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Barry Miltenburg
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So, the time will soon arrive when a move of house will yield a purpose-built railway room and a new "Yarslow" layout will take life.  (see Personal layouts section for details of the existing Yarslow).

The room will be about 26ft x 16ft.  Apologies for the vagueness but it has yet to be built and whilst I want that space, full site surveys etc will be needed to determine what is possible.

My question is this - how big is too big?

Designed in Enrail, here is the plan (about version 25!!)



I am still in BR(NE) Region in the early 1960's but I fancy a bit of LMR invasion because I love the latest range of ex-LMS and ex-MR locomotives that have recently emerged.  It is, of course, 4mm scale, Peco code 75.

The top right hand corner leads down to low level storage for about 50 trains on a large return loop so trains going down come back up facing the same way.  The storage loops are sectioned to hold 3, 4 or 5 trains each and sit along the central spine and the lower wall.  A train going to storage goes down the gradient moving right-to-left along the top wall and then swings round to run under the branch through station where the loops begins.  The loops then bend around under Trinity Square and then end under the pink section bottom right.  The up gradient runs back up to the top right hand corner and is therefore much longer than the down gradient.  Calculations suggest about 1 in 80.  Tests have proved that the loco fleet will handle 8 coach trains or 40 wagons on this without difficulty.

This is really a small plan built big with the addition of a city terminus (Freezer's "Minories" slighty modified).  The main station at the top started life as Lincoln Central but has been trimmed.  It still has a Lincoln/Boston feel to it which I like.

Operation is analogue, cab control, with just 4 controllers - main1, main2, Yarslow/branch and Trinity Square.  The timetable is, in essence, a number of events (stopping freight shunts, local passenger halts, branch train runs etc) surrounded by a load of trains that run up, round and down again.  These include a range of C, D, E, F, H, J and K class freights, through and stopping passengers, suburban passenger trains (Trinity Square - Maidstone Lane - storage), parcels and engineering services.

Stopping freight and the branch freight move wagons around.  The parcels service will generate traffic for Trinity Square and a C class "vans" train runs from storage to TSq.  See my YouTube video on the Yarslow channel for the way I run my stopping freights.

The layout has been designed in terms of layout, control and operation as a one-man-show.  A lot of the ground work like signals, point motor wiring, scenic bits, buildings has been tried out on the existing Yarslow layout and I have 42 of the trains already, albeit in shortened format to fit the space I have now.

I am seeking advice from those who have built large layouts on the good/bad/ugly aspects of a project of this size.  What are the pitfalls?  Where is it all going to go wrong?

Within reason, cost is not a factor as I have a lot of the trains, I am collecting ordanance for the project and the timber will be absorbed into the cost of the room.  (9mm surfaces supported every 12 inches by 2x1 softwood.  Baseboard height about 40 inches for a lovely "lineside" eye level viewing position).

If you think that I'm just plain mad, do let me know before they start digging foundations...........

Last edited on Mon May 15th, 2017 05:57 pm by Barry Miltenburg

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Back in the 1980s I had an N gauge loft layout 25'x17' in an "L" shape, a continuous loop round the outer edge, with an almost scale Bournemouth west terminus in the long "leg" Platforms could take 12 coaches plus loco, had to reduce the carriage sidings somewhat though. Used 7 controllers. Never got finished though, I got made redundant and had to move house.

I mostly used kitchen base units, cupboards and drawers as support so plenty of storage space under. Over those I had 2" square timbers supporting fibreboard. Nowadays  I tend to use insulation foam (e.g. Celotex) as a surface, lightweight but rigid.

It was generally referred to as "Up Aloft" or "Upper Loft".

Verdict:- not mad, just ambitious.

BCDR
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Hi Barry,

I don't build big ones as I don't have the space, but I operate on some really big ones as an operating guest, and have recently been on a number of layout tours to see some basement empires and listen to some of the issues the owners have identified. The club I have just joined has a fixed layout about double what you are proposing.

With an approximate 26 feet x 16 feet you have around 100 linear feet of operations (eyeballed from the diagram).

One man operation then. With DC. If you went to 36 x 20 feet it would be lot more accommodating.

With that much space I'd go for a dumbbell (with return loops top and bottom right) and a central peninsula on the left hand side to eliminate any duck-unders. I'd also not have any scenic partitions, and go DCC radio control. With a layout height of 40" your storage tracks will be at around 28". Go big and they can be at the same height as the layout. There is also something to be said for a separate room for the storage tracks and workshop with access through a wall.

Nigel


Barry Miltenburg
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Nigel - you should really meet my wife!!

I would love to get to 36ft x 20ft but I have so concede that there is a point where, for the sake of domestic harmony,  I think it might be just too big.  That's half of her Alpaca field gone and no room for the chickens!!!

At my time of life and with the age/size of the loco fleet, DCC is out of reach although I have costed conversion to chip & sound for the whole lot.  This is not a budget project but by the same token, I am not Pete Waterman.

Removing the duck-unders is an idea I toyed with given that none of us is getting any younger but the height chosen will mitigate some of this.

Essentially, I am happy with the plan, the concept of the layout in terms of levels, storage, stations, technology, operational potential etc - all I really don't know is what I don't know.  All my layouts have been 12 x 8 max so this really is unknown territory.  I have been involved with huge club layouts which created problems regarding maintenance but to be fair, they were pulled out and put away every week so I might be worrying over nothing.

All advice is very welcome.

Barry

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Hi Barry,

You're constrained by the chikins then.

26 by 16 feet still gives you room for return loops (or even a helix) in the corners and a 3 foot doorway (I just tried it in Corelscribble). So, 3 and a half concerns:

1. Getting from one side to the other in case of an emergency (derailments, shorts, chikins on the track, etc), as the area around the traverser is very tight.  3 foot minium between All the big layouts I'm involved with have an elevated section rather than a duck-under to get inside, or do not have them, but use loops at the ends (and peninsulas with loops).

2. Dropping down to 28" or even less to access the storage yard means a stool or chair. How about having the storage on an upper level at 50" or so? Or even having an upper level with scenery? Or have you got too much stock for that? Using a reasonable gradient of say 2% (1:50) and a 10" space between upper and lower levels would mean around 500" of run, 42 feet. Your calculation is 1:80, which means 67 feet of gradient.

3. I'd also go modular, at least for the baseboards. I was at a large basement empire last week where the owner had very recently built a fixed layout (with the framing done while the house was being built) after he and his wife had decided that this was definitely their last move. They are now moving after being in the house for 2 years, and the layout is being demolition-dismantled as it cannot be taken out in usable sections, and the estate agent (realtor over here) is somewhat dubious about selling a layout with attached house..

3.5. Sight lines. From wherever you are controlling, you need to be able to see all the track (unless you use cameras). Which means a dividing backdrop on the peninsular could be an issue.

I wasn't sure whether the traverser was on the upper or lower level. Looks like the upper level.

I still think this could be too big for the room as is.

DCC - I personally wouldn't bother with sound, just go with regular decoders. Especially as it looks like you will be buying some DCC ready LMR stock. DC with 4 controllers (is that 8 blocks?) and one man and the chikins...where are you planning on having the control panel(s)? Make it hybrid - DCC for the locomotives, analog for the points, signals, etc. That way you use what you have. And you can always get decoders for those anyway.

Nigel

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Thanks Nigel

You make some very good points that will go into my mixer for consideration.  Luckily, we are still a little way ahead of Day 1 so changes are not out of the question.

Your point about sight llines is interesting and not one I had spent a lot of time worrying about but I can see where you are coming from.

Despite being DC, I will have a number of "all stop" buttons around the place for the reasons you highlight.

The planning goes on........

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Thast's going to be big Barry !!!  :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

I have around 30ft x 8ft available and it's daunting.  You may well be lucky enough to be able to allocate some "proper" time to it rather than grabbing the odd half hour now and again but, on your own, it's still a big hurdle.

My plan was to have a roundy-roundy with "offshoots" where I could play at shunting etc.  I could sit and watch the trains go round if that fitted my current mood or I could leave something trundling round whilst I did a bit of shunting in the yards.

"Mice and Men" springs to mind.....................the "end" will never be in sight.  It's a constant battle with dust and dirt before I can "play" and the investment in wire is enough to make a banker cry.

If that's "your thing" - good luck to you but,  for me, big layouts need manpower and there's not too much of that in rural France .............................

Barry Miltenburg
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Peter

Thanks for your warning.  The project cost is a real consideration - notsomuch the obvious numbers but the "hidden" ones.  I have budgets for the 50 odd trains and the rolling stock but, as you say, wire, ballast, cork sheeting, point rodding, static grass...  and so the list rolls on.  There is only so much I can do now.  I will have a very large crate of stuff to move into the room with, collected over the last few years - like 100 hand-made trees from Woodland Scenic kits (although I think I am going to be another 100 short???)

I am hoping that a dedicated room and track-cleaning engineers trains will do a lot of the onging cleaning, especially as I image that I will have a fair bit of time to dedicate to the project.  I may be wrong.

Keep the comments coming guys - this is all grist for old grey cells to work on.

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Hi Barry.

From experience as a professional model maker who has started many an epic for customers but never finished them because either the money run out, or the interest run out, or wifey stepped in or all three together.


Large layouts are all very well on paper because they don't take up any room neither do they break the bank so. I've always believed that anything up to 20 ft long is just fine where the light at the end of the tunnel is never that far away and encouraging progress can be seen at the end of each day.


Also, operating is less complicated and quite manageable for just one operator and, when thinks go wrong, which they do and which they will, then it's usually quite simple to track it down and get it fixed without the loss of hair !


However, I do like your scheme of things to come so take no bloody notice of me Barry and go ahead and build it  anyway!



Allan

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Allan

Many thanks for your professional input.

This thing will get built because I'm that sort of bloody minded chap but I am very mindful of the David Jenkinson's Little Long Drag story - both the planning stages and the final outcome.  He had everything sorted but seemed to get to a point where it just overwelmed him.

I acknowlegde that I am not DJ, will not scratchbuilt the entire wagon/coach fleet, nor will this layout rival Pendon (indeed the buildings will not be to your standard!!) but I like what I have achieved so far and as every layout has been a progression on the previous one, I am confident that this will work.

The plan has been on the workbench for about 5 years and has a working timetable from which I refined the length and style of trains, the track sectioning to allow trains to do what I want them to do (I am DC analogue), gradient profiles (with copious testing of locomotives and loads), wiring diagrams etc.  I have built a load of little test rigs to try out point motors, switching ideas, ballast colours, static grass applicators and......

Your comment regarding fault finding is a very real concern hence the "plan it to death" approach.  I will be using known technologies for cab control - DPDT, rotary selectors etc - and I have built a much smaller version of this style of layout before in a 12 x 8 shed.  That showed, for example, that the polarity of the inner and outer main circuits should be opposite.  That makes the transition through the return "loop" (i.e. throough Maidstone Lane) easier to manage when using one controller.  Diamond crossing frogs are then controlled through manual switches - crude but effective.

It is tempting to go for a train detection system in the storage areas but I am not comfortable with the technology yet so this is still pending.  The present plan is use plain old 12v lamps across isolator sections.  Very Cyril Freezer and inefficient but I know it works and that's just your point!!

Barry

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I agree with those that say, try to avoid duck unders, saying that I could have 4 in the way, which is why I'm working on lift up hinged bridge sections.
 Here's how I'm building my large layout, hopefully it may give you some ideas, most of mine are nicked from others...

My own Layout of a lifetime is 53ft by up to 16 ft in EM gauge. As so far no track has been laid, but there is 300yards of it stacked up (it's gone up by over 25 % since I bought it).

Although my layout is large, thats because it's of a real place and uncompressed. So the main station will be around 34ft long and even the small country station is 18ft long down the other side of the shed. The layout is actually fairly simple, the actual signal cabins had 16, 28, and 11 levers not all used.

I have no worries of me not completing it, it is meant to be my retirement bad weather hobby, there is have another 6 years till I retire and since my parents are still alive, so a probable 30years+ after that. I've already spent 10 + years getting this far...

Even then a railway is never finished, I'm sure the first build of anything will not be to my final satisfaction, I'm sure I'll be going back to improve sections later.

My own personal approach will be to get the circle / oval  / odd shape of track installed so something can run, then pick an area and develop that. So you get a sense of acheivement as a section is finished..

 I have one board in a bare scenic ( all white plaster) condition so far, which is the start point and gives me the level the rest of the layout will work from. Once the final units are built for the layout to sit on. It's all cupboards and shelves underneath, points  / electrics will be brought to the front or back  so I don't have to get under, I intend to model in comfort.

I too am a cellotex builder, each section of scenic railway will be removeable to be put on the building bench, a large area would be too far to reach over, Again I intend to model in comfort. Once an area is completed, I'll "scenic" over the joins to hide them for a better appearance knowing it could be removed later with minimal damage.


hopefully that' ll give you a few Ideas.
  good luck with your railway ...

Barry Miltenburg
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Q

Thank you for your contribution.  Comfort is a good word and one that I had only taken into account for operating and moving around.  During construction, I too will try to keep everything within reach.  I guess I am the poor s*d having to go and fix it if it breaks - and the point motor/connection/soldered joint furthest from comfortable reach will be the one to go first!!

The twin levels I have adopted will make lift-up sections tricky but I fully understand your point and, as I have said earlier, none of us are getting any younger!  I have a habit of building llittle test rigs for things to practice on (rather than layouts like some people) and I have RM from Jan 72 to date fully indexed so I cannot believe that I can't nick an idea or two from others on lift-ups.  The curved sections on the approaches to Upton and Maidstone Lane would be a good location perhaps.

The height of the boards mentioned earlier is not cast in stone so I could just go for a few inches more and then buy higher bar stools for operation...........

The Q
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Barry Miltenburg wrote:









The height of the boards mentioned earlier is not cast in stone so I could just go for a few inches more and then buy higher bar stools for operation...........




As long as you have the bar to go with the stools, When SWMBO opened the main fridge in our Model railway shed she wasn't amused to see it alread filled with cider!!!

Oh, for a twin layer layout, a horizontal swing out section may be easier, I saw one somewhere the other day on one of the forums, it looke very efficient,  but which forum I can't remember.


Last edited on Thu May 18th, 2017 10:44 am by The Q

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Loads of videos about swing out sections/gates, but I remember seeing this one a while back when I was considering something similar.

Rather like the way he uses a pin/tree to secure the section and switch the power.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6zXdDS02Gg


Ed

Barry Miltenburg
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Thanks Ed, I found this an interesting idea.

Barry Miltenburg
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Following on from previous posts, I thought that I would share the proposed storage area with you.  The above should be looked at along with the original plan in the early posts.  The trains join/leave the main circuit in the top right hand corner of the original plan (via Summit Junction).  The storage area sits about 5 inches below the upper level so the double track along the top of the plan is a on a gradient.  Note that the inner track (down to the lower level) is shorter than the outer line.  This makes the down grade steeper, or the up grade easier if you prefer.

Each of the storage tracks is divided into sections - each section on a track is the same length and each holds one train.  Each section comprises an isolated stretch to hold the locomotive and a length to hold the train with a margin of error. This margin is required because tests have shown that different locomotives under power and running into an isolator section have different stopping distances depending on weight, flywheels, load, speed etc.  Some storage tracks hold 3 or 4 trains whilst others hold up to 7 shorter trains.

The key to storage of this kind is to match up trains that share characteristics rather than type.  It is not a good idea to stack a daily parcels train with a once-a-week freight.  This means that the storage design is based on the operational design - part of which is the timetable/schedule.  A lot of time has gone into the types and lengths of trains proposed - all 40-odd of them!!

I can share the tables of train lengths if people find that useful but to be honest, its very specific to this project.

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I put this table on the Operations forum but it probably works here as well.  Please excuse the Excel spreadsheet wrapper.  This is the list of trains that will appear on each of the 11 tracks in storage.  The plan may only show 10 but the 11th was added recently.  Max train length is 8 coaches and 30 wagons - mostly to ensure that the locomotives can haul the loads up the 1 in 80 gradient to the upper level.  Note that a 30-wagon freight is over 10ft long!!
On a practical note, on a steam/diesel era layout, note that there is a huge difference between the diesels and the steamers.  My Class 24s or 25s will outhaul the entire steam fleet!!



The expresses on track 5 are 6-coach Weekday workings whilst those on track 2 are each 8 coaches and represent the Saturday Only trains.  Note that on Saturdays, expresses were strengthened so the 8 coaches will comprise a standard 6-set with 2 through coaches or a strengthener.  The "Boys" train serves the local boarding school and features in a photo on the Yarslow page of Members Layouts.  The Blasford Trip working is a short freight whilst TSq trains run from storage to the terminus.  The Coastal is a stopping service from TSq to Northborough so will run through Marystone and Yarslow.

Last edited on Sun Jul 16th, 2017 08:25 pm by Barry Miltenburg

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Hi guys

I thought that I would just share a few more thoughts with you in response to a comment made by a friend to whom I was chatting at the weekend.  He is a modeller of a modest layout in N and did that "whistle through your teeth" thing when I outlined my Final Grand Plan ideas with him.  He admitted to a certain level of jealousy but added the caveat that he thought I was mad!!

The layout will occupy a 24 x 16ft space on two levels but I have built this layout before using Peco Set-track in 12x8ft.  The point is that the plan represents a simple, yet large, model railway.  It would be easy to have masses of track, sidings all over, multiple stations and all sorts of stuff but there are a few key factors that MUST be obeyed (and have been obeyed in all of my previous layouts)

1.  4mm OO gauge code 75 proprietary trackwork - it works and looks good enough for me
2.  Double track main line to maximise train running with options for shunting.
3.  No odd looking split level stations - it should look as if it could have existed
4.  BR(NE) Region in the early 1960's with a degree of flexibility if I like something.
5.  Schedule not timetable - its meant to be fun not a source of stress.
6.  Uses my existing loco and stock.  RTR with kits where required.
7.  DC with basic cab control - simple electrics

KEY RULES

1.  This is a one-man operation - me.  The layout must be built, run and maintained by one person
2.  It's my railway and if I think its OK, then its OK
3.  Keep it simple
4.  Use known techniques or learn techniques before the project starts
5.  This layout is a progression from the last one

Over the last 6 or 7 years, I have built up a range of skills and have a clear list of those things I still need to learn.  I will build a small test rig to try things out if I am not sure about something.



Ballast testing for the existing layout with a colour photo for reference.



The green one's connected to the, red one........
I have since decided to use SEEP point motors with the integral crossing polarity switch - another small rig.



Kit built rolling stock + if I think it's OK, it's OK = happy

You get the idea. 

The existing layout uses storage cartridges for locos and stock so it is not difficult to create a whole load of cartridges and loads of train variety.  At present, about 80% of the trains for the Final Grand Plan exist on the existing layout albeit in a shorter format.  I can only handle 6 coaches and 20 wagons at the moment so I have maxed out at these lengths.  When the new layout comes, the financial impact is reduced bcause I already have the loco, brake van and bulk of the train.  Adding another 10 wagons is a softer landing than adding a loco and 38 wagons!!  Some of the shorter trains (Ordinary Passenger, milk, oil tanks etc) exist in a format that will transfer directly to the new layout.  This is important to know - it avoids the problem of owning too many specialist items of stock.

This approach works because I have a very clear idea in my head of where I am going.  The LMR idea mentioned earlier as a possible nice-to-have has been abandoned.  It was off beam from the original plan and became an excuse for more trains that I didn't need.  I have a list of the 42 trains that will be in storage and I know the consist of the passenger trains for example - this allows me to compare existing stock with required stock and only buy the coaches I need.  However nice a vehicle looks, if it doesn't fit, I won't buy it.  I know that puts a demand on research and being focussed but without this, the project could just run totally out of control!!

The real trick is the balance between clarity & flexibility, known techniques & new technology etc.

Am I mad, maybe but I'm gonna have a good go at producing this layout to prove it one way or the other.  I have no other vices or expensive tastes, watch very little telly and am happy to do my bit around the house - I do all the cooking and know how to wash/iron laundry.  Happy marriage is about what you put in, not what you get out  :doublethumb

Oh and BTW, my wife is fully supportive.  Am I the luckiest man alive to have a georgeous wife who supports my meglamaniac tendancies?????  :cheers

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That sounds like an excellent and well thought out plan Barry - not unlike that I adopted for Maxmill - except I jumped in feet first with everything in my head.  I now wish I'd taken your, more methodical, approach.

I'm also very pleased it's NER - BR rather than pre nationalisation maybe but one can't have everything .................. :roll: :roll:  Also, the BR period is better served in RTR than the LNER period.  Because I have similar ideas - "if I like it I'll buy it", Maxmill does have a fairly large period spread - it even has a tube line !!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

The track plan is pretty ambitious but I'm looking forward to watching it develop and - "bon chance" as we Froggies say .......... :thumbs

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Hi Barry.


I think your plan is an the upper level of what one person can handle but If you're not in a hurry then go for it.
The main thing with a big layout is to get a circuit of track down which will keep you going at times when all you want to do is watch trains go around.
Treat it as a hobby which it is of course. That way you're never under pressure to get it finished because unless you put in serious time or have friends who can help it will take a while to get built.
Its also going to be expensive  :shock:
Its a serious plan so good luck with it.


Tony.

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Thanks for your comments guys.

Tony - its actually cheaper than it looks because I have already acquired the locomotives and a lot of the stock.  I have a clear materials list which means I am already buying switches, wire, bits and beaks whenever they come up cheap.  The other advantage of bigger projects is the option of bulk buying.  I have investigated timber prices and find that you get a much better deal when you want 20 sheets of 8x4 rather than 1 or 2!!!  The yards are also keen to deliver 20 but expect you to strap 1 or 2 onto your car roof.

I am technically retired but have a small income from a bit of work so this gets diverted into the Final Grand Plan.  When the work starts in earnest, I am planning to retire properly so the more I can stock up now, the better.  My pension covers all the bills and gives a bit left over and my wife and I have some letting income that pays for the holidays so on paper, its all good.

I am 60 next year and apart from the usual knocks and scrapes, enjoy decent health.  I reckon this is a 5-7 year project working on it as a part-time job.

What can possibly go wrong...................................

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:mutley

Barry Miltenburg
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The phone rang the other day.  My father, knowing that I know a house alarm engineer, offered him/me his old CCTV system that was no longer on use.  The kit turned out to be a box, monitor and 4 cameras with connecting wires and power supplies etc.

Luckily, a great friend of mine works for the BBC and therefore is good at making clapped out kit work perfectly.

:mutley

Renewing the various missing/broken connectors and replacing the knackered power supply cost me less than £30 inclusive of the alcohol needed to cover his labour costs!!

I now have an answer to the question of "lines of sight".  The cameras are set and working on the current layout and, on the new system, will allow me to monitor activities under the baseboard where I would otherwise not be able to see from the operating position.

What a wonderful thing - luck  :Happy

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That's very interesting, Barry.  Can you show us some shots of it working?

Barry Miltenburg
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As requested, here are some pictures of the installation.

 

Here is the screen sitting on top of the box of magic.  The display can show me all 4 camera positions or one at a time on rotation.  There is even a remote control to change things from my operators chair.  Luxury!!



You can see that the cameras are labelled CH1, CH2 etc - unfortunately, this cannot be altered.  CH1 is showing the exit of the UP storage cartridge with the train on the UP main avoiding line.  CH2 shows the entrance to the UP cartridge.  CH3 shows the entrance of the DOWN cartridge and the branch unit and CH4 shows the exit of the DOWN cartridge.

 

There are 2 types of camera (not sure why).  The dead spiders etc will be removed when the cameras are installed in their proper locations!!

 

The big bonus is the option of infra red.  The top photo shows the view I get with the shed lights off.  This is how I imagine the "under baseboard" images might look.  Above is the camera in the dark - excuse the wobbly picture but the exposure was about 5 seconds!!! 

Last edited on Sat Sep 9th, 2017 02:37 pm by Barry Miltenburg

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I want one !!!   :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

That's fantastic Barry - lucky you. :thumbs

Barry Miltenburg
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Peter

You know, when I was younger I saw a layout at an exhibition using headsets and microphones and CCTV and thought "Flash bar-stewards!!"

Now I sooo get it..............

Last edited on Sat Sep 9th, 2017 03:50 pm by Barry Miltenburg

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Thanks, Barry.  It looks like my home setup with four cameras around my house.

You'll have some fun with that.

What are the gizmos with the alligator clips?

Barry Miltenburg
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Hi Max

The crocodile clips are part of the cartridge system - the cartridges have pcb pieces glued to the top corners to transfer power from the track to the cartridge.  Putting the cartridge in place and clipping on the crocs allows the train to arrive/depart.



This is a very old photo when I used "Dog-clips" as we call them here but they were not as good as crocs.  Hopefully this picture will give you an idea of how it works.

There is a video on my Yarslow YouTube channel about cartridges for more info.

Thanks for your interest!

Barry

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Thanks, Barry.

We call them fold back clips.  :lol:

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Hi Barry,

Dog clips? :mutleyThey're known as binder or (gasp) fold-back clips in the UK. Bulldog clips are a different beastie, they usually don't fold down.

Apropos CCTV cameras. For anybody interested, this is not an expensive item. Costs less than a new locomotive. You can get a 4 camera system with1080 resolution for around £100 (without monitor). Drop to 720 resolution and it's around £50-£70. Most systems have WiFi capability, so you don't even need a monitor, the laptop is fine. Also useful for monitoring that layout when away from home - most gave an inbuilt DVD, motion detector and email alerts. 

Nigel

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Thanks Nigel - Dog Clips, Fold-back?? Who knows.  I worked in a bank for 32 years where we used Treasury Tags - remember them?

The CCTV info is interesting.  I knew I wasn't getting something wildly expensive (because my dad bought it :twisted:) but the whole concept is just amazing.  I was planning to use mirrors but now I have CCTV - how posh am I???? :lol:

Barry

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Hi Barry,

Treasury tags - yes I do.I also remember using index cards with holes on the sides and top and bottom with letters and numbers top and bottom. More choices than an Excel spread sheet as more than one number/letter could be used. Used to have a couple of thousand with information on each one. No need to have them sorted. The "knitting needles" did that.

CCTV? The next layout is planned to be some 14 feet long and linear. Not sure I need it for that. If I have a couple of fiddle yards at the end a couple of cameras could prove useful however. For $60, why not? I suspect it's an item that over 10 years had decreased 10-fold in price.

Nigel

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Hi Barry,
This looks a great project, I wish you well with it.
I once bought my clubs old exhibition layout which was 27' x 9' and built a shed of 32' x 12' to house it in.
My first mistake was when the contractor came to do the concrete foundation asked "how big", I told him the above measurement - I didn't realise that he meant how big do you want the foundation!?! When the guys came to build the actual shed, we managed to squeeze a shed of 31'6" x 11'6" on the foundation, giving an inside measurement of about 31' x 11' - which left barely 24" to squeeze down the side of the layout, no way could two people pass each other.
Operating mainly on my own, I managed okay but when I had guys from the club around, it was tight!
The main lesson I learned was that you need an automated system of track cleaning as to do it by hand every time was just too time consuming. I found the CMX cleaner to be good although it needed a powerful diesel loco to haul it.
It was not sufficient though, I found that a scouring action was also needed so I would recommend you investigate Lux Modellbau track cleaners, mine seems okay but I got rid of the big layout prior to getting mine. I had also tried the Dapol cleaner but found it's only use was as a vacuum cleaner, it was rubbish at cleaning track!
Next, duck unders.
As your building is not finished yet(?), how about dropping the floor under the duck unders by a step or two? This would give you a 'walk under', as a back pain sufferer, I wished I had had these.
My layout was analogue already and I am very incompetent when it comes to masses of wiring so, after a while, I did convert to digital operation, which I found much easier but each to their own, I do understand your concerns about the cost of equipping a large fleet with decoders, sound or not.
I believe it depends on what you want out of a layout - if you want to send trains flying round and round, analogue is fine but if you want to start double heading, adding/removing banking engines, complex shunting and so forth, then digital is really useful as you can just drive the locos without worrying about section switches and the like.
Ultimately my layout was too obviously British for running my German or American trains on so I sold it, that's my "butterfly" effect influencing me but your track plan looks very promising indeed.
You have different routes to choose or a nice branch, hopefully enough to maintain interest for a long time (forever, even).
Cheers,
John.

Barry Miltenburg
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The duck-under, walk-under?  I like that idea.  The building is nowehere near starting yet alone finished so there is still plenty of time to change things around. I guess if the sub-soil, drains etc allow it, then a bit of a well under the centre could be very useful

Thanks for the thought

It seems everybody has got a "big layout" story and I am keen to hear them all - the more mistakes other people have made already, the fewer there are left for me!!

p.s. the architect has been told on pain of death that the INSIDE dimensions of the room will be 24ft x 16ft. :thumbs

Barry

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Being the architect/ builder / labourer of my shed I'm the only one to blame If I've got the dimensions wrong for my shed.
http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=14227&forum_id=21&highlight=ludgershall.

The Biggest problem I've got I know of, Is I haven't remembered to leave a place for the control panels...:sad:



The main compromise was getting Planning permission from SWMBO, so one end where the non scenic  track will run round the edge of the shed is her art studio...



 I love the Idea of the security cameras for the view of the layout, I had thought of  individual cameras systems for the distant parts, but yours is a much more integrated approach.



A drop under! I wish I'd  thought of that, that might well be the solution for two of my layouts get under problems rather than bridges.

 luckily I have wooden floors so it still might be achieved. Measurements will take place shortly...



You guys are proving a mine of useful ideas...:lol:


Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 05:41 pm by The Q

Barry Miltenburg
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The general feeling amongst folk seems to be that this project is on the large side and comes therefore with inherant dangers.  Whilst I would tend to agree with the sentiment, I have the advantage of being a single-minded so-and-so (not sure that is the wording my wife would use) and that I have lived with this thing for 3 years so I know every inch of it and can see it in my minds eye.

I also have the advantage that I am in control of my own time (as I work for myself) and look upon this project as a part-time job.

This week has seen then passing of a couple of important milestones.  Elsewhere on the forum I discussed the recent purchase of a Bachmann J11 - this is the final locomotive required to complete the stud of 53 locomotives.  Admittedly, some would be replaced given the opportunity as they are older Hornby types but nevertheless, they are fully working and, for now, fill the need.  Going forward, I would identify possibly 6 to replace (Old Hornby Cl.25, Hornby Cl.29, Hornby old B12, ancient Hornby N2, Hornby D49 tender driven, Ivatt Cl.2 pretending to be a BR Standard).  There is also an old 4F who's tender drive is being used for a J27 build (see another thread).

There will be 51 trains on the layout, of which 4 do not exist at present.  2 of these are 6-coach Express passenger trains but I already have 4 such trains waiting to be uprated to 8-coach sets and space precludes any more.  1 train will be a third Stopping freight service running a trip across from a LMR branch (giving me an excuse to run the beautiful LYR 2-4-2T) and so this train only needs to exist for now as an engine and brake van.  If you have a look at my Yarslow YouTube channel, there is a video on Stopping freight trains and how I run them - this gives you a clue as to how this trip working will be made up.

The final missing train was going to be a class F unfitted freight but I am really struggling to find photographic evidence of a prototype to copy as they seem very rare beasts.  As I prefer to follow the Frank Dyer "mundane" school of modelling, this train may well morph into a Class J "mineral" working and consist of a random assortment of wagons - there are plenty of photos of freight trains running on secondary main lines carrying J headlamps but which are clearly NOT mineral workings.  Hopefully, I can find a suitable photo and it will end up being an F class "unfitted" after all.

I can accommodate this train on the existing layout but only 12 wagons of it so if it does come into being, it will be a short version.  I am minded to build those 12 wagons from kits for no other reason than it would make a change from just buying stuff!!

My existing layout can only handle 6 coach passenger trains and 20 wagon freights so there will need to be an expansion prgramme when the time is right to produce the 8 coach expresses and 28-30 wagon freights that will run on The Final Grand Plan.  However, that expansion is in the future and so I can happily say that, within the confines of the present layout, the trains required for the Final Grand Plan are (in some form or other) existing. :Happy

Last night I went through the plan (v21.3 by the way!!) with my finest tooth comb making sure that everyting was as it should be.  Ideas have changed over 3 years and it's easy to opt for 4-coach trains whereas the original thought was 3-coach and then find that the run-round in the terminus is too short!!!  Happily I avoided such schoolboy errors but I did notice that the facing turnouts on the double junctions were medium radius (Peco Code 75) so I changed them to large radius.  There were a few trap points missong and these have been added in.  I have also experimented with diamond crossings to find that the dead frog versions are every bit as reliable as the live frog versions and a lot easier to wire.  The jury is out on whether I opt for settrack turnouts in the storage sidings (I have a load which makes it tempting) or stick with the planned short radius live frog Code 75.  In any case, I now have a shopping list of track and turnouts.  Deducting those I hope to salvage from my 2 present layouts, that list still runs to 70+ units!!

Running the various trains in my mind have led to the inclusion of an extra siding (for brake vans) at the large through station so that reversing Stopping freights (the LYR-hauled train mentioned above) can run round without the van getting in the way.

I continue to collect photos and ideas for scenic treatment of the various areas and this has inspired a move of the branch wayside station towards the traverser by about 8 inches, opening up the possibility of an inlet/low overbridge/mill-race type scene.  This would remove the need for the branch to emerge from a tunnel - it could simply appear from behind the mill a-la most of Iain Rice's layouts.  [That's not a dig - I admire what he does and see "copying" as "flattery"] .

So the page turns and I move on to (a) starting to acquire track, cork sheeting, wire, point motors, switches etc ready for the start of construction, (b) improving the trains now sitting on the old layout - weathering, adding loads & passengers, loco crews, brake van lights etc etc and (c) upgrading existing equipment ready for the new layout - signalbox interiors, rebuilding the old Hornby breakdown crane into something more realistic, making the signals work, building an engine shed for Yarslow etc etc etc.

Yes, the project is daunting but I am making great progress towards D-Day.  Unfortunately, for various reasons, that date is not yet on the calendar but, looking on the bright side, that's more time to do (a), (b) and (c) above :) :)

B

Barry Miltenburg
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Oh and a couple of other minor changes - the main city to/from which all of this ran has always been Barchester or Bardchester - I am a Trollope Barchester Tales fan - but the real Barchester(!) was really Winchester so the name always rubbed a bit when I chose it for a NER station.  Similarly, Maidstone Lane was a name from an old layout that I just liked.

As of yesterday, the city became Beckbridge (sounds a bit more NE I thought) and therefore the terminus will be Beckbridge Trinity Square.  The through station will become Marystone as a nod towards the original.

I know that names are not vital but, for me, they bring a project to life and allow a bit of back-story telling that starts to make like you really want to live in Yarslow and get the train to Beckbridge every morning to go to work.....

Barry Miltenburg
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Here is a quick look at v21.2 as a reminder. 

Barry Miltenburg
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I've just realised that my last post on this subject was Janaury 2017!!

Blimey - where did those two years go?  I think I remember 2017 as a bit of a blurr but I can't, for the life of me, recall anything meaningful I did in 2018 until the end of the year when I went to New Zealand for a couple of months and re-wrote a couple of books that I originally wrote about 5 years ago.

What a lovely place and lovely people - very friendly and they even spoke well of their cousins from their "Western island" called Straylia or something similar  :lol: :lol:

Since coming back before last Christmas I have been somewhat consumed by a couple of my other hobbies (flat-green bowling and wargaming - not at the same time you understand) - I know its a strange mix but hey!  Both of those happen indoors and whilst the winter in the UK has been, basically, cold and 'orrid, nothing much gets done down in the railway shed.  I did do some electrical work extending the ring main but that was about it.  The book thing is the wargame link - it sounds grand but I assure you its not.

Oh but I did totally redesign the proposed layout for the new space.  That came about because the space I originally wanted in a house we wanted didn't happen.  "So what happens if you can't get that space?" was an unloaded but harsh question.  "Can you put up with less?"

That started a search for an acceptable plan in less that 24ft x 16ft.  The answer, via my usual twenty-odd variations, was "kind of, sort of, probably but, in reality, no".  The best I could do was 24ft x 12ft if I lost some weight or 24ft x 14ft if I didn't wear a pullover - the aisles were looking tight!

The new plan (already up to version 12 or 13 I think) removed the low-level storage sidings and the central reverse loops.  The storage is now on the same level as the main through station but I have retained the city terminus and the branch.  I have gained a PW depot with a few sidings and a non-scenic loco depot in the storage area.  It still can accommodate some 40-odd trains so I'm happy.

If I end up with the original large space, I am now torn between the two ideas and in fact, the new design in the old space has quite an appeal.  The through/junction station is a lot simpler though and I think I might miss the complexity and operation opportunities.  One of the reasons for the change/simplification here was an incident on my present layout when I was shunting a few wagons from a train standing in the platform.  A quick flick of the shunting pole and the wagons were detached along with the top half of the starter signals!!  Bugger!!  If that happens when I am reaching across my proposed station where platform canopies and more delicate signals are planned, I will end up with a full-time job mending stuff. :sad: :sad:

The final epiphany came when I was running some of the proposed trains on the old layout, just to see how they looked.  I currently run 20-wagon freights because that's the longest that my cartridge storage will take.  On the new layout I was proposing 35-40 wagon trains and had planned the gradients for that length.  However, when it came down to it and I captured the new trains on video, it became almost impossible to distinguish between a 30 wagon train and a 40 wagon train - unless I actually counted the wagons - the visual effects were very similar.

So why was I getting paranoid about 35 or 40 wagons when 30 would be more than enough.  In the final analysis, I laid out a 35 wagon train on the floor of the hall.  Yes it looked nice but when I shortened it to 30 wagons, it didn't disappoint.  Going back to the drawing board I realised that planning a storage yard for 30 wagon trains is a lot easier than planning for 35 or 40 wagon trains.  Similarly I have shortened my express passenger trains from 10 to 8 coaches without any loss of visual enjoyment.  Remember I am modelling a secondary main line so no A4's with top link expresses for me, just inter-regional stuff.

The space for the new layout still doesn't exist but having had a few months away from the new plan (somewhat rudely referred to as "Plan B") I remain convinced that shorter trains will still satisfy me and that I could have actually improved the plan by being a little more realistic and bit less meglamaniacal!!!

Plus ca change as they say in certain places.............

ZeldaTheSwordsman
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Both plans are quite exciting and ambitious, and I look forward to when the construction can finally begin. I love some of the ideas here, like CCTV to help with controlling stuff from afar, and the concept of a dip in the floor below duckunders.

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Hi Barry.  I don’t know what headroom you have, but if the new Railway Room was tall enough? You could consider a footbridge in 1:1 scale, seriously.   Best wishes Kevin 

Barry Miltenburg
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Its been some time since I updated this project which stalled for a number of reasons linked with family bereavement, house issues, trips to New Zealand and all sorts of other unrelated stuff.  Needless to say, the prize remains firmly in sight and work continues towards the goal.

Almost inevitably, the question came up of whether I could actually get 24ft x 16ft - a debate driven by a number of properties offering slightly smaller areas (the house it was going to happen in didn't materialise).  So what if I had less space - what was the minimum space I could get away with?

The answer was, of course, a much smaller space but I wanted what I wanted - it was really a question of how small could I make the system without losing its character?

Strangely, what with one thing and another, a new design emerged that removed the two-level aspect of the old plan and kept everything level.



You will see that I am still working to a 24ft x 14ft area and would prefer 16ft width to increase the walkways.  The duck-under problem has gone away as has the question of train lengths and the ability of locomotives to pull their trains up from the low level storarge areas.  The system can still accommodate 50 trains.  [The plan has changed since I made this image - the Yarslow yard has been redesigned to allow access to the goods loop via a a slip crossing when reversing out of the UP platform - the point providing the link between the yard and the UP line has had to move.]

It is still DC, Peco Code 75 and designed for single-handed operation.

Known originally as "Plan C" it then became known as the "Large Layout Project".  Plan B was a 18ft x 8ft garage scheme that challenged me to go back to small spaces again and was designed to test my real ability to build something less enourmous - I failed!  I resorted to 20ft x 12ft and designed something along the lines of Arthur Whitehead's "Just Supposing" from the 1970's Railway Modeller series.  These were LMS schemes that never were but developed by Arthur up to believable layouts with names, places and trains as inspiration.

The new system has a redesigned main station (Yarslow) and could now avoid the return loop across the middle of the room by staying on one level.  Trinity Square survives and has its own storage sidings at the front of the storage area.  The loco shed area is a "scenic storage" zone - I wil put in ash ballast, coal stages and water cranes but essentially, this is part of the storage area.  The turntable will be hand-operated.  Note the cartridge bay on the left for the occasional trains (engineering, pigeon specials etc).

The branch line is changing daily.  The traverser exists already (linked to another layout) and I have started building Long Dyke although it only 4ft long - it is my nod in the direction of a "plank" - albeit with a 4ft traverser on each end.  I am very much inspired by Chris Nevard (hence the "Lesser Nevard" station) and plan to use this little station to up my game on the scenery front.  I am happy with my latest tree-making efforts but will treat myself to a decent static grass applicator.  The signals will work and I will use SEEP point motors in place of the Peco ones on the present layout.

I did start to build a portable layout called Baffle Road (an anagram of AFFORDABLE) to see how little I had to spend to build a decent model terminus - 12ft x 15in on 3 x 4ft boards, one of which was a traverser.  The project got somewhat de-railed by my starting to use it to experiment - SEEP motors, baseboard connectors, different switches, walkabout controllers etc etc.  In the end, I stripped it all out again and now have the boards and a traverser as above.

Hopefully I will start track laying on Long Dyke this week - at least I can then say that I have started on the new layout, now entitled "The Great Northern Railway" bearing in mind that we currently reside south of Watford and are hoping to move very much north of here in the foreseeable future.

I will post other developments and maybe some stuff on system designs/operational designs etc over the next couple of weeks.

Watch this space!!

Barry

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Still an impressive plan Barry, all you need now is a new railway room with a house attached :mutley


Ed

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I had a spare day yesterday and so started on the Great Northern Railway by making Long Dyke (see the plan above).

I stripped back one of the boards of the ill-fated Baffle Road layout and removed all of the track, ballast, polystyrene and filler.  I had point motors and wiring and switched and connectors aplenty!

A half hour playing with the pointwork revealed that I could get a large Peco Y point under the roadbridge and a  L/H "medium" (36 inch) radius point at the start of the only siding to create a "blind" siding for safety.  The main line would then curve back to the straight and produce enough room for a platform and a level crossing.  There would be one siding.

By mid-afternoon I had the track wired and section switches rigged up for testing.  Then came the SEEP point motors and Gaugemaster Capacitor Discharge unit.  A panel-mounted power input for the 16v AC supply and a 9-pin DIN for the Gaugemaster walk-about completed the panel.  The yard section switched is a simple on-off whilst the main section is a on-off-on as it will eventually allow control of the line to be switched to another (Yarslow main) controller.  This will allow the Yarslow controller to drive a train off the branch and into the station - I have always wired my layouts to ensure that the train is under the command of the recieving controller - its easier to keep an eye on things.

The traverser came from Baffle Road although I had to "convert" it to allow operation from the other side - an easy task by removing the tall "frontscene" that originally blocked viewing access and re-marking the sidings/switch positions to be readable from the other side.

As dark fell, I had my J36 shunting some wagons around - section switching and point control working as it should.

Scenic wise, this is a chance to ipgrade my artistic efforts and try to get a lot closer to Chris Nevard than I have with my Yarslow layout.  I have a good supply of plans and plastic sheeting in stock so a platform and station building are planned along with the ubiquitous pub.

I will post some pics soon.

Last edited on Thu May 2nd, 2019 06:28 pm by Barry Miltenburg

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Wow Barry - all that in "a spare day" !! 

Don't suppose you'd be interested in popping over here for a half day would you ?  We could build a layout before the coffee break and go wine tasting afterwards ................  You could sort out the Brexit mess whilst waiting for the flight back ............. :cheers

Looking forward to the pictures .......... :thumbs

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Great plan there Barry good you are able to work on the centre sections before the move as that can take some time to sort.
I started life not to far from where you are St Albans  my fathers family were all from Watford i did work in Watford for a while myself.

Brian

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This photo is actually sideways!!

Here is Long Dyke propped up in the laundry room.  The traverser fits on the left-hand end and the road overbridge will cover the exit and the control panel top left.  I have to make another traverser for the right hand end.  Note the capacitor discharge unit.  The platform will fit above the main line where I have drawn in black marker.  The top here is the front/operating side.  You can see the proposed route of the lane into the station yard which comprises just one siding.  The various holes in the backscene and baseboard will, of course, be filled.  The cross-hatching, lower left, is a hang-over from Baffle Road so ignore this.  The area will be scenery.




This photo (from his own webpage) gives an idea of the work of Chris Nevard - check his work out on the web and YouTube.  I will only get half-way close to this but this is my aim.  His work is superb.

Last edited on Thu May 2nd, 2019 07:11 pm by Barry Miltenburg

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More progress today.


Here is another sideways photo of the traverser modified from the previous project as described.  Entrance is from the left so the rotary control for track selection is now in the back corner instead of at the front but thats no problem.  Track 4 is split for engineer trains.  This traverser represents Highmarsh on the Great Northern Railway.



Track laid and wired and J36 65311 on a test train standing in the platform.



Beyond the overbridge is the traverser - this is part of the old layout just re-vamped but with new wiring etc.  Note the small control panel.  The walkabout controller will remain with Long Dyke now and be used on the new system.  The input into the panel top right is the 16v AC transformer.



The big leap forward today was the construction of the board that will become Lesser Nevard on the Great Northern Railway.  Here it is just blank but will be occupied by an industrial scene (no passenger platform other than, perhaps, a works halt).  I do not have room in the garage for another fiddle yard on the end so Lesser Nevard can act as fiddle yard for Long Dyke and then I will remove the traverser, add a sector plate and use Long Dyke as the fiddle yard when running Lesser Nevard.

Confused?

More pics when more progress is made.

Barry

Last edited on Fri May 3rd, 2019 06:25 pm by Barry Miltenburg

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Bank holiday weekend and not much on so I have bodged up a fiddle yard so that Long Dyke can be operated properly.  Wiring tidied up board-board connections made with phono plugs (they will be replaced by a hardwire connection when this fits into the new layout).

Had a good running session today to test everything and then put in the basic polystyrene blocks which will give me some scenic base.

Hopefully a bit of ballasting this week.

Barry

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Its been quite mad here recently so not a lot of modelling time - just the odd hour here and there.

I discovered a structural integrity issue with the shed which houses the current Yarslow layout and as a result had to move most of the free-standing contents out so that I could investigate properly.  That led to a an opportunity to take a good look at the draw-fulls of "stuff" I have accumulated - you know - those bits that "might come in handy one day".

End result was a dustbin full of discarded rubbish and the discovery of lots of kits that I have bought for the new layout but forgotten about.

The upshot of this was that the hours I have managed to spend in the shed have seen the construction of a Wills small signal cabin kit, a lineside hut that came free with the Railway Modeller yonks ago, a grounded van body kit from the same source, about 3 dozen telegraph poles and a Wills small platform/halt kit that will do nicely for the next board on the Highmarsh branch for the works Halt.

The burst of activity came from the knowledge that whilst the old shed seems to have acquired a distinct "sunken" section, nothing is actually moving and the floor timbers all appear quite solid.  In fact I think that the baseboards and the internal boarding might be supporting the shed at that point!!  The baseboard remains quite level and its just the lower sections that have sunk so the only downside is that my workbench is now on a slight slope!!

I will post some pictures when I can but in the meantime, as I start another non-modelling related project, I am only getting a bit of spare time each evening so have started on the timetable for the line.  I will write progress up for that next.

Barry

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Not sure whether I should post here or under "Other interests" but the non-modelling project mentioned above involves me training and being examined to become a lawn bowls Umpire through English Bowls Umpires Association.  I've bowled for nearly 20 years and enjoy officiating as well.

Having re-trained from being a city desk walla to be an electrician in my 50's, (about 6 or 7 exams and then two 3-hour written papers) ,I fancy my chances at learning a much smaller rule book and being successful at this!!

I will let you know how I get on over the summer and would encourage anyone who has not tried it to give bowls a go - great fun and very sociable!!

Barry

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Yes, it's great fun Barry, and rewarding when it all comes together, so bon courage learning the rule book.

I spent a coule of hours weeding our 'boules terrain' this afternoon in readyness for the summer season. The rule book is somwhat shorter over here, but the matches are certainly lively affairs.

Have fun,

Bill

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Bill
We have a chap at our (indoor) club who has moved to the UK and is trying his hand at bowling. He has, as you would expect, taken to it quickly. 

There is talk of using a spare piece of ground as a boules terrain at the club so we could invite other clubs to play. Lets hope!!

Barry

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They say that every journey starts with a small step.  Except in my case, it starts with a halt.  Let me explain.

Trying to get some space to work on the new Long Dyke/branch halt layout is very difficult at present owing to the continual occupation of the garage by my wife's car and the need to keep the dining room clear for guests etc (I couldn't see the issue with a railway layout in the middle of the dining room....)

I have therefore decided that as the shed was upside down trying to sort out the floor, I would have a good sort out and find some space to erect the layout in there.  As a result I have turfed out about 20 or 30 old 4mm kit built wagons that was all that remained of my old MR 1920's layout from when I was a wee nipper.  They were all past their sell-by date and the coaches were no better than passable so I took the plunge and they have all gone to the storage sidings in the sky (local tip).

Likewise a load of stuff that, for some reason, started living in my shed.

Now I had some space at the end of the shed so Long Dyke has a new home!!


Whilst I can't run a train beyond the end of the baseboard, I can start on the point rodding, ballast and scenery - you can see that I have started with some polystyrene lumps already. 

My journey towards Chris Nevard-esque-ness (is that even a word?) began with a small Wills Halt kit that I thought I would build for the next station along the branch and then weather using Chris's recommendation - pastal weathering powders using a limited range of tones.

So my journey starts with a halt...



Here it is plonked on the Long Dyke board.  I am convincing myself it will look better when there is some scenery around it - but it's a start.  As an aside, although it is the only fit-option that worked, I am less than happy with the fencing on the ramps.  They seem to be very high and much higher than the rest.  I can see the razor saw coming out and some modifications taking place. 

The next station along the branch will be just a siding for Roe Boxes, a rail-served factory.  The halt will be for their workmen - the 6.41am Highmarsh-Yarslow and 8.10am Yarslow-Highmarsh passenger trains call at Roe Halt to set down only.  In the evening, there are return workings at 5.05 and 6.43 to get the workers home again.  Given that this is the early 1960's, I do not suppose many workers actually come by train anymore anyway.

Barry Miltenburg
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I had an odd hour today so put together the point rodding for Long Dyke using Wills Point Rodding kits.



Using baseplates of 1/4" x 1/4" 10 thou plastic card I put together the run I needed.  Note that there are 2 rods - the point on the running line and the point lock.  There are no signals here the station is not a block post.



The cranks at each end are the trickiest bit but with a bit of patience, this is achieved.



Here is the rod laid on the baseboard to work out the position of the ground frame hut (another Wills kit).

A useful hour spent and another job done.  Next comes some ballast and scenery.

Barry

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To the sound of modellers up and down the land rubbing their hands together.............



Up to 8 metres long!!!!!!!!!!!

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I have no intention of making this a blow-by-blow account of building a 400sqft layout.  Suffice to say that High Dyke has been ballasted, the track has been painted and weathered and the basic scenery shell is in.  When it stops looking like a building site and starts to look like a model railway section I will post a few pics.

In the meantime, I am going to post a series of YouTube vids discussing the design process that I have gone through to get to my final plan.  I am not advocating that mine is the only way nor the right way, its just the way I took and I am happy to share some of the bumps and mistakes along the way so that others don't fall down the same holes.

The focus will be on large layouts rather than planks and little layouts.  The Great Northern Railway project will occupy a large area, have 4 stations, 2 storage areas and feature over 50 trains - definitely not a plank!

Hopefully the design processes will be of some use to someone somewhere, even if they choose to see what I have done and then do it entirely differently!!

In other news, the layout has benefitted from another burst of "preparation" - a £30 Bachmann B1 "Wildebeeste" bought cheap because it has wobbly wheels - a quick fix making it 5 x B1's on the roster.  I am happy to take on such challenges when I know how to fix a problem.  I rarely buy anything listed as "a non-runner but looks OK" for fear of ending up with another scrapper.

My next focus is on coaching stock having finalised the timetable and tallied up the number of coaches now required.  All this will be covered in the Design videos mentioned above.

Over and Out for a while - the Women's World Cup (soccer) in Nice, France and the World Cup Netball in Liverpool UK will consume my summer so modelling opportunities will be rare birds.

Barry

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Hi Barry,

What was the problem/fix? Split stub axle?

Nigel

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Hi Nigel

These old Mainline/Bachmann chassis are split and therefore have two stub wheels with short axles, having a square section on the inner end.  They fit into a nylon "axle" which has square holes in the end.  That is not the real issue although they can work loose and need a bit of cyno to hold them in place.

The metal driving wheels comprise a back and a rim and have no real spoke detail (although they do have spokes if that makes sense) - this is provided by a plastic insert that fits into the wheel from the front.  The coupling rods fit into the plastic insert using a 1.5mm hex bolt that secures into the back of the metal wheel.  All that is great but the plastic has a tendancy to warp out of shape and as it is enclosed inside the metal rim, the only was it can expand is to bulge outwards, interfering with the coupling rod.



Here is a close-up of the driving wheel showing the metal rim (weathered silver), the hex bolt securing the coupling rod and the plastic insert (the black bit).   The plastic insert was warped outwards with obvious consequences for the rotation of the coupling rod.

The fix is quite simple but a bit of a fiddle.  Remove the chassis from the loco (easy) and the keeper plate (easy) then remove the hex bolt using a nut driver (easy).  Run superglue down between the spokes (and so between the plastic insert and the metal wheel) (with care) and use a clamp to squeeze the plastic insert back into the wheel (OK).  Leave to dry overnight making sure that the clamp is both tight and not glued to the wheel!!!

In the morning you should have a flat, solid wheel/insert.  If you get this wrong and have glued the insert without getting it flat, you have to remove the insert completely (VERY carefully), clean it off and have another go.  Guess how I know that!

Now replace the wheelset (easy), refit the hex bolt (total PITA as they are much smaller than my fingers) and rebuild the chassis (easy).

I have done 3 of these now - 2 on Lord Burleigh alone - and have successfully returned both locos to full working order.  Wildebeeste, the latest purchase, cost £30 on eBay.  Repair costs - nothing!!



Happy days

Barry

Last edited on Mon Jun 3rd, 2019 09:32 pm by Barry Miltenburg

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Hi Barry,

Interesting. Thanks. Same problem with old Tyco steam locos.

Nigel

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Hi all from sunny & windy Nice
Took the opportunity yesterday to pop down to Monaco on the train - a double-deck job with air conditioned comfort and a rapid transit time all for €8 return!!  Take note SouthWesternTrains please.  Out of interest, noticed how light the rail looked on the route notwithstanding the (presumed) heavy axle loadings of the train.

I have been living with my latest plan for some time now (see post 43) and have spent many a happy hour planning electrics, operation, track lengths etc to ensure that the layout can perform exactly as I want it to.

Imagine my absolute horror then to realise that the lay-bye siding at Yarslow is a complete shambles.  If you look at post 43 you will appreciate that a train on the (clockwise) up line cannot either access the siding or depart from it!!

I must have looked at this plan a thousand times and had not noticed this before.  I can only think that I had designed the lay-bye in whilst the junction still used a single slip in place of the proper double junction and when I changed the layout of the junction, completely overlooked the need to redesign the siding.

Needless to say I have now amended the plan and the lay-bye is accessed via a trailing single slip in place of the diamond crossing.  Up trains can now reverse into it from the up platform and then exit back onto the main line.  There is still a trap point at the end of the siding for safety.

It has also spurned a rash of thorough checking to see what else I’ve made a hash of!!!

Barry

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Hi Barry,

Your comment about the train to nowhere prompted me to go back to post 43. One thing that struck me is the radius of the tracks around the turntable and on the opposite side. They look to be around 22"-24"' if the grid is 12" . 


Nigel

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Hi Nigel
The radius at this section is about 24 inches but these are the approach tracks for the terminus storage roads - short trains and tank engines mostly.  All of these trains currently work well on the existing Yarslow layout where the tracks running around the storage area are Peco 2nd radius - 18 inches or so - so I am not concerned at the tight radius.

On the main line I rarely get down under 30 inches and all of the main circuit point work is large radius except the small radius stuff in the storage area (24 inch radius)

Barry

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Hi All

As the Large Layout Project rolls ever (slowly) forward, thoughts have turned to the actual building in which the layout is to be located.  Plan A was a site within the house but finding houses with 400sqft spare space is a nigh impossible task - at least where we are looking in the UK.

Plan B was an outbuilding and these are readily available but more often than not, they are old cow sheds or similar or a "games room" that includes a bar and a snooker table, adding a nice sum to the price of the house.  Cow sheds are vast and I don't fancy the prospect of converting such a behemoth into a livable railway room. 

Plan C was to build something.  That requires a suitably large garden plot, sufficient for said building, chickens, veg plot and a place for the BBQ/some flowering stuff.  This was/is the preferred route having discounted....

Plan D which was a loft space.  I have never build a layout in a loft for all the reasons that I have read about, written by people who have built layouts in lofts.  Too hot/cold, costly to insulate, water tanks, flooring, roof supports, etc etc.  There was a series of adverts in the Railway Modeller a few years ago showng the work of a loft-room company who produced useable (non-habitable) space clearly aimed at modellers etc.  This could still be a possibility IF the house we find offers a suitable space.  Not surprisingly, no estate agents give you loft dimensions so it might be something we just rock and roll with based on what we think the loft might be like based on the pictures of the house.  Hmmm.

Plan C is winning at present.  A brick built structure is about £30K plus the electrics etc although I can do these myself of course.  Add another few grand for insulation, ventilation, path etc and my piggy bank is empty.  The cost of building the basic layout is estimated at £8-10K - mostly timber, track, wire and scenics etc although the extra rolling stock guestimate is an additional £4-5K at this stage.  (I have discovered that wanting 50 trains is a great idea but the rolling stock requirements are not insignificant.  I have over 500 wagons already but would still need another 500+).

Whilst packing up Yarslow, I have redicovered an article in an old mag about Tony Wright's Little Bytham.  It covers the erection of his 30ft x 12ft(?) shed that now houses the layout.

So why don't I look at sheds?



This 26ft x 14ft beauty is made by an English company and offers a wide range of doors and window combinations plus the option of a more substantioal roof (I am not a lover of corragated plastic).  Its tongue-and-groove (referred to as "shiplap") and comes with 5"x4" floor bearers supporting an 18mm floor capable of withstanding a car being parked on it.  I can do gutters/rainwater gear and the whole thing is looking like £3000!!!

Even after insulation, the piggy bank would still rattle and timber innards are going to be easier to fix to than blockwork so building the baseboards is actually easier too.  The layout project is not really tied to a budget but I would have to be mad not to consider going down this route!!

We have 5 sheds/outbuildings on our property at present, some of which are 15 years old and get a proper treatment every couple of years.  The occasional new roof is no issue as this is the sort of thing we do for our clients anyway!!

I am waiting for some more info from the shed company and will keep you posted.

If, in the meantime, other shed dwellers have horror stories about timber buildings and layouts, PLEASE do tell...........

Barry


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Hi Barry. Excellent  idea, I don’t know anything about garden sheds and I haven’t got any horror stories to relate to you. All I can say is Bravo and good luck with your plans. Best wishes Kevin 

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Ensure the shed is fitted with good quality vapour barrier breathable.

Use Celotex or similar to fill all gaps between joists and aluminium tape them all.

The ply line the entire roof and walls

dependant on floor quality whether you want to insulate that .

Install from Day one heating that ensures the temperature never drops below a certain level.

Brian

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If you can get that shed for 3 grand Barry - send half a dozen of them over here !!!

That looks stunningly cheap compared to here.

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Hi Barry,
Go for a garden workshop, not shed. Higher specifications, and meant to be worked in, rather than just storage. Expect to pay 50% more,  but for that you usually get  better timbers, insulation, roof shingles, double insulation on windows.

Humidity and temperature in an airtight room is an issue. Consider active ventilation, or even a small heat pump. Solves heating and cooling with one system. Small ductless mini split would work for a 1000-1500 cubic feet space. 

NIgel



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Thanks guys - all good information to take forward on th search.

Barry

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Hi Barry.  Keep up the good work. By coincidence I found an photo of “ Hoo Junction Staff Halt “ which will fit into my plans, it is not dissimilar to your halt but not quite so posh. And this has given me an idea for the “ Background “ ? That is if I can find one, stretching into the distance a Depot full of “Locos “ or a sidings with “ Carriages “. Have you got any ideas? Of course, preferably my own layout, I had the space. Best wishes Kevin 

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Hi Kevin

Sometimes inspiration comes from a "Google" session.  Try googling things like "urban railway" or "railways in towns"

Barry

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Hi Barry . Thank you for your reply. I will do that. By the way you had better have good security on the shed.Best wishes Kevin 

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Hi Kevin

My current shed security is based on strong locks, reinforced doors, motion-detection flood lighting and a sign pointing out that two large dogs patrol the grounds.

In reality, the dogs are a just a big lazy tabby cat but I have had no trouble over the last 10 years.  We have open ground behind us but Mrs M has been very creative with her planting in this part of the garden - anything spikey, prickly, nasty and thick!!!

Barry

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Hi Barry.  Thank you for your reply. My overgrown garden features “ Blackthorn “ & “ Hawthorne “. I had intended to create a hedge, but, they are completely out of control, with gaps at ground level and no good for the purpose.Therefore Mrs M has a job on her hands, stout gloves being the order of the day. Best wishes Kevin 

Last edited on Mon Jul 15th, 2019 06:11 pm by Passed Driver

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Fill the gaps with Berberis purpura, As I was hedge timming at the weeked the scratches show the effectiveness..

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Hi the Q.  Thank you for your reply. I did have berberis in the previous garden , but when the local wildlife garden had some native shrubs/ trees I went and got some with the intention of letting them grow for a couple of years until I could layer them into a hedge, but, the plan went “ awry “. Now the job looks further away? If I could only get someone to cut off the top fifteen feet? the job would be simple.  Best wishes Kevin 

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Thanks Q, I will let Mrs M know.

I was also considering wiring the door knob for 240 volts but that does rather fly in the face of Health & Safety!!

B

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As part of my programme of packing away Yarslow Mkk II I have started to give all of the locos a proper service before they are boxed.  Wheels are being cleaned, oily parts oiled and any of those horrid Bachmann/Mainline plastic wheel inserts sorted out.

I am also adding front end details where the couplings have been removed for engines that will only be running in one direction.

When cleaning the wheels, I have just come across this;



This is the tender of one of my V2's.  The black stuff on the wheel bottom right is track doodoo!!!  The tender is not involved with the pick-up process so in the past, I have probably glossed over it.  However, this deposit is, no doubt, then finding its way onto the track with inevitable consequences.  The centre right wheel has been scraped prior to cleaning with white spirit and the left hand set have been fully cleaned.

What concerns me now is the state of the wheels on the wagons and coaches.  I read somewhere that plastic wheels are dreadful at picking up crud and although most of the rolling stock runs on metal wheels, there are still some older plastic wheel-sets in use.  These tender wheels are metal and they are bad so I dread to think what the plastic ones are like!!

Barry

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The beauty of plastic wheels Barry, is that you can't see the gunk !!!

I'd ditch the plastic wheels ASAP.  I note you use white spirit for cleaning - doesn't that leave a residue ?  I use IPA and it's fantastic !!  (that's Isopropyl Alcohol - not India Pale Ale - which is also fantastic ...................... :lol: :lol:)

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Hi Peter

I have always used white spirit without any issues - I use a cotton bud to clean and the other end to "dry".  I do have some IPA and know that its good but white spirit is a fraction of the price!!

Barry

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Just back from a sunny Liverpool (where we watched the best netball World Cup final ever) and back to the melting tarmac of West London.  Lots of great houses and projects in ScouseLand so we are very hopeful of finding a nice railway room with a house attached very quickly. :lol: :lol:

The Estate Agents in Lillypool all tried to maintain a professional face when told that we wanted either a room or space to build 26ft x 16ft, especially when we told them what it was for.  However, they all knuckled down and soon most were talking about the "railway" without fits of laughter.

I expect that they will be swapping stories at the Estate Agents Convention and having a good giggle at my expense!!

Barry

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You just need to remind them it's the second most popular hobby in UK Barry - after fishing .....................

When the likes of Pete Waterman, Rod Stewart and Jools Holland are right out there in front, it's no laughing matter. :thumbs :thumbs

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Its been a mad couple of weeks what with dismantling Yarslow and the continual house-hunting from 200+ miles away!!

I have packed away all of the locos and rolling stock and removed trees and buildings and telegraph poles and such like.  I use plastic crates to store stuff because I know it will travel safely.  Breaking down the storage cartridges has yielded about 60 yards of track (there were 48 of them!) and I am going to start on the loco cartridges this week - there are 52 of them all about 12 inches long so I will end with loads of short bits of track.

The woodwork from the cartridges and layout might be re-cycled but there is a lot of 4mm MDF which is cut into 3 inch strips and contains pins/glue damage so I'll probably junk it.  The cartridge bases were 12mm MDF, again cut into 3 inch strips so not sure what use they might be.  Given the quantity of them, I might hang on to them for now.

I have already made contact with the model railway club in Southport - they meet in an old crossing keepings building next to the current Southport-Liverpool line so there is modern image right outside the door.

This week should see the start of the lifting of the actual Yarslow track - a long process as I am intending to recycle the pointwork and re-use as much track as possible.  I know that PVA can be re-activated if you get it wet and so I will try to spray it to see if that loosens the ballast at all.

Does anyone have any advice for removing ballast that has been PVA'd down?  I could simply dig out the stones from between each sleeper but that sounds a long and painful job.

The Peco point motors will be surplus unless I use them in the storage yard - I have moved over to SEEPs on recent projects.

In other news, we have found a number of railway rooms with decent houses attached :lol: :lol: and so it should not be too hard to get the new layout sited, albeit that is probably going to be 12 months away.  At Mrs M's suggestion, the plan I have posted is being reworked to see if it fits into slightly different shapes - say 20ft square. 

It feels weird not having a layout to run things on, no books to read, no magazines to pour over, no tools to do anything with.  Its gonna be long cold winter............

Barry

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Rather than spraying, use shop towels or heavy duty shop paper wipes wet, cover with cling or foil overnight.  Old towels are ideal. Track should come up using a broad blade underneath. 

Using a tall bucket or deep tray soak the rails and points for 24 hours using hot water  to start with a squirt of cheap washing up liquid. Use a large nylon bristle brush scrub off ballast from the rails/sleepers, use a smaller one for the points.  Nigel


Works for me.


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Thanks Nigel I will give that a try. Its odd that in the dozens of books I have from the 1940's to present day telling me how to lay track, there is little information on lifting it again!!
I will find a plastic tray to soak the track in as suggested for the final clean up

Barry

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Barry Miltenburg wrote: Thanks Nigel I will give that a try. Its odd that in the dozens of books I have from the 1940's to present day telling me how to lay track, there is little information on lifting it again!!
I will find a plastic tray to soak the track in as suggested for the final clean up

Barry

:lol: :lol: :lol:They all assume that a layout is for life and the track plan is perrrfect (well, if you followed their advice). Just watch that the small springs on Peco points don't go walkabout. If they do then Peco will supply replacement ones - just ask. From past experience about 85-90% of the track will be recoverable. If you have 3-foot sections soldered together via joiners just cut out the soldered sections using Xurons or similar before starting to soften the glue with the wet towels.

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Hey Barry, I dread the day I'd have to move Teasel, it sounds terrible! Sounds like you are doing a good job it though.
I am originally from Ainsdale in Southport and where all my family resides, will be there at the weekend. Hope you find somewhere good and big enough to setup your large layout!

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Chris

Thanks for the encouragement.  The Southport area is certainly very nice and I cn see why you go back!!

The house/railway room hunt is looking very positive.

Barry

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Hi Barry,

It's taken me a while to go thru some of your project after your kind words about my project. I now have a better understanding of your amusing comments.

You have great plans and I hope you can find the right solution. Elsewhere I've read of major issues of warping baseboards when humidity moves around, something likely to be an issue in a stand-alone dedicated unit unless you are prepared to keep it at a relatively steady temperature to help stabilise humidity. Someone early on in your topic commented on just this issue.

Assuming limited air flow in / out then as temperature rises and falls relative humidity as a % falls / rises quite markedly. Correct choice of baseboard materials and complete sealing of the timbers may help here.

We are lucky in Melbourne. Summer is bone dry and in winter the wetter weather coincides with the time we heat the house. All the same the timber load bearing frame construction (under an external brick "veneer") of the house creaks and moves around thru the seasons.

Good luck with your project,

Colin

Last edited on Tue Aug 13th, 2019 09:42 pm by Colin W

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Thanks Colin

The "Railway room" would, in perfect circumstances, be a brick built affair attached to the house with a proper double-skin wall (blockwork and brick), rendered on the inside to create, in effect, a living room.  This can be heated by an extension of the central heating system or separate panel heaters.  At the other end of the scale, it might be a wooden building in the garden!!

I am keen (as is Mrs M fortunately) on the former rather than the latter.

Either way, insulation and temperature control are key as you say.  My present shed, although smaller than the one planned, is fully insulated and heated by oil filled panel heaters - cheap to run and easy to control using timers.  I use 12mm MDF baseboards supported by a 2" x 1" frame with bearers spaced no more than 15 inchaes apart.  In the 8 years or so that I have used this approach, I have not suffered any warping.  However, aware of the limitations of MDF I will probably go for 9mm ply on the same framework style for the new layout.  I have built a few test boards with this surface with success.

Barry

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Barry,

You've already some excellent solutions for large scale ballast removal. Just to add my bit, where I needed to remove ballast from a tricky or small location I added some kiddies bubble blowing liquid to water and pipetted this into place.

The bubble mix has glycerol and detergent so the final solution is much thicker than just water + detergent and helps keep the moisture where its needed. Glycerol doesn't evaporate but retains the water and the ballast is fully softened (without covering) overnight. Track can be rinsed off afterwards if required. This is what I used to remove ballast for inserting my decoupling magnets between sleepers. The bubble mix is dirt cheap so can be used ad libitum.

Colin

Last edited on Wed Aug 14th, 2019 09:45 pm by Colin W

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Hi Colin

I like the sound of that - removing ballast and blowing bubbles - what fun!!

Barry

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The sight of the shed with only bare baseboards and part-lifted track is a sorry one. :cry:

However, with draincocks wide open and the machine in full forward gear, the Lillypool-bound train is leaving the station - we have found a suitable flat to move into up there while we sell the London terminus.  Once suitably shunted into the little lay-bye, we will wait for the road to move into the railway-room-with-house-attached.  Its a smallish step but the wheels are turning!!

Barry

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Delighted to hear this news Barry - I know what it's like dismantling a layout when there isn't a new home for it on the horizon ......................

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So, after years of trying to be as realistic as possible I have finally got very close.  Not a train in sight and lifted track everywhere - very 1965.  :lol: :lol: :lol:

I thought I should comment on the helpful ideas given recently reagrding lifting track that has been ballasted.

To start, let me outline my methods of track-laying.  Cork sheeting is laid first, sometimes glued with PVA on curves but often unglued.  The track is pinned on top and then ballasted with Jarvis or Woodland or similar finescale granite chips.  The chips are sprayed with a water/washing up liquid solution and then watered down PVA (again with a drop of washing up liquid) is applied through an eye dropper.  The whole thing is often given 2 glue treatments to ensure its stuck.

I found out recently, although I think it was something I knew but had forgotten, that PVA is reactivated if you wet it.  Based on this knowledge and the advice given above, I sprayed the track with a water/washing up liquid solution until it was very wet.  Having removed ALL of the track pins, the track can be GENTLY teased upwards with a large flat blade.  Pointwork can be gently wiggled from side to side if required.

This is not a job to rush.  If you get disheartened and think you should be doing it faster, have a quick look at track and pointwork prices - it focusses the mind!

Once lifted, I clean the track with an old toothbrush.

It helps to clean up as you go.  The baseboard will be covered with wet (and now sticky) ballast, track pins and mess.  I hoovered up after each piece was lifted.

I had about an hour spare tonight and have lifted 2 large radius points, the 3-way and a curved unit along with several pieces of track.  Short bridging pieces of track were sacrificed to get at the pointwork and I will not be lifting the track buried under filler.

So far so good.  Thanks for the advice chaps

Barry

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Tedius Barry but as you say, if the alternative is buying new, it's certainly worth the effort.

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Indeed.  AnyRail kindly (cruelly) provides a list of required materials when you produce a design.  The Great Northern Railway (as it is slowly becoming known) will use 125 turnouts of various flavours from catch/trap points through to double slips and 3-ways.  That makes what I am doing now so vital - any unit I can save is one less to buy.

It also gived the total trackage length so you can plan how many 'yard lengths' you need.

I read that, add on rail joiners & track pins and then need a lie down!!

Barry

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Barry Miltenburg wrote: I then need a lie down!!

Barry

with a Bex & a cuppa ?

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Wow - 125 turnouts - that's a mortgage in it's own right Barry !!!

I'd buy shares in Peco now if I were you.................

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My post of 30th April 2019 shows the intended trackplan with all 125 turnouts.  A good number are located in the storage area where I want to be able to select a track and just drive a train out.  This luxury has cost me about 2 dozen sets of points!!

It is my intention to float a shopping list to Hattons and Rails to see who is prepared to offer a discount for a bulk buy - if I can pursuade them that I am not opening a rival model shop!!!!  I might also ask Peco direct for a quote, especially given the number of yards of plain track I also need.

Who dares wins............

p.s. Sorry Sol, a "Bex" - I thought that was a type of lager :lol: :lol:

Barry

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Barry Miltenburg wrote: My post of 30th April 2019 shows the intended trackplan with all 125 turnouts.  A good number are located in the storage area where I want to be able to select a track and just drive a train out.  This luxury has cost me about 2 dozen sets of points!! .....

Barry
What? That's almost twice the number on my entire Westown layout. Are you really sure about this "Going Large" thing? :twisted: 

Colin

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Colin W wrote: Barry Miltenburg wrote: My post of 30th April 2019 shows the intended trackplan with all 125 turnouts.  A good number are located in the storage area where I want to be able to select a track and just drive a train out.  This luxury has cost me about 2 dozen sets of points!! .....

Barry
What? That's almost twice the number on my entire Westown layout. Are you really sure about this "Going Large" thing? :twisted: 

Colin



Currently my empire runs 95 turnouts with another 6 being added.

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With apologies for the sideways pictures (iphone photos ALWAYS do this to me!), I present the results of Dr Beechings work in the Yarslow area.  The first photo shows the baseboard framework being dismantled.  I used 2 inch x 2 inch (nominal) for the main spars and 2 inch x 1 inch for the cross bracing every 12 inches.  This supported a 9mm MDF top which did not warp at all during its 8 year life.  Legs were 2 inch x 2 inch.

The second photo shows the benefit of asking how to lift ballasted track.  Thanks to the inputs of the guys on the forum, I have rescued all but 1 section of track.  The bit I lost was on about its 3rd layout anyway so nothing lost really.  All of the pointwork was saved along with the vast majority of wiring and, of course, all of the point motors.  The short bits of track on the shelf in the first photo is the "junk track" pile - 5 short sections!!

The non-scenic side of the layout was all Peco Settrack and this will be passed on to my grandson although I might hold back the curved points as he is only 8 and I am not sure I can explain the geometry of them!!

I estimate that I will not have trains running now for about 2 years as the house move and inevitable renovation progress.  I will have access to my day-to-day tools but not the bigger stuff like airbrushes, soldering iron etc.  With this in mind, I am keen to get into making a few Parkside wagon kits and maybe even some more Ian Kirk coaches if I can find them.

Its already feeling strange to have broken Yarslow down and packed everything away.  The mental health benefits of a layout are, I am finding, somewhat underestimated.

Barry

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It is mentally devastating Barry i know myself when my wife announced it was time for us to move a few years back.
At the time it was a mental kick in the teeth although i knew at some point it would occur.

All i can say is myself and others have been through it and once you have your new place that layout enthusiasm soon bounces back.

Brian

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Best foot forward.

I have now completely dismantled the layout and most of it has gone to the local recycling centre aka the tip.

The pile of saved track has been cleaned up and totals 72 pieces of re-usable lengths.  Most are 36 inches and about 20% are over 24 inches.  There are also a dozen shorter sections and I rescued about 40 12-inch sections from the old loco cartridges.  Every bit saved is one less bit to buy.

Despite all I hear about Brexit (and everything that's blamed on it) the house sale is warming up and we have bought a small flat as a foothold in Southport.  The idea is to move from here to the Southport flat and then find a house/layout room combination that suits at our leisure.  It takes all the stress out but I reckon I will be lucky to see trains running within 2 years. 

That doesn't bother me as I continue to tinker with the detailed design and I will put a series of You Tube videos together telling the story of the design.  The idea is that I have made loads of mistakes to get the design to the current state and if that helps others avoid making the same ones, all well and good.

The hardest thing is not having my library - everything is packed so I have no reference material to hand at all.  That hit me this week when I noticed that Hattons had a number of Mk I TSO and SO coaches for sale at bargain prices.  Ordinarily I would dive into Steve Banks' books to review how these vehicles were used and whether it would be worth getting some.  No can do :cry:

Ah well, at least it saved me some money!!

A final thought has hit me.  Yarslow is a name constructed from "Yarmouth" where we have a house on the Isle of Wight and "Hounslow" which is the London Borough where I live.  If I move to Southport, do I have to change to Yarport or even Southmouth!!!

Barry

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Yarport sounds better, Barry....

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Yes indeed - Yarport flows  off the tongue very easily.

You could have "Livermouth", "Yarpool" or "Yarsey"  as being in the same sort of area............................

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South Yarport

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Barry,

Re iPhone photos' orientation, my solution is to email the photo to my non Apple PC, open the photo in whatever photo editor, rotate as required and do a "Save As" to save with new name. That fixes it and since I'm posting from my desktop there's not that much extra work involved anyway.

Colin





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Cheers Colin :doublethumb

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...........or just take the photo with a camera ............................. :hmm

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Why not call the layout your Surname Barry  thats a good sounding Layout .


"Miltenburg"


Brian

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It would need to be continental Brian ............................. :hmm

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Hi all

I only took the photo with the phone because I have packed the camera somewhere and couldn't find it when I wanted it!!  I have now located it so should not suffer from malrotationalism any more.

Brian - Miltenberg is a town in Germany that I have been to ("berg" = "mountain" in German).  Probably a bit too germanic but a nice idea all the same.

Guys - I have been contemplating the name thing and will probably stick with Yarslow although South Yarport sounds good.  The first half dozen layouts I built were all called "Midworth" simply because I liked the name and I'm a creature of habit.  The other proposed layout names (Highmarsh and Trinity Square) have also been with me for decades - its funny how some things just stick.

Finished stripping out the old Yarslow shed today so nothing remains of the layout other than the entire interior is painted sky blue and there are bits of scenic flock stuck to the backscene which I can't get off.  I have rescued a load of 2" x 2" (nominal) timber lengths that look useful and about 200 screws that held it all together.

On a more constructive note, I have found all manner of tools and stuff that I have lost over the past few years - found down behind baseboards and piles of shed contents.

I'm also saving a small fortune by not continuously buying wagons and stuff!

We are heading north again in a couple of weeks to continue the search for a railway room/house.  During recent discussions, I laid out 24ft x 16ft in our present garden just to get Mrs M used to the idea of the actual size.  I am still feeling somewhat guilty that we have found loads of lovely houses but nothing yet with the right space for the layout.  I have started wondering whether I am being too ambitious but Mrs M simply said "We are not compromising - we'll find something to take the layout".

She's an angel..........

Barry

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Hi Barry. Nominal  2” x 2” does that mean the timber that we got  “lumbered “ with since we joined the EEC?  I preferred real 1” x 11/2” or two be two , that way you knew where you stood. Best wishes Kevin 

Last edited on Wed Sep 18th, 2019 06:00 pm by Passed Driver

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Agreed Kevin - I much preferred the days when you could buy timber from a timber yard run by an old grumpy bloke in a brown workshop coat.  We all knew what "2 by 2" meant.  One of the joys of the Isle of Wight is a chain of shops called "Hursts" where that still happens.  I can buy nails by the pound and cord by the yard.

These days, I have to find my metric converter app on the phone and my reading glasses to work out whether I need 50mm or 44mm timber.

I must be getting old.

Barry

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Dimensional lumber is almost always nominal now. What 50+ years ago was a real 2x2" is now 1.5x1.5" . 2x1" is now 1.75x0.75" . It all started when old growth trees ran out and smaller trees were being used. You can get it 2x2" from a mill shop, or whatever size you want,  it just costs more, especially if you only want a few feet. Or cut it to the size you want on the table saw.  Strength wise there is no real difference between actual or nominal. 

Those old guys in brown coats were usually just as useless as their modern day equivalents. Mill shops and speciality lumber stores excepted, where they make what they sell. 


Nigel

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I know Bunnings is a dirty word in the UK, but here their Structural Timber is what it claims to be dimensionally; 70*35mm is just that and with a bit of care can be bought reasonably straight!  However as I noted over on Westown, in WA you can only get Treated Structural timber, the whole state seems to be built on one enormous termite mound! (sorry to anyone from WA).

Colin


Last edited on Sat Sep 21st, 2019 04:37 am by Colin W

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My experience is that rough sawn timber is the stated dimension.  It's in the planing that the dimension disappears.

1.75" x 1.75" started life as 2" x 2" but, in planing, they removed 0.25".  I don't think it is now but, several years ago it was specified as PSE - planed, squared and edged.  In the old days, the planing, squaring and edging was done by the carpenter on site.  Except in construction, hardly anyone uses rough sawn timber these days - we all like our smooth, neat square timber.

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Anything but PSE unfortunately, even from the mill. I always check, but for baseboard frames it is not that crucial, +/- 1/64" -1/32" (~0.4-0.8mm) can usually be accommodated. Helps if the proper tools are available (planer, table saw and radial saw set at 90°). What is important is that the top is square, especially so with modular or semi-modular setups.

Nigel

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With the final demise of Yarslow in the shed I am able to report that we have a buyer for the London home and so the move to LillyPool looks set for a pre-Christmas schedule.

The end of the need to sit tidily and be forever ready for estate agent (Realtor) viewings means that I have some time to tie up a few odd ends.  I started to pack up the embyonic Long Dyke baseboard and promptly dropped it so I have scrapped the board completely and lifted the track.

The above mentioned plan is version (about) 28 and shows that I have revised the junction at Yarslow and am now using 2 single slipswitches.  I had originally dismissed this as an idea because it did not enable a train on the main line to run up the branch - BUT - I had forgotten that this arrangement would allow a train in the loop platform
to cross onto the branch instead.  A much better idea and a better arrangement for the lay-bye as well.

I have taken the opportunity to revise the branch line stations now that Long Dyke is somewhat dented ( :sad:) and the keen eyed amongst you will notice a subtle change at Trinity Square where the loco yard crossover has been moved back beyond the signal gantry an therefore (more prototypically) within the "station limits".  I have also played around with the siding arrangements at Roe Halt (for Roe Boxes factory), providing a siding facing in the opposite direction to the factory sidings.  This will increase operational interest at this halt but if the new arrangement looks too busy when laid out, I will revert to the older plan.

The final change is the noted "25ft x 16ft" rather than 24ft of the old plan.  This is a bit meglomaniac on my part but simply reflects the size of the building rather than the space occupied by the layout.  We are due to travel north again soon to look at some more potential houses although if the current wet weather continues in the UK we will be taking a boat rather than the car!!  Some of the targets have space for the new Empire so we are travelling with hope.

One final story - the estimator from a national removal company (formerly owned by British Railways) came yesterday to give me a quote to move.  Whan we got to the shed I showed him the empty space pointing out that I had dismantled the layout but had some timber and other boxes of stuff to include in the move.  "OK", he said" its probably best that you dismantled your layout because they are difficult to move".  Top marks for using the term "layout", not "train set" - he's half way to getting the job!!

Barry

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Barry Miltenburg wrote:
One final story - the estimator from a national removal company (formerly owned by British Railways) came yesterday to give me a quote to move.  Whan we got to the shed I showed him the empty space pointing out that I had dismantled the layout but had some timber and other boxes of stuff to include in the move.  "OK", he said" its probably best that you dismantled your layout because they are difficult to move".  Top marks for using the term "layout", not "train set" - he's half way to getting the job!!

Barry

Perhaps there is something to thank Channel 5 for :lol:


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Hi Barry.  I thought that I had read something about a move to the West Country, Lorna Doone and all that romantic stuff. Will they send a “ Horse and Cart “ with a Container on the back ? Bearing in mind the channel 5 comments or is that enough romantic dreams around Railways. Best wishes with the move. Kevin 

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Hi Kevin

The move is actually to BeatleLand near the Mersey.  Wrong side of the Pennines for my models but as I used to model those lovely red ones that struggled over The Long Drag, I will sleep at night with a clear conscience!!

For those interested, YouTube can be used to track down a film called "LMS Freight 1940" - or similar.

One of the many aspects of railway travel featured in it is a family moving house using a container that is collected on a mechanical horse and transported by rail to their new town.  The loading of the container by crane onto the wagon would make anyone interested in Health & Safety cry into their rulebook.  Worth a look if you can find it.

Barry

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Hi Barry.  Thank you. That title sounds familiar? But I cannot find it now. An old driver I know did hook me up with a series of British Transport films were were from way back, I will keep looking. Best wishes Kevin 

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Those old British Transport films are wonderful Barry.  I'm sad to say, some of them take me back to my childhood ........................

Yes, H & S in those days was more likely to stand for "Hovis and Spread" than tin hats ......................replacement labour was both plentiful and cheap !!

I think I've seen that film about the house move but they are always worth another watch.  :thumbs

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Hi all

I have made a few comments on other threads about our impending house move so rather than hijack those, I thought it might be of interest to bring the story up to date on my own page.

Whilst it is still in the lap of the Gods somewhat, our move date looks to be the 25th of November.  I was born in the town I currently live in (although have lived elsewhere lots) so was always a little bit sad to be saying goodbye.  However, the 25th is my late Mum's birthday so I feel its her little way of being with us as we head North.

This week we should complete the puchase of a flat in Lillypool Land to give us a bolt-hole when we move,  We have already started looking for a suitable railway shed with a nice house attached :lol: and here I must mention the outstanding contribution made by Mrs M for making it quite clear to the purveyors of houses in the area that the railway room is a "must-have" on our shopping list.  You can imagine that there are quite a few estate agents (Realtors) looking to separate me from my bag of Shekels and she has made it quite clear that no railway room = no deal!!

The front runner at present in the house race offers a nice garden capable of taking a wooden building some 28ft x 18ft whilst still leaving sufficient room for the veg and the chickens AND still space for the BBQ/patio/flowers.  Funnily enough, the house is quite ordinary but we are willing/able to move the odd wall to get what we want.

This weekend has come to an end with yet another room here stuffed full of cardboard boxes, fewer bits of furniture/decoration on display and more basic living.  Its a bit like when I first got married and used a packing crate as a bedside table until I could afford a proper one!!

Pickfords (who used to be part of the British Transport Commission) are bracing themselves for the big ordeal although there is a mountain of boxes containing various bits of salvaged layout, rolling stock and buildings which I will take up in the car.  Mrs M is being trusted with the cat and the guitar collection in her car.  Three guesses where my priorities lay :lol: :lol:

There will be no layout options in the flat but hopefully, that phase will only last a few months and then we can get our teeth into a new house and I can start thinking about the new layout.  Mrs M has again come up trumps by declaring that my bad back entitles me to some help from a local carpenter when it comes to lining/insulating the shed and building the baseboards.  Is she wonderful or what?  In exchange I have offered a team of landscapers to bash whatever garden we get into shape - oh and to lay a suitable concrete base for the aforementioned shed of course!!

More news as it comes through

Barry

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Hi Barry
Moving house is always a nightmare.  Not  just the practicalities, but the wrench of leaving a home.  Sounds like you have a diamond in Mrs M though!  Hopefully all will go quickly and smoothly and you can share the birth of the new railway....

Michael


Last edited on Mon Nov 11th, 2019 11:01 pm by Headmaster

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Headmaster wrote: Hi Barry
........ Hopefully all will go quickly and smoothly and you can share the birth of the new railway....

Michael



Thanks Michael.  The process has been made more nightmarish by the the less-than-helpful support the vendors solicitor have given her client.  [Those who know of my lack of tact will be proud of that statement!!!]

I still continue to tweak the trackplan and think I have reached the "v.30" mark - the lastest change is to the alignment of the storage siding tracks to gain a bit more length and to do away with the few dead-end sidings on the outside of the up line loops (up goes clockwise for those referring to the old plan).  In the absence of anything constructive to get on with, I find tinkering in this way quite therapeutic.  Its surprising what little improvements I have made without lifting a scalpel blade or paint brush.

Big day today as we signed (what seemed like) hundreds of bits of paper to sell our house and buy a flat (and its Freehold).  It also gave me the opportunity to see the first bill for all thats been done by the Solicitor and the Inland Revenue who have taken 3% in Stamp Duty.  That little lot adds up to a huge pile of pointwork, wagons, Woodland Scenics ballast...................................... :sad: :sad: :sad:

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Hi allJust a quick note to confirm we are now in Liverland and will start the search proper for a suitable railway room with attached house:lol::lol:

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That's great news Barry - hope the move went according to plan.

Do you have some kind of target time for finding your railway room with house attached ?

I understand there are Scouse courses at some local foreign language schools - have you enrolled ?  Just don't get involved in which colour you support - red or blue - it will always end in tears ...............

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Come on you Toffees !!!

Bill

(Francoscouse)

Last edited on Fri Nov 29th, 2019 04:50 pm by Longchap

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Thanks for your kind thoughts guys.

Depending on your point of view, I am either very diplomatic or a bit of a wall-sitter.  I was a Liverpool supporter as a boy but as a fan of the women's game, will support Everton as they play some of their games at Southport FC - our nearest team.

Peter - The search for the house/railway room starts immediately but given that there is bound to be work to be done in the new house, I have written off 9-12 months before I can really get into the new layout.  That is not a problem because I have joined the local MRC (5 minutes walk from where we are living now) and will continue to stay in touch with YMRC and my You Tube subscriptions.  It also gives me a chance to start collecting track, scenery bits and anything else that I spot going cheap!!

I did have half an idea to built a tiny shunting plank whilst I am in the flat but to be honest, I don't intend to be here too long and wanted to concentrate my efforts on house-hunting!

Barry

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Hi all

Its Friday 13th and we have today bought a house - good idea? - I'll let you know.

The house is a double-fronted Victorian pile that has been emptied so it's a blank canvas to make our own.  Just what we wanted when we started out as it happens.

The garden has an alcove which is 26ft x 16ft and the postcode (zipcode) is my wife's initials - it's a sign we felt :lol:.

There now follows about 9 months hard graft whilst we go through the legal paperwork, get a wall moved to create another bathroom, re-wire the house thoughout, flatten an outside WC, replace it with a small extension, build a new kitchen, add some patio doors and tweak the plumbing.  Simple enough :lol: :lol:.

Not being ones to sit on our laurels, Mrs M and I have today commissioned a builder and surveyor to produce quotes and timescales whilst I have sourced both the railway shed and the guy to build the base.  In the wings are a plumber and roofer who we lined up earlier in the week.  Financially it sounds a bit scary but we got the place cheap so have a big budget for building work.  As an aside, because the house was cheap, the Stamp Duty and other direct costs are also less than originally thought.  The £1500 saved on these fees will pay for the track I need in the shed!!

Luckily, the local Model Railway Society have a big test track and as I have the locomotive fleet with me (rolling stock only went to storage), I can run some stuff.  I also have my toolbox so can do a bit of maintenance, oiling etc as well.  A local Train Fair yielded another B1 with wheel issues - I got it for £40 and know that an hour's work will get it working perfectly again - it gives me something to do!!

Happy days

Barry

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Hi Barry and congratulations for all those happy days ahead indeed !!!

The building work seems almost trivial and will simply become part of the great adventure for you and the bride, so all possible good furtune to you both.

After 7 years of work on our place, I am finally looking forward in getting to grips with the railway room next year, as I've very nearly almost finished the barn, but despite any possible delays in my home town, it sounds as if there's going to be continuous model railwaying occuring for you.

Enjoy the ride,

Bill

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It seems you have enough now on your plate to keep you busy for a few months....

I do hope the house wasn't cheap because of it almost falling down or it is next door to a car race track...

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Actually the house is going to be next to a very large shed full of model railway :mutley :mutley :mutley

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Excellent news Barry..... sounds like you have found just what you wanted.  It is a wonderful feeling to make something special and unique to you.... it sounds like you are already on the way..... exciting!  
But enough about the railway shed, sounds like you have a bit to do on the home front too!

Michael


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That's great news Barry - don't forget to show us the pics - of both the little house and the huge railway empire ...............................

Have you started your Scouse lessons yet or are you already fluent ? :roll:

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Hi all



Here is the back garden of the new house - what a mess!!  Mrs M will have her work cut out to get this looking pretty but I have no doubt that she will succeed.

The outbuilding on the far right of the picture is actually outside the kitchen door and will (we hope) be replaced by a small extension to house the laundry and an outside loo.  Behind that, and behind the three fence panels/trellis is a space which is 26ft x 16ft - spooky as that is exactly the size I wanted for the shed.  We may be able to have an extra few feet on the shed to create a workshop in the end and somewhere the motorcycle and lawnmower can live.  That also increases security/insulation for the layout.  I have permission to increase the length of the railway by a couple of feet as well if required.
:Happy :Happy

Nothing much will happen now as everything closes down over the Xmas holiday but it gives us a chance to take stock.  The local MRC has a test track so I can run some stuff and chat with fellow modellers/get my "fix" until work starts on the house.

I'll keep you posted.

Barry

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Just a small garden then Barry :lol:


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Barry Miltenburg wrote: Hi all

Here is the back garden of the new house - what a mess!!  Mrs M will have her work cut out to get this looking pretty but I have no doubt that she will succeed.

The outbuilding on the far right of the picture is actually outside the kitchen door and will (we hope) be replaced by a small extension to house the laundry and an outside loo. 
:Happy :Happy

Barry

Crumbs, when we left Liverpool in '59, my grandparents still had their outside WC, in fact their only WC, then Dylan in the 60s said that times they are a changin and now in the 20s. you Barry are putting in an outside WC!

You just have to love nostalgia, goes with the steam trains!

I've just put in our 6th WC here, although the only outside one is original.

That looks a great railway home Barry, which I'm sure you and the Mrs will have it the way you like it before too long. My very best good wishes for a wonderful and trouble free refurb.

Bill

Last edited on Mon Dec 16th, 2019 11:38 am by Longchap

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I'm pleased you've got some thinking/planning time Barry - it will allow you to realise that you've got things the wrong way round............... :roll:

Let Mrs M have the 26 x 16 space behind the trellis for her garden (easier for her to prep) and you roof in the rest for the railway ..............

Joking aside, it does look like a useful space and, once tidied up, will be a superb garden - I'll watch out for it in Ideal Homes magazine............ !!  :cheers


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Bill

I was just re-readng my post with a view to producing an update and realise that I said "outside loo" when I meant "downstairs loo". 
:thud

As far as updates go - well not a lot has happened whilst the country drags itself back to work in Janaury.  I am still waiting on builders, solicitors, estate agents (Realtors) and shed manufacturers to get back to me with either quotes, information or paperwork.

Something I have discovered is that the local MRC entire clubroom is actually smaller that my proposed layout.

:hmm

For the first time I am starting to appreciate the enormity of the job I have signed up for but that is more of an inspiration than an issue.  The Club has a test track around the walls on the upper floor that is 28 feet long.  I took a couple of locomotives over last week and ran them with 8 coach/28 wagons trains.  That gave me goosebumps because they looked awesome - even with bare baseboards and no scenery.  I found myself doing that schoolboy thing of putting your eye down at model track level as the train went past!!

On a side note, the clubroom is a former station house from the 1870's, recently refurbished for the club by our landlords Network Rail.  The main Southport-Liverpool line is right outside so we get a 3-car soundtrack every 15 minutes!!


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For some bigger trains although not full size, Southport has a nice model engineering club a the top side of Victoria park, off Rotten Row.

Been there a few times on the Caravan club site next door.

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We share some members.  The bigger (live steam) scales seem to instill a more social element into the modelling - meeting up to play trains with a glass of wine and a hot dog seems alien to those us working in 4mm.

Shame!!!

Barry

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Hi Barry.  Replace the Wine and Hot dog, with tea and biscuits and the idea sounds much better, but , before you get carried away, remember that this is a forum and not a MRC. Best wishes Kevin 

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Hello all

Just a quick update regarding the shed.  The suppliers mentioned that a big shed usually bumps into Planning Permission and I was asked to check that all was OK.

What I now discover is that they meant was Building Control - that is a set of rules (probably not unique to the UK and referred to as Building Code in the US I think) that certain buildings need to comply with.  Part A is structural, Part B is fire-related etc.  I am very familiar with Part P which is the electrical section.  The basic idea is that, by following Building Regulations, whatever you do does not carry a risk of death or injury or damage to persons or surroundings.

The local Inspector will be checking that my building, as it exceeds a floor area of 30sqMetres, complies - the main concern appears to be the fact that is built out of a combustible material i.e. wood.  To become compliant with Regs I need to treat it with a flame retardant paint or coating. I have found a company to supply such stuff and then certificate its use.  Total cost about £175.  Fabby!!

The latest big change has been to go back and split the shed in half - 28ft x 16ft for the railway and again a separate 16ft x 8ft workshop to be used as a store and "garage" area.  That makes my bit easier to seal, line, heat and secure so good news.

The process of buying the house drags on but with a bit of luck we will be in, all building work & decoration done and work in the shed started by Christmas.  The shed itself will be erected early on as we need to use it as a storehouse.

More meetings this week with architects, engineers and others so we inch closer each day.  Both the anticipated costs and my consumption of Scotch seem to be going up in equal proportion!!!

Barry

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Barry Miltenburg wrote:
The latest big change has been to go back and split the shed in half - 28ft x 16ft for the railway and again a separate 16ft x 8ft workshop to be used as a store and "garage" area.  That makes my bit easier to seal, line, heat and secure so good news.


At the same time effortlessly redefining the words "half" and "bit" I think! :???:

28/36 = 78% by my reckoning and I know I'll have no joy asking SWMBO for a "bit" more room for W-H using your definition!

Colin


Last edited on Sun Feb 2nd, 2020 11:40 pm by Colin W

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Colin

Mrs M has very many talents but Maths comes some way down the list :twisted: :twisted:

Barry

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Barry Miltenburg wrote: Colin

Mrs M has very many talents but Maths comes some way down the list :twisted: :twisted:

Barry

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Is it just Building Regs you'll need Barry or full planning ?  I'd guess it probably depends on whether or not they class the "shed" as a permanent fixture or "relocatable" …………………..

Here in France, we have an odd system in that anything over 20 sq m requires planning but under that, you're simply supposed to inform the Mayor about it.  Naturally, regardless of size, anything more than single story needs planning.

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28 x11.75 would have avoided the hassle. As would 27.5 x 12.

Nigel

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A shed can be made of any material in the UK,  being wooden makes no difference. In most circumstances a temporary building (which could be just a tent) can only be on site without council permission for 28days.
The maximum size for any building regs exempt build is,
 30 square metres  floor area. 
3 metre high single pitched roof 
4metres high with two or more pitches. 

If made of flammable material,  it cannot be placed with 2 metres of your property boundary. ****
You can cover up to half your garden with shed. 

*****The most ignored law on buildings I know of,  most people's sheds are stuffed into a corner.  Councils ignore that,  unless someone complains. The bigger you build your shed the more likely someone will complain.. 

Of course if you live in a conservation area,  a national park or similar, all automatic permissions are off, you're stuffed. 

PS the Norfolk Broads are NOT a national  park. 

Last edited on Mon Feb 3rd, 2020 05:55 pm by The Q

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There is another issue, certainly here in Oz but might be in UK as well, that with the advent of commercial satellite imagery, Local Councils have become significant customers. They may be watching you.

It's only a theory but it's not hard to imagine with modern computing power that changes made to blocks could be detected by comparing image recordings. If that all sounds far-fetched let me illustrate. We were looking for quotes for Solar Power on our roof. In my first inquiry, once they had our address they looked up the available imagery for our house. Since just a month before we'd had a major overhanging branch removed I pointed out that might not yet be shown. Unfazed the guy say, "oh yes, I can see that from comparing the last two shots!" "Big Brother" is here as the detail they have access to is scary, you should see the photos in their quote documentation, makes Google maps look like a Camera Obscura. 

A friend in the building trade told me Councils are using the technology to monitor changes on sites and in installed buildings, I suspect less for compliance than ensuring rate-able values are updated to maximise income!

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Interesting comment from Colin. Our local equivalent of a council uses satellite imagery (the national geographic service is right next door), as does the county. One to check compliance with code, the other taxes.

Change the front door color? Nope. Change the style of window? Nope. Add on or large shed? A ton and months if not years of paperwork. And probably no, as all neighbors are automatically contacted for opinion which is voiced at a public meeting, video recorded and posted on their website. 

Move a couple counties over where houses sit in a couple of acres and nobody cares. Rifle range in the backyard? Sure. Triple bay two story garage? Sure. Paperwork to build in a couple of months. All improvements that means more rates.

Basements they can't see. I know one one modeler out in the boonies who has a 30 x 12 foot trailer home parked at the side of the house. No interior except for the kitchen. And the layout.

Nigel

Barry Miltenburg
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Hi all

As the shed is just a shed, is under 2.5m high and does not cover 50% of the garden, planning is not required - we have something called Permitted Development which basically says if you can tick some simple boxes, do what you want as long as its at least 1m from a boundary wall.

Building Regs/code is a whole box of rules regarding the quality of the building - the shed counts as a building (as opposed to a mobile phone mast or a bridge which are structures).

Part A deals with structure, B is Fire safety, C is Site Prep and Contaniments etc etc - there is a full list on the interweb if you need some bedtime reading.

Satisfying the criteria in all relevant areas is not a problem and the local Inspector is a guy with a good coating of common sense apparently so I am not foreseeing an issue.  It just needs an hour or two of work to pull a dosier together showing that each of the appropriate Building Reg elements has been considered and satisfied.  Given that I have a Design Manual running to some 50 pages already covering Vision, Infrastructure, Baseboards, Storage tracks, Control, Operation, Electrics and much more, this is nothing more than another chapter and given how slowly the house purchase is moving, it gives something to do in the evenings!!

Barry

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Re "...and given how slowly the house purchase is moving," I thought it was a done deal when you said you'd bought a house back in December. What with Fees, Stamp Duty paid etc. etc.

Last edited on Wed Feb 5th, 2020 03:26 am by Colin W

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Hi Barry,

I would haves good look at your to be neighbor's back yards and see what they already have. Garden sheds, garages, examples and precedents already established. Open expanses with lawns, flower beds and vegetable plots that require sunlight, a patio that gets sunlight, hmm.  A 2.5 meter high by 8 meters long structure can cast quite a shadow.  Does the location affect light through windows next door? The right to light law is still in place in the UK, if your neighbors have been there 20+ years they have it. Right to light is not considered in planning applications. There are expert consultants on this.

Nigel

Edit. I see your RHS neighbor already has a large tiled structure. Tall hedges, fences, etc. I would still check. Nothing like a piece of paper with an expert opinion, cheaper than being sued.

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Hi Colin

We actually agreed to buy the house on the 13th December and last Friday, the vendors solicitors sent my solicitor the first communication!!!!!! 

The house is the asset of a Family Trust which, we were told, would speed things up.  God help us had the thing moved slowly!!

I am trying not to get stressed as I am liable to say something to someone that I would regret.  I just keep taking deep breaths.

Nigel - I am of the school that things are done right by the right people so I have a solicitor, architect (although I am deeply suspicious about them generally), Building Inspector contact and a builder who is very much in tune with the Council requirements.  I have spoken to both immediate neighbours about my plans.  The neighbours behind are 60 yards away.  I am taking as much advice as I can get because (a) I don't know it all and do not want guess/get it wrong and (b) I do not want  to have to dismantle the shed/railway once the project starts.  Fortunately, Mrs M has previous when it comes to garden design and one of the main benefits of the house was the south facing garden.  She is positioning the shed to maximise her wants and still meet the technical requirements.  It'll all be right on the night as they say!

Barry

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Hi Barry,

I raise it because it happened to my next door neighbor when his next door neighbor had a large garage built. Which got torn down. I've never lived anywhere in the UK long enough to accumulate light years.

Our current property was bid on, money moved around, title searches done, contracts drawn up, notarized, and we moved in less than a month. Could have been sooner except we weren't ready. And that was an estate sale. Last but one hose we sold in the UK had a chain of 15 and had me telephoning the solicitors,  buyers and sellers to get things moving along. Even spoke to a Chief Constable who was supposed to be supplying a letter of reference for one of his bobbies to get a mortgage.

Nigel



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BCDR wrote:

Our current property was bid on, money moved around, title searches done, contracts drawn up, notarized, and we moved in less than a month.



Wow, if you could bottle that and sell it in the UK you would be rich man!!

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It's called "not a solicitor in site"

Nigel

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A useful if not entirely successful day today.

We drove the 80 miles or so to the showground where I hoped to be able to see a shed, similar to the one I am having but alas, they did not have such a beast on show (despite the keenness of their invite to show me their sheds :sad:).

However, it was useful to chat to the chief shed builder who was able to give me lots of info a trusses, frame sizes and other shed-geeky stuff that will come in useful when I talk to the Buildings Control Inspector.

I have just spent a bit of time at the local railway club where their test track is 28ft x 12ft to do some "visual" testing - I read somewhere that trains should occupy 1/3 of the visible length of a layout in order to give an aesthetic balance.  As someone who takes a keen interest in all design stuff (if nothing else to prove it either good or twaddle), I have been setting out my intended freight trains on the test track and Hey!, there is some merit in this one.  15 wagon freights look a bit lost whilst 35 wagons looks really long.  As I intend to run 20-28 wagon trains, I am now happy that this "1/3rd" theory is a good one.

Barry

Last edited on Sat Feb 8th, 2020 03:19 pm by Barry Miltenburg

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That's interesting - 1/3rd of the length...………..

Does that mean your trains should be 1/3rd of the available length long or that only 1/3rd of the length should be populated by trains - regardless of individual train length ?


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Peter

The theory is that a train should, ideally, be 1/3rd of the length of the visible section so in my case, where the visible section through Yarslow station is about 30ft, trains should be no longer than about 10ft.

On the old Yarslow layout where the visible section was only about 14ft, 6-coach trains (6ft 6ins long) looked a bit big but the 4-coach locals (about 4ft 3 ins long) looked much better.  It was this that triggered my interest in the "visual testing". 

Incidentally, it also led me to create a number of videos of freight trains containing 18, 20, 22 and 24 wagons.  Watching them back persuaded me that 40 or 50 wagon trains were pointless on that layout - I could apply some compression and run a 22-24 wagon train that looked very long and produce the same visual effect as a 45-wagon train. 

That principle has been applied to the new layout.  A 10ft freight train comes in at about 30 wagons so this is my "optimum" length.  Loaded coal and ore trains are shorter (because they are heavier) at 24 wagons whilst the fitted (Class E) and empties (Class J) have 30 wagons.  The really small milk working (6 tanks + BG) is somehwat lost but this is a good thing - it shows up the light loadings of these types of trains.

Clearly this Rule should be applied with caution - a small shunting plank, where high density trackwork and a crowded feel are sought, would be ruined if every train was 2 wagons long (and the loco became a high proportion of the train length).

Barry

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Hi Barry,


Interesting comments about the % of scenic board occupied by a train. Out of interest I looked up the prototype I'm modeling. This had van and wagon limits depending on the engine, gradients and siding space available. For a 517 class this was 7 coal wagons,10 vans or 14 empties for up workings. Layout (long plank) is ~140', a maximum of 14 empties + the locomotive is ~40%, for 10 vans is ~29% for 7 wagons ~21%. Less for down workings as there was a gradient to deal with. A figure of 30% seems at first glance to be a useful average to consider when running trains. More by chance than any forward planning my sector table has a usable track length of 31.5". Using 3.5" for a wagon/van and allowing 5" for the 517 that will fit 5 wagons, a brake brake, and the locomotive. Just. Definitely a " Well I Never" moment occurred after I measured it. Lots of "Horlicks!" and the like. Good job my wife is out. Live and learn. Interesting lesson here perhaps regarding storage yards, traversers and sector plate sizes versus the length of trains on a layout.

My passenger train limit would be 3.5. feet - 2 carriages and one engine, or 1 carriage, 2 vans and one engine. Does that work with 2 carriages and 2 vans or 3 carriages where 1 is a short matchstick trailer? Probably....there is around 36" between the run around points. The sector plate really needs to have at least 3.75 feet of track. Aargh! Size matters! Salutary lesson here. Back to the drawing board. Definitely a day at the woodworking shop.

Came across this in the March 2020 Model Railroader. 60 x 30 feet. 1800 square feet/167 square meters. The lower level staging track length is around 15 feet, enough for 30 HO freight cars. ~9%.
The main line run is around 160 feet, 30% is around 48 feet or around 90 freight cars. Hmm. I think the 30% may have practical issues with medium and large sized layouts.

I was at a show Saturday where a 15 car passenger train was running on a very big layout. So that should go on a layout with a 50 feet scenic length. The layout was a roundy-roundy around 50 feet long and 15 feet wide - 130 feet of scenic board. Looked fine. 39 passenger cars would just look silly. As would the stations. That said, running 3-4 passenger cars on a mainline express looks out of place. 10 plus the locomotive is more like it. So applying the 30% suggestion that is around 37 feet of scenic board. Basically a 12 x 8 foot room.

Nigel









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Hi NIgel

I can't remember where I read the original comment and with everything in store, I am not sure that I could find it again!!

The 30% thing is not going to be an exact science but its strange how the layouts I like (visually) come somewhere close to this ratio.

I am not sure that I would take a saw to your layout just to fit this theory - if you are happy with what you have, that is surely the most important thing.

Barry

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Hi Barry, 

I rather like the sector layout, so no, it will stay. What I am contemplating is reworking one end to get a few more inches, say 3"-6") and or building a 4 x 1.25 foot cassette board and 4 cassettes as a replacement for when I run longer freight trains. Passenger running is not actually a problem, as the ruling factor is the run around space. Around 3 feet is enough for  two 4- and 6-wheel passenger carriages as they are only 5.5" long, as are the SIPHONS. A 59 foot passenger trailer is around 10" , so even there I can have 2 carriages (one short, one long) plus a SIPHON or 2.

What your comment brought home was that train length needs to correspond to storage track length. And that 30% is actually quite a good number for a small to medium layout.

Nigel

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Hi guys

Big update today as I have cleared out Hattons, Rails of Sheffield and TrackShack of their Code 75 pointwork stocks.  I have ordered 76 units (10 on a pre-order) to ensure that I can get everything I want.  There is loads of plain track about but Peco are, apparently, behind on production with the pointwork - especially the short radius stuff which I guess is popular.

There is no suggestion from Peco (according to Hattons) that the Code 75 production will stop, its just that they are behind, perhaps with a combination of Bullhead production and the reluctance of traffic coming out of China virus-free.

:cry: :cry:

I will have to add up my requirements for plain track, joiners, pins etc and get that stuff ordered to so that I can be ready to go when the time comes, whenever that is.................... [image of tumbleweed blowing through scene!!]

Barry

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76 units!

I bet you get a Xmas card from your bank :lol:

Cheers
Evan

Last edited on Sat Feb 15th, 2020 12:35 am by Ssamm

Barry Miltenburg
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Evan

Now that I'm on a roll I ordered the remaining 10 points that Hattons didn't have from TrackShack along with a bundle of rail joiners, IRJs and track pins.  I still need about 12 boxes of track and 70 point motors but will tackle that when I know the exact quantites.

One of the advantages of planning a project like this from a long way out is the ability to build up a pile of pennies.  Its gives me a good kick to look at the shopping list and think "I've got the wherewithall to buy all that!!"

The overall budget for the project was about £15,000 from the point of moving to this new location - that is on top of the equipment I already have.  Because this layout is an continuation of previous layouts, I have already acquired 50-odd locomotives and about 450 pieces of rolling stock, a couple dozen points and about 70 yards of track.  There are also boxes of trees, buildings, lineside bits, etc etc.  It would have been a big mistake to have jumped straight into this size of project without having built up a stock of both bits and experience.  I strongly believe that I have made all the schoolboy errors during the previous 4 or 5 layouts!!

The shed will cost £7,000.

I also have a very clear plan of what I want.  By being focussed in this way, my collection of locomotives and rolling stock does not contain anything that doesn't fit into this layout.  Much as I like the ex-MR open cab 0-6-0T or the SDJR 0-4-4T I have resisted buying them.  Any old stuff that lingered from earlier projects has been sold and the pennies added to the pile. 

I know its ruthless and many on this forum like to buy what they like but if this layout is to come in on budget, I have to stay focussed.  I also have to keep a detailed Rolling Stock Register so that I know what I've got and a precise idea of train formations (especially passenger trains) so that I only buy the exact coaches and wagons I need.  I have been collecting to get the right number of fish vans, tanks, bolsters and other specialist wagons and just need to build up the numbers of general wagons to populate the various fitted and unfitted freights - I need another 250 wagons and 40-odd coaches.

A lot of what I buy comes from eBay - much derided by many but if you are careful about what you buy and ask questions in cases of uncertainty, there are many bargains to be had.  I do not have an issue with the better wagons from the earlier Bachmann, Hornby and Dapol catalogues and the Hornby Railroad range contains some nice pieces - especially wagons.  Most of my trains will run in fixed formations but where shunting is required, I only use new wagons with small "hook and bar" couplings.  The larger versions used previously by Hornby, Dapol etc are confined to the fixed formations.  Any one train will only contain wagons sharing the same coupling type.

I have just taken delivery (in the middle of typing this) of a couple of the Dapol undecorated vans - they are decent models and at £5 each, worth the effort.  The budget for the layout assumes wagons will cost £20 each and coaches will cost £45 each.  These figures are very rarely reached so I have a fair amount of leeway for the odd lapse (like a Heljan Clayton that I really don't need but like) - even my determined focus gets a bit blurred BUT it still fits into the overall scheme!!!

Barry

Last edited on Sat Feb 15th, 2020 11:44 am by Barry Miltenburg

Barry Miltenburg
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Perhaps I ought to put a bit of context into the conversation - we are about to spend £90,000 repairing and improving the new house to get exactly what we want in addition to the Railway budget.

Am I high-rolling, Ferrarri driving Wolf of Wall Street type? 

No (I drive a FIAT Panda!!).

We sold our 3-bed house in West London and have bought a 4-bed Victorian villa in Merseyside with enough change to carry out improvements, build an enormous railway AND live happily ever after - such is the North-South divide oft discussed.

Barry

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And me

Stephen

Last edited on Sat Feb 15th, 2020 12:16 pm by GreenBR

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I'm in awe at your shopping list Barry - if I sold my Ferrari, I could probably match you.  As it is, like you, I'm very focussed and currently saving hard for the Ferrari ………………. :lol: :lol:

From your budgeted prices, you may well pick up some wagons but I fear, such is the latest hike in prices,  new coaches may well be beyond you ………………..

Who would have thought, a couple of years ago,  that having a budget of £45 for a coach would be pushing your luck !!!

It's all beginning to look very exciting - can't wait to see the size of your "work in progress" pile !!

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Hi Barry,

Nothing like a plan, lots of focus, a list and a register. Plus a bit of leeway for the odd piece that strikes your fancy. Doesn't matter what the budget is either. Apart from kits and "bits" 100% of what rolling stock I have is from shows or eebuygum. Surprisingly (well, not actually) a lot of GWR stock is coming up over here at shows and on the auction sites. Usually in excellent condition. 

Nigel


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Hi all

Luckily, there is still a lot to do that does not involve parting with cash.

Last night I produced a drawing of the baseboards with all of the cross-bracing positioned to avoid the point motors that will be mounted under the baseboards.  From this I was able to determine the number of plywood sheets that I am using for baseboard tops.  I have always used 9mm well braced with 2x1 inch (nominal) timber - unbraced areas should not exceed about 18 inches square.  I may use an open topped design for the branch but both Yarslow and Trinity Square will need solid tops.

I also spend quiet evenings trawling the internet for ideas - I found this one last night;



Its a painting, I know, but this could be the way that the tracks appear on-scene at Roe Halt - the factory could be where the houses stand and the halt would be beyond the signal box.  The garages on the left act as a view-blocker and the gasholders are replaced by warehousing either low-relief or on the backscene (TownScenes do something similar).  If I could capture even half of the atmosphere of Rob Rowlands work I shall be very pleased. (From the colours I'm guessing this is Welsh valleys or outskirts of town - my version would have a NER flavour).

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Barry Miltenburg wrote:
.....The overall budget for the project was about £15,000 from the point of moving to this new location - that is on top of the equipment I already have.  Because this layout is an continuation of previous layouts, I have already acquired 50-odd locomotives and about 450 pieces of rolling stock, a couple dozen points and about 70 yards of track. ....

The shed will cost £7,000.

Barry

Now that's some Budget, is the Shed on top of or part of the £15K? 

Colin


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Hi Colin

The shed is included in the budget total - not even I could spend £15000 on just track and stock!!!
Barry

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Just checking! Mind you £8,000 is not a bad effort given the current rolling stock/ track already accounted for!

Last edited on Sun Feb 16th, 2020 03:02 am by Colin W

Barry Miltenburg
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Colin W wrote: Just checking! Mind you £8,000 is not a bad effort given the current rolling stock/ track already accounted for!
:mutley :mutley

In my defence Colin, the budget also includes insulation and lining for the shed, electrical installation of lighting and power, a uPVC door for the building, baseboards, carpet and a couple of stools.  Hopefully a kettle, small fridge and a few cans of something refreshing will find their way onto the shopping list!!

:cheers

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Head very excited

Wallet truly tired

All I need now is a house and the shed!!

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Good grief Barry - when are you opening your shop ?

That's quite a delivery - not surprised your wallet is in shock but how's your bank manager ?

I get excited when I buy a pack of track pins ...................................


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Hi Peter

If you promise not to tell anyone I'll let you into a little secret.

Until I retired at the age of 50 I was a Bank Manager......

Keep it to yourself!!

Barry

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Ah right Barry - now I understand.  So it's actually my money you're spending ……………………….. ;-) ;-) ;-)

My lips are sealed.  :thumbs

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Saw the picture and immediately thought the same as Peter, good grief  :shock:

Of course, the downside is all the wiring you going to have to do :cry:


Ed

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Apologies for the delay in replying - family issues.

A number of aspects of this project continue to appear, from the outside at least, to be somewhat daunting.  However, it might be worth me reminding folk that this layout is an "extension" of all the other layouts I have built.  Most of the experimental or pioneering work has been done and I am able to call on experience/mistakes/good ideas from a number of previous attempts.

The plan is simply a smaller plan exploded into a big space and the wiring is no different.  Yes, there is a lot of it but it will be very simple - I prefer simple as I am no electronics wizard - and if it breaks, I need to be able to understand it to fix it.

I am also blessed by having a number of friends, mostly non-railway, who have contributed.  My ex-BBC engineer has done sterling work investigating relays and we have spent many (happy) hours measuring resistances through various cable types over 20 metre runs.  On most layouts, you dont have point motors sited 40-odd feet away from the CDU and switch.  The power losses are an important factor!!

The final, and key, element in all this is that I am the sort of person who, generally, gets what he wants.  I don't mean that in a malicious or bullying way, I have a history of strong determination.  I am fortunate that my vision of this shed is shared by my wonderful wife and I am in a position to bring this dream into reality.  I am also fortunate that contributors to this forum have raised questions and issues about the layout that have made me think about aspects that I had previously missed.  Surely that is the greatest support of all.

Oh and no offence taken Peter but after nearly 30 years of working my backside off in the HQ of a Global Corporate bank, where I never saw customers, money or cheques and my rewards came from my own efforts rather than the misfortune of others, Bank Manager jokes wear a bit thin.  Fortunately, early in my banking career I had my skin grafted over with an extra layer from a rhinocerous :mutley :mutley :mutley

Last edited on Tue Mar 17th, 2020 04:27 pm by Barry Miltenburg

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A bit of fun

The layout will consume;

937 feet of track (according to Anyrail)
113 point units
120 point motors
35 buffer stops
845 metres of wire (best estimate)
50 packets of rail joiners
20 packets of track pins
several kilos of ballast (I dread to think actually)
about 120 trees
5 CDU's
6 controllers
133 switches of various types
57 trains
60 locomotives
124 coaches
706 wagons

The shed is 426 square feet and will accommodate
4 stations
3 storage yards
4 control panels
1 workbench
5 bar stools
1 mini fridge full of beer
5 mates
1 electric fuse board feeding
2 electric ring-mains and 1 lighting circuit
20 plug sockets
16 downlighters
4 oil-filled radiators

By the time it is finished I will be:
old
skint
a very happy man  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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With 5 mates and only 5 bar stools, I take it you'll be standing behind the bar Barry ....................

What I can't get my head around is that, with all that track, rolling stock and locos, you can only run to a "mini" fridge !!  What's wrong with a full sized one ?

Barry Miltenburg
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Peter

You would not believe how much stuff has been allocated to "the shed" once we get into the house.  We have agreed not to use the loft for anything and therein lies the problem :cry:

Barry

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Hi Barry,

Only one workbench? Might be useful to have 2 - one for "clean" work (electronics, soldering, and the like), one for messy stuff (scenery, painting, plaster). One of the things I miss after downsizing was the loss of my two workbenches. One had the lathe, mill, drill press, sander and soldering station on, the other had the "messy stuff" including the spray booth (simple frame with a bathroom fan handing the exhaust through a clothes dryer flexi tube to the outside). .

Any chance you can squeeze in a small sink and running water?

Nigel

Barry Miltenburg
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Hi Nigel

No chance of the sink and running water but thank you for the idea of 2 benches for messy and clean work. 

I was considering having the bench next to Middle Junction and having duplicate controllers there for the main up and down lines so that I could work and play trains at the same time.  I decided to locate the bench next to Yarslow so I could do both and not require additional controllers. 

However, your point is well made and I am now considering using a couple of older control units next to the messy bench - I would not fancy getting dirty stuff all over a new pair of Gaugemaster Feedback units!!

Kind regards

Barry

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I have today loaded onto YouTube, the first 2 of a series of videos aimed at explaining how I went about designing the layout - going from initial thoughts through to detailed planning.  Its a process that everybody goes through when designing a new layout but the process gets seriously stretched out and detailed when you are trying to design something that covers 400 square feet.


Introduction




I will post Part 2 on the next post as it appears I cannot post 2 videos together

Barry







Last edited on Wed Mar 18th, 2020 05:44 pm by Barry Miltenburg

Barry Miltenburg
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Part 2 : The Vision


Sol
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So far, you have kept me interested Barry.

Barry Miltenburg
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Sol

Thanks for your interest
I hope its not predatory but I was thinking that whilst I was "social distancing", others in the same position might want something to watch.

Barry

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Hi Barry.        Well done,nothing wrong with that. If only I had the space, the enthusiasm, and the where with all. But I will plod on.   Best wishes Kevin 

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Wow! I've only just seen that delivery back in Feb! How amazing is that! Good luck!

Barry Miltenburg
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Thanks Chris

It will be emotional!!!!

Barry


                 

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