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Posts posted by Harlequin

  1. 4 hours ago, BWsTrains said:


    Interesting to compare the above with the 1897 25" Map below. The Cattle Dock was clearly a long standing feature, not expected to be in use IF a runaround was required for a separate passenger service.






    Now reverting to Johnster's pointers for GWR BLTs, would there have been a weighbridge at the goods yard road entrance? If so, where exactly? Any photos?

    Also what about a loading gauge?

    There seems little room to position these to cover both the Goods Yard and Good Shed lines as they merge very near the exit line (see upper map)


    Insights on these two items will be greatly appreciated.







    The weighing machine is shown on the 1933 map ("W.M." and two rectangles for the office and the bridge itself) but not the 1897.

    So we can assume it was either installed or moved from another position between those dates. The written histories probably give more detail.


    • Like 1
  2. 22 minutes ago, St Enodoc said:

    I think so!


    That's right. On most (all?) tender locos, of course, the ATC equipment was fitted under the cab.

    I think you're right to say most. I haven't mapped out all the variations but, for instance, here's 2834 with the ATC device just behind the buffer beam, the "guard bar" clearly visible and the coupling hooked up.

    2834 Swindon Shed 7th February 1954 Churchward 2800


    The Oxford Dean Goods model includes a hook on the buffer beam but it's overscale. Not sure how you'd make your own, though. Drill a small hole in the buffer beam, bend a very fine piece of wire to shape and glue it in the hole???


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  3. 4 hours ago, 5BarVT said:

    Is that on all loco types, or just some?

    Reason I ask is that there were special plungers for trains that went into the suburban part of Paddington that locked up clear of the juice rail.  I wonder if the side pieces could be just in case the lock up failed so that the juice was shorted by the body/frame and didn’t make its way into the AWS box in the cab.


    Sorry, don't know the answer to that. The type shown here is the original type with rigid fixings.


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  4. 3 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

    I'm still experimenting with the best way to represent the front screw coupling and its little hook to hold it out of the way of ATC ramps. Any thoughts?



    29 minutes ago, checkrail said:

    So that's why GWR loco couplings were hooked up to the side!  Makes sense.  But I've had no luck replicating this arrangement, even with Exactoscale and Shire Scenes couplings.  Too fiddly for me I'm afraid.  Didn't DJ models provide such a coupling with their 14xx/48xx?  It'd be nice to see such an item as an accessory.  Modelu?



    Slightly tangentially: When ATC plungers were mounted just behind the buffer beam they had an extra fixture which I'm 99% sure was to prevent dangling couplings making electrical contact with the plunger body.


    The relevant parts are the creamy yellow side brackets and the blueish shaped bar around the front in this image.



    Those parts are electrically insulated from the plunger body by felt pads in the mountings (between the salmony pink part and the green mounting plates) and they are not present when the unit is mounted under the cab so it seems clear that they are to stop something making electrical contact with the unit and logic says that thing must be the coupling, hanging just inches in front.


    It's amazing what you can learn when you really study these things!


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  5. 47 minutes ago, Jeremy C said:

    Is that circle bottom right actually doable with regards wiring?


    No problem with a DCC auto-reverser, or reversers, feeding a suitably large isolated section or sections. You could drive in and out in any direction and never notice even a twitch from your loco.


    The sections must be large enough to hold the longest train to avoid problems and I think there's room enough in Zomboid's plan, given that trains are unlikely to be much longer than the platforms, at around ~6ft. 


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  6. 3 hours ago, Jeremy C said:

    I took it for granted that platform 1 was for departures only. The engine facilities are on that side too, meaning that the loco can be attached and the train depart without interfering with incoming trains, allowing simultaneous movements.


    The carriage headshunt could be the remnant of a branch that used to go off to somewhere else, which would account for its unusual position, but I agree that having the engine shed beyond the station seems very odd.


    I suppose the loco spur is for engines laying over rather than the station pilot, but it's rather awkward to use, and I imagine engines not going to the shed would lay over in the engine headshunt if at all possible.

    Minories specifically allows for inbound traffic to arrive directly into any platform and outbound traffic to leave directly from any platform so that it can handle quick turn around suburban commuter services.


    The pointwork could be simpler if P1 was only for departures. The route from Inbound to P1 would not be needed and so the double slip could become a single. But that then might lead to further revisions because it would make more sense for the carriage sidings to be on the outbound side and the slip crossing would then not be needed at all...


    If you can't arrive directly into P1 then it's not Minories any more but it might be better suited for the OP's intended services.


  7. It would be great for the big Pacifics to have a really smooth run in to the platforms but the double slip causes a very sudden deviation for the route into platform 1 because it is nominally a 2ft radius part. That's a shame because I can see you've used Medium radius (nominally 3ft) turnouts elsewhere.


    It's very difficult to replace the slip with normal turnouts without introducing some unwanted reverse curves but it might be possible to do it in such a way that the reverse curves are very subtle and only in the route to the carriage sidings headshunt.


    (Or maybe you can just avoid ever sending large express locos from Down into Platform 1.)


    BTW: Many of your Medium radius turnouts could be replaced by Large radius versions without affecting the plan significantly.


    • Like 1
  8. 2 hours ago, ITG said:

    Like that a lot, Phil. But an added thought…….. assuming the branch line passing Lyneworth is currently at a higher level than the adjacent platform (thus not accessible for passengers), is it possible/feasible/realistic to have a dual level platform so that the branch is accessible there, thus allowing a shuttle to run independently between the two stations? Obviously the architecture of the station buildings would need altering, possible to an overhead building. Also, if one wanted to level that new platform road, it may increase the gradient both before and after it.

    Any thoughts?


    2 hours ago, Chimer said:

    Lyneworth High Level (linked by footpath and subway to the main line platforms) in the bottom right hand corner? 


    Sticking the backscene on the branchline viaduct / lifting flap, hiding the tight curves and crossover on the main line, is a really cool idea ......



    31 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

    Not a problem at all although it depends on the relative levels.  Quakers Yard Low level was linked to Quakers Yard High Level by what was a footbridge at the low level station but ended up at some steps leading up to platform level at the high level station.   You can see how it worked in this lot of photos - the footbridge also crossed over the exchange sidings between the two stations hence the long extra span you see in some views -





    Just to be clear for Clive, the "shuttle" idea would allow a DMU to automatically run back and forth on the branch line without getting tangled up with other train operations. So you could just set it going and ignore it while you do other things.


    The gradients and heights are generous enough to allow for a small level section somewhere on the branch line so "Lyneworth High Level" halt is definitely possible with a pedestrian connection via steps or by extending the footbridge.


    It would also be possible to give the branch line it's own spur under Millhampton to give a longer shuttle run without having to cross onto main line tracks. But having one end of the shuttle run hidden might be less satisfying...


    (And if the layout was computer controlled the shuttle service could run down into it's intended home, the Millhampton bay - but that's getting silly!)


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  9. Just to push the through-station + fiddle-yard + BLT concept to a conclusion and to show that it could be a nice workable design for someone, if not you Clive, here's where I got to with my idea.


    This is the main level:


    At Lyneworth I added carriage sidings, laid out the MPD and increased the length of the headshunt.

    The fiddle yard loops have been joggled to clear the support posts for Millhampton and an extra crossover added to get branch traffic onto the inner through line as directly as possible, leaving the loops purely for storage.

    Simple lifting flap across the doorway with straight track joints - easy to build.


    And then the high level, terminating at something like 170mm above the main level:


    The branch line climbs behind Lyneworth @ 1 in 50, separated by a retaining wall which becomes a viaduct and crosses over the main line (always fun to see one train running above another).

    It spans the doorway on another lifting flap, also with straight track joints. The angle allows the curve into Millhampton to be more open than the 2nd and 3rd radius curves nearby on the main level.

    Millhampton is your classic BLT but in the steam transition era the engine shed and/or the goods shed have been sold off and are now occupied by local businesses, such as perhaps a brewery.


    Millhampton leaves the bulk of the fiddle yard open for access and the covered parts are easily within reach.


    If you add minimal viaduct-top detail to the branch line flap and a simple sky backscene around the room behind it, it could look very effective and give you scenery all round the room.


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  10. 22 minutes ago, AndyB said:


    Thanks, Phil.

    Appreciate your thoughts, especially with your talent for visual design being applied to this. 


    Not this specific building, but is this something like what you had in mind in terms of height?






    Yes, something like that.


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  11. I think it needs a "visual full stop" there but a backscene alone won't be enough if it portrays "the distance" like backscenes usually do because then the scene would still trail away with no obvious end.


    I suggest that instead of a backscene something within the scene should provide the full stop, such as a large building or a clump of trees (if it's a sheltered harbour). Perhaps something related to the sea. Chandlers warehouse, boat shed, seaman's chapel? Stubby lighthouse?


    (I notice that the bits of ply you were holding up are not full end scenes, they all have a relationship to the harbour wall - so you're already thinking about the end being part of the model rather than the edge of the world...)


    • Interesting/Thought-provoking 3
  12. Hi Colin,


    Getting back to coaching stock for a 1930s Westcountry branch line that’s more substantially laid than the Culm Valley, you could consider the upcoming Kernow Railmotor. I believe Railmotors still operated shuttle services out of Exeter in this period, over at least part of the Moretonhampstead branch, for instance.


    Regarding Westcountry B Sets (B sets had different formations in different GWR divisions, as you pointed out above) you could still consider the new Hornby 57’ bow ended non-corridor stock (e.g. a left & right pair of brake thirds?) - if you’re willing to sprinkle some Rule1 dust on them. :smile_mini: They are very good models, more refined than the old Airfix “B set”, and both Hattons and Kernow have had them on offer recently.

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  13. 6 hours ago, micknich2003 said:

    Dear Mike, can you please tell me more about using Libre Office to produce drawings? I'm looking for an easy to use program where I can "Cut and Paste" from the likes of the attached and make a completely different layout. Many Thanks, Mick.



    Hi Mick,

    You can snip parts out of an image but the parts will then be bitmap, possibly with small marks on them and with an edge that needs to be disguised. So my technique, which should also work in LibreOffice, is to draw new versions of the symbols and then copy and paste them around the drawing as needed. That way they are clean and because they are drawings, not bits of an image, can be adapted as needed.


    That’s how I created the Helston drawing, above.


    Also in that drawing, the tracks are drawn using a “brush” to simulate the ink/pencil borders and the watercolour fill of the real thing. That means that they are easy to draw and easy to adjust. That is something that you need a dedicated drawing program to achieve.

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  14. Lots of programs have drawing abilities shoe-horned into them and can do simple tasks but to have complete freedom to draw what you want, with the ability to change it easily, to make it look good and not to have it squashed down to pixels you need a drawing program.


    Affinity Designer is relatively cheap, non-subscription, made in the UK, works in both Mac and Windows and is award winning.


    And I say that with some pain because I work on a competing program, Xara Designer.


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  15. Hi Peter,


    I think you need a drawing program, like Xara Designer, Affinity Designer or Adobe Illustrator.


    When combined with knowledge of the prototype diagrams and input from signalling experts it’s possible to make something reasonably authentic like this:



    (Created for @Andy Keane’s Helston)


    A signal box diagram is a slightly different beast from a mimic diagram, so you need to be clear which you are actually going for, but a drawing program is the most flexible way to make either.

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  16. 6 hours ago, 5BarVT said:

    Another vote for curved points, and they do look good.

    I have seen ‘worried’ comments about curved points, but have never had any issues with mine (PECO code 100 electrofrog).  Photos of the curved points are in the earlier part of my Heath Town thread.


    Curved turnouts are extremely useful in helping formations to fit in small spaces and I use them a lot in my layout designs but I confess that I am one of the worriers.


    I have a Code 75 version on my test track that trails into a 26in radius curve. It's absolutely fine in the trailing direction but propelling long stock through it, or driving steam locos with a leading bogie or pony through it, in the facing direction is a source of derailments for me.


    I haven't worked out exactly what's going on but the derailments happen at the common crossing (the "frog") and I suspect it's something to do with wheelset back-to-backs. So probably not a problem with the turnout itself, just that it exposes problems in the rolling stock.


    That's just my experience.


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  17. 2 hours ago, Zomboid said:

    It does make it into more of a wayside station, where the action is in shunting the goods and branch train, whilst most traffic will just trundle by. It looks more realistic but that comes at the cost of interesting operation.


    I personally prefer the original idea of a bigger station where loco changes happen, everything has to originate/ terminate and ECS is worked to and from the carriage sidings. That makes it a bit of a tail chaser, but it's philosophically a very different thing.


    Hmmm, yes.


    Edit: Adding some carriage sidings to my version of Lyneworth would go some way towards addressing this.


    I put this suggestion forward, though, specifically to show Clive a design with a separate fiddle yard and the good and bad things that it brings - somewhere for trains to go to and come from, somewhere where densely packed stock doesn't look odd, somewhere you can handle stock to change things around but on the other hand the amount of valuable space it consumes.


    I'm not sure that Clive has expressed a preference one way or the other yet...???


    • Like 1
  18. 7 minutes ago, Chimer said:

    Phil, I assume you've spotted that a train returning to the Millhampton bay platform at Lyneworth will be running wrong line when it exits the tunnel?  Just asking ...... :)


    I don't think so - unless I've missed something.

    Down the branch line, through one of the bidirectional centre fiddle yard loops (which are all effectively trailing crossovers), then on the anti-clockwise line into Lyneworth station, terminate at the anti-clockwise through platform, (loco may then run round if it's a loco hauled service) cross over to the clockwise and set back into the bay.


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