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  1. So let's bring this up to date. Firstly, Adrian, you are correct and I consider myself told off I should know as we usually go for a narrow boat each year although this year's has been cancelled just like most things! There were 2 things that were under way at the beginning of the year. One was under the baseboard and out of view of the camera. The layout is DCC controlled with an NCE Procab which is in turn linked to my computer running JMRI which in the end will have panels to control points/signals etc. When the layout was originally wired I just had one DCC bus which did everything (i.e. track and accessories) but this caused issues when due to my own stupidity I hadn't set the points correctly as the DCC Concepts ADS-8fx boards that I use to fire the solenoid point motors and switch frog polarity would lose power and therefore I couldn't correct the point setting. I've now installed a separate circuit breaker to the existing track bus and a new accessory bus to which the point boards have been wired. I took this opportunity to move 4 of the 5 boards to a more sensible location (the other under the fiddle yard was already in a sensible location) than when they were originally installed. This however, has meant that I've had to extend frog wires and rewire point motors with longer cable runs accordingly and as there are 32 points across the 4 boards it's taken a while having been finished a couple of weeks ago. You can only spend so long under a baseboard! The second was the siding and factory area to the left of the hillside. This I had decided will be a brewery with the one siding into it but I wanted to include a common sight, the wagon turntable. Having looked online and during a trip to the NEC for the Warley show last year no readily available wagon turntable is in N gauge (discounting the PECO 00-9 version due to it being plastic or the Faller one for being too large) I opted to make my own. It wasn't planned to be operational but just to look the part so I began by taking a file to a piece of flexi track and some offcut remnants from the rest of the track laying and came up with this as the start. You will notice that I haven't filed all the way through on the main piece thus meaning that electrical continuity was maintained without lots of soldering. Once card was added and some timber decking paper stuck on I ended up with a wagon turntable. Now it was time to install the completed turntable onto the layout. The siding was laid and the start of the infill of the rest of the brewery sidings was started. You can see how this area looked back in February in the next photo. The hill above the tunnels is also visible and can now be seen populated with sheep and fences/hedgerows etc. Next task was to make a lot of trees for the area around the canal tunnel portal on the hillside plus a few for the hedgerows etc. Some 40 odd trees were created from seafoam (from the storage unit known as my parent's house) and planted on the hill. Some bulrushes were added to the canal and finally the hillside is complete and looking like this. For those who may be interested here are a couple more photos showing the removable section lifted out. Also, shows the remnants of the MPD which is having a slight redesign from the original plan hence the unpainted plywood! And that brings us pretty much up to date. Currently work continues on the brewery area and the start of the raised town section. The road down to the brewery is the current area of attack and the start of the retaining wall is in place and as of now is looking like this. So that's you all up to date. Hopefully progress will become quicker than previous years and there will be more updates to show you shortly once more buildings appear in the town/brewery. I still welcome all comments on what you've seen so far and hope you want to see more.
  2. So we move onto 2019. The beginning of the year began by making the first building for the canal wharf area (the Scalescenes factory/warehouse) with some modifications to the windows to allow it to fit along the slope of the road which forms the scenic break. In mid-January it was complete ready to go into place. At the beginning of February it was installed along with track laid and infilled with cobbles. At the end of February the retaining walls and road was complete. Here's a few photos of the canal wharf area. The first shows the reason for the windows on the rear of the warehouse. Now of course you cannot have a canal without barges so March was spent making a couple of boats to install. Some old sewing pins were acquired from the wife and painted to form mooring pins and the boats were installed in the lock and wharf. For the rest of the year not much more happened or at least nothing that I took photos of! Tomorrow I'll bring you all up to date and if you've got any comments on what I've shown so far I'd like to hear it (good or bad!)
  3. Next little update on how the layout has been progressing since 2016. Firstly, we can gloss over the rest of 2016 and 2017 as not much happened on the layout due to getting married and the related time consuming stuff etc. So we'll move on to 2018 and the first main area of scenery to tackle was to be the right hand back corner being the area requiring the longest reach and therefore I thought it best to start there first and work from the back of the layout forwards to save leaning over "completed" areas ("completed" as is a layout ever finished?) This area was to be covered in a tunnel but would require the top to be able to be removed for access. Using a piece of 6mm MDF as a base for the top and some cardboard forming covered in plaster bandages the tunnel top and surrounding areas was created and the corner ended up looking like this back in Feb 2018. In this picture you can clearly see the outline of the removable top as only the first application of scenery was in place. I created an tunnel air vent using of all things a toothpaste lid for the cylinder which was lined with brick paper and this is secured to the MDF top to act as something to grab on to so as to remove the top if required. Scalescenes tunnel mouths and retaining walls were installed as was a kit bashed Scalescenes canal bridge into a tunnel portal for the start of the canal towards the canal wharf. As I said in the opening post progress has been slow but come August the corner had progressed some more and was now up to this stage. The top of the tunnel was starting to be blended in better as to lose the noticeable join and more retaining walls had been added alongside the other tracks to the right. The remnants of the old track for the now singled line (that will answer the question for those who wondered what the strange piece of track was in the plan!) had been rusted up and an old signal post added. Further to the right along the canal the Scalescenes lock had been created along with a Scalescenes bridge and plans for the start of the wharf area were in development. The bridge acting as the scenic break to the fiddle yard. Further on into 2018 and come November the lock has been placed and the railway embankment created. The Scalescenes lock keeper's cottage has been added although his/her garden is still to be finished. The wharf water is in place and the retaining wall along the road is mostly completed (just missing the top wall - I wouldn't fancy driving that road in the pictured state!) So that's roughly how the layout was at the end of 2018. Come back tomorrow for the next instalment when I'll cover 2019 and if I have time may even bring it right up to it's present state!
  4. Hi everyone. Having seen some impressive layouts I thought I'd share my attempt with you. I've had N gauge since I was younger and my dad got me into model railways as well as the 12" to the foot scale. Having had most of it in storage for a long while (that's what parents houses are for right?) I finally had somewhere to put it a few years ago so my first layout in a long time was planned and started back in 2016. Now it's not progressed much in that time but recently (especially as there's not much else to do!) it's starting to get somewhere. General ideas for the layout consisted of: Fictional location somewhere in the Midlands under BR Western Region (with some running rights for Midland Region trains) 1960s era to allow running of steam and diesels Continuous loop to leave some trains running whilst other things go on Station with platforms long enough for 5/6 carriage trains Fiddle yard to store trains not in use MPD area Some industrial sidings/canal wharf The area to build the layout was an L shape (two walls of a room). After several iterations this is the plan I came up with (the tracks in the bottom right leading to the fiddle yard on the 2nd wall located above my desk). Baseboards were constructed in normal fashion of timber frame with 9mm plywood top. 3 separate baseboards were created (one for the fiddle yard, 1 for the corner (L shaped) and 1 for the rest in case of the need for deconstruction at a later date). Most of the track was laid and the wiring complete and all tested by June 2016 leaving the layout looking like this: I'll come back tomorrow with more posts showing the progress from then until now.
  5. Hi, I'm renumbering an 08 to it's original 13XXX number but I'm struggling to confirm what height the numbers should be. Would they have been 8", 9" or 10" numbers in 12 inches to the foot scale? Hope someone can help. Iain
  6. Hi, At the moment my point decoders are all running off the track bus but this does cause the occasional issue when I forget to change points and polarity is then wrong. I'm also about to start signalling the layout and want to separate signals/points to another accessory bus. I have a NCE Procab but as this only has one output I assume I need to connect 2 sets of wires to the track output but put some kind of breaker into my existing track bus so that it will trip before the Procab. If my thinking is correct can someone recommend what I should be buying. Thanks Iain
  7. Thanks for the comments but I'm going to try to get this topic back to my signalling plan now This is what I'm thinking of as final plan as per my previous post.
  8. Thanks for the feedback again folks. I think I'll go back to a yellow disc as it was only someone elses comments (elsewhere) that made me change it. I'm now thinking of replacing D with a single red disc. Only moves from here would be locos from coaling stage, turntable or TMD sidings and as we're in the 1960s I'm going with them having put one disc in to control all moves. Good or bad decisions?
  9. Perhaps I worded discs "H" and "I" wrongly but what I'm thinking of is like Signals 16A and 16B at Bridgnorth (heritage line again so maybe not correct for 60s BR(WR) - see diagram). These are cleared for shunting onto the headshunt from the shed and left whilst shunting is taking place. Signal 16A/B are put back to danger and signal 15 (3ft arm) is then cleared to exit shed onto running line. Also if signal 10 is cleared to access the shed (equivalent of the 3ft arm of "C" on my plan) I thought that as any move into platform 4 would be a shunt move requiring reversal to leave the platform that a 3ft arm would better be replaced with a second disc. So the top disc of "I" is signal 15 and the bottom "I" and "H" are 16B and 16A respectively. Stephen, glad to hear that you think working discs would be achievable. Not planning on lights and static weight bars would be fine.
  10. Hi again everyone. Sorry to bring back my old topic but unplanned trips to Australia (not the most unwelcome of trips!) plus Christmas have got in the way of things model railway related. Here are my belated thoughts to the responses to my last plan and some minor changes that I'm thinking of for feedback. Ringed arm "D" has got 3 possible routes (headshunt + 2 main lines) but I've gone for just the one arm. I've based this on the ringed arm leaving the yard/carriage shed at Kidderminster SVR - this has 4 possible routes (2 platforms and 2 engine release roads) but only one arm. I've added a disc in the location of the old bracket at "F" on the end of platform 2 to allow for locos to reverse towards "K" for access to the shed with another reverse past "J". I was also thinking of replacing yellow disc "I" with two stacked red discs. The top one reading back towards platform 4 with the lower one towards the steam shed. Discs "H" and lower "I" would normally be left off allowing shunting to take place but would be reverted to danger for moves headshunt to/from platform 4. At least in theory but I'm not expecting working discs in N gauge. Your comments are again most welcome as hopefully placing an order with Stephen shortly
  11. Mike, I'm not sure what you mean about Q either. There is only one route from there under the road bridge and to the fiddle yard. Stephen, I think 3ft arms are fine. I know miniature arm shunting signals were replaced or covered up by discs. There is definitely a yellow/black ground disc at Worcester Shrub Hill as shown here (https://signalbox.org/signals/gw.htm) although I only drew it that way so that the fact it had a yellow band showed up on the diagram. Version 2 below with changes: Ground disc B replaced by 3ft arm on new bracket on C. Bracket F removed and platform 2 now single direction. New signal T on curve with distant and stop arms. Signals L & M now single stop arms and new bracket S outside box for moves to platform 2/platform 1(bay). I've left O and Q on. I agree with Mike as per running stop signals as I'm used to seeing these around Worcester. I put O on as this is similar to Malvern Wells where the line singles for the tunnel and the last signal in the down direction is before the single line. So should O stay or go? Signal construction of tubular posts with silver/aluminium painted posts?
  12. Thanks for the advice Mike. Changes so far to the plan: Change ground signal B to 3ft arm on bracket C. Remove signal F and make platform 2 single direction. Remove signals O and Q. Unfortunately it's not possible to place a signal by the double junction but although as you say it may look overdone I could place a stop signal parallel to L on the curve with a distant arm. It would also act as the section signal (for box A) which for moves from the shed via signal D there isn't one and the next signal is signal N (home for box B). The distant arms on C, E & G could then be removed (bracket F being no more). I'm thinking of changing L & M to plain stop signals and then having a new bracket outside the box for platform 2/bay platform 1. Any comments or am I overdoing it? Would the arm for the bay platform be a shorter arm than the main in any case?
  13. I agree about O and Q. I had removed them on the last version with colour lights and shouldn't have been on semaphore version. I was wondering today if ground disc B could be replaced by a small arm on bracket C but not sure as this only leads into the headshunt. Any comments?
  14. Well as that lines in the bottom right go off to the fiddle yard I don't want them going round there too quick or they'll be crashing into the bufferstops We'll say it's less than 40mph.
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