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00 Gauge - Eastwood Town - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 04:19 pm
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gordons19
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For the last few years I have attempted to build a multi level layout with a large terminus, where I will be able to run full length trains.  This has been an ongoing saga with many failed attempts, primarily due to my inexperience and total failure to plan ahead.  At the time I was working and had to balance my job and family demands and with just weekends to work on the layout everything was done with the sole aim of getting something running as quickly as possible.  Sadly I had many disasters and all short cuts came home to roost. 

The biggest problems were gradients and access to hidden areas.  These complex plans are fine on paper but as soon as you start to build you realise that if anything is going to fail it will be in the least accessible area.  No matter how good your tracklaying is, something will derail and track will need cleaning.  Gradients bring their own set of problems and whilst 1:50 may be OK for diesel locos, steam will struggle and grind to a halt when 8/9 Mk1's are in tow.

Some many sheets of plywood later, I have now retired and have more time to devote to layout building, but this is not a five minute job.  I'm happy working on my own, so that extends build time even further.  There are many other tales I can tell, but don't want to bore you guys.

The layout is on three layers.  The lower level shown in green is totally hidden from view and consists of a 16 road traverser sitting under the main terminus.  For access, this is 500mm below the terminus.  Each road is sufficient to take a loco plus 8/9 coaches.  From here the line travels twice round the room on a steady gradient of 1:100.

The next section is a folded figure of eight shown in blue and then a final 1:100 climb to the terminus shown in black.  As access was a real issue, the lower levels have a somewhat unusual construction.  They are built as I beams with safety rails to ensure any derailed train does not crash a few feet to the floor.  The base is 12mm ply with both ply and mdf siderails.  To add further interest in building the layout has to span a 9' wide stairwell, so there were some real challenges.

Hopefully these pics will give you a feel for what I am building.















 

 

 

 

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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 04:28 pm
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Gwent Rail
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That looks a substantial set-up G19. Good job you have some retirement time to give to it. Just two questions for now   ... is the track SMP and the plan made in Templot, also what is the overall size of the room, is it 18 x 18 like the plan or do you have some space for a modelling desk??

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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 04:44 pm
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gordons19
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The flexitrack is SMP and the components for the PCB track came from C & L Finescale.  Ballast is from Woodlands Scenic.

The whole layout was done in Templot which really has been invaluable.  I only started trackbuilding around 18 months ago and really enjoyed it and was amazed to find that I was able to build something that looked like a turnout without too much trouble.  I have no idea why, but guess in this hobby we each find something difficult that others find easy and vice versa.  The pleasure of seeing a loco travel through a hand built junction is immense and once I realised I could make something that worked, I just couldn't stop making them.  The freedom that handbuilt track gives you and the ability to design smooth flowing transition curves really is addictive. 

The lower levels of the layout use the full periphery of the room, but the slope of the room restricts the higher levels to 18' x 14'.  I wanted to keep the complete operating area free and deliberately avoided the temptation to build across the middle as I'm getting older and did not want to have to duck under sections during normal operation.

 

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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 04:59 pm
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Alan
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Gordon

What a  project, it's good to see long term project like yours almost from the start, as we can then all feel part of your on-going work, We built all our own track for one of our early layouts, and I agree the satisfaction you get from watching your stock run on it is well worth the trouble.

You answered a couple of my questions to Jeff, so the next one is walling, have you moulded your own, or is it Wills sheeting ? the photos that you have already taken next to the walls look very very good, I guess this has been said before, but a great start :thumbs

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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 05:13 pm
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henryparrot
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Gordon thats looks an extemely nice project you are building there some extremely good work you have done on it so far

Its 4mm scale but is the track gauge OO P4 EM ?

Is there a timescale you are aiming at or do you intend it to cover many timelines?

I look forward to more piccys

cheers Brian

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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 05:38 pm
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ddolfelin
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Tell them about the bannisters, Gordon.



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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 06:00 pm
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jim s-w
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Good to see you over here Gordon.

Brian - a little trick for you. How to tell P4 and EM apart without a ruler!

If the gap between the stock rail and the check rail is bigger than the width of the rail head its EM. If its smaller than the width of the rail head its P4. Once you realise this the difference is very obvious.

There you go!

Cheers

Jim



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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 06:42 pm
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henryparrot
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Jim so now looking at the point photo i would summise from your  tip that this is a EM gauge layout as the gap seems wider am i right ?
cheers Brian

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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 08:45 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Bore us all you like, Gordon.  The whole thing is beautiful.  Lovely carpentry; fastidious track making - I could go on . . . just keep the pictures coming.  I'm enthralled :exclam



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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 09:58 pm
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AUSSIETRAINS
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Hi Guys,

Puts us meer mortals to shame doesn,t it.

Fantastic pics.

Regards,
John



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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 10:04 pm
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Robert
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I love that trackwork.



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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 10:26 pm
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jim s-w
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henryparrot wrote: Jim so now looking at the point photo i would summise from your  tip that this is a EM gauge layout as the gap seems wider am i right ?
cheers Brian


Hi Brian

We will have to see what Gordon says - it might be 00 as the gaps are effectively the same.  EM or OO?  Its harder to tell the diference between those 2 than EM or P4

Gordon?

Cheers

Jim



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 Posted: Sat Sep 12th, 2009 02:01 am
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Gwiwer
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Some lovely introductory pics there Gordon and what a substantial project you have under way there!

The construction looks to be first class and the detail on the stone wall is as good as I've seen.

More please!

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 Posted: Sat Sep 12th, 2009 06:08 am
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gordons19
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Morning all....Those that know me will know that I'm an early riser, normally around 5.30am.  Years of travelling from Heathrow on business has meant my body clock has been firmly set and even now, nearly two years since retiring, I still find this the best time of the day.

The layout is simple 00.  I did consider all the various options but have amassed a fair volume of stock over the years and the thought of rewheeling or regauging everything was just too much.  It is also powered by DCC, so the cost of decoders on top of new wheels, meant I went the 00 route.

My primary time period has always been that of my youth when I was lucky enough to see steam in it's heyday from probably '56 onwards.  Even a couple of years later as a 10 year old I would travel into London to KX to spend the day watching Gresley's finest from platform 10.  The journey from North London would normally be a couple of Quad Art sets pulled by an N2 or L1.  Happy days.  It still saddens me that kids of today do not that have freedom or safety to do undertake similar excursions.  By the age of 12 I had been to every London Terminus and been treated to steam locos from every region.

I do take the view that I'll run whatever I want, so you will see HST's, 66's etc make an appearance from time to time.  Sacrilige for some, but years of travel has meant hours were often spent in distant model shops, so don't be surprised to see a Big Boy or Cab Forward with a long train of hoppers make a guest appearance.  Basically I just love trains.  Simples.:lol:

With regard to the walls, I was lucky enough to meet Dave Shakespeare of Tetleys Mills via the internet and we talked about the stonework he used on his layout.  The sheets are actually 7mm Slaters embossed card.  Funnily enough it looks fine as the stone blocks in walls of this size would need to be substantial.  The base is just thin ply and the pillars cut from 18mm ply with a strip of mdf glued along the top to create the step.  They all still have to be weathered as such, but painting is just an undercoat plus a dry brushed top coat to give the effect.  Once I had settled on the colours I wanted, I just painted a scrap piece of mdf and took it to our local paint shop.  They have a spectrometer to analyse colours and mixed me up the exact match in normal household emulsion.  Meant I had a litre tin of each for a few Pounds rather than the small tinlets used for modelling.  The pic below shows the wall components.

I don't want to mislead you guys, so should tell you the board that is almost complete is the only one that is finished.  It will fit directly over the stairwell and as such it was easier to lay the track, wire it up and build the various scenic bits before it was lifted into position.  The traverser works but I will redesign the alignment which is fairly crude.  The round the room helix is wired and working, so the next stage will be to finish the sub boards of the folded eight and eventually build the terminus.  I have at least 18-24 months work ahead of me, but hey what's the hurry.  I've worked at a frantic pace for far too long, so have to admit I'm loving retirement.

Thanks for your compliments and encouragement.  It really helps when you work on your own and gives me the motivation to push on. ;-)




 

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 Posted: Sat Sep 12th, 2009 06:30 am
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MikeC
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:thumbs from me too! I'll enjoy watching the layout develop.

Mike

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 Posted: Sat Sep 12th, 2009 07:57 am
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owen69
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know what you mean about working on your own, you do get a boost
from this forum, that`s what is so good about it.
you will get plenty more so you can halve your build time....

:doublethumb:lol::lol::cool:

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 Posted: Sat Sep 12th, 2009 08:09 am
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gordons19
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DD mentioned the bannisters, so I'll let you know what happened.  The pics are from an earlier version of the layout where I had got as far as the middle level.  One of the best running locos I have is a Kato US loco and I was using a train made up of US hoppers to test the gradients.  I was simply running trains round the loops in both forward and reverse direction.  I set the train running slowly in reverse and somehow got distracted.  The next thing I heard was a crash as one by one the hoppers dived off the end as the loco pushed them round the curve.

They fell around 12' down through the stairwell onto a hard tiled floor and I lost three of them before I could find the handset and press the emergency stop.  An expensive lesson learned...:oops:







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 Posted: Sat Sep 12th, 2009 08:17 am
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ddolfelin
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... and don't laugh.
It's not funny.





:mutley



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 Posted: Sat Sep 12th, 2009 08:48 am
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Sol
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Certainly puts my point work to shame - very good Gordon.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 12th, 2009 09:31 am
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Alan
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Gordon

That's really interesting that you are using 7mm slaters sheeting, as I was asking the question, I looked again and thought it might be, but I don't think I have heard of 7mm being used on a 4mm layout before, very clever.
As for the story of the stairs, I hope that you didn't lose the loco down the black hole as well.

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