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A Bit about the Track


MikeOxon

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As I mentioned in my first entry in this blog, my layout started many years ago as a Hornby Dublo layout for my young son. The plan was taken directly from the Hornby Dublo Handbook of 2-Rail Track Formations (1st edition), as shown below, drawn using SCARM software (see http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/73339-scarm-layout-design-software-with-3d-%E2%80%93-all-users-topic/)

 

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Original Track Plan (as built in 1979)

 

This track plan formed the basis for a small, simple layout, to which I added a narrow gauge section (009) at a higher level, for additional interest. The upper level hides the 'round and round' nature of the main line, while leaving the station, at the front, and goods yard visible, for scenic modelling. There was never anything very prototypical about the layout and I treated it mainly as a framework for developing scenery and 'vignettes' for photography.

 

When I returned to this railway, a couple of years ago, I decided to use it for the Victorian designs, which I was interested in constructing. One major limitation in operating the track was the lack of a passing loop on the main circuit, so I decided one could be provided by replacing one of the points on the cross-over loop with a three-way point. Again, by using the SCARM software, I found that I could incorporate a Peco SL-E99 'electrofrog' point, without making major changes to the overall layout.

 

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Revised Layout Plan (including 009 section)

 

I marked the positions for the new track on the baseboard, assisted by use of the Peco templates, as shown by the following photo of the 'work in progress'.

 

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Marked-up Baseboard and Templates

 

The new point required two point motors and switches, to control the live-frog polarity. For these functions, I used SEEP motors, with integral switches. For ease of installation, I mounted the motors onto small rectangles of printed circuit board, together with block connectors. This meant that all the soldering could be done on the bench, with the connector blocks used subsequently, to hook up to the wiring under the baseboard.

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SEEP Point Motor Module

 

Since I already had a 'hand-held' controller, I decided to adopt a similar principle for operation of the point switches. I mounted the six point switches needed on my layout in a small plastic box, from Maplin, and connected this to the layout via a multi-way lead, taken from a parallel-port printer cable.

 

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Remote Controller for Points

 

The connections from the point motors were all brought to a common board, carrying three sockets to connect controllers for points, mainline, and narrow gauge, respectively. Again, I designed the board so that most of the wiring could be done on the bench, with just the final hook-ups having to be done under the baseboard. All the wiring is colour-coded and labelled to assist the final assembly.

 

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Two views of the Control Panel

 

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Points Wiring Plan

 

Once all this was in place, I had the basis of a layout to display my Victorian stock :)

 

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Mike

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