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About this blog

Blog detailing progress on the MMRS P4 Layout

Entries in this blog

 

The wonder of Sculptamold

I'd read a couple of threads on here about using Sculptamold as a scenic cover and a bag was duly ordered by someone in the group for a trial. Previously tile cement had been used on the layout in rather industrial qualities. Not only was that very heavy but it had cracked when put over white polystyrene and wasn't providing the robust basic scenery the layout wanted for exhibition travel as well as sitting in the club room in prime 'leaning on' position!   Sculptamold has been a revelation on

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Layout Overviews

People have asked for an overview of the layout in the past so here are a couple from a few months back now. The layout is 18ft by either 10/12ft, i'll have to check.. Bit small in P4 really but Dewsbury takes up the bigger area available in the club upstairs so this is as big as it can be.   Much of the yard has been relaid along with its ballast since this view and the scenic work at the far end has come out as the white polystyrene it was built on really wasn't stable and an over use of til

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

More about Wiring..

A few people have asked about the wiring on this layout and hopefully the following pictures will help a little. In time i'll try and do proper diagrams but hopefully these will help people out. Zoom in on the images for clearer views.   On view in this shot are the following types of dropper.   Pink - Goods Loop outer Red/Purple - Goods Loop inner Grey - UP Main outer Red/Yellow - UP Main inner Black - Down Main outer Red/black - Down Main inner   The code makes it easy to f

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

MMRS Running Night - Productive tests on Slattocks.

Slattocks was running on Friday night as part of the club's general running evening which has required a couple of nights of quickly adding new droppers to new sections of the fiddle yard.   The ability to test was well used by Andy C though testing stock for his new layout:   Source: North Ballachulish

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Point and click, point goes click..

Well more like a whirr but..   MERG CBUS modules drive a Tortoise controlled from Panel Pro in edit mode. I believe the code for the MERG setup we're using was only recently added to JMRI so we were using a MERG utility to test the points previously. Its nice to have the visual working now.   The physical setup of the stretcher bars and TOU's may take slightly longer!       An overview for Mike G before the yard started to be glued down and ballasted.  

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

More track progress

The important bits are now finished on this point for the 'branch' lines into the yard. I did have an issue with the divergence of the switch blade from the stock rail not being enough but that was my fault for not putting in enough of a set and instead trying to continue the crossover radii through the switches. Now that the inner and outer radii have been tweaked a little the blades fitted fine and stock runs well through both lines. I can now get on with rivetting up the remaining sleepers to

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Completing the Scenic Trackwork

With the main up and down lines completed and running before xmas the remaining scenic pointwork now needs completing and laying. Tonight Dick has been laying the goods loop at the right end of the layout on the outside of the running lines while i've made a start on the crossover from the branch down into the goods yard. I've started with the point on the main running line and will do the other point that leads onto the headshunt later. There is a board joint in between the two so they have bee

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Xmas Social - Slattocks running again!

So 18 months after we started digging it up we now have two line running on Slattocks again!   Here are a couple of poor videos of the occasion. The Pannier was on DCC and the other locos were running on DC.   The new track and ballast has really improved the ability to take closeups on the layout without the basics looking bad. The missing bits can be filled in now that the droppers are in and the cess installed up to the shoulder.   This LMS pairing from Dick Petter was in

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Wiring up the new track for the Xmas Social

Sorry for the lack of recent updated on this blog, its mostly been a case of more of the same as track and wiring have been replicated around the boards. The club has a xmas social however a fortnight on Saturday and so its all hands to the pumps as we race to get the new setup running in time!   The scenic trackwork for the two main running lines is now completed again and i've shown a quick overview of the main board.   Here is an overview of the underside of that board before most of th

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Running night at Manchester and more progress

Last Friday the Manchester Club had a running night where all the layouts were as operational as possible. I'd tested the double track curve laid to date with a pannier tank on the Tuesday and Tony brought something more appropriate to have a short run on what was back in place and also test running across the board joints here on the skew.   A couple of pictures showing how I finished off that skewed board joint from the last update. Pieces of scrap were soldered across the cut sleepers unt

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Bridging the gap(s)

Following on from the last update I thought i'd share a quite post showing how we've been dealing with board joints using copper sleepers and brass chairs.   The sleepers aren't cut yet as I need to get it all gauged properly beforehand to cut exactly on the correct diagonal. The rail is precut as that is cut perpendicular to the rail direction. When the sleepers are cut i'll solder some brass strip across the joint for now to retain gauge until the sleepers are epoxied down, normal stretches

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Next major pointwork in

The slip which allows access into our goods yard was laid tonight and apart from the double junction is the biggest section of pointwork needed to be laid on the scenic section of pointwork to be laid on the new look layout.       The tried and tested 'lay and ballast' method was used again and its being tweaked slightly before the selection of weights is applied. The small sections of straight track to the board joint will be filled in later using plastic sleepered lengths, old flexi wa

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

We have been doing things, honest!

Whoops, I've forgotten to update this in a while! Well we have done a bit since last November when we were building pointwork and testing track ideas for the relay.   As these pictures show we now have some of the plain track laid (glued and ballasted in one go) and i've been wiring the dropper to it as we go. The ballast is a mix of two Greenscenes bags and i'd much prefer them now over Woodland Scenics due to the tonal variation in each type even before you look at weathering it.   The hol

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Trackwork continues and a special birthday

Short progress update here on what we've been up to in the last week.   Dick delivered the complex obtuse bit at the heart of the slip that allows access into the goods yard at the toe end of the double junction. Ralph can now combine this with this crossings to produce the finished article. As the layout has a gentle curve to it there is no straight track to this slip! Once this is complete all the mainline pointwork on the front scenic boards for the layout are complete although extra points

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Progress on Track..

A bit of progress overall since the last update. The trackplan is now cut to size and stuck down on two of the boards, the third needs a little woodworking still on the inner curve while the outer is having its balsa finished.   Andy G was not available tonight but his trackwork for the goods yard entry was on show. Not sure what was being pointed out, possibly that the 3-way still needs its switch blades fitting.   Dick Petter has been busy in the background...   He surprised everyo

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Track by the metre..

Just to put up a more recent post than the archive stuff i've been importing here is a sample of the plain lengths of track i've been working on for the re-laying:   There consist of 4 60ft panels each of 24 sleepers and are built from Exactoscale components. I only lay the one rail at home and the other will be laid at the club once its been curved to match the template and any gauge widening has been added in.   I'd previously done a length of 26ft panels that will go on the gauge widene

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Testing the new track plan

I went along to Dean Hall yesterday evening, for the first time since last month. I took my camera and this time it had a memory card in it so I took a few pictures.   I'd better leave Andy or Craig to explain how the big template was produced and printed - I'm afraid the "dark arts" of templot and template production are a bit beyond me at the moment but they were putting it together last night and trying it out for size on the layout. I have to say that I think it looks pretty impressive.

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Further demolition!

First part of an update from last night's progress. It was decided that as the track spacing and alignment on the right hand curve would be different from the original it would be easier to start with new wood work. The initial thought was to remove the track bed entirely but it was quickly discovered that the base had been glued as well as screwed to the supports and removal would create a lot more work than anticipated. So in the absence of 4mm scale JCBs and dumper trucks etc the track gang s

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Prototype Track Detail - Ramsbottom

Well, I must admit to having not heard of wiring the check rails before, but taking the belt and braces approach it will only take a little bit of effort to put some wire across. I was a little sceptical of Martin's comments about bolt holes in the end of check rails but having been up to Ramsbottom this afternoon to photograph the rail anchor bolts (exciting eh?) two of the three turnouts that I could see had check rails with bolt holes in them.   Firstly an outside view of the anchor bolts

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

First new point

OK, so getting back to the topic here are some photos of the first turnout made this week, its for the end of the loop.   Initial Construction - timbers laid out and chairs slid onto some of the rails.   Electrical tags have been fitted to some of the rivetted timbers to provide easier and less obvious electrical connections.   Overview of the completed turnout.   The vee and stock rails have actually been extended to include the closure rail to the up line turnout and the track up

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Shades of Beeching

Just a couple more images from Monday nights track removal. Shades of Beeching circa 1966ish perhaps!     Tony

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

New Trackplan

One of the problems we've had with the trackwork was the realisation just over twelve months ago that the junction should have a trailing crossing in front of it. After deliberating what to do the decision was made to knuckle down and produce it. The problem was that the junction is on the side of the layout, to the right of the bottom of the first picture and therefore the only location that the cross over could go was on the bend, which was already closing in on the minimum that you'd want lar

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

 

Start of old track removal

(copied from old forum)   Slattocks Junction is the 18 x 13ft P4 layout being built by the Manchester Model Railway Society. The layout is being built to provide an antedote to the continual stream of P4 shunting planks. Yes, they are very good and very needed but large P4 layouts are very rare and those running large steam locos at a realistic pace are even rarer. Basically the group was bored with shunting layouts and wanted to prove that large P4 locos can work at speed on a reasonable size

craigwelsh

craigwelsh

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