Grove street yard
Posted 11 March 2010 - 15:07
I mapped out a plan on a sheet of A4 how to cut up an 8â€™x4â€™ sheet of plywood to get all the components to build a strong yet light layout. I cannot cut wood straight to save my life, so I decided the best bet was to get the wood yard to do it for me. Having a sheet to give them explains a lot of explaining and keeps the wood yard staff happier that they know exactly what they are cutting. It also helps an entire 8â€™x4â€™ sheet fit on the back seat of my fancy-pants sports car.
I chose 4mm ply, exterior grade to keep weight down, and got some Â¾â€x3/4â€ softwood batons to provide rigidity at corners and the like. I wanted the layout to be small as the only space I had was on top of an oak chest in my office that left a maximum footprint of 4â€™6â€x20â€ and I decided a 12â€ high backscene on three sides would help give strength. With hindsight 6mm would have been easier, but Iâ€™ve experienced no sagging of the 4mm wood â€“ the secret of strength comes from 3â€ cross bracing underneath in the same material and the integral backscene. Some of the buildings were also made from the same material and are all permanently attached, braced and screwed adding to rigidity.
Iâ€™m not the strongest of people, so the idea was that the entire thing could be slung under one arm and carried by me. It also has to sit across the back seat of my car for travel. Because of the construction it manages both these feats â€“ just!
Iâ€™ve always preferred small backwater sidings to mainlines and stations, because I like grotty little tucked away places for the aesthetics. Also the size of my layout does not lend itself to running any large locos or coaches. The trackplan was designed several weeks before using salvaged points from the old layout, and a number of other track components that were bought cheaply second hand over the years. For the space my demands were quite tall, and I was not prepared to compromise. I wanted a run around loop for ease of shunting, and I wanted the yard to serve at least four different industrial customers to provide a variety of stock. In my modelling bits box from years of modelling I had two Ratio oil depot kits, so that along with several Bachmann TTA tankers decided that an oil terminal would be included. I also have a soft spot for 16t mineral wagons, so I included a scrapyard too. This would be built from the entire contents of my two scrap boxes in time. It'â€™ amazing just how many bits of old Airfix kits had accumulated! Two sidings into a warehouse area provided a third customer, and another siding disappearing into a building provided a fourth as well as a second hidden track to â€˜the big holeâ€™ that would ultimately lead to a fiddle yard if I ever built one. The idea was to make it so that all the headshunts were long enough that it could be run without a fiddle yard if need be.
The track is therefore quite intense, but hopefully doesnâ€™t look too crowded. My inspiration came from parts of Trafford Park, Metal Box in Westhoughton (where my Father used to work in the early 1980s/late 1970s. The name, if you are interested, is homage to far too much time spent playing the game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas on my partnerâ€™s PS2. For the Grove, man!
My Father helped me with the woodwork. I may be the wrong side of 30, but Iâ€™m not that great with woodworking. He is, however, the King of DIY (arenâ€™t all Dads?) and has a workshop filled with everything you could ever need. Given the workshopâ€™s usual output has been 4â€ scale steam traction engines, a little woodworking posed no conceivable issues and was done in two days. Having the kit of parts from the wood yard was a massive help and it all came together really quickly.
I painted it all in household brown emulsion. It was water based, easy to use, and also later would provide the material to make mud and other groundcover. It was certainly the most useful Â£10.99 spent, and is quite a nice colour (it had a weird name like â€œCappuccino hazeâ€ but mud brown would be a better description). The backscene was painted blue from a tin of Crown Solo of indeterminate age. With hindsight painting some clouds on would have been a good enhancement, but isnâ€™t hindsight wonderful?
The trackplan I had devised on the carpet of my office was transcribed and, as is usual, didnâ€™t seem to quite work on the real thing as well as it had done on the floor. A few hasty modifications were made though, and clearances were tested and retested using a couple of locos and some wagons. The passing loop would allow three MCO mineral wagons to be run around, or two TTA tankers. There was also room for two headshunts that could be wired to isolating switches so the layout can be run on DC with two locomotives.
I wired the electrics up as I went, with lots of testing. The electrics were the most expensive thing, requiring twelve motors. I bought some Peco PL-10 and some PL-10E motors. Whilst the PL-10s were harder to fit, because of having to cut square holes through the board (and one motor had to have a hole cut out of the crossmember underneath to accommodate it) they have been the most trouble free. The PL-10Es on the other hand suffered from the thinness of the plywood meaning all the screws poked through the baseboard and had to be trimmed. It was also much harder to get them lined up so they flicked the points without jamming. All the switches were old Hornby-Dublo D1, D2 and G3 ones from my Father's loft. They work really well, but the screw terminals can be fiddly to wire up en masse.
Half the points were electrofrog and the other half were insulfrog, by necessity of what I already had. The only difficult one was the electrofrog 3-way point, but a bit of Google-fu turned up wiring diagrams. I used the G3 switches (normally intended for colour light signals) to wire up the polarity changes necessary for the frogs. As long as they are switched with the switch that flicks the blades, they work fine. I did not bother with the same for the other electrofrogs, because they worked okay for me without changing polarity. The only troublesome piece of track was actually the insulfrog diamond crossing, as locos seem to short briefly on it at low speed, however I can live with that.
With the entire track laid and tested, my barren brown wasteland began to acquire the fun bits. I enjoy ballasting, and it quickly makes a layout come together. The buildings made from offcuts of plywood also came together at this point, utilising coverings from leftover Superquick papers I found in my modelling box. Everything was built from leftover stuff I had to hand, and nothing other than the motors and wire was bought new. I inherited a stack of unbuilt Superquick and Builder Plus kits from my Father-in-lawâ€™s loft and these were kit bashed into all the other buildings. I have to say that the Superquick terminal station is by far the best for kit bashing in this way, as was the Builder Plus engine shed. I also inherited an assortment of plastic lamps, crossing gates and Hornby buffers that were used too.
In my bits box I had a Superquick Market house, partially built. I had the wacky idea of lopping off the base and mounting it on girders so that it was partially over one of the tracks in the warehouse complex. Grafted into the other buildings it looks okay in my mind. Itâ€™s actually held on by string in addition to PVA. I was worried that it might be too prone to falling off otherwise. The string passes through the card structure, down through the insides of the plastruct tubes that it sits on and are tied under the baseboard. When tensed it takes the strain off any PVA joints and has so far worked well.
The only other major building that isnâ€™t made of wood is the office building in the scrapyard. This was kitbashed from the two wings of the Superquick terminal station, and looks all right. I used a chimneystack from the same kit to disguise where the roof joins are which were necessary because of the shapes of the donor parts of the kit. All other buildings are flat to the backscene to try and create a better illusion of size in the small space available. The half relief building in the centre at the back was salvaged from a previous layout, and was made from scrap balsa wood and Superquick papers. It actually works better on this layout than on the layout it was originally constructed for. It actually only survived the dismantling process because it came cleanly off â€“ I never expected it to survive.
The ground cover is simply that household emulsion with a mix of Gaugemaster and Javis scatter sprinkled on when still wet. Any bids for freedom by the scatter is then curbed with applications of my hairspray. The terrain is actually completely flat -â€“there is no built up ground. On an industrial setting such as this I think I get away with it. There are also wide expanses of muddy yards and unmetalled roads at the front of the layout. I textured the ground first by sticking scrap offcuts of thin balsa wood to the ground. Then I ladled out a load of the emulsion, mixed in some Javis scatter and sand, and pushed it around until I was happy with the texture. It was then sprinkled with four different shades of fine sand that stuck to the wet paint, and allowed to dry. It shrinks a little when drying; so any that looks too deep wonâ€™t be when dry. I then used a tin of yacht varnish for water effects over the top. This also helps stick the sprinkled sand in place.
The cobbles in the warehouse area are Metcalfe card cobbles. Salvaged from the previous layout, I cut the various bits and fitted them between the tracks. The area beside the tracks was built up with thin Balsa scraps to get the cobbles to rail height. A watered down mix of paint makes them look suitably weathered, and blends them in to the muddy area quite nicely. The oil terminal area was fitted out with bits from the Ratio oil depot kits. Piping is just trimmed sprue off old kits, heated with a lighter to get the bends going the right way. The lamps were old 1970s era accessories from my Father-in-lawâ€™s loft. They seem to work, even if they do not actually light up.
The scrapyard was the most fun. The ground cover was done as per the mud described above. Then, whilst still wet, leftovers of long dismantles or unfinished kits were glued and squashed into the mud with PVA. Once the initial pass of junk was bedded in, I let it all dry. Further junk was then built up using polystyrene cement, and I just kept adding stuff until my scrap boxes were virtually empty. In there is the superstructure off Airfix models of HMS Belfast, Cumberland, King George V, Ark Royal, the Prinz Eugan and Bismarck. I also had an old Tamiya Leopard tank that donated all manner of bits, along with a Dapol pug kit, an Airfix RAF emergency set and other kits that I donâ€™t even know what they were. Any leftovers from old Ratio kits went in too. Some of the girders were broken bits salvaged off the former model railway. The fact that a lot of these bits were painted and detailed from their former lives meant that there is a wonderful mix of distressed paint jobs on stuff, which when weathered with washes of rust coloured paint and the dirty brush cleaner from every time I cleaned my paint brushes really does look the part. Varnish was then added to simulate water, including pools on some of the junk.
Signalling is almost non existent. The final G3 switch was used to breath life into a Hornby Dublo colour light signal whose base had long since been broken in the mist of time. At the other end a salvaged Ratio semaphore signal is non-working, though the great big hand from the sky can move the arms if ever necessary.
In all, the whole thing cost me around Â£130 in fresh outlay, and as said before this was almost all in the cost of point motors and wire (it used more wire than I could ever have imagined). The wood cost Â£20, and the paint was another Â£10.99. Any other cost was limited to a couple of tins of Humbrol enamel and a couple of cans of hairspray.
So far the whole thing has worked quite well, apart from two PL-10E motors that take it in turns to jam. Iâ€™ve fixed one, but the other is proving irksome. Iâ€™ll get the little s**t in the end though. Itâ€™s been fun to build, and provides a home for a meagre amount of the stock Iâ€™ve built up over the years. I have deliberately tried to steer clear of anything that screams a specific rigid date, so whilst my favoured period is late 1970s/early 1980s, it would happily work for any period from the 1930s (1920s if the colour light signal is carefully ignored) through to the early 1990s. The headshunts are long enough that a class 24/25 can shunt it and get access all areas with a single MCO or VVV, or alternatively an 08/04 can shunt it with two such wagons at a time. Iâ€™ve kept all the original Bachmann small type tension lock couplings, and built myself a hand held device that is a flat piece of plastikard on a stick of sprue that is delightfully easy to uncouple stock. The only trouble is that a single operator cannot reach the controller and uncouple tankers at the back of the oil depot, unless they have much longer arms than I do. Power is provided by a single Gaugemaster Series D controller, with the colour light signal wired through the second track output so I can run it at five volts to save the life of its 1960s vintage grain of wheat bulbs (green ones are in very short supply).
Posted 11 March 2010 - 15:13
The underside showing construction and wiring beginning:
The wiring all ends up at this area with veteran Hornby Dublo switches. The platform is above the tracks behind two buildings:
Track plan taking shape. Lots and lots of testing with two of my most irksome locomotives testing. If these run, anything will run:
Track done and first buildings taking shape out of offcuts of the baseboard material:
Posted 11 March 2010 - 15:54
Posted 11 March 2010 - 17:14
Posted 11 March 2010 - 17:18
Very nice Jenny! I really like the use you made of the baseboard off cuts by converting them into low relief buildings and hidden exits. A great little layout. Any more photos?
All the best
Those buildings also provide a lot of extra strength too, as they are braced between the baseboard and backscenes using the baton offcuts too.
I've got a fair few photos, but I need to go through them. I had a photo session done with a friend who is a professional photographer, but until and if they get used for the magazine article I wrote, I don't want to post them online in case the editor gets annoyed that they've already been published.
The photographer found doing the layout shots quite interesting - her specialist area is doing stuff like fashion shoots, so it was novel for her to have a subject that didn't whinge about the cold, blink at the wrong times, or throw a primadonna wobbler half way through.
Posted 11 March 2010 - 17:35
This is the warehouse area before the arrival of the majority of the ground cover. The rail sides, incidentally, are painted with Humbrol #62 which was the closest match I could find to rust. It really does improve the look of the rails, even if it is a slow and annoying task. The bufferstops were in the main painted in a delightful shade of blue where they were within private sidings. I found a few of the buffers remaining in Trafford park are like this, and it helps give a bit of variety in colour.
With the paint still wet and glistening in the exuberence of an 8W energy saving lightbulb, this is the after shot. There was around a couple of hours' work in getting the ground cover built up. The cobbles were recycled from a previous layout, and were trimmed to fit their new location. Weathering was provided by wetting the brushes and smearing a wash of the mud mix over them. I never thought I would like water based paint, but this one was exceptionally easy to work with.
Posted 11 March 2010 - 17:53
For some reason I have very few pictures of this end of the layout during construction.
This was the area before any major work started. The corner building is just an offcut of plywood with the curved roofline modelled by tracing around the lid of the dustbin in my Father's workshop (it was about the right radius). It also helps disguise the baton which provides the strength in the corner for the backscene. The middle building is as salvaged from a previous layout, hence it looks strangely complete and weathered next to everything else. I wasn't much good at the time in making glazing (it was built around ten years ago) so I instead modelled it with bricked up windows. In the end it turned out better that way, and looks more in keeping with run down industrial areas. The roof structure is simply what parted company with the backscene from the old layout and seemed determined to come with it. In the end I kept it and built it into the other buildings that I made to fill the gaps.
The track the class 25 is on is a headshunt that can be isolated. The track immediately above it can also be isolated, though is only long enough for a class 08/09 or 04/03. These two isolated sidings allow for two locomotives to work the layout, so something large can bring a train in, then the yard shunter can be used to break it down whilst the train loco sits in the headshunt. Alternatively locos like my fleet of classes 20/24/25/33 can shunt their own trains (just!) leaving the shunter where it is.
After a week of intermitent modelling, this is the scene. It isn't finished in this picture, but it gives a better idea of where it is going. Plastikard painted to look like concrete forms the walkways with pipes, flanges and fittings from the Ratio oil depot kit used to make the wagon offloading pipes. Other pipes are from plastic sprue from a couple of Parkside MDO wagons and from something else. I tend to keep any kit sprue that looks even remotely like pipes, because it is free modelling material.
The buffers are all Hornby. The ugly bit that connects in a semi circle between the back supports I always remove. On some I trim the back supports off so that the buffer takes up less space - essential for some of the sidings on Grove Street. I have also weathered the track since these pictures were taken. For this I use a mix of dirty brush cleaning fluid and a tin of Humbrol satin black.
Posted 11 March 2010 - 21:34
As others have already said, itâ€™s a cracking little layout.
Roughly how long did it take you to construct it?
It took around three and a half weeks to do the bulk of the work (is a model railway ever truly finished?). That included two days for woodwork, another two days for electrics and track and then the rest was model making. The bulk of the layout is fairly simple, being on the flat. Once I got into it, I could get a lot done.
I also have the advantage that I work from home, so my office - in which the layout resides - is also a spare bedroom. My work is writing, and I took frequent breaks from typing to build the model, so I guess I had more time per day to spare on it than many people might.
Since it was 'finished' I've added details such as some extra vegetation, enhanced the scrapyard nad weathered the track and buildings. These things have been done at a leisurely pace, because the layout looked finished to the casual eye before they were done, so I felt in no hurry.
Posted 11 March 2010 - 22:02
This is the basic wooden structure of the buildings. They are fixed rigidly to the baseboard construction so they really will not move. They also add to the layout's strength. It does make for a utilitarian start though. I prefer permanently attached buildings because they can be bedded in to the ground. That way they look like they are really part of the landscape instead of sitting on it.
Another view of the bare wood. The screws are countersunk so that they don't interfere with the covering.
This is how the covering started - a template was cut from thin card, and I used balsa wood to mimic concrete covered steel beams. This was partly to break up what would have otherwise been a large expanse of brick, partly to look like buildings seen on industrial estates, and also because the Superquick brick papers weren't big enough to cover the wall in one without an unsightly join. I also had only one full sheet, and this meant that the rest of the wall could be covered with offcuts that I had from previous buildings.
This is the cover sized up to the wooden structure. Inside next to the track a loading dock made of Balsa wood, brick papers and card has been cut to fit and glued in. The wrinkles in the brick paper disappear once the glue has fully dried - I use PVA for almost everything, including this job.
This is the almost finished building glued in place. The side walls would be made from balsa sheets covered in brick paper, and the roof will be balsa covered in Superquick slate paper. The whole building sits at an angle to the backscene to break up the symmetry of the layout.
And finally, a shot through the tunnel from the off-stage area, because it's rather an atmospheric shot:
Posted 12 March 2010 - 12:07
It really does make a difference to a model to be photographed in good light with a camera that costs more than my car did in the hands of some-one who does it for a living. Sarah Cartwright is my photographer of choice, mostly because I worked with her as a model when doing some clothing shoots a few years ago. There's something very unglamorous standing in the wind and rain on an icy January morning in Fflint castle trying to look alluring in some latest Gossard creation whilst an entorage off camera wrapped up like Eskimos try to keep nosey dog walkers at bay. Still, she adapted to a static model quite well with the layout.
She tried it outdoors in natural light to begin with. This gives quite good pictures, but the day we chose was after the first of the ehavy snow falls and sub zero temperatures last year. Consequently as the layout cooled down to -5 degrees it made all sorts of worrying ticking noises from the track as the metal shrank. Fearing dry solder joints galore, we retired inside where she assured me that miserly 8W energy saving bulbs were no problem, and proceded to photograph a sheet of white paper to 'set the white point on the camera' so she said. It worked too.
Extreme close up (ala Wayne's World) of some of the junk in the scrap yard. At this cruel magnification you can see every grain of sand and scatter used.
A ZCO skulks in the warehouse sidings looking surprisingly ex-works. I doubt the real version of this wagon ever looked this clean. The resident repribands are skiving on the platform in between shuffling boxes around when the m,anager walks past.
I like my locomotives and stock to have nice TOPS codes on them. Don't know why; I dislike BR blue locos with pre-TOPS numbers to the extent that I bought a replacement body for one of my class 24s so it could be 24035 rather than 5087. I dislike renumbering stock myself, unless it is a kit or I've bought some-one else's half completed project. The 03 has a fictional number based on what I had enough transfers left of to do both sides. Those of a rivet counting disposition ought to be aware that my collection also includes an 04 in BR blue as 04019 and three bogie hoppers as YQV and RQV depertmental and barrier wagons, as I found in the bottom of my scrap box three Ratio bogie iron hoppers.
Posted 13 March 2010 - 15:52
When building Grove Street yard I went through all of my hoarded modelling stuff from at least the last ten years, and used an awful lot of it. Down at the very bottom of the box there were three Ratio bogie iron ore hopper wagons. Two were built with dubious BR paint jobs, and the third was unbuilt (I can't remember the catalogue numbers off hand). These are the ones that were based on a Caledonian railway origin vehicle. I'm not one for kit building rolling stock, so they had lain as abandoned efforts from my youth. I considered adding them to the scrap yard area as wagons in for breaking up, but space was an issue and these were large wagons. Add to that that their wooden structure looked too new and undamaged. I didn't fancy hacking lumps of plastic out, so the next best thing was fictional departmental stock.
The first is my RQV barrier wagon. Just to add variety, I decided to do this one differently and opted for a barrier wagon, as I could envisage a use for one to shunt the oil terminal. It is not based on any particular prototype of a barrier wagon as I've seen such things in all manner of liveries. I had some precision rail blue so used this and some precision BR warning yellow for the ends of the wagon. I have to say these paints seem a little watery. This could be the age of the tins, I don't know. However it took three coats of each colour to get proper coverage, and even then I wasn't entirely impressed. The tins were well stirred to an even consistancy and there was no solids left stuck to the bottom.
The other two wagons were made up and painted in a shade of engineer's olive green and lettered as YQV wagons. One is still in ex works condition and I have yet to weather and finish it. The other has had a lead load coverede with some ballast and then an assortment of signalling equipment leftovers from some Ratio signal kists painted and added. Grass was added over the ballast too, along with some lichen and scatter to try and make this look like a wagon that has been abandoned in a siding for a good number of years. On Grove Street yard there are no sidings that I can afford to perminantly attach it, but ultimately it would be used on a layout buried in the bushes at the end of a forgotton siding. For now it is still mobile.
Transfers were some old P C models pressfix ones I had from a restoration project about twenty years ago of a Hornby Dublo deltic. The sheet has everything from early BR crests and coach totems through to BR double arrows, and all the numbers and letters needed besides. The warning flashes were useful too, but the opaque colour of the backing sheet makes identifying the transfers on the sheet extremely difficult - I didn't know the warning flashes were there until I found one still attached to a BR double arrow.
As built the Ratio hoppers are light on their feet. I use some offcuts of lead flashing stacked in the wagons and glued with PVA before a layer of ballest and scatter glued over the top completes the load. Even with the original plasic wheels they are pretty handy runners, even though they are intended for sitting on a siding gathering dust.
Weathering is achieved by first giving the wagon a wash with dirty brush cleaner. I keep a bottle for this, and it is where I clean all my brushes. It is Wickes brush cleaner, around fifteen years old. It still cleans the brushes just fine, despite having the residue of fifteen years of modelling paint in there. The brushes turn out fine, but the dirty mix when shaken up (it settles to a sludge over time) makes things delightfully filthy in quite a subtle way. You have to make sure the base paint is dry and hardened first though, or it will peel off your fresh paintwork too. Paint that has hardened for a few days or more is unaffected.
When this is all dry, I deploy makeup and give the wagon a makeover it won't forget. Yes, you read that right. I use a combination of eyeshadow and bronzer, acquired over the years as the freebies that come attached to the cover of girls' beauty magazines. Every women knows what makeup they like and what works best, and has a box full of stuff they have and never use. I use them like you would use weathering powders, and have a huge number of shades to chose from. Ditch the tart red and sicky pink ones, of course. The shades of browns are brilliant, and the greens are good for moss and verdigree (sp?). I work the coulours in with a small, stiff paintbrush and build up the shades. When I'm done, a dusting with a blusher brush and bronzer gives a dusting of road dirt over the top. A spray of hairspray fixes everything in place so it doesn't come off on your fingers. Simple. The only thing to avoid is using eyeshadow or bronzer with sparkles in - otherwise it defeats the object by producing a blinged out p.i.m.p my wagon effect. (For some reason the forum deleats and replaces with hashes that word without the dots)
Again, my own camera, whilst fine for happy holiday snaps, hates my model railway and all things that run on it, so apologies for the iffy quality of the pictures.
RQV barrier wagon:
YQV engineer's wagon:
Inside of the YQV showing the detritus and undergrowth taking hold:
Posted 13 March 2010 - 18:24
Nice looking layout i see what you meen about the wiring just get some double sided tape thats all i used to make it look neat all that matters is that it works.
Great job on the scrap yard looks impresive
You running steam or deisel or both on the layout ?
Keep up the good work
Posted 13 March 2010 - 22:37
I used cable ties to tidy up some of the wiring when done, but the amount of wire just kept multiplying as I went. As I realised, it isn't just the wiring to the points (12 of them) but also all the wires running to and fro to ensure good electrical conduction too. I've seen a lot of posts about never relying on the fishplates, so I've put a large number of linking wires underneath to mean that no stretch of track has to rely anywhere on just fishplates. There are also isolating sections and so forth.
I had toyed with DCC, but was put off by my fear of electrics (though wiring Grove street up was nowhere near as difficult as my fears had led me to believe before I started). I decided to stick with DC because all my equipment was DC, and I felt best to stick with what I know. Also the cost of fitting decoders to all my locomotives made me baulk a little, especially as I was on a very tight budget for the layout. I also had several Gaugemaster DC controllers to hand which were a decider. There's nothing to stop the layout being converted at a later date - the electrical connections to all the track are pretty robust, and the isolating sections can be all switched live at the same time if needs be. I would probably leave the points DC controlled, as their circuits don't interfere in any way with the track. It is reassuruing that quite a few of the things I tried my hand at seriously for the first time (soldering, wood working, wiring up points) actually turned out to be easier and more rewarding than the procrastinating Jenny had led myself to believe over the previous few years.
The scrapyard represents the collected bits from my scrap box from around 10/12 years of more serious modelling, as well as the remians of several Airfix warship kits from my parents' house where they had lain since badly built by a younger me in the 1980s. I just kept on adding and building up the 'junk' until I had no useable bits left. It's a good technique as long as you have a lot of scrap bits already available. To build it my way if you had to buy all the donor kits specifically for it might prove somewhat too expensive per square inch though.
I usually stick to late 1970s/early 1980s BR blue era, because that's the era of my childhood when my Father managed to get me interested in trains by taking me to see the sidings at Metal Box in Westhoughton and when visiting my grandmother, to sit on the gates of the foot crossing on Snuff Mill lane in Cottingham. I do however have a huge collection of locomotives and rolling stock that cover everything from pre-grouping through to sectorisation. Grove street is designed so nothing dates it hard and fast to a specific decade, and it can be run without too much issues to the 1930s (though the colour light signal - itself a 1950s/60s veteran - may have to be quietly ignored and turned off). My favourite locomotives are classes 08 and 04, and I have these in every livery from original BR black through to Intercity/departmental grey. I'm also particularly fond of the early BR period and have ex L&Y pugs, Ivatt tanks and a standard class 4 tank which are all pet locos.
As of yet, I've not investigated the idea of exhibiting, though I built the layout so it could easily be taken to exhibitions and would like to at some point. At the moment it rests on top of an oak chest at a height of three feet off the ground. Obviously I need to build some legs for it. I also need to construct an off-stage area to house a traverser. I have plans for getting the kit of parts cut for one 3'6" long by 20" wide, and I just have to convince the procrastinating side of me to get down the wood yard and buy the wood to build it. (I've been scrutinising the photos posted on RMWeb by other people to get ideas in these areas). The woodwork for Grove street only took two days to build from getting it cut to being ready to lay track, so I'm hoping that the woodwork it all requires to go to exhibitions self-contained won't take too much time. I used to, years ago, take a large Hornby Dublo layout belonging to my Father to a few exhibitions. It was in the style of a shop window display from somewhere like a big high street toy shop and proved very popular. It was fun to run, though I was forever chasing derailed N2 tanks and City of Liverpools. Aging mechanisms and my Father's age brought that to an end, as he decided he wanted a quieter life rallying his 4" Garrett steam tractor - at least you can sit on that and don't have to walk as much!
In truth though, I'd rather sit and watch trains run by than shunt them. If I had the space (I guess like most people) I'd have a huge layout that went all the way around a room with plenty of options to run the fleet of Bachmann MkI coaches in blue/grey that I may have bought a lot of and never used. There are also around 40 different numbered Bachmann 16t mineral wagons in my collection, and I so want to be able to line them up behind my favourite class 25s and let it romp off with them all in one go. I suppose to do that, reilistically I need to join a club. But time, and probably fear of commitment, are the two watch words. York is one exhibition I've always fancied doing, but every year I've always never had the guts to find out about doing it. I'll go again as a visitor though (I always do).
Posted 14 March 2010 - 15:16
School children play on Grove street itself. A 16 tonner waits for the local coal merchant to finish emptying it and bagging the contents. Doctor Who appears to have put in an illicit visit on the overbridge covering the yard exit. Tom Baker or Peter Davidson must be around somewhere. The TARDIS is the Hornby Skaledale one, and it is a shame that no-one does 00 versions of the doctor to accompany it:
08507 waits awaits a train to shunt in a quiet moment in the yard. This locomotive was a Bachmann collector's club loco many years ago. The paint job and weathering is superb, even down to the faded shade of rail blue. It's a shame that Bachmann haven't released any other locomotives in this faded and weathered shade:
Viewed from the oil terminal, the yard looks deceptively small without wagons present. 08507 skulks whilst the warehouse sidings are unusually empty. Any ragged edges in the sky are my crude airbrushing attempts to hide what would otherwise be a very out of scale view of my office fileserver:
Closer view of the warehouse sidings. Unfortunately, after the glue had set, I noticed that the tubular supports that the offices rest on had slipped to an angle. From the front of the layout it isn't as obvious. The large tree was planted by me in order to help disguise the mistake. I'll probably take a stanley knife and some Bostik to it at some point:
Posted 19 March 2010 - 16:42
You've successfully got a lot of track into a small space - without the overall feel of the layout looking too cramped!
From the trackplan, it really looks as though it's a busy little yard to shunt!
And yes, it is the best useage of office space I've seen yet.....
...but if that were in my office, I'd get no work done
P.S. Love the little photo of the sand tippler and the land rover, just peeking out over the top of the wall - a nice, natural sort of viewpoint.
Posted 27 March 2010 - 11:43
In addition, the fiddle yard is something I've been meaning to tackle for a while. I am aiming for a total lengeth of it plus any attached structure at 3'6" which would make the whole layout 8' long, which seems a nice round figure. My idea is to build it similar to the main layout (i.e: 12" high backscene on three sides) but have it reveresed so that the open side faces back to me as the operator.
'Grove Street Yars' was always intended to be able to have a fiddle yard added. On its left side (when viewws from the front) it has two tracks emerging approximately 3" apart (rail centre to centre). These are in the centre of a large rectangular hole.Electrics for the entire layout also pass through here via six terminal block connectors on a strip.
I can't decide whether to have a traverser, ordinary fiddle yard or a sector plate. Space is probably too tight to use points, so that leaves me with sector plate or traverser. I want to be able to have as many lines as practical, and be able to have at least some line up with both lines off the scenic area. The left hand track in the picture emerges as if coming from within a warehouse building, and the right side track is the 'main line' to the yard.
Any suggestions welcome.
Posted 29 March 2010 - 15:18
I'm about to start planning the fiddle yard and legs to hold it all up......
I can't decide whether to have a traverser, ordinary fiddle yard or a sector plate. Space is probably too tight to use points, so that leaves me with sector plate or traverser....
Any suggestions welcome.
Initially, I used a cassette system for the first couple of exhibitions, for Hendre Lane.
Cassettes are another option, and can save space. However, I found at shows, you end up talking a lot,
and can get a bit overcrowded - unless you use lots of cassettes.....
...But there's never enough room in the fiddle yard, I find.....
Although you say there isn't enough space for points, you could always try 3-way points.
They're a bit harder to wire up, but they do save an awful lot of space.
You could also consider using a Peco Loco-lift - maybe off one of the sidings,
meaning that you still have other "fixed" sidings for stock you want to leave on the rails.
Re the support legs, don't forget you could also consider using some folding supports.
B & Q make some plastic ones that are quite light.
Aldi or Lidl also have some metal ones in from time to time,
so it's always worth looking in there every now & then......
I tend to use metal folding supports, together with a sort of enlarged paste-table I made myself,
I find that for small layouts, this sort of arrangement works well, especially for quick dismantling + transporting..
It's also a very robust arrangement - the legs are quite heavy + sturdy. I used a sort of folding-legs arrangement a few years back,
as did a pal of mine. We did a few shows, and the legs did have a tendency to wobble a bit too easily...
Of course, you must choose the method which best suits you, but these are just some of my thoughts...
Hope the photo helps my explanation....