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Birkenhead Woodside - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Aug 7th, 2015 05:17 pm
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Woodside
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I thought it was about time I made a start on this... a bit concerned that my efforts are not of the standard of the layouts highlighted on the home page.... but there is still a lot to do before BW is anything like finished. I've already put some info up in the New Memebrs Section and the building of the goods shed in Scratchbuilding. There are some photos in my gallery of the layout as it is now, the only photos the woodwork phase are just photos, before I'd got into this digital lark. Returned to railway modelling after a break of 40 odd years, after the customary heart attack and armed with the payout from a policy I'd had for years and thought we'd never need....and started building baseboards in 2009, after six months converting the loft from a dank dreary place into something half decent for a layout, and began laying track later that year. Baseboards are 2x1 frames with floorbaord chipboard on a forest of 2x2 legs - that may seem a bit of overkill, but I like a good solid base to start with... and it has to be able to support me when I'm clearing leaves from around the Velux. All track is Peco code 75, apart from the fiddle yard which is code 100, overall dimensions 14' 6" ish by 11' 6" ish.

My main aim and interest is in running the actual timetable of the day (currently Winter 1961) as far as the passenger services are concerned, with as much freight/parcels as I can manage - given that the line from Woodside to Hooton was in the main four tracks, and I only have two, the freight side is little more than a token gesture, but at least there is some. I am not producing an accurate model of the original, but I have tried to cover the basics - double overall roof, five platforms, retaining wall to the north side of the station with a road bridge over just beyond the platforms, signal box on the south side and so on. But certain elements have had to change - in order to get a decent length for the platforms the main staion buildings are on the north side - not beyond the buffers, and the fifth platform is outside the overall roof - I've used the Peco roof, building my own was a step to far, extending the canopy with the leftovers. At Hooton I have just three platforms rather than the six of the original.

As I mentioned in the goods shed thread I am a big fan of the miuayga technique for everything I do, I just had a basic idea of the track layout and built the baseboards to suit. I have been asked about a track plan of the layout..... well, I never really had one.... I've dug out one of my rough ideas to illustrate... this was the marshalling yard and engine shed, note I've called it "final".....





...mmmm.... really what I was doing was getting a rough idea of how many points/slips/crossovers I would need... in the end I used 120 yards of code 75 track, 25 yards of code 100 track, and a ridiulously large number of points etc to create what I have now. Apart from a couple of instances (crossovers in the fiddle yard) all points are electrofrog. It took me quite a while figure out the electrical implications of using electrofrog points.... but they do look so much better.

Right at the outset I decided this DCC lark was not for me... the idea of entering an engine's "address" before moving it left me absolutely cold... it's all just a bit too clinical for me..... yes DCC makes complicated movements easier.... but I've always achieved what I want with simple switches and a hacksaw to create breaks in the track.... and let's face it, it is more fun!! I have however ended up with, well, a lorra lorra (RIP Cilla) switches.

The layout is designed to be operated by three people, one looking after Birkenhead, one on Hooton and the the traffic to/from there and Woodside/fiddle yard, and one on the fiddle yard... three people who know what they are doing.... I think I'm about half way to being one of them!!!

This track plan, probably the easiest thing is to look at the control panels, for those of you who aren't keen on switches, I think the "look away now" warning is appropriate.....

First, on the top level, Woodside Station, with the main line off to the bottom left corner :





... you were warned....

leading to the marshalling yard/goods shed, main line from bottom centre to bottom right





the single line on this panel, bottom centre, leads to 6C





then there is a main line section down to the second level (under Woodside which has the storage loops for trains on their way to/from Woodside/Hooton covered by two junctions, the first from Birkenhead/Hooton





Birkenhead off to the right, Hooton bottom right.

For the storage loops, I can bring one train into the front section, then a second behind it, and then take the first train away, all with two simple switches... and not a computer in sight.

... and the second to /from Fiddle Yard and Hooton





fiddle yard off to the left, hotton bottom left

then Hooton Station :



Another mainline section to the fiddle yard, in from bottom right corner





small panels for the main line sections




... and that's it.

All these switches..there is a colour code : green - power, black - single break, red point on up, white - point on down .... and so on.

That'll do for now - more on the rolling stock etc. to follow.

I know ... too many switches...

Keith













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 Posted: Fri Aug 7th, 2015 05:53 pm
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g0ibi
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Looking good Keith, like to see the trackwork?  :)

Cheers
Ron



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 Posted: Fri Aug 7th, 2015 06:04 pm
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Woodside
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Ron, have a look in my gallery, or my original thread in the new members section, there are some views of the track in there, also the PS to the goods shed in retaining walls. You'll also see in the gallery all the parts of the layout I haven't got around to ballasting yet.

Incidentally, forgot to mention if you compare my origianl "plan" with the final layout of the marshalling yard and engine shed you can see how things developed a bit when I got to actually laying the track.

Keith



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 Posted: Fri Aug 7th, 2015 08:03 pm
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Woodside
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Just noticed "Birkenhead Wooside"..... dear oh dear!! - we've been having serious problems with our computer.... and it seems to be getting into my typing..... I'll try harder.

Keith



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 Posted: Fri Aug 7th, 2015 08:05 pm
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gastwo
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Coming south on Sunday Keith? It's the Aberaeron Model railway show in Llwyncelyn.

I'll be there exhibiting Cardigan and Boncath. Introduce yourself if you do make it.

Shaun.

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 Posted: Fri Aug 7th, 2015 09:25 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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I'll fix it for you Keith.

Nice work, by the way.  :thumbs



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 Posted: Fri Aug 7th, 2015 10:00 pm
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toto
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These panels look very clearly set out. Have you actually wired that lot up yet or have you created the panels first and will connect up as you go ?

Looking forward to seeing the rest as it happens.

Cheers

Toto

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 Posted: Sat Aug 8th, 2015 10:43 am
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Woodside
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Bore da Shaun

Sorry, can't make it on Sunday, keeping an eye on our Fflo, one of our 16 year old cats, she's had a rough time of late, but now thankfully on the mend. Have a great show on Sunday - I usually go to the Mach/Corris show, not sure if it is on this year.

Keith



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 Posted: Sat Aug 8th, 2015 10:48 am
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Woodside
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...thanks for that Max - we've got problems with our broadband at present - so when it is on, I have to type quick... in case we lose it... hence wooside.... computers.... great, when they work ....

Keith



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 Posted: Sat Aug 8th, 2015 11:05 am
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Woodside
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Hi Toto

Yes, they're all wired up. I wanted to get the track sorted before doing anything on the scenic side. Once I'd got the fiddle yard track laid I attacked it with my hacksaw (actually it has been replaced with a hand held rotary thingy) and solder tails to the track. With everything hanging below the baseboard I then fix the panel in place and then connect up everything. Test it all, and then I did the mid level (Hooton and the storage loops) and the line up from the fiddle yard - same procedure, finally the top level. Underneath the baseboards it is just a mass of wires, I don't do tidy wiring, but I've stuck with the colour coding and tagged each circuit a couple of times ...so I should be able to trace any faults easily... well that's the theory. Main problem is me forgetting to set one switch when setting the road, and the loco doesn't move - but I'm getting better at it!

Keith




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 Posted: Sat Aug 8th, 2015 04:44 pm
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gastwo
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Woodside wrote: Bore da Shaun

Sorry, can't make it on Sunday, keeping an eye on our Fflo, one of our 16 year old cats, she's had a rough time of late, but now thankfully on the mend. Have a great show on Sunday - I usually go to the Mach/Corris show, not sure if it is on this year.

Keith

No worries Keith - family takes precedence.

Corris/Mach is on - August 29/30/31 in Machynlleth as before.

Might see you there!

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 Posted: Sat Aug 8th, 2015 07:09 pm
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Woodside
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... now that I can get back on - this computer is driving us mad - I was going to give you the same info re Mach. I'll probably go on Sunday, after lunch - which day are you going?

Keith

...any reply from me is subject to me getting back on again.... so apologies in advance for any delay



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 Posted: Sat Aug 8th, 2015 09:25 pm
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gastwo
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Not sure Keith, management is away at the moment, and I don't know what her plans are for that weekend. I'll know more on Monday.

Shaun.

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 Posted: Mon Aug 10th, 2015 11:28 am
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Woodside
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Now that I've got the hang of the Photo Gallery, and while we appear to have contact with the internet, I thought some photos of the areas covered by the various panels would help with the lack of a track plan. So here goes, there are some similar photos in the gallery, but at least these are in order with the panels, starting with Woodside Station




That's the last train of the day in platform 3 - 11.05pm to Shrewsbury... and just 'cos I like it another view from under the road bridge





Then there is 6C Birkenhead shed





...the main shed is Townstreet, the roundhouse is from two Metcalfe two road sheds, weathered to match the main shed - as you can see a long way from being finished.


On to the marshalling yard, cleared for the Dapol track cleaner to do some vacuuming...




- the ends of the roads were ballasted and finished before the board was fixed in place - a bit of a stretch, rather more than I thought, although I did end up lying on it to fix the back scene. Again lots to do here.

the opposite side of the yard is the shed.



... not really started on this yet.

the main line south from Birkenhead, covered by one of the small panels




this section can be removed - it is half across the loft access - to get in anything big into the loft - can't think what that might be now... the loop on the down line allows freight to be held awaiting access to the yard.

On to Hooton Station



that's the evening local parcels bound for Manchester - don't think these MPVs ever got to Birkenhead, but it is a good model!


... the storage loops under Birkenhead




.. in the down main is the Helsby train , due 10.49pm at Woodside, and behind it the Chester train due Hooton 11.29 and woodside 11.44.


Now the approach to the fiddle yard, with a class 5 and vans heading for WCML




Finally the South end of the fiddle yard




Hope that gives you a better idea of what it all looks like.... and my attempts to run to the actual timetable, which at the end of the day is why I started this.

Keith




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 Posted: Mon Aug 10th, 2015 11:38 am
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Woodside
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Er.... Max, you might see that I've missed a couple of returns in my last post which sends the photo off, sorry about that, trying to do everything at breakneck speed while we can get on line, I'll try harder next time - hopefully once this computer thingy is sorted

Keith



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 Posted: Mon Aug 10th, 2015 11:55 am
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MaxSouthOz
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I'll fix it, mate.

Nice layout.  :thumbs



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 Posted: Mon Aug 10th, 2015 12:04 pm
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Woodside
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Hi Max,  thanks again - this computer is daft, if we keep doing something it appears to stay online, let it go asleep, or leave it for a few minutes - and that's it - half an hour of starting and restarting to get back on. We'll be back on the help line this afternoon....

Keith



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 Posted: Sun Aug 16th, 2015 04:32 pm
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Woodside
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I've decided it is time to sort out the one part of the layout which I have been pondering about for a while now, what to do with Hooton Junction....





... my original idea was to have one double track tunnel where the line dives under Woodside Station.... but originally I thought the junction would be a fair way clear of Woodside... but to do that the climb back up to Woodside would have been a bit steep, and so it ended up right on the Woodside station site. Also I had added two extra carriage sidings at Woodside when I realised just how many carriages I needed to keep the timetable running which made the Woodside baseboard a bit wider. Now, don't know what you all think, but to me it would look a bit odd with a junction right at a tunnel mouth..... So, now I'm thinking of having two separate tunnel mouths roughly where the grey paint after the green plaster finishes, similar to the north end of Hooton station, and extending the Woodside station baseboard over the junction. Comments welcome.

The other thing about this part of the layout - I have to be able to stand on it here when cleaning the roof around the Velux. Originally I was going to have all scenic items on a sheet of thin ply here which could be just lifted away... if I extend the baseboard, I will probably have the tunnel mouths fixed to the main baseboard, and have the exteneded baseboard removable.

Another view :





...just thought, if I do extend the baseboard... I could perhaps add another siding.... but then the new baseboard would need to be capable of being stood on....

Decisions, decisions......

Keith



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 Posted: Tue Aug 18th, 2015 01:04 am
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Marty
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G'day Keith,

Firstly, many thanks for battling on with your computer problems to show us what looks to be the beginnings of a first class layout. From the photos you've obviously put a lot of thought into designing a railway that you can operate to a timetable including carriage sidings and stock to match.

Secondly, love the switches... :lol:

My thoughts regarding Hooton Junction. I think that having the junction close to the tunnel entrance under Woodside is perfectly feasible and I'm sure there will be prototypes for it in the major city stations, some of the London ones in particular.

Having said that, if you wish to have more space alongside Woodside station and move the tunnel mouths out towards the indicated position, that will work too.

The driver for you, if I can paraphrase correctly, is to have a stable and easy to install/remove step to allow access to the Velux?

You could make two "steps" exactly the same.

One just a strong plain step for standing on that spends most of its time under the layout and is only used for Velux maintenance.

The second could be the extended space to the Woodside carriage sidings/yard/etc. that lives on the layout and can simply be swapped for the "maintenance " step when needed.

Or just make the "maintenance " step and leave the Hooton Junction as it is, scenic of course, but in such a way as to allow the step to fit over the top.

It's a tough one, I quite like the longer run over the junction before going into the tunnel but more space alongside Woodside station on the upper level is appealing too.

Rule 1 Keith... It's your railway... I hope the above musings are of some help.

Look forward to seeing how you work it out.

Cheers

Marty



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 Posted: Tue Aug 18th, 2015 02:51 pm
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Woodside
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Hi Marty

Two steps - brilliant! - hadn't thought of that... whichever way I do it that will work  just fine.

My main worry about having the tunnel mouths fixed to the main baseboard was that when I remove the top section, those tunnel mouths would be quite close to my left boot... which I can't see once I'm through the Velux, and one false move could see the demise of the tunnel mouths. With a second plain step, built to the same height, the tunnel mouths are protected. Equally the other option, I could have the scenic items fixed to the main board, and like you say have a step which protects it all. I'm a happy bunny now... just to decide which option to take.

I've gone off the idea of another siding - in reality it will only give me at most four coaches, given I'll lose one from the adjacent siding with the point - so now I'm thinking of having some sort of building for the cleaners working on the coaches/possibly booking on/off for loco crew/ station staff etc.... and some parking for the vehicles collecting parcels from the end of platform 5 .... lots of possibilities.

I'm leaning towards the two tunnel option.... but I'll sleep on it... for a week or two....

I've managed to get the timetable through to 10.40pm at the moment, only one train left from Birkenhead at 11.05 (to Shrewsbury), with trains from Helsby and Chester to arrive, and the last train of the day to arrive at 11.50, the seventh train of the day from Paddington.... and a few freights to get away and receive. I'm sure that the goods worked through the night... but in my version everything stops until around 4.00 in the morning with the first activity on 6C. It has taken best part of a year to test the timetable thus far - only do that when I'm not doing something else like starting w-i-t the points at Woodside, signal work, goods shed etc., but there is something satisfying about finding I can replicate the timetable... and it is interesting to see how the stock moves about the layout during the day - Woodside is heaving with coaches now, but around 10.30ish in the morning there were only three or four spare. Keeps me amused anyway.

While I've been running through the timetable I have identified a couple of occasions where another break in the track would have been useful.... I haven't finished with the switches yet!

Many thanks again for the steps idea.

This computer is still playing up.....

Keith



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