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SOS Junction.





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#1 Mallard60022

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 20:31

Before I begin, the joke about '.... it will be a very dark layout....', has already been offered. Thanks Geoff......(RIP)

So, to begin at the beginning.

I have been an avid follower of many main line layouts on this Forum and in 'real life'. I really like the trains in a landscape genre and my mate Geoff's watch the trains go by idea. I want something like that I've been saying for too long.

So, my existing EM shunting/yard/depot diesel era layout is now not enough. It probably has to go, but if nobody wants it I shall keep it just for exhibitions.

Thus Honiton Tunnel. I hear the cries "but why"?

6995584016_33a732277c_b.jpg

Well, I'm  Devon by birth and have always had fond memories of spotting at Exeter Central in 1961 and '62. In the past I had a layout based on Central but it would not accommodate those long trains like the ACEs and Brighton Plymouth. It has always been an ambition of mine to run a full length summer timetable ACE somewhere and at speed. So I'm going to do the 'somewhere!

A few years ago I had two trips from Guildford/Woking to Exeter/Okehampton behind steam and the westbound climb of Honiton bank was just incredible. The seed was sown then I think?

One night a week or so ago I had a dream (yes honestly) that I had a new layout in the loft, it was fine-scale OO for ease of running/stock etc. and it was based on the area between Honiton and Honiton Tunnel west portal. The next morning - that's when the decision was made and I posted on a thread here, asking for ideas and info.

A few days later the plan was to have the tunnel itself as the end of a large oval and the west and east approaches as two of the long oval sides. The opposite end would be just hidden. The fiddle would be 'behind' the east incline.

I will try and get a sketch on here ASAP so my mumblings become clear.

I have already decided to have Honiton Station just offstage on the 'west' side. The road over-bridge just east of the Station will be a scenic break on this side.

In the next few months I hope to show how this develops. The track is waiting, my planning activities are already driving SWMBO bonkers, so all is going well. 

Any advice on this area would be great.

Cheers,

Phil (a 72A exile in 36E)

 

 


Edited by Mallard60022, 27 January 2016 - 13:37 .

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#2 gwrrob

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 20:37

Good luck with your project Phil.I must admit I enjoy just watching trains of any length pass by on my roundy roundy.Enjoy the build and take your time.There will be compromises,there always is.Make sure you're happy with the trackwork before doing any scenery is my advice.


Edited by gwrrob, 23 January 2014 - 20:37 .

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#3 stadman

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 16:36

Sounds interesting, been going through there a few times this week. 


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#4 stadman

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 16:43

Not smoke but could see plenty of exhaust


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#5 Mallard60022

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 17:54

Researching the 'unusual' trains for this layout is proving to be great fun.

For example there was a Cleethorpes (SO, Summer Timetable) to Exmouth (and return) with a real hotchpotch of stock being used on the ER coach set train.

Then there was the Car Carrier (SO Summer Timetable) service from  Surbiton to Okehampton & return that used 8 green GUVS!

P



#6 gwrrob

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 17:56

Oh that's why you need all those guv's then.I thought you were just being greedy.I have a maroon version you can loan. :jester:


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#7 westerner

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 20:50

Oh mighty duck, I will be following this with great interest.


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#8 gwrrob

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 20:57

Oh mighty duck, I will be following this with great interest.

 

Agreed Alan.It will be nice and sit back and watch for a change. ;)


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#9 westerner

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 21:18

Agreed Alan.It will be nice and sit back and watch for a change. ;)

 

Definitely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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#10 The Stationmaster

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:07

I reckon the best thing to do is build it first (once all the info is in of course), take numerous pics during construction, and only then start a blog or thread covering the building gradually adding photos 'as you progress' thus impressing folk with your amazing rate of construction ;)


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#11 gwrrob

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:40

All the worlds a stage and each must play their part......


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#12 gwrrob

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:51

The 'Steam on the West of England mainline' Ian Allan book has a few nice colour shots of Honiton bank in it although a bit later than your period with them being 1964.


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#13 RailWest

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 19:12

An interesting and unusual choice of location, tho' my personal preference would have to do the eastern approach to the tunnel so as to include Honiton Incline signal-box and its siding for a little bit of extra 'interest'. But at least it's the right line......:-)

Edited by RailWest, 27 January 2014 - 19:12 .

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#14 TrevorP1

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 19:39

Will be following this thread with great interest as it's 'memory snapshot' I have from travelling by train to the west country as a child in the '60s. Barely old enough for school when we first went, I remember being not at all happy about the slow passage through the tunnel.

 

The nearby cider orchards at Whimple also come to mind. Now that would be a modelling challenge - all those trees!

 

Trevor


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#15 TrevorP1

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 20:34

Trevor, that's kind of you. You are also the first person to respond that has ridden through the notorious place during proper steam days; congratulations.

Re. the apple trees; it is going to be challenging enough doing the trees above and around each tunnel approach cutting and all the others. I may be employing some stage craft technology/trickery to get round that problem.

If nothing else so far, I hope I've jogged some folks into looking up some material on this lovely stretch of railway.

P

 

:) I could ramble on for hours about those days but my memories, though treasured, are vary patchy due to my age at the time. 

 

I have worked out that we went down on the 08.55 ex Waterloo which we caught at Salisbury. It was always very full and only rarely did we all get a seat, often we sat on our suitcases in the corridor all the way to Plymouth. Sometimes people in a compartment would squeeze up to let Mum sit down. Vaguely I recall passing what i obviously now know was Exmouth Junction. Somehow a 'spotting book' from those days has survived and the numbers, written in my own and my Father's writing, are the stuff of dreams... If only I could remember the engines! For at least four years our journey finshed at Falmouth around 19.00. What a day!

 

Coming back we used the 'Brighton'.  Around lunchtime Dad would go to the buffet car for his pint and there I was with my orange juice standing in a 'pub'! Maybe the habit started there! Incidentally, this train was the only time I saw a wheeltapper at work - at Salisbury. I wonder now what on earth was the use of that with the brakes on hard. I guess they knew what they were about.

 

All the best and I really hope your plans come to fruition.

 

Trevor.


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#16 Dr Gerbil-Fritters

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 22:04

I've always had a 'thing' for Seaton Junction. 

 

Seaton-Junc-painting-013.jpg

 

S3420-2.jpg

 

In a decent space, very do-able.  Interesting track plan, using Peco track ala Grantham, plenty of Hornby Merchant Navy, N15s, M7s etc, six wheel milk tanks, a branch line.

 


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#17 devonseasider

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 00:46

OK, perhaps time to put head above parapet & own up to living within 10 minutes walk of Seaton Junction or, at least, what's left of it.

 

Some  "now" photos here if anyone's interested:

 

http://www.rmweb.co....eaton +junction

 


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#18 Dr Gerbil-Fritters

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:45

Hi Mallard, sadly I am not the talent behind the painting - it's by Frederick Lea, GRA and I borrowed it from here.

 

Why I waded in with Seaton Junction was that I think it lends itself to a manageable build - using off the shelf track and equipment - but more importantly it will support an interesting range of operations, including - if you were so inclined - the ability to get into timetables and prototypical ops.  You could operate the branch train, or the local pick up goods whilst letting a couple of ACEs just circle the layout.  I'm getting more and more interested in layouts that are fun to operate realistically, Grantham being my current favourite of this genre.

 

Peterborough is also very good, but Grantham swings it for me by being a junction, having decent freight facilities, the MPD and engine changing going on - its more than just a sequence of trains passing by.

 

Seaton Junction loft layout for Mallard.jpg

 

It's a very conventional plan - and there are similar examples (at a schematic level anyway) on RMWeb, including Longdrem and the Pinkhill Branch


Edited by Dr Gerbil-Fritters, 29 January 2014 - 10:48 .

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#19 The Stationmaster

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:33

I have very mixed views on this.  Being 'of an age' the idea of watching the trains go by appeals to me immensely (don't mention second childhood!) and the basic idea of a roundy takes a lot of beating.  But then my brain kicks back in and needs a bit of stimulus and I immediately have to go 'beyond the roundy' in my mental planning.  The problem then is holding that leap in check because all sorts of things then join the mental milieu as I try to decide what I do and don't want and that is confounded by strong attraction to two different scenarios - although fortunately in real world geography they are not to distant apart and could be complimentary.

 

So let's try to sort out this process in relation to 'Honiiton Tunnel (or not)' -

 

1. You must clearly decide what sort of layout you want and why you want it - do you just want to watch trains passing and having built your railway concentrate on building/adapting etc trains to run on it.

Or is the train part of your interest such that you can arrive at what you want, or a reasonable pastiche of it out of a mix of blue & red boxes, kits, and reliveries etc - in other words would creating and running your railway take personal priority over stocking it or vice versa.

 

2. Once you've answered that you might have a glimmer of an appreciation about how much time you have to put into not only building the layout but playing with operating it.

Do you then start to take an operating interest or does that conflict with teh time and chosen method of stocking your railway?  And,

Do you have a genuine interest in operating it or are you back to watching the trains go by?

 

3. The amount of time, space, money, and skills you have, or don't have might sway your answers at any point in the above considerations - but you should also think about the 'labour' available to help you play trains should you be doing more than watching those trains go by.

 

By now you might have a better idea of what you want but the thing to make sure of is that it is your choice and not mine or those of anyone else who suhggests you might care to do this or that for your railway; Rule 1 can work in more than one way.

 

I'm not you so what I want might not be what you want but I think the ability to sit back and spend as much time watching trains go by as doing other things with them isn't a bad idea, sometimes.  But I think my crumbling old brain probably needs a bit more of a challenge so in my view I need more than that.  For the LSWR mainline you have plenty of choices for watching the trains go by but if you want more your choice is limited even if you go no further than a pastiche, let alone an exact model, of the busier places but in my view Seaton Jcn is quite a good one as Templecombe although I would worry about what has to be fitted in with the latter.  But do what you want to suit what your ideas and resources offer.


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#20 BMacdermott

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:52

Hello Mallard

 

I entirely agree with Dr Gerbil-Fritters that layouts that are interesting to operate may well be better than simply 'watching the trains go by'. 

 

I am fortunate in having two layouts, one of which could be very similar to what you have in mind. I could have made it 'watching the trains go by', but introduced a number of operational aspects. The layout is double track with a station and two shortish sidings off one line with another line off further down which goes to an off-scene colliery. The layout is 'folded dogbone' - what goes one way will eventually come back the other via reverse loops and hidden sidings.

 

The station is an amalgam of a number of stations on the S&D, particularly Midsomer Norton. I call it Midsomer Mallet.

 

I can:

1. Run all the trains that ran on the S&D (in the late 50s/early 60s). Includes Milk, Coal, Passenger, Perishables, Pigeon Specials etc.

2. Run the 6.05pm Bath-Binegar and return - except that it's now Bath-Midsomer Mallet and return, requiring a run round in the station.

3. Run the Bath-Midsomer Norton (now Midsomer Mallet) coal empties to the off-scene colliery. The loaded Up trains require a run round in the station.

4. Set back the 2.40am Freight & Mail to the Up line to enable an overnight express from the Midlands to pass by.

5. Detach a pilot loco off one of the Down expresses (as was done at Shepton Mallet).

6. Attach 'urgent fruit vans' from Midsomer Mallet to Up and Down passenger trains.

7. Bank Down freight trains through the station and allow the banker to 'drop off' and return to the station wrong line. After crossing to the Up line, stop and take water in the station.

8. All Up freights stop to take water in the station having climbed over the Mendips from Evercreech Junction. The loco which attached 'urgent fruit vans' to passenger trains can hook on to the freight loco to return to 'Radstock' to save a path.

 

All these things happened on 'the real S&D'.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Brian


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#21 34theletterbetweenB&D

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:16

If you haven't it already, there's a book you may find very handy for the scenic modelling: Southern Steam in the South and West, a compilation of Norman Lockett's photography with a fair number of good colour photos. Pub OPC ISBN 0-86093-497-7.

 

You can even model Ivo Peters correctly outfitted and positioned near one tunnel portal if you wish, with the aid of this book...


Edited by 34theletterbetweenB&D, 29 January 2014 - 12:18 .

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#22 BMacdermott

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:53

Hello Mallard

 

I should qualify my statement of running 'all' the trains that ran on the S&D - I have the Pines Express and a couple of 'express sets' that represent the numerous through trains.

 

The 2-set that forms the Bath-Midsomer Mallet and return later gets attached to the head of a Bulleid or Maunsell 3-set to form the 7.00am Templecombe-Bath Green Park (as per prototype). The Van B that was on my Milk train later gets inserted in between a 2-set and a B-set to form one of the Highbridge-Templecombe trains (again as prototype).

 

There are other 'tricks' that can be played to enhance operation on any layout. These include:

1. Assume a hot box on a passenger coach and set it off to a siding, then pick it up later.

2. Run a Sunday Ballast Train (can involve wrong line working).

3. Assume some kind of 'traffic disruption' somewhere and have an express make a 'special stop' at your normally sleepy station.

4. Assume your Bulleid Pacific on the Pines Express is 'steaming badly' and attach a Jinty to assist. (Yes, that did happen.)

 

If you make your layout 'generic' you can do all sorts of things. My Midsomer Mallet layout uses the Bachmann Shillingstone signalbox and three SR signals (MSE). If I change those to, say, Eastern Region types, the layout 'becomes' somewhere on the Lea Valley and I run my Britannia etc. Whilst I fully admire layouts such as Peterborough North and others here on RMweb, I find my varied interests can only be satisfied by being less focussed.

 

Brian


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#23 D1059

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 13:27

What floats your boat as far as layouts are concerned is a very personal thing.

 

My last layout was an attempt to model Totnes in hydraulic days. The accent was on running trains and shunting opportunities were limited. It was a fixed home based layout. Ultimately, I got bored and it was never completed scenically.

 

While building Totnes I had quite a few years of helping operate other peoples layouts at shows. What I discovered was that I actually preferred shunting layouts over roundys and that size was NOT everything ! Based on this, I designed and built City Basin Goods as an exhibition layout. I get a real kick out of hands free shunting and being able to operate most of the layout from a stool without moving or reaching over the backscene


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#24 westerner

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 13:43

 After building six layouts in all over the past 40 years I suddenly realised that they alternated between terminus and roundy- roundy as Wencombe is. Even with the timetable I've put together which has limited shunting (remember Wencombe is a Junction) and of course the ability to just watch the trains go by (and therefore act as a running in/test track) I 'm still not 100% convinced that I get the maximum fun/enjoyment I'd thought I'd get. There are thoughts jiggling around in the back of my head to possibly make Wencombe become the end of the line, but to I have a line disappearing off stage to the "harbour" so I can still have a roundy- roundy test track. I'm still not sure.

 

It is has been said before your choice. 


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#25 pwr

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 17:33

The Seaton Jnc idea works very well if you have the space. Best of both worlds really as you have some real operating potential with shunting, detaching coaches, milk trains, pick up goods etc but also the benefits of roundly roundy. One of the problems with the latter is boredom with the same few trains running round unless you have a massive fiddle yard or the ability to take trains on and off.

End to end layouts with a though station is another idea you could consider rather than a terminus to fiddle yard. I have seen some good layouts like this where space in front of the two fiddle yards is used for scenery and/or sidings. Can work really well.

However I woud concur with other comments, keep thinking and planning until you are absolutely sure

Paul R
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