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Keith Addenbrooke

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    GW Branch Lines, US Railroading, Layout Design, BRM Subscriber, Narrow Gauge Railways in North Wales

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  1. I agree with t-b-g it is a lovely photo. I think the structure behind the out-of-use signal was a wagon hoist, perhaps serving some of the Goods lines below? Model that and you add unique operating potential. I wouldn’t have dated it so early, but it explains why the platform isn’t finished: I could be wrong but I think the new platform wasn’t for regular commuter use at first, but was more of an extra or relief platform, while the ‘island’ platform remained the main one - I think the concourse entrance was directly onto Platform 2 (counting either way ). My guess on the double trap point would be to protect both the visible line to the left (esp. after it becomes a Platform), and the Signal Box (immediately behind the photographer, I think), by grounding any runaways into the centre well. Damage to the sleepers would be less serious than the risk of damage to either side? I’ve not kept up to date with the whole thread, but I had a go at some alternatives back on page 42 (early June) which were inspired by Moor St, although the final details were different. When I was a regular user of the station (early 1980s) it was before Snow Hill and Tunnel reopened, so was a candidate for Minories - but the trains were rather uniform DMU’s at that time and the Goods traffic, 2-level shed and sidings were long gone. It has been done as Minories, although the actual running lines head off to the right of the station on departure rather than bending left again as with Minories.
  2. I agree. I had some helpful responses when I asked about Curved Setrack Points, if you have time for a read: Curved Setrack Points - a variation on the question . In the end, I didn't need to use them but it gave me a good insight. Finally, I've been working on a design for a portable layout in a bedroom. Two things I've learned: 1. The question of dust has been raised - one place it likes to gather is under a bed. I'd suggest some kind of cover (even if just an old sheet?) over the layout when stored. You've probably thought of that already. 2. Every time I go into the room to check my measurements I think of something I've not measured before. For this plan, you'll need room around the bed to slide out the boards and swing them into position. It's worth double checking every measurement and even practising: a 6' x 2' board is big and could do some damage! Hope this helps, Keith.
  3. Hi again puffingbilly. I don’t know if this will help, but this is a photo I took last year of a Cakebox model I made. Both pieces of track are Code 100 Setrack, but after ballasting and painting the rails of the piece on the left I felt there was quite a difference: It’d be easy to do a much better job than I did too, as my ballast pieces were too big and the rails just painted in a colour I had to hand.
  4. Hi, puffingbilly. I think this looks great - sensible use of a very compact space, with a theme and plan for operating that should work really well: the opportunity to build a very nice layout. I went through a similar planning process for a small GW Branch line Layout a few months back, and was very happy with the plan that emerged (though I did have the luxury of a bigger, 8’ x 4’ space). I’ve had a read of your companion thread about island platforms - while they weren’t all that common on the GWR there are a good number of examples mentioned in that thread - plenty to have a look at. If you go for a footbridge, I think there would have been a barrow crossing as well - for the barrows (used by porters, not for public use). If I might make a couple of observations on your layout scheme - recognising that the space inevitably requires compromises of course? The first is to check you have access round at least three sides of your baseboard - possibly only the left hand side doesn’t need it? Also, do you have somewhere you can keep the layout in place: even with the split baseboards it could be very difficult to move (unless you are very tall and have plenty of space to manoeuvre the boards). It could also be very heavy (depending on what it’s made of). I’ve tried layouts with four 4’ x 2’ boards which are still at the upper end of what’s portable. Note you have two of the points across your proposed baseboard joint: an alternative if it’s not too late might be 3 boards, each 4’ x 2’ but placed side by side: while you have more tracks across the joints with that option, none are points. Curved lines across baseboard joints are inevitable - if the layout has to be portable, do plan these carefully: there are plenty of people who can advise on the track laying on RMweb when it comes to that bit of the job. As for the track layout, you mention Code 75, but some of the curved points look to me like Setrack ones - which I think are Code 100 and tighter radius - rather than Streamline ones (I’m going by the shape)? I could be wrong of course. Might be worth double checking. The two sidings don’t overcrowd the space, but I would probably shorten the top one a bit so road vehicles can get to the lower siding to unload wagons. The sidings are correctly positioned running off trailing points from the anti-clockwise running line (I caught myself out by trying to have sidings in all directions at first, as I’d copied an American track plan!). The only downside is that the loco shunting the Goods Sidings has to disappear into the Fiddle Yard. My view would be that’s unavoidable in this small space - if there is a nice road bridge over the entrance to the Fiddle Yard loop it’s could look OK, and if you can get round that end of the layout when operating it should be fine. For added authenticity, there would be a trap point at the entrance to the sidings. I think this could be make a very good compact first layout. Keith.
  5. Hi Pete, re-reading your description of an "operating story" for the Branch Line, I can see it working as a Single-ended Branch Line with a Terminus in front of the Storage Sidings for the operation wanted, as Chimer suggests: This would also fit with the Scheme originally suggested by @Harlequin earlier on in the thread. A lot depends on where the balance of operating time will be spent. Personally, I think there is something nice about a continuous scenic run branch line that can be left more or less to run itself while mainline trains come and go through the main station, so I'd keep it (but this is a matter of preference and I know I lean that way). I would still tidy up the right-hand side junction, so if I may be permitted one final suggestion - the simplest version, which also fits most closely with the suggested Scheme (and uses @Chimer's junction at the left hand end) to me looks like this: I am still adding a simple facing crossover at A so Up trains can get onto the Branch Line if you want. I'm also adding in Crossover B as suggested by Chimer just now to connect the Goods Shed / MPD with the Station. I don't think this would need much realignment of the tracks at the right hand end if it is of interest. If there's room for the extra connecting line at C then the Branch Line could be an independent third circuit, again with minimal disruption, but space by the tunnel may be too tight. I've not shown the extra siding off P1. I'm happy to agree with Chimer's observation that it is possible: Again, it depends on your operating scheme. In my mind P1 could be the principal platform for Up trains, as it bypassed the Branch junctions. This would make it an unlikely place for a siding part way down - that might have been a better way for me to phrase it. If you see it more as a loop, with the main line through P2, then a Siding is more likely - to fit the road access as you say. It does sound to me you're looking more at the details now, and when it comes to MPD's (and mainline Goods Yards) I know I'm not the best to help, as I've indicated before, but I'll keep watching with interest. Keith.
  6. Agreed - it would be a trailing point, though I’m still not sure there’d be a Siding allowed there at all?
  7. Hi Pete, I think you drink better coffee than I do . It certainly helps to be able to do a ‘site visit’ - I know I’ve found it helpful for my own layout planning. Having had some fun in my breaks today pushing pieces around in Anyrail while waiting for my computer to catch up with YouTube, I’d also agree with @Flying Pig that the ‘do everything’ options do get too cramped and too expensive very quickly: if I couldn’t convince myself with my own drawings, I can’t expect to sell the ideas to anyone else! (ie: case proved for a simpler solution). It looks like @Chimer’s initial version of the Junction at the left hand end of the Station - I don’t know enough about wiring for DCC to know what would need to be done to an Insulfrog Double Slip point, but there are plenty who can advise. I always like a layout that has a story - and a purpose for the operations: helps decide what is needed and what isn’t. Personally I’d go for Goods unloading in the Goods Shed and being taken to the workshops by cart and horse: not sure the GWR would want to put a facing Goods Siding point onto their main Down Platform Line so I wouldn’t have that. Just a few thoughts as I’ve been around today. Keith.
  8. Fair comment - it may be Pete decides it is too cramped (or too expensive in points!). I think the operational challenge is to enable trains to swap onto and off the continuous run branch line seamlessly. I don't think he's got room for one big junction just at one end of the Station - though I could be totally wrong on this of course. Keeping to the 'rule' of not using Slip Points, one easier way to arrange the junctions could be like this - (it only took me a couple of minutes to make the amendments, for example): I think this may still look plausible as a Station layout serving two Branch Lines and Mainline Trains to London (using P1), though do please correct me if I'm wrong. I certainly think the right-hand end looks neater, and the left-hand end still looks interesting? The run-round is longer - as the right-hand crossover is part of the junction. Irrespective of direction however I think any Train on the Branch Line (in P4) has to exit onto the Mainline before a new Train can enter the Branch - P4 is effectively part of one big Junction arrangement. [Note: the MPD loop is not envisaged as a running line or fifth platform]. Mainline Trains could get backed up if a Branch Train is late? I've had a bit of time this afternoon (waiting for weekly Online Video Edits to process), so how about this: Unpack it and - if I've got it right, the exits from the Branch are at the Left-hand end (in both directions), while the entrances to the Branch (both directions) are at the right. Up Trains use P2 to access the Branch (P1 is the Mainline Through track still), while Down Trains use P4. If the trains on the Branch are running in alternate directions I think this works - they swap by virtue of using both P2 and P4 - which is the justification for the more complex track plan. With this idea the through Down platform (P3) is rather compromised by the run-round crossovers I've put back there though. These are just some quick ideas from a quiet day behind the computer - as always, if they don't help or can't be justified by any known prototype, please ignore them.
  9. This version only uses plain crossings - no slip points, so can be done with Electrofrog points from the Peco range. The left hand end is fairly conventional - I've just added back a trailing crossover between P2 and P3. I'm sure a prototype like this could be found, for exactly the reason I've done it: to eliminate Slip points. I think the right-hand end works, but it does look a bit messy - a bit like a modern day rationalisation scheme! As at the left-hand end, the trailing crossover is back 'inside' the junction points and P1 is just for Up Mainline Trains (like Pete's 'starting' Scheme posted on Tuesday). The bit I don't really like (and this is my own drawing) is the way the Down Main line separates then swings into P3 using the trailing crossover point. I'll share it in case it helps prompt a better or smoother suggestion. In the Steam era, slip points were more common, so this may not help here - it's more about the Peco track range.
  10. This is the easy one - as @Zomboid suggested: 60" platforms at 5" spacing between track centres. The tougher one to work out would be if it is possible to do it with Electrofrog points only...
  11. Good point. I’ve double checked and I did make a mistake. My track spacing are: P1 to P2 = 4” (double the standard width spacing: this is what I went for but doesn’t allow for wider island platforms) P2 to P3 = 2” (usual spacing for double track - OK) P3 to P4 = 3” (oops! I thought I’d specified 4”) I’ll have a quick play over lunch with a 5” spacing: it should work as you say.
  12. Sorry - I should have specified that the Single Slips I used are the Insulfrogs from the Code 100 range.
  13. Pete, my apologies for putting too many posts on your thread - I woke up early and the house is quiet so I had a quick play in Anyrail and I wonder if this might help? (it does need to be checked): The left-hand end is the overlapped version of the junction suggested yesterday: There are points across the awkward joint (sorry), but as this is more compact to start with then hopefully things can either slide about a bit (the points or the baseboard support), or be stretched to fit - the entry point for Platform 1 could move to the left for example: Platform 1 is only for Up Mainline Trains. Peco points basically have a standard 12 degree divergence, so you can swap the 5 conventional Long Points I've put in (not counting the extra one for the MPD loop) for Medium Points or Short Points and get exactly the same geometry in a shorter space, which is why I did it this way. For the right-hand end, I had an idea: Using a couple of Single Slips, I can get the Branch Line across to Platform 2 so Up trains can get onto the Branch. Trains on the Down Main Line can still get to Platforms 3 or 4, and so can trains coming off the Branch. The trailing crossover moves beyond the end of the Platforms, which I'd recommend, but without stretching the whole thing too far round the curve - it just means a train can’t depart from Platform 4 to the Up Main Line. The only point that reduces the length of the Platform is the junction point from Platform 2 onto the Branch (this should be OK - Branch passenger trains may be shorter, and Goods Trains don't mind). Note: there is a very slight curve towards the right hand end of the Platforms (visible on Platform 2) to make this work. An engine from platform 2 can use the Branch Line to get to the MPD more quickly too - I think this would be allowed as it doesn’t have to block the Down Line to do so. If you only want to use Platforms 2 and 4 for Branch Trains at the right hand end (as at the left-hand end) you can save a few quid and just have one single slip point (on Platform 4) and a straight X crossing on Platform 3 - it just means Engines from Platform 1 only have one option to zig-zag to the MPD (via Platform 2). There is no connection between the Branch Line and Platform 1 at either end, but I'd suggest this is OK. I hope this might give you some ideas (I over-wrote a sketch I did last night to edit this post and put this in, as I think it may be more helpful. Hope that's OK). Keith.
  14. Hi Pete, with regards to the right hand end of the station, if you could move the crossover onto the curve beyond the points for the loops I think it might help operations, but it puts it on the curve and starts to get quite close to the Fiddle Yard loops, so it’s not necessarily going to be what you want to do. I suppose “try it and see” is the suggestion? I don’t if this will help or not, but one thing to think about is how you get to the MPD parallel to the station without too much zig-zagging across main lines, especially from the far side. I don’t know if this works, if the crossover has to stay put, but I’d probably throw something like this out for comment: An engine from an Up train at Platform 1 or 2 uncouples and pulls forwards to A. I think it then takes crossover B to run (correct line but in reverse) through platform 3 as far as C. It then goes through crossovers D and E to get to the extra loop I’ve added, from which it can get to the MPD. Engines from trains in platform 4 pull forwards and reverse through F to get to the MPD as their train probably fouls points E. Siding G is the kind of useful Siding for storing any coaches taken out of service for some reason. The short headshunt marked “1 loco“ is to help the replacement engine for the train in platform 1 or 2 get to its train. It’s all a bit complicated, sorry. My guess is that the real Railway would move crossover B beyond point A after all, so engines could then get straight into and out of the MPD at that end of the station using the start of the loop line for Platform 4. You’ll realise I’m working in HB Staedtler Noris and not to scale, and if this gives you a headache please ignore it. Keith.
  15. I think this suggestion works: I don’t think ‘wrong way’ running is needed - which I agree was uncommon. To explain - By moving the junction to the Left-hand end of the Station and using a double slip, Down trains going onto the branch take route 1 and Up trains from the Branch can take route 2. Both only involve correct working. The trailing crossover option allowed by the double slip (route 3) is just for running round trains in the platform, not a running line. I wonder if this variation might be more likely: Down trains going onto the Branch Line now don’t have to block the main Down line at any point, and an Up train coming off the Branch can’t accidentally end up going the wrong way along the Down main line. To get from the main Down line onto the Branch, a train would enter the platform loop at the other end of the station - which is how @Chimer drew a station suggestion earlier in the conversation. Looking at Pete’s current plan, I think this will fit without reducing the platform length?
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