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The boards for a layout mentioned in my previous entry 'Name Change and Moving On' are predicated on fitting Burbage Wharf on 3 boards 650mm long and 450mm wide with a fiddle yard behind and end boards with full transition curves down to a minimum radius of around 2'6" to allow good running of a mixture of trains at appropriate speeds. This is obviously a longer term project but it could be built a board  or two at a time and have operational potential. Despite being a single siding on a double track main line it has plenty of operational scope, I believe. The east end board will have a single siding with a headshunt and the west end, with the single slip would allow for inglenook style operation with or without the length restrictions (these could be created by temporary obstruction). It would also make a really great photo plank. The boards are sized to fit in the cupboards under my workbench for more convenient storage. The only decision I haven't made yet that is required before starting the scenic boards is exactly where the track should lie in the depth of the landscape i.e. the distance from the board edge to the railway. This is somewhat related to the question of whether the Kennet and Avon canal should be in front or behind the trains, or rather which is the display side. Either orientation has it's pros and cons not least because the length is split in 3 and joins in water are going to be obvious. I printed a quarter size plan and made a half size model but neither have helped me come closer to a decision. 




The plan. Top is the 'original' layout before doubling with my plans laid out over the top. Below is my adaptation with the siding shortened to fit the space. The trailing crossover to the siding from the down line is still at a similar distance from London but with the double line this shortens the loop.


The half size mock up has the goods shed made up out of multiple layers of the same box used for the rest of it. The other light brown 'lumps' are the cattle dock and the signal box (which should be larger but the pieces were a bit small to stick well). These two views are from the south so the canal is behind the railway.






The only photographs I've seen (2) are taken from the overbridge in this direction. Only from higher up is the canal visible though.




Looking from the north with the canal in front of the railway. Two baseboard joins in the water and the goods shed in front of the trains perhaps not the best viewing experience?






Also covered previously is the prospect of a DJLC (Diamond Jubilee Layout Challenge) type layout. Littlemore was started for the Golden Jubilee. The size requirement is smaller - 600mm x 9.42in. Something small that could use the numbers of horseboxes and siphons I have - sounds like my requirements would lead down the same path that Mikkel went with the first of his Farthing layouts; The Bay. I've long admired Mikkel's work and have an interest in the Lambourn branch since assisting with operating this 2mm layout. Books covering Newbury as a station are on my bookshelf for no apparently good reason (maybe until now). The number of horseboxes I still have in hand to build are quite possibly more than would usually be useful on many layouts. I've made a model of this too, full size, although some of it is badly proportioned. Primarily I wished to get an idea of whether the canopy would damage the view of the layout since the human eye does not scale and whether the other view blockers could be effective to hide the exit and transition to the backscene. 



I grabbed some stock from in the house so we've got Gordon's coaches (Minitrix Gresleys now twice repainted) and Percy's mail truck. They're good enough for a representation of size but not Great Western at all. Sorry. The only finished GW coaches I have were finished by Dapol so still not so appropriate.




The idea would be to reuse a significant chunk of Littlemore. Ignoring the curve the layout is very similar. The track layout is reprinted from when I drew the plan for Littlemore over an import of the period OS map and the platform is the matching shape also. The additional siding for a loading dock would mimic Mikkel. Much of the rest is closer to the prototype. The siding on the run around should go behind the platform  with the building on, which is a bit wide. If the additional siding is to be kept then I think I should move it closer to the other lines, similar to the arrangement on the other side for Winchester. This would close up the corner that currently has nothing in it because in reality it is the entrance/exit road and yard for the up side.




The signal box (top right, above) would block the exit to the fiddle yard. This means shortening the platform from the ~400ft of the prototype. The canopy in this mock up is longer than it needs to be. It could be around half the length and end just beyond the building opposite. I think this would be closer to the prototype. It's hard to tell sometimes from the available photographs. The lighter coloured block emerging from the bank and retaining wall is the water tank. The engine house is conveniently omitted from the modelled area somehow.




Above a view from the fiddle yard end and below a couple more views.






Being smaller this feels like it could be much more achievable in a reasonable timeframe but it is still a step backwards/sideways. Another possibility would be to actually finish Littlemore, possibly transposing it whole onto three shorter boards so that it stores in cupboards. (It's currently on two boards each around 1m long that were permanently joined). Tim Vs comments on the previous entry have really made me re-evaluate (again).


Thoughts welcomed.



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Thanks for your comments Rich.


Would the little layout be 'satisfactory'?


You said you like big engines - which Burbage would give (and small ones as well).


I know I have considered shoe-box layouts before, but ultimately, they are two-a-penny at shows. Looking like clones.


I am not denigrating them, it's just they are very common, and don't tick my boxes.


Whereas Burbage would stand out at a show - a goods only site. Plenty of trains going by.

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7 hours ago, Tim V said:

Would the little layout be 'satisfactory'?


It would satisfy in having somewhere for any trains I finish to be until a larger project is completed,  however it could also be a frustration in that it would divert time from and hence block a larger project making progress as quickly as it might otherwise.


I've sat down and worked out that a 'ladder fiddle' yard in 1950mm x 300mm does not easily allow for many long trains so some creative thinking may be required for Burbage to have proper length trains. An extra board in length is possibly two more boards than I can comfortably store.


It makes me happy someone else likes the idea.


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Sector plate/sliding table type of staging roads?

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Quite probably the answer. Cassettes could work too. Perhaps too many cons for the latter solution in this application and in my mind. 

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Great to see your use of mock ups Rich - Definitely a great way to help test ideas and nothing beats laying out a bit of stock on paper plans then looking at it from all angles.


I don’t really feel I can add anything constructive as to which option you pursue as I tend to think we know ourselves what our preference is but it’s good to put on here to canvas opinion be it challenging the approach or helping crystallise the idea.


However it’s good to see you posting again so I look forward to seeing how this develops with interest...

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Posted (edited)

Hi Rich, well I'm biased of course, and I really like the DJLC idea. Having said that, maybe you raise an important point here:


On 10/10/2019 at 23:34, richbrummitt said:

it could also be a frustration in that it would divert time from and hence block a larger project making progress as quickly as it might otherwise


Small projects always seem to take longer time than we think, so that's probably a very real risk to consider.


Meanwhile I'm just going to leave this here...:pardon::D



Edited by Mikkel
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I like the idea of Burbage Wharf, as Tim says something different and you can have a parade of trains on the mainline at a show should you wish. I meay well have missed this being said, but how would the layout be operated, from the front of rear, does that have any bearing on why way round it is, not just whether the canal is in front or behind but access to the yard for shunting/hand of god unless all automatic.


Good to see mock ups, like something out of an Iain Rice layout planning book.

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I'm not aware I've ever read an Ian Rice book. I don't own one. That said it's easy to pick up other peoples ideas second hand in this community. 


The layout would be operated from the front at home but without the end boards attached, or the rear fiddle yard, since there is not space. The yard would be difficult to operate at a show with my current goods stock. Look back a few posts to 'finished goods' and you'll see examples of my coupling methods. 

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