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NorthHighlander

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  1. The two steam coal cranes at 75A were almost certainly Grafton 5ton jobbies. I am currently drawing them up on CAD to produce a pair for my Brighton MPD layout.
    An excellent day. I was invited late to attend as a demonstrator and I didn’t get much chance to look around which is a very positive thing. I took along one board from Tregaron Upper plus the fiddle yard. The TU board is 41 years old and at the end of the day I ran the first loco on it EVER! Thanks to Jim’s Summers, Mackenzie and Pairman and Richard Chown for helping me. Got home at midnight 50 and crashed out on Sunday!
  2. Help folks....! I have spent a couple of days installing stretcher bars (rectangular flexible bar type) on a double slip on the Penhafod Upper layout. By chance, I came across Mike Bryant's document at: https://www.scalefour.org/members/stores/info-sources/DN143OU.pdf which says that the GWR only employed loose heel switches on double slips ('compounds') and that all loose heel switches have round stretcher bars installed in the web of the rail. I have two choices: 1. find a photograph of a GWR double slip that has B or C switches (and would have been in place in the late 1950s) that proves the exception 2. remove the rectangular stretcher bars and the Ambis brackets and replace with round bars (and careful and tedious drilling of the rail webs) :< What should I do? Tony
  3. Hello Mike.... Many thanks for this additional info... in fact, this assists the creation of the layout as an exhibition model. In reality, the fiddle yard has a 'bridge' between the traverser and the tunnel mouth which can be wired to emulate a treadle for a train standing at the outer home. As mentioned before, signal 1 actually exists and is the indication for a train in the fiddle yard to proceed up the branch (remembering that the signalmen and drivers are separate people on this layout!). The bridge is actually a cassette that enables a loco to be replaced from the other end of the train so the presence of the cassette can short the two aluminium angles to indicate in the signalbox. It will also be possible for visitors to see the train leaving the tunnel and approaching the inner homes so bringing the train almost to a halt before proceeding to the respective road. Justifies slow running, but the severe curve at the top of the gradient will require a maximum speed limit (I had planned to install a '10' board in both directions). I'm struggling a bit to understand why the route would have to be set for an unoccupied platform in order to bring a train up for the Goods Loops, why not the unoccupied respective Goods Loop? Also does this mean the signalman can't accept a train if both platforms are occupied? I like the idea of Special Instructions, after all, aren't we trying to provide as close fidelity to the prototype as we can?? Excellent stuff, many thanks again.. TH
  4. Maybe it's me, but I think there is a disconnect between the very first post in this thread and the later images of the round stretcher bar passing through the web of the blade and stock rails, which has not, in my opinion, been clarified. The drawing from the GWSG book shows, not a flexible bar stretcher passing under the rails, but the round rod passing through them. The actual drive rod to the lever is attached to the tip of the switch blade and, I believe, attached to a detection bar on the ground signal?
  5. I do! And it can be a right pain if you've already installed the switch as I had!
  6. .....sorry, please ignore last request, I have found the thread on RMWeb! http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/122322-gwr-type-b-single-tongue-catch-point/
  7. True to his word, Grovenor has checked my workings on the pulling sequence and locking table (and many errors found!) so here is the amended document with Keith's amendments, for which I am very grateful... (fun will start when the dog table is created!). Penhafod Pulling Sequence and locking table.pdf (at version 3.1.2) I finished off the trap point from the engine spur today, but I remember that because I was building the Brighton layout (now on ice because of a difficulty finding a suitable turntable and point motors) I had lent my copy of GWR Switch and Crossing Practices to a pal... can anyone point me at an image of the rodding arrangement for a single bladed trap, please? Regards Tony
  8. I've just read my entry earlier today and one sentence stands out... "Thanks to the StationMaster, I would have got these completely wrong in my first version." I didn't of course mean that... what I meant to say was 'I got the colours completely wrong in my first version and thanks to the StationMaster for correcting me'. Sorry, StationMaster!!
  9. Grovenor reminds me that I didn't take up his kind offer to review the locking now that the east end of the double slip is set normal to the engine spur. I have asked Keith if he would kindly review my corrections so I'll be interested to see if I got it right... here is the revised version (3.1.1): Penhafod Pulling Sequence and locking table.pdf
  10. ...sorry, uploaded the wrong version of the Pulling Sequence and Locking Table doc, here is the correct version, with acknowledgements to Keith for his help in creating the locking table. Penhafod Pulling Sequence and locking table.pdf
  11. For completeness and to summarise the comments made in previous replies, here are the 'final' (bound to be some errors subsequently discovered!) signalbox diagram and pulling sequence and locking table documents. (document deleted, see below) If you are interested in how I drew the signalbox diagram, I used paint.net. I referred to an image of Worcester Goods found on the web from a Google search on GWR Signal Box Diagrams. This gives you a variety of drawing eras. I wanted an old drawing. Create a new drawing on paint. net, I used the default page size. Using the LINE tool, draw the track layout using a black line 2px wide (the default on my system). You can adjust the curve of each line by moving the points along the line. You COULD use the spline tool, but I find this to be too inflexible for my purposes. You can zoom the image in and out to fit the screen. When you have a rough layout to your satisfaction, click Add Layer. Name this layer something like 'Track layout'. At the top right hand corner of the screen there is an icon for Layers, select it to bring up the Layers window. Both the layers are shown and should be ticked. BUT, and this is important, click on the Track layout layer (or whatever you've called it) to make this the working layer, otherwise anything you do from now onwards will overwrite the rough layout you made. Work out which of the tracks are siding, running lines and goods only lines. Thanks to the StationMaster, I would have got these completely wrong in my first version. Start with the running lines, so using the colour picker tool, select a grey line that approximates to the grey on the (Worcester Goods) image. Now overdraw the visible track line for what would be the running line. I can't tell you how long to draw the line, that depends on your track layout, but typically a straight line attached to a curved line would be two lines, dragging the points on the second line to the required curve. It's easier to do that to explain, but for a curve you draw a straight line to the extents of the curve and then drag the inner points to the required curve. If you get it wrong you can UNDO the line (Edit-Undo). NOW, important, once you have got the line in the right position DON'T click Enter. With the points on the line highlighted, go to the menu bar and change the line width. I selected 20px. You now have the track shown as a respectably thick line (which would have been water coloured with a paint brush at Reading). When you've finished the running lines, click Enter and now change the colour to a light blue for the sidings (if you do this with the previous line still selected, that will change to blue - much swearing ensues). Continue until you're ready to do the goods lines, with the colour now a sort of watery orange. I haven't found a way of getting the various colour densities that resulted from the Reading designer over painting each line, only because life is too short! When you have finished the track layout toyour satisfaction, you can add the track boundaries, selecting not the black colour but, say, 60% black colour. CHANGE THE LINE WIDTH to 2px.... Now draw the edges of each track to the outside of the thick coloured lines. Points and crossings would continue the thin lines through the thick coloured lines. Now add a layer. Call is something line 'Signals' and again select the layer as the working layer. SInce it is likely that you will draw several signals, I draw them once and then select the drawing, copy and paste for as many similar signals as needed. If you have a bracket signal, say, just select the top part of the post and arm and copy that, adding the bracket to it accordingly. It is easier to switch off the other layers when you do the copy and paste and switch on the Track layout layer to select and move the signal to the required place. You can select the signal and there is a small curved line with two arrows which, if you move the mouse over it, enable you to rotate the selection as required. DON'T put the signal and point level numbers on this layer. Add another layer, call it e.g. 'Lever numbers' and, selecting it as the working layer with all other layers (except the very first default layer) visible, add the numbers for the signals. The default Windows fonts aren't suitable, and I found and downloaded a close enough font called 'Bryant'. I use 26pt for the signal numbers in red. I wanted an old drawing where the point numbers are shown over the heel of the point in a yellow, grey edged circle. I created a new layer for the point number circles and another layer for the point numbers themselves. The reason for having point and signal numbers on their own layers is for the inevitable changes you'll be making to the diagram as you get the expertise from the StationMaster and Grovenor and others... I place the station platform and other fixed items such as the signal box on the Track layout layer because they are unlikely to change. Remember to SAVE the document frequently and do backups of each version (either locally or on something like Dropbox which has its own version control). You'll save the document as a .pdn file for further editing, but if you SAVE AS and select .png or .jpg (I prefer the former), the layers will all be flattened to form a single document. You still have the .pdn file but DON'T flatten the layers in that file. That's it, really... any questions, just ask.. Tony Hagon
  12. Thanks for the further update, SM..... one point to clarify: the layout is based on the late 1950s, before the great cull and after the introduction of DMUs to the Valleys. The confusion about '1978' is because that's when the layout was started! Re the questions about the colliery: no, there are no sighting difficulties or gradients, there is a straight and clear run from the sidings to Goods Loop South. However, there is a potential for shunting movements independent of the sidings. The NCB sidings are operated by NCB locos which have running powers within station limits. However, I agree that signal 7 is probably superfluous and can be replaced by a stop board. I assume that the authority to proceed in that case is given by the signalman? It is possible for a conflicting propelling movement from Goods Loop South to the NCB sidings at the same time that an NCB brings a train out of the colliery, but I would expect that, because the sidings are owned by the NCB, any such propelling movement would have to be authorised, as you said, by the NCB yard shunter. I shall investigate track circuit locking and whether, for modelling purposes, it would be more attractive to attempt locking bars on the double slips. Because all the trackwork is dumb and the train axles and wheelsets can be solid, we could have working track circuits. I'll update the track diagram and locking table before posting here for reference.... thanks again TH
  13. ..sorry, I'm having problems adding the files. I'll try again later..
  14. I think that, thanks to The Stationmaster and Grovenor (Keith), we have now bottomed out all the practical implementations for a P4 model, with all its errors and imperfections. I think the final questions to be resolved were the use of an Annett's key box to release the engine release ground frames at the buffer stop ends of the platforms and the need for a catch point in advance of the advanced starter. The removal of the trap point on platform one and the addition of a ground signal for the NCB sidings results in two spare levers. If we decide that there ought to be a catch point for completeness (even though it won't actually feature on the layout, so it is there to pull to release the advanced starter) then I would use one of them rather than reorganising the lever frame yet again! However, by diverting the double slip at the platform ends to the engine spur, the goods loop south set to normal to the NCB sidings and the goods loop north protected by trap points, the only risk of a runaway down the 1 in 50 bank is for a loose shunting movement towards the advanced starter. I conclude that this would be handled by local arrangements, and in this case, I daresay it would be acceptable to handsignal any shunting movement to the advanced starter, with the proviso that the locomotive must be at the tunnel end of the train being shunted. In any case, there is a sand trap at the foot of the bank (well off the layout). For completeness and reference for other modellers, here is the signalbox diagram going forward and the pulling sequence and locking table. We've said it before but it bears repeating constantly, without the help of the Stationmaster, Grovenor and others here, this would not be the accurately signalled model that it will become. My sincere and grateful thanks to you all. You can come and have a shift on the lever frame! TH
  15. Thanks for this again The SM...! Grosvenor has suggested reassigning the southern half of the double slip to route to the engine spur as an alternative to the catch points. I think that your idea of local arrangements that the shunting movement has to have the loco at the gradient end of the approach to the advanced starter is the most practical. After all, the maximum length of train is 12 x 16T minerals (plus brake van) so I wouldn't have thought that brake force would be much of an issue, even with the humble Pannier! In practice, the only shunt movement I can envisage would be one or two wagons from Goods Loop North, the timetable would provide that any other shunt movement required from Goods Loop South would be into the NCB sidings.... aren't local arrangements wonderful!? In both goods loops the gradient is protected, north by a trap point, south by lying normally to the NCB sidings.
  16. I would definitely echo what IMT has said.... it's not too difficult to read text, even written text, with OCR software. It's very advanced these days. And once digitised, keep one copy off site on a flash card, one copy in 'the cloud' on a site like Dropbox (which is useful for version control) and two copies on your own machine. And index as many words as pertinent, 100k words are about 60 pages of A4 so not easy to cross reference if (like me yesterday) you're trying to find a reference to 'slotted joints', for example. A pdf document is good for that, by the way.
  17. ...sorry, the image at the foot of the posting should have been embedded against my item 1...
  18. I'm really grateful to Keith and the Stationmaster for the time they are taking to help me on this project. Their experience is so valuable. I don't know whether I have ever met the Stationmaster at exhibitions, but I've known Keith from many years from our Protofour Society days and we meet occasionally at Scaleforum, which is where, in 2018, not this year, we hope to be showing Penhafod, so I hope that we can demonstrate the fruits of both of your labours to advantage. Given that there are many errors on the actual trackwork, remember this was first laid in 1978 when I had far less understanding of track technology, let alone signalling technology, I will try to get what goes on from now onwards right! Some topics to answer arising from both your inputs over the weekend: 1. To clarify, Penhafod is at the TOP of the hill, on a 1:50 gradient up from Trehafod North Jct.. I should update the image, because that is now checked all the way up to no 10 points north just under the bridge. 2. I can just as easily remove the newly installed trap points nos 19 and FPL 20 and this will throw up two levers for the catch point protecting the gradient. 3. I agree with Keith that installing the catch point in advance of the Advanced Starter (lever 28) would protect the gradient from shunting runaways. However, the top of the gradient is on a tight and checked curve before levelling out under the Cefncoed Road bridge. Could the catch point therefore be a single blade? Here's the opposite view into the tunnel, with signal 28 (advanced starter) positioned for location (notice Trehafod North Jct's fixed distant below it). The tunnel of course will, eventually, show the stygian gloom of a TVR orifice...! I haven't had a chance to look at Keith's detailed document on scalefour.org but I'll look at it later today. Once again, many thanks for your help Best regards Tony Hagon
  19. Many thanks, The SM....! I've made a first stab at the rodding run and to simplify the run, I have swapped over 17/18 with 19/20 and reversed the latter (i.e. 20 now becomes the crossover and 19 the point lock). I'll update the diagrams shortly. This change prevents any rods crossing over, but there is a doh! moment because you've recommended losing traps (what was) 19 ....... and I've just finished installing them..... I suppose I can always clip and padlock them! I think the 'back story' on 28 (the advanced starter) is that because it is tight up against the tunnel mouth the catch points are the other end of the tunnel.... I don't have a convenient lever to be able to operate them unless I reorganise everything to accommodate spare lever 6 as the unconnected lever to the catch points. OTOH it will give me an excuse to use the Catch Points sign I have created for the O gauge layout... Let me understand the pull sequence then..... the outer home (1) is only pulled on Trehafod acking 'Is Line Clear?' if running a passenger train into plats 1/2 with either 3 or 4 able to be cleared otherwise only pull the outer home after Train in Section has been given? (1, although at the other end of the tunnel, is actually a real signal at the fiddle yard to let the driver know he can leave for the scenic section of the layout - on Penhafod, the signalman, fiddle yard operator and train driver(s) are separate people so signals HAVE to be obeyed! Anyway, many thanks for your help.. Best regards Tony Hagon
  20. Many thanks to everyone who has offered help with my Penhafod signalling layout, particularly Keith and The Statonmaster for their detailed replies. In the hope that I am not wearing out my welcome, I have got to a dead stop with the layout without eliciting more help from the experts, if you please. I can't add the stretcher bars to the turnouts until I have finalised the rodding runs diagram (of which more anon) and I can't finish that without finalising the signalling diagram. So, following the kind advice that you have offered, I have redrawn the layout with revised lever allocations as follows: Penhafod Pulling Sequence and locking table.pdf The pdf document has the pulling sequence table and locking table as best as I can do it, and they are probably full of errors, for which your corrections will be much appreciated! Best regards Tony Hagon
  21. Sorry to be so long replying to recent replies since the beginning of the month. I've been updating the diagram and locking table to conform to the recommendation, for which much thanks. Most time has been taken in adding a double bladed trap point to platform 1 exit, and the single bladed trap to the engine road. I've also been going along the tracks in turn starting at the buffer stops and adding fishplates and tie bars where required, I have defied convention by adding the second tie bar 5' from the actuating tie bar rather than the conventional 2'6" because I have found in P4 that this give a more reliable actuation of the switch. I'll finish off the diagram and locking table shortly and post them here again for further comment, if you'd be so kind. Best regards Tony Hagon
  22. Thanks for that Jim. A couple of questions: on the engine road (it's actually just a spur rather than a shed), which way would the trap face, protecting a loco running out or a runaway running into the spur? Re the locking table, easily updated... however, I based the diagram on a number of GWR diagrams that don't show the normal position (e.g. Worcester Goods) although the later ones, which I didn't like so much, do. I agree it is more logical and clearer to show the points in their normal position. Tony
  23. Ah, some good comments, Chris, thanks. I drew it on paint.net. Firstly, a good point about the engine release crossovers having a shunt disc. If I can save a couple of signals that will be all to the good! The lever frame is on one board and the crossovers are on another, so any less connections will be welcomed. Also, and this is not an excuse for getting it wrong, I have built a 28 lever frame and it would be a headache to have to increase the number of levers.... The real oh dammit moment came yesterday when I realised that it would have been more than likely to install catch points in front of the advanced starter because of the 1:50 gradient in the section in advance. I considered though that points 7 would trap anything on Goods Loop North and diverting the slips at 10 and 13 to be normally set to the engine road would trap runaways from the platforms and Goods Loop South. I hadn't considered a runaway FROM the engine spur, and a scotch would seem to be ideal. Certainly there would be no room for a trap. Not having worked on the WR (I spent my time on the SR, leaving just under 40 years ago, so the memory fades!), I recalled that one disc would cover several routes, but maybe I'm wrong on this, even on the Southern. I'm pleased to be guided by WR experts... Re 23, my understanding is that in the On position, this permits shunting from Goods Loop South to the NCB sidings and colliery, and in the Off position clears for the main line to the advanced starter and the engine spur. However, on the basis that the WR would use a separate shunt signal for each route, then a second disc for the engine spur would make sense. Thanks for the input.. TH
  24. Reopening this topic after nearly five years, I would be grateful for expert eyes to be cast over my layout signalling plans..... Penhafod Upper is a P4 layout based on a Taff Vale Railway branch terminus in the late 1950s. The branch was built to serve a small colliery, unusually located at the top of the hill rather than in the valley. This is my first stab at the locking table, so any comments gratefully received... Just in case you are wondering if this is a pipe dream layout... here is the progress so far (mind you it was in this state when first assembled in 1978!) The layout will be fully signalled and interlocked. 'Trehafod North Junction' at the bottom of the 1:50 gradient, is actually a fiddle yard: (apologies for the orientation, I can't seem to rotate it..) Tony Hagon
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