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Robert

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Robert last won the day on January 25 2016

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  • Location
    : Near Mainz, Germany
  • Interests
    Cycling, Small shunting layouts, Electronics, Amateur Radio and Retrocomputing.

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  1. My planning is still ongoing, but rather interestingly Andy Tidy (a.k.a Captain Ahab) has posted some very recent pictures of Chillington Wharf in his blog this month. http://captainahabswaterytales.blogspot.com/2019/04/chillington-wharf-backstage-pass.html He also mentions that it is the best preserved interchange basin on the BCN.
  2. Thank you for that David. Food for thought. I now need some time to do some more sketching and planning!
  3. Scale and Era are unchanged Simon. Still OO gauge, and still green/blue diesels, so probably late 1960s to early 1970s. I realise that the track layout probably isn't that prototypical for the time, but I am prepared to be flexible. I'd rather build something I like, and will maintain interest rather than worry too much about whether it's 100% prototypical. Interestingly enough, Easington Lane is one of the layouts that I was looking at for inspiration the other day. I doubt that I will be able to come up with something that looks half as good, but you have to start somewhere! Actually, that's not a bad idea. Concerning the traverser, to be honest, I'm not too bothered about it being exposed.
  4. You're right! I have also done some playing around with Xtrkcad and I think I can get the track plan to fit. However, my first and second drafts were far too optimistic!
  5. Just a quick update. Yesterday evening, I had a chance to sketch out the next draft plan. Things are starting to come together, I think. I have adapted the idea of the Chillington Wharf interchange, together with a small station which is modelled in the "Bitsa Station" format. Following rationalisation, the station lies at the end of the line. The now truncated branch would have originally continued, but the station has survived largely to bring workers into work at the local factories, the occasional weekend special, and of course the interchange with the canal basin. Passenger services will be either DMU or loco hauled - only the locomotive and the first carriage being visible. The intention is to give the illusion of a much longer, station, the curve into the traverser disguised by a high level station building and road, which also serves to block the view of the fiddle yard from the scenic part of the layout. The canal is to be modelled on the right hand side of the layout, with access to the basin through a bridge, carrying the towpath. The scenic break to the back of the layout is the bridge which would have carried the now disused branch, with a lock partially modelled under the bridge. I am also contemplating modelling a shed covering part of the tracks/basin as per Chillington Wharf. I hope that goes someway to conveying my current thinking!
  6. I've now found some photographs: http://www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/Stations/chillington_wharf.php http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/listed/rycanal/chillington.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chillington_Wharf
  7. Wow Mike! That's a very modellable area. Unfortunately, I cannot post the maps here for copyright reasons, but hopefully these links will work: Chillington Wharf - 25 inch to the mile It would also appear that the Wharf was there right up until the late 1960s so that would put it in the right time frame. Later Map - Late 1960s Philip, I would also consider curved points, but I have been led to believe that they aren't too reliable. Is this just one of those modelling myths? I have a certain amount of Code 100 track - so may well go with that as far as possible. However, like I said in my original posts, Peco track is getting increasingly difficult to get outside of the UK, and so I am exploring alternatives.
  8. Thank you Mike - That's rather nice. Just off the old main line. I need to do some research on what the area used to look like when the infrastructure was still there.
  9. Thanks for your reply Philip. No, there would be nothing to stop me from building the station on the curve - except that it would move the station to the middle of the layout. That would mean either a shorter fiddle yard, or having to build the fiddle yard on a removable extension. I really want to avoid a removable extension if possible, because it would clutter my office up again - which I promised myself, and my wife I wouldn't do! It wasn't cluttered with modelling stuff - but it took so long to clear out, I vowed never again! (Too many things that "might come in useful") As regards Scarm - I've read good things about it, but at the moment it is only available for Windows.
  10. You are quite right Mike - that's definitely information that would help. Era and area are fairly well fixed. Most (if not all) of my rolling stock is green and blue diesel, so that would fix the era pretty much in the green-blue changeover period. Of course, it also means that passenger rolling stock was considerably larger than some of the older items. For the area, I am looking at the Western Region portion of the Midlands. Why? Because I would like to integrate a canal scene on the layout, and get away with running hydraulics! While I was writing this collection of posts, I had another idea which comprises a "Bitsa-station" with sidings serving some sort of industry. I am not averse to urban grot. One of the weeks I spent on a canal boat was back in the 80s before the touristy side of the canals had really taken off. We toured through some really run down parts of Birmingham where the industry, canals and railways were all on top of one-another and that is something of what I would like to recreate.
  11. The L-Shaped layout is actually proving to be more of a problem than I thought it would be. Getting track around a corner takes up an awful lot of space! This was another unsuccessful draft that I tried. This time using Piko track rather than my usual Peco. Sadly, my usual supplier has stopped carrying Peco track and other local suppliers only sell it for ridiculous prices. Of course, at the moment, I can still order from Hattons but I am exploring alternatives. At present, I am tending towards giving up the L-shaped layout idea as a bad job. There just isn't enough space to get the curves in. I was hoping to get a bit of run, rather than just shunting backwards and forwards but at the moment I don't see how I can do it in the space available. More to follow as the ideas develop!
  12. I've always wanted to build a layout based on Minories, so I set to work seeing if I could get something to fit in the space available. Well, it will fit - but 50cm is far too small for a train! To be honest, I'd forgotten just how big OO gauge really is. Several years ago, I contemplated moving to N-gauge but the problems of fitting decoders to split chassis locomotives (at that time) put me off. Plus, I have quite a bit of OO gauge rolling stock. Two mark one coaches works out at around 54cm, a smallish locomotive (Hymek, Class 25 etc) 20cm - Making a realistic minimum platform length of 75cm. The observant among you will notice that that the layout width has increased to 170cm here. That will fit in the space available (just) but I had originally planned on 150cm to allow access to an adjacent shelf. The 75cm length of a locomotive and two coaches will fit, but I am not sure of the aesthetics. Please ignore the ugly curve at the exit to the traverser. I was trying to get the layout to work without using curved points - but to be honest, I am not sure it is feasible.
  13. My wife, Mercedes, commented that a particular spot in the office would make the perfect spot for an L-shaped layout. The space available is shown in the diagram below: Now - Obviously I am under no illusion that I am going to be running mainline length trains in this space, but it did look quite large compared to what I have had available previously so I eagerly set about planning what I could fit into this space. My first idea was a variation on the piano line. While I was tidying up, I found a copy of Hornby Magazine which featured "Gas Lane". Obviously, such a layout would probably be freight only in this sort of size. However, it would fit in the space (without needing to be L-shaped). To plan my layouts, I made a start using the online Trax editor - but unfortunately, I found it to be rather buggy. This may be due to me using Linux, but I gave it up as a bad job and installed Xtrkcad. Not a lot better! Also buggy - However, the version that came with my Linux distribution was a couple of versions old, so I decided to build the newest version from source. Ugh! Cmake - the tool of the devil - but eventually after a certain amount of tweaking, I was now running 5.1.2a and although there are still some bugs, it is a lot better (it no longer crashes regularly) and I was able to make a start planning something.
  14. Having just tidied and renovated my office at home, I am finding myself drawn back to railway modelling. Unfortunately, I have a habit of getting distracted by other things (amateur radio, retro-computing) and before I get a layout finished, I move onto something else and the layout sits around gathering dust. My previous layout - "Pot House Sidings" spent several years untouched in the spare bedroom, then suffered several more months of me falling over it in the office, before it got dismantled. This was despite me saying (at the time of posting the Pot House thread on here) that this layout would get finished, or I would give up railway modelling completely. I am sad to say it, but I have never finished a layout! The problems to be surmounted: Big ideas Little space More on my progress in the next post.
  15. Glad to see it wasn't just me with the "Your registration is complete".
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