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Posts posted by Harlequin

  1. Some feedback:

    • It's very busy. I think you're trying to do too much in the space. My suggestion: Abandon the second platform and maybe one of the goods sidings.
    • The goods shed needs a bit more track beyond it to be able to push, say, three empty vans through before the yard needs to be shunted again.
    • The reverse curves to get into the platform and goods yard are awkward.
    • The station building will obscure the top left corner. That may be OK if you have a plan for that area but if not it's valuable space not being used effectively.
    • The turntable is a 75ft version for big mainline locos. Probably doesn't need to be that big.
    • Do you know where the coaling stage will go?
    • The points fan in the FY takes up valuable length. If you used a traverser you'd be able to make the FY a bit shorter, have more scenic space and you could have 5 or possibly 6 full-length roads. But you would then lose anything scenic in front of the FY.
    • The top right corner seems like prime real-estate for the engine shed and TT. That's why I suggested flipping Launceston over (in terms of its topology).


  2. Hi Schooner,


    Canals and Railways - a magical combination!


    It would be great to see my take on the Inglenook come to life in this form - but whatever trackplan you use will be wonderful.


    Since you say that space is not a limiting factor but you've chosen a size that is "do-able", how about increasing the space very slightly to allow the plan to breathe a bit more?


    To expand: Most people are limited by space and that imposes the biggest compromise on their layout designs, frequently with trackwork very close to the boundaries making it difficult to disguise the edges of the scene. You have the luxury of space and you could, if you wanted, add some space to the ends while leaving the railway plan the same size, so that the scene is no longer defined by the railway - it becomes a more naturally framed scene with a railway in it. You would have more room for road vehicles to turn and move around the yard, more room for buildings at the sides to be fully realised, more opportunity to hide the FY exit. And the extra cost on your time and effort shouldn't be that great - some of the increased area would just be more earth texture and more setts.


  3. I write 2D drawing software for a living - have done for 20+ years - and we've always tried to make our program very intuitive for our users. If we had ever been given the chance to write a 3D program it would have looked a lot like Sketchup, it has a similar ethos.


    I love Sketchup so much that I (eventually) stumped up for a licence for the full version! (That's why I wasn't sure of the capabilities of the free version.)


    • Like 1
  4. FWIW: I love Sketchup. (Couldn't get my mind around Fusion 360 yet).


    Sketchup's working method is very easy to get to grips with (to explain it in very simple terms: drawing 2d shapes then extruding them to 3d) and from that simple foundation you can go on to do very complex things if you need to.


    Not sure if the free online version will export STL files for 3D printing, though.


    • Like 1
    • Informative/Useful 1
  5. Hi everyone,


    greatwestern.org.uk is a great site for those interested in the GWR but I notice that it hasn't been updated for a long time now, there are some dead links and it's style is a bit old-fashioned.


    I'm worried that we might lose this valuable resource if no-one's looking after it. Names mentioned on the Home page are: John Daniel (copyright holder), Eric A. Meyer of CWRU and Neil Johan.


    Does anyone know if these gentlemen are able to update and maintain the site?



  6. 8 hours ago, Neal Ball said:

    Plus of course the lovely Collet carriages from Hornby.


    I wonder when Bachmann will replace their carriages.....


    New 4-6-0; is that the new Bachmann Manor that Mike aka @The Stationmaster alluded to a couple of weeks ago? Or maybe Hornby are going to announce a new Saint 4-6-0 in January.

    Not so much for us inter-war GWR types, though...

    Mogul, Prairie, Collett coaches. That's it unless I've forgotten something.

    We desperately need more coaches from the period, as you've said before, Neal. Would it be too much to hope for a set of RTR Toplights? Or Dreadnoughts?


    • Like 2
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  7. 39 minutes ago, Clearwater said:

    My book says no as well but I wouldn’t take that as an independent confirmation as if @Harlequinis using RCTS, my book is quoting that in its bibliography so probably the same underlying information.



    Yes, it would be good to have confirmation from independent sources. I'm using "Great Western Moguls and Prairies" by David Maidment, 2016. I can't see RCTS mentioned in the Bibliography...?


    • Like 2
  8. 2 minutes ago, Mallard60022 said:

    Thank you very much both...in that case, any chance of looking for 6320 as well? Same time period. Apologies but I am not a GWR/WR person, but these two worked diversions through my depicted area in December 1960. I have 7310 and it has Pipes; I will use it unless 6320 had pipes and then I'll renumber if relevant.


    6320: No


    • Agree 1
  9. 48 minutes ago, rprodgers said:
    • Hi Neal  I might have a similar problem whilst testing mine on a rolling road it just suddenly stopped. Checking further I discovered that the crank pin on the one leading wheel was caught on the back of the cross head and it had moved the slide bars etc from the horizontal to a diagonal. I moved them back into place but it has happened again. I am wary about using glue there is a “pip” on the top of the cylinder assembly that fits into the bottom of the running board .
    • I will try  to post pictures to illustrate what I mean.
    • Ps Before this it was running very smoothly, the slow running issues some others mentioned I assumed was down to the mechanism having to overcome the initial “reluctance “ of the fly wheel. Maybe without the fly wheel it would run as slow as some people would want?





    The crank pin might just have not been tightened properly at the factory and worked loose. This is quite a common failing for new steam locos in my experience.

    Tightening it back up might be all that's needed - if you can get at it...

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  10. 9 minutes ago, boxbrownie said:

    Absolutely no surprise to me at all.........after the farce I had with Dapol they will NEVER get any of my money again.


    Is it fair to keep on characterising Dapol this way because you had a bad experience with a particular configuration of a particular product?


    I'm not surprised that Dapol were unable to say anything conclusive about Neal's problem because it may have been the first report of these symptoms they heard. It's still early days for this model.


    • Like 2
    • Agree 6
  11. You only need a turntable big enough to turn the locos likely to be used on your branch line.


    Here’s Launceston: https://maps.nls.uk/view/105992299 (annoyingly in the very bottom left corner of the map).


    Notice that there are two stations right next to each other. I’m only thinking about the GWR terminus to the North.

    From the top:

    • Back/mileage siding
    • Goods shed siding
    • End loading dock
    • Platform loop
    • Release loop for both platform and goods loop either side
    • Goods loop / cattle dock / engine shed headshunt
    • Kickback engine shed
    • Kickback turntable

    The goods yard is splayed out for access but everything else is tightly packed. The TT and engine shed are very neatly arranged.


    You can see how similar it is to your plans and flipped over and compressed it might fit very nicely into your space.

    • Like 1
    • Informative/Useful 1
  12. That's a lovely plan and concept.


    I see that although your layout is end to end, the station itself is a through-station and the loop really is a passing loop, not a terminus run round loop as I had assumed.


    So please excuse my incorrectly labelled switches above!


    P.S. Don't forget the trap points on exit from the goods yards...


  13. 1 hour ago, David Schweizer said:

    Thanks for that Phil. Just one question. Are the four locations marked - To switch labelled "Platform and Loop" supplied by one (presumably double pole) switch, if so, does that switch source it's power from the Controller? Well two questions, Does the power supply to the switch labelled "Loco Release Spur" also come from the controller. To clarify my earlier post, it is a one section end to end layout, with a total length of less than 3metres without points motors, The illustraion I supplied was perhaps confusing because it included reference to points motors, wheras I meant to only show the control switches.


    Just to muddy things, prototypically the passing loop was hardly ever used, except to store spare carriages, so it would probably be easier to include the converging loop points for visual realism, but use insulating rail joiners at both ends of those points . That way I would not have to worry about any switches, but could modify it to be live at some future stage, which given my age will probably never happen. In the first instance the only real reason I embarked upon a layout was so that I had somewhere to display, and use, the prototypical K&ESR locos and rolling stock I have built, and continue to build.

    Yes, and Yes.


    You might have section switches on your end-to-end so that you can shunt at one end while locos at the other end don't move without having to set the points against them. Even if the entire layout is one section I think it would still be wise to isolate the loco release spur and feed it through a switch. It's a very simple thing to do and gives you some insurance if your plans change in the future. (Just having a layout that you can run stock on changes things!)


    The wiring could be more minimal than I showed, as Chimer suggests, and I did think about leaving out the feed at the toe end of the loco release points but then it gets more complicated to explain and understand. The drawing shows the most obviously understandable solution - the one that most people would be comfortable with.


  14. 8 hours ago, David Schweizer said:

    Thanks for the suggestions.  I understand the convention that the power should be fed into the toe end of the points which is the case with the first six points on the layout, but the seventh point is at the further end of the Passing loop, and I was not planning to feed any power into what is a half metre dead end beyond that point.  It is really only there to add some visual realism and provide the facility for locomotives to change ends of the train. I also understand the consequences of allowing negative and positive to meet each other on the same rail, which would happen on the passing loop when changing points if the power was on, and  is why I came up with the idea that the power be turned off while changing the passing loop points. Furthermore it would only involve one switch rather than several, and would avoid the need for complex cicuitry. I would be interested to learn of any technical reasons why such an approach should not be adopted. Just to clarify a couple of points, raised in the suggestions, I am running DC only, and am not planning to instal any points motors. I realise that I am a bit of a novice where model railway wiring is concerned, but I do have a good understanding of 12v power, having worked on and extended a battery powered system on a 50 ft boat where the calculations and circuitry can be quite complex.




    The loco release spur at the end of the platform needs to have power for its whole length because at this stage you can't guarantee what operations you might use it for. You might need to drive a loco to the very far end for some reason so give it equal importance and attention as any other bit of track.


    It is usual to allow the power to be turned off for the loco release spur separately from the platform track and the run round loop so that another loco can pick up the train in the platform while the arriving loco stands in the spur. (This operation may or may not have happened prototypically but, again, you can't know for sure at this stage if you'll ever need to do that so it's wise to allow for it.)


    The layout will probably be divided up into sections, each with its own switch on the control panel so that you can control the movements of more than one loco and for fault finding. So it's a very small overhead to add another section switch for just the loco release spur.


    In that case the typical arrangement might be something like this:




    • Only two switches are needed on the control panel for this area.
    • There’s no need to turn off the power to change the points.
    • Notice that it doesn't matter in what combination the points are thrown (or how the frogs are switched), the insulators in the frog rails prevent shorts through the rails. You may get a short if you drive a loco over a point that is set against it but that's a different matter.
    • The platform and run round tracks take their power directly from a switch, not relying on point blade contact, thus improving reliability.


    • Agree 2
  15. Here are a few photos of my sound installation:




    I removed the plastic coal load and to improve the sound, I cut a hole in the tank, covered with insect mesh, then glued chunky loco coal in using Copydex. The gluing takes a few iterations to ensure that the mesh is hidden and to build the shape you want.


    The result is that sound will now come directly from the speaker, through the grille, and between the coal lumps, instead of being bounced around in the plastic tender body and coming out underneath.


    I used a Zimo 40*20*9 speaker because I thought it gave the best sound of the speakers I tried without requiring any grinding of the tender weight block. The corners of the 3D printed speaker had to be rounded off to allow it to sit down in the cast metal speaker well and thus allow the body to fit down properly.


    Back together:



    The running plates line up, there was no feeling of the body flexing when the screws were tightened so it's just about a perfect fit and it sounds great (within the limitations of the sound project.)



    I have used this technique before but this is the first time I've been able to show the tender with a partial load instead of brimming with coal and that made me realise that it would be better to (a.) weather the coal space before fitting the coal and (b.) have some finer grade bits around while being careful they don't block the grille. The advantage of using Copydex is that I can easily remove the load and do that one day.


    So, room to improve but I think the basic technique is sound (ha ha!).


    P.S. If you're fitting your own sugar cube speaker in the smokebox it's very important that it is sealed to the clip-on enclosure otherwise you might get buzzing on sounds like the whistles. I used Copydex for that too.


    • Like 12
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    • Craftsmanship/clever 3
  16. 8 hours ago, Jsiony RN said:

    Good afternoon

    just been looking at this thread and returning to model railway after sometime. How things have changed. Do you by any chance Design layouts?  As mentioned don’t really have a clue at the moment but the little research I have done it does seem dcc is the way forward. I have a spare room size 10ftx8ft and would like a design to fit. I am happy to build the layout but have no clue about baseboard sizes etc. It would be nice to have a split level design (if possible) so my question is would you be able to design something .


    kind regards Roger best contact is through my email *****@btinternet.com 


    Hi Roger, I'll send you an email.


    In the meantime, I suggest you edit your post above to remove the email address so that spammers and fraudsters can't see it.


  17. Hi David,


    You have to switch the frog one way or another and so the method of switching doesn't really affect the answer to your question. If you do the live point blades modification then you have to switch the frog externally.


    The rails beyond the frog can either be electrically connected to the frog and take all power from it, or have their own power feed and be insulated from the frog.



    If you think you might like to use the point blades to switch the frog now but leave open the option to use an external switch later, then there's a simple method here: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/109951-electrofrog-point-isolations/&do=findComment&comment=4174997 (Read further back for Suzie's written explanation.)



  18. @Harlequin is confused and doesn’t know what to make of this one! :smile_mini:


    Actually, having thought about it, I largely agree with you, David. It’s the mixture of scenic, part scenic and non-scenic scattered around the room that worries me. And the proportions. But it’s hard to see how to arrange the parts any differently without going multi-level, which brings new problems.


    I think something different would make better use of the space... but Chris said in the OP we’re not allowed to use that ploy in this exercise! :wink_mini:

    • Like 1
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