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Peterborough North

ECML in 1958




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#1 great northern

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 11:50

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I did start a blog last year, but being an old fashioned old fogey, I am more comfortable with what I know, so we'll carry on here. Several people have asked if there is to be a replacement for Peterborough, well, yes there is. Why did I tear that up? Several reasons. The loft location was the main one. I'm not getting any younger, and I suspect I won't be any more mobile than I am now in a few years time, so access via ladder is only going to get more difficult. Next is the usual loft problem in that it is cold in winter and very hot in summer.Too many excuses for an idle old ****** like me not to go up there. Then there were
operational problems I built into the thing by trying to be too clever. Those are detailed in my article in BRM this month, so I'm not going to repeat all that here. Finally, although I called it Peterborough, it was nothing like the real thing.

So, when in conversation one day with Dave Shakespeare, Tetley's as he is on here, I discovered that I may be able to knock down a connecting wall within the house itself, and create a nice big space. Professional advice confirmed that could be done, and it would not be too expensive. So we now have a room 25 ft by 10 to play with, which is not that much smaller than what I had in the loft.The old layout just grew as I though up new ideas, with predictable results, so I decided that this time I would plan properly before I started.The list I drew up may be of some interest so here it is.

"Must have"

1. Good operating potential
2.Main line location
3. Plenty of storage
4.Minimum 2ft 9 inch operating well

All of these have been achieved, though I now find I could have got away with a narrower operating well. I've finished up with the classic station on one side and storage on the other, so I can only run round and round or terminating trains, but there is more than enough to do to prevent boredom setting in.

"highly desirable".

1. Finescale track and turnouts
2. Use of some existing buildings
3. Some "railway in countryside"
4. Use of existing signals
5. Prototype location
6. Minimum 3ft radius curves
7. Minimum 5ft radius turnouts
8. Access to windows.

That last one of course should have gone in the "must have" section. Fortunately a space no more than a foot wide turns out to be sufficient for window opening and cleaning. I have to stick with OO gauge, as regauging nearly 100 locos and 200 coaches didn't appeal, but at least I could have "proper" track on the scenic side. Unless I win the lottery, this will be my last layout, so I'm going for it and biting the bullet on the expense. Most of Allan Downes' lovely buildings have had to go, but they were bought as a job lot by one of our members, so I know they have gone to a good home. Signals? One or two can slot straight in, as they are actual ones from Peterborough North. Others nearly are, but were adapted to the previous layout plan. Ken Gibbons will be altering them armed with a very big heat sink, and a lot of prayers. Minimum radius curves? Nearly. Most on the scenic side are more than 3ft, though some sidings access is less as I am happy for them to be more or less cosmetic.I am re-using as much Peco track as I can from the old layout in the storage area, but 5ft radius is not possible unless I accept drastically reduced length storage loops. which would contravene one of my must haves, so I must compromise there.

Finally, prototype location. I just don't personally get on with "made up" names, so it had to be somewhere that really existed. If I then add in another of my foibles, which is that I only run locos and rolling stock that would have been seen together in the period I want to model, I am rapidly painting myself into a corner. I want ECML pacifics, Gresley B17's Ivatt C12 tank engines and GE D16 Claud Hamiltons on the same layout. That reduces the choice to one location - the old Peterborough North. Well yes, but it was a very big station wasn't it? The answer surprisingly is not that big, so a reduction in length of about one third would do the trick. Compromise again. It is becoming an increasingly unfashionable word, but to me it is what makes the world go round. So, I achive 5 out of 8 here, and the rest aren't far off, apart from my length of railway in countryside. I really wanted that, as scenic modelling is I think my strength, but it can't be done, so time to compromise again.

"would like"

Only one thing here - a continuous run. I don't mind admitting that at times I find just watching trains go round very therapeutic. Two empty roads in the storage sidings will allow this.

"avoid at all costs".

1. Gradients.
2. Hidden track
3. Over complicated track work
4. Lack of operating interest.

The heading says it all, so I'd have been crazy to incorporate any of these. Gradients need to be very gentle if you want to run 10 coach trains. I haven't room. Hidden track is where derailments will inevitably happen in my experience, so none of that. The other two again I have learned to avoid by bitter experience.

" avoid if possible."

1. tight curves
2. 3 foot radius turnouts.

We have two short lengths of 33 inch radius to make the storage area work, and some sharper stuff in places where only the station pilot or shunting engines would have gone in real life. Compromise again.


So, how close did I get to my counsel of perfection? 8 out of 10 I reckon, but unless you have an aircraft hangar to work in, how can you hope to do much better than that.

That's nearly enough for now. I hope some at least will have found it interesting, and that I may have hepled to avoid some pitfalls for anyone planning a new layout. Finally then, where has it got to? We have all baseboards complete, and the tops in position but not finally fixed. Track building on the scenic side will start in September, and hopefully be finshed by Christmas. Our own Gravy Train is making the buildings, which I gather are progressing well, and I and my team of helpers will I hope soon be able to start laying and wiring the storage yard and its approaches. I will post some photos of the site and what has been done so far in due course.

Gilbert


Edited by great northern, 21 December 2015 - 20:37 .

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#2 JackBlack

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 07:15

Good Luck Gilbert, hope everything goes well.

#3 number6

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:41

Best wishes with the new construction. Something you mentioned in an old thread about your previous plan still rings in my ears: about the lack of flexibility in the layout and how a small section can tie up the fluidity of the rest. [or something like that] So I'm trying to learn from that. Look forward to seeing a trackplan at some point.

There are many layouts out there that photograph beautifully but would appear to have limited running or operating potential. Hopefully you can give your stock both the place and space to run. I'm off now to check off your "must have" lists against my plan.

regards
Raphael

#4 great northern

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:14

Best wishes with the new construction. Something you mentioned in an old thread about your previous plan still rings in my ears: about the lack of flexibility in the layout and how a small section can tie up the fluidity of the rest. [or something like that] So I'm trying to learn from that. Look forward to seeing a trackplan at some point.

There are many layouts out there that photograph beautifully but would appear to have limited running or operating potential. Hopefully you can give your stock both the place and space to run. I'm off now to check off your "must have" lists against my plan.

regards
Raphael


Hi Raphael,

Thanks for that. I think the thing to remember is that you only need one bottleneck to spoil everything operationally. In my case there were two, namely the double junctions at each end. I thought when I designed it that they gave a lot of flexibility, and I was right, but at a cost, because they guaranteed that anything coming out of the storage sidings would always be on a conflicting path with a train running on the main line. That proved quite impossible to rectify. Apart from that, I have tried this time to get the basics right. I will not be widening baseboards so that I can no longer reach the far side for a start.

The irony is that in choosing the old set up at Peterborough I have picked something that was an operational nightmare in reality, but I am happy with that because a simple "roundy roundy" can very quickly become boring in my opinion. Tony Wright's Little Bytham is a case in point. It's very big, absolutely protoypically correct, but at the end of the day six passenger trains a day stopped there each day, and there was a stopping pick up goods in each direction. Everything else just ran through. Tony has really recreated Stoke Summit in effect. That's fine for a layout which is only for exhibition, but not IMO for home use. TW and I have this argument on a regular basis BTW, I'm not saying anything behind his back. This time I can only run from storage to storage, so more operational difficulty in the station is actually desirable.

I remember dear old Cyril Freezer saying many years ago that if you make a faithful replica of a location where very little happened, or could happen, in real life, then very little would happen on the model either. I didn't agree with a lot of his plans, but he was spot on about that.

Gilbert
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#5 number6

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:33

Sounds like I have a similar hymn sheet here! I entirely agree with you about getting the balance right and the risk of an operationally too simple prototype/model. And may I briefly be the champion of bottlenecks because they can, in effect, provide the focus of interest on a model, at a junction or interesting station layout and there are lots of plans that do this brilliantly.
best R

#6 great northern

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:51

Sounds like I have a similar hymn sheet here! I entirely agree with you about getting the balance right and the risk of an operationally too simple prototype/model. And may I briefly be the champion of bottlenecks because they can, in effect, provide the focus of interest on a model, at a junction or interesting station layout and there are lots of plans that do this brilliantly.
best R


You won't find a better bottleneck than the old set up at Peterborough Raphael! Nothing wrong with a deliberate one to give operating interest.It's the involuntary ones that foul up operating altogether that should be avoided.

#7 great northern

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 16:43

Today, I have been on a train. So what? Well, gazing out at the Midland main line, I kept seeing little cameo scenes and thinking,"Wow, I'd like to model that". It made me start yet again to wonder if I could get in my bit of railway in countryside. Perhaps I could just run a length of double track across the front of the fiddle yard.......

Time for a reality check. How do we ever contemplate building model railways? The real thing is long and mostly thin, and it sprawls all over the place. We have a small space, some smaller than others, and it is almost always square or rectangular. It's impossible, well it is in anything larger than N. I'm very lucky, as I have space that few could ever hope to have, but I still can't have everything. I can have a nice long stretch of line meandering through the countryside, or I can have a station, but not both. Get used to it! So, I have to ask which will give me the most of my other desired criteria. Do I just wish to run a succession of trains through a nice scenic area? Will that satisfy me for long? No, it won't, I must have some real operating interest. How easy is it never to build anything? Very, in my case, because I'm always looking to have it all. So, folks, very firmly back to plan A. And speaking of plans,here is a very rough drawing of the old layout at Peterborough North.

peterborough station plan.jpg

There's a lot of sidings which have been left out, and the Midland lines which ran across the back just can't be included, but in essence these are the running lines between Crescent bridge at the South end and Spital bridge to the North, which will be the ends of the real world for my purposes. My maths are very dodgy, but it is 34 chains between the two bridges, which is 748 yards, so just under 30 feet at 1:76. I have about 22 feet, so there will be surprisingly little compression.

The old station was swept away nearly 40 years ago, so for those who didn't know it, here are the highlights. At each end there were severe dogs leg curves, which resulted in a permanent 20 mph restriction through the station. There were only three through platforms, the longest of which would just hold 13 coaches. Four bays, but the longest held 6 bogies only. Another would hold 5, but the other two were useless for anything other than one coach or a few vans. There was one up through line, which was signalled for working in both directions. Any up stopping or terminating trains had to use that platform road, as there was no access from the up main to the down bays or either of the down through platforms. There was an up slow line, but to use it a train had to block the down main to reach it at all, and then to block both down and up main to get onto the up slow the other side of Crescent bridge. The huge New England yards were accessed immediately North of Spital Bridge, but were mainly on the up side. That meant that a goods train getting into the yard from the down slow had to block the whole of the ECML to do so, as for a few hundred yards there were only two tracks on the main line. Can you imagine a WD with 60 or 70 empties trundling across there while an A4 which has just come down Stoke bank at 90 mph is slowed to a crawl at best, or stopped completely? How it was allowed to continue so long is a mystery, but the dodgy financial position of both the GN and the LNER had a lot to do with it, and nothing changed for 25 years after nationalisation. You couldn't make it up, could you? This was the bottleneck to end all bottlenecks. Plenty of operating interest? I should say so!

These facilities had to be shared by all ECML passenger and freight, stopping trains over the East Lincs line to Grimsby, over the M&GN to Kings Lynn and Yarmouth, the GN and GE to Lincoln, and at the South end stopping trains to East Anglia. Oh, and several of the stoppers on the old Midland line from Leicester to Peterborough East came across from their own lines and called also. Not to mention constant tranfer freight between the many and far flung yards around the place. A lot of the time this resulted in chaos. I am confident in my ability to recreate that.

I'm looking at three operators maximum, one each for up and down trains, and another for station pilot duties,and general shuffling about of vans etc, though I shall often operate on my own, so it will be a sequence rather than a timetable. Having said that, I want to run trains in the correct order as they would have done in 1958, using something like correct loco rosters. Definitely, that which goes South will return from that direction, and vice versa. The old layout standardised on 8 coach rakes for various reasons, but this one will hopefully go up to 10, mainly because if one puts the correct catering vehicles into an 8 coach rake the whole thing looks a bit unbalanced. As I now know the correct consists of every ECML express in 1958, or what they should have been anyway, I am gradually acquiring coaches so that all will be as it should be. I should say that this has been an ongoing process over 20 years or more, which makes it rather more feasible.

It will also have the correct signals, all of which will be operational, unless I file for bankruptcy first! Well, there is a bit more of the flavour of the thing. I'll take some pics of what is there so far and post them shortly. Please don't hesitate to ask questions - it is possible that I may even know some of the answers. ;)
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#8 Dan Griffin

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 20:49

where the 'up goods' is written on your diagram would be the spital loco sheds, a roundhouse with turntable, and dont forget the cresent wagon shops also spuring off the down goods, then there's smiths sidings, next to the wagon shops were they used to load the newspaper trains. also dont forget the march lines, going off under cresent bridge where the down goods writing is.

#9 great northern

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 21:11

where the 'up goods' is written on your diagram would be the spital loco sheds, a roundhouse with turntable, and dont forget the cresent wagon shops also spuring off the down goods, then there's smiths sidings, next to the wagon shops were they used to load the newspaper trains. also dont forget the march lines, going off under cresent bridge where the down goods writing is.


Ah yes, if only I had the room to get it all in. But if I did of course it would become far too big to operate again. I'd love to have at least the Midland running lines, but there were those two long sidings between the GN down slow and them, which makes the baseboard too wide. And I couldn't see a way of getting the Midland round to the fiddle yard without ridiculously tight curves. But think of all the extra locos it would bring in. Now look what you've started :rolleyes:

#10 Flying Pig

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 21:24

There's a good view of the south end of the station at about 1:20 in this video.

You couldn't make it up, could you?

...and if you tried, you'd have any number of folk telling you that you should be adding crossovers and slips to make a more flexible (and more anodyne) layout. Just goes to show the value of starting with a prototype.

Any up stopping or terminating trains had to use that platform road, as there was no access from the up main to the down bays or either of the down through platforms.

The Great Northern did the same thing with the bays at Lincoln Central - they must have really liked carriage shunting.
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#11 great northern

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 15:51

[quote name='Flying Pig' date='19 July 2010 - 22:24 ' timestamp='1279574650' post='181580']
There's a good view of the south end of the station at about 1:20 in this video.


...and if you tried, you'd have any number of folk telling you that you should be adding crossovers and slips to make a more flexible (and more anodyne) layout. Just goes to show the value of starting with a prototype.


The Great Northern did the same thing with the bays at Lincoln Central - they must have really liked carriage shunting.
[/quote

Thanks for the video, it is helpful in several ways, but particularly in showing how spectacularly filthy the whole thing was. As to the plan, I put a fairly long explanation in in case people who didn't know the place started thinking that I had no idea at all of correct prototype practice. Lincoln - I grew up there, and tried to model Central as long ago as 1974. I was able to get official track plans in those days, but I hadn't remembered that particular operating oddity. Just shows there is no "right" way of doing things, unless as you say one is faithfully modelling a prototype. I've just come through the new Peterborough today - sterile and characterless are the words which spring to mind, but oh so much more efficient.

#12 HerbertHopkins

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 08:23

The irony is that in choosing the old set up at Peterborough I have picked something that was an operational nightmare in reality, but I am happy with that because a simple "roundy roundy" can very quickly become boring in my opinion. Tony Wright's Little Bytham is a case in point. It's very big, absolutely protoypically correct, but at the end of the day six passenger trains a day stopped there each day, and there was a stopping pick up goods in each direction. Everything else just ran through. Tony has really recreated Stoke Summit in effect. That's fine for a layout which is only for exhibition, but not IMO for home use. TW and I have this argument on a regular basis BTW, I'm not saying anything behind his back. This time I can only run from storage to storage, so more operational difficulty in the station is actually desirable.

I remember dear old Cyril Freezer saying many years ago that if you make a faithful replica of a location where very little happened, or could happen, in real life, then very little would happen on the model either. I didn't agree with a lot of his plans, but he was spot on about that.

Gilbert


I think you make some interesting observations here Gilbert. I take your point about Little Bytham, but think there might be more operational potential to this than there might appear. I occasionally get roped in to operate our club layout at shows. This a simple through station with a goods shed on one side of the main line and about three sidings on the other. Very similar to Little Bytham in fact, except that it's not on a section of four track main line. We also run it to a sequence which is not that much different, i.e, up and down pick up goods, a few stopping trains and a good few non-stoppers. Believe it or not this can be quite challenging, particularly when shunting the pick up goods which often requires much forethought. Imagine that you have to drop off three wagons for the goods shed but, before you can do this you have to move other wagons already in that road out of the way. Where do you put them? Again, you have to collect several empty wagons but need to move other wagons out of the way in order to get to them, again, prior thought is required before you actually begin to move anything. Having done all of this you then have to put all the wagons you have moved back where they were so that loading/ unloading can continue. I know from experience that trying to work all this out can sometimes really make your brain hurt!

Little Bytham will, I imagine, work in a similar fashion (I believe Tony is planning to operate the layout to a sequence based on the late 50's working timetable) and will present the operators with the same type of challenge. Shunting wagons and vans across four tracks, over that beautiful ladder crossing that Norman Solomon built, should, I submit, be quite good fun. Based on my experiences, I've come to the conclusion that you don't necessarily need a complicated track plan for a layout to be interesting for the operator(s). In trying to make a layout operationally interesting there's always the danger that it could, in fact, become operationally frustrating (David Jenkinson's 'Little Long Drag' from the 1970's comes to mind), which rather defeats the object.

#13 great northern

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 09:29

I think you make some interesting observations here Gilbert. I take your point about Little Bytham, but think there might be more operational potential to this than there might appear. I occasionally get roped in to operate our club layout at shows. This a simple through station with a goods shed on one side of the main line and about three sidings on the other. Very similar to Little Bytham in fact, except that it's not on a section of four track main line. We also run it to a sequence which is not that much different, i.e, up and down pick up goods, a few stopping trains and a good few non-stoppers. Believe it or not this can be quite challenging, particularly when shunting the pick up goods which often requires much forethought. Imagine that you have to drop off three wagons for the goods shed but, before you can do this you have to move other wagons already in that road out of the way. Where do you put them? Again, you have to collect several empty wagons but need to move other wagons out of the way in order to get to them, again, prior thought is required before you actually begin to move anything. Having done all of this you then have to put all the wagons you have moved back where they were so that loading/ unloading can continue. I know from experience that trying to work all this out can sometimes really make your brain hurt!

Little Bytham will, I imagine, work in a similar fashion (I believe Tony is planning to operate the layout to a sequence based on the late 50's working timetable) and will present the operators with the same type of challenge. Shunting wagons and vans across four tracks, over that beautiful ladder crossing that Norman Solomon built, should, I submit, be quite good fun. Based on my experiences, I've come to the conclusion that you don't necessarily need a complicated track plan for a layout to be interesting for the operator(s). In trying to make a layout operationally interesting there's always the danger that it could, in fact, become operationally frustrating (David Jenkinson's 'Little Long Drag' from the 1970's comes to mind), which rather defeats the object.


OK, to a degree I have to put my hands up here, and admit that personally I do not get much fun out of shunting. I can understand the concept, and the fact that it is a sort of three dimensional puzzle, but it leaves me cold, so it will never get much priority on any of my layouts, at least while I have the room to build something big. The problem I still see with Little Bytham is that there are only two opportunities in each day to do any of this if it is operated prototypically.

In any event, I reckon this raises an interesting point. Shunting ancient short wheel base wagons across that ladder crossover must have left the people doing it with their hearts in their mouths. One derailment, and you've shut the ECML! I wonder too how old the track in that formation was. I remember reading somewhere that after Mallard's record breaking run someone informed Sir Nigel that there was still some track on Stoke Bank that dated back well into the 19th century. Peter Coster has recounted the times that something came off the rails when using the very similar ladder crossing at New Southgate. My guess is that it was done only if absolutely necessary. Still, I digress. The essential point is that each of us should model interests us personally, and that to that extent at least there are no "rights" and "wrongs".

Incidentally, at one stage TW didn't even know how to change points on that ladder crossing! I don't know whether that has changed since. He is more accustomed to round and round, but perhaps he can be educated.

#14 number6

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 10:07

And there I was assuming that derailments and avoiding particular moves for fear of falling off was confined to model railways!

Couple of things regarding model plans v the real thing. Many prototype track formations were the product of both timetables and legacy. Today I think most are purely timetable orientated. If there is no conflicting move then there is no need for complex trackwork. This is how junctions that were once terrifyingly complex are now two or three crossovers. Double junctions replaced by ladders presumably are also installed for cost reasons. Unit trains also define the formations with no need to cater for locos, empty stock moves or much marshalling of stock.

I wasn't familiar with Peterborough but it is a fascinating 'old' formation even in the 50s. It still looks like some the earliest station plans in that superb film of the prototype Deltic. I've no personal recollection of the period but I've always assumed some station movements were pretty fast and efficient. So even if the mainline trains creep in and out, changing engines or adding and detaching a couple of coaches on a train or removing a van didn't take too much time at all. Station pilots zipping in and out quick as you like.

#15 great northern

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 10:21

And there I was assuming that derailments and avoiding particular moves for fear of falling off was confined to model railways!

Couple of things regarding model plans v the real thing. Many prototype track formations were the product of both timetables and legacy. Today I think most are purely timetable orientated. If there is no conflicting move then there is no need for complex trackwork. This is how junctions that were once terrifyingly complex are now two or three crossovers. Double junctions replaced by ladders presumably are also installed for cost reasons. Unit trains also define the formations with no need to cater for locos, empty stock moves or much marshalling of stock.

I wasn't familiar with Peterborough but it is a fascinating 'old' formation even in the 50s. It still looks like some the earliest station plans in that superb film of the prototype Deltic. I've no personal recollection of the period but I've always assumed some station movements were pretty fast and efficient. So even if the mainline trains creep in and out, changing engines or adding and detaching a couple of coaches on a train or removing a van didn't take too much time at all. Station pilots zipping in and out quick as you like.


Changing engines was actually a big problem, which I think is partly why so few trains did so at Peterborough in my period. There was an independent line from New England shed to the end of the up platform, but that platform road was so intensively used that often there was no path down to the south end bay, which is where relief engines were stabled. That meant using the main up line to get as far as Spital bridge, then using the up slow and blocking everything twice in the process. To re-engine a down train, if the independent line was used, the loco had to use the crossover at the north end of the up platform to get onto the down main, then reverse into a bay, thus both obstructing the main running lines and preventing anything in that bay from getting out! I doubt that those trying to control traffic had much hair left.

#16 great northern

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 11:12

Here are a few pics of the layout in its present state of development. Apologies as usual for the poor photos.

141.JPG

You can just about see the method of baseboard construction, which was done using "Brilliant Baseboards" kits. They really did go together perfectly, and are engineered to a very high standard. The tops are 9mm birch ply - not cheap, but the foundations of the layout are key to good operation, so I work on the basis that I will use the best I can afford.

142.JPG

As you can see. I have started laying out the storage sidings.In doing so, I am I hope avoiding the temptation of cramming too much in. The boards are 3 feet wide, so 18 tracks will be the maximum - any more and it would be impossible to get my fingers down the side of any derailed vehicle.

140.JPG

A close view of what will be the South end of the storage area. I have used a number of Peco assymetric three way turnouts. These are not cheap, but are tremendous space savers in situations like this.

143.JPG

This is just a shot from the other end of the room.

144.JPG

The empty boards on the other side of the room, waiting to go to Norman Saunders of "Just Tracks" who will custom build the track on this side.

145.JPG

Here's a bit of good fortune. That little alcove at the back is big enough to get in two more dead end tracks. They'll be about 4ft 6ins long, which will accomodate two of my local services from the South end of the station.


146.JPG

Finally, the corner can be used to store another three short trains, which nicely covers the rest of the local services from this end. Alternatively, all this dead end storage could represent the Nene carriage sidings, which existed just before the line crossed the river. Actually "existed" is misleading, as some of them are still there. I'll give this some more thought before reaching a decision, as I can also store these trains within the main storage area if I wish. The corner at the other end will store another three trains, but no nice alcove at that end unfortunately.

You will see that I have had good lighting installed, and a nice laminated floor. Again, these are not cheap, but make a huge difference. I'm hopefully going to spend a lot of time in here, so it needs to be as user friendly as possible.
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#17 gordon s

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 11:26

Good to see the latest update Gilbert. I can see me making another trip 'oop north in the next twelve months....Posted Image

The BRM article was great and looking forward to part two.
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#18 Oldddudders

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 12:39

Peter Coster has recounted the times that something came off the rails when using the very similar ladder crossing at New Southgate.

I think in many ways "old ironwork" became a victim of change. It could be relied upon when men were cheap and inspection & fettling were daily. Once mechanised maintenance and budgets became the necessary vogue, then standards were harder to - er - maintain. I recall being involved with the early days of planning Tonbridge remodelling - a station where the steam-era layout had been simply resignalled with colour lights in the preparation for Kent Coast Electrification, and there was still a very long ladder right across at the London end. The layout took years to be agreed and funded - but Peter Coster was my boss in the mid-80s while I was involved!

#19 Removed a/c_TomTank

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:07

Hi Gilbert :)

Already with the track coming together, we can picture how epic this is going to be :)

Apologies if this has already been stated and I have missed it, but is this new layout to be an all new ECML venture, or a more accurate version of Peterborough?

Keep us updated :D

Tom

#20 great northern

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 21:35

Hi Tom,

The intention this time is to model the real Peterborough North as it was in 1958, as closely as I can, given the space constraints with which I have to work. So, as far as possible I shall have the right track plan, though shorn of many sidings, and unfortunately without the Midland tracks. The buildings will also be the correct ones, and as nearly as possible in the right places. Signals too will be built from prototype photos and placed as nearly as possible where they should be.

It will be considerably shorter than than the real thing, but not I think to a degree where it begins to look totally unrealistic. I have read the views of the likes of the late David Jenkinson as to how much it is permissible to shorten the real thing and still call it by its real name. My attitude is straightforward and pragmatic. It's all very well modelling small stations to prototype length, though even that is surprisingly difficult to achieve, but all main lines, not just the ECML were about something a lot grander than that. By definition the bigger stations can't be faithfully reproduced other than in huge spaces. Look at the size of Roy Jackson's Retford, and the real thing isn't even a particularly big station. That is a huge project, in a very large space - there are very few if any like it certainly in private ownership, and I doubt there will be many more. Does that mean that we just can't model relatively large real locations? I don't subscribe to that view. My Peterborough will have the dogs leg curves, the dilapidated overall roof, and hopefully many other things which shout "Peterborough North" to anyone who knew the place. OK, it will be a third shorter than it should be, though even that is mainly between the North end of the platforms and Spital Bridge, but instead of maximum 13 coach trains I shall run 10. That keeps everything in proportion, which IMO makes it look more real. Anyway, it's my train set.

It will also keep me on the straight and narrow where locos are concerned. Very little is needed to get me to covet some of the lovely stuff which is on offer, but if I start buying locos that never came anywhere near Peterborough I shall destroy the illusion of reality I want to achieve immediately. So, that grainy photo that may or may not show a failed Blue Pullman being dragged along the down slow by what looks very much like an S&D 2.8.0 will be ignored. ;) Ther's nothing wrong with having a disciplined and structured view on things, if that's the kind of person you are, and I am. Others just run what they fancy, and good luck to them. Oh dear, that's a very long answer to a simple question, and I'm not even getting paid by the word. :D

#21 Removed a/c_TomTank

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 22:23

haha might be long response...but you answered it perfectly, and like you....have to run locos which ran on that Region ;)

So how much do I owe you for that response ;)

#22 davidw

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 13:01

Here are a few pics of the layout in its present state of development. Apologies as usual for the poor photos.

141.JPG

You can just about see the method of baseboard construction, which was done using "Brilliant Baseboards" kits. They really did go together perfectly, and are engineered to a very high standard. The tops are 9mm birch ply - not cheap, but the foundations of the layout are key to good operation, so I work on the basis that I will use the best I can afford.

142.JPG

As you can see. I have started laying out the storage sidings.In doing so, I am I hope avoiding the temptation of cramming too much in. The boards are 3 feet wide, so 18 tracks will be the maximum - any more and it would be impossible to get my fingers down the side of any derailed vehicle.

140.JPG

A close view of what will be the South end of the storage area. I have used a number of Peco assymetric three way turnouts. These are not cheap, but are tremendous space savers in situations like this.

143.JPG

This is just a shot from the other end of the room.

144.JPG

The empty boards on the other side of the room, waiting to go to Norman Saunders of "Just Tracks" who will custom build the track on this side.

145.JPG

Here's a bit of good fortune. That little alcove at the back is big enough to get in two more dead end tracks. They'll be about 4ft 6ins long, which will accomodate two of my local services from the South end of the station.


146.JPG

Finally, the corner can be used to store another three short trains, which nicely covers the rest of the local services from this end. Alternatively, all this dead end storage could represent the Nene carriage sidings, which existed just before the line crossed the river. Actually "existed" is misleading, as some of them are still there. I'll give this some more thought before reaching a decision, as I can also store these trains within the main storage area if I wish. The corner at the other end will store another three trains, but no nice alcove at that end unfortunately.

You will see that I have had good lighting installed, and a nice laminated floor. Again, these are not cheap, but make a huge difference. I'm hopefully going to spend a lot of time in here, so it needs to be as user friendly as possible.


Looks like a great start's been made

#23 Foulounoux

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 14:35

I see you are using Brilliant Baseboards but at 3' wide.
Have you modified them then? Or is there a 3' version now available which means I can rethink my plans.

Or have I just got it a;;; about f;;; as normal!!!




#24 great northern

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 16:45

I see you are using Brilliant Baseboards but at 3' wide.
Have you modified them then? Or is there a 3' version now available which means I can rethink my plans.

Or have I just got it a;;; about f;;; as normal!!!


Yes they've been modified , but it is very easy to do. The whole thing just bolts together, so there is no problem at all in making them as wide as you want them. It really is a very logical and easy system to deal with.
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#25 great northern

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 15:08

About time for a progress report. After what seemed a very long time with nothing happening, things have started moving quite nicely. :D The first two baseboards have been collected by Norman Saunders of Just Tracks, and I am expecting them back with track laid in early October. Looks like the whole of the scenic part will be done by January :) :)

In the meantime,I've been fiddling around with the fiddle yard. I want to run ten coach trains if possible, because anything less than that looks a bit unbalanced if I include all the catering vehicles. I have 18 through roads, though two will always be empty to allow continuous running when the mood takes me. There are a lot of trains to fit in, so I need to get two ten coach rakes in where possible. It hasn't been easy, and in order to do it I have had to accept some curves of 2ft 6 radius. I don't really mind that, as it isn't in the viewing area, and most of my locos will handle it with ease. One or two of the Thompson pacifics may struggle though. Why couldn't the b***** man have put the cylinders in a sensible position like that nice Sir Nigel? There may have to be a bit of RA 10 and restrict them to certain roads I fear. Peco assymetric three way turnouts have proved to be a real help. Here are a couple of shots to give the general idea, though nothing is put down permanently yet, so ignore the misalignments please.

three way 1.jpg

Three way 2.jpg

It looks like I can get in more than I thought, and that I will still have two long roads which are empty in addition to the through roads. I view this with great suspicion. :unsure: I don't usually get that kind of good fortune, and I wonder if I've made a mistake.If it is right I shall try to resist the temptation to fill them at once, as a bit of flexibility is no bad thing.

My intention is to run the correct trains as far as possible in the correct order. What goes Down will return Up,and that goes for locos too. I have diagrammed locos to trains, using what knowledge I possess as to which shed was responsible for a particular working, and no loco will return until the correct amount of time has elapsed for it to get to its destination, be turned and coaled, and get back as far as Peterborough. This will mean that most locos will only appear twice at most in a full days sequence, which I supect may take several real time days to run. This unfortunately means I will need lots of locos, particularly Pacifics. :D :D

Speaking of locos, here is my latest acquisition.

N5.jpg


This is an ex GC N5 tank, built for me by John Houlden from the SE Finecast kit, and featuring the overlays which SE Finecast can now supply to allow the majority of the class, which had very prominent rivetted tanks,to be modelled. This is yet another of the mysteries of Peterborough. For half a century Ivatt C12 tank engines were used as station pilots. The last ones were withdrwawn in 1958, which is fair enough as they were introduced in 1898! You'd think wouldn't you that they would be replaced by something a bit more modern? Diesel shunter perhaps? But no, a number of N5's were gathered up mainly from the Cheshire lines, where I suspect they had been in store for rather a long time, and sent to New England. 69290, pictured above, was built in 1894, and was even older than the clapped out locos it replaced. If anyone knows the logic behind this, if there was any, I'd be very grateful if they would share the information. Not surprisingly the N5's didn't last long either - all had gone by 1960.They in turn were replaced by N2's made redundant at Kings Cross, which one would think were totally unsuitable for pilot duties. Didn't New England men want diesels? That would surely be surprising. Or weren't they given a choice? If not, why not? Even at a backwater like Lincoln when the last J69 went it was replaced by an 03, and that was in 1959. It's all very strange, and I doubt we shall ever know the answer. Fascinating though - well, to me at least.

Back to the layout. Nice interesting things to do shortly, such as soldering zillions of dropper wires. :( Then we can get going on laying the fiddle yard. Buildings are progressing well too. Oh, and I have another 19 Bachmann MK 1's which need the roof ribs scraping off. Ah, the pleasures of modelling.

Gilbert
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