New Server: Thank you for your patience. We moved to our new server. Everything should be back to normal EXCEPT for the Gallery. We will have that restored shortly and will make an announcement. If you see something that is not working please report it here: Server Upgrade.

!!

Not Registered?

Welcome!  Please register to view all of the new posts and forum boards - some of which are hidden to guests.  After registering and gaining 10 posts you will be able to sell and buy items on our N'porium.

If you have any problems registering, then please check your spam filter before emailing us.  Hotmail users seem to find their emails in the Junk folder.


Thanks for reading,
The NGF Staff.

Author Topic: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!  (Read 775 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Knight of the Thistle

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 15658
  • Posts: 17
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« on: June 05, 2018, 02:03:46 PM »
Hi All,

Thought I would share with you my plans for a new layout.

This will be my third layout. My first two were both much smaller Ė around 4f x 2ft 6in Ė but following a house move I now have room for a larger layout of around 10ft in length and 3ft in width (thatís as far as I think I will be able to comfortably reach).

My first layout used Kato Unitrack and the second Peco code 80; overall Iíve had positive experiences with both, though struggled more with derailments over pointwork with the latter.

The space I have available runs the full length of a wall in a spare room, this means that it will only be accessible from the Ďfrontí and thus I have to keep the width to no more than 3ft. Because of this, I will need to have fairly tight turns. Divided lengthways, the rear of the layout will be the scenic side and the front (ie closest to the operator) will be the fiddle yard. My logic for this has been that once the scenery is done itís done, whereas the fiddle yard requires constant access and I donít want to be reaching over the scenery every time.

Initially, I dreamed of a beautiful code 55 layout with lovely sweeping curves, but I think I am going to go back and use Kato Unitrack. Iím aware of all its compromises but the deciding factors were:

-   The railway is going to be narrow anyway, so thereís less scope for the curves I wanted.
-   Most of the railway will be viewed from in front, so any curves would have been less appreciable in the first place.
-   Kato track can be weathered and ballasted to look pretty decent and it will also be the furthest thing away from the viewer.
-   With a full-time job and two young children my time is limited; I want to make progress quickly.
-   Iím terrified of the electrics; Katoís points cut down on so much wiring.

Iíve attached a plan of the scenic part of my proposed layout. The curves transition from rad 3 to 4 (12.4in to 13.7in) on the Down Mainline, from 2 to 3 on the Up Mainline and from 1 to 2 (9.8in to 11.1in) on the branch. Throughout Iíve used #6 points, which are more 718mm radius so more gradual and also electrofrog. Not shown is an 8-road fiddle yard for the mainline and a 2 road yard for the branch.

The main station buildings will be located on the Down Mainline, which also has a bay platform for a railcar service. The Up side of the station features a branch off and a Goods Yard and small MPD Ė these are mainly for scenic purposes as shunting isnít really my thing. Operationally, trains can flow from the branch to mainline and vice versa via a scissors crossover Ė though Kato do make left and right crossovers as alternatives. It will require four controllers, though itís fair to say only 3 will be used on a regular basis.

Itís going to be GWR in the 1930s. The plan is not to fill it with too much track as I have a large selection of SD Mouldings Buildings that have been in storage for many years that Iíd like to use Ė low on detail but high on character Ė to build up the image of a busy market town.

I would appreciate any comments or observations; particularly those around how the plan can be improved. Iím at that phase in my modelling journey when I have great aspirations but limited experience and time! Hopefully this layout can enable me to get quickly to the Ďtrains runningí stage so that I can concentrate on the scenic side of the job.

Best wishes,

Matthew


Offline railsquid

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 25547
  • Posts: 4436
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • My model railway website
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2018, 02:39:10 PM »
Initially, I dreamed of a beautiful code 55 layout with lovely sweeping curves, but I think I am going to go back and use Kato Unitrack. Iím aware of all its compromises but the deciding factors were:

-   The railway is going to be narrow anyway, so thereís less scope for the curves I wanted.
-   Most of the railway will be viewed from in front, so any curves would have been less appreciable in the first place.
-   Kato track can be weathered and ballasted to look pretty decent and it will also be the furthest thing away from the viewer.
-   With a full-time job and two young children my time is limited; I want to make progress quickly.
-   Iím terrified of the electrics; Katoís points cut down on so much wiring.


Sounds good, with a full-time job and full-time toddler myself, the Japanese track systems are a godsend, without which I'd probably have gotten nowhere but frustrated.

One suggestion for your plan - with the curves on the left, it might be an idea to make the branch line curve a little less parallel to the main line tracks, maybe by making the third green curve from the left a shorter radius curve one if yo see what I mean.

I've got a similar situation on my layout with a branch curving off in parallel to the main line, by setting it back slightly it stands out as a separate line clearly going somewhere else:



(this is Tomix track BTW).

My layout is about the same size as yours, 3ft/90cm depth is doable but I make most of my scenery "lift-outable" so I can work on it in comfort.
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Offline Knight of the Thistle

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 15658
  • Posts: 17
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2018, 02:42:08 PM »
That's a great suggestion - will incorporate it for sure. Many thanks.

Offline weave

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2401
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2018, 03:19:43 PM »
Hi,

Sounds great and looking forward to more plans and more importantly the build.

Cheers weave  :beers:

Offline Newportnobby

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+63)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 21962
  • Posts: 29980
  • Country: england
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2018, 04:04:45 PM »
I like the look of the plan as it keeps things simple and doesn't use any #4 points. However, UK outline normally means the outer oval is the 'Up' line and runs clockwise so even if I mentally flip your layout through 180 degrees it all seems wrong to me. Also, the plan would look more pleasing if the tracks weren't so parallel to the baseboard edge (something I'm guilty of myself owing to lack of room :-[)
I only mean this is a constructive way!

Offline Knight of the Thistle

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 15658
  • Posts: 17
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 04:44:09 PM »
Thanks Newportnobby! In truth the Up and Down directions are pretty notional and anyway the location is set some distance away from London. I thought it was more logical that the branch would flow in the up direction but it doesn't have to be like that; indeed the main station building is more likely to be located on the up side (though again there are plenty of exceptions to that rule).

Agreed about the parallel tracks to the baseboard - will try to do something about that though space is tight - my aim is that these should be the only straight lines on the layout!

Best wishes,

Matthew

Offline joe cassidy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1423
  • Country: fr
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2018, 06:54:49 PM »
I'd replace the scissors crossing by a simple trailing crossover - simpler, cheaper, and more prototypical.

Best regards,


Joe

Offline Knight of the Thistle

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 15658
  • Posts: 17
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2018, 06:58:50 PM »
Thanks Joe. My problem is that access is needed in both directions to the branch and the bay. Would two adjacent crossovers be more likely?

Offline NeMo

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 23720
  • Posts: 2449
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2018, 07:19:47 PM »
No particular reason you can't mix Kato Unitrack with GWR, and I certainly did for my first proper layout. Didn't entirely work out in the end but the overall effect was reasonable with a bit of extra ballasting and weathering.

I'd imagine to get things looking really GWR-ish, you'd want to invest some time finding out what options you've got for things like lineside fencing, signals, station buildings, mileposts, gradient posts, etc. The track will always look a bit 'wrong' but if the rest of the detailing is right, it's easy enough to overlook.

Cheers, NeMo


Online port perran

  • Larger Gallery
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 9189
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 07:20:42 PM »
I think two simple crossovers would be better.
Either adjacent or, I think better, one at either end of the station.
The crossover looks wrong to me.
In addition, Iíd curve the branchline gently away from the main line so it all looks a bit less symmetrical.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline Knight of the Thistle

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 15658
  • Posts: 17
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2018, 11:48:47 PM »
Thanks Nemo and PP,

Your Kato weathering looks superb; I think once it is done to that standard the sleeper spacing takes its appearance above that of peco code 80.

GWR appears to be fairly well served in terms of line side accessories. I am however struggling to find a suitable station as I would ideally like something a little different. The SD Mouldings station I have is OK, but Iím tempted to try to weld together two ratio stations... failing that I could try to westernise the Kestrel or Peco generic station kits.... but first of all Iím going to try a brass kit I have from Scalelink, which will really stretch my construction skills!

Offline Bealman

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 23151
  • Posts: 14491
  • Country: au
  • Gender: Male
  • Whoops back we go
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2018, 11:55:51 PM »
A very interesting thread. Looking forward to developments!  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Knight of the Thistle

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 15658
  • Posts: 17
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2018, 03:32:01 PM »
Thanks all for your help with this. I've added an updated plan which has the branch line 'branching' off from the main lines a little more - not much but in the space I have it's the most I can get. Also, in case anyone is interested, I've also uploaded some shots from my first layout which used only lightly-weathered unitrack. I was pleased enough with the results at the time, but this time around I'm going to be a bit bolder and by using cork around the edges plan to have all of the plastic base underneath ballast.



















Offline Railwaygun

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 21889
  • Posts: 4176
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
  • Keen on Military Rail, Kato Unitrack, & Z21/DCC
    • Railwaygun, Armoured train and Military Railway group
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2018, 10:26:15 PM »
who says Kato Unitrack is unrealistic??

This has been a public service announcement
It may contain alternative facts

Caveat lector

The largest Railwaygun, Armoured Train & Military Rail group in the world!
https://groups.io/g/railwaygun/topics

My Military Rail Pinterest area
https://uk.pinterest.com/NDRobotnik/

Motto: Semper ubi, sub ubi

Offline GScaleBruce

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 375
  • Country: gb
    • Hillhead & Dales Light Railway blog
    • Awards
Re: Sherston - where 1930s GWR meets Kato Unitrack!
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2018, 10:55:49 AM »
Just an observation - the track plan lacks any sort of run round oportunity, making it impossible for the locomotive on the branch to run round its train, or for a freight train to shunt from the down line. Although I agree that two crossovers are more prototypical than a scissors crossing in that location, to my eye the plan needs a set of points at the left hand side connecting the up main to the branch on the entry to the station. Doing that would also allow you operationally to loop a slow train in the platform while a fast through train passes on the up main.
Bruce
My layout - Steinheim am Main

 

Please Support Us!
December Goal: £55.00
Due Date: Dec 31
Total Receipts: £120.00
Above Goal: £65.00
Site Currency: GBP
218% 
December Donations


Advertise Here