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Author Topic: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968  (Read 824 times)

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Offline icairns

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Could you please start a layout thread? That looks fantastic, and exactly the period and era I'm currently working on!  :thumbsup:

At the request of Bealman, I have started a new thread about my layout ‘Ferryhill’. 

Introduction

‘Ferryhill’ is a double-track, continuous run layout set in the Newcastle / Darlington / York area of the north-east of England (but not based on the real Ferryhill station which was located on the East Coast main line south of Newcastle - I just liked the name). 

The era is loosely set in the period 1955 to 1968 and is a typical steam / diesel transition era model.  The entire layout (including the fiddle yard) is constructed on two baseboards connected end-to-end and has overall dimensions of 8 ft. x 2 ft. 3 in.  The layout is controlled by a DC analogue control system. 

Here is an overall view of the entire layout and fiddle yard.




I emigrated to the United States in the 1980s and the layout was substantially built during the mid-2000s, so it can be considered a mature layout.  My main interests are fiddling about with locos and rolling stock (detailing and weathering, etc.) so ‘Ferryhill’ acts as a kind of glorified test track. 

I consider myself to be an average modeler for such things as baseboard construction, track laying, and electrics (DC), etc.  However, I have no artistic skills so scenery is somewhat basic compared to many of the wonderful layourts that appear in the model railway press. 

At the beginning of 2020, I made a list of all of the projects that I wanted to get completed during the year.  Many of these projects were related to detailing the layout and, fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), many of them have since been completed because of the current lockdown requirements. 



The above photo shows a typical train passing through Ferryhill station.  A Sulzer type 2 (class 24) on a long train of loaded coal hoppers and mineral wagons, complete with a diesel brake tender. 

I will post some more information, and the layout plan, in the near future.

Ian


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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2020, 07:38:06 PM »
Ian I am impressed that will create an impression on @Bealman and @Newportnobby , george and mick. You have managed so far to include a station, tunnel , goods shed  ,loco depot. Maybe a few houses

Offline 37214

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2020, 08:55:36 PM »
I love it; this is very similar to the kind of layout that I would like to build for myself, however, my era of interest is 1985 - 1995. Your layout has given me some ideas.......

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2020, 09:04:05 PM »
Hi @37214 , I'm pretty sure nick @ntpntpntp  has photos of a layout similar in design. Sadly I cannot remember where. However  , your era is up my street. Also love the simple fiddle yard

Offline Bealman

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2020, 09:33:56 PM »
That is brilliant, Ian.  :thumbsup:

I am modelling exactly the same period, use DC, and hail from that part of the world, so it hits all the right buttons with me!

Plus there is another aspect which comes into play here....

My own layout (Beal & Castle Eden) is large and unfinished. It is also a mature layout and has suffered some damage.

Thanks to the encouragement of NGF members, I am attempting restoration and completion, but sometimes I feel like just starting again, with something a lot smaller and easier to maintain.

This last factor is important, as none of us are getting any younger, plus I had pretty complicated medical problems last year which have left me not quite as frisky as I was.

Your wonderful layout could be just what I'm looking for if I do plan a replacement.

One thing, though...  in a nod to rule one, my version would have a Blue Pullman running!!  ;)

Looking forward to the plan and more photos!  :beers:

Edit: I'm intrigued by the 'black box'.... sound unit?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 09:39:45 PM by Bealman »
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2020, 09:35:21 PM »
Cracking job, Ian. Right up Bealman's strasse :D
Some more pics would be appreciated.

I had pretty complicated medical problems last year which have left me not quite as frisky as I was.


Strewth George! Bit too much detail there, old son :o

Offline Bealman

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2020, 09:41:07 PM »
Hung that there as bait. Knew you'd bite  :P
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2020, 09:48:09 PM »
Ah found the link .... https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=49689.0. It shows similarities between your layout and the fine one built by ntp

Offline Bealman

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2020, 10:32:50 PM »
Lots of questions, Ian!

Electrofrog points... do you have switched polarity or do you rely on blade contact?

I notice stud and probe point switching, are you happy with it?

Are the signals operational?

The layout looks like it was built for exhibiting - is that the case? I'm given to believe that exhibitions are a rarity in the USA, although I almost got to one during a visit in 2005.

Do you have any form of automatic uncoupling?

Cheers, George  :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline icairns

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2020, 02:38:53 AM »
I will try to respond to all of your questions and comments.

That is brilliant, Ian.  :thumbsup:

One thing, though...  in a nod to rule one, my version would have a Blue Pullman running!!  ;)

Well, @Bealman, just to make you happy, I do occasionally give my Blue Pullman a run out! 



Actually, it is not totally a Rule One situation.  I have a photo of the Blue Pullman (Western Region set) at West Hartlepool in March 1965 on the occasion of the rugby county championships.


I'm intrigued by the 'black box'.... sound unit?

Yes, the box on the left of the control panel is a box I built to house a MyLocoSound DC sound system.  I’ll give more details about it when I describe the control panel. 

Ah found the link .... https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=49689.0. It shows similarities between your layout and the fine one built by ntp

Yes, there are definitely similarities between ntpntpntp’s exhibition layout (not least of all the angle that the layout photos were taken at!).  ntpntpntp’s layout is bigger 12’-9” x 3’ compared to my 8’ x 2’-3”) but the overall layout concepts are remarkably similar. 

There is one difference - compare the location of ntpntpntp’s control panel to ‘Ferryhill’s’.  I will describe ‘Ferryhill’s’ novel control panel design in the near future. 

Lots of questions, Ian!

Electrofrog points... do you have switched polarity or do you rely on blade contact?

I rely on blade contact and this has proved very satisfactory.  Over the years, I have had very few issues with this approach.  Any minor problems have been resolved by either cleaning the point of contact of the point blade, or very slightly bending it to ensure that it is making full contact with the stock rail.  However, if this layout was designed for exhibition use, then I would probably go for microswitches to switch polarity. 


I notice stud and probe point switching, are you happy with it?

Yes, I am 100% happy with stud and probe point switches.  The studs are by Peco and the probe is from an electronics store.  I have had absolutely no problems with this method of switching points. 


Are the signals operational?

No, the signals are not operational.  They are all from the range of signals by P&D Marsh.  I do not think operating N gauge semaphore signals were on the market when I built ‘Ferryhill’.


The layout looks like it was built for exhibiting - is that the case? I'm given to believe that exhibitions are a rarity in the USA, although I almost got to one during a visit in 2005.

No, the layout was never intended for exhibition use.  It is portable/transportable if necessary (i.e., when we replaced the carpets in the railway room with hardwood floors and we had to move it out of the room and then back in again). 

You are correct about exhibitions in the United States.  In southern California, at least, I do not know of any UK style model railway exhibitions.  Exhibitions in the States tend to be either (a) where a model railway club has built a layout and has an “open house” a couple of times a year.  These layouts can be very large – I know of at least two where the model railway clubs purchased a building and have constructed very large permanent layouts in the building, or (b) “Train Shows” where the primary purpose is to have “box shifters” and swap meet vendors alongside a few model railway layouts.  The N scale layouts at these shows are usually large and modular in design.  However, there are not that many layouts that go to these “Train Shows”, so you tend to see the same layouts frequently. 


Do you have any form of automatic uncoupling?

No, all uncoupling is manual.  The majority of couplings are standard Rapido types with a few buckeyes used on some coaching stock and DMUs to reduce the gaps between coaches.

<Confession Time> I do not often use the layout to the full extent of its capabilities.  A large part of the time I just watch the trains go by.  As I said in my original post, my main interests are locos and rolling stock and often the layout is used a scenic test track. 

Ian


Offline Bealman

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2020, 02:56:38 AM »
Thanks for the very comprehensive answers.  :thumbsup:

I love the BP pic - and it's good to know there's a prototype for everything! Hartlepool is famous for more than just hanging the monkey!  ;D
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2020, 06:12:43 AM »
Love the idea of the pullman on a charter service

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2020, 06:01:21 PM »
Hi @37214 , I'm pretty sure nick @ntpntpntp  has photos of a layout similar in design. Sadly I cannot remember where. However  , your era is up my street. Also love the simple fiddle yard

@crewearpley40  thanks for the link, that layout by ntp looks marvellous; I can but dream......

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2020, 06:08:28 PM »
It was for both ian cairns and 37214 to mull over

Offline icairns

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Re: 'Ferryhill' - Steam/Diesel Transition Era - NE England 1955-1968
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2020, 06:35:25 PM »
SCARM Layout Plan

I recently developed the ‘Ferryhill’ layout plan in SCARM (some 15 years after building the layout) because I wanted to document the design of the layout in a professional manner. 

As previously stated, the layout is constructed on two 4’ long baseboards, connected end-to-end, giving overall dimensions of 8’ x 2’-3”.




When looking at the SCARM plan, it looks like the baseboards are crammed full of track but this thought never occurred to me when building the layout, or even when operating it.

I wonder, if I had developed the SCARM plan first (before constructing the layout instead of the other way around), if I would have modified the track plan in any way?  I guess I will never know.

When originally brainstorming the track plan, I knew I wanted the following features (which have all been included): 

 - Double-track continuous run;
 - Fiddle yard;
 - Station;
 - Goods reception sidings;
 - Goods depot;
 - Loco shed.

Originally, I was planning that the station platforms would be straight (i.e., parallel to the edge of the baseboard).  But just before track laying, I decided that having the station on a curve would be more visually interesting at the expense of having to make a slightly more complicated platform design.  I have never regretted this decision and watching trains as they sweep through the station has vindicated this track change. 

I hope this gives an understanding of the plan.  I realize that certain elements of the track plan may not be fully prototypical, but it did allow me to incorporate all of the features that I wanted to see (an advantage of a freelance design). 

Next: I will describe the control panel and the DC sound system.

Ian


 

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