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Author Topic: Mallingford Combe  (Read 1554 times)

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Offline JohnChell

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Mallingford Combe
« on: January 31, 2016, 11:26:32 PM »
The Story so far....

"Mallingford Combe" is a former exhibition layout that I purchased on ebay as an introduction to N model railways. It comes in 3 sections measures approximately 9ft X 2ft and when set up is slightly curved so that the operator can stand behind the layout with two "wings" one to either side.

I am a novice with little time and even less knowledge, however it is my ambition to rework and refurbish this layout to the point where it can once again be exhibited. I know very little about how to go about exhibiting, but I have joined Scunthorpe Model Railway Club to get help and advice with getting the layout back to an acceptable standard, and I have a campervan which is big enough to move the layout in, and that I am happy to sleep in.

When I purchased it was cosmetically somewhat tired various knocks, dents & scratches however I did see it running, at this time it was named "Ramsey Junction". It had initially been built by the Tendering Hundred Model railway club in Essex and I purchased the layout from a club member in Clacton. I understand that Ramsey Junction was not the layouts original name, and that it had originally been envisaged as a model of an American logging station, before being adapted to become a Scot Rail layout. Mallingford Combe is thus the 3rd "regeneration" of this layout.


Mallingford Combe Station viewed from the signal box.

Mallingford Combe is a fictitious Western Region location in the South West of England (maybe on the edge of Exmoor). It takes its name from locations linked to the old Ealing comedy film "The Titfield Thunderbolt". I imagine Mallingford Combe to be set in the early 60's just as the Hymeks, Westerns etc are being introduced, and steam is on the wane. However being as my main aim is to have fun you will doubtless spot some things in the photos I post that are from the wrong time period or the wrong region (like the DMU in the photograph). Suffice to say I like to think that if I did ever get the chance to exhibit this layout I would have sufficient correct western region stock to avoid too much criticism.

Diane and I have already put quite a few hours into re-working the layout we have removed all traces of the original American themed buildings etc, built replacement buildings, repaired damaged scenery, brightened up faded scatter, and a lot more, we are having great fun turning this once small part of America into a piece of 1960s England.

At the moment we have just one major issue to resolve (any advice welcomed) We cant get the layout to run, not because of any electrical issue, but simply because however we try to fasten the three sections together we can never seem to get all of the tracks on the different sections to align. The trestles that the layout came with are not of equal height,  so we are somewhat stuck until we manage to find a way of building a folding or pack-away stand which will keep the layout level so we can try to work out how to attach the sections to each other.

So have tested the rolling stock on the clubs test track, but frustratingly we are unable to run anything at home. We have reached the point of asking a local welder if he can fabricate a bolt together stand for us, but this might become quite costly so any alternative ideas would be appreciated.

Testing Locos at Scunthorpe Model Railway Clubs test track, they all work, even the ones I bought on Ebay!

« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 11:31:38 PM by JohnChell »

Offline Dock Shunter

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Re: Mallingford Combe
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 12:08:57 AM »
Really nice looking layout.
I may be missing something here..... :dunce: but if the alignment problem is only due to the differing height of the trestles,would  some adjustable legs attached to the trestles solve the problem?

Offline JohnChell

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Re: Mallingford Combe
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 12:41:46 AM »
Thanks for the reply, I should have said, I am trying to find a way to allow one person to move and set up the layout. If it was a simple rectangular shape I would just buy a couple of folding tables, but its not.So far we have made a plywood board that hinges in the middle to act as the tabletop, there are gaps cut in this to allow access to the wiring underneath the layout and when it's laid out on a flat concrete floor it looks like we might get things to line up, however I can't seem to make a rigid enough set of legs to support this off the floor, and without it being off the floor l cant conect the wiring. It should be simple, when I bought the layout I saw it running and everything lined up, but since I got it home, even when I took it to the clubroom and four of us tried, we have not managed to get the track ends to allign.

Offline JohnChell

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Re: Mallingford Combe
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2016, 11:06:29 PM »
I've not worked out how to rotate pictures so that they are the right way up yet, however having moved the layout downstairs and laid it out on a level concrete floor I have proved that if I can get everything level it the track gaps between the sections are small enough for the layout to work. All I have to do now is find or make something to that will ensure this remains the same once it is off the floor.







« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 11:07:52 PM by JohnChell »

Offline Dock Shunter

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Re: Mallingford Combe
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2016, 02:42:21 AM »
How are the sections joined together,John?
Are they bolted,alignment dowels?

Offline Marty

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Re: Mallingford Combe
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2016, 05:39:08 AM »
John,

As DS says, Alignment dowels between modules and bolts with wing nuts. Someone will have the supplier for the pattern makers alignment dowels. It doesn't look like there are any in the photos.

Here in Australia I have seen readily available steel square section tubing successfully used to make robust layout stands.
Available from our equivalent of B&Q the steel section is standard length and with the use of the supplied plastic joiners and height adjustable feet can, with the aid of minimal tools and a bit of application be put together DIY to suit most requirements.
Maybe not as quick to setup or break down as could be but easy enough to do so for transport .

Having said that ... Homemade PlywoodTrestles, with height adjustable feet, may be easier.

Or If it were me and I was planning on exhibiting, I'd look at four legs, connected in pairs, on the central board. Designed to swing up under the board for transport. Then each wing board would have a single similarly joined pair of legs on the outboard edge of the wing board, again designed to swing up underneath for transport.  The unsupported  edge of each wing board would use a pre-constructed ledge on the outside of the centre board as its support and be bolted with wingnut to the central board.  This would mean that the alignment could be established during construction phase and not rely on separate legs at the join on each board during setup.
As always, height adjustable feet, probably also available at B&Q, on the eight legs would be required to level the boards.
Hope that little lot is food for thought. Come back if I haven't been clear enough.
Enjoy
Marty
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 06:31:54 AM by Marty »

 

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