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London Midland in the Round. - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2016 09:19 pm
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col.stephens
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"I thought you bought that shed to have a railway running around it!"  So speaketh 'She Who Must Be Obeyed', hereafter referred to as SWMBO.  How is it that women have that knack of making a statement sound like an accusation?  I was on the back foot here, not wishing to make a reply which would compound my guilt, thereby finding me accused, tried and convicted before I had a chance to consult the lads at the club in order to get my defence sorted out!  I made some incoherent reply which I hoped would suffice in order to give me some breathing space.  She had a point of course.  Since my 12ft by 8ft shed had been delivered, erected, insulated, heated and lit, it had really only been used for storage and as a workspace to construct some small layouts for exhibition use, the proof whereof lies here:

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=9634&forum_id=21&highlight=halstead

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=9636&forum_id=21&highlight=luxted

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=12164&forum_id=21&highlight=poppy+lane

Mind you, I'm not sure it was ever my intention to actually build a layout 'around the shed' but the more I thought about it, the more the idea appealed to me.  With no idea of what I was really looking for, I scanned my collection of books and hit upon a design by Iain Rice on page 44 of his excellent book 'An Approach to Model Railway Layout Design'.  This design, called Witheridge, is a fictitious design based on stations on the Culm Valley Railway.  He intended it to be built as a country terminus in a space 8ft by 2ft.  I decided to devote an area of 11ft by 7ft to my layout and realised that Mr. Rice's design could be altered to become a small through station, thereby allowing me to take the single track completely around the shed.  Now, I am not a great fan of 'roundy, roundy' layouts, but who would give up the opportunity to give their stock a good run if the opportunity arose?  Not me!  Anyway, having a continuous run was no reason not to operate prototypically, with the added pleasure of just 'letting 'em run' if the desire overtook me.

So, the chosen design was extended, tweaked and moved around until I arrived at a satisfactory end design.  The layout was to be a small country through station on a single track branchline, somewhere on the London Midland Region of British Railways, circa 1960, give or take a few years.  There would be an upper and lower goods yards to make shunting interesting, and a small lineside industry to generate some stock movements.  I envisage that, as well as stopping passenger trains and goods being delivered to the station on the local pick-up goods train, some interesting through goods trains will also add interest.

Here is the plan:





Coming next: Baseboards.

Terry

  

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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2016 09:29 pm
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emmess
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I just re-visited the Poppy Lane thread (I love it!) and noticed I said this back in 2014... "I'll be keeping my eyes open for the "The ultimate layout around the railway shed" thread."

I was, and I am! Looking forward to this one. :)



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Pig Hill Yard - a small Inglenook shunting layout for my boys, in 00.
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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2016 09:31 pm
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col.stephens
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Thanks Mike.  Let's hope you are not disappointed!

Terry

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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2016 09:43 pm
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John Dew
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Hi Terry

I do agree with your philosophy about roundy roundys.......it doesnt look prototypical but it is nice to let the locos stretch their legs from time to time.

I am a big fan of Iain Rice........I will look forward to your interpretation of his design

Kind regards from a very sunny Vancouver



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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2016 10:59 pm
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Silver Fox
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like all I am not a roundy fan but I built mine with shunting in mind while the fast trains did their bit,the best of both worlds,( plus the kiddiewinks love it ) that looks a nice set up enjoy
:thumbs;-):cool:
Owen



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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2016 03:31 am
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Chiefnerd
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Hi Terry
I must disagree with many. I like the roundy. Nothing better than sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of coffee rail fanning as the trains go past.
In our case we have a folded dog bone shape. We have arranged part of the return track under some scenery and a scenery break to make it look better.
Andrew

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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2016 03:39 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Hi Terry and Andrew.

I also agree that watching the trains go by with a glass of RLW is excellent; that's why I went down the computer control route.

It takes some more effort in the initial build, but I reckon that it's well worth it.

It's allowed me to have a plank (well, two actually),  :lol: and still be a voyeur.  :cool:

. . . and I can still drive as well.  :thumbs



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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2016 05:44 am
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Sol
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That was one reason I modified my layout years ago to give a better roundy roundy - the ability to give the loco a run in -- lengthen the time between stations
though it has been known that I forget to reset turnouts ( as I am the main signalman)& trains have to go around again in my 12x 20Ft room to get back to the main station and boy- do the crew let me know!

Now back to the topic - Terry, a nice plan for a one man operating crew.



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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2016 12:30 pm
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col.stephens
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Thank you one and all for your replies and interest.

Baseboards.

I thought that it would be good to get away from the 'Flat Earth Society' of which I have been a lifetime member.  You know what I mean, the baseboard frames completely covered with board of some kind.  Usually quite acceptable, but it does restrict you when trying to get the land to drop beneath the baseboard datum level.  I haven't planned ahead regarding the scenery but I thought that it would be nice to have the freedom to undulate the scenery as and when fancy, or necessity, dictates.  Accordingly, I looked to a book first published in 1951 for inspiration, 'Miniature Landscape Modelling' by John H. Ahern, who advocated the use of 'open table top' form of construction.  Basically, the baseboard is constructed as a series of longitudinal beams joined by transverse beams.  The beams are covered with board only where you are going to put your track, roads, or buildings, etc., leaving spaces where you can model below track level.  I have used traditional 2x1 softwood.  Joining baseboards is simplicity itself.  Just place a transverse beam beneath the join and drive screws from underneath. You can see a join on the left of this picture where the wood changes colour.  To separate the boards, undo the screws (four in this case - one under each longitudinal beam).




  Terry

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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2016 12:58 pm
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col.stephens
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On the plan above the shed door is on the left, requiring the usual baseboard bridging piece.  This effectively forms part of the fiddle-yard, all of which has been surfaced with mdf.  The bridging piece is simply a 2x1 frame resting on two small shelves protruding from the adjoining baseboards and locked in place with two bolts and two suitcase catches.  The bridging piece simply lifts off when required.







Here is a view of the whole layout from the shed door, fiddle yard on the right...





Terry

 

 

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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2016 01:07 pm
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Noticed your planning a curved platform Terry, best of luck.

Ed



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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2016 09:21 pm
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col.stephens
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Thanks Ed.

The trackbed was cut from mdf and screwed to the beams.  In places it was necessary to insert some short cross-beams to provide extra support and provide a place to insert the odd screw.  This picture shows the station area with the lower goods yard in the foreground.  As Ed correctly pointed out, the station platform will be on the curve on the left of the picture.  Just to the left of the red spirit level is the route from the 'main line' to the lower yard.  In order to introduce some interest and in a moment of complete madness, I decided to set the lower yard below the level of the 'main line'.  So it truly is a lower yard and the previously mentioned route from the 'main line' is actually on an incline.  As it happens, the baseboard join runs slap bang through the centre of said incline and I won't bore you with the problems of trying to devise a method whereby the track has to line-up in two planes whenever the boards are separated and re-joined.  My advice if you are thinking of doing something similar is... don't do it.  Keep it all on the level and save yourself a lot of problems.




Terry

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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2016 10:23 pm
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col.stephens
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Trackwork.

I decided that life is too short to mess around hand-building track although I did plenty in my younger days.  I'm in my sixth decade and want to finish this layout before I 'shuffle off this mortal coil' to quote Hamlet.  Accordingly, I decided to use C&L 00 gauge code 75 bullhead track and Peco code 75 flat-bottom turnouts.  I used Peco rail joiners to connect the track and turnouts without any problems.  Where the C&L track meets the Peco turnout, card is packed under the thinner C&L sleepers to bring the rails up to the same height.  The usual 4mm thick cork sheet was glued to the trackbed and the track was glued thereon with Poundland PVA.  Dropper wires were soldered to the rail sides before the process began of painting the sides of the rails with acrylic paints.







Ballasting has also started using Woodland Scenics fine grey ballast.  For the benefit of beginners: spread the ballast along a short section of track and use a small brush to remove the ballast from the sleeper surfaces and generally tidy up.  Spray the ballast with a fine spray of water.  (I purloined my sprayer from SWMBO.  She wasn't best pleased when she discovered that I had tipped her hair conditioner, whatever that is, down the sink!  Still, I'll be alright as soon as my arm sets!)  With a small syringe or eye dropper, apply a mixture of 50% PVA, 50% water and a drop of washing-up liquid.  The mixture will spread throughout the already wetted ballast.  Leave for about twenty-four hours to dry and then use a small screwdriver to pick off any stray ballast stuck to the rail sides, giving special attention to the insides of the rails where the wheel flanges will run.  It should look something like this...








Terry

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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2016 11:34 pm
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col.stephens
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Electrics

The layout is controlled using a DC controller from Morley Controllers.  This gives fine control and comes with two handheld controllers included in the price.  I paid £69 (plus postage) about five years ago and they are still selling at the same prices in 2016.  See them here (no connection other than as a very satisfied customer):

http://morleycontrollers.com/default.asp

I am actually using the 'Vesta N' intended for N Gauge, but it works fine with 00.  Only one side of the controller is actually being used but I had it anyway so why not use it, I thought? 





There are three electrical feeds to the layout, one in the vicinity of the station, the second in the lower yard and the third just to the right of the fiddle yard (looking at the plan above).  I didn't see the need for section switches but there are isolated sections installed at the ends of each fiddle-yard road and at the ends of some sidings on the scenic section.  Basically, provided the correct route is set, a loco will move anywhere on the layout when the control knob is turned. 



Next up:  Adapting Peco turnouts to change crossing (frog) polarity.

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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2016 11:53 pm
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g0ibi
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Not DCC then Terry? Is there a reason ?? :)

Cheers
Ron



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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2016 12:59 am
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The Q
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Not having used Morley controllers I did some research, they are well regarded, the OO controllers having 1.1 Amp outputs, which is adequate for OO, I couldn't find the exact current for the Vesta but it appears to be just under 1Amp which is good for N. Providing you don't run a twin motor Bayer-Garrett or something old and high current you'll be OK.

Track suggestion 1,  splitting the track into double track, near the "farm?"  And taking through the scenic break like that will give you more flexibility to use as a passing loop or for stock storage.

Track Suggestion 2, could you get permission from the domestic authorites for the track to escape the shed and go into the garden as well? I have permission!

Shed suggestion, get some clear solid PVC , and double glaze the windows it makes a big difference in keeping the hot and cold in the right places.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2016 01:03 pm
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col.stephens
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g0ibi wrote: Not DCC then Terry? Is there a reason ?? :)

Cheers
Ron


Ron, I don't see that, for all of the extra cost, DCC would bring any advantages to this layout, other than the ability to have sound.  I just turn the power on, turn the knob and the train moves.  No messing about. Locos run smoothly and can be isolated at the flick of a switch.

Q, thanks for your suggestions.  No plans to alter the track layout at present or to venture into the garden. The shed is fully insulated and heated.  A 2kw heater with thermostat maintains a comfortable temperature.

Terry 

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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2016 01:49 pm
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col.stephens
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Peco turnouts are made to be used straight from the box, provided you are content to rely on the moving blades making contact with the stock rails to ensure electrical continuity through the turnout. A speck of grit or dust between the blade and stock rail will break that continuity and the loco will stutter or stop.  In some circumstances, it is also possible for the wheel flanges to cause a short.  To prevent this, the turnout has to be adapted.  This subject, including wiring diagrams, is amply covered in books and on the internet so I won't labour it here, other than to show practically what needs to be altered.

This picture shows the underside of the turnout.  The two wires shown in the grooves on the left have to be removed.  You can't get a cutter in this small space so I poked them out with the tip of a scriber and waggled them about until they snapped off.



Just to the right of the two wires removed, you will notice that the plastic webbing is missing to reveal the underside of the rails. In the photo above, the two upper rails need to be connected and the two lower rails need to be connected.  We do this with two wires as in the photo below.  I soldered some thin nickel silver wire across each pair of rails.




In the picture above, one wire is soldered in place and the other is about to be soldered before being trimmed.  Pratically, it is easier to solder one long wire across all four rails and then trim to leave two separate wires.  When turned over, the turnout should look like this...




A dab of paint will soon disguise the wires.  The long thin wire which is already attached to the underside of the crossing(frog) goes through the baseboard and is attached to whatever switch you are using to switch the polarity.  I advise you to do some research for a fuller explanation.


The turnouts on the fiddle-yard board are operated with different switches than those on the scenic section, of which more later.  In the fiddle-yard I decided to use the well established method of sliding switches to both move the turnout blades and to switch the electrical polarity.  More on this soon...


Terry

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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2016 11:26 pm
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col.stephens
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The sliding switches in the fiddle-yard follow the established practice of drilling a hole through the upright part of the switch, pushing a wire through the hole and securing it to the switch.  The wire is then run to the turnout stretcher bar.



Unfortunately the distance travelled by the switch is further than the throw of the turnout blades.  Accepted wisdom says that you should include an omega loop or something similar between the switch and the turnout stretcher bar.  Not having the luxury of enough room for this, I pondered for a few minutes and came up with the following.  Probably all been done before by somebody. A picture tells a thousand words, as they say, so I hope the following photos explain all...







This is how it looks from underneath the baseboard. The white wire goes to the common crossing (frog) and the other two to the running rails at the toe of the turnout.




Coming next...operation of the turnouts on the scenic section.


Terry

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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2016 11:39 pm
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col.stephens
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Turnout Operation.

I thought it would be nice to operate the turnouts with levers to give the process a prototypical feel.  I am aware that there are expensive levers and lever frame kits on the market but I wanted to keep the cost within reason and within my ability. The wire in tube method of control appeals to me and I chanced upon an excellent product from the USA...







The levers, which are made from a strong, flexible plastic, come in sets of two on a sprue.  They are easily assembled by bolting them together.  They can be mounted in various positions as illustrated on the manufacturer's website.  The sprue also contains the clamps you will need to secure the flexible tube in position.  All nuts, bolts, screws, wire and tube are included in the price of the levers.  Also included is the fine brass wire which, together with a clamp, produce the switch for changing the polarity of the common crossing (frog).  This is what it looks like...








The yellow tube is the wire in tube leading to the lever.  This is how I have chosen to mount the levers...








There are seven turnouts on the scenic section, including one catch-point.  I have two banks of levers, one of four levers and one of three levers, operating the turnouts on their respective baseboards.  This is a well thought out system.  It does require patience and a bit of tweaking here and there to get it operating correctly, but it should be within the capability of any competent modeller.  There is something very satisfying in pulling a lever and hearing the clunk of the Peco turnout blades being thrown over.  I have retained the inbuilt springs in the turnouts but this system will work with hand built turnouts. No connection with the manufacturer other than as a very satisfied customer.  Here is the manufacturer's website...




http://www.humpyard.com/



Coming next...uncoupling.


Terry

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