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  1. A brief possession on the spare room has allowed me to finish off the base landscaping on one side of the layout. The platform has been covered in some redish scatter, to represent the interminable red shale/gravel which seemed to adorn Scottish parks, paths, and platform surfaces in the 1980s, and which I don't miss digging out of my knees these days. The spare room has now been returned to operational duties for the festive period, so back out to the garage for the layout!
  2. I've started sculptamolding the scene in the post above, but the garage is bl**dy freezing now and it's taking forever to dry! In the meantime, I've moved the other board into the spare room to work a bit on the 'yard' (I daren't risk anything as messy as sculptamolding in there!). At Rannoch, there is/was a loading dock opposite the station, with a couple of huts on it (at least one is extant and well photographed. The other I think is now extinct). Aim is for a look somewhat like this: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent-lhr3-1.cdninstagram.com%2Fv%2Ft51.2885-15%2Ffr%2Fe15%2Fs1080x1080%2F66818585_218471325784807_6728152426461596254_n.jpg%3F_nc_ht%3Dscontent-lhr3-1.cdninstagram.com%26oh%3D19c80e47a384a5de6b06c5ba0dfbeb81%26oe%3D5E0319D7%26ig_cache_key%3DMjEwNTI4NDg3MjY3MjEwOTE2NA%3D%3D.2&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fpicdeer.org%2Fplace%2F233590789&docid=H9vrlO-rz-DVBM&tbnid=Adn1mhzXn2l2_M%3A&vet=12ahUKEwjRg571xYPmAhWaAGMBHdazBvc4ZBAzKBcwF3oECAEQGQ..i&w=1080&h=1080&itg=1&bih=754&biw=1536&q=Rannoch station&ved=2ahUKEwjRg571xYPmAhWaAGMBHdazBvc4ZBAzKBcwF3oECAEQGQ&iact=mrc&uact=8 The base of the loading dock is just built from grey-board/mount-board, with insets for the huts. Mock-ups in place to check the look. I feel this dock somewhat overpowers the small station, but the kids are quite insistent on it going all the way to the end! Some nice info on the loading dock here. You can see my from-memory mock-up did quite get the aspect ratio of the hut right. Next step is to cover the front of the dock in sleepers like the prototype, and then get it set in and the yard area ballasted. However as I am writing this whilst once again trundling up with WCML for work, that will take a while...
  3. I understand those sentiments, but I wouldn't let them hold you back. I'm in a similar situation, and only manage to volunteer 1--2 times a month (rarely for a full day, and not at all in the past six weeks!). I work in scientific engineering - but don't have any practical experience with heavy mechanical engineering. I haven't found either of these things matter! I'm finding the operations side hard to progress with this level of commitment, but the engineering/restoration part seems much more feasible. I suspect that if you volunteer regularly - even if not that frequently - you can fit into most projects. My experience with a heritage site is that it does come with some 'heritage attitudes' - but most people I've found are very helpful and willing to teach - at least once you get past the occasional initial clique aspect. I'd never used a oxy-acetelene cutter, or a needle gun, or even an angle grinder before last year. I wouldn't claim to be knowledgeable in any of these -- but I've been taught a bit, and can work with increasing independence on different bits of the overhaul I help with. Though I always try to remember a quote from one of my colleagues: "the most important skill in a volunteer is knowing when to stop and ask for advice" I think as long as you're sensible, willing to listen/learn, and don't mind being a bit 'inefficient' - you'll make a positive contribution.
  4. A quick bump as the Didcot Show is on Saturday. Hope to see some of you there!
  5. 90% of the main terraforming is now complete. The sub-base for the last stretch of the A864 (single track with passing places) is bedded in. Tunnel mouth is painted (but not yet weathered). Almost time to get some more sculptamold out!
  6. I finally got round to buying a "modern" Gaugemaster controller. I had been planning to make something equivalent built into the control panel - but I think spending money rather than time was the right decision here. A rebuild of the simple control panel was needed, and that was a good opportunity to get the boy child soldering. Started with preping and tinning some wires... (We did finish the drink/food before soldering BTW!). and here's the new panel part mounted into the side of the layout. It all worked first time too! After a little bit of testing, it will be mounted properly onto its frame, which tilts it back to protect the toggle switches a bit. Now this is working and wired up, I can progress a bit more with fixing the scenic base down...
  7. Just for you, a morning photo update from the garage! Currently making (very) slow progress on the tunnel mouths, and hence landscape around. A simple 'modelscene' one on one side, and a scratch built version of the borrodale tunnel portal on the West Highland. Both still need painting, and some kind of internal walls to extend the illusion slightly. Base landscaping is almost done, but I'm not ready to fix it down and cover it before I've finished installing all the electronics in the control panel. That's my next job when I find time/motivation! But next week, I have to come to your part of the world for work
  8. Thanks very much to Nick for spotting that we'd missed the ever wonderful Much Murkle off the list! The persons responsible have been dealt with immediately...
  9. Abingdon and District's annual Didcot show is back at Didcot Civic Hall (OX11 7JN) on Saturday 19th October, 2019. 18 layouts and 7 traders this (and probably a couple of demonstrations; TBC). Free on-site parking, excellent catering, and a generally relaxed atmosphere. Entry is £6.00 for adults, with accompanying children free. Doors open 10:00-16:30 Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/events/429288191272630/ Webpage: http://admrc.org.uk/exhibitions/didcot-exhibition-2019 Layouts this year: Much Murkle OO Brambledene Junc OO Didcot Power Station N El Cremallera N Kidmore Coalhouse OO Shunting Puzzle N Rheinbrohl N Oakgrove Central OO Bedford Falls On30 Roadwater OO Lego Layout Lego Lemmington Park HO Midholm 2mmFS Mowhawk Valley N Sankei Valley Z Sam's Creek 7mm Valencia Harbour OO Sodor Island OO Winterwell-on the-Fosse 3mm Flyer:
  10. You could also look at Chester-le-street for inspiration, which has many of the features you're looking for (though not island platform, or turntable). It would look quite like David's plan above, though with goods facilities instead of the loco dept. https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=16&lat=54.8573&lon=-1.5794&layers=168&b=1 And of course there is Durham for an LNER through station with a viaduct at the end - but probably bigger than you want!
  11. It's less dramatic than that usually... A lowloader, a winch, and some inset track usually... Real-life equivalent of a loco cassette I guess! :-) Example below. Mainline connections are relatively rare, especially for 'smaller' heritage lines. The Princes Risborough example is slightly odd in fact, as the bay is part of the national network, which CPRR are allowed to run into (which I believe gives the odd situation that CPRR has to lock all the toilet doors before they come into Princes Risborough, as they are running over network rail metals and their Mk1 coaches are 'direct to track' rather than having retention tanks...). But if that's what you want then go for it!! Plenty of examples exist. I agree with the others that it makes the operation a bit more interesting. You can also always have the odd 'special' parking on the branch overnight... The Cholsey->Wallingford line - when connected - was apparently used as stabling for the royal train occasionally. I just don't like seeing the corners :-) Another one, going further away from "West of Reading", is Eridge at the end of the Spa Valley line. Here the heritage line runs parallel to the (now singled) mainline, and both stop on opposite sides of Eridge station (I'm pretty sure there is no connection between the running lines). https://www.google.co.uk/maps/search/Eridge/@51.0893773,0.1999344,145m/data=!3m1!1e3 The interesting bit here is that there is no run-around. So a second engine is stabled in the bay platform or headshunt, and once the first engine arrives with train, it backs on, couples up, and takes the train back to Tunbridge whlist the first engine retires to the headshunt... Could be an interesting option if you want a bit more 'involvement' in the operation on the heritage side? Tracks below are based on Eridge, but you could simplify down to a single headshunt if you wanted. Maybe the headshunt could have some basic loco servicing facilities (though on a heritage line, these would be at the main site only probably). Engine #2 waits in bay (or headshunt) Engine #1 arrives with train Engine #2 runs out. Engine #1 uncouples Engine #2 backs down and couples up Engine #2 releases train. Engine #1 waits for returning train...
  12. No problem. .any files attached (if I can? -- apparently not, will PM...). Also here is a version with a link to the down main (trailing point). This just doesn't look right to me... It would be much better to have a trailing point off the up line, with a single slip on the down to make it a trailing crossover. I just couldn't get it to fit with the curves though (unless you're willing to get into building your own trackwork!?!) Also, in my - relatively limited - experience of volunteering at a heritage railway centre with ONLY a rail connection, I'm pretty sure that a road connection in the modern world is MUCH more valuable!! Unless it's a engine with a current mainline ticket, moving things by road is I understand cheaper and easier... If anyone visits Didcot Railway Centre, you might be interested to know that the new loco access steps in the engine shed were designed not only to fit the engine footplate, but also to fit (by 1") within the W6a loading gauge when on the back of a wagon!!
  13. Well you've pretty much described either Didcot or Cholsey :-) Attached is a layout for a simplified Cholsey-type station with only the slow lines included. The heritage railway uses the former bay platform, but is completely disconnected from the main running lines. Cholsey station itself has the fast lines 'below' the station (not serving it), and you could probably fit those in if you wanted. As you want it imaginary, I've brought in elements of the branch to Faringdon and the station at Uffington Junction. This was always just two roads. It has the advantage of a nice overbridge to cover exit stage left... In former times, the small goods yard was off-scene beyond the bridge. You could use a footbridge as the other break, and as other say suggest that the platforms continue off scene. I've made a very simple modern rationalised plan with no pointwork on the main running lines. If you wanted an earlier era, you could I think connect up the branch, add a cross-over near the bridge, and have the occasional cameo of goods trains stopping on scene in the station, and then setting back into the yard off scene. Grids here at 6", so all the boards are 2ft, except the bottom which is 2'6", and the right (over your hatch) which is 1ft (could be narrower). It would clearly benefit from some more flowing design, and more considered baseboard shapes :-) There seems to be space for 3 road fiddle yards on both the up and down mains (not detailed here), and a 'swap' road in the middle to change from one loop to the other if needed. The small heritage railway has just two roads, but that's enough to cope with even the most extensive gala events I can give you the anyrail file as a basis if you want.
  14. Not really. I've finished off the basic landscaping behind the station, painted the rocks, and made the base of the tunnel portal on the far side -- but I had to pack the layout away to make space to paint some doors, and then work has been so hectic it's not come out again. Things should calm down after July!
  15. I've had Charlestown on my 'long list' for a while too - doubt I'll ever do anything about it though I don't think I've found any pictures beyond the ones already mentioned here. There was an interesting looking iron foundary just 'up' from Charlestown, presumably accessed by a reversal in the station/yard. I always thought that would make a nice cameo layout, but I can find little/no information about it. I think most of the building are long gone, though I remember some unidentified ruins in the woods beside the burn. I grew up just north of here, and regularly fished the lower reaches of the lyne burn in the early 90s - can't say we paid much notice to the 'MOD property' notices :-\ There was a proper set of gates just the other side of the burn though, so we didn't cross that! This is all long after Charlestown as you're interested in was gone of course...
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