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A fictional railway in fictional geography

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A Beer In The Dean

A quick knock up of Bere Dene's track plan: Again, signals are educated guesses, rather than final arrangements. This time the passing loop lines aren't bi-directional. It is my intention to model a section of line between Bere Dene and Arnford as a simple, single straight line through a forest, on a set of 1 foot wide boards I already have. Although I don't think I'd ever have space to put it with this vignette, I like the idea of it being possible to directly connect it to the left end of

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

Penmouth Harbour Diagram

I've knocked this up today. Took a while to get that subtle curve in, AnyRail doesn't provide any tools for quickly doing curved shapes so shape control points have to be added and aligned by hand:     Note that, in the fiction, the 'goods yard' is a late addition to allow reworking the demonstration freights away from the main station of Tynworth. In the fiction's original idea there would have been no freight sidings for the railway as the station was for boat trains only,

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

Diagram Alley

A couple of diagrams. First Cold Holt and then Penmouth Waterside. Both featured in a thread on RMweb for signalling advice. Apologies for image quality, the files get compressed by RMweb's upload process and there's nothing I can do about it (it seems to be something to do with their pixel width, not their actual file size).   Cold Holt is an interchange station between the S&P and the National Network. None of it exists in model form at present so it would be entirely new.  

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

En Route

Here's a first version of the diagram for the S&P's line, distances not to scale:     As part of understanding operation and signalling, I've indicated where the passing / run round loops are with green infills.

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

Down to the Wire

How's this for a wiring diagram...     This is my first attempt, using LibreOffice Draw in this instance. It really doesn't like the complexity involved in the diagram, but it's what I had to hand for now.

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

Third Board Painted

The third board (the first of the fiddleyard throat boards) now painted. I've included a series of images as the painting progressed for this posting to see the 'effect' in action, so to speak. I won't bother with the later boards as it's just outright repetition really.   First white undercoat, brush painted, underside:   Second white undercoat, brush painted, underside:   Topside, ply delamination repaired and abuttment screw dips filled (with wood fil

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

Second Board Painted

Second board is painted:       Eight more to go. The next six boards are the ones for the fiddleyard throat, so smaller but more complex on the underside. I think only one of those needs remedial attention (for some delamination of the top surface of plywood). I'm going to leave that till last. The remaining two are the curves into the scenic section.

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

The White and The Blue

The first board, one of the straight 4' x 2' boards for the fiddle yard, has been painted:   Top:   Bottom:   Only nine more to do (it took a week to do this one!)

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

Barriers to Entry

As per a post on in the main forum, I've now started to sort out derailment barriers for the boards. I found a supplier, bought two test pieces and have been able to make choices as per what to get.   The curved boards will be getting 2mm thick clear acrylic, and the straight boards 3mm acrylic. Holes have already been drilled to take bolts to mount the barriers in place.   I've placed an order for enough strips to do the ends and up to four 4'x2' boards on both the scenic an

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

An Update

I completed the boards enough towards the end of last year to do a test assembly in the room where they will go. It does fit with about a quarter inch of space at either end, though the window sill at one end is very 'tight' to one of the angle struts for the legs. The 'scenic' section is an old beginnings of a shed. I hope to 'complete' that enough to represent the heritage shed that would be at Penmouth. I also have in mind an additional 4 foot board each at either end of the shed to open up t

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

Another Small Update

The old boards (three 4' x 2') from an aborted previous build, and the six old 'test track' boards (four 4' x 1' and two 1' x 1') have now had all their components stripped, track removed and all but one sanded to clean off the top surface. The one not sanded was a scenic board that was going to be a station, and I'd glued down a layer of cork and surfaced it for a yard area. Unfortunately this wasn't easy to remove, so there are some gouges in the surface that will need filling. The board is st

Ian J.

Ian J.

A Small Update

The left and right fiddle yard boards are now fully fitted with alignment dowels, and with only a couple of places where I've had to use some cereal packet card to even out the alignment:     Now, a couple of coincidental observations with regards to measurements, if you're into this sort of thing: the width of the minimum arrangement (as above) is 7 feet and a quarter inch. The outer circumference length of each of the old test track curves is four feet, eight and a half in

Ian J.

Ian J.

Close, but not quite a cigar

The first full assembly. With the living room floor cleared, I have been able to do a test assembly of the left and right throat boards, to check their overall alignment in combination with the old curves from a previous test layout build. It was very nearly spot on. Unfortunately the natural variability of a less skilled hand made build has meant that there's a slight gap between the two fill-out boards added to the curves. I'd already added 9mm ply ends to them as I knew they'd come out short,

Ian J.

Ian J.

A More Detailed Look at the Dowel Fitting

I have taken pics as I went through the next dowel fitting so that a more complete explanation exists. I can't vouch for this being the best way, it's just a way I've come up with. Nothing here is to be taken as absolutely the only way to do this.   Marked out end board:   Marked lines for marrying up to the next board:   Beginning drilling the recess:   Test locating the female dowel for depth:   Checking where the

Ian J.

Ian J.

Second Alignment Dowel Fitting

Fitting the dowels to board number 11 for connection to board 5 has worked much better. Firstly, I drilled the recesses to 28mm rather than 26, meaning I had more wriggle room in the alignment on board 11. I used more quick set epoxy this time, so that edges were filled as well as back surface. This seems to have gripped the dowel much better. I used a thin piece of paper (an old Tescos receipt) between the connection to prevent them gluing together while the two boards were clamped together ups

Ian J.

Ian J.

First Alignment Dowel Fitting

So the first dowel fitting didn't quite work well enough. I used small blobs of epoxy to try and hold the back sides of the dowel parts to the recess in the plywood end, but its hold on the metal is just to fragile. The parts moved and the end result is a 1mm error. I can use sheets of paper built up in layers to raise track on the 'lower' side for this join, but I need to have a different glue of some kind to hold the dowel parts properly for future joins. I'm now thinking of Original Gorilla G

Ian J.

Ian J.

Fiddle Yard Throat Boards - Structural Build Complete

The six main boards and the four add-ons/expanders are now structually complete. There's a bit of a bigger gap between number 5 and number 1 than I would like (approx 1mm more than I'd like) but I don't think I can lessen the gap within the boards. The thought has occurred to me to pad the gap, so that is probably what I will do when the time comes.     The next job is fitting the pattern maker alignment dowels, which I'm not looking forward to despite having the necessary t

Ian J.

Ian J.

A quick update

Boards numbered 5, 8, 1 and 4 are now structurally 'complete'. 1 really didn't want to go together properly, it just had loads of little issues that needed correcting. 4 has a significant amount of twist on initial screwing together. I'm hoping that having dissassembled for gluing and reassembling, then putting a fair amount of heavy weight on its corners and edges, it will set in place with less or no twisting apparent.   No pics, I'm too tired now, but once all the fiddleyards boards

Ian J.

Ian J.

Holy Splinters, Crossbeam!

The first board (numbered 5) is now assembled. The cutting of the holes was very 'splintery'. I need to come up with a way to reduce the sheer amount of splinters that come off the cut plywood (both for the holes and the edges). I'm wondering if varnishing now might not be a bad idea to help seal up the edges. Another idea is to put insulation tape on the straight edges. I don't know how I could do the sam with the hole edges though.        

Ian J.

Ian J.

Some Assembly Required

The build begins. I've cut 'bolster' pieces of 2x1 for screwing the curved sections to, together with cutting a fair few (but not yet enough) stanchion pieces. The first board is now at the end of its initial build stage. There's crossbeams and diagonal strengtheners to go in to stop the board being able to twist (which it is doing ever so slightly), but it's pretty flat considering. There's also a bit of tidy up work on one corner where the outer curve is a couple millimetres too long. Otherwis

Ian J.

Ian J.

Grooving the Route

The outer frame lengths have now had their grooves cut, completed without so much pain in my hands trying to use a saw, thanks to a routing attachment for my Dremel   They are now easier to bend, but they'll still need some kind of supports inside the boards they attach to to hold the curves in place. So that's my next job, cutting a number of short lengths of 2x1 timber for those supports.  

Ian J.

Ian J.

Planks for the Memory

The strips of plywood have been cut to length for all the outer frame parts of the boards. There's some additional cutting to do for reinforcing the board ends so they can take alignment dowels. The ply is only 6mm thick, so not deep enough to drill for the dowel parts and still have something to put screws into. Also, cross members still need to be added, but I'm waiting till the outer frames are in place before sizing up and cutting those.  

Ian J.

Ian J.

A Logo for the S&P

A bit of playing around in MS Word 2010 for a modern style logo. Imperfect, but then so is MS Word:     I need to come up with a more traditional one, but they're somewhat complex to design so that might be a while, if ever.   I've marked out the frames for the fiddleyard boards on a set of plywood strips that I had cut may years ago. I hope to cut them to their lengthwise sizes tomorrow.

Ian J.

Ian J.

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