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Everything posted by LNER4479

  1. The eagle has landed! All of Oz will no doubt be glad of that (ie the rain cloud) no doubt...
  2. The Altora hotel is THE place to stay in Wernigerode, right across from the Harz station and all railway themed - you even get your beer delivered by train in their restaurant! https://www.booking.com/hotel/de/altora.en-gb.html?aid=330631;label=msn-Ctjl8Ms3sUb3hjMKWWVcfA-473474055%3Atikwd-3564588656%3Aloc-188%3Aneo%3Amte%3Adec%3Aqshotel altora wernigerode;sid=b9bd36b4981c00185db3cc87f17632ef;dest_id=-1886265;dest_type=city;dist=0;group_adults=2;group_children=0;hapos=1;hpos=1;no_rooms=1;room1=A%2CA;sb_price_type=total;sr_order=popularity;srepoch=1579269421;srpvid=e3966216465d006c;type=total;ucfs=1&#hotelTmpl Wernigerode is a great place for all the family, lots to do, beautiful pedestrian town centre to wander round with fantastic old buildings, cafes and shops - although sounds like you're only going to whistle-stop it in this occasion. You will return for a longer trip, I'm sure!
  3. SNAP! (photo by Tony Wright) Personal one for me this one, Gordon as I went to university in Nottingham. It was bought for me - upon request - as my 21st birthday pressie as a Model Loco kit which I subsequently made up and painted. She's been a runner for over 30 years now so a great thrill to at last see her in action on Shap. I wouldn't over-worry about locos with sad associations. Besides, you'd have a hard time remembering yours - '51 was unique as the only one with full footplating to receive BR maroon!
  4. Make it your desktop background picture and drool constantly. I do. I'll see your Coventry and raise you a Leeds... Picture by Andy York
  5. Afternoon Gilbert, You haven't got any of those 'step down' tension locks in the mix have you by any chance? Reason I ask is that I've recently put into service about a dozen or more Bachmann MkIs on Shap, kindly placed on loan by Iain Henderson ('92220' of this parish). I initially had coupling problems with them, only to discover what they were fitted with a surprising variety of actual couplings (to be fair to Iain, he'd bought many of them second hand and hadn't had the opportunity to do anything with them). There appear to be three types: 'straight on', 'slight step down' and 'marked step down'. They can also be of different lengths - I think the shorter ones are meant for wagons. If you have the odd vehicle with different types, then that won't be helping the coupling issues. Apologies if this has already been mentioned and discounted but I couldn't find reference to it above.
  6. Meanwhile, on the layout itself... Now you see it ... ... now you don't! What's going on, I hear you ask (do I?) Well, for anyone attending Spalding show, although things generally ran OK round the front, we had a bit of a mare in the fiddle yard as a mystery fault kept appearing ... and then disappearing throughout the weekend. It is in fact quite difficult to fault find in the middle of an exhibition with all lines full of stock! So, although not all of this is strictly necessary, it's caused a little bit of reflection on the current state of the fiddle yard, what works well, what doesn't, etc and I've decided (with full blessing of Team Grantham) that it should 'take the cure' - principally the turntable in the middle of the fiddle yard is never used (apart from gathering brake vans together in one place). It's removal simplifies the pointwork, eliminates tortuous routes in and out and allows for longer roads. What's not to like? Here, the new, simplified alignment is being laid out. Amongst things removed are BOTH three-way points. And here we are, the new, svelte central section. The North fiddle roads are now grouped into two, roads 1 to 3 and roads 4 to 7. Road 8 is a dead end (nothing ever runs through that one and 9 and 10 were only ever link lines, used for storing odd vehicles that get added and moved from formations. Hopefully, all this should result in easier working and reduced risk of perplexing, intermittent faults. And is if that wasn't enough, we now have the last two mainline signals working. Hurrah! First up, is the fifth and final arm of the big bracket signal at South Box, the one that signals trains off the down main into the up and down goods line. SIgnal can now have its ladders added plus final blinging to complete. As has become customary, the wiring / electronics courtesy of Andrew and here is the man himself, looking a little smug - or is that relieved - at having got the last of them all working. Looking a little closer, it's this one - the up main distant which works in conjunction with the up main home arm at South Box. Bizarrely, this signal was the first of all of them that I made (in - good grief - 2009) but the distant is the last arm to get working. Just the way it crumbles, I guess. See it working at Southampton (bring your own binoculars)
  7. LNER4479

    Camden Shed

    I'm wondering whether you actually need the scissors at all, as opposed to just two separate crossovers? Looks like you could start the pointwork further back towards the workbench so there's plenty of room to experiment. Looking forward to seeing it soon.
  8. More work done on the Quint brakes under-gubbins. With the turnbuckle trussing all in place, time to move on to the braking equipment. These are the etches for the V hangers, together some rather fiddly fold ups for the levers. With the addition of some 0.7mm brass rod, these are now made up as assembled units, but with the levers loose on the rods for now. Now with the brake cylinders, which are mounted on their own hangers. With the addition of the push rod, the longer brake levers are connected and soldered in final position. All done! All the rigging runs are on there as per the instructions; however, I simplified it in several areas; life for me was just a BIT too short to bother with all the individual shackles and knuckles provided - I generally just bent loops at the end of the nickel silver rods to achieve the various connections required. Gas tanks also added to complete the visible underfloor equipment. A quick trip to the paint shop and should all be assembled for running at Southampton. The other three vehicles in the set will have to wait their turn!
  9. ... and all the boxes are labelled 'bits n bobs' for ease of reference, no doubt The castors idea is a wheelie good one so I'll file that one away for future reference
  10. Just as a reminder of where we are... We're in the bottom left hand corner of the grand masterplan. This appears to depict the area around Canal, with the Edinburgh fiddle yard above that. However, beneath all this lies the big four way junction and that is highlighted in yellow. Here it is in real life, temporarily laid out for now, The points are Code 75, recently acquired on the back of Barry-O's mega order for his layout. I'd have cheerfully used Code 100 for hidden tracks but for the fact that the live frog long crossing is only available in Code 75 and I don't want any dead frogs on any hidden tracks (unlikely to have them on visible tracks for that matter). Here, we are affixing cork sheet for underlay to provide a suitable surface to lay tracks on. Right up as far as Garsdale as that will be the first to be joined up. He's at it again! The first double junction in particular needs to be on a curve so there has been the usual removal of sections of underneath webbing. I ended up removing and reattaching the link wires to give the thing freedom to flex. I reckon I've got a five foot radius curve in there as it's an almost exact match for a long radius point. And so here it is, as laid two days ago (New Year's Day). Just to summarise, the furthest away set of lines go to Garsdale; the next set are the northern lines onwards from Carlisle, returning to the 'Rest of the World'. The reason for no cork (yet) for the other two sets of lines is that a gradient is required as the next nearest set of lines is the start of Shap bank(!) so I need to install some rising boards on top of the blockboard here. The nearest set of lines (the return lines from Garsdale) will simply return to base level beyond the junction. And a final view (for now) to show the effect of the curved junction. That'll be it for a bit now - need to focus on getting Grantham to Southampton later on this month, followed by Shap to Glasgow next month. But we'll plug away as and when we get the chance.
  11. Anyhow, enough talk for now - there's some serious building to get stuck into. I had the festive period to myself (didn't fancy the Christmas Rhine cruise!) so an ideal opportunity for some wholesale moving stuff about and reconfiguring around the grand plan. This is the 'gap' that needed filling, Garsdale to the left and the first board of the 'Grand Junction' (already previously installed) to the right. Supports, firmly anchored to the floor and wall. And now the previously seen board propped up against the wall put to good use. This is 1 inch blockboard, recovered from when we first moved in. In complete contrast to a portable layout, this is brick sh1thouse engineering (I can easily stand on this) but with some justification - it needs to support up to two layers above it. Now we're less than a streamline length's away. This remaining gap marks where Garsdale emerges from the covered boards (the Edinburgh fiddle yard to be exact!) And now bridged! The fill in piece is more shaped so we can carry on the scenery profile a little on from the Garsdale scene. And all nice n level - the new, spherical bubble I bought for the spirit level sat nice and central. Good stuff. Not readily apparent from this view, the new boards now allow for storage of model railiway building 'stuff' underneath as part of the process of at least making an attempt at keeping all this neat and organised (ha!) More to follow...
  12. Good question, John - one that I have given some thought to. The main way in to the layout will be at the Garsdale curve, bottom right, and that at least will be of the opening door design - there's a hell of a lot of scenery at that point so a lifting flap is quite out of the question. After that ... er ... um, it'll probably be a combination of lifting flaps and generously designed crawl under spaces, designed as I go along (well I did say I'd given it SOME thought)
  13. In actual fact, thinking about it a bit further, I'll actually need a double change of polarity to get trains off the S&C route and into Carlisle, ie reverse polarity to get through 'Grand Junction' then back again to get into Carlisle station. That smacks more of use of logic with the combination of points at 'Grand Junction', typical of the sort of thing we have done on Grantham with success. I'm actually minded to stop the trains anyway to give a suitable passage of time between passing through Garsdale and arriving at Carlisle. 'Tis on the Stainmore route for sure Paul; it actually went by the name of Belah viaduct, crossing as it did the river Belah, an impressive 196ft below. Famously designed by Thomas Booch, following the collapse of the Tay Bridge it was treated with some caution being of very similar design and latterly had weight and speed restrictions upon it; it was demolished within a year of closure. Photo above from the disused stations website. O for a time machine!
  14. OK - responding to a few questions / responses In a carefully targeted purchase, me and the present Mrs4479 (such an improvement over the first one) moved into a former Methodist chapel and school house some seven years ago now. They (primitive Methodist chapels) apparently come in a standard size of 42' x 28'. With the former school house part (it's all one building) of ample size for us (once the upstairs conversion was done), that left the chapel as ... er ... um, the model railway room? I just need to leave the right hand side free. That's the 'office' top right, with the door through to the house in the extreme top right corner. Bottom right is the side door out into the garden. Funny you should say that. David Jenkinson was definitely my railway modelling 'muse'. I still have many of his layout building articles to hand, have several of his books, etc. Always thought it was a shame he never saw 'Little Long Drag' through to a conclusion. No - overall roof station is ex-Manchester Central from my former Gowhole layout. It needs a bit of work to make it suitable for its new role; I'm not that bothered as to what it actually looks like as it representing all sorts of destinations. Indeed you did Sir! Your crystal ball was working well. WELL ... Maybe not the whole thing, but it would be my intention that bits of it (mainly the three scenic route section) can be exhibited. The temptation to take it out as one big modular style layout is ... a temptation, at least at this stage. Mike Edge can answer you chapter and verse but I think 'chalk and cheese' comes to mind in terms of any direct comparison. I think I'm right in saying that EM Carlisle is in a purpose-made building 100ft long (mine is a mere 35ft) and is exact scale length for over a mile. I think I've partly answered that above but just to say that Grantham already has a provisional date in the diary for 2024 so still has plenty of life left yet on the exhibition circuit. Being realistic, the layout depicted isn't going to be built overnight(!) so there's plenty of scope for a staged build that retains the ability to store and work on Grantham for a few more years yet. Yes, I'm certainly planning to build this in - there'll certainly be plenty of trains of sufficient length / weight that need banking. Being realistic, I think it's a 10-15 year build, certainly to have all aspects fully operational and scenicked as described. I did (I think?) give an explanation of that earlier but essentially it's my favourite place on the S&C, stemming from the day I first 'discovered' it in 1979. Yes, there were several private sidings etc dotted around the city, Cowans Sheldon crane works is another obvious (ie tempting) one. If I get the chance to squeeze one in I will.
  15. And lastly - the branchline. Branchline? Well, more of a cross country route if truth be told. By happy coincidence (ha!) both Garsdale and Riccarton were junction stations. So I've simply linked them up! A few issues with that though. Main one being that Garsdale was a junction with NER (purists will argue that it was MR to Hawes whence it became NER, but you get my drift) whereas Riccarton was the NBR Border Counties route to Hexham. The thought is to have somewhere mid-way to have the chance for trains to either run round and return or at least change locos, probably where the return S&C lines cross the route (where is says '40'). I'm toying with the idea of making a feature of this; a rather cramped version of Reedsmouth Junction would fit. The height difference with Riccarton junction is potentially solved by the use of a spiral (gotta have one somewhere!), hidden by the extensive fell scenery, which again allows for the correct orientation as the line approaches Riccarton. One the left hand side ... that short length of double track? Why, a depiction of a rather spectacular viaduct that use to fill this gap. It's not on either of the respective lines ... but it's definitely in the 'Hills of the North'. And it's my railway. Rule 1 and all that. Now - it appears I have some questions to answer.
  16. And now onwards from Carlisle. All trains depart northbound in the same area of the layout, round the curve on the right hand side, the goods avoiding lines trailing in to create a prolonged four track section (nice), in the middle of which are two opposing double junctions, representing Caldew junction where the North British lines branched off. It is not intended that this is a fully scenic section - it's actually planned to be tucked underneath Shap Fell(!), the boards for the latter were thoughtfully designed to give sufficient headspace for these lines. Trains destined for the Caledonian route (over Beattock) or the GSWR towards the border at Gretna simply take the third route at 'Grand Junction' to return to the 'Rest of the World'. The North British route trains have a much more exciting journey however. Ideally, I would have like to have featured somewhere on Beattock bank ... but then I figured that would really only duplicate Shap as quite a few trains continued on either side of Carlisle on the West Coast mainline. So, faced with the choice of one of the other (the GSWR route not really holding quite the same appeal - sorry!), I've plumped for the Waverley route and the iconic location of Riccarton junction. The fact that this is one of the very few now closed routes out of Carlisle adds a bit of spice. Although there are some depictions of the route in model form, not sure I've ever seen anybody have a decent crack at Riccarton. [from the Internet, somewhere ... ] There are also personal reasons. Captivated by the history, romance and sad fate of the route, Dad and myself once walked the trackbed from Steele Road to Riccarton Junction (in 1983). Wow - that was quite something. The desolation and remoteness of Riccarton was ... well ... quite magnificent! If Garsdale is an outlandish spot for a station then Riccarton was just bizarre. AND a junction station as well. Back home, the Peter Handforth LP 'The railway to Riccarton' provided all the atmosphere required. SO - having picked up the NBR route at Caldew Junc, trains run past the Carlisle Canal complex, a delightful excuse for a second and quite separate loco depot (no room for any aspect of the Kingmoor complex, unfortunately). There is also a representation of Canal Goods Yard, although not orientated correctly and also the junction of the Silloth branch. Thereafter, in the manner of the route, trains start to climb ... and climb ... and climb(!) Riccarton was towards the upper end of a relentless 10 miles of twisting 1-in-75. And I go on about Shap! This was no incline that could be rushed; it was a long, hard slog for all but the lightest of trains. The first bit will be hidden from view under an expansive fell side - giving the perfect excuse to depict the amazing 100% rail-dependent village that once existed at Riccarton. Trains will then appear round the sharp bend over on the right hand side to give them the correct, left hand curving alignment through the station which is - for once - on a prototypically sharp curve. Thereafter, it is a little bit of a fudge. Trains will disappear rather abruptly off scene into a separate Edinburgh fiddle yard. This was the final 'nut' to crack - I could not for the life of me configure the plan to get Waverley trains back to the main 'rest of the world' so this was the result. It'll be the highest point of the layout, some 8 inches / 200mm above 'ground zero'. More to follow
  17. And now to the Midland. Trains that travel over the Settle & Carlisle leave the same 'rest of the world' as the Shap trains, making the same way to the bottom left four-way junction. Here they take the fourth, outer-most route which brings them out onto their scenic section, the stretch through Garsdale, the location that made such an impression in my teenage years. It turns out to have been a much-modelled location over the years - but I found it first (ha!), so make no excuses for 'yet another' model of Garsdale. It was deliberately orientated so in order to make use of the naturally curving section beyond the station, across Dandry Mire viaduct and into Moorcock Hill, the perfect device to get the trains off scene again. There is of course the connection with the Wensleydale route to Hawes and beyond. I'll return to that. You may recall of course that there's already been some preliminary work on the Garsdale section, with my part-built boards already to hand. So semi-TICK! to this section as well. Then it's a prolonged non-scenic run to get the trains correctly orientated for their entry into Carlisle. Not much I can do about that, although I do have an optional idea to squeeze in one further scene... Anyhow, having stopped to reverse polarity, they return to the four-way junction on the inner route and are now set up to take the right hand, climbing curve up to the station in a prototypical manner. No space for the sidings at Durran Hill, which is where goods traffic over the route typically ran to and from, so goods trains will simply run on to Dentonholme. Trains from the North Eastern route from Newcastle. Well, in another anomaly / compromise, they'll simply have to take the same journey through Garsdale. Still, it'll keep the Garsdale operator busier than he otherwise would have been! More to follow.
  18. OK, continuing with the explanations. (will answer specific questions at the end) Part of the ethos is to give equal weighting to the routes into Carlisle as well as the actual station itself. So trains get a bit of a run and traverse at least one scenic section of their route into Carlisle before arrival at the station, where they can cool off after their exertions(!) Tempting though it would have been to have featured all seven routes(!), the finalised plan has settled on three principal routes: the West Coast mainline over Shap, Settle & Carlisle through Garsdale and - in a perhaps surprise choice - the Waverley Route through Riccarton Junction. One of the design philosophies is to try not to cram TOO much in. In a relative sense, 'less is more' and I want there to be enough room to move around the layout. Most of the operating 'wells' are between five and seven feet wide. Afterall, there's more than enough to be building as it is! So let's examine the three chosen routes in turn, starting with the 'Premier Line', the erstwhile Lancaster & Carlisle, LNWR & LMS route from the south, better known as the West Coast Mainline over Shap. Still of course very much still with us, it was always - and very much still remains - the trunk Anglo-Scottish route. An express from the south will leave the 'Rest of the World' whereupon we immediately encounter an anomaly - they use part of Carlisle's goods avoiding lines for the first leg of their journey! Well, they're there so might as well use them. This is of course just for expediency; I wouldn't expect much photography of such trains on this part of the layout. More importantly, it get's them to the bottom left corner of the layout, whereupon they encounter a four-way double track junction. This is the 'king point' [sic] of the whole design but will be hidden from view. Taking the second route here (counting from the inside outwards), they then start climbing in earnest and emerge from the gloom at the foot of Shap Bank. [Tony Wright] Well, big TICK! - already built this bit! Now you can see where the gleeful offer to produce this section for Warley 2017 came from. However, it is just the 20 feet of the Shap Wells scene that will feature; sadly, I cannot fit in the curved section past Shap summit on the grand plan. Instead, trains on the layout will again go 'off scene' as they encounter a 135deg curve the wrong way, having climbed some 6 inches (150mm) to reach the summit of their run. [Herbert Schambach] Thereafter, they descend, initially non-scenically, before encountering the busy location of Carlisle Upperby. Correctly encountering a left hand curve, this ends up in a near complete 180deg curve to get lined up for the approach to Citadel station. However, there is much of railway interest as they do so and most of the main features are there. There are two successive double junctions here: the first splits off the goods avoiding lines; the second then leaves the goods avoiding lines themselves in order to run into Crown Street Goods depot. There is also space allocated here to depict Upperby Goods Yard itself, together with - most importantly of all - the loco depot. Post-war, this centred around the large concrete roundhouse and was of course the home of the Carlisle-based Duchesses (including No.46238 'City of Carlisle' herself). The turntable needs to be reliable though, as accessibility into the corner could be an issue... Any goods trains (and there will be plenty of those!), either terminate at Upperby or take the goods avoiding lines which brings them round to Dentonholme on the now lost joint goods line over the Caldew bridge - scene of the 1984 accident that led to its closure. Access to Crown Street is via a simple 'trip' arrangement from Upperby goods yard. (the whole nature of goods working in and around the city prior to the opening of the vast Kingmoor marshalling yard is a separate - and fascinating - subject all of its own) Just to mop up the M&C route to Workington and Whitehaven - no room for any depiction of this per se so any trains in this direction simply disappear towards the 'rest of the world'. (more to follow)
  19. OK - time for some explanations. To build a humungous 'system' layout based on Carlisle has been my lifetime modelling dream. Period. And at an age of ... well, let's just say that 'I was there' as a mere 4-year old to witness the 15 guinea special crossing Ribblehead viaduct (with my Dad, wielding his trust 8mm Eumig cine camera) ... it's time to crack on if it is to be achieved in my lifetime with enough time to enjoy it. But why Carlisle? (I hear you ask ... anyone?!) Well, I have seen Carlisle once described as 'the greatest junction station of them all'. Hmm! A bold claim, which the likes of York, Bristol, Clapham (etc) might have something to say about. But it is a claim not without substance when you consider that it was effectively the terminus for no less than SEVEN pre-grouping companies - LNWR, M&C, GSWR, CR, NBR, NER and MR. Each variously had their own loco depot and goods yard in the city at times - but in a remarkable piece of 19th century joint cooperation, Carlisle Citadel station was the unifying feature (great name!). What a FANTASTIC place that must have been for the late Victorian / Edwardian trainspotter. Black, green, blue, brown, red (etc) locos cheerfully rubbing shoulders with each other. But enough of the historical reasoning, model railways are ultimately personal things. Carlisle has long been firmly cemented in my mind as my target modelling location. Stanier's magnificent 'Duchess' pacifics have much to answer for in that regard. I was virtually weened on these locos, Dad eulogising over what was also his fave loco types, based on his own impressionable loco spotting days in 1950s North London. The route over Shap was their ultimate test of strength and Dad just managed to witness them (again on his cine camera) during a visit there in 1964. My first railway book was 'London Midland Steam Over Shap' [a Bradford Barton publication, featuring the photos of Derek Cross], still a much-loved, though somewhat dog-eared possession. I was 10 years old at the time. By the time I was old enough to appreciate them, there were of course just the three survivors, all effectively 'stuffed and mounted'. But I well remember the subsequent excitement when No.46229 'Duchess of Hamilton' was first taken into the care of the NRM and then subsequently put back into working order in time for the Rainhill 150 celebrations in 1980. We were aboard on 10th May on her 'return to steam' run round the Leeds-Harrogate loop and I was in the crowds at Rainhill on my 16th birthday as she proudly paraded past, along with the glittering array of other preserved locos. Subsequent mainline runs and lineside sightings cemented her place in my heart forever. Meanwhile, I'd also 'discovered' the now legendary Settle & Carlisle Railway. It was one of BR's 'Cumbrian Mountain Express' trains in 1979, with No.4472 at the business end. Still very much in its pre-1968 guise, with places like Dent and Ais Gill still with working signalboxes, unrestricted double track over Ribblehead viaduct and still hosting express services from St Pancras, we had a memorable day following 'Scotsman' up and down the route. But of all the places we visited, it was Garsdale that made the lasting impression on me. Why would anyone build a station in such a remote spot? And - incredibly - it was once a junction station to boot! I was suitably inspired. And the common denominator between Shap and the S&C? Why of course - Carlisle! I think from that moment onwards, I could be found doodling layout plans that featured the Border city station, as well as amassing various books and other research material. Any locos I worked on were usually numbered as either Carlisle-allocated locos or ones that might have run in to the place. I hope that gives some background explanation. This has been a long time coming! SO - the focal point of the layout will naturally be Carlisle Citadel station itself. It will however be a compromise - despite the generous space available, this will never be a project on the scale of 'Carlisle in France' that Mike Edge is involved with. What I've chosen to do therefore is to feature the station and the much-photographed southern approaches. This immediately sets the maximum train length as 12 coaches. Tempting though 16+ coach formations are, it's more important to me that equal space is given to depict the expanse of tracks outside, effectively three double track formations (M&C, LNWR and NER/MR) that span the goods avoiding lines. The 'St Nicholas' road bridge immediately south will provide a suitable scenic break thereafter. To the north, there isn't room for anything of substance. The running lines out of necessity will have to immediately start curving through 180deg curve. Please note in all these descriptions, that the overall trackplan principally shows the running lines and junctions. Most of the locations are just blocked out for now; much more trackwork detail will follow as each one is tackled. (more to follow)
  20. No time like the present - first bit of track going down (tooked not one hour ago)
  21. (Oops - nearly forgot to post the actual trackplan)
  22. Apologies all - went out for a walk in the lovely NYD sunshine OK ... so here it is Two years in the drawing up ... Seven years in the gestation ... 40 years in the dreaming (give or take) ... I give you ... The full 'Hills of the North' project ....
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