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  1. I don't understand how the layout will operate. Trains go up the helix round the layout and then what? How do they change direction to come back down? A terminus or return loop layout works but some people have designed and built continuous run layouts with no way to get trains back down except by reversing or hand shunting locos from one end of the train to the other. (pic (12) If trains are to go up and run both clockwise and anticlockwise round the layout and come back down again then in practice unless you can build your own curved diamonds the helix has to exit via triangular junctions on two levels, the outer track exiting one full level below the inner so the inner can cross above the outer. (pic (16) If you are using ready made helix you probably need two to make it work. It probably doesn't matter whether the tracks are 5 up 5 down or 9 up 1 down but 5 and 5 probably make point work easier and make it easier to equalise loop length. Ideally the trains climb the outer track to minimise the gradient so climb clockwise for UK anticlockwise for US.
  2. I will be interested to hear if it is satisfying to shunt. It only looks like you can run round a couple of bogie vehicles or 5 four wheelers. Nowhere to put incoming wagons while shunting the outgoing. Many GWR branch termini has very long loops around 40 wagons so a whole train could be stored on one road while the outgoing train was assembled. Mine only holds four coaches or 15 wagons or so but I end up shunting rafts of 20 plus wagons as I have a long main line as a headshunt. Diametrically opposite way of doing it.
  3. Absolutely no comparison. The Manline had an excellent body with an awful motor and even awfuller wheels. Very few survive. The early X03 powered 2721 is pretty much bullet proof mechanically. The Mainline had an upgrade to become the Bachmann 57XX while the Hornby had a downgrade to the small Mk7 motor. The Hornby chassis has its roots in the Triang Jinty but the wheelbase is 8ft X 8ft 3" 3" too short at the back for a Jinty, 1ft too long at the front for a 2721. The pre 2721 Jinty chassis used on 8751 can be corrected by re drilling the chassis 4mm back from the front axle and using the later wheel sets with 6 fixing screws for the coupling rods and Mainline/Bachmann coupling rods it all bolts together. The 2721 is front axle drive with roots in the B12 so this trick doesn't work , drilling both centre and rear axles 4mm back would mean moving the chassis 4mm back which would mean the motor probably fouls the cab. The Full size 2721 had the same basic boiler as the Dean Goods. It was developed for the 57XX with revised and closer stays for 200lbs pressure instead of 180 and gave more trouble than the 180lbs version, albeit with more power. The taper boiler on the 94XX was a 225lbs boiler but fitted with 200lbs safety valves as was the 2251 to save wear on axle boxes and big ends, some 2251s had cranks in line with coupling rods to try to solve the wear issues which were similar to those of the LMS 4F Too much power for an inside cylinder loco. Harold Holcoft in his book Locomotive adventure explains Pannier tanks were introduced because the shape of the belpaire firebox inside a saddle tank made maintenance and assembly extremely difficult as someone had to climb inside. The few suitably modified Saddle tanks could be used with Belpaire fireboxes and when boilers were changed round top fireboxes could be used with pannier tanks, Just because a round top boiler was refitted don't assume the loco reverted to a saddle tank. Until the57XX the 2721 were the GWR's latest last word in heavy shunters so unlikely to be found at Little Puddlecombe hauling two four wheel coaches. That was a job for an 850 or 2021 class light pannier. Converting the 2721 to one of those is a real challenge. I have destroyed at least 6 X 2721 in trying.
  4. Harlequin's design is a bit short on fiddle yard capacity. My 6ft 4" X 4ft 6" layout can handle 6 coach trains, well it could if they could climb the gradients, but I would be looking for a 4-6-0 and 5 X 60ft coaches or at least 6ft loop length on this size of layout. My loft layout concept of a station on the outskirts of a town with the loco depot of a larger station adjacent could work here. Monument Lane style, Locals stop, Expresses don't stop and with carriage sidings even further away you can have ECS workings with tank locos on main line stock. I would probably have a Turntable in the hidden section for this scenario as bits break off modern RTR locos so easily when its handled
  5. I would suggest loctite, I am never too fussy about which grade. The problem with a loose worm is it may not run concentrically which means poor running. If loctite doesn't do it work out whether the worm is oversize or the shaft undersize and change the faulty component, Soldering can destroy the motor, ben there done that, So can superglue, if it gets in the bearings. been there done that etc...
  6. The trouble with narrow gauge is the lines all have or had their own identity, the Ffestiniog with its Fairlies, the L & M with its transporter wagons conveying standard gauge wagons etc. Many only had two locomotives, Talylynn, Leek and Manifold, Welshopool and Llanfair. The little Hunslets etc got around but again there were the two main users Padarn and Dinorwic quarries. I think the Dinorwic had the three big Main line Hunslets, Charles Linda and Blanche for their main line and the Padarn used a 4ft gauge mainline so there aren't that many actual generic NG lines. You can't go far wrong with a quarry scene and slate wagons and Hunslets. Adding a Fairlie kills the credibility, but preservation era, 1951 onwards is a rich hunting ground. Locos extinct in 1950 now roam the 2ft gauge world, It depends. You can build an 009 layout inn a suitcase or loop it around the entire house. Runn single coach trains or 10 or more a la Ffestiniog, but not at the same time. I think an entirely freelance system is probably more credible than a mis mash. Avoid Fairlies and Englands, build a few locos using Dapol Pug or railbus bodies on Minitrix N chassis, blow the kids inheritance on some peco L&M coaches and build away
  7. I had a guy contact me to say I had sent an HO gauge coach instead of a Triang OO Red /Cream coach. When I checked I hadn't sold him anything at all. I never did get to the bottom of it. The only time I sent the wrong thing, a Stanier brake instead of Stanier coach bodies I told the guy to keep the brake as a free gift but I buy and sell to build up and upgrade my layout, it's not a business, I buy a coach, fit buffers, detail it, paint it, basically ruin it and sell at a loss, or take one model from a job lot and sell the rest on, I'll never get rich but its fun. Worse problem is Argos and 3rd party destinations. I admin my father in laws account as well as mine since he has been unwell recently. I sold a red yellow Hornby coach for an offer of £8 against a start bid of £5. Sent it off to Argos. Father in Law had an identical one so I listed that. Same buyer £7.50. sent a week later. Buyer contacts me asking where mine is. I ask which one has arrived as we sent two. He smells a rat and takes Argos to task. One can go missing but not two surely. After half an hour Argos found both. I won't send to Argos any more. There are a lot of people with no interest in model railways selling stuff labelled incorrectly, not maliciously but through ignorance. Can be great value, but some of it is outrageous and with poor quality pictures easy to but a Lima 94XX instead of the Wills one its advertised as..
  8. I really like that plan, unfortunately downsized to your room few RTR steam outline locos will be able to haul reasonable size trains up those gradients. Its also for right hand running where we in the UK run on the left. What I really like is the staging, lots of room for lots of trains, ideal for DCC. It is the only one of your plans with anything like enough storage, you should be able to get at least 8 trains in there if not more, four each direction. You can almost never have enough storage. An express and a local passenger in each direction and a Mineral Empties one way and fulls the other with a pick up and an express freight would provide a reasonable service. Mix and match a bit. Run both expresses the same way to represent a train running in two portions. Expresses and express freights probably wouldn't call at your station but locals would. You can have a lot of fun with a continuous run but if there is no where to store spare trains running the same two gets mighty boring. Code 100 track makes sense in that you can mix and match set track curves for tight curves hidden from view with streamline points. most RTR gets round 3rd radius most kit built, comet chassis etc, needs more like 30" radius Set track points are nasty derailment inducers and I would avoid them for all but micro layouts. The great thing about continuous runs is you can set trains going and get on with doing something else while enjoying the occasional glance at the trains. You can also run in new or overhauled locos by letting them run.
  9. If its an X03 (or X04) The Pickups should be connected to the insulated brush. Sounds like the wiring connector is on the non insulated brush. Swap either the pick up contact or the insulated sleeve over. They do sound like cement mixers if you run them on PWM controllers. IMHO Better to change the controller than the motor.
  10. Have a look at the Old C.J Freezer 60 plans for small railways (etc) series books. You can't get that 10ft X 6ft into 5' X 12'. The top two tracks and the top platform has to go and the whole layout pushed down 3" to allow space for the second platform down and the blue lines connected to make a circle but you can get a 2ft extra section into the long sides. You can almost never make a layout plan smaller along any axis. Much better is to find a smaller layout plan and enlarge it, maybe extend a 8 X 4. Have a look at the Old C.J Freezer 60 plans for small railways (etc) series books. Most people these days have a scenic part of the layout and a non scenic fiddle yard. That way you have somewhere to swap trains and engines over without knocking signals over or the roof off the signal box let alone thread stuff through the OHLE. Pre DCC people put hidden sidings under the scenic bits but modern Steam outline locos don't pull like the old ones so the gradients needed have to be excessively long at around 1in 50. Modern Diesels and Electrics however do pull very well so the good old CJF plans with duck unders and reverse loops work for modern image. You are short of width so using Set Track points and set track 60 mm plus spacing instead of streamline 52mm is not a good idea. Set track 3rd and 4th radius curves are good where space is limited, flexi tends to dog - leg under 2ft radius. 24" width is tight as an operating well, 30" better. As others have said make the baseboards sectional, 5X2 ends and 6X 18" for the long sides.
  11. My 2 Hornby Dublo Duchess conversions needed their magnet pole pieces filed away to clear Romford 26mm driving wheels. I used non flanged centre wheels for 2nd Radius with the H/D crank with return crank pressed and loctited into the centre wheel and the rods opened up to take Triang crankpin screws which are a direct fit in Romford wheels in the leading and trailing wheels. Wheels on the insulated side need small washers, the rim from Romford top hat pinpoint axle bearings, to stop the rods shorting on the wheel centres. For DCC insulate both sides and use washers both sides. Despite needing flangeless centre wheels mine runs scale distance between loco and tender of around 2mm. Like most H/D Duchesses mine was low at the cab end, even with 26mm wheels, so some packing was required to line up the tender footplate with the loco. I think I used 16mm Jackson tender wheels and I drilled holes in the baseplate above the wheels for flange clearance. Getting the tender to match the engine is tricky, the two don't line up like GWR locos but the top of the locos footplate aligns with the flange on the bottom of the Tender tank and the cab roof with the tender bulkhead, but the close coupled correctly aligned tender makes a huge difference to these locos. Several pictured in this thread need attention IMHO The H/D Duchess draw bar is useless and bears down on the pony truck lifting the rear drivers, Changing it for the Wrenn City type approx doubles pulling power. I cut away the drawbar slot under the cab and I use a double jointed drawbar which pulls on the pony truck frame not the chassis and improves stability but means it can't propel stock around S bends any more. However it does shift 24 Hornby Mk1 coaches without slipping. Which is about 8 more than the full size Duchesses managed.
  12. It would be controversial if Hornby Magazine had a Bachmann V2 on the cover. Not sure about the girl in the fancy hat. Might have missed something there, Maybe they wanted an LMS Pacific and the photog got the assignment wrong.
  13. Better to get a T9 body and bodge it onto a hacked about M7 chassis to create a 4-4-0. The old X04 powered M7 had way oversize wheels but is nice with the motor very nearly Horizontal. The M7 bodge I fancy is to a 4-4-2T like the NB ones by taking off the front sandboxes, shifting back the coupled wheels, lengthening the front end, puttnig the bogie in front and adding trailing wheels.
  14. I built a temporary one from a piece of large plastic electrical wiring trunking 30 years ago and its still working. It has a base 10mm lower than the surrounding baseboard and pivots on a central bush on a bolt head and slides on a circle of code 100 rails divided into two insulated halves which provide power and have slots to facilitate indexing. Its ugly but works and works. I will try to get some pics
  15. DCB

    EBay madness

    My suspicious mind suspects money laundering or paying for items other than those listed may be behind some of these outrageous offers. You get some very funny replies when querying if the decimal point may have slipped slightly... I like Horby Duplo, its like Hornby Dublo except you can sometimes pick Horby up for 99p instead of the Dublo's £20.
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