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Coder Tim

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  1. I've had a very quick go at sketching the suggestion of 1.5 laps and it seems like it might be a good compromise: better running lengths but with no overlapping tracks so much simpler to build and maintain. Also much less hidden track: Does this look more manageable to everyone? @Harlequin Yeah, the whole industry seems to be going web based, I'm going to have to learn it at some point.
  2. @Chimer I think you're right about a third siding at Hellydale, will work that out in more detail later. You're also spot-on about the main storage being important for operation, I'm drifting towards cassettes now rather than the vertical traverser but not sure either way yet. @Zomboid I think the second branch station is important for a couple of reasons. The minor considerations are modelling operation of a station that isn't a block post, operating a one-directional goods yard, and providing more than one possible destination on the branch. The major reason is that it makes the branch feel more like a complete system to me in a way that defining one that exists somewhere beyond the fiddleyard wouldn't, if that makes any sense. @RJS1977 Good idea to get the outer loop running as well as possible while it's still accessible, I'll definitely do that. It's a good point about the road bridge acting as a scenic break, I'll bear that in mind when evaluating the options. @Harlequin If the others will forgive the diversion, professionally I've mostly written simulations of various things, starting with games then cancer research, pharmaceutical simulation and now engineering simulations. Also had a brief diversion into GPU driver development which was interesting. Am I right in thinking you are one of the developers for a CAD package? On the cassette length, I'm going to leave them at 4ft while designing and then do some practical experiments to see what I can handle, I can always fit a smaller cassette into a large space. I like the idea of running the branch round twice, I've drafted that and it provides nice long runs but does add a lot of complexity. Looking at the diagram below it would be trivial to keep Xenasholme and Timsden in their new locations but only go around once, I'm not sure which option I prefer yet. I've also indicated hidden sections to try and get a better sense of how the separation between lines will feel.
  3. It's been a while and I've been mulling how to remove the return loop and still have the branch line operate the way I want. I realised there will only ever be one train beyond Timsden at once and it will never be more than four feet long. This seems manageable for a cassette or one-track version of a Denny fiddle yard, with a base under it so rotating it will involve sliding rather than lifting. This is the result: There are a lot of pros here, it brings operation of the branch back to my original plan, solves the access problems, removes the awkward junction by the door, makes the woodwork a lot easier and lets me ease all the curves to at least 2 feet (not done that yet). The big downside is that I feel it looses a lot of the character of the plan, but I think that's probably a trade worth making. To answer some specific points: @RJS1977 It's a good point about shifting Xenasholme off the removable section, my worry there is that I'll have less than one train-length of plain line between it and Timsden, one to think about. I understand what you mean about the hole in the baseboards now, I'll definitely do it that way if I do stick with the return loop, thanks. @Aire Head I tried having the goods yard where the shed is but couldn't get enough storage in there for anticipated traffic patterns, I might be able to do it now by running it all down that side though, will have a think about it. I'd like the turntable because it's going to be tender engines on the branch, entirely a rule 1 thing for a West Riding branch but the West Highland Line was tender operated. I'm also interested in running an observation car, another West Highland Line idiosyncrasy, which would need turning. @Harlequin As you can see from the latest attempt I've had a think about the value of the return loop and I'm tending to agree about it not paying for itself. On storage running through the main loop, whilst that loop is the "main line" I'm not that interested in it's operation, the main focus is the branch line. The main line is mostly to deliver wagons and coaches from storage to the branch in a vaguely plausible way. It didn't necessarily need to be a continuous loop at all, I just went with that because it seemed to fit the space better and it lets me do running in of new stock when necessary. Thanks again for all the input so far, much appreciated
  4. I'm definitely agreeing with the majority opinion that less is more. As suggested by @Lacathedrale I've thinned Hellydale down a bit more, two platforms and no carriage siding now, and pushed it further back into the corner. That's helped with access and I'm liking the look of it a lot more now. The only difficulty is where to store carriages overnight, I'm hoping I can shuffle enough space in the existing sidings but if not the turnout for the Hellydale goods sidings can be made into a threeway to add a dedicated siding without taking up any extra space. Other advantages of this arrangement are that I can have the overbridge station building which was a nice-to-have (evoking Keighley on the Airedale line) and I have easier access to the sidings, both for visibility and handling. I also had the idea to switch Xenasholme and Timsden and that seems to have improved everything, removed a loop on a tight corner and increased the distance between stations a bit. Finally on the removable sections, they're quite rough at the moment, I'll start looking into them in more detail when planning the woodwork. The main priority at the moment is making sure I can find seems where there won't be anything parked on them or any complex track crossing the joins. Thanks again for all the comments so far.
  5. Lots of good feedback here, thanks. @ITG You're right, I can't shunt Timsden without blocking the branch line. I think with it being such a small station it would be one engine in steam. I can keep things circulating on the main if I want and its main purposes are to have variety of destinations and somewhere that can only be shunted in one direction. @Kris Thanks, I also like the greater sense of space in the simpler plan. @Chimer Yeah, the visual separation of having Xenasholme a little lower than Hellydale should make a big difference, I think I can get an inch with 1:50 without encroaching on the removable sections or anything other than plain track. If some of the trains have to be double-headed to manage that's not actually a bad thing. @Zomboid The link line is an interesting suggestion, it's something I've added to minories based plans in the past but I'm not sure if it would be overkill for such a small station. I think one question to answer here would be whether the through platforms are bidirectional? If they are and I change the order of the crossovers then even without the link any combination of simultaneous arrivals and/or departures is possible if the station is empty and platforms can be chosen to suit. If there is a distinct arrival and departure platform then the link would allow simultaneous moves that the current arrangement doesn't. @KingEdwardII Yes, I'll have to shuffle that point to the right, as I mentioned to Zomboid above I think I need to reverse the order of the crossovers and this would create the space to move the turnout. @RJS1977 Thanks for the thoughts, in order: 1) Good spot, I agree and will move it 2) Thanks for the suggestion to swap the crossovers, as mentioned above that solves a couple of other issues so I'm going to do it. Unfortunately I won't be able to squeeze the goods yard turnout in between them anymore so a goods still won't directly be able to take the branch, it will have to set back into the platforms first. At least it will give me something interesting to do. 3) Yes, everything off the branch will have to reverse (unless it's proceeding down the main to the traverser). I don't mind having to do that in the station itself, I think this is the kind of place that would have a very busy period followed by not much happening and these moves can probably fit into the quiet periods, another alternative being to use turnover engines as in Fort William. To add a dedicated run-around would mean two extra goods sidings and I don't think I can fit that in. 4) I wasn't imagining Timsden being on the main line at all, I would consider putting the main behind the backscene at that point although it would make approaching the traverser a bit tricky. 5) Access under the scenery where Timsden used to be is a really good idea, thanks, I'll definitely do that. The reach into the corner with Xenasholme removed is about 2 feet which I think will be ok, with Xenasholme in place it would be too much, hopefully it won't be required too regularly. Thanks again everyone, I'm going to start thinking about singaling, interlocking and block sections as well as implementing what's been suggested so far.
  6. Here's the detail view from Templot: The double track sections through Hellydale and Xenasholme have a 6' way which will probably need increasing, and the platforms are 12' wide. The island platform at Hellydale pinches more than I would like but there's plenty of slack for fettling once I'm happy with the overall scheme.
  7. Thanks all, I've made some fairly significant changes, here's attempt 2: The biggest change is removing the scissors, I agree it didn't look right. I've also removed the carriage siding and replaced it with a third platform which can also be used to store coaches, similar to the arrangement at Fort William. The curves are now R3 minimum everywhere except the loop back on the branch, I just can't make that fit at anything above R3, I'm hoping the fact the largest loco on it will be a Mogul should help. Instead of the hidden return loop the branch now joins back to the main which avoids a lot of gradients and access issues but reduces the branch length, it feels like a good trade to me. Finally it's still called a Vertical Traverser but I'm considering making it a train lift as suggested by DCB, either way it will have the same footprint. What does everyone think? Better or worse?
  8. Hi all, Various life events scuppered my previous layout plans but I now have access to an 8’ x 6’ room which can be mostly given over to a railway (with general storage below it). I’ve come up with a plan and would like a general sanity check and any suggestions for improvements are more than welcome. I’ve had a think about things I want from this layout: A representation of a railway system, not just a single location Lots of varied operation, I like to have things to do but timetabled operation doesn’t really interest me A sense of trains going somewhere, this is why the branch line loops back on itself instead of going around the wall 4mm scale, I’ve tried n and I don’t have the dexterity for it Compromises I’m willing to accept to achieve this in the space available: Train-set curves Short trains The general plan is to model a branch somewhere in the West-Riding in LMS years, with a hint of the West Highland Line mixed in. The branch diverges at Hellydale, heads through the passing station at Xenasholme (named for our cat) then proceeds to the small station of Timsden on one leg of a hidden return loop. After passing through this loop the train calls at Xenasholme’, which is the same physical location as Xenasholme but represents a station further down the branch. The same principle is used to double up Hellydale as Hellydale’, the junction station where the branch re-joins the main line. The premise is that the branch takes a meandering route along the coast (ignoring that the West Riding was landlocked) via some small towns/villages while the main line takes a faster inland route. The plan was drawn in Templot then traced over in Inkscape so I’m confident it will fit the space. It’s going to be oo-sf and whilst the radii get down to R2 in some places anywhere that will involve propelling is fairly gently curved. Whilst on practical matters I am a little concerned about the reach into the top right corner, not sure what I can do about that. I haven’t built a proper schedule diagram yet but I have an idea of the sorts of trains and activities the layout will host: Branch train – a couple of coaches and sometimes a tail load, runs to the end of the branch and back a few times a day Tourist train – arrives from the main in the morning, detaches sleeper coaches, attaches observation car, runs up the branch, detaches observation car and continues up the main. Repeats in reverse in the evening Branch goods – picks up wagons for the branch at Hellydale, heads up the branch depositing those wagons and picking up ones to move to the wider network or other stations on the branch. Turns at Hellydale’ and returns to Helllydale where it deposits any wagons for the wider network. Timsden’s main purpose is to have a station that can only be shunted in one direction Main line goods – arrives at Hellydale off the main, deposits wagons for the branch, then proceeds along the main. Returns at night and picks up any wagons leaving the branch Coal train – as above, but only coal Main line passenger train - various options here, can stop at Hellydale or not, can detach a through coach for the branch or not Hopefully this gives a sense of what I’m trying to achieve, any thoughts or suggestions would be gratefully received. Best wishes, Tim
  9. That's brilliant, thank you, will definitely be giving it a go
  10. Does anyone know if the description of curving easytrac turnouts is available anywhere? It's something I've wondered about and would be very interested to know more details of someone who has already done it.
  11. Would a scaled-down table tennis table mechanism solve the balance issue? The two leaves are supported near the middle by legs that are on casters and move towards the centre as the table folds down. Edit: I completely mis-remembered how that mechanism works, the legs under the pivots don't move, the outer legs do. The pivot legs are on a fixed frame and create a gap between the two leaves when folded up. Still might be worth considering.
  12. That is a lovely model, thanks for sharing. I've built kits in 7mm and am going to try scratch building at some point as well so I'm not too worried about stock, this is going to be a steady long-term project.
  13. Thanks for the info, checkrails are a good idea. I'm going to aim for 48" and see what happens
  14. Brilliant, thanks both. That's actually better than I expected. I've wondered about deeper flanges before but much prefer the scale ones. I think for this first layout I'll go with the ssmrs standard and see if I have any trouble making track well enough for reliable running. Thanks again!
  15. Hi all, I wasn't sure whether to ask this here or start a new thread, but this seemed like the best option. What sort of radii are typical in S? I'm considering the scale for a shelf layout where it isn't too much of an issue but eventually want to have balloon loops at which point it would become important. I've tried searching for information myself but all I've been able to find is figures from the US which seem implausibly tight. In terms of what I'll be running, Jubilee 4-6-0s would be the largest regulars but the occasional big Pacific on a funny train would be nice.
  16. Would having the fiddle yard nearby help to alleviate the problems caused by the shorter quayside line? The only unavoidable problem I can see is that train lengths would be limited by the length of the longest platform, but we tend to run shorter trains that the real thing anyway. That being said I'm not an expert on how Fort William was operated so there might have been some moves that relied on the longer line? I've been thinking about the similarities between Fort William and Minories myself lately, although coming at it from a slightly different angle. Starting with Fort William (but flipped vertically, compressed, and with the curves adjusted to make the Minories comparison more direct): I then modified the plan to make the line to the distilleries branch off much closer to the station so that I could do the old "hiding the fiddle yard behind an industry" trick. I also decided to use the distillery line as a headshunt for the carriage sidings, as I wanted to move the carriage sidings closer to the station so that portions waiting to be attached to other trains would be on-scene rather than in the fiddle yard: Finally, it seemed useful to have a second link from the distillery siding to the longest platform so that trains could be made up from coaches in the carriage sidings whilst other trains arrive and depart in the other two platforms: Which brings us back to the Minories throat, albeit now the non-station side of the throat has a single track line and a siding as inputs rather than a double track line. This is all still very hypothetical, if I ever build anything based on this it will probably be L-shaped with the throat going around the corner and I'd try to work in at least part of an MPD because I think turning the observation coaches is an interesting move that I'd like to include in the operations. Of course that implies I'd be able to get an observation coach in n...
  17. I use the jig and I've found a couple of things help. The first is to only put two bases in it so that there isn't too much resistance. The second is to take the bases out of the jig as soon as the rail passes through the last chair and then move them the rest of the distance along the rail by pulling the rail rather than pushing. This prevents the rail from buckling. Finally, once the full length of rail is assembled I put it loosely back into the jig at various positions to straighten any slight bends and even out the sleeper spacing.
  18. That's great, thanks! Sadly I don't know anyone with a lathe but your method sounds like it will do the trick so I'll give it a go. I've built a couple of turnouts before so not worried about that part, just couldn't figure out a reliable method for making the gauges. Thanks again
  19. Sorry for the late reply, I sometimes make a mental note to do something and think that I've already done it! Thanks a lot for the further info Compound2632, the signalling in particular was helpful as it's an area I know very little about. I agree about the combination of watching trains go by and shunting, there'll definitely be at least one Jubilee (Bahamas was in regular service on the KWVR when I was a kid), I'm also planning on having some form of Mid-day Scott as I love main line expresses and I'll justify it as a small station on a big route (plus rule 1). As to freight I have a 4F which might have to stand in unless Union Mills still do the smaller locos, thanks for the heads-up on that Flying Pig, I'd never heard of them before and will definitely be sending off for a catalog.
  20. Excellent thread, loving both the trackwork and the buildings. If it's not too much of a diversion: you mentioned way back in the earlier pages that you make your own gauges for n2. I understood the n2 standards diagram you posted a couple of times but I have no idea how to go about making gauges, would you mind briefly describing your process for that? I'd really like to give n2 a try but can't without knowing how to make gauges for it first and google wasn't particularly helpful (I suppose it is a fairly obscure subject).
  21. Thanks, I'm glad it's looking suitably Midlandish. I've shortened the second dock siding as suggested, would it make sense for this to have a dual use as a secondary access for the cattle pens (probably sheep in Airedale) and as an end loading siding with a ramp up to it? Or would it be more likely to be end loading with no ramp so that carts etc could be backed up to it and be at the same level as the wagons? I'm happy to have parcels / milk be handled at the platforms, I just had them at the dock sidings because I didn't know where else to put them, does handling them at the platforms mean they wouldn't detach from their trains but be (un)loaded while the train waited? Thanks for all the pointers so far Tim
  22. Been playing with putting the station on the straight and the yard on a very exaggerated curve, I think it works better. The curve through the goods section is 4 foot radius so it shouldn't look too bad. Thoughts or opinions? Do people agree it's an improvement over the previous attempt? Also managed to get hold of some copper clad strip and gauges to experiment with building some points
  23. Turned out to be more complicated than I thought. The slide bar isn't cosmetic, it just looked that way because the crosshead had slipped off both top and bottom slide bars and fallen behind them. The right angle joint between the union link and the combination lever had also managed to invert itself somehow. Anyway with all that straightened out it runs again. Wobbles from side to side a tiny bit and there's a slight rubbing sound when the crosshead reaches the bent part but I think that's inevitable, the main thing is that it runs forwards and backwards at it's slowest setting without any sticking points. Thanks again for the advice, Tim
  24. I'd assumed that pliers wouldn't be able to get in since they are bigger than the tweezers, but thought I'd give it a go since you suggested it. Turns out it was exactly what was needed! The bar is still kinked but since it seems to be cosmetic (the crosshead is attached to the upper slide bar but not the lower one) it should be ok now I've got it out of the way of the coupling rods. Need to try running it tomorrow but I'm feeling hopeful. Thanks for the idea! Tim
  25. Hi, First, sorry if this is in the wrong forum, I wasn't quite sure where it should go. I recently lent my Farish 3mt to a friend and it has become damaged. Specifically the lower slide bar on one side has bent inwards so that it is jamming the outside motion. I've tried fixing it with some tweezers but can't access it well enough to grip it properly. I can think of two potential solutions: 1) Snip the slidebar with some clippers/track sheers. This would definitely work but would permanently damage the loco 2) Disassemble the motion as per the instructions to get better access. This would damage the loco but has the risk of me not being able to put the loco back together again. I've attached a picture of the loco to give a better idea of what the problem is. Has anyone had this issue with this loco before? Is there a better solution than my two ideas? Does anyone have any idea how difficult it would be to reassemble if I do take it apart? Thanks in advance, Tim
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