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Author Topic: West Somerset Railway  (Read 222 times)

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Offline Nebucanezza

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West Somerset Railway
« on: January 10, 2019, 08:41:38 PM »
Hi all,

I'm starting planning my main layout, which will probably be based on the West Somerset Railway.  In the next few months I hope to take delivery of my son's current bedroom (don't worry we're building a new one for him), so the dreaming has started...

The room layout dimensions are here:



And here is my first attempt at fitting in Minehead and Bishop's Lydeard…



Clearly the boards would need adjusting and it seems like a really poor use of space.  Plus if there was a derailment in the bottom left corner, the train would have to be abandoned forever!

The next iteration is here...



This leaves the bottom left of the room completely unused (and not really useable) but does give a big loop and I quite like the helix and idea of the layout being multi-level. Trains coming out of Bishop's Lydeard at the bottom of the picture would travel down the helix and then under Minehead before climbing back up behind Minehead station.  Similarly there is a long slope behind Bishop's Lydeard station, allowing continuous running without having to pass through any stations.

I also like the idea of modelling Kingswear, so this variant of the layout replaces Bishop's Lydeard with a version of Kingswear, which is based on the Peco Settrack book.



This is very much work in progress but makes better use of the space methinks.  Again, the line behind Minehead would slope down, with the lower level at the top of the diagram this time.  Although the lower level currently ends under Minehead station, this will probably end in a return loop and fiddle yard beneath Kingswear.

For info, I've got mostly GWR stock from my current layout Churchstanton (also on the forum), with a couple of BR locos. All of my engines or similar members of their class have at some point visited the WSR, but would probably also be at home in Kingswear (except maybe the 4f).  I plan to reuse the Signal box and Water tower from Churchstanton, as well as my NCE Power cab and a USB adaptor, which I have used to control trains with a raspberry Pi and JMRI.

Would love to hear others' views, opinions and especially suggestions.  I've got several months before I can take control of my train room, so this will be slow burn but I'd like to get a good track plan soon, so I can then start thinking about electrickery and stuff!

Offline Chuffington

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Re: West Somerset Railway
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 10:14:18 PM »
Looks like you have a nice size area for your layout.
Are you going to be able to reach into the corners of the bottom left section ? Looks like quite a stretch !

Offline Nebucanezza

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Re: West Somerset Railway
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2019, 10:39:37 PM »
Now I feel I might be starting to get somewhere.  Back to the Minehead to Bishop's Lydeard idea but with Minehead and Bishop's Lydeard along the same wall but with Minehead 15cm/ 6'' higher, to create the notion that these are two separate stations.  This will allow me to create a lot of scenery as the branch line rolls down hill to Bishop's Lydeard (not true to life!) and I can also choose to create scenery around the lower level loop including the fiddle yard at a later date.



I also reduced the with of the boards in some places to help with reaching hard to get to places.  At most they are 2' wide.

Any thoughts/ suggestions welcome.

Offline TalyllynJon

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Re: West Somerset Railway
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 11:49:42 PM »
Sounds like an interesting project - the WSR has always been dear to my heart (as a 3 year old I travelled on the last BR train and, courtesy of my dad, I've been a member of the West Somerset Railway Association since day 1). Phase 2 of my own layout (realistically not something that will happen anytime soon - what with Phase 1 still being mostly in my head!) will be a model of Blue Anchor station in the late 70s/early 80s (I'm guessing there's not much chance of Dapol announcing the Bagnall tanks Victor and Vulcan as their next release!!!). I've been toying with two different locations on split levels with my own layout plans, so if you do go down that route it would be interesting to see how it turns out. My worry has been how to do it so that the two locations are clearly separate models but without a having really ugly divide between them. On your plan I think my head would be unable to cope with Minehead, which is obviously at sea level, being placed above Bishop's Lydeard! - but that may just be me. Scenically I'd be tempted to try to capture something of the sweep of Blue Anchor Bay - in a highly condensed form and working on the assumption that the model is set in an alternate universe where Butlins never happened!

Offline Chuffington

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Re: West Somerset Railway
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 09:55:55 AM »
Why not put the fiddle yard on the narrower section at the bottom left and put the other station where you currently have the fiddle yard ? This way the 2 stations would be distinctly separate and allow for completely different settings and also you have enough space between them to allow for gradient changes.

Offline Nebucanezza

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Re: West Somerset Railway
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 10:24:41 PM »
Hmm I've had a play around in SCARM and I'm struggling to get Chuffington's suggestions to work without making a couple of compromises, that I don't really want to make.

First, I don't want to compress the station any further, so to fit in in the top right, it has to go in at an angle.  This alone is okay (although not ideal) but then I want to have an oval to allow continuous running, so I still need to keep Minehead higher than Bishop's Lydeard, to preserve some difference between the Minehead terminus and the oval.  Thing is, if I keep Minehead 150mm higher than Bishop's Lydeard, I would need a gradient that is steeper than 2.4%, which is the "green zone" according to SCARM.  Taking Minehead down to 100mm above the oval is still slightly too high.

Ideally I will want to run 7 coach trains behind a Farish 4F and Farish castle, so judging by some of the comments in other parts of the forum, any gradient will need to be as shallow as possible!

I think the original ideal with a mini backscene behind Bishop's Lydeard station would work. In reality there is a factory/ warehouse running behind the main platform/ station building.  Old pictures show it used to be shielded by conifers, so some kind of low relief factory with possibly some trees would work quite well to breakup the two stations.

I think I will revisit Bishop's Lydeard station as the point work doesn't look quite right to me, having looked at satelite images and tinternet. I'll then have another play around to see if/ how it fits anywhere else.

 

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