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Pott Row or somewhere in East Anglia!





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#1 mullie

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 20:39

In an ideal world I would have a purpose built room, unlimited funds and above all time to build the layout of my dreams. The reality is that I have one side of the garage (approx 9 feet x 1), limited funds due to a growing family and very limited time due to work commitments. In 2008 I decided that in order to try and cut costs, and having done a bit of research and read various articles I would try building my own point work using SMP track rather than buying ready made track. The plan I had in mind needed just three points and for a much lower cost I could buy the bits I needed to make all three. I built all the track for this layout for under £30. OK it wasn't state of the art but it suited me.

Just over a year later I scrapped that layout and began again. This time I needed two three way points plus two further units and I had decided to keep the layout small, to base it on the outer platform of a major junction station all in under four feet by one. Structures were to be based on Scalescenes materials. The size was dictated by what I thought I could finish in a reasonable time, a fiddle yard was added at each end to enable through running, although expresses would enter from the right and terminate. Through coaches can continue after a change of loco. Only the front two coaches will ever be visible and locos run round and disappear for servicing re-entering through the back of the engine shed. Coaches can be shunted out of site to carriage sidings, in reality the fiddle yard. A jam factory is placed along the back and the layout set during the fruit picking season to justify a regular supply of shunting on the layout. Goods trains enter from either direction shunt and pass through. all sorts of locos can be used for pilot duties although tender engines mean two locos must be involved in shunting the factory, most usually the pilot is either a Hornby or Bachmann 08.

Pott Row really exists, it is south East of Kings Lynn. I just liked the name! The scenario is that both GE and M&GN trains work into this outer platform of the larger station before heading off into rural Cambridgeshire or Norfolk. One day I might just work out a proper scenario but this suits me fine at the moment. For inspiration I've looked at places such as Cambridge, Ely, Bourne and Spalding.

Until last week I used a Lenz compact and electric pencil to power pointwork (non digital) but the compact went up in smoke after I simply plugged it in so I will need to buy something new.

All buildings are lit and the signals and platform lights work as well. As much as I would like J15s, 17s, 69s and Clauds I don't have the time or budget at the moment to build kits. Therefore I have the following:

Bachmann V3 and J39 professionally chipped by Model Yard, J39 tender runs on Mainly Trains chassis after the original showed signs of wear.

Two Bachmann 4mts numbered as two that worked on the M & GN

An ancient K's J70 running on a Tenshodo spud

Bachmann class 24

Just bought a Bachmann Derby Lightweight.

Rolling stock is mainly kit built wagons, Bachmann coaches. The Thompson coaches are flush glazed and close coupled.

I use Spratt and Winkle coupling and weather all stock although I have got a bit behind so there is more unweathered stock on the layout than I would like at the moment.

Track plan is as follows: Attached File  track plan 2010.pdf   165.72KB   718 downloads

An album of photos to date is here including the Peco turntable I started to build as part of the extension at the left hand end:

DSCF2903
Album: Pott Row
18 images
9 comments



Around Christmas time I decided that the three way points needed rebuilding, today I started relaying the new build points. Only the point closest to the platform is fixed I've yet to drill the holes for the point motors and polarity switching in the other.

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The layout is difficult to photograph because the garage it lives in is north facing, has no windows and although the layout has it's own lighting it can still be quite dark, something else I will need to look at. Once I've finished renovating this part of the layout I plan to build the MPD extension. The turntable is already in and weathered, just waiting for me to install the motor. One of the points has also been built.


Edited by mullie, 04 March 2017 - 09:33 .

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#2 mullie

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 20:32

Below are some photos of the fiddle yard showing a V3 on one of the loco storage sidings and giving some idea of how the bolts work, the insulation tape is to prevent shorts as being a DCC layout a short shuts everything down.

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Second photo shows a selection of rolling stock on the traverser. This simply slides backwards and forwards, at the moment locos are lifted off but there are plans to change that this year, possibly building a new traverser or at least substantially rebuilding this one.

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Layout has seen some progress, both rebuilt three way points are laid and droppers were put in tonight for polarity switching. I have decided to put a Scalescenes inspection pit in the loco shed and possibly redefine it as a wagon works as I am building an extension including a Peco turntable. The pit is built I just need to drill out the base board, install, lay and wire the track. Not easy as the garage is really cold at the moment!
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#3 mullie

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 20:07

Laid some more track today, both three way points are now in and most of the plain track connecting them. I now have to make a decision. Where the engine shed was, I can either put it back as it was possibly turning it into a wagon repair facility or extend the factory with additional sidings . Photos below show work in progress. I suppose as someone working alone I do actually achieve quite a lot as I am simultaneously working on two layouts but this one has taken three years to get this far! Perhaps if I didn't have Upbech I might have given up, although I very much doubt it, after nearly 35 years of railway modelling what else would I do!

The following photos show some night views, forgive the wonky lights they will be corrected!

Pott Row at night.jpg

A Cold damp night.jpg

Below is a work in progress shot.

Work in progress.jpg
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#4 cornamuse

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 18:01

"The layout is difficult to photograph because the garage it lives in is north facing, has no windows and although the layout has it's own lighting it can still be quite dark, something else I will need to look at."

I like the dark, gloomy atmosphere. maybe you could add some smoke and go with it.......
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#5 mullie

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 20:05

Who says DCC is just two wires! thought I'd post some photos of the underside of the board. As I work solo I can quickly work out where everything goes but with power to track, electric pencil control of point motors, connections to neighbouring boards and lights for buildings it still gets complicated. Photos show underside before the point motors for the two thee way points were reinstalled and I am tidying up the wiring as I go. Much of the original was done with what ever I had to hand due to funds available rather than a more systematic approach. Having said that it worked well!

Does anyone else have problems with SEEP point motor springs going rusty after a few years? I've put it down to the salty atmosphere in the garage and the car going in an out on a daily basis despite the good seal on the door, the sea is just five minutes away in any direction. Is this a familiar problem? I know I need to be more thorough cleaning off flux when wiring as well! Great thing about this hobby, you just keep learning.

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Three point motors were reattached today, need to reinstall the fourth and then get wiring. Might have trains running again on the layout in the next few weeks. Better talk to the wife about buying a new DCC controller and I want to run my Derby Lightweight with all lights blazing.

Not sure whether to control the points via DCC this time as I do like analogue control hence the CDU in the picture.
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#6 mullie

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 19:11

Put the last remaining point motor in place on Tuesday so will get soldering this weekend hopefully. Ordered a Power cab today to replace the Compact so trains might really be running again soon. I really want to see the Derby Lightweight running under DCC with lights blazing as I've not owned a state of the art DMU before!

I'm really torn with this layout as to whether to continue with the East Anglian theme or just accept the gloomy nature and move it into the London area, there's even room for an underground station underneath!

Edited by mullie, 01 March 2012 - 19:12 .


#7 edcayton

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 19:58

If you are using a resin flux (usually in multicore) you shouldn't need to clean it off. If you use the "Baker's Fluid" type of flux then , yes, you must wash it off carefully like my Dad never did!

I am very intrigued by these "bitsa station" layouts and am surprised there aren't more of them on the show circuit. I do remember an excellent 0 gauge example which folded up into a grandfather clock.

Ed

#8 mullie

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 20:20

Living in a salty atmosphere can play havoc with things but the garage does have a good quality door and is integral so there is a good seal, just the car going out in the morning back in at night. I struggled to buy anything other than lead free solder for a while (no local model shop) but now order solder online so the problem has gone away. I usually use good quality multi core now, as I've learnt by my mistakes and although I've built some etched brass compensation units and a Mainly Trains tender chassis I've not needed to solder anything too complicated.

I would like to try my hand at exhibiting but as a lone modeller, to take this layout out is a bit daunting. I do plan to make contact with my local club soon to learn more but I routinely work on their club nights so it can be difficult.
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#9 mullie

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 19:24

I've decided to try extending the factory to include a wagon loading/unloading area, possibly for perishables. This will replace the engine shed that may move to the new board where I have begun building track and installing a Peco turntable. Not sure if I will reuse the shed as I haven't decided how this section will look. Photos show the building in the early stages and stuck together using blu tac to give an idea as to how the final version might look. The factory insides are the same photo repeated four times but this won't be obvious once the walls are fully detailed and the building is placed at the back of the layout. Working with the Scalescenes factory, I am improvising to fit the available site and will build a section to join the existing factory and the new build together. Once the new build is in place I will weather to match the finish. Working with Scalescenes products is only a little quicker than scratch building but I do enjoy working with the product.

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Finished wiring up the point motors today and will hopefully finish remaining wiring next week. Power Cab should arrive Monday, well actually it won't becuase they'll try to deliver it while we are at work and it will take a few days to collect it as our sorting office is very small and only open mornings when we are also at work! Still should be worth trying to escape briefly from work to collect it!
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#10 mullie

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 20:04

Pro cab arrived yesterday and someone was actually here to take it in, now I really have to get on with the wiring!

#11 mullie

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 10:32

Spent this week cutting out parts for the warehouse extension, just looks like a load of bits at the moment but once everything is cut and wrappers added things start to come together quite quickly. As the building is being made to fit a site that has an effect on progress too.

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Point motors are now up and running but there is a short somewhere stopping trains from running. Will have to trace that when I get a second. Layout was wired up with a Guagemaster combi for testing rather than the power cab. Once I'm up and running again with DCC I will decide whether to try operating points via DCC as well.

#12 mullie

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 19:36

After sorting out the short circuit, a copper clad sleeper not quite filed correctly, I managed to run the first train. The trusty Bachmann 08 ran the length of one part of the layout even on dirty track. There is still some way to go before things are fully up and running but not having run a train on the layout since before Christmas this is a major step forward! I need to fettle the points a little more and adjust the throw on the point motors plus I forgot to put in a pair of droppers on one short new section of track. But it is indeed progress.



Video is a bit wobbly but I was operating the loco, switching the points and using a small hand held digital camera, trying to do three things with two hands does have its problems!

Edited by mullie, 11 March 2012 - 21:42 .

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#13 mullie

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 19:56

Three way points wired up successfully and the Bachmann 08 went through all of them successfully although I need to tweak one point/point motor as the throw isn't changing the polarity reliably at the moment. Next job is to lay the track into the goods depot. As I plan to have inset track, this will be laid on copper clad sleepers with check rails, that will then be sprayed to seal them and then I will use Das modelling clay mixed with PVA to infill between the tracks as I did on Upbech St Mary (that layout uses Peco track rather than the SMP used here). Great thing about a micro layout is that you can try new techniques to see if they work then if successful apply them elsewhere Once this is working reliably under analogue control I will wire up the Power Cab. It's driving me nuts at the moment as I really want to try it out as I think it will be a significant step on from the Lenz compact I have been using, but I think it will be a few more weeks yet as work keeps getting in the way including evenings and weekends.

I've made progress on the goods depot this week as the photos below demonstrate. In these two shots you can see a mock up of how the walls will look when assembled. Windows were added last night and interior and external wall stuck together. It is my intention to light both stories so I will have to detail the interior. Buttresses are now waiting to have wrappers added so that wall construction can start in earnest.

First shot shows the end walls:

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Next is the end walls:

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Once this section is completed I will have to link it to the rest of the factory and blend in the weathering. This is what the rest of the factory currently looks like:

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Three way point in the foreground is one of those I have just rebuilt.
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#14 jonny777

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 20:54

It looks good, and should give a lot of scope for shunting. The M&GN/GE scenario gives a lot of choice for potential variety of stock, especially with recent RTR products.

I look forward to more photos with selections of your rolling stock featured in the station area. I suppose that disposing of the V3 in favour of an L1 would be an obvious next step.

#15 mullie

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 19:53

It looks good, and should give a lot of scope for shunting. The M&GN/GE scenario gives a lot of choice for potential variety of stock, especially with recent RTR products.

I look forward to more photos with selections of your rolling stock featured in the station area. I suppose that disposing of the V3 in favour of an L1 would be an obvious next step.


The V3 I have is 67673 which in 1948 was allocated to Stratford. What I would quite like to do is gradually build up a representative stud of steam locos but this will take time (years in fact!) and I will need to either start building kits (expensive and time consuming), scratch build or use rtr bits that I can modify. This year I plan to build a pair of J70s using Tenshodo spud bogies that I already have and Silver fox bodies, possibly using DCC concepts stay alive decoders. As the layout is set within shouting distance of the Wisbech and Upwell tramway modellers licence comes into play. They will also give me an alternative way of running Upbech St Mary. My J39 is renumbered but can't off the top of my head remember where it was allocated and the two 4mts are Melton shedded locos I think! All the diesel locos need renumbering but this will take time. J39 is in photo below:

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Below is one of the 4mts. both photos were taken before the recent rebuild. Loco and wagons need weathering. This section of the layout is under four feet long with a minimum radius of three feet on all pointwork.

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The engine shed is no longer in this position and will be moved to a new board where I am installing a Peco turntable but work has stopped due to rebuilding of point work on the main board. I may scratch build an engine shed rather than use the Scalescenes one again possibly based on Walton on the Naze as I have plans. Early shot of turntable in place, I have painted and weathered it since:

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Ultimately I'd like to run the layout in two distinct periods, early to mid 50s meaning a lot of ex GE locos, along with the 4mts, J70s etc. This will take years to come to fruition. Another fascinating period seems to be the early to mid 60s onwards when the area was more or less completely dieselised and you have green period diesels either with small or no warning panels pulling steam age stock with largely steam age infrastructure. Ironic thing is I'm too young to remember either period, now the line from Liverpool Street to the east coast in the late 70s and early to mid 80s is a different matter, I used to love going up to the the old Liverpool Street through Stratford and maybe I'll model that one day. So much to do so little time!

Edited by mullie, 18 March 2012 - 21:39 .

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#16 mullie

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:38

Got nothing done this week as work is ludicrously busy including today. Last night managed to make a small amount of progress in beginning to detail and weather an internal wall. Weathering is at the moment is just with charcoal applied and rubbed with a finger. Next job is to add doors.

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#17 jonny777

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:11

64900 was essentially a Norwich loco, but spent 4 months allocated to Melton Constable between Nov 1954 and Mar 1955, which is probably the reason for the renumbering.

64901 is also a good candidate, as it was a Spital Bridge based loco for about 8 years from Autumn 1952, and then only moved to March in 1960 before withdrawal in 1961.

#18 mullie

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:38

64900 was essentially a Norwich loco, but spent 4 months allocated to Melton Constable between Nov 1954 and Mar 1955, which is probably the reason for the renumbering.

64901 is also a good candidate, as it was a Spital Bridge based loco for about 8 years from Autumn 1952, and then only moved to March in 1960 before withdrawal in 1961.


Thanks that is really helpful

#19 mullie

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 15:50

The first train ran the full length of the scenic board and through all the point work today. This was under analogue so having given the track a thorough clean, I'm now going to clean all the fiddle yard tracks, check the alignments with the main board and get the Power Cab installed, hopefully tomorrow. Then have a reason to install the decoders in the Derby Lightweight, been waiting to do this since Christmas! Maybe able to post some videos soon.

Layout looks quite different without the engine shed but the new build is coming along steadily so should be in place reasonably soon.

Edited by mullie, 29 March 2012 - 15:51 .


#20 mullie

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 19:53

The first train ran the full length of the scenic board and through all the point work today. This was under analogue so having given the track a thorough clean, I'm now going to clean all the fiddle yard tracks, check the alignments with the main board and get the Power Cab installed, hopefully tomorrow. Then have a reason to install the decoders in the Derby Lightweight, been waiting to do this since Christmas! Maybe able to post some videos soon.

Layout looks quite different without the engine shed but the new build is coming along steadily so should be in place reasonably soon.


Tried the Power Cab today, very different compared to the Compact as you might expect as the compact is very old by digital standards. Will need to modify my driving style particularly on the Hornby 08 fitted with a Lenz gold decoder, this one behaves very differently and I think I may need to adjust some settings. This is the first version of the improved 08 they released and the gold decoder was fitted by Modellers Mecca where I bought it so it is some years old. Last night it was quite jerky but tonight it was much smoother although it needed quite a lot of oomph to get it started. The Bachmann 4mts with factory fitted decoders (about 2-3 years old) only read short addresses whilst the J39 with a TCS M1 responded fine despite its split chassis design (decoder fitted second half of last year). I am glad I read the manual as it is going to take some time to get used to the power cab, but pleased so far. Decoder technology has also improved so this isn't a surprise.

Edited by mullie, 31 March 2012 - 20:06 .


#21 mullie

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:48

Seems to be a problem with the video camera so will have to do some fiddling with the settings then upload again. Not a lot happening this week anyway as I've been away for the last week. While relaxing by the pool took the time to read a copy of Model Railroader as I do every so often, good to get a different slant and stimulate the brain cells with something different. Gave me some ideas on extending the layout and no I don't need to take over the cellar even if we had one!

Hopefully tonight will programme the Derby Lightweight and have a fiddle with the tender connections on the 4mts as they have always been prone to derailment especially when running tender first and I really need to solve it.

Edited by mullie, 12 April 2012 - 09:36 .


#22 mullie

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 19:46

Derby Lightweight ran for the first time tonight with all lights working. The interior lights stopped in the driving car working after I installed the decoder, finally worked out tonight that it was because the decoder wires were nudging the contacts for the interior lights and stopping them making contact. The fact that it is so difficult to get the body off makes it a nerve racking experience to deal with. Now I have to change the destination blinds, does anyone know an easy way to do it? I wanted one without warning panels so will have to do it eventually. I will also have to renumber. If I buy a class 15, and with the current rosta I will have quite an interesting group of locos for a mid 50s early 60s period layout although the V3 and J70 are out of period but it's my train set......

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Tried to take some photos in the dark but my little camera couldn't cope! Now need to finish the goods warehouse to get rid of that awful gap in the backscene.

Tomorrow plan to fettle the newly laid track, some check rails need moving very slightly and some track joints need smoothing out and levelling. Still it's meant to rain after all!
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#23 mullie

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 21:05

First proper operating session on the revised layout, all went well apart from a bit of dirty track on the head shunt. Below are some photos:

First two show the 08 shunting.

08 edited.jpg

08 back siding.jpg

Next shot shows the class 24 shunting three wagons on test after surviving a fall to the garage floor! The couplings need a bit of adjustment after some needed glueing back on and the conflat needed a new axle box. Considering that a remarkable survival but not something I wish to repeat!

Class 24 shunting.jpg

Class 24 waits.jpg

Local service arrives

local service.jpg

V3 runs in light engine. Having had the start voltage tweaked to suit the power cab and a bit of a run round my test track, now quite a smooth runner.

V3 light engine.jpg

Last two photos show the new style fiddle yard, hope to lengthen it tomorrow so it can hold a loco and two coach passenger train. This was converted from the traverser yard using cassettes I had built for a fiddle yard at the other end of the layout where an extension is now taking place.

New design fiddle yard.jpg

Fiddle yard 2.jpg

Edited by mullie, 06 May 2012 - 21:17 .

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#24 mullie

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 19:08

Put the warehouse in place last night, still needs roof, interior detail, lights and weathering plus linking to the existing building but basically I think the idea will work.End column is very blue due to ink shortage and didn't realise late last night when I finished it so will need to recover that bit.

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#25 mullie

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 19:26

More fettling of points and point motors today, touch wood things running quite smoothly now. Ordered a DCC concepts decoder with stay alive yesterday for trialling in the J70. If successful may well invest in a Silver Fox model to improve the look of the J70. Below are some photos taken whilst operating tonight. Until the extension is up and running the layout can't handle too many locos or stock so I need to ring the changes. I think it's worth bearing in mind that the scenic part of this layout is under four feet long by just one foot wide. Currently running the layout with one of the two 4mts, V3, 08 and Derby Lightweight, an interesting mix!

Busy times.jpg

Parcels waits on siding.jpg

V3.jpg

Edited by mullie, 02 June 2012 - 19:27 .

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