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N Gauge - Newcastle Emlyn**** - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Nov 7th, 2007 10:59 pm
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rector
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Marty - after many months of reading your wonderful posts I get around to asking you the most basic of questions, and doing so for a very personal reason. Why did you choose to model the Newcastle Emlyn line? I ask this because I was born in Carmarthen (although my family moved away to Worcestershire at an early age so I have no memories of the place.) My one connection with the railway was through my grandfather, who was the town cobbler in Fishguard, whose closest friend was the Stationmaster at Goodwick Harbour station.

Naturally I follow your layout with great interest. Best wishes to you and T.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 8th, 2007 01:40 am
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Marty
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Hi Tim, thanks for your interest and your wishes.

No Welsh family blood connections on my side I'm afraid although my mother spent many of her young school years in a boarding school near Llangollen and her family holidays were on Angelsea.

I've passed through Wales once in 1986, visiting Snowdon at one end and Chepstow Castle at the other before driving on to Bristol and I have some dim memories of a childhood visit to Swansea.

Like many of us, life got in the way of model railways and I spent a good 10 years being an armchair modeler, reading magazines and collecting bits and pieces of rolling stock as and when I could.

One of the magazines was the quarterly GWR Journal by Wild Swan publications. The journal fuelled my interest in the GWR which I had always liked and gave me plenty of possible layouts to think about for when the time came to start modeling again.

There is a wonderful article about the Newcastle Emlyn Branch in Journal 37 with a detailed account of not only the line, but also some of the people who worked on the branch. The article includes lots of pictures and a layout plan of the station.

The station layout was a classic GWR branch line terminus with plenty of scope for operations and I thought then, that would be fun to model. A bit clichéd perhaps according to the model railway press but not to me! I'd never made a GWR branch line!!

So, many years later, when the time finally came to start up a layout again a little spark of memory reminded me of the article. It took a bit of flicking through the stack of Journals I've collected to find it. I think we are up to Journal 60 now. Such hardship, all those Castles and Kings and 14xx tanks and autocoaches. :lol: (I hadn't found the online index at that time).

The timeless, measured pace of one of God's Wonderful Railways wandering along the wooded banks of the Afon Teifi on it's scenic floodplain still felt right. There were enough hillsides covered in fields, hedgerows and woodlands to allow my layout to be blended into landscape. The history, people, produce and character of the line was as powerful to me as I had remembered. Maybe sub-concious feelings from a previous life :) but this was what I wanted to try and model.

The authors painstaking research provides information on passenger and goods movements, what goods were delivered to and dispatched from the stations on the branch and a whole lot of other information that made the branch come alive. Undoubtedly their aim was not only to record for posterity the history of the line but also to provide us modelers with enough data to make a good go of reproducing it. The least I could do was to show my appreciation of their efforts by having a go.

So be it, it felt right and there was a lot of information to help and it was time! The "plan" is not only to have an operational model railway but to have a character and history that will give many, many years of modeling pleasure.
Not a perfect copy of the prototype, I'm not that good, nor did I have the space (not yet anyway :twisted: ) but I'm hoping that I'll be able to capture the essence of the branch.

Here is a modern aerial photo of the disused line crossing the Afon Teifi and approaching Newcastle Emlyn which is in the top left corner of the picture. The line crosses from bottom right to top left and can be seen by the straight line of trees crossing the river in the mid-ground.




Progress is slow at the moment as work, SES and the shops place their demands upon my time. Mainly wiring up the Henllan station track feeders and point motors, contemplating the construction of the bridge across the river and the last curve to join up the circle of track.

Here is a photo of the track layout and the Henllan bank which has been seen before on the old forum but hasn�t yet made it into this thread. This was about 2 months ago and all work since then has been underneath the Henllan station baseboard.




A visit to my local model shop at lunchtime yesterday resulted in the purchase of another point to go into the station layout, there are 13 required in total of which 6 have been laid. A few more point motors got added to the shopping too. Hopefully I can squeeze a couple more hours in layout room this weekend.

Slowly but steadily the dream is becoming reality... and, as always, I visit this forum a couple of times a day during the week to learn, be inspired, be part of the camaraderie and help out where I can.

So to all the lads and lasses, I'm still here, still building, still enjoying, am still in awe of your skills and will update again soon.

I've even started a special project that, if it works out, I will post as a separate thread in due course.
cheers



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N Gauge, GWR West Wales
Newcastle Emlyn Layout.
Newcastle Emlyn Station is "Under construction"
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 Posted: Thu Nov 8th, 2007 12:01 pm
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Les
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Tim -Thanks for asking Marty that question. The story behind the layout can be fascinating as this response from Marty proves.

Marty - your rationale for building the railway is terrific and really makes it come alive. I shall always view it with your reasons in mind in future. This is a "MUST READ". Many thanks. :D :D

Bob (FC) and Moderators - Is there any chance that whenever anyone registers their layout in the personal layout sections we request them to start with their reason for building the particular layout etc? They may not be as evocative as Marty's but I'm sure there are some great stories out there which are better for the telling. :wink:

Les



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 Posted: Thu Nov 8th, 2007 01:05 pm
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rector
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Thank you, Marty, for that wonderful description and history. It brings the layout plan to life! I agree with Les - the personal motives and experiences behind a layout or prospective layout add a great deal of colour to the narrative.

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 Posted: Fri Nov 9th, 2007 01:33 am
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Marty
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Tim, Les
Glad you enjoyed the rationale behind the layout. I'll try and keep up the story as I go along.

Mounting PECO Point Motors to the Henllan Baseboard

The branch had only been built to one of the intermediate stations by its original parent company before the Great Western took over and completed the line to Newcastle Emlyn. The light branch line track, all stations, bridges, crossings, yards and the one tunnel were engineered to the normal Great Western high standards as it was anticipated that the line would eventually extend to Carmarthen and support a bit of traffic. This standard was maintained for a long time although I imagine that after the second war the decline would have set in over the last years of passenger traffic which ended in 1952. Vegetation would have encroached into the right of way during spring and summer even with a dedicated track crew and I'm looking forward to modeling this when I get to the scenery side of things.

Trying to lay the track to as high a standard as possible in an effort to minimize derailments and poor running on the layout is time consuming, will be worth it in the end but I'll be glad when it's done.

Another point motor was added to the underside of the Henllan baseboard last night and a couple of track feeders too. It never ceases to amaze me how long all the wiring and soldering takes!! The Hellan baseboard has been lifted off the main L-girder/joist frame and tipped on its side to make it easier to work on the underside. At least that part of the plan mostly works. I say mostly as I have two problems with it. One which is immediate and the other which I can foresee further down the line (pun intended).

Firstly, the gap between the Henllan board and the spline sub-roadbed from the Henllan Bank was bridged by a long rectangle of PCB board in place of the normal cork roadbed. This PCB board was screwed down firmly at each end, a piece of track, with sleepers removed, was soldered to the PCB board and then, using a razor saw both the track and PCB board were cut through. The theory being that track alignment would be maintained when the Hellan board was lifted. Only it didn't quite work. The alignment is out by about .5mm horizontally and 1mm vertically. Sigh. The transition between the spline sub-roadbed and the baseboard mustn't have been completely flat. I can fix it by unscrewing the riser below the spline sub-roadbed, re-aligning, clamping and re-screwing but sheesh, these things are sent to try us.

Secondly, lifting the Henllan baseboard is relatively easy at the moment but I can see that once the scenery is built all the easy handholds will be gone and lifting the board will be a bit tricky, probably needing two people, one pushing up from underneath until the other can get their hands around the edges. Workable I think but not easy.

When mounting point motors with extension arms through small holes in the baseboard, alignment is critical and fiddly.
By this I mean that the throw arm of the point motor has to travel in the same direction as the tie bar on the points above the board, and it has to be fairly accurate or the point won't change properly. When mounting the point motors directly to the point, alignment isn't a problem because the PECO motors have lugs that mount into holes in the PECO points. But I don't like the huge holes that have to be cut in the baseboard to allow the motors to fit and so have opted for the small hole through the baseboard, the long extension arm on the point motor and more time taken to mount each point motor.

At the moment the throw bar extension arm is poked through the hole in the base board and into the hole in the tie bar, then I orient the point motor to the points by trial and error, sliding the point motor around until the points change freely and easily when pushed manually.
Once satisfied that the point motor is in the correct position, one hand has to hold the point motor so it doesn't move as the other hand reaches for a pencil to mark the position on the underside of the board.

The number of times that blasted pencil is out of reach!! To reach it requires letting go the point motor and having to start the alignment all over again! You'd think I'd learn!! Then there is the pin vice needed to drill the pilot holes for the screws, the screws themselves and a screw driver and invariably minute adjustment is needed after the first screws have been placed because the point motor moved just that little bit!

If anybody has any suggestions as to how this process could be made easier I'd be happy to hear them. Maybe some double sided sticky tape on the mounting plate of the point motor might do the trick, hmmmm that sounds like a plan.

I haven't shown any photos as under board wiring is pretty boring but if anyone wants one let me know.

Cheers



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Marty
N Gauge, GWR West Wales
Newcastle Emlyn Layout.
Newcastle Emlyn Station is "Under construction"
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 Posted: Fri Nov 9th, 2007 04:26 am
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MikeC
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Marty thanks for talking us through the point motor installation - something I'll have to tackle before long.

Thanks also for the background info. Interesting stuff.

Mike

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 Posted: Fri Nov 9th, 2007 05:03 am
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Marty
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Cheers Mike, glad it was useful.



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Newcastle Emlyn Layout.
Newcastle Emlyn Station is "Under construction"
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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 12:42 am
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Marty
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Henllan Baseboard Wiring continues...

Steady progress is being made on the wiring under the Henllan Baseboard.

A pleasant and productive Sunday afternoon was spent in the layout room listening to the Australian cricket team whomping the Sri Lankans around the ground at Bellerive Oval in Tasmania.

Having the Henllan Station baseboard removeable has made the process of wiring a lot easier as can be seen from the photo below.



For those that are interested a close up showing the incomplete wiring so far...




Blue - "common" return to controllers and power packs
Red - Track power feed from DC controller (eventually via cab control rotary switches)
Yellow - power to point motors (not yet connected but eventually to power pack via PECO switches)
Greeen - power return from point motors to common return.

You can also see the feeders through the baseboard to the track.

Originally I was just soldering the wire to the feeder, holding them together with a pair of tweezers until the solder cured.
Now I'm making a loop in the bottom of the feeder and a hook in the power wire to make a mechanical connection as well as a soldered one. Mainly because every now and then a wire would get snagged on bits of me as I worked under the baseboard and get pulled off the feeder. This method is more secure and will hopefully last longer.

Christmas trading starts in the first week of December and I'll be working 7 days a week in the shops. Still planning on getting the loop finished for my nephew but it's going to be touch and go.
cheers



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N Gauge, GWR West Wales
Newcastle Emlyn Layout.
Newcastle Emlyn Station is "Under construction"
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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 12:48 am
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rector
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Great wiring, Marty - and cricket commentary is the perfect backdrop to such work. Now that's something I really miss, being a die-hard Worcestershire suporter. Gawd - I miss cricket :cry:

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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 12:52 am
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Marty
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Thanks Tim.
The cricket is being streamed live from this site...
http://www.abc.net.au/news/sport/cricket/
Just have to move your computer down into the layout room :lol: :lol:
Lunch at the moment... Sri Lanka have 2 and a half days to get over 500 runs, a big ask. Currently 1 for 20. :D



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Newcastle Emlyn Layout.
Newcastle Emlyn Station is "Under construction"
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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 11:29 am
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Tony
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Nice work there Marty1

Wiring looks nice and tidy, easier to fault find/test. Looking forward to progress as I continue to play....sorry test :D

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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 08:55 pm
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Superb layout in the making there Marty using N gauge really gives you alot more scope than the larger scales for creating a large layout in a smaller area. I look forward to seeing it develop
cheers Brian

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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 11:42 pm
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Marty i found double sided sticky tape was the answer
after trying everything else,at least the motor stays there
while get the screws in. :roll: :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: 8)

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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 12:43 am
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Marty
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Thanks for confirming that Owen. I'll give it a go. I noticed that someone else, I can't remember who, maybe Tony, has a neat straight line drawn under the baseboard to line the point motor up on.
I guess that a small pilot hole is drilled through the baseboard in line with the tie bar throw axis and then the holes are used to draw the line.
I'll give that a go too.

I've got one more PECO point left but no base plate, I won't buy another pack of 5 base plates but will try turning the point motor lugs out and use them to fix the motor to the underside of the baseboard.

After discussions on this forum the next set of points that I will try will be the SEEP ones.

Tony, I'm looking forward to some testing too, enjoy... :lol: :lol:

Brian, thanks for your interest, delighted to have such comments from someone who's empire has expanded out into the garden :!: :!:



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Newcastle Emlyn Layout.
Newcastle Emlyn Station is "Under construction"
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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 09:10 am
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Tony
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Hi Marty,

Yes I used the line approach below for the lining up of the motors.

I simply drilled a small hole each side of the throw bar and then used these and the center operation hole to give me a center line to align the motor.

I am in the process of a little 'How To' at the moment......stay tuned. :D

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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 09:24 am
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Marty
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Many thanks Tony, can you just line up your point motor with the line and tighten the screws or do you still need a little testing to get the alignment right :?:



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Newcastle Emlyn Layout.
Newcastle Emlyn Station is "Under construction"
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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 10:05 am
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Tony
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Hi Marty,

I have just posted my method in the Hints & Tips section for the Seep Motors, however I use small jigs to help keep the alignment....very simple to make and even easier to use :D
A little testing is always required :wink: but can be done by hand to check for free movement and if using the internal switching that the seep contacts move fully to each side and not short. (The Seep motors use a small spring and washer on the bottom of the actuating rod to make a circuit on the mounting pcb between contacts)

Hope that helps.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2007 10:19 am
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Marty
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Got it, top job mate, I'll give it a go. Thanks muchly.



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N Gauge, GWR West Wales
Newcastle Emlyn Layout.
Newcastle Emlyn Station is "Under construction"
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 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2007 11:54 am
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Marty
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A quick update - closing the loop

Well... not quite but I might make it in time for the Nephew yet.

The spline sub road bed for the return loop has been constructed but not yet glued into place. That's it at the back near the back board.




Notably the final link, the bridge over the Afon Teifi, is still missing, hopefully the supporting structure and sub road bed will be built over the next week or so. Still thinking on how to do it as the bridge covers a base board join on the left hand side.

Testing of the main lines through the Henllan Station layout is ongoing

:lol: :lol: thankfully the curved layout seems to be working out OK and I'm now itching to complete the track laying for the yard and milk factory sidings, preliminary point placement can be seen in the picture below.




... and just to show you what I'm heading for, 1472 and Autocoach on the... ahh... "bridge" heading towards Newcastle Emlyn. Some issues with out of scale leaves but you get the idea and it keeps me motivated. :roll: :roll: :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:



Many thanks to photographer Alessandro Orler and Webmaster Jeremy Clulow of http://www.newcastle-emlyn.com for the use of the above photo background and other photos of his that are on my layout backboard that members may see from time to time.



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Newcastle Emlyn Layout.
Newcastle Emlyn Station is "Under construction"
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 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2007 12:01 pm
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I am so envious!!! Someday, maybe I'll get that far with my layout. I do like that picture on the wall Marty, where did it come from :?:

Wayne



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