff always derails. Not prototypical for the location either.

I found filing the angles fine, I tended to do them approximately, then put some double sided tape on a Templot template and solder them 'in situ' - using a reasonable amount of solder and then filing back to ensure the angle matches. It's a probably a bit heath robinson, and using a jig would probably give a better result, but they work fine for me.

That is very helpful - thank you.

May I ask where you managed to obtain the correct width of copper clad?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 24, 2019, 12:37:00 PM
2mm Scale Association - you just cut down the 50mm bearers, they cut easily with a Stanley knife.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 24, 2019, 12:46:52 PM
2mm Scale Association - you just cut down the 50mm bearers, they cut easily with a Stanley knife.

Splendid, thank you.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 26, 2019, 10:12:28 PM
I had a very interesting afternoon to-day at the Model Railway Club's points building workshop. Although this was aimed at EM gauge, most of the techniques would be applicable to N gauge. It was a partial course, in that we did not have the opportunity to build a whole set of points, but we were taught the theory of construction and given an opportunity to file the switch blades and produce the crossing Vs, which, the instructor said, were the most difficult parts.

We did this with EM Gauge Society jigs, and, using these jigs, this was not too hard at all, and I was able to produce in the course of the afternoon a serviceable set of switch rails and a serviceable V.

This does suggest that it might well be feasible to use the copperclad method to produce the main line points for this layout.

However, there is a possible issue: it is difficult to find a full range of jigs, and I have doubts about whether it would be feasible for me to make these without jigs. The 2mm Scale Association (http://2mm.org.uk/products/shops.php?shop_num=1) sell rail filing jigs in:

(http://2mm.org.uk/products/images/s1-208.jpg)

Although these are from the 2mm Scale Association, if I have understood correctly, these jigs should in principle work with any code 40 track, as the switch blade and crossing filing/soldering is not gauge specific. This does not, of course, apply to the turnout assembly jigs, which are a different thing entirely.

Unfortunately, the 2mm Scale Association is missing 1:9, 1:11 and 1:12 jigs, which sizes I am likely to find useful (judging from what I have done in Templot so far). I am not likely to find it feasible to build these without jigs.

The US "Fast Tracks" manufacturer does seem to sell jigs (https://www.handlaidtrack.com/fh-me40-x) for these sizes in code 40. Again, these are soldering jigs rather than the large assembly jigs; there also seem to be filing jigs (https://www.handlaidtrack.com/pf-9-s) in these sizes. Knowing now more about the process of producing points than I did when I last looked at this, these jigs would be geometry/scale agnostic: all that seems to be important is the crossing angle and rail size (e.g. code 40). They even seem to have jigs for filing the stock rail flat at the switches (https://www.handlaidtrack.com/sa-s), which is likely to be useful especially for flatbottom rail.

As to the copper clad, Marcway (http://www.marcway.net/list3.php?col=head&name=PCB+PRE-CUT+SLEEPERS) seem to sell 2mm wide pre-cut copper clad strips, which seem to be the correct width for N gauge as well as 2mm finescale (measuring from my Templot printout).

Fast Tracks (https://www.handlaidtrack.com/tri-n-s-me40) also seem to sell three point gauges for N gauge - I am not sure whether these are readily available anywhere else, but I have not had much success in finding them in the UK.

It does therefore seem at least potentially feasible, albeit requiring the purchase of a number of expensive jigs from the USA.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 26, 2019, 10:18:33 PM
james glad it went well


look forward to locos /stock info

Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 26, 2019, 10:32:16 PM
james glad it went well


look forward to locos /stock info

What sort of information had you in mind? Apart from the yet to be released class 50s and some freight wagons, I have most of the rolling stock for this layout; did you want me to list what I have?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on May 26, 2019, 10:38:20 PM
Thanks for track update. No just into operations of trains including real life and will wait til the 50s arrive. Good luck and thanks for posting
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 27, 2019, 09:15:13 PM
Iíd just use the 2mm SA copper clad strip myself, rather than the Marcway stuff, whatís the logic there?

You canít use the 2mm Jigs for FB track without modification - you need to put the rails in orientated differently, and the groove doesnít take the foot of the FB rail.

The Fast tracks ones will work, but are very expensive. They do filing and assembly jigs though.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 27, 2019, 09:27:08 PM
Iíd just use the 2mm SA copper clad strip myself, rather than the Marcway stuff, whatís the logic there?

You canít use the 2mm Jigs for FB track without modification - you need to put the rails in orientated differently, and the groove doesnít take the foot of the FB rail.

The Fast tracks ones will work, but are very expensive. They do filing and assembly jigs though.

Thank you for the information regarding the 2mm Scale Association jigs - that is very useful. May I ask what the disadvantage of the Marcway copperclad is?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 27, 2019, 09:58:04 PM
No idea, but the obvious choice is the 2mm Scale Association, who do exactly the right product. You donít want 17mm sleepers, thatís for plain track, and the lack of a price may mean they no longer do them. You need much longer bearers for turnouts.

The products in other gauges Marcway sell are way more expensive than the 2mm SA too, who do 500 sleepers, correctly profiled for concrete and already gapped for £5 or so, and their packs of 75 50mm strips are about £3.

Before spending literally hundreds of pounds on Fast Tracks gauges why not have a go? I know people who have made excellent track without gauges.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 30, 2019, 09:12:16 PM
I have doubts that I will be able to make points without jigs: I am not good at freehand work generally.

As to copper clad strips, the difference in cost between Marcway and the 2mm Scale Association does not take into account the cost of joining the association; joining an entire association just to buy some copper clad seems a bit excessive.

Incidentally, I would not be wanting the copper clad to simulate concrete, but wooden sleepers, as points had wooden bearers in the 1980s even if the plain track was concrete. That began to change in the 1990s, I believe, but this model is set in 1989.



In any event, I have been making more progress in laying the fiddle yard track:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47966499491_d2b48c4cde_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2g5CRaV)Track laying progress (https://flic.kr/p/2g5CRaV) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47966468443_c7793ee29b_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2g5CFWB)Track laying progress (https://flic.kr/p/2g5CFWB) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 30, 2019, 09:53:01 PM
Yes, sorry the packs of plain sleepers (for plain line) are available with (or without) the central 'depression' for concrete (and are available in a pack of 500). The bearers are just plain.

The Marcway ones you linked to aren't right, they're sleepers, not bearers. Marcway do do 2mm strip here (http://www.marcway.net/list3.php?col=head&name=PCB), 6x36" is £11, presumably plus postage. So that's 5.5m for £11, or £2/m. The 2mm SA sells a pack of 75x50mm for £2.50, or 67p per metre. You don't need to order much to cover the cost of membership. Given you're talking about using the 2mm SA jigs I assumed you were going to join?

Fiddle yard looks good though, never have too much fiddle yard space!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 30, 2019, 10:07:39 PM
Thank you: that is most helpful.

I quite agree about fiddle yard space - the more fiddle yard space, the better variety of trains that I can run, and variety is the spice of life (that and cinnamon, obviously).

It occurs to me that, once the track is laid and wired, I will have to have the 00 gauge layout's baseboards (above) installed, the 00 gauge track laid and that layout fully signalled and wired before installing any scenery or signals on the N gauge layout, as accessing the underside of the 00 gauge layout for wiring and adding point motors would be very difficult without crushing any signals/scenery on the N gauge layout. This does complicate the schedule for layout construction somewhat!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 17, 2019, 01:00:12 AM
After a short break, some more progress on the fiddle yards this evening:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48076084946_99f958d0ed_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gfjv7j)N gauge fiddle yard in progress (https://flic.kr/p/2gfjv7j) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48076080781_25119119bb_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gfjtSv)N gauge layout progress (https://flic.kr/p/2gfjtSv) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48076190842_041e7090d3_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gfk3A7)N gauge fiddle yard under construction (https://flic.kr/p/2gfk3A7) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 17, 2019, 01:12:10 AM
James. Looking good
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Graham on June 17, 2019, 01:18:46 AM
James. Looking good
echo that comment
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 17, 2019, 01:21:09 AM
well lit building, superb woodwork too
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Newportnobby on June 17, 2019, 09:58:09 AM
I wondered why everywhere I tried for Peco points stated they'd sold out :goggleeyes: ;)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Tank on June 17, 2019, 10:10:58 AM
This is coming on really well.  Keep up the great work.  :)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 21, 2019, 12:14:03 AM
Some Network Express action on the MRC test tracks this evening:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48099500296_b703da0e41_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2ghovFf)N gauge network express (https://flic.kr/p/2ghovFf) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48099591668_0e0007de46_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2ghoYQC)Farish class 47 (https://flic.kr/p/2ghoYQC) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48099591718_fe8c1d2426_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2ghoYRu)N gauge network express (https://flic.kr/p/2ghoYRu) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48099632698_6e611b259d_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2ghpc33)N gauge network express (https://flic.kr/p/2ghpc33) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48100002293_92f4459217_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2ghr5Un)N gauge network express (https://flic.kr/p/2ghr5Un) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The locomotive is awaiting renumbering/renaming.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 21, 2019, 02:39:43 AM
Thanks for reminding us of trains io the years gone by. Realistic
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 24, 2019, 01:23:41 AM
Some further track laying progress: the fiddle yard is now more than half complete.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48117128991_64494d438b_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2giWS5g)Track laying progress (https://flic.kr/p/2giWS5g) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48117130356_d5c683d2ad_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2giWStN)Fiddle yard progress (https://flic.kr/p/2giWStN) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48117223722_e429c0c70d_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2giXmey)Fiddle yard progress (https://flic.kr/p/2giXmey) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 24, 2019, 01:54:17 AM
looking good - going to be a busy yard !
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Train Waiting on June 24, 2019, 09:21:43 AM
That's an amazing fiddle yard, James!  I noticed the scissors crossover in the middle.  The power feed arrangements will be fun.  Are you going to use point motors or manual point control?

Thank you very much and all good wishes.

John
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: port perran on June 24, 2019, 09:26:12 AM
That looks to be a mighty impressive fiddle yard.
Great work.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Bealman on June 24, 2019, 09:32:00 AM
It is an amazing fiddle yard, and an expensive one, by the looks of it.

I just can't help thinking it's such a shame that all of this is off scene! I certainly wouldn't be prepared to go to that expense.

I've seen examples of scenic fiddle yards which have worked well.

It's more storage roads than a fiddle yard, really!

Most impressive, nevertheless.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 24, 2019, 10:14:19 AM
Thank you all for your kind thoughts. To answer the questions: all the points will be operated by motors, as the intention is for the layout to be automated.

I have heard of scenic fiddle yards, but that is not the way that I should like to go, since I prefer a clear break between the scenic and non-scenic area so that the scenic area is entirely plausible within its extent: a scenic fiddle yard involves operations in a part of the layout that is apparently intended to be looked at that would make no sense in reality.

The reason to have a large fiddle yard is simply to allow a large variety of trains to be run through the scenic section; the larger the fiddle yard, the more variety that I can have.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: red_death on June 24, 2019, 11:20:09 AM
If you want to see the outcome of Fast Tracks jigs for 2mm FS flat bottom then Google for pictures of Ketton Cement in 2mm FS.  Martin who built it used some jigs from Fast Tracks to build the point work, though IIRC he used bullhead crossing angles rather than FB. FB tends to have more "exotic" angles and much longer point work.

Cheers Mike
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on July 02, 2019, 12:02:25 AM
Some further progress in laying the fiddle yard:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48174641037_6da82a466a_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gp2Cpg)Fiddle yard progress (https://flic.kr/p/2gp2Cpg) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I am running out of track pins, so I shall not be able to finish the sidings at the lower of the picture until some more arrive.

Edit: Incidentally, I tried to look for "Ketton Cement", but had trouble finding pictures of the layout as opposed to the real cement works...
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 02, 2019, 02:43:18 AM
james


hi looking good that fiddle yard


try this  ;


https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/120630-ketton-cementish-2mm-finescale/ (https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/120630-ketton-cementish-2mm-finescale/)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Bob Tidbury on July 02, 2019, 08:52:32 AM
I thought my fiddle yard was big ,but now it seems very small compared to yours James ,that is really big .
How many trains will you be able to store when itís finished and how big is your layout please .
Bob Tidbury
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Tank on July 02, 2019, 09:42:33 AM
Amazing!  Just tell me when I can come round with my NSE stock.....!   :smiley-laughing:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 02, 2019, 09:51:45 AM
planning a forum members open day james?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on July 02, 2019, 11:37:20 AM
Thank you for the link - the track on the Ketton layout does look good (as 2mm finescale track usually does).

A forum members' open day? That is an interesting idea. It may be a while before the layout is ready for that, however; I will have to:

(1) finish laying the fiddle yard track;
(2) add droppers for the fiddle yard track (a large job); and
(3) add servo point motors for the fiddle yard track (including assembling lots and lots of Dingo mounts - another large job)

in order to finish the basic fiddle yard work. I will then need to consider whether to lay the scenic area track (and, if so, whether to try to build some of the main line points myself from jigs or just use the British Finescale bullhead points), and then at some point lay and wire that track and motorise the points.

Also at some point before adding any signals or scenery, I will have to add the baseboards, track and all wiring for the planned 00 gauge layout to go on top of this layout (see the upper bracket visible in the above picture), as accessing underneath the 00 gauge layout for the wiring may well be liable to damage signals and scenery on this N gauge layout. Some of the track that I need for the 00 gauge layout has not even been released yet (the latest from Peco suggests that it is anticipated sometime this autumn - interestingly, around the same time as some are predicting the Dapol class 50s, of which I will need several for this layout), so I do suggest not waiting with too eager anticipation for the scenic completion of this layout.

Edit: I forgot to answer Bob's questions. The layout is circa 7.5m long and circa 0.9m wide at its widest point (it gets narrower part of the way down). The fiddle yard contains 12 sidings for locomotives, 13 sidings for multiple units, 5 sidings for either locomotives or multiple units, 4 roads for short trains, 1 road for a medium length train and 26 roads for long trains. The long train roads are circa 2m in length. The short train roads are circa 1m in length. The multiple unit sidings can accommodate 3 car DMUs, and at least half of them can accommodate 4 car DMUs.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 02, 2019, 12:30:10 PM
Thank you james. Looks good. Reason i asked was a few of us meet at bobs to exchange ideas, run locos, build scenics, do wiring. And have fun. Good luck with your project. Chris
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on July 02, 2019, 03:38:34 PM
Having previously put the cat among the proverbial pigeons on your track Iím loathe to do it again, but 2m sounds short for the Ďlongí roads in your fiddleyard. A layout like yours is absolutely crying out for a 56 on a 36-wagon MGR train, but IIRC thatís about 8í, or nearer 2.8m with a bit of clearance.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on July 03, 2019, 12:23:02 AM
Interesting. The social aspect of railway modelling is an intriguing thing that I have not fully explored beyond joining a club and getting involved in building a club layout. I think that being able to share the experience of interacting with the layout with others would probably add considerably to the fun of having it. I daresay that interacting with others' home layouts would be interesting, too; judging by the Youtube video, Bob's layout looks splendid.

So far, the layout(s) (including the planned upper level 00 gauge layout) have been in such an early stage of planning/construction that there really is nothing to share, although that is in the early stages of changing for this N gauge layout.

What I do not know, not having done this before, is quite when the under construction layout crosses the threshold from being too nascent to be worth sharing with others to being something that others might enjoy interacting with, even if somewhat incomplete. An interesting question to ponder. I should be interested in what others think on the subject.



As to the length of the MGR trains - I have realised that the long roads are somewhat short for a typical 36 wagon train. When I was designing the layout, I did not have access to information as to the length of these trains (it is very hard to count the wagons in photographs; it took a long time before I was able to find one with a good enough angle to allow for this, and even then it was challenging), so had to guess. I have calculated that I can fit in a 30 wagon train, which is not far off. I did consider redesigning the fiddle yards to have the roads longer on one side than the other to allow for 36 wagon trains, but concluded that the consequential changes to other parts of the fiddle yard would be so complex and far-reaching that, given that, by that time, I had already started to lay the track, it would not have been feasible.

I believe that some photographic sources suggest that the trains might have run a little shorter at times (although it is very hard to be exact), so it is not necessarily entirely wrong to have 30 wagon trains, although 36 would certainly be preferable.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 03, 2019, 02:57:21 AM
james

i would allow  14 - 16 cm per loco plus 6 cm per HAA merry go round wagon. thats maybe 190 - 200 cms per train argument sake length.  having calculated that you can fit in a 30 wagon train, which is not far off my thoughts would not look bad and i have seen shorter rakes though the expense bothers me  so i had to go shorter and think - ah wagons heading to / from repair shops- it did happen !!. good luck   !!!

the best thing to do is join a club. james keep up the good work. chris



Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on July 03, 2019, 07:46:42 AM
Yep, 30 wagons will still look great, there comes a point that itís largely indistinguishable, and just looks like a long train. I run a 30 wagon PCA train rather than 36, and it looks fine to my eyes!

I assume you have 2m of usable space in the long roads, rather than 2m between points? I think 30 may be a bit of a squeeze in 2m still, but youíll get 27-28 I reckon, which will still look good. Intermodal takes too?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Newportnobby on July 03, 2019, 09:45:05 AM

What I do not know, not having done this before, is quite when the under construction layout crosses the threshold from being too nascent to be worth sharing with others to being something that others might enjoy interacting with, even if somewhat incomplete. An interesting question to ponder. I should be interested in what others think on the subject.


I have always considered the track plan to be the most important part of any layout. Let's face it, if you don't like it further down the line (soz) you're either stuck with it or have to rip parts up so, to me, it has to be right from the beginning. Now whether you want to post a plan for discussion or have a few like minded local modellers round for a cuppa and natter is entirely up to you. What you intend to run also has a great bearing on the track plan, as does location (prototype or ficticious). I think, at the end of the day, it depends on how you want to interreact with others and there's something to be said for either social media such as the forum or being social with 'real' people.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Bealman on July 03, 2019, 09:52:48 AM
My layout just grew as it went with no initial plan.

Regret.

Big time.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 03, 2019, 09:53:25 AM
seconded mick

agree with above comments
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on July 03, 2019, 10:17:06 AM

I have always considered the track plan to be the most important part of any layout. Let's face it, if you don't like it further down the line (soz) you're either stuck with it or have to rip parts up so, to me, it has to be right from the beginning. Now whether you want to post a plan for discussion or have a few like minded local modellers round for a cuppa and natter is entirely up to you. What you intend to run also has a great bearing on the track plan, as does location (prototype or ficticious). I think, at the end of the day, it depends on how you want to interreact with others and there's something to be said for either social media such as the forum or being social with 'real' people.

The whole purpose of this thread was initially to discuss the track plan, which was produced and refined (many times over) last year. We are rather past the stage now of discussing the track plan, since much of the track is now laid. I was thinking more of physical interaction at this stage.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 03, 2019, 10:18:30 AM
more interested in operations and stock here .......
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on July 03, 2019, 10:31:29 AM
more interested in operations and stock here .......

Those are interesting things indeed! The large fiddle yards are intended to add to operational variety by allowing a large collection of rolling stock.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 03, 2019, 10:35:45 AM
Keep the good work up. Look forward to hearing more james.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on July 07, 2019, 10:11:49 PM
I have finally finished laying the fiddle yard track:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48225148921_3866f74161_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gtuuCR)Fiddle yard track complete (https://flic.kr/p/2gtuuCR) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48225208847_20aeedda34_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gtuNs4)Fiddle yard track complete (https://flic.kr/p/2gtuNs4) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Next tasks: dropper wires, point motors.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 07, 2019, 10:28:38 PM
Must be a relief
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on July 07, 2019, 10:34:21 PM
Sure youíve said it here but how deep is the layout? How are you going to reach the back? Mineís 110cm deep at its deepest (IIRC), and reaching the back is a pain, and I donít have restricted height. Iíd avoid that next time.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on July 07, 2019, 10:52:11 PM
It is circa 905mm wide at its widest point. Reaching the back is not too bad: it helps that I am quite tall, I think.

The reason that I am laying the fiddle yard track (and will be adding the wiring and point motors) before the upper 00 gauge layout is because of the height restriction that will make it harder to access these rear tracks for building works. For adding rolling stock, it will not be so bad, especially as this will be done infrequently as the layout is intended to be automated.

The 00 gauge layout will be harder for reaching to the back, as this will be higher and, at points, wider (although there will not be any complexity at the widest parts); I will have to get a kick stool for these purposes, I think.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 08, 2019, 06:15:42 AM
Hope your access issues get sorted. For me thats important and i followed mick's advice whem rebuilding. The track plan is also important even with access, maintenance, cleaning and wiring. Looking good thus far
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on July 08, 2019, 10:33:09 AM
It's derailments I find annoying, particularly if you use anything other than rapido couplers which can't be as easily 'bumped' together. My Dapol silver bullets have a tendency to derail right at the back, and they've got the Dapol dummy knuckle couplers, which leads to much cursing as I end up fishing the whole train out piecemeal to put it back on somewhere more accessible!

Are you going to have a backscene at the back of the scenic section?

That extra (lack of) depth will probably make a big difference though.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 08, 2019, 12:19:18 PM
You use rapido?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on July 08, 2019, 12:38:13 PM
Who, me? I use a mix depending on rakes. Some bar couplers, some rapidos, some knuckles.

I recall vaguely that James was looking at magnetic on some stock, which looks interesting.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 08, 2019, 01:09:17 PM
Agree use any couplers that work for shunting, whatever fixed rake,  etc  thanks
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on July 08, 2019, 11:17:32 PM
I have not thought in detail about the backscene yet, but I think that I will want something. It may have to be some sort of removable plug in hole sort of arrangement - I will have to see.

I am planning on using the Dapol Easifit couplers for uncouplable operations, and other permanant couplers for fixed rakes (HSTs, DMUs, internal couplings in rakes of hauled stock). Originally, I planned to use the Dapol NEMCoup type couplings for all fixed rakes, but I have been investigating magnetic couplings. This is still in progress: the latest installation of the Peho magnetic couplings (with the shortened shank to reduce the otherwise excessive inter-vehicle distance does not allow the DMU to which it is fitted to go around the tightest corners on the layout (and I have only recently been able to test this as only recently have those corners been fully laid). I have also 3d printed my own design of magnetic coupler that is smaller than the Peho type (with the intention of making it easier to achieve close coupling without making it too difficult to go around 305mm radius corners), but have not yet had the opportunity to test it fully.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 09, 2019, 05:27:27 AM
REGARDING dapol knuckle couplers - is the spring the issue ? the wheels ?

I coupled the wagon sets together on mine and the coupling slips over the other. there seems to be an issue with some wagons, the coupling seems to have too much free 'up and down' movement.

The Freightliner wagons i have smaller wheels thansome other wagons but I would of thought the coupling heights would be a standard. a bit of blue tack i thought. no easy tacky WAX and adjust the springs and run slow at first on bends, can i recommend  the Dapol Easifit couplers for uncouplable operations, and other permanant couplers for fixed rakes (HST, DMU, internal couplings in rakes of mk 2 hauled stock

backscenes would go for some sort of removable plug in hole sort of arrangement

 
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on July 09, 2019, 09:28:20 AM
The Dapol dummy knuckles (not the Easi-shunts) don't have springs or anything, but it means you can't couple stock by just pushing them together as you can with other options. I've got a load of magnets to experiment with, seems to have potential, particularly if you can get something less bulky than many of the commercial options.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on July 09, 2019, 10:18:07 AM
There is no issue with the Dapol NEMCoup type couplings: the reason that I am interested in magnetic couplings is to allow inter-vehicle electrical connexions to improve reliability of running.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 09, 2019, 10:30:22 AM
So im experimenting. Nick what you using on freight? Ive got tacky wax  even on the china clay bullets
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on July 09, 2019, 02:15:28 PM
It literally varies by rake, usually driven by my apathy! I tended to fit dummy knuckles to rakes that were prone to uncoupling; TTAs, JNAs, silver bullets. Others still have rapidos, some coaching rakes have 3D printed bars, generally with a normal coupler every 4 coaches, or they get a bit unwieldy.

Thatís rather OT for Jamesís thread though; I agree with the appeal of electrical continuity, Iíve through wired a couple of EMUs, but itís a bit drastic, a coupler would be a nicer way of doing it!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on July 09, 2019, 02:21:02 PM
Thanks. An emu coupler thats more realistic than wire and does not foul or uncouple. Theres a thought
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on August 18, 2019, 10:23:11 PM
I have been concentrating on the electrics lately. This is taking some time as I need to spend some time working out requirements and carefully testing things one by one: I have been finding that I need things that I had not anticipated and then having to order them and wait for them to arrive, which has caused delays.

However, I have managed to get some circuit cards assembled and installed under the layout. I realised that I did not have the right size of wire for droppers or various other sorts of cabling, so I have had to order some more, which I will have to await before making more progress. However, here are some pictures of the progress so far:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48569741111_3f572a2bed_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gZWBTv)Under layout wiring (held in with black tack) (https://flic.kr/p/2gZWBTv) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48569647381_25b8ddbcd8_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gZW92t)Under layout wiring (held in with black tack) (https://flic.kr/p/2gZW92t) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48569643066_26765d19d8_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gZW7K5)Under layout wiring (held in with black tack) (https://flic.kr/p/2gZW7K5) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48569634351_5383925631_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gZW59P)Under layout wiring (held in with black tack) (https://flic.kr/p/2gZW59P) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48569773157_beed90b80e_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gZWMq2)Under layout wiring (held in with black tack) (https://flic.kr/p/2gZWMq2) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The plan is to test a small section of the layout to check that all the basic electrics work before wiring in the remaining parts.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Bealman on August 18, 2019, 10:38:11 PM
Very neat installation.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on August 18, 2019, 11:53:17 PM
Very neat installation.  :thumbsup:

It may be less neat once I have put all the other necessary wires in.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on August 20, 2019, 01:11:26 AM
While awaiting some more types of wire, I have been working on a class 47, modifying a Graham Farish Network SouthEast class 47/4 47581 "Great Eastern" into 47583 "County of Hertfordshire" in its early/mid 1989 condition as shown here:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/4204/35161676666_66c14caca7_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Vz7MsA)47583 Cardiff Central, 6th May 1989 (https://flic.kr/p/Vz7MsA) by Steve Thomas (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150694866@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/7907/39803027213_79e1c72592_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23DfVgT)47583 'County of Hertfordshire', Paddington (https://flic.kr/p/23DfVgT) by nigelmenzies (https://www.flickr.com/photos/nigelmenzies/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/4917/46646554821_e54174d8aa_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2e4ZMBc)IMG_20141029_0001 (https://flic.kr/p/2e4ZMBc) by grahamcarnson (https://www.flickr.com/photos/129826486@N03/), on Flickr

(In late 1989, the locomotive was repainted into revised Network SouthEast livery as shown here:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/8454/8035405246_0d10cec64a_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/df4y2L)47583, Paddington, December 16th 1989. (https://flic.kr/p/df4y2L) by Matt Taylor (https://www.flickr.com/photos/40172673@N03/), on Flickr

but this layout is set in the late spring/early summer of 1989, so this locomotive is correct for the period).

I used Railtec transfers (a complete locomotive pack for this locomotive to avoid having to align individual numerals, and also containing the coat of arms as well as the nameplate as a single 3d transfer), and also took the opportunity of removing the white lines around the wheels and chemically blackening them (although the latter process was not as successful as I was hoping: my nickel silver blackening liquid seems to have gone off a little or been contaminated as it was very slow to blacken the wheels and it was filled with lots of little black flecks).

I also fitted a DCC decoder and stay-alive at the same time, although I ran out of capacitors (and also damaged one in the fitting process), so I will have to buy some more and fit these. As with all Farish class 47s, I also bent the phosphor bronze pickups so as to touch the centre wheel to give a more reliable pickup, as well as rewiring the lights at one end to be independent so that the lights can be set not to illuminate when the locomotive is pulling a train.

This locomotive is not quite finished yet, as I still need to apply a coat of matt varnish to protect the transfers and de-gloss the areas left shiny by the Brasso used to remove the factory printed detail, as well as increasing the number of capacitors and programming the decoder to automate the front/rear lights with direction now that I have decoupled the lights at one end.

I have also not fitted the detailing pack (and I am not sure how much of it that I can fit given that I need working couplings at both ends), and notice that the aerial at one end has gone missing (can anyone recommend a way of producing a suitable replacement? Some suitably thin brass wire chemically blackened should suffice; but what is the correct thickness, does anyone know?)

In any event, here are the pictures.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48580206141_a1960cc9b8_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2h1SfM4)47583 County of Hertfordshire (https://flic.kr/p/2h1SfM4) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48580207636_23b97aeaf5_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2h1SgdQ)47583 County of Hertfordshire (https://flic.kr/p/2h1SgdQ) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48580204071_b723bdaa3d_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2h1Sfan)47583 County of Hertfordshire (https://flic.kr/p/2h1Sfan) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48580319296_d07d7244aa_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2h1SQq1)47583 County of Hertfordshire (https://flic.kr/p/2h1SQq1) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I have to say, I am most impressed with the Railtec transfers, as usual. The attention to detail is quite the thing: the TOPS data panel with the unusual lack of box around it and the black markings on the white stripe below the number I did not notice myself until I checked photographs to work out why these items had been included on the transfer sheet. These transfers also behave very well indeed.

One small matter: I notice that the lamp irons on the real locomotive are red, but I am not sure whether it is worth going to the trouble of painting these on this model.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on August 20, 2019, 02:11:19 AM
seriously looking good = in real life have been on trains hauled by both locos. aerials - have you tried shawplan, bh enterprises ?

https://www.ultima-models.co.uk (https://www.ultima-models.co.uk)


keep up the good work james
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on August 24, 2019, 03:35:46 PM
I had a look at those websites, but nothing obvious was available.

However, the simple solution seems to be to use my Vernier callipers to check the thickness of the wire and just obtain some brass wire in the appropriate size and either paint or chemically blacken it to the correct colour.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on August 24, 2019, 03:54:10 PM
James it was just a thought. Maybe nbrasslocos.co.uk. Would music strings work if have such a shop? Or a good diy shop?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on August 24, 2019, 04:26:22 PM
I suspect that I should try the simple Vernier callipers and brass wire method first: I should have thought of that in the first instance.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: class37025 on August 24, 2019, 04:31:13 PM
"I have to say, I am most impressed with the Railtec transfers, as usual."

Steve is great.
some years ago I decided [ok a moment of weakness at 04:00 on a night shift] to produce a series of class 25's for Inverknockie named for distilleries.

spoke to Steve, with list of loco numbers and names, and a couple of days later, and a few npounds poorer, the transfers arrived.

superb service, superb product, oh and a great guy.

nothing seems too much trouble for him  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: StufromEGDL on August 24, 2019, 06:02:13 PM
Hi James,

Re...47583
In the days before such aerials were provided on models, I used bristles from an old toothbrush suitably coloured with Sharpie or equivalent, then place into the hole with a tiny dab of PVA. The advantage of toothbrush bristles is that they are flexible and can withstand a little rough handling..

Regards,
Stu in LEBL.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on August 24, 2019, 09:19:10 PM
Hi Alan,

Re...47583
In the days before such aerials were provided on models, I used bristles from an old toothbrush suitably coloured with Sharpie or equivalent, then place into the hole with a tiny dab of PVA. The advantage of toothbrush bristles is that they are flexible and can withstand a little rough handling..

Regards,
Stu in LEBL.

Interesting. I do have a toothbrush in my modelling shed for cleaning PCBs. Perhaps I will have a go at plucking a bristle to see whether this works.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on September 11, 2019, 01:39:20 AM
For the class 47 issue discussed above, I used my Vernier calipers to measure the Farish brass wire, and it is ~0.33mm, so I have ordered some wire of this cross-section and will chemically blacken it before applying it to replace the missing aerial.

I have been making slow but steady progress with the wiring.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48695183128_cdeee1a5e4_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hc2xqU)Under baseboard electronic progress (https://flic.kr/p/2hc2xqU) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

There is still much to do. I am test wiring all the different sorts of components that I will need for the layout fully in one corner first before progressing to the other parts of the layout to make sure that my plans are all in order. I have managed to wire in a few track sections for power and train detection, as well as one servo turnout motor with positional indication as well as frog polarity switching and get this all to communicate to TrainController running on a Windows VM inside Linux. I have even managed to get a MERG District Cut-Out to work and sound an alarm in TrainController with an alert indicating in which section that the short circuit has been detected.

I have also been length testing the fiddle yards:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48714090206_df41af780e_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hdGrR1)Fiddle yard length testing (https://flic.kr/p/2hdGrR1) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I can just about get two trains of six carriages each plus class 47 locomotive in one fiddle yard road. This is interesting, as rakes of 5-6 mark 2 carriages were not uncommon at this time on Paddington to Bristol services and some Paddington to Wolverhampton/Birmingham services:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/8078/8259281949_4628741c30_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/dzQYLV)47620 Reading (https://flic.kr/p/dzQYLV) by Tony Walmsley (https://www.flickr.com/photos/75514026@N03/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/7447/16278562527_1ce5b1bf44_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/qNtTva)GWML Loco Hauled 2 (https://flic.kr/p/qNtTva) by Stephen Dance (https://www.flickr.com/photos/d1059/), on Flickr

(See also un-embeddable images here (https://flic.kr/p/2285pV3), here (http://www.hondawanderer.com/50035_Hinksey_1990.htm), here (http://www.hondawanderer.com/47555_Wolvercote_1989.htm), here (https://flic.kr/p/2838Hvm) and here (https://www.flickr.com/photos/160975175@N07/25923081338/)).

If I am to make use of this facility, I will need to add isolating joints in the middle of at least some of my fiddle yard roads to allow the computer to sense the trains entering these blocks properly. Given the method of working that I intend to employ (i.e. locomotives being changed automatically in the fiddle yard and the trains running out with a locomotive at the other end to that in which they came in), the only way of working this will be as follows:

(1) the first train enters the empty fiddle yard siding, moves to the very end, and its locomotive detaches and goes to a locomotive siding;
(2) the second train enters the fiddle yard siding and its locomotive couples to the rear of the carriages already in the siding, pushing them to the end of the siding and locating itself over the uncoulping magnet for it to uncouple from the carriages that it hauled in;
(3) another locomotive attaches to the rear of the second train;
(4) the second train is hauled out in the opposite direction to that in which it arrived; and
(5) the first train with the locomotive attached to its rear from the second train is hauled out of the fiddle yard road in the opposite direction to that in which the trains arrived.

The advantage of this is that it will enable me to have more mk. 2 rakes than would otherwise be possible, which is likely to be a good thing in light of the number and variety of Inter-City locomotive hauled trains that existed on the Western Region at the time.

I have also managed to get hold of some working timetables, which arrived to-day. The nearest in time that I have is the 1989/1990 timetable rather than the 1989 summer timetable which best matches my chosen period, but it should nonetheless give a good insight into ECS, parcels, mail and light engine workings, although this particular WTT does not have freight movements. I have already discovered that there were a large number of ECS Paddington to Oxford moves early in the morning before some of the early trains, for example, which may well alter my chosen method of operation and even possibly some aspects of the layout design (possibly reducing the number of sidings, for example, as fewer rakes will need to be accommodated overnight).

Finally, some Class 50s arrived to-day. I have written on the topic more extensively in the Class 50 thread, but these are so characteristic of the time and place in which this layout is set that I shall include my favourite of the pictures here, too; this is a Class 50 in Network SouthEast livery hauling a Network SouthEast rake of mk. 1 carriages of the sort that one could easily have found on a Paddington to Oxford, Banbury or Newbury train in 1989:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48714084966_081a780982_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hdGqhE)Dapol Class 50 (https://flic.kr/p/2hdGqhE) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Here is the real life version:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/737/22843784769_11664a4954_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/ANCnm6)50037 Sonning (https://flic.kr/p/ANCnm6) by Carl Looker (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131083590@N05/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on September 11, 2019, 01:53:50 AM
thanks for the photos james

seriously looking good fiddleyard !!! and clear shots of the 47s / 50s
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Bealman on September 11, 2019, 02:19:48 AM
This is a very technically ambitious project which you seem to have well under control.

I'm following along with a historical as well as technical interest too - your modelling period coincides with a trip I had to make to the UK when my parents died suddenly. The trip involved several trips from the NE to London, and I was drinking in the NSE atmosphere during journeys.

It provided relief during what was a stressful trip.

This is going to be a great layout.  :beers:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on October 05, 2019, 05:54:29 PM
Having taken delivery of some lovely VEA wagons:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48848023132_c6c608fcd4_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hqwTro)N gauge VEA wagon (https://flic.kr/p/2hqwTro) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48847832766_d1d8412dcb_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hqvURd)N gauge VEA/VBA rake (https://flic.kr/p/2hqvURd) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I have been re-arranging some of the rolling stock into sets, and I thought that it would be worthwhile to take the opportunity to photograph some of the sets.

Here is the Bicester MOD set:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48848026627_df008dd4e5_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hqwUtD)N gauge RFD (https://flic.kr/p/2hqwUtD) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48847469408_3ea0dc5b1b_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hqu3Qq)N gauge RFD (https://flic.kr/p/2hqu3Qq) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(the latter of which is something similar to this (https://flic.kr/p/hFhJAv) photograph in real life). I have also ordered a single HEA coal wagon to go with these, as they sometimes ran with these in reality.

I have also been organising my parcels sets into fixed rakes and coupling fitting them:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48848019567_6b43d569d0_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hqwSnV)N gauge TPO (https://flic.kr/p/2hqwSnV) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48847465988_2088399609_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hqu2Ps)N gauge TPO (https://flic.kr/p/2hqu2Ps) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48847464513_07818d2df2_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hqu2o2)N gauge short parcels train (https://flic.kr/p/2hqu2o2) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(Not pictured are a further two short parcels sets that are not TPOs).

Here are some pictures of Network Express trains taken at the Model Railway Club recently:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48839232807_a61076162f_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hpKQo4)Dapol Class 50 (https://flic.kr/p/2hpKQo4) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48800526647_4f732b5cd0_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hmksot)Farish Class 47 and carriages (https://flic.kr/p/2hmksot) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48838683703_36410a65ae_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hpH29K)Farish class 47 (https://flic.kr/p/2hpH29K) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The latter locomotive, 47701, I intend to convert to a 47/4 (as Farish seem never to have produced a rail blue 47/4, 47/3 or 47/0 with the high intensity light) by removing the front jumper cables and swapping the fuel tanks/battery boxes with an Intercity Mainline liveried class 47, which will then become a class 47/8.

However, I have spotted an anomaly with this locomotive: the surround for the high intensity headlight appears to be missing: it is just a transparent fibre optic bulge sticking through the cab front. My other 47/7s in Network SouthEast livery do not seem to have this anomaly; but all other photographs online, including apparently official photographs, do show this locomotive with this feature. Does anyone know where I might find a model of a surround to go with this? Has anyone dealt with this before? It is rather odd.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on October 05, 2019, 06:07:35 PM
looking very realistic rakes james


the parcels sets into fixed rake behind 47522 what vehicle is that please as blurred
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on October 05, 2019, 07:13:36 PM
Just a Farish BG isnít it?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on October 05, 2019, 07:20:37 PM
the TPO immediately before the red parcels van
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on October 05, 2019, 07:27:31 PM
Thank you. The TPO rake comprises a pair of BGs, a blue and grey TPO, four red TPOs, and (not visibledue to curvature) another blue and grey BG.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on October 05, 2019, 07:29:43 PM
thank you james. superb attention to detail


thank you for showing us the shots !!!!!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: StufromEGDL on October 05, 2019, 07:57:32 PM
Hi There,

There is no surround to the High Intensity light on 47701 as it is meant to represent the early batch of headlights, sourced from car headlights. Proper High intensity lights with the yellow surrounds came later.

Hope this helps,
Later,
Stu from EGDL.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on October 05, 2019, 08:55:18 PM
Hi There,

There is no surround to the High Intensity light on 47701 as it is meant to represent the early batch of headlights, sourced from car headlights. Proper High intensity lights with the yellow surrounds came later.

Hope this helps,
Later,
Stu from EGDL.

Interesting - thank you. Good to know that this is not a defect in the model. I will still need to modify mine, as I need to convert this model to represent a later type.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on October 05, 2019, 09:03:17 PM
here are photos of 47701


http://www.brushtype4fund.co.uk/47701/47701index.htm (http://www.brushtype4fund.co.uk/47701/47701index.htm)

rmweb has a shot earliest 47588 back in 1983
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on October 05, 2019, 09:06:47 PM
Thank you for the link - what I meant was that I intend to convert this to represent a different locomotive entirely with the later type of high intensity headlight, not to represent 47701 with the later headlight.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on October 05, 2019, 09:14:11 PM
ok now i get it. hope someone can help james
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: scruff on October 09, 2019, 10:10:17 PM
James, try B H Enterprises item BHE110 on page 15 of the product catalogue.. no picture but may be what you are looking for.

http://www.bhenterprises.co.uk/home.html (http://www.bhenterprises.co.uk/home.html)

Cheers
Mark
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on October 09, 2019, 11:11:08 PM
James, try B H Enterprises item BHE110 on page 15 of the product catalogue.. no picture but may be what you are looking for.

[url]http://www.bhenterprises.co.uk/home.html[/url] ([url]http://www.bhenterprises.co.uk/home.html[/url])

Cheers
Mark


Thank you for your thoughts - I have contacted BH Enterprises am in the process of ordering either these or the cast equivalents (BH420/BH513).
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: tunneroner61 on October 09, 2019, 11:26:53 PM
Ratio used to do some nice high intensity headlights in yellow plastic. Don't think they are current production but you might be able to get some in an 'odds' bin. IMHO a much better job than the BHE etched version. Don't know about the BHE cast ones.

Just found these on the 'bay' https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/249-Ratio-Plastic-Model-N-Gauge-2mm-Scale-Diesel-Locomotive-Headlamps-New/174003507724?hash=item28836ad20c:g:lZAAAOSwxktdXAwf (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/249-Ratio-Plastic-Model-N-Gauge-2mm-Scale-Diesel-Locomotive-Headlamps-New/174003507724?hash=item28836ad20c:g:lZAAAOSwxktdXAwf)

cheers Norman
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on November 14, 2019, 12:27:30 AM
I have been busy working on the electrics of late, as well as integration with TrainController. I am adding sections and turnouts to TrainController as I go rather than adding all the wiring before adding anything to TrainController to make sure that everything works using my chosen methods before proceeding to use those methods throughout the layout.

I have been significantly delayed by problems with RailCom (there seems to be an odd problem where newer Zimo decoders will not report their address when the locomotive is facing in one direction with one particular command station/booster combination but will work without difficulties with another), with a booster turning itself off apparently at random and with it not being clear whether (and if so how) I can use a certain type of input signalling for positional feedback for turnouts in TrainController.

However, I have made a start, including having produced the track diagram in TrainController for all the track laid so far (I am still waiting for the fiNetrax concrete sleeper turnouts to work on the scenic section), and have added features to control this for the parts that are wired in so far, including two turnouts and quite a number of sections, some with RailCom and some without.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/83/6774-141119001720.png)

I have also added and tested, and added a control to TrainController, a new type of uncoupler for the Dapol EasiFit couplings using powerful permanent magnets mounted under the baseboard moved closer to or further from the baseboard using a servo motor. I have successfully integrated this with TrainController using a "push button".

The intention is to have two switchboards: one for the fiddle yard, also containing such miscellaneous controls as necessary, and one for the scenic section, although it may be necessary to have a third just for miscellaneous controls if the interface makes me add lots of switches/contacts on a panel to be able to achieve certain functionality.

One thing I have been working on this evening is route proving. TrainController has a feature in which it will not permit a route to be locked through a turnout unless a hardware indicator is set in a particular way. Using microswitches connected to the servo for the points, it is possible to use this (as is intended) for route proving. I have also set it up so that, if the route does not set as expected, a message pops up informing me that there has been a points failure, and an alert sound plays that is based on the IECC error sound (thanks to the SimSig download page for this).

This is a delightfully sophisticated feature, although I fear that I will have to use it in a way which requires two I/O ports per servo, which means that the I/O ports built into the servo card are not sufficient and I will need to use extra I/O cards: my attempts at using a ternary system with a disconnected, +5v and ground state, although working in hardware, do not seem to be recognised by TrainController. Nevertheless, my injection moulded passengers should be reassured by the fact that, whilst more expensive and laborious, this system is at least (marginally) safer than a system requiring only one input.

I am very much looking forward to being able to use more of the sophisticated features of TrainController as work on the layout progresses, but I have still not finished the fiddle yard dropper wires yet, so that may have to wait some more time.

Finally, here is a photograph of a Class 50 renamed "Centurion" as 50040 carried in 1989 ready to run on the layout:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49014839491_87c18d7f33_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hFgS8v)Dapol Class 50 (https://flic.kr/p/2hFgS8v) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on November 29, 2019, 09:52:17 PM
I have had some trouble with the electronics of late, which I believe that I have mostly resolved, but which have somewhat delayed progress.

However, this evening I have been able to add a very important feature to my layout: emergency stop. See this video for a demonstration (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/b3984b05-0d52-4654-a167-e3a51aec27c5).
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on March 02, 2020, 12:36:02 AM
Last year's electronics problems delayed me significantly, and I have had other things to deal with this year (mainly an accumulated backlog of things that needed doing after I replaced my computer last December), but I think that a progress report is in order.

First of all, here are some update pictures of the wiring beneath the track:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49607044727_f27fa1ef17_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2izB57B)Underneath baseboard (https://flic.kr/p/2izB57B) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49607043727_a535f3f2f0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2izB4Pn)Underneath baseboard (https://flic.kr/p/2izB4Pn) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The red and white wires are used instead of red for the live connexions to RailCom sections so that I know which droppers need to be connected to RailCom block detectors:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49606789856_2d40a816f6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2izzLmh)Underneath baseboard (https://flic.kr/p/2izzLmh) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The droppers here have not all been wired in yet, but we see the non-Railcom block detectors:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49606789141_5341e5c166_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2izzL8X)Underneath baseboard (https://flic.kr/p/2izzL8X) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49606278493_4b4e195671_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2izx9kF)Underneath baseboard (https://flic.kr/p/2izx9kF) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Secondly, I have been working on TrainController customising its interface to make it look and behave as closely as possible to an IECC. Here is what it looks like now:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49606284963_d0f0af5ffc_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2izxbge)Traincontroller panel for Oxcott fiddle yard (https://flic.kr/p/2izxbge) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I have managed to replicate the behaviour of an IECC in having the locomotive number as the train describer when a locomotive is running light and then using a four digit TOPS code for an actual working in a schedule, which is very satisfying. I even have the real IECC error screech sound from a SimSig installation playing whenever TrainController detects a points failure (I have installed microswitches on ever turnout for position indication).

This is just the fiddle yard, as this is all that is laid so far. The scenic section will be a separate panel. I have been delayed in laying this as, aside from the Kickstarter kits, the British Finescale flatbottom turnouts are not available yet, which I need for laying the main lines of the scenic section, which I will need to lay before laying the sidings, etc. in the scenic section. However, I still have plenty to keep me busy with the fiddle yard wiring for the time being.

I have also installed a Bluetooth adapter to connect to my computer to avoid having to trail USB cables over the door frame of my shed with Blue-Tak, but I am finding the connexion with this to be somewhat intermittent. I wonder whether the in-built Bluetooth adapter in my Intel i5 Skylake NUC is more feeble than it ought to be, but it is difficult to know without carrying out controlled tests. Does anyone have any experience of built-in Bluetooth in desktop computers? My mobile telephone can detect the model railway's Bluetooth adapter at the front of the house (the layout being in a shed in the back garden), but I get an intermittent connexion with the computer ~2m away.

Finally, here are some photographs of some "Network Express" sets and some oil tanker trains running on the MRC test tracks recently (I still need to get around to renumbering my NSE class 50s):

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49593441821_e0da8945e8_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iypmrK)47715 (https://flic.kr/p/2iypmrK) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49593415606_c390711faf_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iypdDL)50037 (https://flic.kr/p/2iypdDL) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49593635112_e303076af2_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iyqkUm)50033 (https://flic.kr/p/2iyqkUm) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49593353536_cd6738d1af_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iyoUcA)50040 (https://flic.kr/p/2iyoUcA) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49592812988_ec7bde0bad_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iym8vN)47573 (https://flic.kr/p/2iym8vN) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49592851238_06d5dd469e_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iymjTh)50031 (https://flic.kr/p/2iymjTh) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49561943048_c6e901d47f_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2ivBUXs)N gauge oil train (https://flic.kr/p/2ivBUXs) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49561942048_1806c4a47c_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2ivBUEd)N gauge TEA wagons (https://flic.kr/p/2ivBUEd) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49562181108_0a9c4425eb_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2ivD8HW)N gauge TTA wagons (https://flic.kr/p/2ivD8HW) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Graham on March 02, 2020, 12:49:27 AM
really coming along apace. enjoying watching your progress.

Cheers
Graham
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on March 16, 2020, 01:39:39 AM
Further progress this week-end: I have spent many an hour soldering dropper wires in the fiddle yard - still not complete, but much progress has been made.

I also noticed that British Finescale (https://www.britishfinescale.com/) had started selling the CV-10 and EV-15 turnouts, but templates for these are not yet available in the SCARM library, so I have had to use the .pdf templates provided printed on paper overlaid onto the SCARM printouts to see whether these will fit into my planned layout. This process has been helped by now having an A3 printer, which makes it much easier to print track plans in full size:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49664278246_20e0eae80c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iEEpDq)Model railway track planning (https://flic.kr/p/2iEEpDq) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I have so far worked only on the eastern end of the layout, which is more straightforward, but preliminary indications suggest that these will fit, albeit with a little adjustment/trimming of the webbing:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49664562022_4d12342a8c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iEFS17)Model railway track planning (https://flic.kr/p/2iEFS17) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49664277401_27f7dee4e7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iEEpoR)Model railway track planning (https://flic.kr/p/2iEEpoR) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49664563047_dca3d21329_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iEFSiM)Model railway track planning (https://flic.kr/p/2iEFSiM) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

It is interesting to compare these turnout templates (mostly CV-10) with photographs of real class 47s on actual turnouts at the time:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/2910/32779352914_06fbbb25b8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/RWAKB9)47842 St Denys 4-7-91 (https://flic.kr/p/RWAKB9) by Southern  Modellers (https://www.flickr.com/photos/southern_modellers/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/7907/39803027213_9825a15850_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23DfVgT)47583 'County of Hertfordshire', Paddington (https://flic.kr/p/23DfVgT) by nigelmenzies (https://www.flickr.com/photos/nigelmenzies/), on Flickr

Comparing this with some photographs, especially this (https://flic.kr/p/9Uh5pZ) unembeddable image, it seems that the CV-10 turnouts (templates pictured) are somewhat shorter than, and the EV-15 turnouts are somewhat longer than, those used south of Oxford at the time. However, they do seem perhaps just about long enough to pass muster and be plausible for the era.

I just hope that I have estimated correctly that I will be able to modify/bend these CV-10 turnouts sufficiently for them to be able to fit into the space.

I also took the opportunity to assess the size/scale of the station as against the rakes of rolling stock that I have assembled. Happily, they all seem to fit:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49664276296_c1360d31bc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iEEp4N)Model railway track planning (https://flic.kr/p/2iEEp4N) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49663739668_a697c45b60_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iEBDxA)Model railway track planning (https://flic.kr/p/2iEBDxA) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49663738533_958a2d4628_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iEBDd2)Model railway track planning (https://flic.kr/p/2iEBDd2) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on March 23, 2020, 11:34:50 AM
I spent some time yesterday printing the remaining scenic section track plans and fixing them into the correct place.

I then printed out templates for the new British Finescale CV-10 flatbottom turnouts and stuck them on the plan in the appropriate places using PVA glue, cutting and bending the templates in some places to represent how I believe it is possible to cut and bend the actual milled bases to allow the CV-10 turnouts to fit into spaces originally planned for C9s.

In the below picture is depicted the station approaches from the up direction with the templates added.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49688974152_9e417df300_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iGQYSU)Track plans on baseboards (https://flic.kr/p/2iGQYSU) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Since the taking of the photograph, I have also added these in the down direction. I think that this all fits, but it is difficult to be entirely sure of precisely the parameters within which I am working. Nonetheless, I should be able to order some track and turnouts quite soon and make some progress with laying this.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast] (carriage lighting adventure)
Post by: jamespetts on April 02, 2020, 02:02:16 AM
I have taken a brief break from wiring to do a little work on carriage lighting. I am keen to have DCC controllable carriage lighting partly because carriage lighting looks thoroughly splendid and partly because it provides a clear visual cue as to when a train is running in service as opposed to running as ECS, which is of significance on a computer automated layout focussed on operational realism.

Having started with the easiest of the lighting tasks, being adding Dapol light bars to the HSTs (which do not need DCC control as I do not believe that these will need to run ECS) - see here for a video of this (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/8f1dd205-1db8-4367-8a6a-879a28da719b), I determined that I could not start on the most difficult of the projects - lighting hauled carriages as I needed to order more pickups, so I have commenced work on an intermediate level project: lighting a Graham Farish class 108 DMU.


First of all, see here for a 21 second video (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/ea55faa9-e126-4944-9b0a-da92bab83823) of this in operation. Unfortunately, a large part of the motorised coach is missing an interior because of the way that the motor works, so we shall just have to imagine that it has a faulty light in this part of the carriage. The flickering, incidentally, in the rear carriage (the DMBS) is the high frequency flickering of the LEDs used there (a different type than in the front carriage (the DTCL) and is not visible with the naked eye.

Because both carriages in any event use a decoder for the directional lights, that decoder can have one of its spare function outputs used for the carriage lighting. I use a Zimo MX622N in the DMBS and a Zimo MX681N function only decoder in the DTCL. In each case, I have mapped the function output from whatever function output is actually being used to the F4 key to ensure consistency across all decoders in use on the layout: the F4 key is intended to be the standard input for all interior lighting functions.

For the DMBS, I used a strip of thin stick-on LEDs from YouChoos for the lighting. For the DMBS, I used spare parts from an ESU DCC fitted light bar. These light bars are very long (intended for scales between and including N and 00), but can be cut short to length. I had placed the part with the DCC function decoder in a mk. 1 brake carriage before pausing that project on account of not having the right pickups. The parts removed could then be wired, through a 10k ohm resistor, to the function output of the decoder. (I wonder in retrospect whether a 6.8k ohm resistor would have been better as the lights are a little dim).

The ESU bar had to be cut into three sections to fit into the carriage and the gaps bridged by soldering wires. This was quite time consuming. However, although using the YouChoos flexible strip was much easier, I will probably end up mostly using the ESU bar leftovers for DMUs as I have many, many more hauled carriage to fit (6x rakes of 8-10 carriages for Network SouthEast hauled services alone), and will thus have a large surplus of bar parts for the DMUs.

I will probably not use the Dapol light bars in the Dapol class 121s, as these will need to have their plugs cut off and be wired to the decoder to allow switchable lighting (all of my 121s have the 6 pin decoder sockets), apart from one already so fitted, so the advantage of the ease of fitting of these light bars will disappear. I will use my stocks of light bars instead to fit the third and final HST and use spares from the ESU bars in the DMUs.

I have also been told that most of my order of the British Finescale track for the scenic section (apart from some kits for points for the carriage sidings which are awaiting crossing frogs) are about to ship, so I will be able to start on track building in the scenic section before long.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 05, 2020, 08:58:34 PM
Having received a large box of British Finescale track last week (thanks to Wanye for sending it out promptly), I have begun the task of laying the track in the scenic section of the layout, and have so far installed the first panel of track successfully:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49740093717_14cedfa2ba_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iMmYWH)Laying scenic section track (https://flic.kr/p/2iMmYWH) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

This interfaces well with the Peco code 55 track by simply having an additional 1mm cork sheet underneath it:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49739224273_04b012b724_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iMhwui)Laying scenic section track (https://flic.kr/p/2iMhwui) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The difference in the refinement of the British Finescale (left) and Peco code 55 (right) is very obvious. An N gauge carriage travels over this joint without problems, but (as intended) no electricity is conducted between either adjacent rail.

For the droppers, I have soldered these underneath the rails so as to be as near invisible as possible:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49739768796_7bf2c7738a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iMkjmC)Laying scenic section track (https://flic.kr/p/2iMkjmC) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The plan is to have droppers soldered in this way for each individual panel of track to avoid the need for any means of conducting electricity between panels of track on the layout itself.

Hopefully, the ballast and weathering will fully disguise these droppers.

Now, only the whole rest of the layout to go...
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 07, 2020, 12:32:34 AM
I have been doing some wiring to-day so as to get the newly laid small section of track in the scenic section connected. Here is a video (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/89359ba1-1c72-424f-9079-f1f44f0f2917) of the first powered train movement on the scenic section.

Here is a video (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/4b06f6ab-29a4-4f44-a2f8-3a43ac46cb83) of an HST moving between the scenic section and the fiddle yards.

The British Finescale code 40 track used in the scenic section looks very much the part, and the technique of soldering droppers underneath seems to work most effectively.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 17, 2020, 01:34:04 AM
Some progress on two fronts: track laying/building and rolling stock.

First of all, I have installed the scenic section's first crossover using the new British Finescale CV10 turnout kits:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49782177413_0f998aecab_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iR5EXF)Track progress (https://flic.kr/p/2iR5EXF) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49782716611_a4dc634b6c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iR8rfc)Crossover from above (https://flic.kr/p/2iR8rfc) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49783040262_e7e8df6464_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iRa6so)Crossover (detail) (https://flic.kr/p/2iRa6so) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Getting the alignment right and making sure that the teeny bits of rail just beyond the frog are powered was not easy: as will be seen, I chose on one side to extend the stock rail up to the frog of the next turnout, and should probably have done that on both. I presume that this is why British Finescale sell crossover kits for some of the more popular types of turnouts, which should hopefully make this somewhat easier. I have some of those kits for the bullhead track for the not so main line parts of the layout (the yards and the branch), and may well build one of those next.

As to rolling stock, I have been working on a class 47. I have wanted a class 47 in rail blue for some time as I distinctly recall (as supported by contemporaneous photographic evidence from Flickr and Martin Loader's website) that there were a number of class 47s still operating in rail blue at the time. The trouble is that the Graham Farish examples readily available are either 47/0s in 1970s guise without high intensity headlight or 47/7s with the extra cab jumpers, all of which would have been in either ScotRail or Network SouthEast livery by 1989, and those in the Thames Valley would be working Network Express services rather than the cross-country services on which I recall seeing the rail blue class 47s.

So, last year, I bought one of the rail blue 47/7s to convert into a 47/4 by removing the cable jumpers at the cab end and swapping the fuel tanks with an Intercity mainline liveried class 47/4 to make the rail blue locomotive a class 47/4 of the type that would originally have had dual heat and the Intercity mainline liveried class 47/4 into a class 47/8, which subclass were just coming into service in 1989 and whose fuel tanks were indistinguishable from those of the 47/7s.

The example that I have chosen to model is 47544, for which 1989 was its last year in service:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/4673/38782612665_0bf74d0e8b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/22662zB)47544 Ais Gill 270389 img1491-1189ME-a (https://flic.kr/p/22662zB) by Tony Woof (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_woof/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48518886251_9f8aa65e68_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gVrYvz)Class 47 47544 - Daisyfield, Blackburn. (https://flic.kr/p/2gVrYvz) by Martyn Hilbert (https://www.flickr.com/photos/martynhilbert/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/7888/32775736828_9378b11cc7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/RWhdEQ)IMG_20140902_0014 (https://flic.kr/p/RWhdEQ) by grahamcarnson (https://www.flickr.com/photos/129826486@N03/), on Flickr

As we see, that locomotive has the same fuel tank and (by now disused) steam heat tanks as the "University of Dundee" model produced by Graham Farish.

This is what the Graham Farish model looked like when I bought it:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48838683703_f6980d5c0f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hpH29K)Farish class 47 (https://flic.kr/p/2hpH29K) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I am currently part way through the conversion. I have started by removing the numbers/names and repainting the cab ends:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49782179748_8956abf18f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iR5FDW)Farish class 47 in conversion (https://flic.kr/p/2iR5FDW) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49783042157_107a450b63_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iRa724)Farish class 47 in conversion (https://flic.kr/p/2iRa724) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Note that I have temporarily removed and not yet reinstated the light guides.

Having had problems with the quality of finish on the 121 where I removed the high intensity headlight, I have tried brush painting these ends. The finish is not as smooth as I might like, but it does at least avoid the heavy layered effect of using an aerosol can and masking tape.

Remaining tasks to be done on this locomotive are:

(1) add overhead lines warning flash decals;
(2) reinstate the light guides and buffer beam steps;
(3) add a new number;
(4) add the cantrail stripe;
(5) add a surround for the high intensity headlight (I am trying to obtain one from BH Enterprises);
(6) apply varnish;
(7) add DCC decoder and stay alive, wiring for independent head/tail lights;
(8) add the bufferbeam detail, or as much as will work with working couplers; and
(9) (possibly) add weathering (I have not yet tried weathering anything yet, so this might be a way off).

I am a little unsure whether I should proceed to the next steps or try again with the paint to get a better finish, but I am not sure how I might go about getting a better finish in the circumstances when I need to cover black with yellow.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on April 17, 2020, 09:25:14 AM
I feel like we should keep track of the number of times it's been suggested you buy a airbrush... ;)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 17, 2020, 11:39:06 AM
I feel like we should keep track of the number of times it's been suggested you buy a airbrush... ;)

I know that this has been mentioned before - I am reluctant to do so because of the space that the compressor would occupy and the enormous amount of work necessary to clean it after every use.

However, what I am still struggling to understand is how this would in practice be better than an aerosol can in dealing with the specific problems that I have had with spray painting, viz. that enough coats of paint to cover the black of the underlying plastic is so many that there is a large height difference between the painted and unpainted area which is visible.

An airbrush I know can be somewhat more precisely targeted than an aerosol can, but not so much so far as I am aware so as to allow the area in question to be painted without masking, thus allowing a smooth transition between repainted and factory painted areas of the same colour, as allowed by brushing, which is the only thing that could affect the ridge issue.

Can anyone explain how an airbrush can assist with this specific problem?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on April 17, 2020, 11:47:08 AM
Airbrushes lay down a very thin layer of paint. You have immeasurably more control over them than an aerosol, which just arenít designed for detail. You do still need to mask etc to stop errant paint, but you wonít have that same issue of a Ďstepí at the edge of the paint.

Clean up can be a pain I admit, but the compressor occupies a space about 8Ē cubed. You have a vast shed with two behemoth layouts, surely you can fit in an airbrush compressor?!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 17, 2020, 12:08:16 PM
Airbrushes lay down a very thin layer of paint. You have immeasurably more control over them than an aerosol, which just arenít designed for detail. You do still need to mask etc to stop errant paint, but you wonít have that same issue of a Ďstepí at the edge of the paint.

I am having some trouble understanding this in the context. A certain thickness of paint is necessary in order to cover the black of the underlying plastic. This thickness is achieved by multiple coats. This is necessary both with brushing and with aerosol spraying.

Thus, if an airbrush were to give a thinner coat than an aerosol, it would simply require more coats to cover the black and the overall thickness would be the same, and thus the step issue would also be the same.

Thus, I do not understand how an airbrush can assist with this specific issue. Is there something specific that I am missing in this understanding?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on April 17, 2020, 12:44:10 PM
Youíre talking about microns of thickness. An aerosol is a blunt instrument and isnít just pure pigment, thereís other ďstuffĒ youíre spraying onto the model. You could say the same with brush painting. If you needed x microns of coverage regardless of application then youíd get the same result brush painting as spraying.

Thereís a reason no professional resprayer worth their salt uses aerosols for detail work.

If I may turn it around youíve been told it numerous times on RMWeb and here, why do you still think an aerosol is just as good?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 17, 2020, 01:22:28 PM
Youíre talking about microns of thickness. An aerosol is a blunt instrument and isnít just pure pigment, thereís other ďstuffĒ youíre spraying onto the model. You could say the same with brush painting. If you needed x microns of coverage regardless of application then youíd get the same result brush painting as spraying.

Thereís a reason no professional resprayer worth their salt uses aerosols for detail work.

If I may turn it around youíve been told it numerous times on RMWeb and here, why do you still think an aerosol is just as good?

To answer your question, because I have not had a clear and satisfactory explanation of the basis on which an airbrush is superior for the specific applications that I have in mind.

I am afraid that I still do not follow the explanation. To my understanding, the paint in an aerosol can and the paint in a tin (for either hand brushing or airbrushing) consists of broadly three components: (1) pigment; (2) thinner/solvent; and (3) additives, such as matting/flatting agent. When applied to the surface, the thinner/solvent evaporates, leaving the pigment (and possibly some of the additives - I am not sure whether the matting agent works by remaining in the pigment layer or evaporating).

To cover a black area with yellow paint, a certain thickness of pigment is required, as the yellow pigment (in particular) is slightly translucent. That thickness of pigment is so great that it will leave a visible ridge if there is a hard line between the painted and unpainted area. It is difficult to see how it is possible for the method of application to alter these basic physics.

The only way of mitigating this effect is to have a gradual transition between the over-painted and the factory painted area. This can be achieved with hand brushing. On a much larger model, it could possibly be achieved by very skilful use of an airbrush, but I doubt that this is realistically possible in N gauge (and if it is, the skill level required would be beyond what is realistically achievable for me).

For my understanding, the reasons that people especially serious about painting often use an airbrush are:

(1) more control is possible, giving more ability to influence subtly the finished effect and also to spray in specific areas, which is useful for weathering and freehand painting;
(2) a greater range of paints are available for use with airbrushes than with aerosol cans; and
(3) less paint is wasted because the airbrush tends to spray a narrower area.

Of those things, only (1) is potentially relevant to this issue, and, as described above, it is not clear from the information that I have that this would make any difference to the particular issue that I am having.

The issue is not that the aerosol can makes a very thick layer: it does not. Each individual coat of the aerosol paint (at least, the Railmatch paint that I am using) is extremely thin. However, because it is so thin, a very large number of coats are needed to cover the black of the underlying plastic exposed by modifications to the model. There is still no explanation of why this number of coats would need to be any fewer with an airbrush. It is very doubtful that there would need to be any fewer coats.

Thus, whilst airbrushes no doubt do have significant advantages in some very specific ways, I remain extremely sceptical that using one will solve this specific problem, not least because no intelligible explanation has been given as to how it is possible for the use of an airbrush to solve this problem.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: NGS-PO on April 17, 2020, 02:17:06 PM
Youíre talking about microns of thickness. An aerosol is a blunt instrument and isnít just pure pigment, thereís other ďstuffĒ youíre spraying onto the model. You could say the same with brush painting. If you needed x microns of coverage regardless of application then youíd get the same result brush painting as spraying.

Thereís a reason no professional resprayer worth their salt uses aerosols for detail work.

If I may turn it around youíve been told it numerous times on RMWeb and here, why do you still think an aerosol is just as good?

To answer your question, because I have not had a clear and satisfactory explanation of the basis on which an airbrush is superior for the specific applications that I have in mind.

I am afraid that I still do not follow the explanation. To my understanding, the paint in an aerosol can and the paint in a tin (for either hand brushing or airbrushing) consists of broadly three components: (1) pigment; (2) thinner/solvent; and (3) additives, such as matting/flatting agent. When applied to the surface, the thinner/solvent evaporates, leaving the pigment (and possibly some of the additives - I am not sure whether the matting agent works by remaining in the pigment layer or evaporating).

To cover a black area with yellow paint, a certain thickness of pigment is required, as the yellow pigment (in particular) is slightly translucent. That thickness of pigment is so great that it will leave a visible ridge if there is a hard line between the painted and unpainted area. It is difficult to see how it is possible for the method of application to alter these basic physics.

The only way of mitigating this effect is to have a gradual transition between the over-painted and the factory painted area. This can be achieved with hand brushing. On a much larger model, it could possibly be achieved by very skilful use of an airbrush, but I doubt that this is realistically possible in N gauge (and if it is, the skill level required would be beyond what is realistically achievable for me).

For my understanding, the reasons that people especially serious about painting often use an airbrush are:

(1) more control is possible, giving more ability to influence subtly the finished effect and also to spray in specific areas, which is useful for weathering and freehand painting;
(2) a greater range of paints are available for use with airbrushes than with aerosol cans; and
(3) less paint is wasted because the airbrush tends to spray a narrower area.

Of those things, only (1) is potentially relevant to this issue, and, as described above, it is not clear from the information that I have that this would make any difference to the particular issue that I am having.

The issue is not that the aerosol can makes a very thick layer: it does not. Each individual coat of the aerosol paint (at least, the Railmatch paint that I am using) is extremely thin. However, because it is so thin, a very large number of coats are needed to cover the black of the underlying plastic exposed by modifications to the model. There is still no explanation of why this number of coats would need to be any fewer with an airbrush. It is very doubtful that there would need to be any fewer coats.

Thus, whilst airbrushes no doubt do have significant advantages in some very specific ways, I remain extremely sceptical that using one will solve this specific problem, not least because no intelligible explanation has been given as to how it is possible for the use of an airbrush to solve this problem.

In which case, it's probably best that you carry-on doing what you're doing and accept that it isn't to the standard that you'd like, and we quit going around in circles.

As Nick has pointed out, you've gone through this before and people have offered you help and explanations, but because in your mind you can't see how something might work, then it's advice you're not willing to accept.  It must be very frustrating for those trying to help you do a better job.

It must also be frustrating for them to witness the amount of time and effort you've committed into your trackwork, computer control, motive power, rolling stock, etc., only for you not to at least get yourself an double action airbrush and and actually try it!  In the grand scheme of things, it's not that expensive.

You've commented in another thread about the paint on the side of your rails being thick and peeling off. Prime the rails and use an airbrush properly to apply your colouring, and then varnish over the top, and I guarantee you wouldn't have that problem. and it would be quicker, solving another issue you raise there.

Whilst I would and have used an aerosol for modelling work (Gresley BG sides - sprayed from about 15 -18 inches) I absolutely would not use anything other than and airbrush for the precision type of work you are trying to do with the dominos on the front of your 47s, or instance.  The paint droplet size and properties from an aerosol are very different to that from a low pressure, air-propelled modelling airbrush.  I don't imagine you will believe that, but it is true.

Finally, with regards overpainting black with yellow, I would prime it first with white or even better yellow primer, for reasons that were explained on your RMWeb thread. 

Scott.

Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Steven B on April 17, 2020, 02:17:59 PM
Are you spraying yellow onto black plastic? If so it doesn't mater if you're using an airbrush, aerosol or paint brush, you'll always struggle to get a decent finish without needing a thick layer of paint.

Use a white primer on top of the black plastic. I use a bog standard one from Halfords. Primer is the one paint I'll normally use from an aerosol. The Halfords ones are good quality and cover well without hiding surface detail.

Once you're got the primer down, you can start on yellow. I've found that yellows from Phoenix and Railmatch don't cover well. Humbrol yellows cover a lot better - I've starting using "Trainer Yellow" (24?) as an undercoat before using Phoenix paints to give the correct shade of yellow.



Steven B.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 17, 2020, 04:02:26 PM
Thank you both for your replies.

Scott - you give the entirely unfair impression in your post that I am unthinkingly refusing to accept a clear explanation. That is not true. Rather, I am not accepting explanations in so far as they are not logically sufficient to support the claimed conclusion.

I am willing to change my mind if there be a sufficiently complete explanation of the reasoning, but not otherwise. There has not so far been a sufficiently complete explanation of the reasoning, for the reasons that I have set out very clearly in my responses.

You refer to the paint droplet size and properties being different in an airbrush to an aerosol, for instance, but you do not state how they are different or what specific consequences that this difference has to the particular application in question. I cannot sensibly make any decision without this information.

I have already acknowledged that an airbrush is superior for some types of work, but I still have not had any intelligible explanation of specifically why it is superior for the specific type of work under discussion here, for the reasons that I have set out exhaustively already. I do not understand why a reply insisting that an airbrush is superior for the specific type of work that I am trying to do has not specifically and fully engaged with those reasons.

Indeed, as Steven helpfully sets out, for this specific problem, an airbrush is unlikely to make any difference.

Steven - this is very interesting and very helpful, thank you. I did prime the ends of the class 121 with I believe Tamiya grey primer, but I am not sure that I used enough coats as the shade of yellow was still different where the black had been compared with where it had not been. How many coats of primer do you suggest? Or do you think that one coat would have sufficed if I had used white?

Can I clarify - do you suggest primer then Humbrol yellow then Railmatch or Phoenix yellow?

In any event, thank you again: this is most helpful.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: NGS-PO on April 17, 2020, 04:28:13 PM
Thank you both for your replies.

Scott - you give the entirely unfair impression in your post that I am unthinkingly refusing to accept a clear explanation. That is not true. Rather, I am not accepting explanations in so far as they are not logically sufficient to support the claimed conclusion.

I am willing to change my mind if there be a sufficiently complete explanation of the reasoning, but not otherwise. There has not so far been a sufficiently complete explanation of the reasoning, for the reasons that I have set out very clearly in my responses.

In other words, having asked for advice and/or help for a problem, you are further insisting on the advisor to comprehensively prove something before you will consider it, rather than taking those suggestions and trying them out yourself. Why not try the advice given and see if it works for you?

Indeed, as Steven helpfully sets out, for this specific problem, an airbrush is unlikely to make any difference.

Now who is being unfair? The problems you have been having with your dominos are not restricted to coverage (but please note I gave the same advice as Steven with regards a primer coverage of the black background - As did someone else on your RMWeb thread a while ago) but you also highlighted a problem with build up of paint around where the masking tape edges were.

The combination of a good primer and airbrushing of the top coat WILL make a difference to both coverage AND the paint build-up. Ditto the side of your rails.

I hope you find a solution that is acceptable to you, and soon.

Scott.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: exmouthcraig on April 17, 2020, 04:49:19 PM
Its ALL a question of scale.

Rattle cans are brilliant for MASSIVE work pieces like A CAR

IF rattle cans were so good WHY does every car paint shop use a compressor and spray gun??? Oh yeah because its BETTER.

This is the same drama your having on something that's 6 inches long.

YOU CANNOT PAINT AN N GAUGE MODEL WITH A RATTLE CAN.

If all these people HERE and OVER THERE are telling you this why not listen. But clearly until ICI get involved you wont believe anything your told.

I'm not being funny but for £150 you can get a more then satisfactory airbrush and compressor and some paints and PRACTICE let's me honest buying Railmatch rattle cans at £6 a pop wont take you long to of blown that much money on them to get your inferior finish.

I cant see Bachmann Dapol or Revolution masking and spraying their 2 colour models with rattle cans.

Sledgehammer and Nut spring to mind.

No one is obviously giving you the answer you want even though they all say the same so accept the help or quit asking pointless questions you already know your answer too.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Steven B on April 17, 2020, 05:07:29 PM
Steven - this is very interesting and very helpful, thank you. I did prime the ends of the class 121 with I believe Tamiya grey primer, but I am not sure that I used enough coats as the shade of yellow was still different where the black had been compared with where it had not been. How many coats of primer do you suggest? Or do you think that one coat would have sufficed if I had used white?

Can I clarify - do you suggest primer then Humbrol yellow then Railmatch or Phoenix yellow?

Yes, spray white primer on the bare plastic. Use several light passes until the black plastic has been replaced by white paint. Once this has dried (at least 24 hours, if not longer), then you can apply the yellow. It's up to you if you go for Humbrol yellow as an undercoat to the Railmatch/Phoenix shade. You may find the Humbrol shade to be close enough to warning panel yellow to not need the "Rail yellow" coat. If you do undercoat then again, leave the paint at least a day to dry before painting over the top.

I do agree with the comments about avoiding aerosols - except for primer as I've mentioned. Due to the pressure of gas in the can they output a lot of paint in a short amount of time. Even at a distance you'll get a faster build up of thick paint than you would with get from an air-brush. If you avoid runs you still end up with a layer of paint that's thicker than you can achieve with either an air-brush or even a paint brush.

There are ways of getting a better finish than you're getting with an aerosol rather than jumping straight to an air-brush. Take a look at some of Gareth Collier's work (either in the Journal, RMWeb or here - @thebrighton (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=943) https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=18674.0 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=18674.0)). I believe he paints all his models with well thinned paint and a good quality paint-brush. The standard he achieves is superb. Perhaps it's worth testing and practising a few techniques on a sheet of plasticard or scrap model?


Steven B
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 17, 2020, 05:23:01 PM
These replies (Steven's excepted) are becoming increasingly inappropriate and belligerent. It is totally inappropriate under literally any circumstances whatsoever aside from an actual emergency, which this is not, to respond to reasoning with aggression. Ever.

I will not be persuaded by people typing in all capitals or insisting that they be treated as an authority. I will be persuaded by a logically complete explanation. I will make my own decisions based on the available information. I will not defer unthinkingly to others, especially those who refuse to give a clear and complete explanation of the basis of their recommendation.

Indeed, the more that people are resistant to answering the basic questions that I have been asking and making the incomplete explanation complete, and the more that people resort to aggression rather than to clear explanation, the more sceptical that I and any other rational person will be of whether such people really have sufficient understanding to be giving advice in the first place. The more that people use aggression in response to reason, the less that I (and anyone else rational) will trust them - and for very good reason.

In short: I will not do something merely because somebody tells me that it is the best thing to do. I will do something if somebody can make me understand why it is the best thing to do. I remain open to considering that in respect of an airbrush or anything else, but there has been so far no attempt at all to respond to my legitimate questions about this.

Frankly, it is totally bizarre and positively disturbing that people should be so invested in whether I accept a recommendation of which I am legitimately sceptical because of the incompleteness of the explanation as to become aggressive.

Can we please return to a reasoned calm discussion of the delights of railway modelling?

On the topic of which - thank you, Steven, for the helpful reply. I will investigate the thinned paint/brush techniques to which you refer. Do you recommend also that the primer coats be applied in this way?

I should note that the actual thickness of the coats with aerosol cans does not appear to be the issue, as, as stated above, I need a very large number of coats (circa 7) to cover the black, at least without priming with white, which I have not tried yet. The Railmatch aerosols are very heavily thinned, more than Phoenix aerosols, I think. Having said that, I have had very good results from Phoenix aerosols on 1:76 scale 3d printed models:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47773727362_b3154fcca7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fMAQJw)3d printed articulation in action (https://flic.kr/p/2fMAQJw) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47773735722_b4f370d082_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2fMATdE)3d printed articulation in action (https://flic.kr/p/2fMATdE) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

In any event, the point is rather that enough layers of pigment, however applied, to cover the black appears to be so thick as to leave a visible line if masked. If fewer layers can be used by using a suitable primer, and a good finish achieved by brushing thinned enamels, then this might be the way forward, as brushing will remove the need for masking, allowing the paint to be blended with the factory finish.

As for testing the technique on plastic sheet, would Plastikard with some spots of black paint added be a good way of testing coverage over black by using white primer and yellow overcoat? How many coats in total (i.e. of all layers) do you imagine are likely to be needed to get good coverage with this technique?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Skyline2uk on April 17, 2020, 06:48:24 PM
I am a big admirer of the work being done in the creation of this layout, the attention to detail and the era / stock choice.

I have absolutely no desire to enter the debate ref spraying and the options available.

I would however like to show the thread / layout owner this photo of my first (and so far only) loco respray. This was done entirely using rattle cans and brush painting. IMHO it is reasonable (I am happy with it), but will invest in an airbrush at some point, if only to learn a new skill.

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/91/1081-170420184608.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=91127)

I will continue to follow this great project.

Kind regards

Skyline2uk


Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 17, 2020, 06:51:45 PM
Skyline - thank you: it is interesting to see your respray efforts. That is quite impressive!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Skyline2uk on April 17, 2020, 06:54:18 PM
Skyline - thank you: it is interesting to see your respray efforts. That is quite impressive!

Very kind of you, and your overall layout and methodical approach is impressive to me  :thumbsup:


Skyline2uk
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Steven B on April 17, 2020, 07:55:38 PM

On the topic of which - thank you, Steven, for the helpful reply. I will investigate the thinned paint/brush techniques to which you refer. Do you recommend also that the primer coats be applied in this way?

As for testing the technique on plastic sheet, would Plastikard with some spots of black paint added be a good way of testing coverage over black by using white primer and yellow overcoat? How many coats in total (i.e. of all layers) do you imagine are likely to be needed to get good coverage with this technique?

I've found that using a good quality primer (such a Halfords) means you can spray directly on the model.

As for your test, yes paint some black, or use black plastic.

It is perfectly possible to get a decent repaint using  aerosols just as it's possible to get a poor finish with an air-brush. I've managed both ends of the scale with all three methods. I've never found Railmatch or Phoenix very good. Both clog nozzles and aren't really suited to smaller scales. Games Workshop and Humbrol's acrylics are fantastic and work well even in N.

If I get chance I'll find and photo some models painted with each method to compare them. Personally, I now only use aerosols for primer and final varnishing, perfering brushes of the hairy or airy variety for most other jobs.

Steven B
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: thebrighton on April 17, 2020, 07:58:42 PM
Just throwing more fuel on the airbrush/aerosol/brush debate everything I've ever built and painted has been primed with Halfords white, grey or red oxide primer. Choice of primer colour is vital though. I've a rake of Gresley 52ft stock. I ran out of red primer so the last coach had a coat of grey; despite the maroon coming out of the same can for the whole rake you can see the last coach is a shade or 2 lighter.

Something you may have picked up in the above paragraph is the word can. Yes, I paint many items by hand with several coats of thinned paint but they're always finished off with a rattle can of varnish. I've used rattle cans to paint stock hundreds, possibly thousands of times and have never had an issue with the paint being over thick except where it was my own fault; too cold, rushing between coats etc or the Railmatch nozzle blocking which is their (Railmatch) weak spot. The Halfords range of colours (where possible) is my go to source now for quality and finish.

I normally give a model 2 passes of the rattle can at a fairly brisk pace at approx 12 inches which leaves a nice, thin, even layer which is often sufficient to be able to move on to lining etc. If not a second pass may be required.

The results of my painting are good enough for me and honestly can't see an airbrush giving a significantly better finish hence why I've never owned one. The only reason I would buy one would be for weathering as you can thin the paint down to create the level of weathering you are looking for.

Everyone has their own preferences but that doesn't mean that is the only way, just a way that works for you. I've witnessed some awful paint jobs carried out with an airbrush as well as modellers moaning about the quality of finish from a rattle can when I've watched them literally holding the can 3 inches away and just pointing the can at one spot and spraying for a second or 2 resulting in a gloopy mess.

At the end of the day the correct colour primer will create the best final result as it will mean less coats of the required colour whether that be by brush, rattle can or brush. Always practice your technique on an old bit of rolling stock first and I've always found that if masking was required I remove it when the paint is still fairly damp as it then doesn't leave a ridge which is created when the paint has hardened and sealed the masking tape on. When removed it can lift the edge of the paint.

There is no right or wrong, just what works for you.




 
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 17, 2020, 11:03:05 PM
Thank you both very much: that is most helpful. To confirm, then, the test should be:

(1) spray white primer (1 coat? 2?); and
(2) brush thinned enamels (1 coat? 2? 3?)?

Do I understand correctly that the paint to thinner ratio should be 6:1 to 7:1?

Thank you again.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Steven B on April 18, 2020, 08:07:44 AM
James,

The whole point of testing different methods is to see what works for you.

Try different ratios of paint to thinner, and different number of coats of primer sprayed at  range of distances. Keep a record of what works and what doesn't. Eventually you'll find a method that works reliably for you. Painting models is as much an art as a science.

Steven B
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on April 18, 2020, 08:24:32 AM
I most certainly donít wish to re-ignite any debate about painting models (FWIW I do use spray cans on models extensively, just not for small detail jobs), so please take this in the spirit it is intended. I think Stevenís last post perhaps summarises why you sometimes get some exasperated and frustrated responses - you come across as needing to have an unequivocal understanding of how something must be done before you will try it, and it can seem that you ask lots of questions, and then ignore all of the answers.

Just try things sometimes, youíll learn more than reading lots of posts on forums about it! There are many ways to do virtually anything that will yield a satisfactory result.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 18, 2020, 12:00:55 PM
Steven - thank you. That sort of testing may take a very considerable time for a larger number of configurations. I will have a go when I have a moment and report back the results one configuration at a time.

Njee - I do not think that a fair summary. Asking for as much information as might possibly be available (even if the information sought sometimes turns out not to be available; but I cannot usually know that without asking) and then making my own decisions about what to do with it are both products of an inquiring and critical mind. It is difficult to understand why anyone would think that it would be rational to do anything else.

I am content to undertake my own experiments as necessary, but it is much more efficient if I can learn from somebody who has already tried the same experiments and already come up with results. If nobody has done so (or, at least, nobody who is minded to reply to my posts or whose results I can find somewhere), then I will have to undertake my own experiments, although some of the more exhaustive forms of experimentation can be so time consuming as to make them not worth the effort if there is already a workable even if not entirely satisfactory method of achieving the intended result.

It is for this reason that I am keen to document in detail on this forum and others the results of any experimentation of methods that I have not seen documented so that others can learn from what I have tried.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on April 18, 2020, 01:02:24 PM
I understand that, but itís not like thereís a right or wrong way, and therefore you could learn how to do it before trying. Itís not a scientific process. Iím purely offering a bit of constructive criticism on why your posts can sometimes rub people up the wrong way, please take it as intended.

I think most people just view model railways as a practical hobby, not one learned in the classroom.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Bealman on April 18, 2020, 01:25:35 PM
It is supposed to be fun, after all.  ;)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: thebrighton on April 18, 2020, 01:26:11 PM
I think the main issue here is the internet and modern society and this isn't aimed at anyone.

When I started modelling and learning these techniques I was on my own, no local club, certainly no internet and if I was lucky a second hand copy of RM or MRC once a month. If I wanted to do something it was by trial and error, that was how I learnt.

Nowadays with instant access to the whole world it is far easier to ask for advice rather than try for yourself and a drawback of that is if you ask the question you will get a dozen different opinions and often they will all have value as what they suggest works for them. With modelling there is more often than not no definitive answer to any question and something that is a proven method may still not be the solution to you.

Perhaps as us self taught dinosaurs die out online replies will slim down to one or two options which I think will be a sad day for the hobby as I get enjoyment out of trying to solve things and only go asking when stumped or, on occasion, feeling lazy ;).

Just my rambling thoughts.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: exmouthcraig on April 18, 2020, 01:34:52 PM
LIFE is trial and error and we manage to work most of that out for ourselves. Well most of us do.

Modelling is a skill learnt from trial and error and as a discussion between Dr Al and Thebrighton, probably 2 of the best builders on the forum (in my opinion) over glueing or soldering handrails. Both different ways both the same outcome.

I wonder if as many questions would be asked and opinions disregarded over learning how to be good at kissing girls (or boys)??? Probably one of the hardest lessons in life  ;)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Jayk on April 18, 2020, 01:47:38 PM
   Just had a quick run back through the thread and can't find the 121 in question to examine the issue, so this may already have been covered. When using masking tape it adds a step to the area you are painting, the joint between model and tape becomes an inside corner. When painting up to the tape this corner the paint will collect and pool along it, particularly when applying multiple coats. If the paint is then left to fully dry (or at least dry to the point where it is capable of retaining its shape) this will result in something of a ski-jump after removing the tape.

   In terms of preventing this problem, removing the tape whilst the applied paint still has a little flex allows it to spread back somewhat as it is not being supported in the perpendicular. Doing this 7 times would probably drive me nuts as would accurately reapplying the masking tape each time.

   I would not underestimate the healing power of varnish though. I have had many imperfections blend out of sight by applying a gloss varnish prior to the finishing coat in either satin or matt.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 18, 2020, 07:15:21 PM
I have been working to-day on the TrainController panel/switchboard for the scenic part of the layout as I have now started laying track in this area and there are some track circuits to wire in. Even more than the fiddle yards I have worked hard to ensure that the panel looks as much like an IECC as possible:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49788940113_3a3716935a_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iRFkgX)Model railway control panel (https://flic.kr/p/2iRFkgX) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

Only a small part of this has been laid so far, but it is useful to have the full panel when wiring things in. I have not yet set up the panel to connect to what things are so far wired in yet apart from the emergency stop button: that will be the next task.

The graphics for the signals I have created myself based on screenshots from IECCs and SimSig. I do not believe that TrainController allows proper NX routing/semi-automated operation (although I am not quite sure of this: I will have to look into this), so the tail-less arrows at the end of sidings/bays are non-working. The APLS displays on signals have to be made using two separate signals in TrainController, as this software does not allow for more than four aspects per signal. The APLS is represented as one signal and the main signal as another (the graphic being without a post).

TrainController also cannot, so far as I can work out, allow for the outline style of track, so there is no way of representing track beyond the ambit of signalled area. I am also not quite sure how this could be done with the logic options available. Ideally, it would be splendid to have two extra panels of entirely imaginary track representing some miles either side of the fictional station showing where the trains are supposed to be before arriving and after leaving, and have this somehow integrated with arrivals into/departures from the fiddle yard as well as the signals displayed on the layout, but I am not sure whether this is possible.



As to the various painting related issues, thank you Jayk for your thoughts: that is helpful.

As to the other comments, I disagree fundamentally that this is not a scientific process. The process of testing things to see what works, carefully documenting that testing, publicising the results of that testing and then seeking peer review is precisely a scientific process. What else do you think that science is? Science and art are not mutually exclusive, nor are practicality and theory.

The whole point of forums such as these (or, at least, a large part of the point) is for people to share information about the results of their own experimentation so that people do not always have to repeat experiments done by others. People learn best when people can learn from both their own and others' experiences. To get good results, it is important to have an inquiring, critical mind.

What I objected to in particular, and still object to in the strongest possible terms, is hostility directed at me for questioning and not uncritically accepting suggestions given. That is totally inappropriate conduct in any circumstances whatsoever. That I do not tolerate that sort of misconduct does not mean that I am not interested in advice; but seeking advice does not mean that I am obliged to follow it if it be found to be wanting.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: willike1958 on April 19, 2020, 07:37:22 AM
Hello James,
I've only just latched on to your very interesting layout. Amongst the topics that have grabbed my attention is your use of Traincontroller. I'm using this great bit of software on my Houghtonbrook project (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=10285.msg106134#msg106134 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=10285.msg106134#msg106134)) to automate the majority of train operations in conjunction with my NCE digital system. My layout has a large hidden fiddleyard and occasionally I have problems with points (operated by Cobalts) not switching. So, I am particularly interested in knowing more about the hardware indicator you mention in one of your posts and the the related TrainController route locking feature. In particular, I'd like to know what type of indicator you use to detect the point movement and feed the information back to the computer.
Thanks in advance for any insights you can share.
Kevin
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 19, 2020, 11:27:33 AM
Kevin - an interesting layout that you have there! I have subscribed to your Youtube channel and set "notify" on your thread to keep up to date with progress.

As to your question about points, I use servos with Dingo servo mounts, which power microswitches. I use one pair of microswitches for frog polarity switching and the other for position indication. (It is possible in principle to use one for each, but the feedback is less precise; it is debatable how much that this extra precision matters).

The microswitches are, in turn, connected to an HDL LocoIO module, which interfaces between inputs and outputs, which inputs can include connexion of one of 16 lines to (circuit) ground, e.g. by a microswitch, and a LocoNet bus, which is the communications bus that I use on my layout.

I then use TrainController's "position control" system together with these hardware feedbacks.

I am not familiar with NCE systems, and have only a passing familiarity with Cobolt motors, so I cannot give a complete answer as to how you might use these together to achieve position control. However, I believe that Cobolt motors have built in switches that can be used for feedback. What you ultimately need to do is convert the output from these switches (on/off depending on the position of the points) into an input to TrainController of the same sort as the block occupation feedback. For hardware point position feedback, TrainController ultimately needs one or two "contact indicators", which you can then tell TrainController should be either on or off when the points are supposed to be in one or other state (normal or reversed).

Note that it is possible to have some limited functionality of the point position indication feature even without hardware feedback, at least with some bus types, such as LocoNet. With LocoNet, at least, this can be configured to check that the command was propagated properly over the control bus. I am not sure whether this works with NCE (and it is not a feature that I have used, so I am not fully sure whether it works as I describe, but I believe that this is probably what it does). If your problem is thus that, for some reason, commands are not being properly sent, rather than any hardware issue, there is a possibility that position control without hardware feedback may help you. This might be worth testing, at least. This is unlikely to work if the points are switched from DCC accessory decoders, although there is some possibility that this may check that the command has at least been sent over the DCC bus, but this will depend entirely on how the NCE system works and interfaces with TrainController. It is possible that this feature works only with LocoNet.

I hope that this helps. Best wishes for your layout!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: willike1958 on April 19, 2020, 08:41:05 PM
Thanks for your kind comments on Houghtonbrook, James. It's been a long journey, but now being semi-retired I've managed to speed things up a bit over the last year or so. Your response is also a timely reminder that an update to the thread is well overdue.

I've looked at the Traincontroller 'Turnout Position Detection' function and it looks relatively straightforward to use. I'm less sure about the hardware side of things despite your advice. So, I've sent an email to DCC Supplies to get some help from them as regards whether I can feed back directly from the Cobalt point motor to an NCE Auxiliary Input Unit AIU. It seems that you can do this with a Tortoise point motor, so I'm cautiously optimistic that it is also possible with the Cobalt.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 19, 2020, 08:47:57 PM
Thanks for your kind comments on Houghtonbrook, James. It's been a long journey, but now being semi-retired I've managed to speed things up a bit over the last year or so. Your response is also a timely reminder that an update to the thread is well overdue.

I've looked at the Traincontroller 'Turnout Position Detection' function and it looks relatively straightforward to use. I'm less sure about the hardware side of things despite your advice. So, I've sent an email to DCC Supplies to get some help from them as regards whether I can feed back directly from the Cobalt point motor to an NCE Auxiliary Input Unit AIU. It seems that you can do this with a Tortoise point motor, so I'm cautiously optimistic that it is also possible with the Cobalt.

Interesting - that sounds as if it might be the solution, but there is no harm in checking. Let me know how you get on!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 20, 2020, 06:32:21 PM
Further progress on 47544:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49798704342_903a818f86_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iSxnQJ)Graham Farish class 47 renumbered (https://flic.kr/p/2iSxnQJ) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49798704507_09c518c63f_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iSxnTz)Graham Farish class 47 renumbered (https://flic.kr/p/2iSxnTz) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49798399491_c9331b5c5e_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iSvPdF)Graham Farish class 47 renumbered (https://flic.kr/p/2iSvPdF) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49798704767_10af34c874_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iSxnY4)Graham Farish class 47 renumbered (https://flic.kr/p/2iSxnY4) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The renumbering is complete as is the addition of orange cantrail stripes, the chassis swap with the Intercity mainline livery model and DCC/stay alive fitting.

Yet to do tasks include adding an aerial (I am thinking brass wire chemically blackened), body varnishing (probably before fitting the wire), eventually adding the detailing parts and, in the long-term future, weathering.

The Intercity mainline livery version with which I have swapped the chassis is to become 47818, and that is awaiting a further stay-alive charging circuit as well as for the paint to dry on the buffer beams, which must be repainted into red for this model: I anticipate that several coats will be required, each needing 24 hours to dry, by which time my stay alive circuitry might have arrived.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: willike1958 on April 20, 2020, 09:31:48 PM
Hi James,
I got an email back from DCC Supplies confirming that Cobalt point motors can be directly wired up at an NCE AIU. So, I connected one up and lo and behold it works ! Thanks for highlighting this feature in your inspiring and informative thread on Oxcott. Looking forward to see the scenics developing in due course.
Kevin
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 20, 2020, 09:42:13 PM
Hi James,
I got an email back from DCC Supplies confirming that Cobalt point motors can be directly wired up at an NCE AIU. So, I connected one up and lo and behold it works ! Thanks for highlighting this feature in your inspiring and informative thread on Oxcott. Looking forward to see the scenics developing in due course.
Kevin

Excellent - glad that it works! I am building track right now - scenery is a little way off, I think.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Hoover40 on April 20, 2020, 11:19:51 PM
Hi James,

I have been following your thread for some time, I spent many hours as a youngster in the area you are modelling. I'm not sure if it would be something you would be interested in looking at but I use either black toothbrush bristles (unused of course)  or the bristles that are used on on door draught excluders  by nature these are thin but flexible if accidentally caught for the roof aerials.
Keep up the good work

Regards Mark
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 20, 2020, 11:32:19 PM
Hi James,

I have been following your thread for some time, I spent many hours as a youngster in the area you are modelling. I'm not sure if it would be something you would be interested in looking at but I use either black toothbrush bristles (unused of course)  or the bristles that are used on on door draught excluders  by nature these are thin but flexible if accidentally caught for the roof aerials.
Keep up the good work

Regards Mark

Interesting - thank you for your thoughts!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Graham on April 21, 2020, 02:51:42 AM
Hi James,
You mention stay alive circuitry, just wondering who's you use.
cheers
Graham
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 21, 2020, 11:59:52 AM
Hi James,
You mention stay alive circuitry, just wondering who's you use.
cheers
Graham

I use the Zimo SACC16 together with the Zimo MX617R and 4x 470 micro farad tantalum capacitors. All can be obtained at YouChoos, although the capacitors can be had more cheaply elsewhere if bought in bulk.

I use the MX617R (wired harness) rather than the MX617N (direct plug) decoder because this allows me to fit the capacitors into the locomotive without preventing the body shell from closing properly (in fact, it still does not close quite properly, but it is very close now; this can be improved by partly filing down the attachment lugs for the locomotive's PCB).

I solder two directly to the SACC16, which I fit where the decoder would go if it were a direct plug type, and two to wires which I fix with Black Tack to about the middle of the locomotive. The decoder goes at the opposite end to normal. At that opposite end, I cut the white and yellow wires (for the rear head/tail lights) and solder them to two different function pads on the decoder. This allows me to configure the locomotive to be able to turn the tail lights off independently of the head lights, which is ideal for when it is pulling a train.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Graham on April 21, 2020, 11:29:11 PM
Thanks James, i also get my stay-alives from John @ YouChoos, have managed 3 caps to date, but sounds like using the wired harness gives the extra room. like the idea of using the function pads, will have to look at that when i chip my next loco.
cheers
Graham
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on April 23, 2020, 01:01:33 AM
Progress with the 47/8:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49807839257_dfa811a7b0_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iTmckg)N gauge class 47s (https://flic.kr/p/2iTmckg) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49806977628_66a7cadaa2_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iTgMcA)N gauge class 47s (https://flic.kr/p/2iTgMcA) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/8760/17172962399_8fbebdd2f7_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/savVqB)47818 (https://flic.kr/p/savVqB) by Roger Marks (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpmarks/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/1464/24150033959_7eba88ed6c_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CN4eHR)Empty stock. (https://flic.kr/p/CN4eHR) by John Whiteley (https://www.flickr.com/photos/126693116@N06/), on Flickr

By comparison, here is the original class 47 as produced by Farish:

(https://hattonsimages.blob.core.windows.net/products/372-248_3284136_Qty1_1.jpg)
(photo credit: Hattons (https://www.hattons.co.uk/251500/graham_farish_372_248_class_47_4_47550_university_of_dundee_in_intercity_mainline_livery/stockdetail.aspx)).
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 05, 2020, 04:46:02 PM
I have been spending some time working on the software for this (as well as carriage lighting, discussed elsewhere).

First of all, I have improved the layout of the TrainController switchboard for the station area thus:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49856663143_786083aa86_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iXEqYp)Traincontroller emulating an IECC (https://flic.kr/p/2iXEqYp) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

This is now much clearer than the original, lacking the unnecessarily long representations of the sidings, and is also for the same reason closer to the way in which a real IECC looks. I have also found out how to make the outline style of track work: the track can be coloured black with the paintbrush tool, which, on a black background, gives the appearance of the outline look.

I have also been adding some interesting features, including:

* NX routing with "ARS" to allow fully automatic routing to be turned on and off (on which more below);
* signalling logic;
* messages indicating when a particular train has entered the area and at which platform,if any, it is booked to call;
* station announcements for arrivals/departures as well as delays and cancellations; and
* what I was unsure whether could be done before, a virtual extension:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49857206751_4222cc751b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iXHdyX)Traincontroller emulating an IECC (https://flic.kr/p/2iXHdyX) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr.

I have used macros to simulate the progress of trains through the virtual extension, since the simulator cannot be used unless the layout is turned off completely, and have managed to set it up so that, when a virtual train gets to the part of the virtual layout that borders on the real layout, it triggers a real model train to come from the fiddle yard onto the layout, making what I hope will be a seamless transition between virtual and real.

TrainController's routing logic still works fully on this virtual part of the layout, meaning much less work in creating macros for this than might otherwise be the case.

I have so far done only one of the three of these that need to be completed, but this is enough for me to have tested the logic and devised a system with macros containing much re-usable code so as greatly to reduce the amount of work necessary to do this for the other sections.

I am particularly pleased that I have been able to set up NX routing. It turns out that instructions on how to do this were in the TrainController manual (example 15, I believe) all along. There are some limitations: I cannot click on signals to get this to work, so I have had to add arrows next to the signals for routing instead. Bidirectional routes need some careful work with additional macros and variables, as there is not any built-in logic for this, but this can be done.

The consequence of this is that I will be able to operate the layout (both real and virtual parts) as a signaller with the trains being driven automatically. Not only that, but it seems that it is also possible, with an expansion to TrainController called +SmartHand Mobile, to allow other people to connect to my layout over the internet and themselves operate the layout as signallers. The people connecting do not need a TrainController licence to do so. This way, it should in principle be possible to have virtual operating sessions of both real and virtual parts of the layouts combined, perhaps with a simultaneous Zoom session or similar so that people can see the real (model) trains on the layout as they are being controlled.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Ted on May 16, 2020, 03:57:45 PM
The consequence of this is that I will be able to operate the layout (both real and virtual parts) as a signaller with the trains being driven automatically. Not only that, but it seems that it is also possible, with an expansion to TrainController called +SmartHand Mobile, to allow other people to connect to my layout over the internet and themselves operate the layout as signallers. The people connecting do not need a TrainController licence to do so. This way, it should in principle be possible to have virtual operating sessions of both real and virtual parts of the layouts combined, perhaps with a simultaneous Zoom session or similar so that people can see the real (model) trains on the layout as they are being controlled.

Now that sounds interesting!

I've been looking at your work because I'm currently torn between Traincontroller and iTrain... mainly because of the negative experiences of many around TC licensing, upgrades and lost USD dongles!

The 47's are looking very nice indeed.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2020, 04:03:12 PM
The consequence of this is that I will be able to operate the layout (both real and virtual parts) as a signaller with the trains being driven automatically. Not only that, but it seems that it is also possible, with an expansion to TrainController called +SmartHand Mobile, to allow other people to connect to my layout over the internet and themselves operate the layout as signallers. The people connecting do not need a TrainController licence to do so. This way, it should in principle be possible to have virtual operating sessions of both real and virtual parts of the layouts combined, perhaps with a simultaneous Zoom session or similar so that people can see the real (model) trains on the layout as they are being controlled.

Now that sounds interesting!

I've been looking at your work because I'm currently torn between Traincontroller and iTrain... mainly because of the negative experiences of many around TC licensing, upgrades and lost USD dongles!

The 47's are looking very nice indeed.  :thumbsup:

Thank you! There is much to be said for a good class 47. From my perspective, such issues as there were with TrainController are at present outweighed by the enormous flexibility that having variables permits; the current version of iTrain does not have this feature. This is an extremely powerful features that can make a vast difference to the sophistication of things that one can do with this software.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Ted on May 16, 2020, 04:11:41 PM
Thank you! There is much to be said for a good class 47. From my perspective, such issues as there were with TrainController are at present outweighed by the enormous flexibility that having variables permits; the current version of iTrain does not have this feature. This is an extremely powerful features that can make a vast difference to the sophistication of things that one can do with this software.

I'm partial to a 47; I was born in 1982 and I remember in my youth the 47 being quite prolific. It helps that you're achieving a fine finish, too.

Forgive me for hijacking your thread, but what specific function do TrainController's variables perform?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2020, 04:29:19 PM
It is probably better to illustrate with examples from the work that I have done so far. No doubt, more use cases on this layout will emerge.

I have my layout set up to have a virtual extension (there will ultimately be three) to the layout that is entirely computer simulated. A series of macros are set up to progress trains along the virtual section of my layout. Once these trains reach the boundary between that and the real section, they trigger an actual train to come from the fiddle yard and take up where the virtual train leaves off.

Announcements are played automatically if a train is running late at two separate timing points on the virtual layout, and further announcements are played when the train is in the physical part of the layout and just approaching the station. The announcement depends on the calling pattern of the train, its intended platform (of which there are a possible five) and whether it has been delayed. I also plan to have platform change announcements if a train is routed away from its booked platform, but have not implemented this yet.

I plan to have a full week's timetable, so I could not sensibly program this individually one train at a time, so I have to use macros and announcement recordings that can be re-used for lots of different trains just by inserting different data. This is where variables come in. Variables are the fundamental currency of any sort of computer programming. Using variables, one can achieve far more than will ever be possible with a simple set of commands.

To give a brief outline of how my system works: the timetable will call a macro for each train working (I have not  got the timetable itself set up yet as I only have a few test workings: these are triggered by buttons). The initial macro is unique for each working, but is very short. What this initial macro does is set a number of private variables (that is, variables whose values are only visible to the current macro and other macros called by the current macro), including one for the train reporting number, another for the calling pattern (used for announcements), another for the booked platform, another for the "schedule" (i.e., pattern of train movements on the actual layout) that will be called when the working gets to the boundary with the real layout), and some more for the times at which timing points should be passed.

Once these variables are set, this macro then calls another, general macro. This is a much longer and more complex macro, but it is not specific to each working: instead, there is one of these for each direction and line in question. This macro, in turn, sets some further variables, including the direction and the timing pattern (how long that the train should spend in each block in the virtual part of the layout: a task which I have yet to do is have this be modified depending on the signal states and possibly whether the train is trying to make up time), and then calls a delay/cancellation generator, which will (if I have enabled delays/cancellations using a button that I have created on the fiddle yard switch board) possibly make the service late by a certain amount, record the amount of delay in a private variable, and play an announcement. The announcement, in turn, is a sound file, the filename of which is determined by a number of variables (variables can be used as wildcards in specifying filenames) for the train's calling pattern and how late that it is, as well as its booked platform (e.g. "This is an announcement for passengers waiting on platform 5; we regret to announce that the service to Banbury has been delayed by approximately 10 minutes..."). If no delay is generated, the delay counter is set to zero. After generating the announcement, the delay macro does not terminate until the delay period has passed, and the main macro is set to wait for the delay macro to terminate before continuing.

When the main macro does continue, it will set variables for what section that the train should enter next, and then call a further macro (which is even more general than the previous one, applying to all virtual train movements, not just on a specific line), and this sub-macro will actually trigger the train movements in the virtual sections with the appropriate timing delays generated by the timing data mentioned earlier, stored in variables.

At certain points, timing point macros are called. This checks whether the train is within 2 minutes either way of the booked time for the timing point in question (stored, we will recall, in variables), and, if not, will display a message. If the train is late at the timing point by more than 2 minutes and the delay variable is zero (i.e., if the delay has first arisen on the virtual part of the layout), an announcement will be triggered announcing that the train is running late (in the same style as the example given previously). If, however, the delay variable is a non-zero value, indicating that there has already been a delay, the announcement triggered is different (e.g. "This is an announcement for passengers on platform 5 awaiting the delayed arrival from Banbury - this train is now passing Wolvercote Junction and is expected to arrive in approximately 4 minutes").


Once the virtual train reaches the boundary between the real and virtual sections of the layout, the schedule held in the private variable for this purpose and seeded by the very first macro to be called is then triggered, and some of the essential data contained in the variables of the virtual train (e.g. reporting number, calling pattern, booked platform) are transferred to the actual train on the layout. Then, when the actual train approaches the station, it triggers an action marker, in turn triggering an announcement that the train is approaching, and, again, the filename of the file containing the announcement audio is constructed from some base text, plus the variables for the booked platform, calling number and whether there is a delay or not.

This is just one example of the power of variables. Once one knows how to use them, one would never want to go back to not having them available. It really makes a fundamental difference to what can be achieved.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Ted on May 16, 2020, 04:48:43 PM
Thank you for taking the time to put together a detailed response and a great example.

Now you really have got me thinking as to the pros vs the main alternative that is iTrain.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: willike1958 on May 16, 2020, 05:48:02 PM
Hi James,
I assume that you are using the latest version of Traincontroller. Is that correct?
Kevin
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on May 16, 2020, 05:54:10 PM
Thank you for taking the time to put together a detailed response and a great example.

Now you really have got me thinking as to the pros vs the main alternative that is iTrain.

Move quickly if you decide on TC, he flat refused to sell the UK for a while, we can now get it for a higher price than the rest of the single market, which itself is illegal.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2020, 10:59:57 PM
Hi James,
I assume that you are using the latest version of Traincontroller. Is that correct?
Kevin

That is indeed correct.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on May 26, 2020, 12:24:44 AM
Some further layout progress. First of all, I have installed a throttle panel:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49921032401_5abf1aa772_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2j4mkHc)Throttle panel (https://flic.kr/p/2j4mkHc) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49920517473_8940a7ce99_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2j4iGD8)Throttle panel (https://flic.kr/p/2j4iGD8) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

This allows me to use a hand-held throttle to control trains as well as using the computer interface.

Secondly, I have been laying more track:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49936441387_19830dfb64_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2j5Hjgn)Track laying progress (https://flic.kr/p/2j5Hjgn) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49936441497_dcca600f3e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2j5Hjig)Track laying progress (https://flic.kr/p/2j5Hjig) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The track is laid up as far as the bay platform and the parcels dock, and includes a small amount of the up yards as well as the whole line through to the branch.

Once I have wired this in, this will allow me to run my first scheduled operations, being the Bicester terminating services, which should allow me to test my software configuration more thoroughly than I have been able to do so far.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Ted on May 26, 2020, 09:43:52 AM
The fiddle yard certainly looks impressive James!

I can see that working wonders with automation; Swan Lake in diesel.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 02, 2020, 01:33:04 PM
I have recently been working on signalling. I have taken delivery of a CR Signals 4 aspect colour light signal in order to test the size of these to determine whether any of my planned track needs to be realigned to make room for these. Here are some pictures:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49961981902_b675291215_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2j7Ydz5)Waiting at signal (https://flic.kr/p/2j7Ydz5) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49961980397_0c63ddafa2_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2j7Yd88)Passing signal (https://flic.kr/p/2j7Yd88) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49961699066_782c58d091_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2j7WLuA)Signal (detail) (https://flic.kr/p/2j7WLuA) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

The signal is not quite as refined as I had been hoping: in particular, the distinctive cut corners on the two top corners of late 20th century BR signals appear not to be modelled:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/7601/16740238978_f9e0a692fc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/rvh6PY)Slough47582100689A (https://flic.kr/p/rvh6PY) by Richard Szwejkowski (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131319486@N02/), on Flickr

We also seem to be missing the telephone at the base of the signal post:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/3435/3281587133_3fa892134b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/5ZYZwv)50036  Slough  04-03-89 (https://flic.kr/p/5ZYZwv) by Gray Callaway (https://www.flickr.com/photos/grays-railways/), on Flickr

and there appear to be little protrusions around the identity plate (I assume casting flash) not present on the real signal.

However, it appears that CR Signals are more or less the only supplier available at present, so I will have to work with what I have and devise a way of adding the little telephone box, the black and white diagonal stripes on the front of it and the signal number identity plate. I am not sure whether anyone sells the hatched lines as transfers? If anyone has experience of detailing these signals, I should be most interested.

As to the mounting base, real signals did not have this, of course; I am now very glad that I decided to cover the entire baseboard in a layer of 1mm cork, since, by cutting out a mounting plate sized hole in the cork, I can make this signal entirely flush with the rest of the cork. When I ballast over this, the mounting plate should be invisible.

I have not fixed the signal in permanently yet, as I need to be able to remove it when I come to work on the planned upper layout. The wires are affixed using Wago connectors beneath the baseboard so that I can disconnect and reconnect the signal easily without much disruption.

I have configured this to work with TrainController as shown in the below video:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/31337/49961766836_a4ffe64f91_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2j7X7D3)Model railway signalling (https://flic.kr/p/2j7X7D3) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I already had the logic for the signal set up, but I later realised that I needed to re-code it as an extended accessory as I could not get TrainController's default four aspect signal to give the proper aspects with the two addresses with which it is designed to work.

When viewing the above video, I realised that I needed to modify the logic so that the signal represented a last wheel replacement type as I believe were more common in this time period than the first wheel replacement type, which I have now done as shown in this video:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/31337/49962055202_8158d9411a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2j7YAmS)Model railway signalling (https://flic.kr/p/2j7YAmS) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

For reference, the area covered in planning paper is intended to be the scenic section.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 02, 2020, 01:58:21 PM
For my layout i used https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html (https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html) plus the lineside cabinets  ,knightwing relay boxes, googled signal id plates then checked the rssb.co.uk handbook pdf which I then used to print after designing the black white diagonal stripes . Hope that helps
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 02, 2020, 02:04:52 PM
For my layout i used https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html (https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html) plus the lineside cabinets  ,knightwing relay boxes, googled signal id plates then checked the rssb.co.uk handbook pdf which I then used to print after designing the black white diagonal stripes . Hope that helps

Thank you for that. Do I understand you to mean that you used the N Brass Kits signal kit? I did look at those, but they do not seem to be available with APLS configurations. Do you have any pictures of your assembled signals by any chance?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 02, 2020, 02:27:13 PM
For my layout i used [url]https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html[/url] ([url]https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html[/url]) plus the lineside cabinets  ,knightwing relay boxes, googled signal id plates then checked the rssb.co.uk handbook pdf which I then used to print after designing the black white diagonal stripes . Hope that helps


Thank you for that. Do I understand you to mean that you used the N Brass Kits signal kit? I did look at those, but they do not seem to be available with APLS configurations. Do you have any pictures of your assembled signals by any chance?
   no you need to look at part 25695 at https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html (https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html) and other link http://www.knightwing.co.uk/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?product=N_Lineside_Kits&cart_id= (http://www.knightwing.co.uk/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?product=N_Lineside_Kits&cart_id=)  knightwing a007 as I use other signals sorry
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 02, 2020, 02:29:54 PM
For my layout i used [url]https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html[/url] ([url]https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html[/url]) plus the lineside cabinets  ,knightwing relay boxes, googled signal id plates then checked the rssb.co.uk handbook pdf which I then used to print after designing the black white diagonal stripes . Hope that helps


Thank you for that. Do I understand you to mean that you used the N Brass Kits signal kit? I did look at those, but they do not seem to be available with APLS configurations. Do you have any pictures of your assembled signals by any chance?
   no you need to look at part 25695 at [url]https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html[/url] ([url]https://www.nbrasslocos.co.uk/nline4.html[/url]) and other link [url]http://www.knightwing.co.uk/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?product=N_Lineside_Kits&cart_id=[/url] ([url]http://www.knightwing.co.uk/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?product=N_Lineside_Kits&cart_id=[/url])  knightwing a007 as I use other signals sorry


Do you mean the lineside cabinets? I shall need those eventually as scenic items, but that will have to wait quite a while until the upper layer is complete. The signals are a higher priority as those are working items relevant to operations.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 02, 2020, 02:39:15 PM
Yes. Sorry that's all I can help with. Cr signals are the best supplier but good luck. Some of us have be up early at work
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on June 02, 2020, 03:48:10 PM
The N Brass signals are crazy fiddly - the whole thing comes as a flat etch, including the lens hoods etc, which all need individually building and soldering to the faceplate.

CR Signals may be a bit overscale, but they're the best thing we've got IMO. Shame Absolute Aspects stopped doing N, particuarly as CR are scaling back their operation!
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 02, 2020, 04:01:30 PM
The N Brass signals are crazy fiddly - the whole thing comes as a flat etch, including the lens hoods etc, which all need individually building and soldering to the faceplate.

I did suspect that.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: exmouthcraig on June 02, 2020, 04:51:01 PM
I detailed my signal with ID plates, phone box relay boxes and trackside safety path but it's set as present day so doubt its any good for your era
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 02, 2020, 05:19:29 PM
The N Brass signals are crazy fiddly - the whole thing comes as a flat etch, including the lens hoods etc, which all need individually building and soldering to the faceplate.

CR Signals may be a bit overscale, but they're the best thing we've got IMO. Shame Absolute Aspects stopped doing N, particuarly as CR are scaling back their operation!
  I would agree with nick . Be honest I would go with cr signals or see if gaugemaster have any berko eckons
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on June 02, 2020, 05:23:00 PM
IMO the Berkos are much more toy like, and Gaugemaster's own offering is simply woeful for the money. Fewer 4-aspect options out there too. CR Signals still the best bet.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 02, 2020, 05:26:27 PM
Mentioned that as a comparison as I was given a berko and accepted it but its fiddly wiring needs 4 hands and agree nick.im seating myself after  long day to say c  r signals is the way forward.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 02, 2020, 06:40:03 PM
The N Brass signals are crazy fiddly - the whole thing comes as a flat etch, including the lens hoods etc, which all need individually building and soldering to the faceplate.

CR Signals may be a bit overscale, but they're the best thing we've got IMO. Shame Absolute Aspects stopped doing N, particuarly as CR are scaling back their operation!
  I would agree with nick . Be honest I would go with cr signals or see if gaugemaster have any berko eckons

From the pictures that I have seen, the Berko signals seem cruder than the CR signals, and also more limited in range.

I think that I shall have to do with improving the CR signals.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 26, 2020, 10:04:16 PM
I have been busy of late setting up the small section of layout whose track laying and wiring is now complete, representing the branch and the small branch fiddle yard, to run a full week's timetable in real time. Quite a lot of work has been necessary to set up the individual schedule items and deal with some TrainController complexities, but I have this evening finally succeeded in setting up a real timetable which, so far, seems to be running well (as it is in real time, it will take a full day to test it fully; and I have not added the Sunday timetable yet). There are one or two hardware and software issues yet to be overcome, but the timetable can run those notwithstanding.

As this is based on the then single track Bicester branch in the late 1980s, there are only 6 trains a day in each direction (not counting the one return through working from Reading, which I have not added yet as the track for that part of the layout has yet to be built), so this is not a particularly intensive service, but it does give a good idea of how the systems that I am in the process of setting up (automatic announcements, timetables calling macros which in turn call schedules, a manually overridable TRTS system, optional manual or automatic route setting for signalling fun, etc.) are working.

Here is a screenshot of this in action:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50048406552_a6e33f8479_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2jfBaBf)TrainController signalling display (https://flic.kr/p/2jfBaBf) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

I have modified the signalling for the representation of the Bicester branch to match the signalling of the real life Bicester branch as it was in 1989 (and I believe remained until the 2010s), being tokenless block, and have removed the signal that I had planned to have on the entry to the branch as a result (this signal would have been appropriate for track circuited single line working, but not tokenless block where only one train may be in the section between our station and the junction beyond Bicester at any one time).

I have also added a representation of the "train on line" indicator (the white dot underneath "Bicester train in section" on the right) and an indication of the reporting number of that train.

Here is an extract from the WTT that I am putting together for this layout using LibreOffice Calc, showing the up workings on weekdays:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50048438497_1196096cef_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2jfBk72)Model railway working timetable (https://flic.kr/p/2jfBk72) by James Petts (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14730981@N08/), on Flickr

As will be seen from the signalling display, 2H19 is currently in section and the current time is 09:25. There is a message at the bottom indicating that 2H19 left Bicester right time 2 minutes ago and is due into Oxcott at 09:48. (In fact, it arrived a few minutes early at circa 09:45 layout time as I was writing this pot; I think that there may be some slack in the WTT). At 09:49 layout time, it will become the 5H19 and will go to the up carriage sidings for stabling until its next turn. The down timetable (not pictured) shows that this is not due to happen until 11:15, with a departure from the carriage sidings at 11:00.

It is very satisfying sitting in my layout shed and having a working, timetabled railway running in the background, with automated station announcements to match the services. All that I need to do now is finish the layout and complete the timetable...(!). This might take a while.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 28, 2020, 12:04:16 AM
Here is a video (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/47a8d427-0b9d-4e1d-87d9-391cfb4a40e8) showing all of the above in practice.

The 9 minute fully narrated video covers:

(1) computer control;
(2) the IECC style panel;
(3) reporting numbers;
(4) timetabled working;
(5) train detection;
(6) the virtual extensions to the layout;
(7) automated control of carriage lighting,

and some more besides.

I am hosting it on PeerTube to promote that free, distributed and open source platform over the centralised YouTube, so do have a look and see what you make of it.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: degsy_safc on June 28, 2020, 12:19:54 AM
Here is a video (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/4b06f6ab-29a4-4f44-a2f8-3a43ac46cb83) showing all of the above in practice.

The 9 minute fully narrated video covers:

(1) computer control;
(2) the IECC style panel;
(3) reporting numbers;
(4) timetabled working;
(5) train detection;
(6) the virtual extensions to the layout;
(7) automated control of carriage lighting,

and some more besides.

I am hosting it on PeerTube to promote that free, distributed and open source platform over the centralised YouTube, so do have a look and see what you make of it.
Hi James - I only see 20 seconds of video. Donít understand how I can find the other 8mins, 40 seconds..

Stick to YouTube at least that works properly..

Cheers Derek
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 28, 2020, 12:40:18 AM
I think that the video may have been transcoding; I spotted an error in the video originally uploaded, so I have corrected it and re-uploaded the video. The new link is here (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/47a8d427-0b9d-4e1d-87d9-391cfb4a40e8).

Do let me know whether you can view this any better this time.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Graham on June 28, 2020, 12:43:43 AM
Hi James,
The link does not work, however by cutting and pasting the URL, i can see the video, there is however this message on the video "The video is being transcoded, it may not work properly."
Also the download from PeerTube is very slow, so a lot of buffering.

cheers
Graham
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 28, 2020, 01:41:57 AM
Hi James,
The link does not work, however by cutting and pasting the URL, i can see the video, there is however this message on the video "The video is being transcoded, it may not work properly."
Also the download from PeerTube is very slow, so a lot of buffering.

cheers
Graham

Thank you for spotting that: I have amended the link above.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Bealman on June 28, 2020, 01:59:18 AM
Yes, that link works fine, and I was able to view the entire video no problems.  :thumbsup:

Very impressive. A 2020 version of the Reverend Denny's Automatic Crispin!

I must admit I enjoy driving the trains myself, though.  ;)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Graham on June 28, 2020, 02:33:35 AM
just watched the video James, excellent.

cheers
Graham
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: weave on June 28, 2020, 05:41:49 AM
Hi James,

Very impressive. Great stuff.

Cheers, weave  :beers:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Nbodger on June 28, 2020, 07:48:56 AM
Hi James,

Now that is what I call impressive, but for me I enjoy controlling the trains and ďplayingĒ.

Look forward to seeing further updates

Mike H  8)
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: Ted on June 28, 2020, 09:07:52 AM
I like the look of the IECC. I'm using iTrain and I'm not sure if it supports customisation of the actual switchboard.

I had to smile when the platform announcement fired, the voice sounded familiar!

I'm also working on a WTT; so I'm watching your progress with interest.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: tutenkhamunsleeping on June 28, 2020, 09:19:13 AM
After a good dose of 'spinning circle' I ended up seeing a 1 second clip of a socket :'(
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 28, 2020, 12:35:54 PM
I have produced a 30 second trailer, available both on PeerTube (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/0818357d-56bc-483b-9cfd-cd3d39bacec9) and Youtube:

Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: willike1958 on June 28, 2020, 03:05:21 PM
Nice video, James !
I think that I might be sufficiently inspired by it to have a crack at a video update for Houghtonbrook.
Kevin
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 28, 2020, 03:33:02 PM
Nice video, James !
I think that I might be sufficiently inspired by it to have a crack at a video update for Houghtonbrook.
Kevin

Excellent! Perhaps you could join the PeerTube community and upload there?
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: willike1958 on June 29, 2020, 04:49:50 PM
I'll have a look at that. Like other forum members, I did initially have a problem watching the video with it blocking in full screen mode.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 29, 2020, 04:53:17 PM
I'll have a look at that. Like other forum members, I did initially have a problem watching the video with it blocking in full screen mode.

I am in the process of investigating alternative PeerTube instances to host this and will revert when I have that arranged.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: degsy_safc on June 29, 2020, 07:25:28 PM
I think that the video may have been transcoding; I spotted an error in the video originally uploaded, so I have corrected it and re-uploaded the video. The new link is here (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/47a8d427-0b9d-4e1d-87d9-391cfb4a40e8).

Do let me know whether you can view this any better this time.

Hi James,

Yes the new link worked perfectly.

Cracking system youíve created there  :thumbsup:

Great job ...

Cheers Derek

Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 29, 2020, 07:27:51 PM
I think that the video may have been transcoding; I spotted an error in the video originally uploaded, so I have corrected it and re-uploaded the video. The new link is here (https://peertube.mastodon.host/videos/watch/47a8d427-0b9d-4e1d-87d9-391cfb4a40e8).

Do let me know whether you can view this any better this time.

Hi James,

Yes the new link worked perfectly.

Cracking system youíve created there  :thumbsup:

Great job ...

Cheers Derek

Thank you!

For those having trouble watching the video, I have uploaded to a different PeerTube instance - watch it here (https://diode.zone/videos/watch/5d3a7703-af14-450c-a2bf-e2b1365de00).
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 29, 2020, 07:33:24 PM
Apologies. Can only see and view the link in Derek 's reply
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 29, 2020, 07:38:45 PM
Apologies. Can only see and view the link in Derek 's reply

I am not sure that I understand: my apologies. Do you mean that you cannot see that there is a link in my previous post, or that you have clicked on the link and it does not work?

For reference, the video uploaded to its new instance is here:

https://diode.zone/videos/watch/5d3a7703-af14-450c-a2bf-e2b13651de00
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: crewearpley40 on June 29, 2020, 07:41:08 PM
Thanks video works now. You click the link it says sorry we cannot find the page your looking for try it. Does work now
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 29, 2020, 07:42:20 PM
Thanks video works now

Excellent - thank you for confirming.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: tutenkhamunsleeping on June 29, 2020, 07:53:32 PM
For reference, the video uploaded to its new instance is here:

https://diode.zone/videos/watch/5d3a7703-af14-450c-a2bf-e2b13651de00

Great stuff, I've been able to watch it this time :beers:
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 29, 2020, 07:56:23 PM
For reference, the video uploaded to its new instance is here:

https://diode.zone/videos/watch/5d3a7703-af14-450c-a2bf-e2b13651de00

Great stuff, I've been able to watch it this time :beers:

Excellent - glad that it is working for you.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: njee20 on June 29, 2020, 09:00:21 PM
Youíre really selling PeerTube...  :worried:

System looks good though, nicely done.
Title: Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
Post by: jamespetts on June 29, 2020, 10:16:29 PM
Youíre really selling PeerTube...  :worried:

System looks good though, nicely done.

Excellent! It would be good to have a railway modelling community emerging on PeerTube.

The original instance that I had used, Mastadon.Host, does not seem to be the best of instances, but the one that I have started using now, Diode Zone, looks promising; it does require that all content be under a Creative Commons licence (which sort of licensing I urge people to support), but it is potentially suitable for railway modelling purposes as it focusses on electronics and technology. It also has a very generous upload limit compared to other PeerTube instances.

The more that people start using the Fediverse, the better!
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