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  1. I think that might be a sensible choice, Keith - and the more I research, the more I'm fascinated with Bromley North's original station. It seems large, but not large enough to be painful in gestation (like Caterham 1900) nor the extremely quaint idyll of Hawkhurst. I've put some more time into researching and come across some lovely photos with the help of the SECR society (they have asked me not to reproduce publically so you'll just have to take my word for it!) The fifteen years from the close of the 19th century to the start of the first world war shows very little change at Bromley North, other than the provision of a footbridge and the beginning of suburbanisation towards the north, oblitering the forest and cricket ground for rows of terraced houses: Presumably the Timber Yard moved to the east (top) side of the station at this time too, and was renamed 'Saw Mill'. The houses angled at 45 degrees in the stone yard in middle-bottom of the 1912 picture are also visible at the bottom of the aerial photo above. Bromley North 1897 Bromley North, 1912 An explanation for the comment of 'the most disgraceful building on the SE&CR' might easily be explained by a period photo of the up station building, looking towards the yard in 1924 just before demolition. That carriage behind the motor car isn't on the bay siding, it's a permanent fixture - there was another one on the other side of the station building too! Bromley North Approach Road 1924 (Posted with permission of South Eastern & Chatham Railway Soc. and intentionally scaled down) Lastly, a picture of the turntable with the hoardings from the 1928 aerial shot clearly visible behind. Bromley North Turntable looking north-east towards down platform, 1921 (Posted with permission of South Eastern & Chatham Railway Soc. and intentionally scaled down) Some other pictures give lots of context: Locos pictured at the station were Q-class Nos. 399 and 299, and F-class No. 240 and No 215 - the latter pictured with what I assume is a 'typical' train of a passenger break van, six 6-wheelers and another break van. Another picture shows the 'tail end' of a similar train with oil lamps shunted into the carriage siding at the top of the plan. Another picture shows a mixed bunch of very early and contemporary wagons and vans with a couple of four(?) wheeled carriages in the bay siding. The coal merchant was Rickett & Smith, with adverts for Cooperative Coal along the fence around the turntable EDIT: the building in the left foreground of the last photo is marked 'Lobbies' in the SER plan above - no clue what that is!
  2. If anyone has watched lord of the rings, I thought of this: (just a random screenshot, I think my favourite is earlier when the valve gear washers are being removed at 20x zoom and a ginormous thumb comes into the frame)
  3. Finally getting around to building the Masterclass models 24' GWR brake as an AA13: To be honest, I doubt this looks ike much to most of you,but for me it feels like a bit of a watershed - all of the lessons learned and advice proffered over the last while seem to have come together to make this such a pleasure to build - @Caley Jim's suggestion of using solder paint, Nick Mitchell's suggestion for attaching the axle boxes and THEN filing off the connective joint, @queensquare's advice to file down the bearing cups to fit into the Masterclass solebar overlays and the list just goes on. When I first bought it, I looked at the etched sheets and felt like running a mile! I don't think the axle boxes are perfect - without any positive register it was a challenge - but they 'feel' right. I think this is also the first wagon I've built with solebar overlays that went on with them aligned in all three dimensions without spreading out too.
  4. Excellent stuff - is this the bottom-left corner of this plan? Certainly I'm thinking about making my layout part of a system, rather than a single scene - but even in 2mm it's not that simple! Is the theme of the layout transitioning fo the Sunny South Special?
  5. Well, my only chance for getting MRJ at a physical shop failed - what's everyone's recommendation for buying online? I don't have a cheque book to get a subscription directly
  6. @Ian Morgan it's definitely someting playing on my mind - my natural proclivity is towards modelling a prototype. With that in mind, a verbatim plan of Bromley North - in 18" x 7'. If you can believe it (I bet you can't), I have another connection to Bromley North - I used to go past it every week on the bus, and my mum lives just around the corner! I must admit though, it didn't look much like this: Bromley North 1878 to 1925 One thing that makes me a little uneasy about this plan is the very tight radii in the goods yard as written - the shorter middle track has a 13" radius curve and the rest of the ladder uses A5's and an 18" radius. This seems far, far too tight for the prototype let alone a model, but I can't find any way to ease it. Bromley North 1929 This shot is four years after the station was fully rebuilt, but there are again alot of things to draw the eye to the original layoutsuch as the line of the approach road and the warehouse buildings/hoardings, the line of the old public footpath ( towards the very top of the plan, not the one across the tracks) and the the yard crane. I think the Goods Shed is standing roughly at the location of the Mason's Yard dock, but the oil depot and corporation stone yard have been obliterated in the rebuild. I wonder if with two operators (and thus the reason to think about diverting from the prototype), it might be just as pleasing to figure out how to operate Bromley in such a way to not block each other - run the required trains and let that make things more complicated as it needs to be. Addendum: from the SE&CR society I recieved this period anecdote: "The old Bromley North terminus (Bromley until 1899), made of wood, was freely regarded at one time as the most disgraceful edifice on the S E & C; but only by people who had never visited Dungeness."
  7. Hi Keith, Thank you for the kind words, I only hope this kind of discussion isn't too tiresome for the kind folk who comment. Certainly I feel myself circling ever closer to what I want, but I am quite aware that after 2+ years posting plans on this forum I've had one aborted OO layout and a 3' micro to show for myself! I think the most sensible choice is as you have suggested, to make a layout that is essentially terminus-to-FY with the assumption or understanding this will be extended to an L or a U at some point. With that in mind, here is a broad comparison of all the plans under consideration at this stage. Broadly they are 7'-8' in length and 16-24" in width: Each one has its own appeal. Harestone - is an ultra-compressed Caterham by Iain Rice, essentially a 'country' version of Halfburn Viaduct. I feel this layout somewhat left in the lurch, being the least operationally interesting and with least fidelity to any real life plan. Included here primarily for completeness. Though the idea still intrigues me, I feel that Halfburn Viaduct - is at right angles to the current thrust of interest for me. Supporting mainline trains, NPCS, 'Minories' style operation in an urban setting is one of my big 'wants' for A future layout, but not clear if it's THIS future layout. Despite its scope, it's one of the smallest and least complex layouts in the list with only six turnouts and twenty feet of track. Caterham 1900 is much more a 'large secondary terminus' than a 'branch terminus'-type layout which is fairly unusual, with extensive passenger and goods faciltiies. It's an outlier in XtrkCAD due to the lack of curved turnouts -but I would imagine it would fit within the notional 8' max width of scenic boards but be constructed of curved baseboards rather than orthogonal ones. - Really though, it seems like it would be the 'best' plan in another time and another world - on the model the extensive track plan was never fully utilised, and in real life as a sole modeller I think it would be a big ask to complete over twenty turnouts and forty feet of track on the scenic section alone. The remaining three layouts of Caterham 1896, Bromley North and Hawkhurst are on a continuum from smallest to largest. Of the three, Caterham 1896 is the most visually attractive, but with the least operational interest - but we have talked about that to death and I feel like I have a bit more to say about Bromley North as it's one plan I've not really pushed investigation of until now. - Please note, the Bromley North plan in the above comparison is mirrored to fit in the same orientation - so if routing with regard to the main line doesn't make sense, that's why! Here's a small picture showing the 'real' arrangement: Bromley North 1899-1921 Both Bromley and Hawkhurst share a bay platform, goods shed (missing on both XtrkCAD diagrams), an oil depot and a coal dealership. In the XtrkCAD plan I had intentionally cropped the outermost siding from the Bromley goods yard, and it's attendant headshunt into the private siding on the stone company is not shown in the SER map above as it's 'private'. If that is factored in, both plans have essentially identical freight operations. Passenger-wise, the two faces and a bay platform for Bromley might indicate a busy station - but in reality the platforms were dedicated for arrival and departure. Trains would arrive on the down platform, be run around via the turntable and shunted on the up main back into the up platform. That same runaround loop was required when shunting the goods yard, sorting NPCS into the bay/dock or readying outbound goods for departure on the 'cart road' siding. On my XtrkCAD plan I've noted a potential facing siding on the goods yard throat. If the layout is operated by a single person, occupying both the platform road, the runaround and shunting on the up main is no major issue - but with more than one person operating the layout, it would essentially block any other movements. Making this facing siding a goods lead would alleviate this issue. Alternatively, to forestall the wide wedge shape of the layout plan, the corporation stone yard headshunt could be situated there instead. At Hayes (only a few miles away), the two middle roads of the goods yard were joined by a runaround, which is another option to consider. So, my current though is to mull over relaxing the stranglehold of prototypical modelling I've found myself in, and see what a Vulcan mind-meld of Caterham's buildings, Hawkhurst's stock and Bromley North's track plan might look like.
  8. Yes, indeed - one of the major factors for the U plan was that trains would go SOMEWHERE. I wonder if another review of the 'opposing side' plan is worthwhile. In this case I've used the Bromley North sketch, but would work for any of the 7'-ish plans we have discussed: Firstly, a removable traverser (in pink) - this would block the door in a closed position. This allows a short run out of the station - about six hundred scale feet on the approach and four hundred and fifty feet past the outer home. Definitely better than going straight into a FY for length, but I'm not sure how practical a removable traverser would be! See below: Opposing Side Fig 1. The other plan is to offset the entire 'bridge' of the U by 9" in order that it can fit into the room with the door open. In this particular case I'm pointedly not letting the FY overlap onto the desk area: Opposing Side Fig 2.1 It's also feasible to overlap the FY slightly to provide some smoother gradients and a good sized scenic area on the drop out board. Definitely more suited for open country side given the likelihood of damage during frequent handling, and in my mind removes the 'set-track' look of Fig 3.1 below. The drop-out section still fits handily underneath boards 2 and 3, and it is required to exist 'in full' to work. Opposing Side Fig 2.2 By amending the curves, a more standard orthogonal drop out section is possilble. This is similar to 2.2 but would allow the FY to bolt directly onto board 3. Opposing Side Fig 3.1 Certainly, blocking the door 'open' rather than 'closed' is preferable. I'm not sure what other conclusions I can draw at this point - the ideas are a little too fresh - except that a third of a mile / ten feet of clear running is definitely something I think I'd like! The only other wildcard I can think of, is that I'm thining of moving in the next 2-3 years assuming there's not another ginormous financial collapse.
  9. The station building is the normal SER clapboard affair so no, nothing like as nice as Caterham - but one could easily merge them as @Harlequin has suggested. The footprint is almost identical, and everything makes 'more sense' as in Hawkhurst (no doubt due to being 50 years the junior of Caterham) with the Engine shed off the loop instead of being sandwiched between the platform face and the goods yard, the crane being outside the goods yard rather than abreast the entrance, etc. Operationally the lack of a goods headshunt (which would require the train to shunt back into staging) is not ideal, but the shuffling of wagons for both facing and trailing sidings is more interesting, especially while sharing the loop with, and avoiding, the passenger services. Locomotive stock in Hawkhurst would definitely be more interesting in the SE&CR period - the Q and O classes (and their rebuilds) in majority, with the earliy 2-4-0 open cab '118'-class showing up from time to time, as well as de-rated passenger express locos like the B-class 4-4-0 and cascaded tank stock like the H-class and R/R1 ex-LCDR tanks. Thinking out loud, we are at 11 turnouts and 10 square feet of layout. In less space with fewer turnouts, we can also fit in a four-platform Holborn Viaduct: Same stock - the 118's, Q's, O's, H's, C's and B's - and probably not altogether different carriages - but obviously it's a different kettle of fish - Minories on steroids - but I must keep reminding myself to investigate options with an open mind.
  10. Yes indeed I've recently read 'The Hawkhurst Branch' by Wild Swan and can highly recommend it - it too is a single line branch worked by literally identical stock to Caterham - 118's, Q- and O- classes supplanted eventually by H and C classes. I whipped up a quick templot plan for the branch terminus, which fits perfectly into a 7' x 18" footprint including the bridge, station approach road and coal dealership. Hawkhurst is so similar to Caterham if you squint that it's a little mind boggling - a single line rural branch terminus with an loco shed operated by the SER with a personal connection to me (my family were one-time owners of the Slip Mill that Slip Mill road is named after). Objectively I think it's probably a 'better' plan - it has five goods sidings (and an oil dealer) rather than three, two platforms rather than one. Both plans share an engine shed and a goods shed and 'standard' goods and passenger operations, but Hawkhurst additionally has excursion and school trains which use the dock and hop picker specials whose carriage stock need to be shunted around into the goods yard to make space for regular services.
  11. I've also just realised the buildings in the etching are visible in the 'early' photo. The building behind and to the left of the Railway Hotel is middle-right on the early photo. On the hill on the right in the etch include a terrace (shown with three chimneys) is visible just next to the station roof. With the kind help of @Gareth Collier I've come to realise that an SER Q-class and O-class are eminently doable in 2mmFS - the former is available as a 3D print and can fit ajn association M7 chassis underneath (with a scratch-built trailing bogie) and the latter from Worsley Works, powered by a 2mm Association terrier chassis. In fact, my research has shown that every single tender locomotive produced by either the SER, LCDR or SECR has a wheelbase which (within 0.75mm) matches the terrier. Who'd have thought!?
  12. Speaking with the East Surrey Museum has turned up some high quality scans of two of the three well known shots of the pre-1899 station: Some very tonally divergent covered wagons, a goods platform and an SER bow-topped open wagon. It is hypothesised that this is the last day of the old station being open - note all the metal signs removed, and the multiple sets of signals in the top-left of the view. IF only we had a few more degrees, we could possible see the new station platforms just adjacent the carriages. AS previously mentioned, the crane stays in roughly the same place and the station building and goods shed is removed, and a new line laid curving an arc starting where the platform canopie is, curving around to the lower right of this view with the lads watching the onloading, leaving a truncated stump of the old platform (where the pile of bags are!) as a loading dock. Clay Cross wagons. Engine shed to the left of the building - the lack of awning and clear view across to roman road show this to be an early shot indeed. Plain arris rails, and a very dainty seat under the windows. Check out the decorative carving on the roof!! And a new one: The building to the right of the top hatted gentleman must be the engine shed. Other bits of note - the lower quadrant signals, the water tower on stilts, and lots of rubbish under the platform edge. The building to the left of the top hatted gent looks to be the stables or workshop that was hard up against the outermost goods road. I believe between the loco and rear of the carriage on the left is the old signal box. Check out the profile of those timbers!! And the old etching showing the railway hotel and station buildings is fairly familiar, but there's also a one facing due north - the station building is centre and railway hotel is on the right. To the left is what I think is the country house of 'Minley', now the site of a fire station:
  13. I wonder if 3D printed chairs would work for those specialist versions?
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