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Eastwood Town - where did 10 years go?

ECML 00-SF Hand built track




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#1 gordon s

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 17:41

Well we appear to have settled into our new home, but sadly for me, I can't get my head round blogs, so will resort to a good old fashioned layout topic. For those of you who are relatively new to the forum, I'll give you a quick background to my intentions and you can take it from there. I'm now into my 60's and have retired. Kids are well off my hands and I am fortunate to have a loft conversion available which was above an integral double garage. A new garage has been build in the front of the house and the old one converted to a study and utility room downstairs and my railway room upstairs. This gives me a space of 18' square with central heating and daylight courtesy of three Velux windows. Only downside is that the slope of the roof reduces the usable space to around 14' on two sides once you go above a board height of 3' or so.

I grew up in North london in the 50's and my earliest memories of railways came from my Aunt and Uncle who took me to Alexandra Palace when I was probably 2-3 years old. There was a terminus at the Palace and steam hauled trains consisting of N2's and sets of Quad Arts were my first memory. At the bottom of the hill was Wood Green, a suburban station on the ECML out of Kings Cross and once I had seen an A4 thundering through Wood Green with 11 coaches in tow at a fair lick, I was hooked. Those memories will never leave me, hence my love of ECML loco's and stock.

The world was a different place then and even at 10 years old, I would go off for the whole day on my own to Kings Cross, St Pancras, Euston, Paddington, Liverpool Street and occasionally over the Thames to see the Malachite Green of the Southern at Victoria and Waterloo. Shed visits were KX, Camden, Old Oak, Willesden, Stratford, Hornsey, Stewarts Lane, Feltham, Nine Elms and even as a kid, you were rarely stopped or told to get out. Heaven!

OK, back to the present. Each to their own, but my passion is full length trains and stations with reasonable facilities and I am now lucky enough to have sufficient space to create something to meet that need. In the early days I experimented with Tillig track and whilst it was fine, the restrictions that RTR gave me meant I was unable to create something with flowing curves. For years I have been jealous of those who could make their own track, but felt I would never be able to do it. It was encouragement from this forum that got me over that hurdle a couple of years ago and I was really surprised that I was able to create something that worked. It was though a whole new world opened for me.

Once that happened, I had also read about Templot and decided that would be the way to go for me in terms of layout design. Sadly it was a mystery to me and despite several attempts to get started I could not get my head round it, until one day with some help from Martin Wynne, it all clicked into place and I have to say it is the best piece of layout planning software I have ever used and invaluable to anyone who is building their own track.

The current layout is my third attempt at building this layout. Two earlier designs ended up in the skip as a combination of issues meant insurmountable problems were encountered. The biggest problem was failure to appreciate gradients and the brief to run steam locos with 7/8 coach trains. The first layout had a 1:50 climb and trains just ground to a halt, with the combination of loco adhesion, weight of the train, curves on the climb and too fierce a gradient. Everything has now been replanned with nothing less than a 1:100 gradient.

The layout starts from a 16 track traverser which has been made from ply and heavy duty runners. It does work, although I will be making some changes to the track alignment. There then follows a double circuit climb of about 150' which allows an 18" clearance for access to the traverser and stock storage. The hidden lines have all been constructed on very narrow boards so that access to all hidden areas can be easily undertaken. The layout is dcc and is split into three power districts. Each district is protected by a circuit breaker first and then each individual board has it's own isolation switch for fault finding.

Once the lines emerge, they continue around a folded figure of eight which will allow continuous running, should you just want to sit back and watch trains. The final level is a large terminus with engine facilities and a goods relief road which will serve industrial units. I was fortunate enough to purchase the buildings from Great Northern's Peterborough layout. These were built by Alan Downes and are really superb. This will be an urban setting and all scenery will be tunnels, bridges, retaining walls and low relief industrial buildings. It will be set in the transition period which will allow me to run both steam or diesel, although I do adopt a run whatever I like attitude and odd locos will certainly make an appearance from time to time.

The first board has been made as that had to sit over the stairwell, so this has track laid, wired and ballasted and the first pass scenic work is in place. There is still much to do but the bulk of the work on this first board has been completed. The lower levels are virtually complete and work is now starting on the folded eight. I have printed off a full size plan of about 30% of the layout and you can see how this will take shape.

This project is not a five minute job and I suspect it will take 18 months or so to get up to the terminus level. I work on my own and even though I have retired it's amazing where the time goes. I'll happily post updates if people are interested....


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Station Building.jpg
Locoshed.jpg


Edited by gordon s, 27 March 2018 - 17:17 .

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#2 josh993

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 17:48

That Looks absolutely cracking :o

I'll always be interested in updates :)

#3 DLT

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 18:02

Hi Gordon,

What an amazing project! The bit you have already built looks terrific, especially that flowing trackwork.
Unfortunately your layout plan doesnt show up particularly well, would it be possible to post an enlarged version?

Looking forward to following the progress on this layout.
Many thanks,
Dave.T

#4 gordon s

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 18:26

Without Templot software I'm limited to screen shots, so I've separated the three levels to see if that helps...

Lower level.jpg
Folded Eight.JPG
Terminus.JPG
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#5 Vanders

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 18:54

This looks marvellous so far. This might sound like an obvious but what scale/gauge are you building in?

#6 gordon s

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 18:59

Apologies, I should have said....Posted Image

The layout is 4mm, 00 gauge.

The lower level is all code 83 Tillig plain track from the previous layout.

All the visible track is code 75 rail, SMP plain track and hand built PCB pointwork using C & L components.
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#7 37058

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 19:13

Looking forward to updates, the Station buildings and loco shed look amazing - well done

Keep up the good work Posted Image

Anthony

#8 gordon s

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 19:18

Anthony, just to make it clear, the buildings were made by Alan Downes for Great Northern, a fellow RMWebber, who was rebuilding his Peterborough layout. Not having the necesary skills to make buildings of this quality and the fact that were ideal for my layout, helped my decision to buy them when they came up for sale. I shall focus on the woodwork, trackbuilding and electrics which is more than enough for me....
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#9 martin_wynne

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 22:11

Without Templot software I'm limited to screen shots

Hi Gordon,

Some ideas and videos about preparing screenshots from Templot track plans are at: http://85a.co.uk/for...=878&forum_id=1

Print to a PDF generator and then make a screenshot from your PDF Reader.

regards,

Martin.

#10 250BOB

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 20:05

Hi Gordon
As yet I still have scenery to do on my layout, and I do need some retaining walls similar to yours, can I ask whose, what, etc., are the ones you have on your layout.
Nice Clan by the way.

Great to see a class 66 going one way and an old steamer the other way......just like on my model railway or "train set" as the grand kids call it sometimes..!!!

Bob

#11 gordon s

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 20:18

Hi Bob, good to hear from you. The walls and pillars are fairly straightforward to make. Whilst I can do woodwork, track and electrics, I have never done any scenic work at all, so this was a first attempt. I'm pleased with the overall result and believe me, if I can do it, then most should be able to get an acceptable result without too much effort.

The pillar is a piece of 18mm ply with a strip of 6mm mdf added to form the step as per the pic. The card is Slaters embossed card #415 7MM Dressed Stone. After a few tries, I found the best result was doing the face that is going to be seen, last, so would stick the card on both sides flush with the front face. Once set, cut a piece of Plasticard wider than the pillar for the front face, so it that it overlaps the sides. You will need to make sure the courses line up, but that's pretty straightforward. Stick it in place and once set, turn the pillar over and trim the excess from the front face with a scalpel. I use No Nails as an adhesive. Looking from the sides you will see there are gaps from the embossed card, which I fill with No Nails using the good old fashioned finger. Fairly simple painting covers the filler and a multitude of sins...

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#12 250BOB

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 20:32

Likewise Gordon...I love tracklaying, but I'm not too hot with my woodworking skills, and as for scenery, well only time will tell.!!!.

I have just bought some artist board, its white, about 5mm thick, foam centre, smooth outside...I had thought of using that to stick brick paper onto....I shall have a look at the plasticard idea, it will give more texture.

Thanks for those pics, I had always puzzled how I am going to do those chamfered pillars, now I see, you dont make chmfered pillars at all, you just angle the wall on square pillars. I told you I was no woodworker, but I dont mind admitting to my failings, people mostly then explain it more simply for me.

Thanks again...............Bob.

#13 250BOB

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 20:36

Gordon , sorry to bother you again......what sort of track is that you are using.?
Bob

#14 gordon s

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 21:10

The hidden spiral and traverser is Tillig which I rescued from an earlier layout attempt. All the visible plain track is SMP. The pointwork is all hand built from Templot templates and C & L components, Code 75 bullhead rail and pcb sleeper construction. Ballast is Woodlands scenic.

Ballast1_1.jpg
Ballast3_1.jpg
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IMG_4276.jpg
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#15 250BOB

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 21:20

Oh My Word.!!!!!!!!!
That pointwork is a work of art.

Reason for my question was this....a colleague of mine is entering the hobby for the first time, in his sixties, inspired by my layout too.

But, he wants to go down the C & L finescale route.....and has bought track and points from a shop in sheffield, forget which.

So he has this track which is CL Finescale code 75 bullhead........BUT NO RAILJOINERS......what should he do to join up his track Gordon.??

Bob

#16 martin_wynne

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 21:30

So he has this track which is CL Finescale code 75 bullhead........BUT NO RAILJOINERS......what should he do to join up his track Gordon.??

Hi Bob,

Peco N Gauge rail joiners work quite well on code 75 bullhead rail. However, many users of such rail don't use any joiners. The track panels are carefully glued down in alignment with each other. Etched dummy fishplates are then glued over the rail joints. Alternatively, the Exactoscale plastic locking fishplates can be used and look good, but are very fiddly to use.

regards,

Martin.

#17 250BOB

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 13:44

My Pal finally got round to trying some Code 75 rail joiners which work well.

Gordon.......another question on your walls......what did you do for the top of the walls(capping), and also the top of the pillars.

Bob.

#18 gordon s

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 15:47

My Pal finally got round to trying some Code 75 rail joiners which work well.

Gordon.......another question on your walls......what did you do for the top of the walls(capping), and also the top of the pillars.

Bob.



The pillars themselves are 18mm ply with a strip of 4mm mdf glued on. I start with a strip 500-600mm long and just slice it into 18mm wide pillars. The rest is just made up from strip balsa. The string course is roughly the same width as the wall thickness and just scribed by applying pressure with a scalpel blade every 10mm. The coping stones are again strip balsa about 3mm thick and scribed by the same method. The top stone on the pillar is just sheet balsa glued on the top of the pillar and then trimmed to shape. These were first attempts so so could be improved. I just cut a slight bevel edge to them and they're OK but could be better...
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#19 250BOB

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 18:15

Thanks Gordon...looked pretty professional to me.

Bob.

#20 Anglian

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 20:22

Gordon

Great to see this back on the new forum and not as a blog. I recall you were debating how best to tackle the extensive walls. They look excellent and the track flow is wonderful to see. The Downes buildings will compliment your own work.

May I ask ??“ is the Noble stored under the layout so to speak!?

#21 gordon s

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 20:36

Oh how I wish! Sadly the years have caught up with me and whilst I still love fast cars, I have lost the ability to get in and out of a small, low slung two seater, without virtually falling out onto the pavement. Comfort seems to have taken over from raw thrills...

.....and not being able to afford one was another reason. Posted Image

The M12 was one of my dream supercars and it was made in Britain....

#22 gordon s

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 21:05

I have actually been working on the layout over the past few weeks on a succession of projects. I was concerned about the size of the power bus as the length of run over each level was approaching the 30' recommended maximum in each direction. I also found that relying on fish plates for electrical continuity was really not a good thing, particularly in areas which are hidden from view and not easily accessed. The decision was made and each section of board was removed one at a time and droppers added to every piece of track. I also took the opportunity to increase the bus size from 1.5mm to 4mm and wired in the reverse loop module and the first of three circuit breakers.

Having experienced a few shorts in the past, I know that tracing a short can be very time consuming, particularly on such a large layout. Each level now has its own breaker and the length of track is split into 3m sections, each of which has its own isolating switch. Locating a short is now a simple process, with the circuit breaker kicking in first and then by switching out/in each section, the locality of the short can now be limited to a specific 3m section.

I have never built a control panel before, so took the opportunity to build a small panel for the lower level return loop, which has a a pair of power supplies giving +12v/0v/-12v. The 0v rail goes to one side of the Tortoise motor and the +12v and -12v to a SPDT switch, with the output going to the other side of the Tortoise. LED's are then fed in parallel across the switch to give route indication. This means just one wire per point motor going between the control panel and the layout.

The panel was made up from some odd bits of ply and mdf that were left over from earlier layouts. I printed the plan out using WinRail and then laminated this with some clear plastic sheet. Holes were drilled for the switches and LED's and the whole thing wired up. Had a few minor mishaps, but they were soon corrected and everything now works. The panel now sits on a small shelving unit with the NCE Pro Cab and a short length of programming track.

This has been a worthwhile exercise and I will follow a similar mode of construction for the main terminus panel. That will probably be 600-900mm long with over 30 switches and I guess, 100+ LEDs for route indication...

Happy days....

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#23 Kenton

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 21:14

Having experienced a few shorts in the past, I know that tracing a short can be very time consuming, particularly on such a large layout. Each level now has its own breaker and the length of track is split into 3m sections, each of which has its own isolating switch. Locating a short is now a simple process, with the circuit breaker kicking in first and then by switching out/in each section, the locality of the short can now be limited to a specific 3m section.

And there is everyone trying to convince me that with DCC you can throw away all your section switches and manage with only 2 wires ;)

It is great to see this layout progressing again. I still think that trackwork appeared out of a box overnight ;) Very professional.
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#24 Southernboy

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 22:35

Hello Gordon,

Just to say I've been following your progress for some while and am glad to have finally caught up with you on this new incarnation of RMWeb.
Keep the updates coming please as I find plenty of inspiration and education from your posts.


Mark

#25 gordon s

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 22:49

Your welcome Mark. Just noticed this could be a spot the difference competition.

The last pic shows the second version of the panel. I cocked up the first one on two counts. Firstly I brought the wires out the wrong side and secondly, drilled the hole too big for the DIN connector, hence the mdf patch.....Posted Image

It was really buggin' me and had to make a new frame, which is shown in the last pic, so hardly that professional....Posted Image












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