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Padster
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Hi All


I decided to start a new topic on my proposed layout design for a part of the old Buntingford branch line in Hertfordshire - focus on the section between Braughing & Standon. I already started a discussion with Trevor on the possible layout electrics and controller options but did not want to hog Bob's topic thread on his 'new small layout' where my own discussion came up. I have quoted in the 2 main items of the discussion below so they are captured. 


Padster wrote:
Hi Trevor ... apologies for the delay but have been travelling on business. Short answer is no, not replicating Bob's layout and going for a DC End to End layout single branch line, station and goods yards at either end - 18inch wide & 4ft long sections x 4. The red arrows indicate the direction the branch line will contact with countryside scene for around 6ft. Hopefully the attached layout design gives the idea of each end section. My enquiries were just to get my head around the electrical isolation to allow the main branch to trundle up and down with some goods yard and siding activity as well, as I intend this to be a 2 man operation either at home or at some small exhibitions ... eventually :-)   
 



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xdford wrote:This was a bit longer than my usual standards but hopefully it will become clear as we go along.  Thanks Bob for your "imprimatur" so Paul here is an interpretation based on your input.

A couple of explanations.

I have divided this section of your plan into 8 blocks (strangely enough numbered 1 to 8) and labelled discreet points on the layout  A through to R using the draftsman's alphabet (No i o or q) 

You said you wanted to be able to run a train on the main line while shunting in the small yard. Presuming that the operator at what will be the other end wants/needs/would like/all of the previous to be able to do the same at the other station. Hence I have used Rotary switches with 12 positions which I have shown 1 wire for each of 2 controllers ( or two sides of a gaugemaster) but you could use more  wires to the other terminals up to 11 controllers.  I used two for clarity purposes.  Throttle 1 would be at 1 o clock on the switch, throttle 2 would be at 2 o clock on the switch and so forth. The orange strokes are the insulated joiners on the "North" side of the diagram.  

I will be using a similar system for some parts of my own layout for block control when I expand to 4 controllers (after the move of course)  but I do use the same system of aligning positions of the clock for setting the stalls on my  turntable area using a single rotary switch.


The black wire is the common return for controllers and joins up to one side of every controller you want coupled while the rotary switch wires go to the individual controllers other side. The side does not strictly speaking matter!

I did make a couple of assumptions such as the point at G is a catch point? The Main line goes from A to H to P while an engine can shunt the yard coming out of the yard to a yard limit at point R?  You may want to stable a loco in siding J to C  or the track from N and upper or D to south of the Signal box (... sorry I forgot to put a label on those points)  so the switch points can act as the isolator switch. Section B to F is individually blocked to allow a little more flexibility with shunting. 

You may want more or less blocks but see if this suits you... and feel free to ask more questions if it is not clear

Cheers from Oz

Trevor

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Thanks for this nicely detailed help you have provided and your assumptions were spot on. As I look at this more and also consider the train operators real use cases I have in mind, I think this can be simplified somewhat which would be great. I'll try and capture the revised use case tomorrow and see what you think. 
Again, superb advice and help so far for this relative novice .... hope the move goes as smooth as poss Trevor.

Paul 

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Hello Paul,
I was wondering if you were away again or not ... I was updating Hints and Tips this morning (Wednesday) when I realised you had started a new thread.  While it looks complicated the number of blocks to me is about right given a bit of operation scenarios but of course no two operators are going to see their layouts quite the same.

My own layout is (oddly enough) on my website at http://xdford.freeasphost.net/stag06.html as a 4 x 8 ft sheet. Effectively each of the three loops that a train can make is divided into three blocks which I find covers most but not all of the flexibility I would ultimately have liked but no doubt others would require more blocks and some less...

Try and work out your scenarios and we can adapt switching and gaps to suit! And maybe this will help a few others as well!

Cheers

Trevor

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Been pretty busy with work, some travel and young baby grandson but managed to find time to start the baseboard modules with 2 complete, using 9mm plywood for the top base,sides & ends with 6mm plywood cross braces for 
strength and stop any twisting. 4 ft long by 16in width, two more to complete this coming weekend.




Was think of using these fasteners and dowel kits below (£7 or cheaper) for connecting the modules in the garage or at smaller exhibitions ... anyone have experience of these or recommend anything better?



Also got some left over Colron Danish Oil to treat the plywood making it water and damp resistant which I think will be a good idea as it will be storage in the garage over winter times ... although it is dry.

Next stop ... selecting track (thinking Peco 55 or maybe 80) templates and marking up the modules for laying.

Paul   

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I prefer these due to their adjustability, adjustable toggle catches,
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rhinocoeu-Metal-Toggle-Adjustable-Cabinet/dp/B072B9YHVS/ref=sr_1_27?ie=UTF8&qid=1509021935&sr=8-27&keywords=adjustable+toggle+catches

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What a brilliant idea!


Terry

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Agree ... adjustable are a great idea ... thanks for the tip

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xdford wrote: Hello Paul,
I was wondering if you were away again or not ... I was updating Hints and Tips this morning (Wednesday) when I realised you had started a new thread.  While it looks complicated the number of blocks to me is about right given a bit of operation scenarios but of course no two operators are going to see their layouts quite the same.

My own layout is (oddly enough) on my website at http://xdford.freeasphost.net/stag06.html as a 4 x 8 ft sheet. Effectively each of the three loops that a train can make is divided into three blocks which I find covers most but not all of the flexibility I would ultimately have liked but no doubt others would require more blocks and some less...

Try and work out your scenarios and we can adapt switching and gaps to suit! And maybe this will help a few others as well!

Cheers
Trevor

Hi Trevor. As mentioned in my other post on the module building I did get busy again but did not forget your great advice and thoughts and thanks for the sharing the link which I checked with interest. I did as you suggested and tried to work out the probable scenarios which I have tried to describe in visual form with written descriptions too.



The maximum locos running at any given time will be 3 (assuming I have 2 colleagues available). 1 shunting in the red area, 1 shunting in the green area and the remaining one up and down the blue branch line. At times the red shunting will join the branch line to shunt to the south side, where the branch line train will be isolated in the 'Branch station area' top image or it will be up at the other end of the line in the station loop.It will also need to allow for the branch train to be isolated in the station area or the station loop to allow the shunter to move freight up and down the branch to either shunting yards.
I intend to use 1 power transformer for each colour area and I guess another for the points .. perhaps dual power transformers?? Also thinking of 3 Gaugemaster walkabout controllers.

If I'm running things alone at home or even at an event then of course only one train will be in operation at any given time as I move the branch train along to the other station, do some red area shunting operation and then bring the branch train back up ... and perform more green area shunting operation there .. or variations of. 

Probably sounds a little simplistic compared to many other layouts but I want a slow sleepy, branch line that really existing locally to me looking aged about 2 years before its closure ... well thats the plan.

To me it feels like the number of blocks you described could still be valid but for the more simplified operation I described possible the block count, gaps and switching could also be simplified but I will bow to you greater experience of such things. 
Thanks for any input and advice you can offer ... I'm sure it wont be the last time :-)

Paul.

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Hello Paul,
You could get by with one switch with two selection areas to allow a train to run seamlessly from one station and have a "one engine in steam policy" so that only one engine is actually moving on the module at a time.  This may not be a bad idea as you have relatively limited yard space and a shunter would have to block the main line to do anything in the upper yard. There is a lot to be said for a one brain/one train mode of operation. Alternatively the blocks could  be handled with 4 blocks to enable totally independent shunting

The only issue would be relying on points for conductivity, which from my experience is not the best idea. My fiddle yard/ Reginald Bridge area is powered from the mainline block for the present using points as isolators!

Are you planning on your passenger trains to be loco hauled or auto-train style? If you want such a passenger train, it will need to "sit"at the station for a while so an isolator switch allowing a loco heading "west bound" to be turned off or  "stabled" so a shunter can take the coaches away or the "return engine" can couple up and release the inbound engine when its train departs east bound.

Let us know... appropriate diagram will be forthcoming!

Cheers

Trevor

Last edited on Sat Oct 28th, 2017 04:20 pm by xdford

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It’s a fairly easy task to modify the n gauge points to improve conductivity and frog polarity. I’ve done it on Newcastle Emlyn and am so pleased with the improved running that I’m going to have to go back to my other station and rewire all the points in the same manner.
Although I do have the ability to switch my layout into a round roundly via a cross over my philosophy is similar to yours in that it is a single line branch with shunting opportunities at stations, yards and lineside industries.

I’m running mine on two controllers, with multiple blocks and isolation sections. There will be opportunities for 3 operators, two drivers and one Signalman. Getting 3 people into my layout room however is another matter! They had better be friendly.

Good ideas here and with Trevor’s expert help you’ll get a robust plan in no time.

Keep it coming.

Marty

Last edited on Sun Oct 29th, 2017 05:57 am by Marty

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xdford wrote:
Are you planning on your passenger trains to be loco hauled or auto-train style? If you want such a passenger train, it will need to "sit"at the station for a while so an isolator switch allowing a loco heading "west bound" to be turned off or  "stabled" so a shunter can take the coaches away or the "return engine" can couple up and release the inbound engine when its train departs east bound.

Let us know... appropriate diagram will be forthcoming!

Cheers

Trevor

Hi Trevor, 
Brilliant  advice and thoughts, you guys really rock helping as you do and this site is amazing for the novice to see, learn and gain experience ,.... whilst having fun and enjoyment which is what its all about.

As for your question, let me expand a little which I should have done previously. The branch passenger train will be a DMU which was used for the last 5 years on the real line before the Beeching closure - originals were 125 Class Derby 3 coach but these are not avail yet in n gauge so I settle for 108 Class which is very close. 
The yard / siding movements will be Class 80 diesel shunters x 2. As such the shunters will only move around freight. Hope that helps a little more .. photos below of the current rolling stock. 


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Thanks Marty for the additional advice and ideas - really appreciated and I'll keep plugging away during the short days and long nights to emulate what you have achieve on your layout .. very impressive.
cheers
Paul

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Hello Paul,

This is a much simplified switching diagram but given the size available, it should work OK. 

The block switch to the right is to give you seamless passage between two controllers and the upcoming future module to the East or Right of the present module for your railcar and I assume you will run goods trains between the two stations.  

The other two switches will be just used as on/off modes.  By having the insulator at point C, you can isolate your rail motor between A and C but you can also run a loco hauled passenger train in and bring a shunter or returning engine in to remove the consist and/or return the other way.

You can be busy shunting the whole yard until the rail motor is "due" and then isolate the shunter in the yard at "D" until the arrival and the head shunt on the main is clear, when the railmotor is isolated and the shunting can continue.  If the Shunter is between B and F,  the points at F will isolate the shunter anyway until the line is clear.

I am not that familiar with Bachmann N scale trains but I presume that the rail motor has 1 powered car and 2 "trailers" similar to the older Triang sets in OO?  That would mean that the powered car could face "West" and the insulated section  "A-C" could be a bit shorter. 

Hopefully that will ease any wiring concerns you may have had and a few others can learn from it as well!

Without trying to tell you how to build your railway, I am thinking that you should consider changing the orientation of your yard in the future module so that it is reversed and coming off the main at the left of the the entrance ... have a think about it if it enhances your idea of operations

Regards from Oz

Trevor

Last edited on Mon Oct 30th, 2017 04:17 am by xdford

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Hi Trevor
Here's how the whole section of the branch i'm building looks like to module format - 4ft lengths each one..
 

Based on your thought that maybe the east station and its yard could be altered to aid operation, you have a valid point - my only resistance is I want the model to depict with best accuracy how this stretch on the line looked in real life. That said, I have made some point alterations which may help a little at least - see below where the points have been shifted to a new position from the old one (marked with an 'x')

 

I'm assuming I can follow a very similar block and switching setup on this section that you depicted on the previous section ... and would you have any photo images of the types of block switches I should be considering - I need to get this stuff visually in my head and then I'll be fine.... I think :-) !!

Thanks as before for the valuable hints and help.

Paul

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Hello Paul,
The switches I would suggest using are shown on  http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=9970&forum_id=21&page=1 on Ken's switchboard ... we are going to the new house today so time is limited.  There are other versions of the same thing which I will send you!


I have a couple of other ideas that would help you maintain your prototypes integrity with the yard which I will illustrate when we get back here tonight... 

Cheers

Trevor

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thanks Trevor and no rush, you must be very busy with the move process and have a thousand other things to do :-) Hope it goes well.

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The link to Coombe Hinton is excellent to give good ideas ... i had actually seen that thread before but forgot - doh!!
Would you know what product Ken used to create the station platform base - see photos about 6 replies down in his thread?
Paul

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I used plywood 10mm thick Paul (or 7mm plus 3mm of hardboard glued together will also suffice) and fixed it down with a couple of countersunk screws.   Very stable with no warping of any kind.


Ken.

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Hello Paul,
I cannot draw the full thing but if you change your track plan angles, you should  be able to fit in a slightly better length head shunt track (... I know - it is the "up" track on a double track line... ) to wit (although it is exaggerated)...



so with a little shortening of the platform roads, the upper track of the pair of tracks in the bottom right hand corner would perhaps be long enough for an 08 and a few four wheelers off the branch which is I would think typical of the traffic...
 
Is there a plan for a "fiddle yard" to the right at all? That would indeed increase your operating possibilities logarithmically ... then again we would all like more space!

Cheers

Trevor

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I was going to add "Why don't you PM Ken" but he got in first!
Trevor

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Thanks Ken ... and Trevor's right, I should have PM'd you directly.

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Hello Again,
This is the schematic I think you should think about running with... It is quite late here so I will update it in the morning with the rationale



The idea is to be able to run your rail car into either platform 1 or 2 and isolate it while being able to either shunt at the East end or run through a train the length of the layout... of course this may be subject to change in the morning!

Cheers

Trevor

Last edited on Tue Oct 31st, 2017 04:36 pm by xdford

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Hello Paul,
With a clearer head this morning, here are two types of switches you can apply to your control panel



They are of course very different physically but still electrically the same with 6 contacts at the bottom but the illustration I got was of centre off switches.  

With the previous diagram, I toyed with the idea of on/off switches for the platform roads but I think it would have been a bit awkward to park the railcars then negotiate the freight runs around either road. I would take it that the railcar would sit on the platform with the ticket office while passengers exchanged across the bay platform? The way I have drawn it, a railcar can pull into either platform and be isolated with the switch at centre off!

Hope this makes sense to you and I have tried to keep up the flexibility as well as the "integrity" of your prototypes plan.  

The idea of slanting the "East" station has another advantage for you in that not having lines parallel to the edge of the board distorts the viewers sense of perspective and it visually will appear to be that bit bigger than if it is geometrically aligned.  

Photo views of my own layout at the back with the flowing "Ess" curve have deceived many lookers about the size of the layout and if I had a couple of inches extra room at the front I would have made a very big sweeping curve of say a 120" radius rather than a practically straight run but the middle track in that area is not totally parallel so it does throw the eye still...

Hope all this helps with a few ideas...

Cheers

Trevor

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Padster wrote: I have made some point alterations which may help a little at least - see below where the points have been shifted to a new position from the old one (marked with an 'x')

 

Hi Trevor ... perhaps you missed my previous indication that I altered the points from point 'X' to further west on the up side platform approach ... thus generating the extra length you mentioned. It would mean that a 08 shunter coming in from the left side of the track plan you see above would use the up side of the platform to run into the siding and yard even thought unorthodox ... using the reverse to come out with freight as necessary. The alternative would be to do as you suggest and noticeably reduce the platform roads to give more length to the pair of tracks on the right.

Actually I do not plan to have a fiddle yard at all. Thanks also for the initial schema you devised ... all beginning to make sense now...

Paul

  

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Hi Paul,
Actually I did not miss it but presumed you would rather keep the original plan and keep to the integrity of the plan ... in fact I felt a bit like an ashtray on a motorcycle suggesting you alter the plan entirely by re-orientating the yard not realising yours is based on an actual prototype! 

I can work with your newer version but it may take a little while at this point!

Cheers

Trevor

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Some additional operational info Trevor which depicts the operational expectations of the branch DMU in green arrows. Basically it will always follow this pattern and can be 'parked' in the down platform side if a freight 08 shunter needs to exit the yard onto the up platform and off west to the other station and yard. Hope that explains better and sorry i never mentioned before. 

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Hello Paul,
A few extra switches here Paul... sorry about that mate ... but it will cover your operating needs for quite some time.  You could hold your railcar at the East end of the line as a "quasi fiddle yard" even though you physically can see it!



By using Centre Off switches, you can still apply the "one brain/one train"  principle but have a degree of flexibility. The branch you are modelling had up to 3 freights a day according to Wikipedia so I wonder what the main traffic was?  It seems a lot of traffic for a short line but what would I know?

Anyway, hope this gets you over the line ... if you have any rationalising ideas for switches etc, let me know!

Cheers

Trevor



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Thanks again for your ideas and switching / block options Trevor ... I'll looking deeper into this over the coming weekend once I've finished building the last 2 modules. 
As a potted history of the freight on the short 13-14 mile line, 7 of the stations had goods yards / sidings installed, initially for wheat, barley, hay & straw. This expanded to arable crops such as sugar beet, potatoes, cabbages, etc all of which came from the surrounding farmland and agriculture. With the market towns of Buntingford, Hertford & Ware in close proximity each having either maltings, plus along the line itself were a granary and flour mill, all local grain crops were in high demand. Livestock was also being shipped to market regularly at the aforementioned Buntingford and Hertford markets. Coal freight was also moved very regularly at the established coal merchants and specially extended yard in Buntingford, right up to the final line closure. As such, for a small line there was in fact quite some freight moved and depended upon from the Buntingford branch line from its initial opening and throughout its 106 year existence.

Now ... onto my next thoughts ... what track to use and what underlay, cork or foam? I'll research via this site for further real experiences of others.

cheers
Paul

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Thats the baseboard modules all built and treated with Danish natural wood oil to make it water and damp resistant ... next step, the supporting legs. 



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Hello Paul,
Just a question... will the Danish Wood Oil enable you to paint your base with an Earth Tone paint? I am unfamiliar with the product you may be using!

Regards

Trevor

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Hi Trevor,
I'm not clear on what Earth Tone paint is so forgive me .... but I did a test for you using kiddies poster paint which is water based and standard matt emulsion for walls and ceilings, also water based. See below where I tried to apply one coat of each as evenly as possible.



The results are clear ... painting it is perfectly fine although I never bothered will oil based or acrylic paint as that would have no problems covering I'm sure. To the touch after a coat of Colron, the plywood feels exactly the same as it does not 'cover' the wood per se but penetrates the wood to make it more durable, give it some water of damp water resistance and brings out the natural grain and beauty of the wood. Why bother with that I hear you say .... and you'd be right ... I only had some knocking about the garage and got a bee in my bonnet about taking an extra step to ensure the baseboard remained damp free and warp free, as it will be stored in said garage. Probably over kill to be honest but I only rubbed some in with a lint free cloth as a single application, not the standard 3 coats.

Hope that answers your question.  

cheers
Paul

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Thanks for that ... by "Earth Tone", I simply referring to any earth base colour but that can vary on the part of the world you are in or modelling. There is a lot of Reddish Earth here in Australia, sandy colour, Loam Coloured brown, gravel grey, granite etc so I was referring to the colour you would use before applying grass and other scenery,
The colours you have chosen seem to be a good range of earth tones so good luck!

Regards

Trevor

  

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Hi all... well the detachable legs are built and in position so the full height and length are now a reality. The legs are a little snug but have been sanded down a little so not too difficult to prise off. The whole thing is pretty solid but toying with the idea of detachable cross members between the legs but no sure they are needed ... we'll see. Next step are the brass dowel aligners, the module adjustable connecting clips and the adjustable feet - this weeks jobs. 



I've scaled the whole layout design in Peco Code 55 track and tested my current loco / limited rolling stock on a section - they move freely and no bottoming out the sleeper on this lower fine-scale track - does anybody have any
thing dead against Code 55 before I make a more heavier investment as I couldn't find anything on the forum? 

Also I'm leaning towards using cork track bed so are there voices with a stronger leaning to foam or anything else - have checked the forum and it seems various and all options of track bed have been used by forum members successfully so more a case of going with a gut feeling.. 

Cheers
Paul 

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I’ve used cork for the roadbed and it is my preference. I’ve used both PECO N scale codes and have had no problems working with either. For my money I would use code 55 for its lower profile but it is relatively easy to mix and match as I’ve done on NE.
Coming along nicely.

Cheers

Marty


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Thanks Marty ... appreciate the feedback

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Hi Trevor. Im now at the stage where the layout is painted with earth colour base and the cork track underlay is all securely in position and level as hell at the module joints. So time for track laying at last after limited time over the winter .. but before I start that I wanted to draw up a good representation of the requirements including the base electrics and IRJ in the right place around the points, etc before I start pinning the track. I have used your high level circuit ideas for isolated blocks for my relatively simple design (Oct post) and added to it what I think is needed in terms of controller connections, CDU connections, point switch connections and aforementioned IRJ on each point. I'm bound to have got something wrong so if you can cast your expert eye over the free hand additions I've made I'd really appreciate it. Also, where does the wire in red indicated as 'To Controller 2' actually connect to ... I'm assuming the positive DC connection?

Thanks in advance, Paul 


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Hello Paul

I have taken an earlier diagram and updated hence the impression of a cat going over it with claws and looking a bit messy

For the want of a couple of wires, you could increase your operating logarithmically allowing your two cabs to access the areas of your layout. 

I have shown the common wire attached to the controllers. It does not have to be connected to a particular side as you will reverse the controllers in relation to each other in the act of operating your trains. However I suggest that you connect either of your controllers so that the direction switch is in the same direction that you want the train to head!



When you reverse controller 1, the train it is controlling will reverse as will the polarity of the rails. However assuming that the non common rail is positive, the negative return will go through the common wire and back to that controller to make a circuit. 

Controller 2 will be independent in that non common rail is separated so if the polarity/direction is such that the common wire is carrying its positive path and the return will complete the circuit to controller 2 through the non common wire . No polarities will cross as long as the transformers for the controllers are separate unless you have a Gaugemaster unit

For your interest, when I get back up and running properly (I am in testing and renovation phase at the moment with 1 controller) I will have three controllers on a common rail setup and later will rebuild it to four controllers accessing all blocks on the layout using rotary switches as I initially suggested to you.
I have not dealt with your point motors but make sure the switches you use are MOMENTARY contact ones as you do not want to risk burning your point motors

Hope this helps, but feel free to ask for clarification... 

Regards from OZ

Trevor

Last edited on Mon Feb 19th, 2018 07:22 am by xdford

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Hi Trevor ... actually your cat going over it with claws was a damn sight better than my rough and ready chicken scratch effort - I really should apologise for that quick effort but I was a little rushed ... you'd never know I was a frequent constructor of Powerpoint diagrams and a Photoshop bod :-)
I'm not 100% sure I fully follow you but taking your description and diagram a step further for the whole branch I'm building, I've taken it as follows ... would this be correct?

 

Another point (no pun intended) was to be sure I had placed the IRJ in the right places 'in general'  - see the brown markings on the image below?



And yes, I'll be using the 'centre off' switches you kindly recommended previous in this topic to avoid burning out the motors.

Thanks again for the great electrical advice.
Paul

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Hello Paul,
You seem to have the top diagram in a nutshell!  Well done!

Not sure about the centre off switches for the point motors but I will get back to you. Can you get a momentary contact switch that does not hold the power on to the point motor?  Otherwise I have a cheaper idea

I will double check the insulated rail joiners for you as I go... are you using insulfrogs or electro variety?

Now to assist your drawing ability... get some sleep!!!

Cheers

Trevor

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Hello Paul,

The extra switches that I was referring to are here
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/10x-Mini-Momentary-Push-Button-Switch-On-Off-for-Model-Railway-Hobby-Red/121642121608?epid=1589805138&hash=item1c526f7988:g:YzgAAOSwdW9aNASS

You may have to access these from fleabay in the UK to see what your price will be...

Also studying it further, you will need one insulator on your mainline between the east and west station as you have two switches feeding the same block... presumably the joiner will be at the join of the baseboards.


Cheers

Trevor

Last edited on Tue Feb 20th, 2018 05:09 am by xdford

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Thanks Trevor - glad I got the main power and section blocks ok. May have some follow up questions on the principle of two controllers on a common rail setup but let me digest it further first. 
I'll be using electro-frogs so as I understand it i must add IRJ's on each after the frog point - see below. 



I can also see I made a mistake in mentioning the centre off switches for the points ... they will be used for the section blocks actually which I believe will be ok. 

Cheers
Paul

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Ah yes ... those are the little extra switches I need for the points on the control panel .... thanks for the memory jog and also for the extra insulator on the main line join ... 

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Hello Paul,
You will essentially need insulated joiners on both roads at every point possible so I will get to it with the diagram... it will mean a little more soldering and wire connections but it presents no major problems!

Expect it within a day or two...

I had a link to using cheesehead screws rather than switches  ... check out http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=12852&forum_id=21&highlight=%26quot%3BCDU%26quot%3B+and+%26quot%3BProbe%26quot%3B#p227065 which may be of interest to!

BTW Ken's diagrams which I drew for him show the use of electrofrogs and common rail! It is at http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=9494&forum_id=6&highlight=%26quot%3Bwiring+diagram%26quot%3B+and+%26quot%3BKen%26quot%3B#p180539

Regards

Trevor

Last edited on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 04:08 am by xdford

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Hi Paul,
While waiting for some paint to dry and the wife to come home from Exercise class, I started studying the plan and I feel you may need more switches for control purposes...  even if it is only switching an area such as the head shunt to the left of the catch point. 

If you want (read... need) extra switches, you may as well set it up as an electrical block as I initially did for two operators and rely on the centre off position of the block switch... in fact it should be easier, although a taking a little longer!

Let me know what you would like to do!

Trevor

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Hi Trevor .... in your last post where you said "set it up as an electrical block as I initially did for two operators" were you talking about your initial post to me on 8th Oct 2017 or mean something else?
The links you also sent previous to older diagrams you devised were also very helpful ... as indeed is all your shared knowledge.

cheers
Paul

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Hello Paul,  
Essentially replacing those rotary switches with DPDT switches is OK as you have noticed but the insulator positions need to be defined.
If you could let me know which "blocking" you are OK with and I will rework the diagram for insulators and feeders from that,

Cheers

Trevor

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Hi Trevor ... I think I'd prefer DPDT switches to using rotary switches.
Thank you
Paul

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For the benefit of everyone here, Paul and I have had some private correspondence to clarify a point or two. Because Paul is using Electro Frog points, I cannot see that we can get away with less than 9 blocks in what I have labelled the "East" Station but should be the "West Station"  (we Aussies get things upside down sometimes)
Paul (and anyone else) if you could check the insulators and see if there are apparent conflicts with power through given points please bearing in mind that the frogs are live.  I have designated blocks using numbers and location points using letters without the wires in place in this diagram for clarity purposes.

Cheers

Trevor


Last edited on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 01:36 pm by xdford

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I have updated the same diagram with the feeder wires attached for the West Station... I have cut the switches in half for clarity as well as not shown the connections to the power pack but Paul, I think you have worked out enough to cut through that little problem anyway.  
While I have shown the common rail to appear long in its connectors, you only need droppers to go through the board with enough of a tail to join a wire running under your board (so it will be physically closer than the schematic suggests)

Anyway here it is  (with the modification suggested in my next post)


Hope this gets you through the first bit!

Cheers

Trevor

Last edited on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 03:55 am by xdford

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What a marvellous chap you truly are Trevor ... you have give me enough to digest now for Sunday and get this all clear in my head in relation to the layout i'm building. I'd thought I'd made the right decision to use electro-frogs based on this forums advice and others I've researched but possibly could have been simpler with insul-frogs ... but i've made the investment now and really its just relative to the control and options of operations you wish ... and a few more switches, blocks and wiring ... not so bad and a good learning curve.
Thank you kindly from the Northern Hem

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HI Paul,
Shucks Mate!!!  I feel quite flattered but I have already found a minor goof in that I have put in a common connection to the mainline at the passing siding at both F and H but you only need one of these. The best laid plans...  I have updated it on the posting!
Given my druthers, I too would have used electrofrogs myself on my own layout as some of the insulfrogs have worn down over a period so no you have not done the wrong thing! The setting up of the switches will go quicker than you will have thought at the time you come to do it and following the techniques that Ken used, you should have little problem.

I will get an East Station diagram done for you soon but there will be a slight issue with which point layout you are going with? The actual track diagram or the modellers licence one? The former will give you the "accurate" model, the other will make operations a bit easier for you. And it is your railway!

Cheers for now

Trevor

Last edited on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 08:03 am by xdford

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Paul and others sitting on the edge of their seats,
This went a bit quicker than I thought

I have done the two versions of the East Station showing the insulated joiners. When seeing the operational possibilities, some areas could be isolated by using the electrofrogs with the point against the movement so I did not worry about the idea of too many blocks.

I have followed the Draftsmans alphabet by using the letters starting from L for the right side (East) of the layout but just check the insulators.  As you will have realised, it is easy enough to make a change as we find issues.

A question however, did trains terminate in the "bay road" at the prototype of your station, viz not run the full length of the line? 

Anyway here are the trial insulation points... check and see if they foul your idea of possible operations.



Regards

Trevor

Last edited on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 07:29 am by xdford

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Hello Paul,
This should hopefully be the final diagrams barring any discovery of faulty design on my part for both options...  I am relying in part for the electrofrog points in a similar mode to insulfrogs where it seemed to be appropriate but I am presupposing some of your shunting moves and general operation.

Anyway here they are,

The Original...



and the "Modellers Licence" version



Interestingly the accurate plan requires one more switch.  

Hope this has been of help for more than just yourself Paul,

Cheers from Oz

Trevor

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Hi Trevor .. and any others following the thread. I'll try to cover the points your made and assumptions ... but firstly, thanks again so many pointers and guidance on the electrics where I am learning fast ... and as you said previous once I get going in reality with the wiring I'm sure the lessons will pay off ... all about confidence and thats my last hurdle to get over with electrics.
Actually, I am sure others seeing these diagrams and following the thread - even non-members - will take great insight from the information. With the exception of some other threads on this site and Brian Lambert, it was this kind of really useful and clear diagrams I was finding it hard to find on the web - for novice electrical peeps this is a godsend.

On the topic of 'Original' vs 'Modellers licence' layout schema, you were 100% correct Trevor and it was the 'Modellers licence' version. It looks perfect for the operational aspects I had in mind and even negates me asking another question on some changes I had considered ... only subtle ones mind but you already read my mind.

TBH I rechecked the original station plan copies I have of the whole of this branch line - and low and behold the original plans WERE as depicted in the 'Modellers Licence' ... the real station layouts were changed a little around the 1950's I believe and that was how come my original layout design was based on that instead. So 'Modellers Licence' it is ... and retaining its authenticity.

Your last question - "did trains terminate in the 'bay road' at the prototype of your station, viz not run the full length of the line?" If I understand you correctly, my planned operation will be the branch train will terminate at point 15 on your diagram (the down platform), then run on to point 13 in a visible fiddle, then return along to point 12 (the up platform) ... then onward to the West station.    

cheers
Paul
 

Last edited on Tue Feb 27th, 2018 01:39 am by Padster

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Hi all, Busy with work and life tasks but now managed to lay out all the track to size and pinned with few minor adjustments to make here and there. Started to connect a few sections together to make some initial test runs with the Class 8 shunter and works fine. Next step (and for those experienced out there please advise if this is wrong) my intention is to connect up most of the track with fish plates and IRJ according to the guide Trevor outlined for me so a) the track is all aligned with the minor movements that will happen once fishplates are connected and b) allows me to test manually the points and isolation areas work for the operation I have in mind - will do this module by module. I guess once that is done its then time to pluck our courage and start gluing the track into place with PVA .. then once dried start the whole task of drilling holes for feeders, point motors, etc. Is that the correct order of things???

Here's things so far ... note: I've added extra cork underlay in places after these photos were taken, to ensure there is ample either side of the track. 
   



cheers
Paul

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Hello Paul,
Your order is pretty well right and it is your railway so you can do it in what ever order you feel comfortable with. 

I don't know quite how you intend to check out your sections as you go (multi-meter?) but if I could suggest that you use small spikes to hold your track on the outside of the sleepers so your track is held in place, run the common line as I suggested then your droppers that will go to the switches. 

However instead of connecting them directly to the switches, use a temporary runner wire to join up all your blocks and treat the whole layout as one block. I would suggest that you connect one wire to the runner at a time and ensure that the train will run. If there is a problem such as a short circuit , you can then disconnect one wire at a time until the problem is no longer there and you can locate the issue such as a misplaced IRJ or reversed wire etc.
Then run to your hearts content with backup, shunting, running etc at a reasonable rate of knots so that your trackwork is fairly "bomb proof" because testing in slow manner or pushing stock over the track is one thing, the actual operation is definitely another. 

When you are OK that the track is performing well, then drop your PVA glue into place and lift the spikes when the glue has dried. You can then connect the wiring for the blocks to your control panel one at a time and check each switch as you go. Again check out Ken's pictures as they are almost text book examples of how to tackle the wiring.

Hope this helps,

Cheers from Oz

Trevor



Last edited on Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 03:16 am by xdford

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Thanks Trevor. Yes, was going to use a meter and a couple of switches I already have but in hindsight (after thinking more and what you have now confirmed) this would be rather limiting in as much as I could test small sections only at a time then move on to the next - not and overall connected test. Your idea would be a much more robust and overarching test of the whole layout - allowing for corrections and mistakes made. 
cheers
Paul  

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Hi Paul,
As an after thought almost, when you connect the common rail, you could almost guarantee (notice I said ...Almost) that you will be free of problems as far as short circuits are concerned with the following.

1.  Before you start connecting the common return wires, check each section of track with a Multimeter to ensure that there is no short between the rails. 

Using the diagram of Feb 24 and 25 You WILL have a short if you measure at the following Node areas (I am not using the word POINTS to avoid a bit of confusion) if the POINTS are set against the train at areas  designated by the following nodes. I have use the "X" for the meter measuring point node and the "O" is the point which WILL appear to be a short circuit if it is against the train coming through. This is shown by the orange coloured link.









2. Once you have cleared any possibility of a short circuit, then check the continuity of the common rail. Length of your multimeter leads is not important as you can just check continuity from rail to rail in each section of  the common rail and proceed along the length of your layout.

Then you should be able to put in the droppers and connect them to the temporary runner as I suggested in the last post.

Hope you are not the only one here that this is helping but it certainly got my thinking cap going!!

Cheers

Trevor


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Hello Paul and everyone else reading this...
I made a goof ... not a severe one but there will be a dead section in the original wiring plan which the following will illustrate... how come no one else picked it up????

Here is the original goof and its correction. The wiring diagram is essentially correct in its first version so it is only one Insulated Rail Joiner to be replaced with a metal one



Sorry about the mistake ... it was an honest oversight. Hopefully that is the only one!

Regards

Trevor

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Really grateful for this Trevor ... I see exactly what you mean now - and I too missed the goof but my excuse is I would come back to the diagrams in detail around about now as I'm beginning the track testing and pre wiring tasks.
One thing I did want to be sure about and has been bugging me - primarily as I perhaps should know the answer already but still lack a tad of confidence amongst you experts - In the really helpful diagrams you've helped with there are various green marks which indicate where sections of track must be isolated in order the blocks of power to the track can be controlled for operational effectiveness. 

The question - I assume these isolation 'greens' are in addition to the standard requirement for the two Insulated Rail Joiners after the frog of electro-frogs which must be there for polarity reasons when the point is thrown? I've tried to show what I mean with the superimposed point below with the IRJ's marked in yellow.



cheers
Paul

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Hello Paul,
The isolation greens ARE the Insulated Rail Joiners and the green is simply showing the positions of the Insulated Rail Joiners or at least the relative positions of those joiners. Where you see them on one side, that is the side you apply one joiner to while using a metal joiner on the unmarked side! 

The actual position of the joiner is not an issue as long as it is in the vicinity of the area shown and on the same side of the rail.  

If you are still stuck on this, take a photo of your actual layout as an aerial view and I can draw in the position of the joiners but you should follow what I meant in the first paragraph,

Cheers

Trevor

Last edited on Sun Mar 25th, 2018 04:27 am by xdford

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Great .. understood Trevor. I believe I'll be ok with this now but as an exercise on how well I really HAVE understood it (or not) I have taken some aerial shots of the layout and will mark the IRJ on it myself ... then you can mark me out of 10 :-)
I have some other emails I have to attend to first but will post my homework shortly :-)

Paul

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So ... here goes Trevor ... based on your previous advice and my required operational needs, here is where the IRJ will be - some my look a little close to an adjacent track but purely because space was tight to depict but hopefully its clear. Also, I indicated of parts of both station layouts where the live and common will be ... this will be followed through the overall layout. Where there are no IRJ then points against switching will form the isolation.
West Station and sidings

 
East Station and sidings - the assumptions being I can hold a branch passenger DMU in the bay road .. 


cheers
Paul

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Not sure if you can see this clearly enough now I've posted it ... let me know if not.. 
Paul

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Hello Paul,  My second go at this as for some reason my browser shut down.
You have fairly well nailed it so well done!!!  I enlarged the picture so that it was easier to see and checked it against my original diagram for the West Station

However in the process of double checking both our works, I noticed two more slight errors on my part for the West Station so here they are -

a. There is no common feed to the siding between "K and "N"  - fairly easily corrected

b. The common wire between "G" and "H" either needs to be removed or an IRJ placed on the common side at "H"

We have a fairly busy day but I will check the "East Station" in a while!

Again sorry about the goofs... you think you have something covered and there it is. Had you got to the testing stage as I outlined, I think you would have found it anyway but there you go!

Cheers

Trevor


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Thanks Trevor ... and I think you're too hard on yourself - you help many people with these diagrams and guidance so inevitable a few hiccups with all those layouts going around in your head :-)
I'll check things out later today after work ... and hopefully my BR Class 20 shunter will turn up later or tomorrow, then my locos (and DMU) will be complete.

Paul

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Hello Paul,
Thanks for the backup... appreciated!
 
At the moment I think there is no problem with the East Station wiring diagram ( I checked it again before starting to write this) but I will look at it again in a day or two and confirm that. About a month ago we had a leak in our roof that damaged a ceiling  and while I was looking at the diagram this morning, we had the plasterers in so that casual glance without a pre-thought meant I saw it as was rather than how I thought it was! 

Regardless of  whether you went with DCC or blocks as we have, you still would have issues with wiring and insulators so I guess the question is, do you eventually want to go to DCC? There would be some rejigging needed with IRJ's etc but it is not impractical to alter the plans accordingly. 

Anyway, for now good luck with it!

Cheers from Oz

Trevor

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Hello Paul,
I have gone over the East Station a couple of times (earlier this morning before work and just a few minutes ago circa 5:30 after work) and unlike the West side, I cannot see any problems arising with the wiring... yet. 

However I invite a check and anything unforeseen will show itself when you do the electrical testing or if anyone else wants to point out anything glaring, they are most welcome to!

I have only one "concern" and that is the "Head shunt" for the yard on the track I marked "14"... is it long enough for you to put in a reasonable rake of wagons? It looks long enough in the original "from the air" views but the aerial shots make it look quite short!  Does the layout go further east than it looks?

Hope the questions are not impeding your progress

Regards

Trevor

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Hi Trevor ... your earlier question - no plans to go DCC at all so I stick with our block design. You make a good point on the head shunt at the far end of the East station (quasi fiddle) but I should be able to get 5 wagons (6 if all smaller ones) in there ok .. see photos. I did toy with the idea of changing some of the layout to allow for more but this would also apply to the West station yard where these is a similar head shunt. In the end 5-6 wagons should be fine as I plan to operate with a lot of smaller wagon movements rather than longer - this would also be right for the era I am recreating on the layout towards the end of its lifetime, where mostly it was smaller freight movements and only on its final days were there 8-10 wagons moved as they were 'collected up' along the lines smaller sidings to be moved off to Temple Mills or Stratford goods yards.
  

 

Lastly, stupid Easter question ... using the photo below of the same point indicated on the diagram insert for IRJ's, I assume I simply use them here where indicated in yellow and green ... or even further along to the left if I so wished as they will be performing isolation for the blocks 4 & 6? Also, is there still a need to connect the live frog (marked in red) to the motor point for purposes of polarity?



All regards
Paul

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Hello Paul,
I did not actually indicate that the frog needs to be connected but the rail on the "south side" does.  I am not quite sure why you need to electrify the frog with a backup contact in the point motor as should function OK with the contact through the blade of the switch point but there is also no reason not to if that is what you are comfortable with.  The IRJ's as you have shown them are in the right position for that point... well done again!

Personally I have only ever used a couple of point motors and currently do not have them although I am tempted with a relatively new installation to dig out the motors I do have. However for the far reach areas of the layout I do use mechanical point rods and I have never had an issue over 20 plus years.

On my diagram of Feb 24, I used the last switch on the local switchboard to feed in past the point at "D" which I then used as an isolating point for the leads to section "9" which you might wish to change by ...

a)  adding another DPDT switch to control section "9" and...

b) adding another pair of IRJ's at "H" between "H" and "G", one to each rail based on the diagram of Feb 24

That will be your call how you handle it, and no doubt some minor tweak will be needed,

Cheers and Happy Easter

Trevor


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Hi Trevor, thanks for the pointer re: 24 Feb diagram ... I'll check this in more detail this evening. You are quite right - these is no need to connect up the V part of the frog so the whole frog has dedicated power via the point motor. the basic function of the point blade and rail live / common connections does a perfect job, only I've read on this and other forums that over time the track / blades get dirty, oxidised, etc and can make the smooth running of a slow loco problematic ... so I was considering connecting up the V frogs now so I would not have to bother at some point in the future although equally I may never run into problems if I'm meticulous in my track cleaning regime. 
I guess there will be varied opinion on the topic from other peers but I'll have a think about it and make a decision before getting to the serious track and point motor fixing stage.

cheers
Paul     

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Padster wrote: Hi Trevor, thanks for the pointer re: 24 Feb diagram ... I'll check this in more detail this evening. You are quite right - these is no need to connect up the V part of the frog so the whole frog has dedicated power via the point motor. the basic function of the point blade and rail live / common connections does a perfect job, only I've read on this and other forums that over time the track / blades get dirty, oxidised, etc and can make the smooth running of a slow loco problematic ... so I was considering connecting up the V frogs now so I would not have to bother at some point in the future although equally I may never run into problems if I'm meticulous in my track cleaning regime. 
I guess there will be varied opinion on the topic from other peers but I'll have a think about it and make a decision before getting to the serious track and point motor fixing stage.

cheers
Paul     
Paul, that is the main reason why modellers do power up the frog independent of blades contacting stock rails.

The new Peco 00 Bullhead points already have the blades hard wired to stock rails & the frog  - Unifrog - is completed isolated allowing the user to wire it up if required.  This concept has been in use with their H0n  & Code 83 line for a while now & it is guessed by some in the UK that as Peco updates existing turnouts, they too will become Unifrog
https://thehobbyshop.wordpress.com/category/product-information/

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Hello Paul,
You are using prudence to provide for future events with the cleaning. I am dealing with HO so I have a bit more space to deal with cleaning (and I do not have to that often especially now I am inside the main house) but thinking about it, for the want of a couple of minutes work, you will increase your overall reliability and not have the issue of cleaning apart from the track/wheel contact surfaces of course, so if you are prepared to do it, go for it!

Cheers

Trevor

Edited Note,

PS  Looks like Ron beat me to it!  Wonder if Peco will apply the same principle to their N scale points?

Cheers

Last edited on Sat Mar 31st, 2018 02:17 am by xdford

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Thanks Sol & Trevor - as always the GFO are super helpful (Guru's From Oz)

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Hi all.. 
Been busy soldering all my power droppers which is going well ... and now getting close to the stage where I want to start planning wiring up the SEEP point motors. Based on the last few replies above where Sol and Trevor were discussing with me on livening up the V on the Electrofrog points based on throwing the point switch ... I'm now a little concerned that on N gauge code 55 streamline turnouts this is going to be pretty tricky with so little space to actually solder the wire to the track (either the side of the track or the underside).

You can see what I mean with the limited space in the pics below. I'm clear on how to connect everything up but can really only find examples of O gauge turnouts being soldered on YouTube and not code 55.

 

I can imagine the only place to solder a live wire is at the point indicated with the red arrow in the 2nd pic above, either to the outside of the track or underneath - any other thoughts please ... or even better a link to a video where is actually demonstrating this for code 55 turnouts?

cheers
Paul   

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Paul,
These are electrofrog points so the connection point for the wire does not need to be (in the way you have drawn) west of the frog, Location of the wire does not strictly speaking matter.

You can connect your wire for the frog...



Either the red or the orange connection point will do with the feed wire on the outside of the rail,

Hope this helps

Trevor


Last edited on Tue May 8th, 2018 10:42 pm by xdford

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Thanks Trevor ... too much sun over the bank holiday for me I think - of course, the whole frog is live so can be connected in various places. Doh!!

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Hi Paul,

I must have been suffering from a bit of heat stroke in this autumn weather here too, having put East instead of West - now corrected!  Easy enough not to think in terms of electrical feedback.

In the interests of this forum helping others, how is the testing going? Have you developed any techniques apart from the ones we dealt with that have helped? Any major hurdles crop up or major goofs been found? Have you been operating with the trains or still in the disciplined building stages?

Cheers for now,

Trevor


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Hi Trevor, 
Still in the disciplined stages of testing and soldering power / common drop wires and this week the power feed to all points ready for connecting up to SEEP switches - basically been taking my time to try and develop some sort of soldering technique but with the Hakko soldering station it makes things soooo much easier.

Firstly, I performed testing on the West station areas (modules 1 & 2) with all the tracked connected with metal rail joiners and isolating plastic ones as per the plan. With them connected physically I set about creating a mini bus, if you will, using 12 pin electrical connector - half looped for 6 common feeds and half looped for 6 live feeds (which could be multiplied up again using extra individual blocks (see image). The block was then connected to the Gaugemaster. Each length of red or black wire (approx 3ft in length) had a crocodile clip connected at the end - all wire used will be reused at some point in the overall layout so nothing is wasted. Then I set about connecting each clip I needed to various parts of the track to mimic all the connections on the electrical plan you helped me design - this meant I could clip them on or off at will to also mimic isolating various parts (in some cases I had to stop the train and move the clip around to allow the train to continue). Overall it served its purpose and all the connections worked fine and the operation was as I had intended - only found one small part of track not connected which was an oversight on my part at the module joins. So in essence I used your idea but tweaked it a little - also means I can repeat the same thing for the East end modules in due course. 



As I write I have just completed soldering the last point live feed wire and now beginning the drilling of holes in the baseboard for the droppers and point feeds ... then pin down the track in place - I plan to fix the track down more solidly with the adhesive used when ballasting.

So far , so good
Paul    

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Excellent News Paul.  
I guess being an electrician by trade, a) it makes it easier for me to understand and b) I run a risk of using some trade shorthand when describing what to do  as I think I did but you seem to have got through that!  Well Done Mate!

Looking forward to more pix of the progress!

Cheers

Trevor

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Hi Paul  You have a very fine layout there, is it portable, and are you able to take it to shows??? I must admit, first of all I am not an electrician , and I don’t even know much about blocks on model railways.
Are they like like dead sections between lengths of track?? Best wishes. Kevin

Last edited on Fri Jun 1st, 2018 07:31 am by Passed Driver

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Hello Kevin,
Have you actually put up a plan?  It is a bit hard to work out what block you may or may not need!  I read in a couple of other posts that you have trouble reducing your photos etc.  If you want to send the entire photo, I can reduce it for you using Thumbs Plus or GIMP that will enable you to upload it!  PM me if you want my email! 

Block work is not hard, although I can see that to a non electrician, the wiring diagrams seem a bit daunting. I suggest you have a read of the thread that Ken started on 

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=9970&forum_id=21&page=1 

but he overcame the trepidation of the wiring process and made a very creditable job of it! 

If you are going with DCC, you only have to make your blocks as such that all the track is powered and there are no short circuits caused by electrofrogs.  So perhaps a plan would work OK.  

If you are not using DCC, then the most onerous task you need to undertake is to work out what your operating scheme is likely to be and what you want your trains to be able to do. The blocking will then fall into place!

Cheers from the Antipodes! ;)

Trevor 

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Hi Trevor.  Thank you for your reply. My four foot by fourteen inch Shunting Puzzle is a simple design with a five wagon siding and two three wagon sidings. I am using DCC, the points are wire in tube. I had been faffing around trying to figure out the best way to fill the empty space, and I required a programme track, so I wired in a switch to the programme track as per Powercab instructions, but that rather banjaxed the my plans, until Chubber came up with  the “  inspiration ” for a Double Sector Plate. I will still keep the puzzle as it is but have an extended programme track independently wired ( if it is okay that is to use it as another line?) but I may have to re wire the switch? You can see that I am not an electrician, my wiring started out tidy, until that is I had a “ dead frog? “But it turned out that one of the DPDT Slide switches were installed “the wrong way round?    Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Kevin,I understand that Trevor and myself have mentioned blocks and sections a lot in my thread based on my layout design and current build, however I see that you addressed a question directly to Marty and the discussion is based on your own 'shunting puzzle' ...so would it make sense to start a new topic thread under 'Trackwork & Operation' so that others can learn and help on your questions and layout and find the advice given more easily? 

I'm sure the admins of this site can help do that for you and also move the last few postings from my Braughing to Standon branch design thread into it too.

Cheers and good luck with the layout
Paul

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Hi Paul. I had began a thread some time ago under “Small layouts Planks and Micros” and then I made a mistake, nothing new there, and carried on thread under “ Trackwork and Operation “. But when I required a Programme track to save having another piece of wood laying about the house , I used up spare space next to the Shunting Puzzle .My new plan is to intergrate the programme track with the Shunting Puzzle but be able isolate the programme track and have a Main Line running past the puzzle.    Best wihes. Kevin

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Hello Kevin and anyone else interested in this concept,

I have drawn my interpretation of Kevins layout  showing a sector plate.  I have only used one track of the sector plate as the Programming Track that can be changed to a DCC track.

I have a little bit of direct experience with DCC so the diagram was based on a few presumptions.

I have drawn insulators in the event that your frogs are electro frogs and need insulated joiners.  The sidings are continuously connected.  If you use Insul frogs, you can keep the wires but no need to worry about the insulated joiners.

DCC engines that are stabled are totally inert so it does not matter which way  or where the engines are parked.

Programming Tracks need to be isolated so I have used one of the transfer tracks as the part time program track. 

The  DPDT switch determines whether the third track is the programming track or operating part of the layout..


Hope this Helps

Regards

Trevor

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Hi Trevor.  I have only just caught up with this thread. I too use Peco streamline track, for my sins? And I discovered that as flat as the baseboard was, the metal fishplate allowed the track to lay flat, but the insulated fishplate put a “Bump” in the track. After lengthy investigations , I have found a thread on the very subject, but it is only suitable from the outset, unless that is you have “loads of money to dedicate to your layout” .The idea is when you lay the track you only use the metal fishplate s, and you create a gap on the frog with 20thou styrene, secure the track and remove the styrene, then fill the gap with “ Milliput “ , when it has set smooth the join.
Of course I haven’t tried this , but it sounds good.  Best wishes. Kevin

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Hello Kevin and any one else who might be interested,  
WIth Insulated joiners with the track, you can either remove that sleeper entirely or undercut it so there is an appropriate notch out of the sleeper under the rail.

Alternatively you can install a metal joiner at the point/turnout then cut a gap in the rail with a razor saw and super glue an offcut of styrene sheet (plastic lid from a margarine container or similar will do) and trim it to shape after it has definitely taken.

Hope that helps

Regards

Trevor 

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xdford wrote: Hello Kevin and any one else who might be interested,  
WIth Insulated joiners with the track, you can either remove that sleeper entirely or undercut it so there is an appropriate notch out of the sleeper under the rail.

Alternatively you can install a metal joiner at the point/turnout then cut a gap in the rail with a razor saw and super glue an offcut of styrene sheet (plastic lid from a margarine container or similar will do) and trim it to shape after it has definitely taken.

Hope that helps

Regards

Trevor 

Kevin. because I use flex track & remove some sleepers due to the curvature, I then remove part of the sleeper that is under the rail so that it does not interfere with insulated joiners - basically the concept that Trevor talks about in his first paragraph.

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Hi Ron and Trevor ( and all interested parties??) Thank you for your reply.   But, in the “batch of insulated joiners” that I purchased , it was caused by the insulating material Protruding above the top of the running rail. As for removing sleepers, I am in favour of an idea put forward by Nigel , “ To improve the appearance of Peco streamline track” Nigel suggested cutting the web between the sleepers , and I have recently tried the idea, my first “fear” was gauging, but with the introduction of a gauge produced by PHD you can maintain the gap between the sleepers , the smart money is on the DIY brigade ?But I haven’t go the facilities to carry out the work.   Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Trevor et al,
Latest update - all soldering of drop wires (common and live) complete as are the turnout frog 'livening' wires. Also complete are the holes drilled for all point switching ready to receive the SEEP point motor operating rods - currently looks like red, black and green spaghetti under the modules but overall very happy how its all turning out. Have also fully tested all the operating modes (isolating areas, mimicking the block sections being powered on / off manually) with two locos and I cannot find any dead track areas or issues ... so even more happy about that - especially as it means I fully understood all the instruction and diagram help Trevor provided. 

Next step is finally to tack down the track to the baseboards so everything is fully solid and firm - then I will disconnect a module at a time and work on it on its side at a nice height on the workbench to fit and solder all the SEEP point motors. I've also created 'under side' layout plans of the wiring so far with numbering for all the droppers and frog livening wires - I'll place small number stickers to the underside as reference for anybody else to understand what each wire provides to the layout and where it is located (especially as when the ballast is finally in place and the wire connections to the track are hidden) - done with my son and grandson in mind for the future when they inherit the layout and I'm no longer around. 

At the same time I'm diagramming the Controllers (CAB Control) wiring for blocks based on an earlier example I interpreted from Trevor's hints once again, only this time its for the whole layout as one. I have attached this below as I have perhaps a silly question if one of you can help. BTW ... its not fully complete yet.

For reference:


And now the question based on the zoomed in section:


Black Wire = common feeding both Controllers.
Red Wire = live feed from Controller 1 (shown in image) to block switch.
Blue Wire = live feed from Controller 2 (out of shot at the other end of the layout) to block switch.
Green Wire = live feed from block switch to track section.

Question:- there is only an operational desire for Controller 2 (blue wire) to be able to power / move a train to certain parts of this end of the layout (West station) so I have only indicated it be connected to certain block switches, namely 1,2 & 3. I can see no reason why this should not be done from an electrical perspective, other than perhaps requiring single on/off switches for these - is that correct?
I also intend to apply the same methodology at the other end of the layout (East station)     

cheers
Paul

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Hi Paul,
Theoretically there is no problem with what you envisage doing and it will be easy enough with centre off switches. You will not have an issue with using the same switches throughout so no need for a separate On/Off switch.

I can see where you would have local control for the yard at the West and East Ends of your layout and there is no problem with that, my issue is with flexibility for later on where one operator can play the shunter while the other drives from either end of the layout or where there are two trains at one end. 

Using the West Station as the benchmark, are East bound goods trains made up and dispatched on the main line passing siding or in the goods yard sidings? For the East Station, will Goods trains pull in then back up into the yard which faces "further east"?  

In either case that train will then need to be taken over by the appropriate station throttle before it can do anything else which may be as you want it. For the want of a few inches of wire, that flexibility will be markedly improved to my way of thinking.

As you would know, my throttles are home made and I have had issues mainly with the walkaround version from time to time with the portability and the inherent ability to drop it causing an internal malfuction.  At least I have been able to continue operating with a contingency plan with the other two while undertaking repairs or locating parts etc.
By isolating some sections to one controller, you would be cutting out that aspect of your operation in the event of a similar problem, as rare as that may be.  

But it is your railway and you need to do as you see fit - and in any case good luck with it. As an aside, I will be indisposed for a few days at least with surgery tomorrow so dependng on when you reply, you might not receive a reply for a while. But I am looking forward to seeing the progress when things improve!

Regards from Australia

Trevor
 
 

Last edited on Tue Jun 12th, 2018 11:24 pm by xdford

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hi Trevor ... thanks for the considerations and rationale. TBH you are right, for the sake of some extra wire and soldering on switches there is more flexibility and operator control to be gained in wiring up both controllers to all block switches so that is what is now on the electrical plan.
Have just completed some more testing of track connections and switch / point simulations and I still can't break anything so I consider it to be as sound as I can make it - if something does crop up once the track is fixed I'll just have to fix it. Plan is to start fixing the track as described in previous post over the weekend, taking my time.

I hope the surgery is not too serious and of the more minor type - hope all goes smoothly and wish you a fast recovery back to normal.

Sincere regards
Paul

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Hi All, 

Well, although this thread has not been updated since August last year, I have been busy with all the wiring, D-Sub fitting, manufacturing my own 16/02 D-Sub cables and building / wiring/ testing two control panels. A lot of what I have been working on through Autumn and part of Winter can been seen on my thread "Track power connections across baseboard modules" http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=15440&forum_id=6] 


I have now fully tested full operation of the whole layout (all 4 modules connected, control panels connected) with 3 trains (2 shunters and a DMU) in the intended mode of operation ... any everything works perfectly, including all the power isolation blocks and CAB control (2 controllers able to operate the shunters and DMU for the whole length of the layout as required). I did take my time and made detailed diagrams as I went and tested each step of the way - there were not too many teething troubles at all really but this was in the main thanks to the great advice and electrical diagrams provided by Trevor and also advice from Ron .... can't thank you guys enough.

So, I now have 2 modules fitted with my desired scenic back board size and the control panels mounted .. the last two modules I'll b]make a start on the same this week. After that, its ballast time and then fitting the platforms at both Braughing and Standon ends of the layout ... then an orderly plan to tackle all the scenics and station. buildings, etc ,etc. Its going to be a busy Spring !!

Here are some photos of the control panels and the layout in full situ - it may not much but I can assure you the underside of the modules hides all the recent months work (putting in spare time hours whenever I can)

With control panels in view

Control panel construction - holes for point switches (smaller ones) and power isolation switches (larger ones) marked, drilled and counter sunk. 

Side view of the construction - mostly all in 6mm plywood with some 18mm soft wood .

Underside showing construction and labelling

Covered with white sticky-back plastic for easy wiping of dust and dirt, plus smart appearance. Holes cut out steadily with a very sharp craft knife.

The finished items - black nobo-board sticky lining, cut and shaped, used to indicate the main layout. Push to Make switches used for all points (green for the main branch & siding loops, red for the small sidings / head shunts), DPDT mini toggle switches used for the power isolating blocks which also allows CAB control, edges lined with brown electrical tape (very sticky) for a neat finish. Standon control panel on top, Braughing control panel below.

Underside of control panel - again trying to keep everything neat, labelled and easy to access for wiring issues or swap out any faulty switches. 

Another view of a control panel underside. 

Keep you posted as the scenics progress,

cheers

Paul

Last edited on Sun Feb 3rd, 2019 09:36 pm by Padster

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Very neat work under the panel there Paul. In fact, all your electrical work is well planned, which makes the execution so much easier.

Watching with interest.

Best,

Bill

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A pretty layout, my partners Grandfather was the crossing keeper at West Mill for some years after he was injured in an accident at Stratford Works. The Buntingford society has a nice layout of Buntingford Station in N Gauge which goes out to West Mill. My late Father in Law took this some time after the end of the freight service in 1965.

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Hi Simon and many thanks for the feedback and the photo of Westmill. Your comments are more accurate than perhaps you realise - I am a member of the Buntingford Railway & Historical Society and know the N gauge layout you spoke of quite well. It was this layout that inspired my own, where the thinking behind it was to continue the with the next two stations on the branch line after Westmill - namely Braughing and then Standon.
In fact, I also maintain and populate the society's Buntingford website and scan / post all the photos too - if you have not seen the website take a look http://www.thebunt.co.uk/index.html and check out the 'gallery' & 'now & then' sections where there are many more photos of Westmill.

Very interesting to hear that you have a direct connection to Westmill via your late father-in-law and partners Grandfather. I'd also be very interested to hear of any other photos or memorabilia your family may still possess of Westmill that we could share on the website, with permission of course - I'll send you my email address via a PM so we can converse a little more on the topic.

All regards
Paul     

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Hi all.. Its been a while since I posted updates on my Braughing to Standon end-to-end layout but I have been busy and capturing photos and notes as I went .. so work has been on-going for sure. so as not to bombard you with too much information at once in a new long post I'll breaking it down into around 6 posts over the coming days, since I found time during this Christmas and New Year holidays already to collate the photos and created more details from my notes. Hope you are all well and had a great Christmas time .... and the first update is below.

Update 1. Backscene   
My backboards are 12” depth; 4” fixed to the baseboard sides for strong fixing and 8” forming the actual backboard. They are made from 6mm plywood in 4 foot lengths and aligned across the complete 16 feet length of the layout.

To give the layout a more ‘continued feel’ to the eye, I created curved rather than right angles corners, braced by top, middle & bottom curved edge supports onto which I glued 1.25mm Graduate Blue card to form the corner curve itself. To ensure the card edges were smooth where joining the plywood baseboard, I used fine Polyfilla.





I wanted a low horizon eye line to compliment the length of the layout & I preferred a realistic photographic backscenes rather than a painted one … also because I had seen various great layouts that used such low level and photographic backscenes to great effect in N gauge end-to-end style layouts. After much research I opted for the ID BackScenes ‘Into the Town’ pack B which came in 2 sections of 5 foot x 9 inches and costs around £10. For my layout I needed two of these packs but they all joined together quite seamlessly. The quality is very good and they are printed on 180gsm paper so are borderline card.
After much aligning, double checking & measuring the backscenes and trimming the bottom to reduce the height down to 8 inches (leaving the small white border at the top – purely my choice as it seemed to set up the backscene nicely) I was ready to start gluing them into place .. hold my breath and nerve – again this was a first for me.

I bought some Deluxe Materials View Glue which is supposedly to be designed especially for backscene adhesion. I decided to test gluing some backscene offcuts onto plywood offcuts, using both PVA glue and View Glue. To be honest, both did a good job with good adhesion and no wrinkles nor air bubbles. My own impression was that the View Glue dried quicker and fixed in place sooner compared to PVA glue. Based on these tests I went ahead with preparing to use View Glue but a key point to note is this – the ID Backscenes recommendation is to apply your chosen adhesive to the backboards, use the least amount of glue you can and that is was not necessary to cover all the backboard area with glue… however the View Glue instructions generally state to apply sufficient glue to the backscene paper itself and then position up to the backboard and roll smoothly into place. As these instructions were contradictory in advice I researched further on various forums for real world experience with these products and in the end I opted for the approach as follows.   
  • I used View Glue sufficiently spread across a whole baseboard 4 ft section at a time, working quite fast.
  • Lined up the backscene from the left, smoothing across to the right with the edge of my hand.
  • Using a dry cloth, gently smoothing further from left to right checking that all alignments top, left, right, bottom were good.
  • Checked the top, left, right and bottom to ensure these edges had strong adhesion, adding extra glue with a small size artist brush if required.
  • Any small bubbles were left – these disappeared overnight as the 180gsm paper dried and pulled tight.
  • On only the 3rd section of 4 ft backboard length I decided to try just adding View Glue along the top, middle and bottom in 2.5 inch strips of glue, so to speak, leaving the gaps in-between glue less (this was to try the recommendation given by ID Backscenes hint sheet supplied in the pack B). After a few days all looked good but once the weather started to get cooler and colder in the garage, I noticed that non-glued areas where lifting somewhat – not totally noticeable to the human eye but most certainly to the touch. For this section I tried to make repairs used a damn cloth to moisten the backscene paper and see if it would all dry tighter which worked in a couple of places but not in others. Biting the bullet, I had to replace this 3rd section backscene completely which was extra effort and another £10 but all worked out well in the end – lesson learned.




Conclusion using ID Backscene photographic paper and View Glue adhesive - overall result is very good and I’m very pleased but some small and unnoticeable areas are not fully stuck but tight enough to stay in place for a long time … it also helps that the ‘Into the Town’ pack B has a lot of sky and clouds which greatly helps disguise any small bubbles or unstuck areas you may get. With View Glue you MUST work fast as I found it does not remain workable for any re-positioning for any real length of time. I certainly recommend to cover the area of baseboard you’re working on with glue and not leave any gaps or you are quite likely to see (or feel) parts that are not stuck. I also recommend to work in 12” sections of glue, align and smooth then move onto the next 12” section, and so on – this seems to be the best way to get the best alignment and adhesion … even though I did get away with gluing a complete 4 foot section and getting the alignment correct and smooth finish but perhaps that was just luck.

Lastly, these are purely my own views and experiences of the products used and my own methods for a finished result.

Thanks for reading
Paul


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Thank you for the post about backscenes. I am about to do one for Wombat Creek.  I have also chosen one ID Backscenes but mine should be self-adhesive.  I will let you know how it turns out. 

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Update 2. Ballast & weathering it
After researching (you’ll hear that phrase a lot in these posts) the ballast topic I decided on using ‘Legacy Ballast Light Grey Blend’ which felt a good match for the GER/LNER type used (and seen still to this day in remote places) on the disused old Buntingford branch line. The light grey blend also lends itself well to being faded and weathered to match the worn, tired and neglected ballast effect I was after. Ballast was therefore applied in sections and glued into place using the established method ie. wet the ballast using a spray bottle containing water and a dash of washing up liquid .. then apply using a pipette a 50:50 PVA / Water mix. 

Once the ballast was dry and hard to the touch, I set about planning a weathering colour scheme. I again researched many You Tube videos & model railway forums on the topic, trying to work out the best approach for my needs and for my layout. It is generally recognised that two key methods are normally used … namely manual brush weathering or investing in a good quality air brush & compressor. I could not (currently) see myself getting the required regular use of an airbrush to warrant the cost so, as an old A level art student (long ago now) and more recently a fairly accomplished watercolour artist, I decided to trust in my painting and shading skills and went ahead and dug out some suitable brushes and purchased some RailMatch paint pots for track weathering. Some additional paints were also acquired in readiness for weathering various locos and wagons at a later stage but for the ballast itself, the paints used were Sleeper Grime and Matt Black.

After some paint application tests on my short stretch of ballasted rail track, I finalised the ballast weathering ratios as follows using syringed measures :- 
1ml Sleeper Grime : 20ml water – used all over the ballast to form a very light shade of base weathering. Allowed to dry.
1ml Sleeper Grime : 14ml water – used only on the inside of the rails/sleepers and also on approx. 5-10mm of ballast on the outside of the rails, to form a slightly darker weathering. Allowed to dry.
1ml Sleeper Grime : 10ml water – used only on the inside of the rails/sleepers to form the darkest weathering.

Below shows the left side with the initial 1:20 mix of base weathering and on the right with no weathering at all.



The finished effect creates a nice shaded weathering; dark and dirtiest inside the rails/sleeper area and gently fading out towards the ballast edge. It also does not matter if the very edge of the ballast has some un-weathered spots.



The last stage is to add some Matt Black weathering to indicate oil dripping over the years added to the inside the rails at station platforms and sidings, where locos were often stationary, and also at point sections to indicate where maintenance lubrication occurred for added realism. As a first effort of track weathering, I am really pleased with the result and it has the look and feel I initially sought.

Thanks for reading
Paul

Last edited on Sat Dec 28th, 2019 08:22 pm by Padster

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Certainly looks like poorly maintained ballast......

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Hi Paul,

Diesels and multiple units tend to stop and start in the same pkace. The oil contamination is such that the sleepers and ballast is filthy black where the engines leak. With MUs the pattern is repeated every car length. Check out the photos I took of this at Banbury station. 


Nigel


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Yes indeed .. many thanks Nigel. The Matt Black weathering has yet to be done hence it will be 'the last stage' but thanks for the photo references. There was also approx 95 years of steam oil, soot and grease deposits on the line with only approx 5 years of Diesel and DMU deposits until the line closure for passenger service in 1964 and final closure in 1965. My own and the Buntingford Railway Society photos of the track just after closure form an accurate reference so I can recreate 'once complete' with good accuracy.
thanks
Paul

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Update 3. Landscaping
The section of the old Buntingford branch line I am modelling was/is generally flat terrain but broken up somewhat with a road bridge cutting and gently sloping farmland. There is also a small River Rib snaking through in part. As such, I didn’t need too much landscaping structure to build other than creating a road bridge cutting, some gentle inclines of land from the tracksides up to join the backscene imagery and create enough land rise to create a small river.
For the height of land surrounding the road bridge (and therefore forming the cutting) I used some honeycombed cardboard packing I’d saved and cut to the desired length and width. To further extend this and also begin forming the gentle slope effect, I used many offcuts of EPE Foam packaging material sheets I’d retained from kitchen appliances or office desk deliveries. These were also shaped and stuck into place using Copydex to form the overall shape of landscape to support the road bridge and create the cutting either side.



The remaining landscape of gentle inclines along the layout was also done using 1-2cm thickness EPE Foam packaging material sheets, cut and shaped with a sharp craft knife to a very obtuse angle where they abutted close the trackside edge. These were also glued into place on the baseboard using Copydex. The section of layout that will host the small, meandering River Rib I made sure I used at least 2cm depth of EPE Foam – this allowed me to cut out the desired river width and angled depth to form the river.



Once all the landscaping structure was in place, I began covering it all with plaster cloth sheets cut into small sections and smoothed to created natural rolls and form of the land. Although a naturally messy process (where covering the track and ballast is highly recommended), I was very happy with the results and only needed a second layer of sheets to complete the job. Minor joins of the sheets that were too proud were smoothed or ‘lost’ with some watered down Polyfilla added in places. 





As the cold weather started to bite in the garage, it took quite a while for all the plaster sheets to completely dry to a pure white finish so I will leave it now until the early Spring to seal it all with PVA and start he next phase of painting the landscape base in earth colours and then start to bring the layout to life with the detailed scenics of grass, trees, hedgerows, etc.

Thanks for reading
Paul

Last edited on Sun Dec 29th, 2019 08:05 pm by Padster

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Update 4. Platforms
As my layout is based on a real section of a local disused railway, I wanted the shapes of the platforms to be as identical as possible to the real thing – therefore any ‘off the shelf’ N gauge platform product would not suffice. 

I decided on creating my own and used 9mm off-cuts of plywood, cut and shaped as required, which meant some careful jigsaw and fretsaw trimming was required as one platform is delicately curved. All looked well so next was to test the platform height against a DMU placed on the rails of the proposed station. Using real photographs of Standon and Braughing stations during operating days as a reference (the latter stills exists as a converted home with both platforms fully intact), I was able conclude the correct platform height against a DMU – my platform was approx. 2mm too low! I was already expecting this and had planned to glue some 2mm cork track underlay to the plywood to achieve the desired height. 





Using the cork underlay also provided additional benefits. 1) it allowed me to create the typical slight overhang at the platform edge and 2) after using some smooth filler in places and using several coats of children’s paint (blended for a base light grey concrete effect), many – but not all – holes in the cork were filled to create a naturally worn and tired looking platform effect, where pieces of platform concrete have broken away. 





I still need to colour the concrete effect further to make it appear more naturally ‘patchy’ where repairs were made over time and also glue some aged red brick paper to the track side fascia (suitably weathered to look almost blue/black with soot and grime .. and the last phase will be to paint the platform edge in a white washed, worn out and flaky style.

Thanks for reading
Paul

Last edited on Mon Dec 30th, 2019 08:22 pm by Padster

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Update 5. Scratch build Road Bridge 
After looking at all the available Plasticard & card kits available for N Gauge road bridges, I could not find anything that close to the style required – yes, I could have bought one and hacked it around a lot but that still seemed counterproductive to the realism I required. I opted for scratch build which hopefully would mean a very close replica to the real thing however, I had never scratch built anything in terms of modelling before!! 
On the plus side though, I have many reference photographs of the road bridge in question during operating days, all the dimensions and an added bonus, the bridge still exists to this day and is unchanged.

Once again, for a novice scratchbuilder YouTube, Model Railway magazines and Model Railway forums are essential in terms of materials, technique and creating realism. I opted for card and as this was my first attempt at an N Gauge structure and I needed a confidence boost on creating a good end product, I chose Daler Rowney ‘Graduate Blue’ card 1.25mm thickness which was on offer at Hobbycraft. This seemed to offer relative ease of cutting and solid enough to ‘stay put’ when finally fixed to the layout. I had some spare & sizable EPE Foam packaging material lying around which can be easily shaped and is extremely lightweight – these were cut to the desired shape and size to form a loose looking road bridge which would provide the supporting structure to glue the proper shaped card to that will form the road bridge itself. This all worked well but to be certain I used Copydex adhesive to ensure the card and EPE Foam were solid.



To start adding to the realism I used some cheap N Gauge girders bought on EBay on either side of the bridge span. I actually found it pretty difficult to find suitable weathered & worn blue engineering bricks in printed sheet format anywhere, so I opted for Scalescene’s TX02 Brown Brick downloadable sheets which looked suitably aged and dirty. I found that my inkjet printer was more than capable but I found the key to getting the right print colourisation & shade is the paper you use. As a test I printed on sheet on standard 80gsm paper – this came out far too reddish in colour and looked somewhat ‘washed out’ (probably the ink seeped into the poorer quality paper too easily) and was not the effect I wanted. I then printed another sheet using 150gsm Ice White A4 paper from Hobbycraft and this resulted in a nice, rich, red/brown brick colour that looked worn and weathered – perfect! 



After cutting out the required sections of TX02 Brown Brick and sticking them to the card scratchbuilt road bridge (including any pillars & artefacts) using Pritt All Purpose Adhesive 205g bottle, the finished article looked really great for a first effort. 





The final part of this build was the weathering and for this I decided to use Carre’ Pastel sticks (traditional) bought on EBay, scraping the sides with a craft knife and collecting the powered dust into small containers – this formed my weathering powders in various earth type shades. Using an old (and small) makeup brush, dark power was brushed on in various depths of shade and in various places to really darken down the bridge and give it the effect of being discoloured and aged by years of grime and soot. 
I’m really chuffed with the end result.



Thanks for reading
Paul

Last edited on Tue Dec 31st, 2019 01:54 pm by Padster

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Hi Paul,

Nice work.

Modelrailwayscenery.com does downloadable N scale blue engineering brick sheets. The other way is to use OO scale downloads and shrink appropriately when printing. If you have 2D software you can do your own. Or take a photo of the real brick and use that as the template.

Nigel


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Thanks Nigel .. as mentioned I am pretty pleased with the results even though I used aged brown brick and weathered it pretty dark .. using a little 'modellers license' as it were.
Your suggestions are good ... I never really considered taking a photo of the old bridge brick - that could have worked for me but a moot point now - another lesson and tip learned.

The trouble I found that many of the available blue engineering brick downloads available were too new and perfect looking and I had never weathered anything before - probably now I have the confidence to turn the new looking brick into something really old ... and yes, another good tip about using OO gauge downloads and shrinking the print to 51% to get N gauge scale. Actually I just did this for some aged, cream wood slat downloads I found that look really suitable for GER/LNER colours used on many platform buildings and signal boxes .. with good results and look really authentic.

cheers
Paul

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Update 6. Platform / station buildings
After my successful first scratch build attempt at a road bridge, I now embarked on the rather daunting project of scratch building every platform and station building for both Braughing and Standon stations. I did think I’d bitten off more than I could chew but decided to go for it!

As with the road bridge, I stuck with the Daler Rowney Blue Graduate card 1.25mm thickness, using a Swann Morton craft knife and several packs of ultra-sharp blades … and Pritt All Purpose Adhesive 205g bottle. The Graduate Blue card served well and does lend itself to forming good depth window and door recesses for N Gauge building models …. but it does need a few ‘passes’ of a sharp blade to cut neatly. It also wasn’t so easy to cut and leave thin door or window frame elements that I wanted, so for some of the buildings (notably the 2 signal boxes and small platform waiting rooms and various roofs) I switched to using 0.6mm white card – an A4 size I found lying around in my home office but cannot recall where it came from. This was still sturdy enough yet easier to cut and retain thin frame pieces – see the signal box photo as an example – and in some of these models I also used right angled 1.25mm card pieces in the internals corners for added strength.





For doors, on various buildings, these were just recessed and filled with card, where I intend to paint and shade the required door panels to make them look a little 3 dimensional. For the windows I decided I could scale them accurately using Photoshop, print them and then stick them to some very thin transparent plastic – the type you see on various food and home-ware packaging. I used this technique with success for the larger Braughing signal box & Braughing booking/waiting room however, it seemed to mean extra unnecessary time and effort if I were to do this for every building. I therefore decided to simply scale and print the window panes directly onto glossy photo paper – this saved time and also worked really well on all the remaining buildings, giving them the ‘window shine’ I required for some realism. There were added benefits to using the printing technique and glossy paper – I could slightly adjust the window pane shades to give the effect of different reflection conditions plus, by using a cotton bud I could gently rub the printed ink forming the window colour and make it further ‘fade’ the shade to suit.





All chimneys that are depicted are also set to scale and formed using various small sized balsa strips – these also need to be worked on further to add the required brickwork detail for realism.
To date, I have now scratch built 14 station & platform buildings/structures to 1:148 scale and will begin shortly on the cosmetics of each, also using scaled down Scalescenes and Railwayscenics brick and wooden plank printable sheets ….oh, and build a 4 story flour mill that was served by sidings at Standon station.



Thanks for reading ... this is the last update in the current series but more to come as things progress over the winter.

Happy New Year and all best wishes for 2020 to you all 
Paul

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All very neat!  I look forward to the finished models.....
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Hi Padster.     Very good, the description of your work, you make it sound so simple as if anyone can do it , but you turn out some excellent models.      Best wishes Kevin 


                 

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