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Keith Addenbrooke

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    US Model Railroading, GW Branch Lines, Layout Design, BRM Subscriber, Narrow Gauge Railways

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  1. Ordered today for my half-term reading after seeing the info here: I’wasn’t aware of this book, but have come across Thomas Klimoski’s Georgia Northeastern layout online, so am looking forwards to reading this. Also gives me the chance to say thank you for the tip (and all you do to keep us appraised and of often ahead of the market). Appreciated, Keith.
  2. Maldon track does now appear on Anyrail (it may need an update to appear). I've only had a bit of time this afternoon, but I wanted to have a go at answering the question and got this far: All curves are R1 unless stated, and straights are 18" or 36" unless stated (I cheated and 'drew' them from Atlas 40" lengths of flex track). The plan is very loosely based on a simple test circuit in a shed from CJF's Small Plans, with the addition of a goods loop for shunting the sidings (while a clockwork train uses the main line?). I've kept it simpler than my initial written suggestion for easier portability - deciding where baseboard joints go won't be too difficult. It won't be the most exciting suggestion and only has one station of course, but tries to offer just a little bit more than a single circuit without becoming a twin-track race track. This track isn't cheap, so a budget layout like this is still going to be quite an investment. Interesting exercise, Keith.
  3. Hi David, as you’ve seen already, there’s always lots to like about Phil’s ( @Harlequin’s) layout designs. If it’s OK, I wonder if I might comment on three things that stood out for me from this proposal: The first was the way it uses the tight space on the left hand end without trying to mess with the cupboard under the stairs - I’d considered a ‘diagonal’ oval running from the bottom left to top right, but then decided - and suggested - it might be easier to ignore that corner altogether (which shows what I know ). By finding a way to make it work, this plan gives much more space along the bottom wall before the door interferes at the other end. Scenically, I think I might try a raised town scene over the tracks to hide the return curve altogether, as long as the points are accessible and can be remotely operated. It’s not that different to the suggestion of tall buildings around the tracks of course. Either way, the wall space that you can buy by using the corner for the end curve looks well worth it. The second thing - which we see in a lot of Phil’s plans - is how well the room works. Not only is a good sized workbench included, but by placing this alongside the door with the fiddle yard (so all the non-scenic stuff is in one place), the view you then get when entering the room is of the scenic side of the layout - it looks much more attractive to people passing the door, or for visitors coming in for a look (and helps sell the project as a good thing when if you exceed the budget ) I think this arrangement plays out positively in another way too (my third thing). I noted your comment about the size of the non-scenic part of the layout: I actually think it won’t look that big - again, because it’s tucked in behind the door and above the workbench: how things look in the helicopter view we use for planning can be different to how we experience them when viewed from eye level. My guess is the eye will be drawn to the workbench before the storage loops above it, and when seated at the workbench the storage loops baseboard won’t seem so wide anyway. Operationally, the fiddle yard isn’t that big (it will soon fill up!). If I think about realistic operation on a UK-based layout, it looks good if a train that departs in one direction from the station then only reappears from the direction it set off it (as discussed earlier, this is different to a lot of US track plans, for example). Schematically, it works like this: While this plan may look different, it can be operated in just the same way… …but with the added advantage that you can, when you want to, suspend operations and just watch trains run (particularly useful when running in new locomotives). The particular arrangement suggested for this plan minimises the number of ‘facing’ points a through train travelling in either direction has to cross, which is good prototype practice too. I hope @Harlequin doesn’t mind my observations - as always, please correct any assumptions I’m making as to how the plan was derived. Thanks, Keith.
  4. Perfectly understandable - something which can be dismantled at some point would be wise, but not needing to be regularly moved (for example, as with an exhibition layout). Larger sections are possible, and worth bearing in mind. Good stuff, Keith.
  5. My first thought on seeing this was “Wow!” - I had no idea you could get this much into the space: shows what might be possible. My second thought though was - as @Zomboid noted above and has now been discussed - it is a very long reach into the station corner. Which led me to my third thought, if I may be permitted an aside: this design also shows the problem with CJF’s plan in 6’ x 4’ for OO: the hole in the middle was very small! So by upscaling to O there’s room for the operator to breathe as a plus point. Three thoughts in one day is probably my limit I’m afraid, but there clearly are possibilities.
  6. Fair point , but it is typical of a lot of American plans - hence common use of the term 'staging' rather than 'fiddle yard'. If I'm modelling a portion of a cross-continent line where long unit trains travel hundreds (thousands) of miles, the need to replicate having a train return from whence it came a few scale hours later is diminished. It's part of the differing approach to operating layouts. Good to flag it up.
  7. Perfectly rational I'd say - if you dip into the archive for specific articles and / or topics the digital format may be ideal, but for a monthly read it can be nice to hold the book (plus you get the digital extras). The bit you pay twice for is only a fraction of the WoR+ offering. I imagine there are others who do the same.
  8. Thanks - my apologies for not paying attention on coach lengths - I was thinking of shortie coarse O-scale coaches, sorry (I didn’t know how long they are ). In terms of my ‘starter for ten’ suggestion then: 1. Open grid framework. 2. Detachable ‘swing-in’ corner section for access (a ‘roll-in’ section on castors can work well for O-Scale) 3. Two separate overlapping single track circuits at different levels - one for passenger trains, with a commuter platform on one long side and a trailing point carriage siding on the other. 4. Goods circuit on the other level with a couple of trailing sidings. 5. Urban scenery - vertical retaining walls and tracks cross-crossing at different levels were normal, platforms no longer than train length and commuter stations where not every train stops are normal, as is having the carriage siding away from the actual station (it would really be to hold stock for the off-scene terminus). 6. Hope no-one notices trains generally circle in one direction only on each circuit. 7. May be easier to design if the passenger circuit goes on the upper level, with low level goods facilities? 8. Single track station pilot / shunter stub siding in one corner? Biggest drawback - visually works best from the inside, so less attractive at shows if viewed from the outside (though I have seen it done using lower tables and people looking down). Assumes most rolling stock is manually swapped over. Keith.
  9. Portable? Tell us more! Are we talking sectional for occasional dismantling and storage, or transportable for exhibitions / meets, where transport becomes the constraint for board size and it may help if sections are matched in size. Carrying weight is also more of a factor (many are the tales of exhibition layouts where there’s help available at a Venue, but not necessarily on return home late on a Sunday night). Are there any domestic constraints when setting up at home, and is there a door opening into (or out from) the space - it would be a good ‘target’ for where to place a lift-out / crawl under. If there is a door to go through, is it standard size? Biggest challenge (other than that of avoiding the obvious schematics) is probably the absence of curved points. Interesting to note that an equivalent 3 coach train plus 4-4-0 locomotive is also 40” long in OO (using 57’ coaches) so in that sense you do have a little bit more space (incorrect - misunderstanding on my part: see next post)
  10. One for “the stash”: the Merseyside and Southwest Lancashire Group of the 009 Society commissioned a couple of very good loco kits earlier this year, with sales of their Upnor Castle a fund raiser in memory of Roger Christian, a highly regarded member of the group and very fine modeller who passed away not long ago. I’d already bought one of the Bagnall Saddle Tank models (Aug 28th post), as the simpler body lines ought to be easier for me to paint as a novice in this field. I think they’ve sold about 140 copies of Upnor, and with stocks now running low, I’ve had the chance to buy one of the final few: How does it fit into my plans? To my mind, it will easily pass as a small American Diesel, and while it’s to 4mm scale rather than 3.5mm that’ll hopefully go unnoticed in a smaller model used in a context where loading gauges are larger. What is particularly brilliant about the way this model has been designed for the Kato chassis is that it doesn’t need skirts to hide the position of the wheels - there’s sufficient detail below the running plate to hide the chassis at normal viewing distance. And at a quarter of the price of a new r-t-r 009 loco (incl, a brand new Kato 110 chassis) it’s quite a bargain too.
  11. Hi Halsey, some really nice photos - this looks to be coming together very nicely. I think the 009 fits in the scene really well. If I might make just one small observation, and this may be because of the angle the photo was taken from, the S curve in front of the loading dock on the track that has come through the brewery in the third photo looks a bit odd to me as it stands - I’m not sure quite why the line is curved in that way? (the curves to align with the quayside make perfect sense, for example). I wonder how it would look if that section was a bit straighter? Just a thought. I note your observation re: cost / availability of 009 stock, which something both yourself and I commented on in early posts in the thread - 3rd Oct for reference. For wider information as part of the Layout & Track Design Forum, for anyone thinking about 009 (perhaps after seeing the rather nice photos above ), some pointers that may be helpful: 1. The 009 Society has a thriving Member’s Sales shop for 009, plus H0e / HOn30 and H0m. Membership is required, but you can see a good selection of the products they have online before joining. 2. There are a good number of regional groups meeting as part of the 009 Society but open to all where there are also specialist Sales stands, as well as regional Narrow Gauge exhibitions - details of these are usually posted in the Narrow Gauge Forum here on RMweb. 3. Kit building / scratchbuilding is a large part of Narrow Gauge modelling - taking advantage of N Gauge chassis especially. Dedicated NG Forums such as NGRM Online have a wealth of information, much of it happily shared by modellers who were building great 009 models before r-t-r was available (NGRM requires membership but is free to join). Hope that is of use to someone reading, Keith.
  12. That’d work for me too. The Gold / WoR+ offering is fantastic for those it suits, and offers incredible value when you think of the archive access alone, but I think the “Silver” idea + keeping my paper subscription will fit best with how I engage with the hobby. I believe a “Silver” idea is under consideration, just doesn’t have a discussion thread to explore the concept further. Not sure I’ll need a Silver only Forum to talk to @St Enodoc as part of it though - his layout thread provides great conversation and good modelling already (I’ll guess that will remain part of the ‘first class’ offering only). For those reading this thread to find out about the Gold / WoR+ product, it does give you the whole on-line sweet shop, and definitely worth checking out.
  13. Hi David, some interesting reading in the thread already - the photo of the ‘hard to describe’ cupboard is particularly useful! (May we guess the designer of your home was not a railway modeller?) If I read the opening post correctly, model-making is an important part of your hobby, and will take place in the layout room too? With that in mind, the thing that jumped out at me from the early walk-in designs was the lack of space for a workbench: A good few years ago now, an American layout designer called Ed Vondrak did some designs like this for walk-in layouts in a 6’ x 13’ space, but I’m not sure they were entirely convincing, incidentally, so I’d be inclined to agree that moving on to other concepts is a good move. The American folded figure of eight plan is a good one, but really needs a bit more space for the gradients, as noted by @Harlequin earlier (word of caution: we need to be careful not to accidentally breach copyright when posting third-party drawings and photos - there’s a “Site Information and Notices” Forum where you can check things like this with the Moderators). So what would I suggest? Two ideas if I may: 1. My first idea would be to think about a good sized workbench as part of your room design - some people build a layout that is higher and runs above a workbench on a narrow shelf? 2. Maybe ignore the tight corner and think of the space as more like 8’ x 13’ (2.44m x 4m): There are plenty of good plans that can fit into this space - particularly if you take a smaller plan then ‘grow’ it, as has been suggested already. As well as how tight your curves will be, the other key variable is how long you want your trains to be. As you have a free choice of era, do have a look at some pictures of prototype and model railways and see what catches your eye. Be warned though, I’ve done that with a layout I’ve been designing for myself, and ended up with trains twice as long as I’d envisaged! Hope this helps a bit - the ideas already being suggested have lots of potential. Keith.
  14. Hi there Trainnoob. I’ve had a read through the thread so far and there’s some valuable advice here. I was intrigued by this post, which got me thinking as to how permanent this might be: if you (or your Dad, or anyone else) might move in a few years time - say three, four or five - then the layout may need to move, or the space might change? Or you might also get a car you want to keep in the garage as well? Designing in flexibility to cope with a move or change can be a really wise move when planning what is potentially quite a big first layout. The ideas with sections or modules that have been suggested that can fit into a car may be a good way to think ahead - even if space isn’t so constrained right now. When it comes to details such as track laying across baseboard joints and wiring up different sections, there’s plenty of great advice on RWweb too: the key thing in planning at this stage is perhaps to keep tracks across joins straight where possible (and not too many of them), as has been noted. The track plan you shared in an earlier post looks to me like something designed for a permanent, non-moveable set up: if that’s your situation that’s fine of course, but I know it wouldn’t work for me, for example. When it comes to working out Overhead Electric Line installations, one place I’ve learned a lot is looking at Swiss Railways: not least because they have some very tight curved metre-gauge lines with overhead electric: the Swiss know how to do it. Just one other thing to be conscious of - last year, during the lockdowns, track was really difficult to get hold of. There’s more available now, but wood and timber can be in short supply (and / or more expensive than usual). Do make sure you don’t get caught out - I know I’ve been into hardware stores near me and seen some empty shelves. Above all, of course, have fun! Hope that helps, Keith.
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