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Going large - building large layouts - Layout Design, Trackwork & Operation. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Aug 7th, 2021 07:23 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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As I continue to wire up Middle Junction and the storage sidings area, I am beginning to realise that I need to be tuned in to the Cab Control Master Panel and the various sections/controllers that will be concentrated there.

I have produced a Sectional Represenation map of the layout...



...showing that there are 14 sections - TSQ goods and TSQ loco are one section split into 2 so the operator can select which of the two he/she is going to work.  There is only one controller at TSQ as its really a quiet station.

The main lines are split into 3 so that, for example, a train can arrive in the down platform loop whilst another departs from the main line platrform.

The controllers are located at;
  1. Double at Yarslow for the main lines
  2. Single at Yarslow for the yard
  3. Single at Yarslow for the PW yard (its 13 feet from the yard controller!!)
  4. Double in the Storage area loops for main line running
  5. Single in the Storage area for TSQ storage and the loco yard
  6. Single on the branch (centrally located for both stations)
  7. Single at TSQ covering the whole station
That's 9 controllers in all so I reckon I need single pole, 10-way rotary switches in the Master Panel.  Unfortunately, these are rare and therefore expensive,  Its cheaper to get 12-way (less than £5 each).  That gives me a few spares so I can add extra controllers later - perhaps a second one at TSQ or on the branch???  The number of switches is driven by the number of sections.  I have also assumed that every controller could, if required, control any section of the layout.  I began to consider restricting this but if you consider the passage of a train from, say, TSQ round to the PW sidings, unlikely though it sounds, the PW controller would need to control TSQ, Down main C, B (for the crossing at MJ) and A and its own section.  I realised that restricting access could also lead to restricting flexibility so all sections are available to all controllers.

This all pales somewhat when I am operating the layout on my own.  The controllers and the position of them becomes a matter of convenience.  What I wanted was the ability to have a few people round to play trains and not find that everyone has to gather round one control panel to operate every train!

Incidentally, whilst finding Gaugemaster controllers on eBay is a simple affair - they can be had quite cheaply - the 16-volt 800mA transformers required to run them are getting more and more expensive.  I need one transformer for each controller so that's 9 of those as well.  I have tried running a double panel from one transformer but prefer not to.  I do have some of the old "open chassis" 230-volt to 16-volt transformers but even in a protective housing, they are all getting too old to trust :shock: :shock:

Bashing on............



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 Posted: Sun Aug 8th, 2021 08:00 am
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Very helpful tips there Barry, which i will definitely use when I get to my main point laying section of track.
Michael



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 Posted: Sun Aug 8th, 2021 08:56 am
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Barry Miltenburg
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Hi Michael
My one big learn was accessibility. I had to fit one Seep into the (fixed down) storage sidings board and this took me as long as it did to fit 3 or 4 of them into the board I could invert

Barry



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 Posted: Sun Aug 8th, 2021 09:33 pm
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All mine were fitted in situ Barry - hence my comments about how difficult it can be ........



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 Posted: Sun Aug 8th, 2021 10:09 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Petermac wrote: All mine were fitted in situ Barry - hence my comments about how difficult it can be ........

:cry: :cry: :cry:  That is something I would not want to do for a large number of motors - my back wouldn't let me!

Barry



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 Posted: Fri Aug 13th, 2021 06:01 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Today, the Yarslow Model Railway channel on YouTube celebrated its 500th subscriber.  I'm rather chuffed that 500 people are interested in what I'm doing although I am under no illusions that this number is paltry compared with the million or so that follow Luke Towan :shock: :shock:

Being in the public gaze brings "comments" of course.  On here, all are constructive if, at times, critical but that's OK because the criticism is meant to be helpful and if I'm doing something wrong or stupid, amongst us, someone will find a suitable way of pointing it out.

Not so in YouTubeLand.  One comment simply read "Your wiring is an absolute mess..".  Harsh, if true.  In fact I had to agree based both on comments received on here and my own review of the situation following the same!!  Truth is, I knew it wasn't tidy but was trying to ignore it.  When someone else mentions it, you know it's time to do something about it.

What gets me most is that comments from you good folk are valued as you have experience, proven track-records etc and have a way of saying things that does not offend.  The commenter on YouTube has a "channel" with no content and may not even by a modeller.  I have thanked him for his comment and admitted that I had already done something about it.  What I really wanted to say was unprintable and would have got the Yarslow channel taken down..................!!!!!!

Bashing on.......



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 Posted: Fri Aug 13th, 2021 10:09 pm
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AUSSIETRAINS
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Unfortunately Barry todays society is riddled with people who have nothing to do but have found that technology has given them a way to vent their feelings however misguided we may think.
Sometimes I fear for the human race but thats something over which I have no control.



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 Posted: Fri Aug 13th, 2021 11:31 pm
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Barry Miltenburg wrote: Today, the Yarslow Model Railway channel on YouTube celebrated its 500th subscriber.  I'm rather chuffed that 500 people are interested in what I'm doing although I am under no illusions that this number is paltry compared with the million or so that follow Luke Towan :shock: :shock:

Being in the public gaze brings "comments" of course.  On here, all are constructive if, at times, critical but that's OK because the criticism is meant to be helpful and if I'm doing something wrong or stupid, amongst us, someone will find a suitable way of pointing it out.

Not so in YouTubeLand.  One comment simply read "Your wiring is an absolute mess..".  Harsh, if true.  In fact I had to agree based both on comments received on here and my own review of the situation following the same!!  Truth is, I knew it wasn't tidy but was trying to ignore it.  When someone else mentions it, you know it's time to do something about it.

What gets me most is that comments from you good folk are valued as you have experience, proven track-records etc and have a way of saying things that does not offend.  The commenter on YouTube has a "channel" with no content and may not even by a modeller.  I have thanked him for his comment and admitted that I had already done something about it.  What I really wanted to say was unprintable and would have got the Yarslow channel taken down..................!!!!!!

Bashing on.......

Hi Barry,


On a smaller scale perhaps, but this phenomenon seems to me like nothing more than a new twist on a age old human condition. The successful and popular becoming the focus of unwanted attention is nothing new but modern channels just make it that much easier to be disrespectful or much worse.

Authorities finally seem to be focusing on the most egregious of on-line behaviour, COVID disinformation etc but I doubt it'll filter down to Yarslow denigration any time soon.


As a new Australian some 45 years ago I was amazed when I first came across "The Tall Poppy Syndrome" here and had it explained. I was co-supervising a PhD and the candidate put forward for the position came over as not the sharpest. A bit of a larrakin and likely to prefer a night on the slops (another quaint bit of Strine) to any serious research.

It was quietly explained that the guy was brilliant and was going to get a First in his Honours year but to be cast as such amongst his undergrad peers would have been social suicide. He turned out to be the best researcher I ever had working for me by a very long way. We didn't have any social media back then, just raw human nature at work!
 








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 Posted: Tue Aug 17th, 2021 08:29 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Getting back to modelling.......

I have now installed the power supplies for (l-r) Controller 1 for the storage sidings, Controller 2 for the storage sidings, 16v AC for the CDU driving the storage siding points, 9v DC supply for the control panel LEDs and 12v DC supply for the relays.  Later, on the far right, I added another 16v AC transformer/plug for the CDU driving the points at Middle Junction and the branch/Trinity Square.

The control panel for Middle Junction is wired and working with a 4-pole single-throw switch controlling the polarity issues of the live frog diamond crossing.  This and the live frog single slips have been a bit of a head scratcher but I got there and it works :Happy.

Today, I spent a long time measuring and planning the start of Yarslow.  I began with the link to Middle Junction, carefully setting out the Down line approach curve with its 42/60 inch transition radii.  The up line will be set up against this.  The 2 points giving an exit from the yard loop out onto the down line have been laid and the SEEP point motors fitted whilst the board is not fixed down.  This board has also been cut to provide an embankment for the branch gradient.  The loco shed and coal siding will remain level in the corner.  Tomorrow I hope to be able to set out the 3 branch points in this location and will then play around with the supports for the gradient - I will adopt an "open frame" approach to this part of the branch and put risers under the track bed.  Longitudinal supports will stop the track bed from sagging between risers.

Bashing on.........



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 Posted: Mon Aug 23rd, 2021 04:30 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Good progress over the last couple of days.  Main lines now laid from Middle Junction round to the physical junction with the branch.  The branch gradient is laid but only as far as the window for now.  The upper picture also shows the pointwork from the yard loop which features on this first board.  Straight track is straight, courtesy of plenty of measuring, use of the Tracksetta gauges and copious use of a small mirror - checking for kinks every time a pin is inserted.  It takes a long time to lay track this way but I am pleased with the outcome.

All points are wired up and frog polarity switches wired through the SEEP PM-1 switches.  Power feeds are in but nothing is wired back to panels yet - that's tomorrow's job.  If I can start to get the Master Cab Control Panel in place, then I can add those feeds that are already connected at the track end and, with a few test wires, get some trains running.

The branch gradient worked out at 1 in 44 but it looks OK in this space and I like the way the line continues to rise whilst the loco shed in the corner stays flat - it sort of "nestles" in behind the curve.

Bashing on........



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 Posted: Mon Aug 23rd, 2021 10:04 pm
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Hi Barry,You really are progressing this project at some pace.

I am sure you have thought about it and have a solution in mind so I will just ask about window access to open and close with middle junction and branch passing in front?

I know I have mentioned this before and you have reasons for not being keen but I would certainly weigh up the advantages of the Highmarsh branch and that section of the layout being positioned above and at the front of storage road boards in modular form to enable access.
Trinity Square board could then be angled towards cassette siding so that it’s far left back corner ends up where traverser is now.
You would be able to see Highmarsh from main control panel, reduce incline and have more room between boards at control panel positions.

Just a thought whilst easily do-able but don’t let me persuade you away from your preference.
Looking forward to final detailing and scenery taking shape.👍

Regards
Barry T

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 Posted: Tue Aug 24th, 2021 09:42 am
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Barry Miltenburg
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Hi Barry - thanks for your thoughts.

The window is not an issue as I am able to reach across from the end of the aisle between the storage area and Trinity Square.

The positioning of the various elements of the layout have been the subject of much thought, debate, change and head-scratching (not always in that order!).  I am happy with the general arrangement, knowing that there are compromises - I would prefer slightly larger walkways but the "post-planning permission" design meant that I would have to give up or severely shrink the central peninsular to get that.  Being a Meglomaniac, that was not an option so it's fewer choccy biscuits I'm afraid.  I am reminded of a phrase made by Dr Robert Hendry in his book about his O gauge empire in the loft; "My layout is like a British WW2 tank - designed for 5 but comfortable holds 3" :lol: :lol:

I managed to strain something yesterday so a quiet day today gives me a chance to plan the Yarslow Control panel (starting with a Signal Box Diagram) and the Master Cab Control Panel.  The latter will allow me to start connecting the track feeds to something and then jerry-rig a controller to see if I can get an engine from the door to the junction - that's 3/4 of a circuit :doublethumb.  Sounds straightforward - what could possible go wrong..............



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 Posted: Tue Aug 24th, 2021 12:37 pm
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Barry Taylor
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Good to hear window access is not a problem as I had visions of you cutting an access hole in the baseboard to reach through from underneath and blindly feeling for the handle 🤯.The other thing that comes to mind is have you got enough room to turn/ store cassettes or will they always be used pointing in the same direction.
I have very limited room and have solved by making a cantilevered rest from a wall which supports one end of the cassette  whilst the other end that I hold is passed from one hand to the other, turning a 48” long cassette and keeping it level is nigh impossible just hand to hand.
Hope the light duties today do the trick and you are back in the fast lane tomorrow.
Regards
Barry T

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 Posted: Tue Aug 24th, 2021 03:07 pm
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Wot - no wires !! :mutley

I envy you your straight as an arrow trackwork Barry - mine ought to have been like that, unfortunately, I should have gone to Specsavers ............... :hmm   However, it doesn't really matter that much as it will be hidden by the upper level. ;-)

I can't wait to see some trains snaking over that pointwork - it looks great. :thumbs  I do however, have to ask why you used a single slip rather than 2 doubles ?  I've never really understood why they used singles - other than the cost.  Surely, they dramatically reduce the options. :roll:

Actually, looking again, I think it's a diamond crossing centre left - I thought it was a slip ............ :oops:





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 Posted: Tue Aug 24th, 2021 04:36 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Hi Peter - life is simpler without wires!!

It took me all day to get 8 bits of track dead straight but I think it was worth the effort.

Middle Junction is a complex place and certainly not somewhere the Board of Trade would ever be welcome to inspect for traffic!  The basic requirement is to keep the entry/exit for Trinity Square clear from the main line when it's trains are running into and out of storage.  The angle of the main lines facilitate that and using single slips, the whole formation is shortened - important  to allow the curves for Trinity Square to start as soon as possible.  There is no need for double slips as this would not allow the junction to work as required.  Luckily, this area is "off scene" so I can get away with facing slips on the running lines.

Ironically, although the slips are all trailing on the visible main line section, the formation of the junction using 2 such units would be highly criticised by the BoT - junctions should be formed by 2 independent diverging tracks that can join after the junction.  Trailing slips are allowed on running lines but I am stretching regulations here to save a bit of space and to create something that is asthetically pretty!  Double slips on a running line (outside of station limits at a terminus) is a no-no as far as I am aware.

Someone commented on my YouTube channel that mine was one of the few layouts to use catch points and whilst I think this is incorrect (amongst groups like ourselves who build layouts not train sets), I do try to make the thing as prototypical as possible.  Off-scene, anything goes of course!!

Barry



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 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2021 03:05 am
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Hi Barry,
Just caught up with your posts and videos. Great work - do you have a time frame in mind for when the track work will all be in place?
regards
Dave



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 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2021 08:26 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Hi Dave

I originally thought that I could get something running by Xmas but as time goes on, I have revised my thinking.  Today, I laid the point work between the junction and the platforms and now expect, by the end of September to be able to join up the main lines.  The hardest part is going to be laying out the curved platforms and the "back road" whilst making sure that it all joins up properly before it gets back to the crossovers in front of the PW Yard.

I have jerry-rigged the track feeds and have had something running from the door around to the junction on the Down line.  Hopefully, in a week or so, I will be able to repeat that on the Up line.  It is certainly quicker to lay the points and fit the SEEP motors before I fix the board to the support frame.  Being able to turn it over "on the bench" is a wonderful luxury.  My bench is actually 2 plastic saw-horses with a blanket draped over to protect the track when the board is upside down.

Once the main circuit and Yarslow tracks are laid and wired, I will turn my attention to the peninsular - starting with the branch by extending the current gradient over Middle Junction.  The track plan for the two branch stations change daily!  Today, as I laid out the yard at Yarslow, I swapped a few of the points out of the branch pile - a Y point swapped for a L/H etc.  I also found a knackered medium radius point rescued from the old layout but, clearly, well past it's sell-by date.  I took the opportunity to order a couple of large radius replacements.

Bashing on........



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 Posted: Thu Aug 26th, 2021 01:48 am
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I am amazed how fast you are progressing.
I am particularly impressed with the precision of your storage sidings. Now every time I go down to the Train room I glance at my sidings and realise what a c**p job I made of them 13 years ago :oops: :oops:


Looking forward to seeing the trains running!



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Barry Miltenburg wrote:



Your wiring is a mess……..:mutley

I agree, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an unhelpful or non-complementary message on here. Ignore it and carry on with the great work you are doing. It is really coming on nicely. 



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 Posted: Thu Aug 26th, 2021 08:42 pm
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I should add, I don’t plan on ever taking a photo of the wires under Teasel! Haha



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