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Author Topic: Teignbridge, Langstone & Holcombe- early '60s BR, 4x2 with multiple scenic areas  (Read 58944 times)

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Offline E Pinniger

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This is the N gauge layout I'm currently working on - I built the baseboard a few months ago, and started tracklaying last month, so it's definitely in its very early stages! It doesn't have a name yet - but the location will be the West Country in the BR transitional era.
It's pretty small in size at 4x2ft (actually a bit over 2ft in width, around 25-26in) and designed to be lightweight and easily portable. The trackplan is based around a double-track oval (three tracks in the stations) on a baseboard divided laterally into two separate scenic sections - there's no fiddle yard. One side will be occupied by a largeish town station, loosely based on Exeter Central, with yard and sheds, and the other side will have a rural/coastal junction station. Occupying the intermediate space is a small branch line.

Apologies for the long and possibly rather rambling initial posts - as the layout is rather an odd setup I thought it'd be worth explaining the background behind it! But to summarise, I'll take a cue from other layout construction threads on this forum and post a list of the features and objectives I had in mind when planning and building the layout:

- Compact (able to fit on a smallish table) and easily portable (light and structurally robust, single baseboard)
- Representing main-line operations, plus local freight/industry and branch line operations as secondary features
- Using the entire baseboard, divided laterally into two separate scenic "modules" separated by tunnels, with a smaller high-level module for the branch line
- As much operating potential as possible, with two main line tracks, multiple stations, yards and sidings
- Giving plenty of opportunity for structure and scenery modelling, with both urban and rural locations, railway and town/village structures
- No fiddle yard as such, but some concealed storage sidings
- Wired with every section and siding having its own power feed and isolating switch, to simplify operation and reduce dependence on points for power supply/isolation
- Minimum budget, using second-hand track and rolling stock, buildings and infrastructure scratchbuilt, baseboard made from offcuts

This thread isn't intended to be a comprehensively detailed "build log" with step-by-step photos of every addition. However, I'm hoping to post updates when I make significant changes/additions (the next one will probably be when I've made a start on laying the station yard track, and/or finished some more buildings).


Like many no doubt, I had an OO train set as a kid (an 8x4 double-track oval); in my teens I built an N-gauge layout which was an end-to-end setup; I remember it never ran very well! The track, stock and buildings ended up being given to a neighbour to build a railway for his grandsons. I then abandoned railway modelling for many years, but more recently (the last 5-6 years) I've become interested in O16.5 narrow gauge (7mm scale on OO track). I built a compact 3'x20" layout, with a loop and a couple of sidings, divided into two scenic sections. You can see some photos of it here, mostly of locos/stock: http://s927.photobucket.com/albums/ad118/EPinniger/Model%20photos/Railway/7mm%20narrow%20gauge/ Most are rather old, I've made some additions since then. It's a gravel/sand railway preserved as a passenger-carrying line (like Leighton Buzzard). I'm now planning to rebuild this layout (reusing the buildings etc.) on a larger 4'x2'6" baseboard, with a few more sidings and buildings, shallower curves on the main loop, and, just as importantly, better and more reliable electrical wiring!

I've always liked the character of narrow gauge railways, along with the ability to be more creative with modelling rather than strictly following prototype practice - but nevertheless, I've always liked the idea of building a standard-gauge layout. I have to admit that if it weren't for limited available space combined with the desire to build a main-line layout rather than a small branch terminus, I'd never have considered N gauge - apart from the size/detail advantages of OO gauge, second-hand locos and stock are generally much cheaper and more readily available in the larger scale, and usually much better runners (with the exception of Minitrix, it's only recently that RTR N gauge locos have matched OO for running quality) - very significant factors for a budget modeller.
However, after building a few N gauge models and repainting a few items of stock, I've found I really enjoy the challenge of modelling, detailing and painting in the smaller scale.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 06:33:33 PM by E Pinniger »

Offline E Pinniger

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Here's a trackplan diagram of my N gauge layout, created with SCARM (http://www.scarm.info/index_en.html). The blue and green tracks aren't laid yet, and probably won't be the exact setup I use; I haven't yet decided on the track plan for the station yards. The grey bit is the branch incline.
The diagram is only an approximate one, as SCARM is fairly finicky about track alignment and I had to modify some things to get the tracks to all join up!

It's not the most conventional of setups and probably isn't what most people would choose to build on a 4x2 baseboard - it is (regardless of the scenic divides) very cramped, and the trackplan involves a lot of selective compression, non-scale curves and non-prototypical track arrangements. However, it does pack a huge amount of operating potential, along with a lot of opportunities for structure scratchbuilding and scenery modelling, into a small space, and that's more or less what I want!

The layout has a trackplan heavily inspired by this layout in the February 2006 issue of Railway Modeller. (Named "Thomas's Railway" it was built by Nicholas Graham; all credit for the basic idea should go to him!)



It's an ingenious setup which basically develops a standard "train set oval" layout, via the use of scenic divides and two height levels, into something far more realistic-looking whilst still having plenty of track, stations and infrastructure. The layout is divided into three separate scenic areas - a large town station on one side, and a rural junction station on the other, with a branch line terminus on a higher level above one of the two tunnels.

Reading this article a few years ago was an inspiration for me, as (despite being mainly a narrow-gauge fan) I've always thought I'd like to build a standard-gauge layout, but wanted more than simple tail-chaser or terminus to fiddle-yard setup; at the same time I had neither the space nor the inclination for a room-filling, multi-baseboard layout, I wanted something compact and portable. The RM layout showed that the two weren't necessarily incompatible!

The OO trackplan is 10x5, which in N gauge is slightly too large for the space I had available as well as getting towards the size limit for a compact, portable layout, so rather than copying the original I created a slightly smaller, scaled-down version which would fit onto a 4x2 baseboard. It keeps the same basic setup of a double-track main line oval with a station either side and a high level branch line, but the track plans for the stations and their yards are completely different (with a lot less points and sidings) and the main station's engine and carriage shed will be shallow-relief structures acting as the entrance to storage sidings under the branch line.


I'm planning to scratchbuild all of the railway-related structures on the layout - and at least some of the town/village buildings - based on real-life prototypes where possible, using Ratio and Slaters textured styrene. Not what everyone would choose to do, but a major reason for building this layout was to give me the opportunity to do plenty of structure and scenery scratchbuilding, which I enjoy and which my O16.5 narrow gauge layout (see below) doesn't give quite as much opportunity to do! It will probably take some years to complete all the buildings, but I'm not in a rush to get it finished.
Some railway infrastructure like signals and water tanks/cranes will also be scratchbuilt or kitbashed, but I'll definitely be using some commercial kits as well (I've already picked up some cheap second-hand Ratio kits, such as their large water tank which will be ideal for the main station yard)

Similarly, all of the locos and rolling stock will be repainted and weathered (in the case of coaches and some locos, only partial repainting, leaving the original finish on the sides and repainting the roof, ends and chassis), in some cases with scratchbuilt detailing like handrails, vacuum pipes and lamp brackets. These help greatly to improve the realism and reduce the chunky, toylike look of many earlier N gauge models.


As mentioned above, the layout's location will be based on the West Country, particularly central/east Devon and west Somerset. After my local area (Great Western main line, Berkshire/Oxfordshire) this is the railway region I'm most familiar with, due to many family holidays in the area, and trips on the West Somerset, South Devon and Dart Valley railways. The south Devon GWR main line in particular has a geography quite suited to my layout, with numerous tunnels and sandstone cliffs! Whilst the GWR might be considered an overmodelled subject, this region allows Southern trains to be run as well along with long-distance holiday and freight traffic from further afield.
 
The era is the BR transitional period; I chose this era not for nostalgia reasons (I grew up in the BR Blue/Network Southeast era) but to allow me to run the greatest variety of available locos and stock! Modern-image railway modelling has never interested me much anyway, I much prefer steam and early diesels.

As well as occupying a minimum space, I've also tried to minimise the project's impact on my wallet/bank balance! (as well as railway modelling, I'm also interested in R/C model boats and tabletop wargaming, both of which can get quite expensive). The baseboard is entirely built from wood and ply offcuts, and all of the track is second-hand. All locos and most of the rolling stock are also second-hand. eBay has been invaluable here as there are no railway exhibitions or fairs/swapmeets in my area at the moment! It's a lot harder to find bargains on eBay compared to the latter, but I've still made a few finds, such as a Minitrix "Warship" for under 25 (in perfect working condition despite its age, like many Minitrix products). Worn or badly repainted stock seems to be the best way to get a bargain if, as I am, you're prepared to paint it yourself!

Offline E Pinniger

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Finally, here are some photos of the layout itself. A lot of it is rather amateurish-looking, but It's my first attempt at building a model railway layout of any complexity and I've been learning baseboard building, track laying and wiring as I go along!



Here's a photo of the first stage of track laying. All of the main line is in place, along with a single storage siding and the points for future expansion. The power socket (a Gaugemaster controller plugs into this) and isolating switch banks are also fitted.

The baseboard is constructed from a rectangle of 3mm plywood on a framework of pine (all offcuts found in the garage), all held together with brass furniture screws. The ply is a bit thinner than ideal, but once assembled onto the frame it seems to have more than enough rigidity for tracklaying, and keeps the weight down.
The other wooden structural parts (upper level and tunnels) were made from ply offcuts and fixed together with aliphatic wood glue (of the type used for model boat building). This is similar to PVA but gives an extremely strong and much more waterproof join. All the angles and joints are reinforced with square wood strip (mostly from salvaged November 5th rocket sticks!).
Much of the woodwork for the upper level and tunnels is pretty rough-looking (not helped by being cut up and modified extensively after construction!) but it's structurally sound, and will all be covered up by scenic modelling or shallow-relief buildings later on; the actual baseboard is as neat and square as I could make it, given the materials I was using.






And here are some photos of the layout as it is currently (August 2012). The woodwork for the upper level and tunnels is now in place, and the branch line track has been laid as far as the top of the incline (since taking these photos, it's been relaid to give a smoother and less sharp curve). The two holes in the upper level baseboard are over the location for the shed storage sidings;  once the track for these is laid they'll be covered over, though the engine shed one (near the branch terminus) will probably be made removable as it won't have any track laid on top.
The scenic divide will run along the edge of the high level section (on the side facing the town); similarly, along with all other scenic elements, it won't be added until I've finished tracklaying!


The track is all laid on cork tiling, which will be covered with ballast material later on to give a raised ballast effect. With the exception of the initial curve on the branch line, all of the track is second-hand - mostly Peco with a few points and set curves from Trix, Bachmann etc. Much of the track was picked up at a car boot sale; the rest, including most of the points, was bought on eBay.




The electrical wiring is not a pretty sight, though I've seen worse! (Since taking the photo, I've added clips to hold down most of the wiring runs, so it's a bit neater-looking). The controller socket is in the lower right hand corner, connector boxes are used to split these into the power feeds for each track section, the positive wires for which go through the isolating switches.

I've used a somewhat unconventional (though not unique, I've heard of other layouts using it and think it's mentioned in Cyril Freezer's book) wiring setup, where every section of track is isolated from the others and has its own power feed and switch. "Section" in this case means each individual siding or station/shed road, plus each main line is divided into four sections (two station platforms, left and right hand loop), along with four sections on the branch line. Where a point occurs in the middle of a section, there's a power feed either side (except at the station crossovers on the main line, where this setup would cause a short when a loco crossed over from one section to the other).

The main reason for this was to compensate for the grotty second-hand points I'm using - with this system, you aren't dependent on points making good contact (which many of mine don't!) to supply the track with power. But it also makes the layout a lot easier to operate with multiple locos/trains; it's quick and easy (at least, it will be once I've made proper labels for the switch banks!) to "switch off" one train and switch on another.
So far, the system seems to work very well; trains run smoothly and reliably (far better than I remember my old end-to-end N layout doing) with only a couple of dodgy points which I'm intending on replacing soon. eBay was again very helpful here as I found a seller with SPDT toggle switches at 10 for 5; I got all the switches I need for not much more than the cost of a single new point!

More photos soon (closeups of the layout sections, plus some buildings and trains) once I've done a writeup for the photos.

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Wow! That's one helluva introduction to your layout, and I have to congratulate you on your choice of location, your era, and what you have managed to produce within a very small space and budget :claphappy:

I must admit to being quite concerned about the sharpness of your incline but hey, if you have run trains up it without any issues, it works! You also have some very small radius curves but providing you are choosing the right stock there shouldn't be any problems (I found I could run 6 axle diesels round 1st radius curves but was a bit more limited with steam locos).

I'm quite sure you have thought of gaining access to any hidden tracks as Modellers Law dictates that's where mishaps will occur ::)

In the meantime, I wish you all the best with this, your first standard gauge layout in N and I look forward to seeing how it develops :wave:

Offline longbridge

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I agree with Nobby thats a helluva great start to a small layout, looking forward to seeing future developments  :thumbsup:
Keep on Smiling
Dave.

Offline tim-pelican

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It looks a very clever plan, but some of those curves and inclines scare the bejeezus out of me.  Mine are 1st radius on a 1-in-25 (4%) slope, so around 4' to climb the 2" needed to cross the underlying track.  Yours look like they're doing it in, what, about a foot and a half?  Impressed you're making it work, it's getting a lot into a small space.

Offline E Pinniger

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Thanks for the replies! I'll post some more photos later today (hopefully).

Regarding the curves, the branch line track has been relaid since I took the photos above and now has a much more even
and slightly shallower curve (my initial attempt was horrible and almost nothing could be persuaded to run round it) Though it's still quite a bit under 9" radius, 0-6-0s and bogie diesels can get round it with no problem, as can all my rolling stock. The gradient is still steep and locomotives with poor traction (Lima are the worst) struggle, but Minitrix and newer Farish/BachFar can pull a train up it without much difficulty. It goes from baseboard height to about 75mm in about 90cm of track, which would make the gradient around 1 in 12 I think.

The curves on the main oval, whilst still far too sharp for prototype practice, are all 9" or greater (some of them use Setrack) and don't give any trouble. The longest wheelbase non-bogie loco I've run so far is a SR S15 2-6-0 (built by my father many years ago with a white metal body on a Minitrix chassis, it's a very nice model but unfortunately a lousy runner due to damaged pickups, so it mostly stays on the display shelf) which, when it can be persuaded to run, runs fine around both main line tracks.
I suspect, from what I've read on this forum, that newer models of large steam locos (such as the Dapol A4) may have problems, but currently my budget doesn't really run to 100+ locos!

The baseboard above the hidden tracks for the engine shed (below the branch terminus) will be removable as there will be no track running over it, but the goods (or carriage?) shed tracks will have to be covered over as the branch line goes directly over the top; these tracks will be for rolling stock only, I'll put a section break in the track at the entrance to prevent locos from going in. In the worst case, any derailed wagons can be extracted via the holes cut in the baseboard underside!

Offline E Pinniger

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More photos:





This is the "town" side of the main line, the right-hand 60% or so of which will be occupied by the station , its yard and sheds, the remainder by an industry of some kind (possibly a brewery) to act as a source of traffic, plus town buildings modelled in half and shallow relief. The station will be loosely based on Exeter Central, with the main building on a road overbridge at one end; this, along with the bridge itself, will conceal the right-hand tunnel entrance along with the fact that (to accommodate the track curves) the platforms are too short!

The two currently unused "tunnels" are the location for the yard's engine and goods shed; as previously mentioned, these will be modelled in relief (not really enough room for complete ones) with the tracks extended under the upper level.  The engine shed will have 3 roads and probably be based on that at Exeter St. Davids, which was only a 4-road shed so not too much scaling down is needed. Exeter Central's shed (Exmouth Junction) was one of the SR's main MPDs with about 12 roads, so isn't suitable for such a compact site!







The other side of the main line represents a rural junction station. This will also have its own yard and shed(s), but a bit more of this side than the other will be occupied by scenery and non-railway buildings. I haven't yet decided on a prototype to base the station on, but I'm thinking of the south Devon coast; the steep sandstone cliffs and numerous tunnels here are ideally suited!



The third section of the layout is the branch line. This will represent a light railway built to serve a granite quarry on the edge of Dartmoor (think Meldon Quarry near Okehampton, though this was served by the SR main line) with passenger traffic as a secondary function. Architecture and trains will be heavily inspired by both the West Somerset Mineral Railway and Col. Stephens' various light railways! It will have a couple of small locos (Minitrix LMS dock shunter and Grafar GER J67) and a train of 4-wheel coaches of its own, but BR trains will also run on the branch.



The branch leaves the main line at this point, climbing a steep gradient and curving round to pass over the main line, before climbing another slightly shallower gradient and levelling off at about 7.5cm above baseboard height. The curve at this point was originally pretty awful (see above); my inexperience with tracklaying, combined with not having enough long pieces of Flexitrack, meant that I laid it using a mixture of Setrack curves and short Flexi sections, resulting in a large number of kinks (both lateral and vertical) and excessively sharp angles. Last week I relaid it completely, using a single section of new Flexitrack, giving a continuous smooth curve. This is, so far, the only piece of new track on the layout, but at under 3 it was a very worthwhile investment!



With the original track, only the tiniest locos (Minitrix LMS dock tank, Grafar GER J67, probably the Dapol Terrier and 14xx), pulling wagons or 4-wheeled coaches, could negotiate the curve; now, a Jinty or pannier tank pulling a couple of bogie coaches will easily run around it, and some larger locos like the 4F can also manage it! A railcar or DMU should have no problem, though I don't have one yet (either are at the top of my "wanted list" for future rolling stock additions)







Here are a few photos of the relaid branch section. It still has (from necessity) a very steep gradient, which locos with poor traction (Lima in particular!) can't cope with, especially when pulling a train; but Minitrix and newer Grafar/Bachfar have no problems.
The rest of the track will have to wait until I've laid the tracks for the main station's goods shed, which run underneath the branch line - a section of the branch "baseboard" has been left off to provide easier access for tracklaying.



The branch will have a halt with occupational crossing at the halfway point, and a couple of small underbridges over streams. The terminus station will be a typical light railway setup with minimal infrastructure and sidings, and wood or corrugated iron station buildings; along a siding with loading bay for the stone/granite traffic which is the line's main source of income! There should also be enough room for some shallow-relief village buildings.

Online Newportnobby

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I really would try and ease that gradient up and over the main line from the rural station area. Although you are getting trains over it, that's a horrible kink at the transition from baseboard level onto the gradient.
Can I suggest you look at the minimum clearance you need to pass over the main line and see if you can slacken the 1 in 12? :o (not meant as criticism, more a suggestion)

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My only pece of advice is to make the slope on the gradient longer... A lot of the new farish units wouldn't make that towing a two car train, DMUs included as they now only have one power bogey!! I found this out the hard way!!

Online Zwilnik

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My only pece of advice is to make the slope on the gradient longer... A lot of the new farish units wouldn't make that towing a two car train, DMUs included as they now only have one power bogey!! I found this out the hard way!!

I can see where he'll have a problem with that as the points leading to that gradient are at a station exit and at ground level and there's only 90 degrees of curve before the line has to go over the main lines. The only way I can see around that would be to lose that set of points so the branch line can rise more slowly, but that would leave you with raised track in front of the station.

One other way to resolve it would require some serious remodelling, but having the 2 main lines drop away slightly (into the actual baseboard, ie serious remodelling) to give more clearance so the bridge the branch line uses can be lower and thus have a less steep incline.

Offline E Pinniger

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Thanks for the suggestions regarding the branch line gradient. With hindsight I should definitely have laid the initial curve with a shallower gradient, but with my lack of experience I didn't want to attempt anything complex like lowering the main line under the bridge (I wanted to keep everything on the main baseboard totally level, just to keep things simple!)
Probably the best approach would have been to do the same as on the OO layout that inspired me, and have the gradient along the edge of the baseboard with the line curving round over the main line on the town side. I didn't attempt this as I thought the large curving viaduct required was beyond my current skills, and I also wanted to avoid the "rabbit warren" effect of too many tunnels.

Since my last post I've relaid the branch curve/incline again, this time with packing under the track to smooth out the kinks and also slightly widening the bridge to allow a more even curve. I'm not intending to modify it any further, as now I've got to this stage I really don't want to have to lift any of the main line track or start hacking up the baseboard woodwork again! - the branch track is good enough now for the light/industrial railway setup I'm planning, an 0-6-0 with a short train can negotiate the gradient and curve without much difficulty, and smaller bogie diesels such as a Class 27 can also manage it hauling a sizeable train of wagons! The branch isn't the layout's main focus - I included it as much to give additional modelling opportunities as anything else, and it hasn't added much to the overall cost of construction.

Back to photos of the layout, here are a couple of buildings (the only ones as yet, since tracklaying is the main priority at the minute):



This half-finished signalbox is the only building I've scratchbuilt so far. It's based on the Exeter St. David's box and is modelled from a plan in "Buildings for Model Railways" by Maurice H. Bradley. I actually started this before building the layout, as I wanted to make sure I could manage scratchbuilding in N scale before I committed myself!



And this pair of half-relief terraced cottages (the only finished building currently) is the old Dornaplas kit, with a few additions such as house numbers and name/date plaque (commonly found on small terraces like this in rural areas), doorknobs and hollow chimney pots! It will go somewhere on the junction or branch terminus sections of the layout. I also have several similar Dornaplas kits of brick-built terraced houses (this one is stucco-finished), acquired in a second-hand lot of building bits, which will go on the town side.

Offline bbdave

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I'm liking the track plan i really don't know how people think them up it's making me regret not being adventurous with mine and i think when finished mine will be sold on to fund the next.

Dave

Offline E Pinniger

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Finally, some trains. This Class 42 Warship is one of two locos I've repainted and weathered so far. It's the old Minitrix model (a superb runner, almost as good as the new BachFar diesels) with a few modifications such as handrails and lampbrackets, and windows glazed with "Kristal Kleer". The nameplates were painted on a small strip of aluminium litho plate before being cut out and glued on. Similarly, the numbers and headcodes are hand painted. They look a bit wonky in the closeup photo but from the usual viewing distance of a foot or more they don't look too bad.
I did think of replacing the roof grilles + exhausts with etched parts, but couldn't face the risk of breaking the body shell in the process, as the plastic is thick and rather brittle. The moulded ones look OK after weathering, though.
The train of 3 carmine & cream Lima Mk1s were a work in progress when the photos were taken (they're now finished), with repainted roofs and chassis, light weathering, and windows reglazed with Kristal Kleer (visible on the coach nearest the loco) to better represent the flush glazing of the prototype (the moulded windows on Lima coaches are recessed nearly a scale foot!). I'm still looking for a brake end coach in the same livery to complete the train.





The other loco is a steamer, a LMS 4F 0-6-0. This was a chance find at an antiques fair/fleamarket for 5 and was one of the things that got me interested in N gauge again. A Lima product, originally in LMS crimson LMS, I repainted it in a weathered black BR livery, with Pressfix decals and some added scratchbuilt detail (handrails, pipes, whistle, vacuum pipes etc.). It's not a particularly good runner, as it's driven by a Lima "pancake" motor in the tender, without any drive or pickup connection to the loco body, so the latter is simply a dead weight; hence it struggles to pull more than a couple of coaches or a short goods train like this! Adding some weight to the tender may help with this issue.

Until I started planning my N gauge layout earlier this year, I was fairly ignorant about standard-gauge locomotive and stock classes, architecture, liveries etc. but I'm slowly learning, and finding the subject a lot more interesting than I thought! I've acquired some of the old Ian Allan "Locomotives to Scale" books which have been very helpful as well as useful for modelling reference purposes. F.J. Roche's "Historic Locomotive Drawings to 4mm scale" is a very useful, inexpensive reference and includes a lot of the steam loco classes available as N RTR models (even the old Minitrix LMS dock shunter!)



The three wagons are all Peco items repainted (completely in the case of the brake van), detailed and weathered. SR stock with a BR loco and van might look odd but I don't yet have a large enough collection (at least in presentable condition) to run historically accurate freight trains!


I'm liking the track plan i really don't know how people think them up


Thanks, though as mentioned in my first post, the original idea isn't my own!).
I'm currently working on tracklaying and wiring for the yard and sheds on the main station side, which will make the layout more interesting to operate along with allowing me to get on with laying the branch line track - I'll post some more photos when it's done.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 05:25:51 PM by E Pinniger »

Offline E Pinniger

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I've now laid the track for the main station yard. Though this is a fairly small area it ended up being a fairly tricky job and had to be completely relaid twice, first to fix some stupid wiring/insulation errors (at least now I know from experience that two points should never be joined frog-to-frog without insulation  :doh:) and second to replace unreliable points (I used a couple of old Arnold and Fleischmann points which really don't agree with newer loco wheels). The engine shed tracks ended up being relaid a third time to give a somewhat neater alignment of the three "roads", as well as re-wired, as the way I originally wired it meant that nothing could get out of roads 2 and 3 if there was a loco in road 1... (the approach track and first point had the same power feed as road 1)

However, after several rather frustrating days of work, I eventually ended up with a usable yard. It has a three-road engine shed and a single-road goods shed - I wanted two goods shed roads but didn't have quite enough room for another point - so I'll probably model the structure on the shed at Exeter St. Davids which had one of its two arches filled in! Both engine and goods sheds will be modelled in about 25% relief with the tracks going under the high level branch. The engine shed tracks will be accessible via a removable baseboard section; the goods shed one isn't, so I put an insulating break at the entrance to stop locos going in and getting stuck. All of the shed tracks have functional "buffer stops" made from wood blocks nailed in place; these have also been temporarily placed on the end of the visible sidings.
The short siding on the left currently just functions as a head shunt, but it will eventually be extended to serve a brewery or similar industrial structure. Another siding to the left of the station area functions as a storage siding which can hold a couple of coaches or a short goods train.



Here's a photo of the yard in use. The Warship and its train of crimson & cream coaches (still haven't found a brake end coach to complete the set!) are fully repainted and weathered, everything else is (so far) in the same unmodified and often rather shabby state I bought it in! The J69 tank loco was originally going to run on the light railway branch and be repainted in its (freelance) paint scheme of dark blue with red lining, but its ancient 1970s Grafar mechanism can't cope with the incline when pulling anything more than a single wagon, so it's been relegated to a yard shunter in standard BR black.

More updates soon - I'm currently working on laying the rest of the branch track, and once that's done I'll do the (much simpler) yard for the junction station. I've also been experimenting with scenic modelling and different ballast materials (using some scrap bits of wood as "baseboards"). I'm looking forward to getting started with modelling the scenery on the layout - so I no longer have to run trains over cork-ballasted track through landscapes of unpainted plywood!  but want to get the hang of the materials and techniques involved before I start gluing anything to the baseboard.

 

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