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Prestatyn Station in N

N Gauge North Wales Coast Code 55




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#1 Grafarman

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 14:52

Hi All,

I've decided to build a 2mm model of Prestatyn Station, with a model of Holyhead Diesel Depot on the same layout. I'm afraid this post contains a lot of preamble, but I promise it's all relevant background stuff!

I was born in Prestatyn, a seaside town on the most northern point of the North Wales Coast in the Summer of 1966 (not the most auspicious period in British Railway history!) and spent 25 years of my life in the town before moving to London, and during those years I developed a real fondness for the station; its long slender gently-curving platforms; the semaphore signals that exist even today; and the booking office/main building which survived from LNWR times and has only just now been removed to be replaced by an exact replica; also it has a road over-bridge which dissects the station into east and west sections about a third of the way along; something I find interesting!

Another appealing feature is the sheer variety of rail traffic which has passed through in the last half century, from humble DMUs to loco-hauled mainline expresses to Super Voyagers; from Freightliner container trains to ballast trains and nuclear flasks, using just about every type of diesel loco seen in the UK, and pretty much every type of Passenger vehicle and freight carrier. Also there have been a number of steam specials which have graced the North Wales Coast, so plenty of excuses to run out the Top Shed kettles and pretty coaches!! Not all trains stopped at Prestatyn, so there's plenty of scope for trains to run through whilst others are stopped in the station, providing operational interest as well as the 'watching the trains go by' views I remember from my childhood.

I have decided to model the station trackplan as it was laid out in 1962, before the Up Slow line was removed; this gives Up and Down main lines with their respective Slow lines; also I will include the Bay platform by the Signal Box at the west end. It is unlikely I will be able to include the pointwork west of the station due to space constraints, but with some compression it may be possible; we'll see as we go along!

The era will be from the 70's to date, for several reasons: firstly the station has remained largely unchanged since the 60's so the infrastructure is suitable for all eras; any changes that have been made can be replicated and incorporated if desired eg. the lighting on the platform can be modelled as the old concrete post ones or the newer metal ones without too much distraction; secondly, the emphasis will be on providing a semi-neutral environment for trains to run; they are the feature, not the station itself; thirdly, I already have all the stock, accumulated over the last 10 years or so!!

As for Holyhead Diesel Depot, my interest was sparked by a variety of magazine articles and posts on RMweb which highlighted the trend for modelling MPDs. I hadn't thought of one before, being a 'lineside' sort of person, but realised the potential for displaying locos and doing manoeuvres around the depot. Holyhead fitted the bill exactly being long and slim in profile, and over the last few years I have been gathering information with a view to putting it together. Then, Bachmann went and announced their four road engine shed and I saw the potential for use in such a scenario as it's almost a replica of the one at Holyhead, so the idea is taking shape!

Now, as I have never built anything like this before, this is going to be an interesting journey and I will need to learn new skills as well as reviving old ones; nothing like a challenge to keep you sharp!

The space planned is 11 feet by 2 feet 3 inches; I can increase the depth at the lefthand end of the layout but the right hand end is fixed due to doorposts etc. At present my current n gauge layout Llanybarachel occupies half the length and a wardrobe and several bass guitars the rest, so some clearing out will have to be done before groundwork can commence! I will be using Peco code 55 track in the main viewing areas, and hopefully recycling some code 80 from Llanybarachel for the fiddle yards; that is if I don't sell it first and use the money instead!!

So bear with me and follow if you like; I'm putting this topic together as a personal record for me and as an encouragement to others to have a go and build something 'proper' so please feel free to ask questions/make observations/give critical feedback, advice and input!

40104 Prestatyn.jpg

NB: All pictures, plans etc. are replicated with the authority of the image owners and credited accordingly; where this has not been possible I will provide links to other sites. Here are the trackplans of the station and diesel depot. The theory is that the station will be at the front of the layout and the Depot at the rear joined by a spur off the Bay siding. Quite how it'll all fit and work remains to be seen! Macrat did the one of Holyhead for me last year; the Prestatyn one is something I cobbled together showing the main station area - I'll try and put together a better trackplan including the track west of the station for next time - they're not to scale; the station area is about 6 feet long and the Depot about 8 feet long:

Holyhead DD.JPG

Prestatyn Stn 1961mapscan2a.JPG

I'll be updating as and when I can, but as I have a full-time 9-5 job and am Dad to two daughters as well as being a Church Elder and on/off gigging Bass Guitarist, please don't expect daily posts!!

Thanks for reading

David


Edited by Grafarman, 17 May 2017 - 21:23 .

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#2 7APT7

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 15:28

Hi Dave

I look forward with interest and the Planned layout, I have taken several Photos of the Station in the past 2 years or so and is an excellent station as you say and also a lot of changes to the original station to...

Keep Gigging and keep us upto date with your developments... and photos...

Jamie
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#3 Grafarman

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 22:23

Ok, so let's talk dimensions; the central island platform at Prestatyn is 860 feet long not including end ramps and 20 feet wide at each end. Approximately 517 feet from the west end is the first of the overbridge supports, which is also the widest part of the platform at 31 feet. The accentuation of the curve is greater on the Down (south facing) side by about a foot, so the platform bows out by 5 feet on the Up side and 6 feet on the Down side. Hopefully the (rather badly drawn and not to scale!) diagram will help in visualising this:

Tatyn Dimens.jpg

In 2mm scale, this equates to 1720mm long and 40mm wide at each end; the widest part being 1034mm from the west end and 62mm wide.

Assuming end ramps length of 20 feet that makes it 900 feet long, so 1800mm in 2mm scale.

The other platforms are approx 10 feet wide and follow the curve of the island platform.

I have yet to obtain accurate dimensions for the island Booking Office but that's still some way off yet!

Next thing is to draw it all out on lining paper full size and see how it looks...

Edited by Grafarman, 21 October 2013 - 14:44 .

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#4 Grafarman

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 20:14

Here's the track diagram west of the station. Really not sure if this will get included as the station is already taking up 6' of the available 11' and this will be another 2' even if I tag it right onto the end of the platform...

Prestatyn Trackplan West Late 60s .jpg

Of course, the question that really needs answering is how exactly will the station and depot be positioned on the layout? I'm in favour of pushing the depot to the end of the layout at the back left, but then that would foul the overbridge; or back right, but then that creates a conundrum about how to feed off the Bay siding as it would create a Z shaped access route...decisions, decisions...any ideas?!

In the meantime, here's a cracking shot of 47401 (originally D1500) storming through Prestatyn in June 1988 demonstrating the kind of train length I hope to reproduce.

47401 Prestatyn.jpg :

This photo is reproduced by kind permission of Dave Sallery, whose website www.penmorfa.com has some superb pictures of the North Wales Coast Line which I'll be poaching for this thread!!

Back soon

David
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#5 Merfyn Jones

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:24

I notice you have left out the branch to Dyserth, which was still there after the up slow had long gone.
Merf.
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#6 Grafarman

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:22

I notice you have left out the branch to Dyserth, which was still there after the up slow had long gone.
Merf.


Well spotted! Yes, I had to leave it out, as it would have been too much to include in the main plan; shame really as I used to live right by Meliden Station and used to run up and down the tracks as a kid!! Maybe good for another layout perhaps...?!
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#7 Grafarman

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 13:44

Here's another picture of the west of the station, showing the pointwork and the curvature of the platforms. (The train is running the wrong way on the Up line due to works on the Down line) The curves do look more pronounced due to the angle of the shot I think; I'll post a picture of the cutouts I've done to scale to show what I mean a bit later.

Edit: forgot to mention - the truncated points on the right off the bay siding are the ones referred to above which formed the start of the Dyserth Branch...

Prestatyn West3.jpg

Photo reproduced by kind permission of Larry Goddard

Edited by Grafarman, 30 May 2012 - 13:58 .

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#8 Grafarman

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 23:16

I got hold of a roll of lining paper, and marked out the platform, using a length of conduit as a ruler, held at each end by my two daughters while I made the curve to the markings and drew along in pencil!!

I then cut it out and laid a length of track alongside (some old code 80 stuff) in order to check the curve...seems ok to me; what do you think?!

PRT draw.jpg

PRT draw3.jpg

PRT draw8.jpg

PRT draw10.jpg

PRT draw11.jpg
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#9 Grafarman

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 16:37

After producing the template the next question is: what do I make the platforms out of? This question has hung around for a while as I've thought of various means, but then I realised: I have to replicate the platform risers, which have a very distinctive appearance, being concrete stantions with upright slabs between. Here's a picture to show what I mean, taken this year during the upgrading works:

Prestatyn 2012.JPG

and an old picture (copyright Dave Plimmer) which shows more the sort of effect I want to reproduce:

25169 Prestatyn.jpg

I know there is no way I can individually cut out several hundred stantions as the profile is so small and I won't be able to get them as accurate as necessary to create the effect, so I've decided to use the Peco NB-27 concrete edging strips as they are the closest I can find. The only problem with these is that the edging slabs are not the same; Prestatyn has 5 foot long slabs with uprights supporting each end, so I am going to have to use a separate platform top to mark out the edging properly.

Another reason for using the Peco edging is that they have a 9mm gap between the base and top which can be used as a former for the platform. In which case, I can use 9mm plywood, cut to shape, with the edging strips slid onto the sides to create the platform...

More soon

David

Edited by Grafarman, 03 June 2012 - 16:44 .

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#10 JeffP

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 17:20

Curves on your last but one post? What curves? LOL compared to what most folk have, that's dead, ruler straight!

Looks interesting. Where does/will the depot fit in?
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#11 Grafarman

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 20:17

Curves on your last but one post? What curves? LOL compared to what most folk have, that's dead, ruler straight!

Looks interesting. Where does/will the depot fit in?


Funny you should say that 'cos I wasn't sure about the curves myself hence the question - I'll redraw it and try again...the photos of the actual station are usually compressed by zoom so appear far greater than in real life; maybe once I get an accurate mock-up it will be easier to see...

I'm hoping the depot will fit along the back with the station at the front, but as yet can't work out a way of joining them successfully. Sizewise, they're both about a foot wide, so can easily fit in the width, but I need to sort out their positioning so all suggestions gratefully received!

I'll try and draw a plan of some sorts to show the options; I may be some time...!!

David
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#12 JeffP

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 20:28

Have you tried looking at it on Google earth?

As far as curves are concerned, I was pulling your leg: yes. it's curved, just not "trainset" curves ;)
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#13 Grafarman

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 21:36

Have you tried looking at it on Google earth?

As far as curves are concerned, I was pulling your leg: yes. it's curved, just not "trainset" curves ;)


Haha! I guess so...yes I've got a full overhead from Google (not sure about reproducing it here though...)
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#14 Grafarman

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:14

I had a go at drawing some sort of plan as to where the station and depot might go on the layout. Sincere apologies for the complete lack of quality in this - I simply cannot get a grip of Xtracad or similar to draw out the station area, so I've had to resort to Paint to do this...
Now, the problem I saw straight away is that the depot would foul the road overbridge which is such a feature of the station area, so I've pushed it away to the back right - this however has created a problem with access, the only solution being as drawn; a 3-way point or similar giving a Z-shaped access route from the Bay siding...is this acceptable, anyone?!

Tatyn Plan2.jpg

Any suggestions about the plan would be very welcome; it shouldn't be too much of a problem creating the two components, it's just the positioning and joining them up...
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#15 Grafarman

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 22:56

Well, with the plan underway and open for discussion, time to crack on with the platforms themselves...

Here's a cross-section diagram of the platforms, using the Peco edging strips and a plywood core, with 0.5mm platform top. I've yet to decide what material to use for the top; card or plasticard - the latter is a lot more expensive but may be easier to use. The 1mm and 0.5mm layers will have to be card for economic's sake!! There is the issue of the drainage gully which runs down the centre of the platform; this will necessitate a dip in the platform top whatever I use...

Edging4.jpg
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#16 Grafarman

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:44

I bought some 9mm plywood and after tweaking the paper outline a bit, marked out and cut the platform shapes - as I only have a handheld saw this was more difficult than I anticipated, and the wood splintered terribly; however, that's ok as they will be hidden by the edging and top layers...
Here's a couple of pictures of them resting on the dining room table:

PRT plat3.jpg

PRT plat4.jpg

I then slid a few of the edging strips onto the wood formers to see the result:

PRT plat2.jpg

The next item is to address the appearance of the edging strips and finalise the overall plan...

More soon

David
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#17 Merfyn Jones

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 11:27

Strange how just the beginings of the platforms says Prestatyn to me straight away, the gentle curve and those concrete edgings.
I walked those platforms many a time during working days.
Merf.
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#18 Grafarman

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:15

Strange how just the beginings of the platforms says Prestatyn to me straight away, the gentle curve and those concrete edgings.
I walked those platforms many a time during working days.
Merf.


Thanks Merf, that means a great deal, and shows I'm doing something right!!
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#19 Grafarman

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 14:28

The Peco edging strips as supplied are plain in between the risers, so in order to replicate the concrete slabs on the faces of the original I had to score lines across each strip. To do this I set up a jig on a piece of 9mm wood strip, and scored them on one line then another to create the two lines across each face (without scoring across the face of the risers!). Once they are painted the lines should stand out. Hopefully you can see what I mean from the pics:

PRT edging.jpg

PRT edging2.jpg

PRT edging3.jpg

Once all 55 lengths had been done, it was time for a break!!!

David

Edited by Grafarman, 06 June 2012 - 14:31 .

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#20 Grafarman

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 21:58

Being on holiday this week has meant I've been able to do some more with the planning side of things. It seems that I may be able to replicate the points and slip from the west end of the platform after all, but to do so will either necessitate moving the Up line points into the station area or shortening the station by about a foot, and I'm not sure if this a compromise too far...what do you think?
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#21 7APT7

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 22:54

Hi All

Love the Track Plan, and the real photos are great....

Keep them coming and keep us informed of the progress, I also have several photos of this station from about 2 years ago when work was being do on it...

Jamie
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#22 Ian Smeeton

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 23:06

Why not have the depot entrance road off-scene to the right of your plan.

It could be fed from its own fiddle yard or from the main layout without the awkward reversal. A height difference might be helpful here to give a reason for the offstage access

Regards

Ian
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#23 Grafarman

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 23:30

Why not have the depot entrance road off-scene to the right of your plan.

It could be fed from its own fiddle yard or from the main layout without the awkward reversal. A height difference might be helpful here to give a reason for the offstage access

Regards

Ian


Now that would be a good idea! In fact, it's interesting you should say that as Holyhead Depot was on a rise anyway as the main line alongside descended into the main station, so the banking down one side is a feature as such, and it would provide some height variation in the layout...it would also free up the placement of the depot to maybe further along so long as it didn't foul the overbridge...I'll have a go at another plan tomorrow!!

Many thanks for the input!

David
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#24 Grafarman

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 16:37

Ok, so time for some test runs with track and stock, to gauge platform height etc...it should be noted here that the track used is some old code 80 so I need to take some shots with the new code 55 before finalising things...I took some pictures with a class 46 with a single mk1, then ran a proper length train with a class 40 and 8 mixed mk1's and mk2's...I'm quite happy with the overall appearance so will continue with planning and so on...btw, the last shot shows a temporary platform top on the edging strips; it's not glued hence the strip of cork down the middle holding it down!

PRT 46a.jpg

PRT 46b.jpg

PRT 46c.jpg

PRT 46d.jpg

PRT train.jpg

PRT train2.jpg

More soon!

David
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#25 Grafarman

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 14:15

Planning session:
1. what to do about including the points configuration west of the platform?
2. are the platforms too long for the available space?
3. how can I bring the backscene round to hide the curves at each end and have a proper scenic break as the prototype station is in the open?
4. is it ok to shorten/change things from the original to allow for layout compression and still retain a sense of the original?

These and other questions have been pondered over the last week or so, as I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the platforms taking up all of the available space when I wanted to include other things. But I had already committed, so I thought, to building a scale model, and changing things would make it not so...

Then I had a very encouraging and informative PM conversation with Gilbert (great northern) who basically advised me to treat the layout as a representation of the prototype, not a scale replica. It doesn't matter if the platforms are slightly shorter than the original, or that buildings are moved in closer to allow for space restrictions, because the aim is to have trains that look right in an environment which faithfully reflects the main points of the original - that's what makes an operationally interesting and visually appealing layout; this is the ethos Gilbert has applied to his Peterborough North layout with stunning effect, so I knew I was onto a winner - thanks Gilbert!

So I've taken the word 'scale' out of the description and now intend to put together a list of the things that make Prestatyn, well, Prestatyn!

The idea is that I can shorten the platforms to allow for the inclusion of the pointwork to the west and have an approach to the east, and focus on the jigsaw pieces which will make it distinctive and immediately identifiable as Prestatyn Station!

So here we go for a start:
Rather than having the platforms at 70" long I could shorten them by about 22" to 48", but still retain the gentle curved profile of the original.
48" would accomodate a class 40 and 7 mk1/2 coaches with room to spare at each end, and I think this is the way to go.
This would represent the majority of inter-regional workings, and the expresses (which mainly passed through) can be 8 or 9 coaches at a push, which I think is more than enough.
I'll have to shorten the HSTs to 6+2 from the prototypical 8+2 but that will be a small price to pay I think.
I've also discovered here (3rd map down) that pre-1961 (when the platforms were lengthened) the station was about that length and the pointwork actually ran into the station area, only being moved away from the west end with the lengthening upgrade. So I actually have a prototypical trackplan which will work for me albeit from another era; but then, it's representative so it's ok!!

More on this soon; have to do some (other) work now; your thoughts and comments are, as always, very welcome!

David

Edited by Grafarman, 21 October 2013 - 14:54 .

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