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Author Topic: Broadstone Junction - modern layout of Dorset station closed by you-know-who.  (Read 1140 times)

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Offline Thebaz

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About...
First up, I’m a novice who has re-kindled an interest about 30 years afters I last had one; but I have never built a model railway before, not a proper one anyway. Even as a kid it was just a simple Hornby HST train set oval banged into hardboard with no scenery. So obviously then it is my aim to go from novice to exhibition standard layout in one year…. should be easily achievable, especially with all the help I’ve been getting from NGF members!  ;)  I meant to start writing this up ages ago as I was going along but I‘ve been too busy actually building the thing to sit at a PC and type up til now.

Layout concept
My layout is based (as much as possible) on Broadstone on the S&DJR which is a station I’ve always wanted to model after going on a Scout camp there way back when. Space limitations with current living arrangements have meant that the true length of the station platforms will not be conveyed, and there are also curves with unrealistic radii, but I have designed it in a way which will allow for possible future extensions along the length should a more ideal space be found. Many of you will know that the layout of this junction station is the meeting of 4 lines, so it was fairly challenging even working out how I was going to fit all the trackwork in - even then I’ve had to take some licence with the actual junction design, though in truth the assumption is that the junction has been straightened and re-laid to allow for greater speed through the station  ;)

Unlike many prototype layouts we see which are based in the halcyon days, this one assumes that the lines never closed and is based totally in the modern era giving me license to feature rolling stock from a variety of TOCs (SWT, GWR, Virgin, some freight, some loco-hauled specials). This will mean modelling such classes as  158/9, 170, 220, 450, even a 4CIG (yes I’m going to be modelling the third rail and associated accoutrements). I will also be re-liverying a number of units with the help of Captain Electra’s vinyls.

Example services will include a Virgin-operated ‘Pines Express’; electric SWT services from Wimborne to Waterloo and a “metro” between Brockenhurst, Ringwood and Bournemouth along the “Castleman Corkscrew”; SWT  DMU service between Weymouth and Salisbury via Wimborne and West Moors; GWR semi-fast and stopping services between Bournemouth, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff; a heritage EMU between Wimborne and Swanage! Hell, I may even model a class 377 eventually (maybe Southern can run a service from Brighton...!) The layout and service patterns work to the following assumptions: all lines are electrified except true S&D north of Broadstone and West Moors to Salisbury; Bournemouth West and Bath Green Park are closed along with a number of the smaller stations particularly between Broadstone and Blandford and between Evercreech Jcn and Highbridge; I’ve adopted the New S&DJR proposed route into Bath via Monkton Combe (don’t ask why, I just have!); and most of the S&D line has been doubled and re-engineered for up to 100mph running.

Believe it or not I’ve spent a not inconsiderable amount of time with timetable spreadsheets trying to work out how to funnel all of this plus freight through such a bottleneck. And some iterations pre-date layout conception by several years!

Current rolling stock
1x Dapol 5 car Virgin cross-country class 220
1x Grafar 2 car SWT class 170
1x Grafar 4 car SWT class 450 (converted from class 350)
1x Grafar 3 car GWR class 158 (converted from a modern EMT 158 and half an older RR dummy set) See attachment for conversion pics.
1x 4CIG heritage green
On order
1x Grafar 4 car LMR class 350 (to be converted to class 450, possibly with up-to-date SWR livery)
To acquire
1x Grafar 2 car class 158 (for conversion to 3 car GWR livery along with other half of RR dummy set)
Other modern(ish) DMUs (to convert to SWT and/or GWR liveries)
A couple of modern locos and freight wagons of some description

It is also my intention to kit build a 1980s/90s EMU and DMU fleet so I can take the layout back in time 30 years if I want to ;-)

Offline Thebaz

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Build progress
So to start documenting…

Space was always the governing factor and the layout also needed to be light so it could be passed up into the loft when I wasn’t working on it. I planned my baseboard design and fixings  after getting advice on this here forum, drawing it up in AutoCAD. I plumped for insulation-type extruded polystyrene as my baseboard but this changed when I got to Wickes and realised it wasn’t going to fit in the car and that they had no cutting equipment on site. Thus I suddenly found myself with two 2.3m long 0.6m wide lengths of expanded polystyrene which I had to snap the ends off to get in the car anyway (once back home I glued them back together again). I also bought 2m lengths of 5mm ply and a jigsaw and set to work building the frame using PVA glue to hold it together. Ordered some pattern makers dowels and adjustable latches to make sure the boards would come together correctly.

Several weeks later the boards were built and painted and I hadn’t had many disasters. This was the trickiest bit over with, or so I thought.

Offline Thebaz

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The next thing to contend with was the fact that I hadn’t actually planned to build this layout at all. I had a previous layout plan which I’d bought all the track for and now had to try and flog. Luckily I recovered about 70% the cost of the pointwork. Whilst designing Broadstone Junction on SCARM I was forced into the realisation that to accommodate what I wanted I was going to have to use A LOT of flexible track (in red on plan); also the pointwork would have to feature a double slip which would give me endless headaches whilst trying to figure out the electrics.

After asking for wiring advice on NGF it became clear I was going to have to learn about some wheeze called “cab control” which hitherto I’d never heard of, but would form the fundamental operational basis of the layout. So I added section breaks to the design.

Offline Thebaz

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Once I was happy with where all the track was going to go I plotted it at 1:1 scale, stuck all the individual sheets together with tape and then split it lengthways so I could work out where to lay the track on each half of the board.

I also cut all the individual pieces of flexi-track to size and numbered them.

I was amazed to see that my printed plots matched my board size, so I did a few check measurements to be sure and began laying the easiest bits of track.


Offline jpendle

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Looks interesting.

BTW are you aware that Grafar are doing a 450, and a newly tooled 158?

Regards,

John P
Check out my layout thread.

Contemporary NW (Wigan Wallgate and North Western)

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Offline Thebaz

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 I tried to remember to put in the section breaks and electrical feeds but I wasn’t always successful in this regard and had to go back and put in a few as an afterthought. I glued the track down as a temporary measure with copydex which was strong enough to hold the track in position and weak enough to allow me to pull bits up for re-positioning. In order to hold the tight flexible radii I pushed in masonry nails at tangent points in addition to the glue.  I started work initially on the fiddleyard side as I did not care what it looked like and would give me plenty of practice for laying the scene side of the board, which I obviously wanted to look as good as possible. My intention was to use surface-mounted servos for point motors on the fiddleyard side, whereas on the scene side I wanted the point motors to be hidden under the board.

Offline Thebaz

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Once the fiddleyard side was complete came the tricky bit of getting the track across the baseboard joins correct. My method was to lay all the track on scene side, ensuring positional accuracy, glue the crossing pieces down with strong PVA and trim them at the threshold the following morning. On first attempt only some of it had gone well ie the straight bits. What didn’t go well was where I had to xuron through a tight flexi-track radius, the issue of course being that even though it had been glued the rails started to spring back. To resolve this I found a couple of pieces of setrack which were more-or-less the same radius and laid them. I had to slightly reposition some of the scene-side track to achieve this but it worked out pretty well on the whole. This time the trimmed curves held their position.




Offline Thebaz

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Laying all the scene-side track in this way was also necessary so that I could accurately locate where to place the cutouts for my turnout motors. So a large chunk of the work at this time involved me laying the junction, marking it out, and then removing it all again to cut out holes. As I understand it polystyrene has a deleterious effect on pvc wire coverings, so during this phase I also introduced paper straws as the conduit for carrying electrical feeds through the polystyrene. 

Offline Thebaz

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And this is where I currently am in terms of the physical build. I have also now created a “modular” type circuit diagram for my electronics and ordered all the motors and switches for the scene-side operation. Fiddleyard can be manual turnouts for now.

As the turnout motors and polarity switches will be under the track in hollows in the board they will have to be installed at the same time as the track. There is absolutely no way I could solder them in that position. So the next steps for me are:

1) practice my soldering so I can make a good join (not had much luck with this so far despite religiously following all advice and watching several videos.)
2) solder wires to all motors (PL10s) and switches (PL13s)
3) attach soldered motor/switch combos to turnouts
4) re-lay junction track permanently
5) convert modular circuit diagram into physical reality.
6) wire-up
7) test and hope it all works.
8 spend months fixing all the problems I’ve created with novice workmanship

And a bit further into the future
9) ballasting
10) third-rail modelling
11) station building (from scratch based on prototype photos)
12) motorising fiddleyard turnouts.
13) all the rest of the scenery detail - inc. signaling and lighting
14) etc

Offline Thebaz

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Looks interesting.

BTW are you aware that Grafar are doing a 450, and a newly tooled 158?

Regards,

John P

Thanks John. I am aware that Grafar are doing a 450, but it's not supposed to be available until Dec 2020 and I bet you any money it's delayed too. Also expecting the price to be around the £350 mark and since I've got hold of two 350's and sets of vinyls for under £250 I may give that a miss - will have to see if I'm feeling flush at the time. A new tooled 158 could be good - if they do one of my required liveries!

Online Newportnobby

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What a great intro to a layout that will be, by the sounds of it, multi coloured worm heaven :D
As some other members have done, I'd suggest you keep hard copies of all your progress posts in order to create a diary you can look back on with pride (and amusement!)

Offline Dorsetmike

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I modelled Broadstone about 16 years ago, (I've since had a few more layouts rarely completed for one reason or another including moved house). My parents had a bungalow which backed onto the station about level with the footbridge back in the 1960s, I also worked in Broadstone for a couple of years around 1950.

In those days there were 4 platforms, although the line to Hamworthy was singled in the 1930s quite a bit of the old up line was used as a carriage siding.

I note you've included the crossover on the Wimborne line, I cheated and used a slip at the S&D down line junction, the rest of the track was to prototype including headshunt and goods yard

This was my junction, the slip mentioned marked by green box



Cheers MIKE
(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)


How many roads must a man walk down ... ... ... ... ... before he knows he's lost!

Offline Thebaz

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What a great intro to a layout that will be, by the sounds of it, multi coloured worm heaven :D
As some other members have done, I'd suggest you keep hard copies of all your progress posts in order to create a diary you can look back on with pride (and amusement!)

Thanks! Yes, hard copies. Good point - I will do that.

Offline LASteve

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10) third-rail modelling


When you get around to the third-rail, I've been playing around with different approaches to this both on my previous layout and on my test layout prior to laying the track on the new one. Basically there are two methods, both of which use Code 40 rail (I got mine pre-weathered, it's the same price).

The first method (also discussed in the NGS "BR Blue" special) is to use pieces of IRJ for the chairs holding the rail. Basically, you snip the IRJ either side of the insulating middle, giving you two chairs per IRJ. You glue these to the sleepers (one every six or seven depending on your patience), give them a dab of dirty white paint and when you're ready thread the Code 40 rail through them. I used that method on my first layout and it looked OK.

The second method (I saw an example of this on an exhibition layout at TINGS last year) is to use track pins for the chairs and solder the Code 40 rail on top of them. My soldering skills are definitely not up to that kind of fine work, so I experimented and came up with what I thought was a good variant, which is using Superglue rather than solder. I drill holes in the sleepers (every seventh one) with a pin vice, push the track pins through and snip them off underneath. Again some dirty white paint to set things up, then I rough up the tops of the pins and the bottom of the Code 40 rail and glue the rail in place. You do need to be patient when you're working on curved track but I think the effect is better than the IRJs.

I do need to look at some prototypes of the rail on pointwork, I've got a couple of slightly complex junctions in my sidings, but that's the basis of it.

Offline Thebaz

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I modelled Broadstone about 16 years ago, (I've since had a few more layouts rarely completed for one reason or another including moved house). My parents had a bungalow which backed onto the station about level with the footbridge back in the 1960s, I also worked in Broadstone for a couple of years around 1950.

In those days there were 4 platforms, although the line to Hamworthy was singled in the 1930s quite a bit of the old up line was used as a carriage siding.

I note you've included the crossover on the Wimborne line, I cheated and used a slip at the S&D down line junction, the rest of the track was to prototype including headshunt and goods yard

This was my junction, the slip mentioned marked by green box



Hi Mike, interesting to hear from someone who has previously modelled Broadstone, and from a local perspective!

Yes, I kept the crossover to allow trains to run from the Hamworthy single line to up Wimborne and eliminate wrong-side running, otherwise I would have had to have two double slips and I thought that was a bit excessive for a first layout! In a previous design I had also made use of the eastern sidings pathway as a kind-of one-way easement from down Wimborne to down Poole to allow simultaneous movements from down Bath to down Hamworthy through the double slip but I figured it wasn't really necessary. In this incarnation I've rationalised the sidings completely, but you never know, they may be brought back for added interest. I will be modelling all 4 platforms you mention including a derelict platform 4 complete with the overgrown trackbed of the former up Hamworthy line - I love a good disused trackbed almost as much as live one ;D so I look forward to getting my teeth into that.

Cheers.


 

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