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Englefield

O gauge 1950 CNR SP NYC WAB




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#1 Northroader

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 16:08

At one end of the loft is a 32mm, O gauge railway, intended for American 1/48th, 1/4" = 1foot models. My preference is for transition era, steam out/ diesel in. You'll spot it's for CNR, but I hope it will form a setting for more of the "fallen flag" lines I like. The available space would be better for a "shunting plank", but I do like to see passenger trains running as well, so it's a small station. About three years ago it got to the nearly ready stage, but nothing much has happened since, the only action being when my eldest granddaughter, who fancies herself as a train driver,pays a call. There are three main problems;
One, Me. I do more building than operating.
Two, the trains are patchy, plenty of decent freight cars, one good loco and one white elephant, and two passenger cars and one loco unfinished.
Three, a bad layout design. The run-round loop is half on the fiddle yard, half on the baseboard. I use cassettes, but find anything over 48" is unwieldy for O gauge train plus cassette, so they're split into 20" loco, and 46" train cassettes. This complicates things, and too much happens in the fiddle yard. Here is the plan, for public ridicule, to show what I mean:image.jpeg
The two photos. Show the track on the main baseboard:
image.jpeg

Otherwise, I quite like the area, buildings, and scenic possibilities, and so it has drifted on. Within the last month I have visited the GOG Winchester Am & Con show, and got inspiration from a line there, Georgetown, CT, by Gordy of this parish. Having admired the look and finish, the main message for me was branch line operation with a shorter train. this would still meet what I wanted, with the plus that costs and scratchbuilding time would be lessened. Back home I got out two 48" cassettes, to see what would fit.image.jpeg
If the loop at the station was placed entirely on the two baseboards, there was room for these sets to run round and shunt, but no passing moves, which I could live with. A 20" cassette would be needed at the right hand end, so overall the length would go from 11' 1" to 11'3" ( the odd inch is to engage the cassettes).
As layouts go it's the bottom end of the food chain, and I know it won't be up to Georgetown standards, but I feel it's a step forward, and this was confirmed when recently I saw suggestions and comments on Catweasel's thread "where to start".
So, divert the track gang off other work, and start lifting track.... Oh, dreary me, what was the glue I used to stick the ballast down? It's set like concrete, and the rails and copperclad sleepers are tearing the soldered joins. Scrape, scrape, bash... Don't expect another post for sometime....image.jpeg

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Edited by Northroader, 26 January 2017 - 14:23 .

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#2 jasond

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 23:45

I can see the F-unit and the C-liner, so what's the missing one and which is the white elephant? Track looked good too. Does the grand-daughter solder yet....?

Did we speak at Winchester? If we didn't cover all that's great about American O-scale, when shall we continue the conversation!!

Jason (yes, Ludgershall,Wilts)

#3 Northroader

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 09:38

So far, I've got the Granddaughter making trees. I really like the Atlas C-liner, it performs well. If I'm branch lining, it really ought to be a road switcher, so I'm thinking of a plastikard body, (louvres - aargh). It's the Alco that drives me doo-ally, no fault of its own, my controller trips out at 2amps just as it thinks about starting to move. (Yes, I know) I was warned about the drive train when I traded in my entire HO yank collection for it (jack and the beanstalk comes to mind) but it won't wear out on present usage. I've redetailed it to the MLW version, but it's very big and heavy for a simple little breach line. If I come over to Ludgershall with it in my coat pocket, and I get stop and searched, I'll get done for carrying an offensive weapon. Sorry I didn't say hello at Winchester, I have been known to get unconsidered trifles from you, a brass stock car, Alco switcher hood, and kadees come to mind. Ah well, back to chiselling, all the best!

#4 DanielB

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 10:24

Great looking layout, I'll eagerly anticipate the results of your new civil engineering and landscaping works! :D



#5 jasond

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 14:31

After my recent house move, to find another American O-scaler in Wiltshire made me miss it's an FA not just an F-unit, I was in such a hurry to reply.  Is it a Weaver?  If yes is it big motor in the middle and shaft drive to all wheels or their more recent independent trucks, twin motors and spur gears?  If the latter, taking the motor and associated gear out of one truck could fix the current draw problem and leave enough power to pull enough stock.  If the former and something's binding in the drive I've got spare odds and ends.

 

My next objective is to find a club with an O-scale track and members who've been too embarrassed to bring out American stock before I turned up.  That's what happened in Morecambe!  Winchester is probably the easiest for me, Andover is next....

Jason



#6 Northroader

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 15:03

It's the sort with a single dirty big Pittman in the middle, very nice on a big club oval pulling proper trains, but... I thought discompooperating one bogie drive and remotoring would be the most likely answer, but it's been one of those "to do" things that gets shelved very quickly. Otherwise..

#7 F-UnitMad

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 23:54

My Weaver Geep (single Pittman) was always slower / more power hungry than my Atlas locos, even my Atlas/Red Caboose GP9 which is also single Pittman, but it never tripped my 2Amp controller. I'd suspect some binding in the drive somewhere with your loco. It shouldn't be that bad.
Must admit I wasn't keen on the Weaver/P&D chain drive with analogue control, but with DCC, a Protocraft 'boosted' 3Amp Tsunami, & a fair bit of CV-tweaking (mostly following tips on Interweb) my 'kitbashed' GP40 is now a firm favourite!!

I like the layout, interesting plan! It is frightening how short 4ft is with US O Scale, isn't it!!?? ;)
Will be following with interest.

Edited by F-UnitMad, 06 November 2015 - 23:56 .

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#8 Northroader

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 14:19

Many thanks, Jasond and F-unit mad, for your helpful comments. When I got back this morning from the weekend shop and had dried out, I shot up to the loft and started removing screws out of the Alco. Starting with the trailing end bogie, (with the chain drive), I found I could spring the jaws of the universal coupling at the lead end, detaching the cardan shaft drive to the lead end bogie. Dropping this bogie down I could undo the screws holding the two halves of the gearbox housing together, on each axle. The gearboxes, shafts with worms and spline drive could then be removed, leaving the lead bogie undriven. I did a test with this, run-in on the static cradle with a squirt of WD40, then a track test. It performed much the same as my Atlas engine, for pull and controller settings, and could handle the sets shown on the cassettes, although with some wheelslip from the WD40! While I was at it I halved the size of the leading end ballast weight. So instead of pulling the "Ocean Limited" out of Halifax I'm afraid she is doomed to toddling into Englefield with a combine car. I'm putting in a picture of her for you to pin above your beds tonight. Thanks again, ain't RMweb great?image.jpeg
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#9 jasond

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 18:26

Good mod.  Keep those bits safe. 

Jason



#10 Gordy

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 17:25

looking good, make the baseboards wider 6 inches wider, maybe keep the two spurs at the front but possibly add a freight house served by the one at the back and shorten the front spur and make that a team track. I like the dummy crack but could you incorporate an interchange with what ever other road that is supposed to be. btw the cassettes on Georgetown are 46 inches long. 

 

but looking good I am sure it will look as good if not better than Georgetown when you finish :) look out for the next layout Cannondale the build has now started 



#11 Northroader

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 19:36

Thanks Gordy, I've been picking up on Cannondale, good to see building has started now, it's bound to be a beauty when it's done. I didn't notice the cassettes were as short as you say, of course for exhibition usage it wouldn't be the same as back home, but it worked a treat. You're right about the width on Englefield not being enough, but I don't really want to start messing with the bench work. I intend to make the two spurs in front into a single long one, team track area at left and new industry building between tracks at the right. tHe dummy track is going, I like it, but it's very hard to get it looking right where it runs into the back scene. There will be a road crossing in the same area. The spur behind is going to face the other way, still serving the same industry. I must do some trees, too, yours look great. Cheers!

#12 Gordy

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 20:32

cool great idea, have you got any more space length ways or are you maxed out?



#13 Gordy

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 20:39

just had another look at your pictures if you make your platform a little shorter you could feed your warehouse from a turnout in front of the depot it would mean a lot less switching in the fiddleyard. A grade crossing would look great especially with a few shop fronts on the street, it will be a nice little layout when you finish. add some utility poles and it would complete the look nicely 


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#14 Northroader

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 15:16

Well, the grading crew got down to the cork subsoil on the LH b/board, so now pushing on with track. There were two LH points in tandem wanted for this end. Everyone says not to have your running lines parallel with the b/board front edge, I wanted these points close to the front at this end, and nearer the back at the other end of the loop, forming a reverse curve thro the depot area, although there will be a siding at the front going parallel with the fascia. There was a point in about the right place, but it took up well over half the b/board length, so that had to come out. To get the geometry of the points right, I put a Peco settrack OO point in the scanner, upped it by 175%, (4mm. To 7mm) horizontal flip to get a LH and print off two. (One of the very rare flashes of foresight I've had was to get an A3 printer with the old computer) This fitted in well, so I built the two points, using a mix of recovered and new parts, all from Marcway of Sheffield, code 124 F/B N/S rail, copper clad glass fibre 6mm sleeper strip, and also their cast brass crossings (frogs) which save some fiddling. Sleeper spacing was done from a jig cut from a plastic strip, rather than the print out. (21" spacing). The points were then tacked in place temporary, with jumper feeds to a controller for testing. I've put a Peco medium radius point in the picture for comparison.image.jpeg
The enlarged settrack point radius was calculated at 30", and measured at 28", so I needed to check that the trains would operate through this, it's very tight, but only for a short length. For me, the main practical advantage in modelling American outline is that mostly everything is mounted on bogies, and very good at passing through dodgy track. Sure enough, the Weaver Alco and the Atlas FM ran through a treat. I tried a heavyweight coach carcass which showed some clearance problems which could be sorted, and then on to steamers. I haven't invited any Big Boys to the party, just a small Mogul, and this went through ok, just problems on intermediate drawbar which is fixable, and I must remember to watch the clearance behind the cross heads when I get the slide bars sorted.image.jpeg
The engine is intended to be a CNR E10a, a handful of which lasted into the early 60's. 6765, which you've already met and fixed for me, appeared around 1957, so you get an idea of the time window I'm working to. Having now done a check, I can paint, wire, and fix down these points. I'm intending to operate them with slider switches placed close by each one. Then off to the other end of the baseboard, and see about positioning a point at the far end of the loop.
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#15 jasond

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 18:13

Before I'd got the D&H bug, my first knee-trembling purchase at Bernie Victor's was a US Hobbies brass 2-8-0 (UP).  Great 'small' loco, had to go round the end of the loft to the fiddle yard, 28" curves (yeah right newbie - some of it maybe) and if I turned the light off, I could see the pony truck wheel short on the back of the cylinders.  Hey this is O-scale, a piece of gaffer tape fixed that!

Jason


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#16 F-UnitMad

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 18:42

the main practical advantage in modelling American outline is that mostly everything is mounted on bogies, and very good at passing through dodgy track. 

...which is, of course, why they do it like that on the prototype!! ;)
It's also a great advantage of US O Scale; you can run big stuff through the sort of radius UK stock won't even look at, unless it's very small 4-wheel stock. Part of it is the superior buckeye coupler,too, rather than buffers & 3-links.

#17 Northroader

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 09:13

Wonder if a gaffer- tape kit would come in cheaper than a brass kit? I agree about the other great benefit of American outline modelling being the couplers. If you've been working on a British layout, fannying around with buffers, draw hooks, and 3link couplings, working with knuckle couplers is like coming out of jail. I always marvel at the design and build of the kadee job.

#18 Northroader

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 14:30

The right hand board is now a swathe of desolation all the way across. Before taking up the dummy track and crossing, I took a picture of it out of interest:image.jpeg
It was easy to make as one track was electrically dead, so the dummy tracks on each side of the running rails could be soldered in on that side, and the copper clad filed off between just the running rails. Then the dummy tracks and check rails bridging the gap were made out of strip wood, and top painted with metallic paint. I think these crossings seem to be a typical feature of American lines, and pop up anywhere. It would have been nice to keep it, but I don't really have the room, and found the exit for the dummy track through the back scene was a total mess to get looking decent. On we go.

#19 F-UnitMad

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Posted 25 November 2015 - 03:24

I know what you mean about the crossing. 90° ones in particular seem very common in the US and are almost a 'signature feature' of American track plans. They're the very devil to fit into model layouts though, especially "our" (i.e. British) style of shelf layouts - at least if we want to actually run trains across both directions of the crossing.

#20 Northroader

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 19:45

Since my last post I've been working on getting the two points installed. One good feature of the new design is that the electrics are much simpler. The old set-up needed five section switches, the new one just two, to feed into each end of the loop lines. The lines meet in the middle at a baseboard join, so there's a natural gap in the rails. Both the sidings are off a point on the opposite board, however, so jumpers are needed on those lines. The really fiddly job, the way I do it anyway, is point control, so here's a picture as a warning!image.jpeg
As well as the points now working, the second siding at the front has been cleared away, and the point into it replaced by plain track made up from recovered material, giving a clear run all along the front of the board. This should please the top-link engine driver on her next visit. Now off to the far end to see what I can do there.
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#21 Northroader

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 20:26

There's now a third point made to match the other two, for the far end of the loop. I projected the line from the second point, and lined up the new point on this. It was placed at right angles to the end, so that the extension could be on a cassette. Besides GP's and RS's, there could be F's and kettles appearing and needing to be turned. The extension line is being made for just a loco length, it would be more convenient when shunting to have extra length for a freight car as well, but it would add too much for the overall length. This set me off thinking about how shunting moves would be done- a bit late in the project, you'd say. I decided no problems would happen, easy if the train is on the depot line, more complicated on the loop line, but we're only talking of trains with two freight cars an a caboose moving round two sidings with three car spaces.image.jpeg
With this point in place, there are several matters arising. Firstly, I've placed two freight cars on the front siding. The nearest shows that there's just about enough space for a team track, hard standing where a road vehicle can transfer commodities to a freight car- such as fruit to a reefer, oil from a tanker, sawn timber from a flatcar, giving plenty of variety in the fleet. The furthest car away shows where an industrial building can go, where the set square is. Again I can just about squeeze something in, thinking on the lines of a feed mill, supplying the local farming community, as Englefield is the sort of small town station for this. The gap between the two cars is where I'm thinking of putting in a road crossing.
Secondly, it's becoming clearer that some reshaping of the depot will be needed, as the line will pass over the toes of the two passengers- sorry, customers! Waiting patiently for their train, maybe down as far as the industry in the near corner. More work...
Well, that's enough for now. It's the time of year to give best wishes to all the visitors to this site, especially the select band who've been good enough to post their thoughts, much appreciated. Have a good Christmas with your folks, hope there's something special in the cardboard box under the tree, and that next year is a really good time for modelling.
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#22 Northroader

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 19:35

While we're recovering from Christmas torpidity and struggling with the quiz, I thought I'd post a feature which is being kept for the rebuilt line. This is a "view blocker" which covers the join between the depot baseboard and the fiddle yard. I always feel that a scenic background is an essential feature on a model, and carry it round the end, so there is an exit hole needed for trains to pass through. The blocker helps to conceal this, and also support the back where it finishes. It's centred on a "poster" A3 size, which I draft out on my old computer, which gives general detail of the line being modelled, map, pictures, logos, to help set the scene. This is mounted on 12mm ply or chipboard board and faced with transparent plastic sheet, held in position by thin plastic angle (both from B&Q) secured by small screws. You'll note I make no attempt to mitre the corners, the angle is thin enough to overlap without looking too clumsy. Two steel strips (B&Q again) attached to the back, hook over the ply fascia strip glued to the front of the baseboard, and a diagonal brace is bolted to small angles screwed to the board near the top in the middle, which keeps the board vertical. This carries down to a short upright extension in the back corner of the baseboard. One thing which is needed is a patch over part of the back scene hole, needed now I've reduced the number of tracks through.image.jpeg
Well, that's it for now, tomorrow night I'll have a "wee dram" to honour folks north of the border, Auld Lang Syne and all that. Happy New Year, everyone.

Edited by Northroader, 29 December 2015 - 20:27 .

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#23 jasond

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 15:47

That's a neat way to separate the layout from the 'rest of the world'.   I must get my bits of D&H stuff out of the dusty box file at the back of the cupboard.  Thanks for the idea and Happy New Year

Jason


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#24 Northroader

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 19:40

image.jpeg
More progress with the track work. The far end point is now fixed in, although control switch yet to do, and a track panel for the loop line made and installed. You may notice the dog eared copper clad sleeper ends at the front, the adjacent tracks are fed from feeders at opposite ends, with one being through a switched polarity point frog, so there's a risk of shorting if I'm not careful. With this track in place I can check the alignment of the platform line, now I've got the fourth and final point made. AAR track centre standard is 14 feet, I've knocked a foot off, but still well into the depot platform. You're looking at an 18" wide b/board here; Gordy, you're right, 21" would be better, spec. writers for the Delaware & Hudson layout please note! The trouble is my depot building is a fairly typical type with wide overhanging eaves, so another problem to solve. The dowels locate the base of the building. The curved strip by the new point is a flexi curve (W H Smiths) which I find useful for marking out. I can also finish fitting sleepers to the run out of the first point I made now I know where it's aimed at.

Edited by Northroader, 09 January 2016 - 19:45 .

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#25 Northroader

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 20:52

For a change, I'm doing a post on some of the rolling stock on Englefield, starting with the two cabooses, ?cabeese, ?cabeeses.. (You say " tomayto, etc ") These are a must for a 1950s freight, forming a rolling HQ for the conductor, the guy in charge of the train. There was a cupola for a lookout over the train, and a desk for paperwork, freight car waybills, and so on. A stove kept the car warm and heated coffee and meals. Boxes underneath carried useful spares like coupler parts and air brake hoses. Beside the conductor there was very likely a brakeman. All trains were fully air braked by then, so the brakeman no longer ran along the roof screwing hand brakes down, he helped by throwing points at passing sidings, setting out cars, and protection when stopped on the mainline. The caboose was usually assigned to one person, and was well cared for as a result. Some turns could end end out well in the sticks, and so there were four benches/ bunkspace inside for the train crew to doss down. These cars were a standard CNR design, but typical of most North American designs, slightly shorter at 35' than the standard boxcars of 40'.image.jpeg
The models were made from a drawing in the Model Railroader for Aug 84. The body is mainly .060 plastikard, with an external layer of Evergreen V groove styrene sheet, which gives a neat finish. There's a wood strip inside to help with weight. The bogies aren't very obvious, but are Walthers, diamond / arch-bar framed. These are the old type, before the cast steel types were introduced, and by the 50s were banned from movement off individual roads, but still used for internal use. The Walthers kit has frames, bolster, wheel sets, then six teeny little coil springs go in. Horribly fiddly, but once you have the knack of assembly, they are the most perfect runners you could wish for. Spot the difference fans can look out for window spacing, storm windows, doors, handbrake wheels, cupola bracing. In the 50s the cars were repainted orange, I used Humbrol flat orange with a small quantity of Matt White mixed in. I did have a Roundhouse HO car with black roof, which I thought looked smart, but the drawing said mineral red, so... The transfers are C-D-S decals, a Canadian firm, which are a treat to apply, and you'll find they also do some USA lines as well.
My South African mate, currently suffering from heatwave and drought, tells me there is an Englefield in Northwest Territory, which looks like more of a geographical feature than a town. Should I model tundra, snow, and a polar bear with his head stuck in a wheelie bin? Urrrhhh.. Think I'll stick with a fictional place somewhere in Quebec or Ontario, with "Fall" scenery.
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: O gauge, 1950, CNR, SP, NYC, WAB

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