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Rospeath Lane - The planning stage


Yan

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I hope you are you sitting comfortably? I suggest with a coffee and couple of biscuits to hand, or whatever tipple and nibbles this hour of day dictates. This is a long entry and you may need sustenance to keep you awake.

 

I’ve been planning an Engine Shed project for some time now. Unfortunately I’ve had to revise it due to the reduced space in my ‘Man Cave’. Initially I had 16 feet in length to play with but a decision earlier in the year meant I now only 11ft. My idea is to create a visually pleasing scene with ground rising from front to back which will result in different levels of track. The plan below is the result of these ideas.

 

152578854_UntitledEngineshed8ftreduced.jpg.d64b225f2e4d0e300d5671db49f251a3.jpg

 

I printed a full size plan of the above and started to lay out buildings and rolling stock to check on how it would look.

 

20201111_114417.jpg.a2e446a25db39fe21669e4afad28d1f1.jpg

General view looking from the left over the proposed road bridge which will be the scenic break

 

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Here I was testing how the different levels would work, the 08 shunter is at the level the whole engine shed will be, the three sidings in front are below and the three sidings behind are above but on two different levels.

 

20201111_122820.jpg.a19834ebf3f00e03a0772d4e740ed76b.jpg

Here I was checking on the capacity and clearances within the running shed area

 

Even though I’d initially based the track layout on Leamington Spa Engine Shed it somehow didn’t feel right. I’d certainly fulfilled all that I’d set out to achieve with the design, but still felt it was lacking purpose.

 

So… I set out to find a location. Initially this was a difficult task due to wanting to locate the project in Cornwall, along with the added complication of having to find a location that fitted the above track plan. Cornwall is a relatively small county with almost no extra space for the placement of fictitious routes (let alone any requirement for another Engine Shed). To model one of the real Engine Shed locations would take far more space than I have available and also would not satisfy me visually. So sticking with my current track plan I was on the lookout for any feasible fictitious locations or justifications to move an existing engine shed. After a little research I came across the 1898 proposals for railways to St Just and Sennen.

 

In April and May 1898 two applications were made under the Light Railways Act 1896: one for a route of 21 miles between Penzance and  St. Just via Newlyn and Sancreed; the second, a proposal made by the Lands End and Great Western Joint for a 20.5 mile route from Marazion to Sennen also via Sancreed .

 

The route between Penzance and Newlyn was to be operated by an electric railway running along the quayside and promenade.  Steam power along this section was deemed to be too disruptive for the hotels and tourist attractions on route. The line would then be operated by steam between Newlyn and St. Just. The route between Marazion and Sennen would Serve Heamoor (Hea), Sancreed and St.Buryan. Both proposals were rejected with a couple of reasons given being:  there was no connection between the two routes at Sancreed; and the mileage of the two routes did not justify two separate administrations.

 

In November 1898 both proposals were resubmitted with amendments. This time at a local inquiry held in Penzance on the 30th/31st January 1899. The inquiry found in favour of the Penzance, Newlyn and West Cornwall which was duly approved. The record states: “The two schemes were competitive schemes to serve the same district, and were heard together at the local inquiry, The attitude of local authorities and landowners was generally against the Lands End, St Just and Great Western Junction scheme, and in favour of the Penzance, Newlyn and West Cornwall scheme which was accordingly approved. An Order was submitted to the Board of Trade on the 17th May 1899.” (1)

 

At first I thought, what a pity, but then the approved scheme was not built. What if the decision went the other way especially as the Penzance hoteliers seemed to be against the Penzance to Newlyn section being operated by steam. I would have thought that the electric railway section may have struggled with heavy fish traffic from Newlyn, let alone the complication of changing from steam to electric power for such a short distance. So my thoughts are that the Lands End, St. Just and Great Western junction scheme was approved with a junction at Sancreed for Newlyn. This scheme would require a junction east of Marazion for these lines running west of Penzance.

 

So looking along the mainline east of Marazion for terrain that might fit my initial plan I came across the area south of Crowlas where Rospeath lane crosses the mainline. Perfect … so I’m proposing the junction would have been east of Marazion level crossing about where the current A394 crosses the mainline.

 

Brit Nat Grid Ref: SW 51724 31967
BNG Eastings, Northings: 151724, 31967
Latitude, Longitude: 50.135694,-5.475712

 

A station with sidings similar to Marazion or Gwinear Road would have been constructed between the junction and Rospeath Lane Bridge. An Engine Shed would have been constructed near Crowlas to serve Penzance, St. Just, Sennen and Newlyn.  Then the original engine shed would have been rebuilt and extended in the 1930s by the GWR using loans provided by the Government to relieve unemployment.

 

Brit Nat Grid Ref: SW 52261 32726
BNG Eastings, Northings: 152261, 32726
Latitude, Longitude: 50.142735,-5.468695

 

This, to me anyway, would make sense that a locomotive shed and storage yards would have been created here rather than Long Rock and Marazion. Traffic generated from the St. Just and Sennen would have included China Clay, fish traffic from Newlyn, along with the seasonal broccoli and potatoes crops. With Marazion having generous sidings to cope with the latter two crops, my thoughts are these sidings would have been located at the new junction in this area rather than Marazion.

 

The area I’m looking at for my project is below…

 

296765266_OSMapMaraziontoRospeath.jpg.24a88de7d4853d05a212c81a56254316.jpg


Unfortunately, as previously stated, I’d designed the track plan before looking for a location and though the location fits my thoughts on lie of the land, it’s not a true representation of how the track might have been laid out. So I went back to the drawing board and now think I’ve come up with a new track plan.

 

265684340_RospeathLanev11justlayout.jpg.097f21587b61b556c16c6f7db5f8b6e0.jpg

 

For me this one feels right. I think the addition of the main line gives the layout a location and purpose. In achieving the above I’ve unfortunately had to increase the total scenic baseboard size to 9’ 6” long by 3’6” wide at its widest. I know this will create issues if it is ever invited to an exhibition. This was something I struggled with during planning as I couldn’t create a plan I was happy with that would be easy to transport. Why should I compromise on what I what to achieve for events that will be a long time in the future and may never happen. For the moment I’ve also dropped the idea of a Diesel Maintenance shed, although the line between the Running Shed and mainline is still there.  It may depend on Class 22 allocation for the Sennen and St. Just routes.

 

It’s not a true representation of the location but it has enabled me to position the model in an area where I can put some meaning to its existence. Also I think I live far enough away to duck the wrath of Kernow folk. The river is to represent the Red River that runs through this area. Overall the location seems to fit with my initial idea of how I want to present the model, with land sloping up away from a river and scrub land. The Red River looks to be more like a large stream rather than the size I was initially intending but will still give the visual effect I’m after.  Unfortunately I’ve had to curve the main line to achieve the layout but think visually this adds to the scene.  Access and departure from the shed will be via a complex bit of track work which I admit may be not prototypical. My excuse is I wanted to use some of the main line to give added interest in operation, otherwise the main line would be superfluous. In the space I have available the track work is the best solution I can come up with (note this is v11).

 

My initial Signal Box diagram below should help explain track formation. I still need to get this ratified by someone more knowledgeable.

 

645710358_RospeathLanesignalboxdiagram.jpg.023d354294df2935bdfea6639c3e59aa.jpg

 

The rest of the points within the engine shed area would have been operated by shed staff using levers next to the points. This will entail two lever frames on the model, one for the signal box and one for the shed area. Interlocking the signal box lever frame would be something I’d also like to do but it is probably for the future.

 

43003531_LineGradient.jpg.5659d9ccbcb5194a1eb6fc4ca58a3789.jpg

 

Using the above gradient diagram and an OS map I’ve calculated that at this location the main line gradient is 1:103 (from left to right on my track plan). On the model this will result in a rise of 28 mm on the main line from left to right. The entrance to the Engine shed will be at approximately 7mm up from the left and, apart from the coal wagon sidings, will be level throughout the shed area. This will make the Running Shed below the level of the mainline by about 21mm on the right. The coal wagon siding will be higher than the rest of the shed area but I’ll decide on how much as the build/planning progresses. My aim to have subtle and believable changes in track levels that reflect the slopes of the surrounding land.

 

Unfortunately since the reduction in size of my ‘Man Cave’ I will only, if I leave the door open, have room for a full length fiddle yard on the left. On the right the mainline runs into a wall so running trains along the mainline will not be possible…but who knows what the future may hold? The overall idea is the three sidings at the front will give me an excuse to either display wagons or coaches, or enable some shunting entertainment. The mainline will be used for locos arriving and departing under the control of the signal box. All engine movements (arrivals/departures) will be scheduled via the creation of a timetable. for trains arriving and departing from Penzance and thous that might have run on the fictitious lines to St. Just, Newlyn and Sennen.

 

A major flaw in the new plan is what happens to locomotives leaving in the up direction (exit stage right) to Hayle or Gwinear Road for shunting duties? As I’ve no room for a fiddle yard at that end I’ll either have to lift the loco off the track or move the whole layout to the left about 18” to create a small fiddle yard. Trouble in doing the latter is the layout will block the room’s entrance. Hmm… Should I curve the mainline through 90 degrees to enable a fiddle yard? Further thoughts to be mulled over I feel…  Will there be a v12?

 

The extra bit that I’m hoping to do is create some sort of operational feature that will replicate the day-to-day problems faced by shed staff, something that will put me (or any other operator) in a Shed Master and Running Foreman’s shoes. This may take the form of a card system that will dictate what happens to a loco when it arrives on shed or being prepared for its days’ work. I’m still gathering information on this so it's an idea that, I hope, will develop during the course of this project.

 

Next ‘mind-bender’ is a timetable for this project. I'll be cobbling the timetable together from a Penzance June to September 1957 Passenger Timetable and a Sept 1957 to June 1958 Freight Timetable. To this I'll add the fictitious works of the St. Just, Newlyn and Sennen lines. This will give me a locomotive allocation and something to work with for Shed management.

 

Progress will undoubtedly be slow on this project but I’ll post updates as and when I have something to report.

 

Thanks for take an interest and reading this far… hope you didn’t fall asleep too many times.

 

(1)    Information taken from the Light Railways Act 1896, 31st December 1899 report.

Edited by Yan

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  • RMweb Gold

Your point numbering on the signal box diagram is slightly adrift.  No 5 is the main line crossover with the single slip running line end forming one end of it.   The slip connection in that crossover will therefore lie normal the other way round and the other end of it will be the connection you have numbered 12.   You have numbered  your Distant Signals but drawn them as fixed distants with a horizontal line through the middle of the arm - you need to get rid of those central lines.  You also need ground discs reading from  the coal stage siding and Running shed Road 4 and the other two point ends need to be numbered as part of the lever frame.

 

Everything else is pook as drawn but signals 14,15, & 16 should be niuumbered in the opposite order with 16 being the Distant Signal and 14 being the Starting Signal

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  • RMweb Gold

How steep is the coaling ramp, taking the transitions from level to grade and back to level again into account? Is it workable and will it look right?

When the scene is fully developed can you reach the back without damaging things at the front? 3ft 6in is a long reach.

How are coal wagons moved between coaling stage and storage sidings without trapping the loco? There is no run round loop.

 

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I like the idea of a plan with purpose. My main issue with planning my own loco shed layout is that I can't seem to come up with a rewarding plan, or one that doesn't seem totally boring. There are some unusual prototypes in terms of track layout etc (Camden for example), but I don't want to copy them wholesale.

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9 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Your point numbering on the signal box diagram is slightly adrift.  No 5 is the main line crossover with the single slip running line end forming one end of it.   The slip connection in that crossover will therefore lie normal the other way round and the other end of it will be the connection you have numbered 12.   You have numbered  your Distant Signals but drawn them as fixed distants with a horizontal line through the middle of the arm - you need to get rid of those central lines.  You also need ground discs reading from  the coal stage siding and Running shed Road 4 and the other two point ends need to be numbered as part of the lever frame.

 

Everything else is pook as drawn but signals 14,15, & 16 should be niuumbered in the opposite order with 16 being the Distant Signal and 14 being the Starting Signal

Thanks @Stationmasterfor the corrections on my signal box diagram. I can see what your saying so will correct it. There is a but though which if I follow through with will alter it again. One for a future blog me thinks.

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9 hours ago, Harlequin said:

How steep is the coaling ramp, taking the transitions from level to grade and back to level again into account? Is it workable and will it look right?

When the scene is fully developed can you reach the back without damaging things at the front? 3ft 6in is a long reach.

How are coal wagons moved between coaling stage and storage sidings without trapping the loco? There is no run round loop.

 

The coaling ram works out at about 1:24. The proposal is to start the incline when the line leaves the point on the coaling stage road. The slope will then continue upwards so making the coal wagons siding at the higher levels.

 

Your right about the 3ft 6in being a long reach and it is something that I have thought about for awhile. I'm on the tall side so think this should not cause too much of a problem. I have removed the 3 way point in the original design as a precaution.

 

As for he moving of the coal wagons, I'm thinking that the turntable might be used as a run around or two shed pilots but open to suggestions...

 

Thanks for the comments @Harlequin

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7 hours ago, SD85 said:

I like the idea of a plan with purpose. My main issue with planning my own loco shed layout is that I can't seem to come up with a rewarding plan, or one that doesn't seem totally boring. There are some unusual prototypes in terms of track layout etc (Camden for example), but I don't want to copy them wholesale.

I sometime get too involved in creating a plan with a purpose and loose why I started or it grows arms and legs and become impractical.

 

Thanks @SD85

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I share @Harlequin's view on the coal storage - would the GWR have employed two pilots to handle getting the coal to the coaling stage - very inefficient unless the shed was big enough to warrant having more than one locomotive assigned to pilot duties as well as simply moving coal.  Looking through my Historical Survey of GWR sheds they didn't do it*, the sheds were designed to be efficient - perhaps keep the single track that goes behind the stage to reach the current three tracks would be enough to store your coal wagons, that would be similar to Westbury.  Closest to your main shed layout is Exeter, is that by plan or chance?  It did use a kickback but the sidings were in the same direction as the stage so one locomotive could be used to feed in wagons from the coal stack. 

 

But then there is always the exception isn't there!  Penzance, it's coal stacks were in the opposite direction and did require either a second loco or the use of the turntable to run around the wagons.

 

So carry on please, as you were, nothing to see here.  :lol:

 

*read on as I am about to contradict myself!

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Thanks for you input @woodenhead. I've also been a little concerned about coal wagon movements within the shed. As you say Penzance was similar and i've used Leamington Spa trackplan as my main reference. It must have been worked somehow. Perphaps someone could shed some light on how?

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