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Swaynton for Millcliffe-on-Sea

EM Swaynton




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#1 brightspark

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 22:28

This thread is about the layout “Swaynton for Millcliffe-on-Sea” owned and built by the late John Douglas Smith and members of the North West Surrey EMGS Group.

 

Classic-Entrance-PH_MRJ.jpg

Photo P.Hall. Copyright JDS.

The layout is now in the hands of his son Richard and the NWSAG is still very much involved with it.

I will add links to this post as I find them.

 

​First Swanton’s own web page that I occasionally get around to updating.

 

Other links to follow.

Meanwhile here is a picture that I took.

 

DVC00326.JPG

Under the Awning (Andy Avis)

 

Cheers

 

Andy


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#2 brightspark

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 22:23

So what is it?

 

So back in the 1990's the members of the North West Surrey Area Group of the EM Gauge Society, had come to the conclusion that they were all very skilled armchair modellers. OK that is a little unfair as they did produce the odd model and they looked very good. So one member, Bergundy of this parish, having returned from the USA suggested that members engage in building modular layouts based on the N track principle.

 

Now how many times have we heard of this story? There was even an attempt at a modular layout on this forum. But back to the story.

 

So the members of NWSAG drew up a modular standard for EM layouts and this was published in the EMGS manual. Even more astounding is that several modules were built to prove the principle. They used different construction techniques and represented different parts of the country and even different eras, but they all had the same end and electrical pick up and even more surprising when plugged together they worked!

 

The group were invited to several exhibitions to demonstrate the modular layout concept. This allowed us to try out different ideas in layout construction of which some were good and many were bad. More importantly we quickly found out that the lovely looking models we had built, didn't run very well. It was a steep learning curve.

 

One day Douglas Smith (JDS) decided to produce three modules. The first two modules were fiddle yards with the scenic sections being tunnel mouths in a deep cutting. He then started to produce a "Super Module" and this was to become Swaynton for Millcliffe on Sea or just Swaynton.

 

We found that all the modules were getting too long for exhibition managers to handle, plus they couldn't deal with the concept of a modular layout. 'How long would you like it?' 'Oh no it's several small layouts joined together?' 'We can make it smaller if there is not enough room.' You get the idea, so we started to just advertise the one layout, that being the Swaynton module and the two fiddle yard boards.

 

And that is how Swaynton was born.

 

Andy



#3 brightspark

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 21:45

Some of you may think that a layout started 20 or so years a go would now be finished. If so then you are wrong as there are lots of features still to be added as well as some upgrades.

 

One of the upgrades is get a more realistic signal operation using a lever frame instead of the current buttons and switches.

For this exercise we need to first agree a signal diagram and then produce a locking chart. Yes we are going to have proper interlocking!

 

When I built the signal box it had installed into it a lever frame of 17 levers as this is what was installed at the three stations along the line. However the signal diagram for the model was far more extravagant. This was partially due to a lack of available material and the assumption that all movements would be controlled by a signal. As we shall see this is not always the case.

Doug did at some point acquire an MSE lever frame that had been made up with an interlocking shelf. (I can't think of a better word to describe it here so please educate me) His plan, and the plan of others who have looked at this was to reuse the metalwork for Swaynton. All without success. There have also been thoughts on electronic interlocking but this too has come to nought.

 

So the frame is now with me and the task is to produce a lever frame based on prototype operation for this layout.

 

The first place to start is to look at the signal diagrams for the three stations that Swaynton is based on. These are New Milton, Hinton Admiral and Sway. You can find low resolution images of these on the Signal Record Society (SRS) website. Just look for Drawings and click down the links. These stations are on the Southern, Section P: LSWR Worting Jct to Weymouth & Branches. Examination of the diagrams finds that Hinton Admiral is a "Dead Ringer" for Swaynton with the exception of the advanced up starter.

 

So I have taken this diagram and turned it upside down as we operate from the back, so the operators signal box is on the wrong side of the tracks, and made an executive decision to plan the removal of the advanced up starter.*

So I now have a Signal Diagram.

 

Attached File  Swaynton Signal Diagram.pdf   173.87KB   114 downloads

 

Next up will be the locking or dogging chart.

 

Andy

 

*Well I did see if the up starter could be kept and there are two spare levers, but then would I have to signal the up crossover? It seems easier to stick to prototype.



#4 brightspark

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 20:47

Well I posted up the proposed signal diagram and went to the very helpful people on the signal box forum.

It seems that all is not as it should be and so there was some debate about the colour of the disc signals or dollies.

 

In theory it would seem that all of the dollies in the yard and the sidings should be yellow. Yellows by the way are not distant signals but allow the train to shunt past them. However looking at photos of Sway, Hinton Admiral & New Milton, the prototypes that the model is based on, that these are red. The only signal that I have not been able to confirm with a photo is the one in the Up siding, No5 on my diagram.

So if anyone happens to have a photo, please would you share it.

 

I have also found that the locking table is now very much simplified from the draft that I had prepared. The dollies now only lock the immediate points when they are reversed and the starters are not locked to the block instruments. This is because it is believed that the Preece instruments remained in place until modernisation in 1967. I will post the locking chart up later.



#5 brightspark

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 20:21

Its about time that there was an update here.

 

I will report that layout had a very successful outing to ExpoEM Spring at Bracknell. The topic is covered here and more pictures here.

The big news being that Swaynton was awarded the The Denny Trophy. This awarded for the layout operated in the most prototypical manner.

 

So well done team and here is the trophy proudly displayed.

 

The Cup.jpg

 

Photo Ian Barefoot

 

Now this is remarkable because we had a few new operators on the team who had to learn "on the job". Unfortunately we currently do not have the opportunity to set the layout up for rehearsal and testing. So it a tribute to the builder(s) that the thing seems to run perfectly every time it is put up as that is only at shows. 

The award is also a tribute the discipline of the team and how well that was passed onto the new members of the team, who didn't want to let the side down. Well winning this cup has really put the pressure on now!

 

One thing that also helped, was that we tried using a graphite pencil on the rails. We had seen this on other layouts so decided to give it a try.

For those not familiar with this technique, I will explain what we did.

Track and wheels were cleaned as per normal. Then before the first train ran a soft pencil was rubbed along a foot of the line, in this case the two entry track from the Fiddle Yard Tunnels. A further application was made on Saturday Lunchtime and again on Sunday morning. The results were striking as the layout seemed to run very smoothly with no sign of the poor running that we are used to around mid afternoon of both days. Normally we would start cleaning wheels mid afternoon and clean the track again on Sunday Morning. By Sunday afternoon the loco were running as smooth as ever with no hesitation when starting.

So I think we are sold on that idea. 

 

Andy

 

 


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#6 brightspark

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 20:23

Since Post 4, way back in February, I have been working away on the drawing board creating a pile of drawings for the rebuilt lever frame. As JDS used to say, "you can't do nothing without a drawing."

Or measure twice cut once. Or the colourful army expression "remember the 7P's". That is Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents a P**s Poor Performance.

After all of that planning, drawing and then redrafting I am at a point where metal can now be cut.

So the standard 14 lever MSE frame has been cut up and extended out to the required 17 levers.

Here are a couple of shots of it before it gets stripped down for paint.

 

IMG_4289.JPG

IMG_4290.JPG

IMG_4291.JPG

IMG_4292.JPG

 

In the photo the frame is bolted to the sub-frame that will itself be bolted to the steel frame. This will also support the switch gallery. The two oval holes are intended for the wire-loom. The area outside of the sub-frame and in front of the old H&M point motor will be for the various relays. 

The plan being that the new control panel will use the connections as the old panel. This will give us the added reassurance that should anything go wrong with the new panel we can quickly swap them over.

 

At some point I really will get around to posting up the final locking diagram. 

 

Andy

 

 


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#7 brightspark

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 20:46

I am surprised that no-one has asked what the H&M point motor is for.

If you are curious, there will be two of them, one each side.

 

Also attached is the latest revision of the signal diagram. There have been a few tweeks since the previous version.

Attached File  SIGNAL DIAG FINAL.rev3.pdf   179.62KB   62 downloads

 

Andy

 

edit to add the 3rd line and attachment.


Edited by brightspark, 19 July 2017 - 20:58 .

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#8 brightspark

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 21:10

To accompany the signal diagram in the last post I present a locking chart. 

Perhaps with hindsight I should have put this up before I started to cut metal. Oh well, not too late.

Comments are welcome either here or at the Signal Box forum

Attached File  Swaynton Lever Frame Locking table.docx   12.14KB   74 downloads

 

Thanks

 

Andy

 

(edited as it would let me post a table, so I have had to attach a document)


Edited by brightspark, 15 August 2017 - 21:14 .


#9 RailWest

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 20:25

To accompany the signal diagram in the last post I present a locking chart. 

Perhaps with hindsight I should have put this up before I started to cut metal. Oh well, not too late.

Comments are welcome either here or at the Signal Box forum

attachicon.gifSwaynton Lever Frame Locking table.docx

 

Thanks

 

Andy

 

(edited as it would let me post a table, so I have had to attach a document)

To be honest, the table layout and terminology are confusing. For example, why are the shunt signals called 'release'?

 

For an ex-L&SWR locking table the columns should be Number, Description, Released by, Works (which is just the Number again usually) and Locks.  For practical purposes of working it all out you might want to follow an alternative version of Number, Released by, Locks, Locks Both Ways, Releases.



#10 RailWest

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 20:34

Well I posted up the proposed signal diagram and went to the very helpful people on the signal box forum.

It seems that all is not as it should be and so there was some debate about the colour of the disc signals or dollies.

 

In theory it would seem that all of the dollies in the yard and the sidings should be yellow. Yellows by the way are not distant signals but allow the train to shunt past them. However looking at photos of Sway, Hinton Admiral & New Milton, the prototypes that the model is based on, that these are red. The only signal that I have not been able to confirm with a photo is the one in the Up siding, No5 on my diagram.

So if anyone happens to have a photo, please would you share it.

 

I have also found that the locking table is now very much simplified from the draft that I had prepared. The dollies now only lock the immediate points when they are reversed and the starters are not locked to the block instruments. This is because it is believed that the Preece instruments remained in place until modernisation in 1967. I will post the locking chart up later.

'Yellow' ground discs did not exist in L&SWR days, being a late-1920s 'invention'. Quite a few discs became 'yellow' in SR days - usually using the 'miniature-arm' type - but a lot remained unchanged unless there was any resignalling. So you might 'take your pick' as to whether to change them or not. Much of the ex-L&SWR lines operated with 'open' block, ie not 'Line Clear' release (other than where there was Sykes Lock-and-Block), until the eventual replacement by the standard SR 3-position instrument. In places where block controls were added, but there was NOT an Advanced Starter in advance of a crossover, then the crossover lever itself was locked by the block (often/usually with a 'one pull only' release - eg Whimple).



#11 brightspark

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 22:18

To be honest, the table layout and terminology are confusing. For example, why are the shunt signals called 'release'?

 

For an ex-L&SWR locking table the columns should be Number, Description, Released by, Works (which is just the Number again usually) and Locks.  For practical purposes of working it all out you might want to follow an alternative version of Number, Released by, Locks, Locks Both Ways, Releases.

Hi Chris,

I am on steep learning curve here.

So how should shunt signals be described please?

And I figured that there would be a format for a table, but I have to start somewhere. This is what I ended up with after working out what did what the first time around.

However on your advice I shall reformat this with the other suggested changes.

 

The debate about the yellow discs was on the signal box forum. As the period being modelled is 1960, late May early June to be exact, yellow dollies could well be in the mix. However I have some nice Westinghouse dollies all red and all working (and available for purchase in kit form).

Since making the statement about block instruments, I have decided to go against prototype and will include locking. So 3 & 11 are locked by the Up Block (is there a correct name for this?) and 14 by the down block. The intention being that trains cannot be dispatched to the fiddle yard until it is ready so the block release will be activated by the placing of the electric buffer on the receiving cassette.

 

Thanks for your thoughts and please keep them coming.

 

Andy



#12 RailWest

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:21

Hi Chris,

I am on steep learning curve here.

So how should shunt signals be described please?

And I figured that there would be a format for a table, but I have to start somewhere. This is what I ended up with after working out what did what the first time around.

However on your advice I shall reformat this with the other suggested changes.

 

The debate about the yellow discs was on the signal box forum. As the period being modelled is 1960, late May early June to be exact, yellow dollies could well be in the mix. However I have some nice Westinghouse dollies all red and all working (and available for purchase in kit form).

Since making the statement about block instruments, I have decided to go against prototype and will include locking. So 3 & 11 are locked by the Up Block (is there a correct name for this?) and 14 by the down block. The intention being that trains cannot be dispatched to the fiddle yard until it is ready so the block release will be activated by the placing of the electric buffer on the receiving cassette.

 

Thanks for your thoughts and please keep them coming.

 

Andy

>>>So how should shunt signals be described please?

 

It tended to be either 'disc' or 'shunts', as in:-

 

Disc at points 8.....

Shunt from Up Siding....

Shunt over points 10......

 

etc, etc

 

For the 1960s, then I would be tempted to go for yellow shunts, but probably still of the miniature-arm type rather than the half-disc. But if your Westinghouse ones are the latter then you could always repaint them, remembering in that case that it would be a yellow stripe on a black face (for contrast).



#13 brightspark

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 16:55

Thanks Chris,

 

I shall start to update the chart.

 

The disc signal were discussed in the signal box forum on the earlier part of the Swaynton thread. It was suggested that all of the discs should be yellow. However as Swaynton is an amalgamation of Sway, New Milton and Hinton Admiral, (hence the name Swaynton. Swaying Admiral was also suggested....and dismissed) we are able to look at these and can to some extent copy the prototype. Study of photos reveals that the disc signals are of the half round Westinghouse type and are red. Although there is no photo of the one in the siding at HA and nothing to suggest that it is not red.

 

Looks like there are issues over in the signal box forum in down loading the word document.

 

Thanks

 

Andy


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#14 RailWest

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 18:13

Is the frame numbering now 'set in concrete' or might it be changed? Just curious, as I feel that the 'reversal' from the real HA has left some oddities.....



#15 brightspark

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 18:18

The frame is as the pictures above, but now painted with the lever colours.

What have you spotted?

 

Andy



#16 RailWest

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 19:05

Looking at it again, probably nothing - so forget I asked :-)



#17 bécasse

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 20:14

Swaynton Lever Frame Locking table.jpg

Locking Table as a .jpg attachment.

 

 



#18 brightspark

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 20:45

Looking at it again, probably nothing - so forget I asked :-)

I am intrigued. I wonder what you saw.

 

Thanks for posting that Becasse.

 

Andy



#19 RailWest

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 15:20

I've had a quick attempt at a L&SWR-style(ish) locking table, which hopefully may help?  There may be some queries raised about it by others...:-)

 

 

Attached Files


Edited by RailWest, 18 August 2017 - 15:21 .


#20 brightspark

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 21:52

Thanks Railwest.

It almost aligns with what I currently have drafted. So I need a couple more tweaks to my master.

 

I have commented further on the Signal Box forum.

 

Andy



#21 brightspark

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 19:56

I have filled in the missing detail from Chiswick circa 1960 and then applied this to Swaynton. I have applied the changes to the table Railwest posted for your comment.Attached File  swaynton-locking as Chiswick.pdf   789.69KB   17 downloads

 

Andy



#22 RailWest

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 20:17

As 13 PUSH is released by 7, and 15 locks 7, then there is no need for 15 to lock 13PUSH as well.

 

I wouldn't quibble with the other changes :-) They alter things that I felt came into the category of "they might, or perhaps they might not, be done".



#23 Foulounoux

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 13:15

I saw this layout without knowing its name and immediately recognised the pines them the approach and then realised what I was looking at

Well my parents lived in Sway after moving down from Hertfordshire in the late 80's. Into a small estate that backs onto the station (up side)

It is superb and is operated meticulously which makes watching it such a pleasure

Colin
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#24 brightspark

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 21:50

I found this in the archives of Waterloo arch.

 

0d71ef7d806b4a2b0ff9e2a591c709d2-0.jpg

0d71ef7d806b4a2b0ff9e2a591c709d2-1.jpg

 

OK, after all the deliberations here and on the Signal Box Forum, I have had a go at replicating a BR drawing for the locking and dog charts.

As usual, please let me know if I have missed anything.

 

By the way Swaynton is going to be at the Dorset Model Railway show on the 23rd/24th September.

 

Andy



#25 brightspark

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 20:03

So time to pack the bags ready for the trip to Wimbourne for the Dorset Model Railway Exhibition.

 

http://www.modelrail...lway-exhibition

 

There doesn't seem to be a thread for this in the exhibitions pages.

 

Tomorrow I shall be picking up the hire van and loading up Swaynton and her set up crew and heading down to deepest Dorset.

 

As usual if any of you are at the show, do say hello.

 

Andy










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