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Keith Addenbrooke

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Everything posted by Keith Addenbrooke

  1. I think there is a way to address this (the short incline) - I’ll try and sketch it up later.
  2. Always worth sharing, especially valuable for a portable / starter layout scheme like this one - thank you. The individual boards for this layout are about as large as they can be for moving around at home (4’ x 2’) and so will need to be stored separately (not hinged or fastened together - they’d become too heavy).
  3. Could I make a suggestion? I’d have the loops arranged differently. This diagram was drawn for a different setting and would need to be shortened to fit the 6’ you have, but illustrates the thinking (dimensions in this sketch were in mm, sorry): The key thing is that it takes out the crossover and thereby ensures that trains entering the loops on the Down line come out on the Up line. If there is a crossover it means trains return on the line they came from. Personally I would think carefully about squeezing in a third loop line because it shortens the second line as well, and adds hidden points on your lower level. On the positive side, an end curve is longer than it looks: I think a 180 degree 3rd radius curve is about 5’ long (do check my maths), so it’s possible to store two shorter trains on the same track of a loop if you need to. ______________ On a slightly different note, there are plenty of track plans around that fit into this kind of space with reversing loops and steep gradients - but do be careful: many were drawn long before 4th radius (or even 3rd radius) curves became standard, so they assume tighter curves and shorter trains (sometimes with shortened carriages), and with locomotives that might have been coarser, but by all accounts could have tremendous pulling power - sometimes assisted by traction tyres, or a system I think was called magnahesion (or something like that). If there’s a way of running some climbing / pulling tests with the stock you want to use it may be helpful. Contemporary r-t-r rolling stock is incredibly detailed, but sometimes assumes a gentler world. Keith.
  4. Good point - as all four boards meet together at the centre ensuring alignment is key. Where Harlequin has suggested a tunnel on the right hand side, it’d be a good idea to have a good-sized access hole in the side to check the alignment at the join. The line of trees across the centre can be used to hide the long join, but care will need to be taken when storing the boards (as this is a portable layout) to avoid any of them warping, and to look after the scenery.
  5. Hi there Duncan. Good to see the baseboards showing the vertical height of the model working out as planned - so many of us (me included) end up on the flat.
  6. Credits With this story now complete, it's time to tidy up the (virtual) desk. In addition to all the encouragement, advice and guidance on this principal thread, the design process has been generously assisted by contributions on a number of related threads too, which I've gathered here in one place in case of any need for future reference: Prequel Before this thread began, my initial design process was pieced together with help as follows: Curved Setrack Points - a variation on the question Layover / Lay-by sidings on single track GWR lines [Note: the title should be: "Refuge sidings"] Signalling a single-track GWR passing station Production Design A helpful and very useful conversation accompanying this thread on placement of Station Buildings, and Non-Passenger Carrying Coaching Stock (NPCCS), especially horse traffic - an important aspect of branch line life: GW Branch Line Station Buildings Origins Story Behind every story there's another story, (or so they say): That first step from hoping to planning to building and finally... The End Credits Scene I omitted to post the revision I worked out taking Harlequin's excellent suggestion of using compound end curves to create space and applying it to my alternative version. The central 45 degree piece at each end is now a 2nd Rad. curve. This frees up space if small Station Buildings are to be included: Parts List - clockwise from Top Left (all points Peco Streamline Code 100 except as stated): Top Station Loop Entry: Right hand Curved Loading Dock: Left hand Long Loop Exit: Left hand Curved Lower Station Goods only Loop Entry (bottom right): Right hand Long Right hand sidings: 1 x Hornby Setrack Y point and 1 x Left hand Medium Left hand sidings: 1 x Left hand Medium and 1 x Right hand Medium Goods only Loop Exit (bottom left): Left hand Medium Trap points should be modelled at either end of the Lower Station Goods Loop and the Loading Dock Siding. Principal Buildings (see below) 2 x Small Branch Line Station Buildings (wooden construction suggested) 1 x Goods Shed 1 x Engine Shed 1 x Industry (mill or equivalent) 1 x Signal Box (S.C.) for Top Station 1 x Platform Mounted Signal Box for Lower Station (not shown) 1 x Coal Merchants Office (optional coal staithes - not shown) Plus assorted huts and details. Keith.
  7. Thanks Phil, apologies for the errors - I’ve edited and shown the corrections. If you could PM a copy of the .pdf when it’s done that’d be great, thank you - I’d like to print one off anyway (do add your initials of course, it’s your copyright). More than happy to see it in your track plans Album with or without a link, as you wish. Wonder if it would be worth showing or mentioning the baseboard joints? They are really a key part of making the story possible. Keith.
  8. Just a couple of things to finish and I think I’m done: One option Harlequin mentioned for this scheme is to dispense with the upper platform at Top Station. As I’d be inclined to keep the loading dock on that side I’d want to keep this Platform. With the straighter lines, it feels more like the “Junction” station to me and I think the character would change a bit too much to have two platforms at Lower Station but just one at Top Station. With regards to track and points, The Stationmaster has highlighted the Signalling issue with longer trains fouling points. From the point of view of “playing trains” there’s also a risk of stalling, particularly with DC control and Insulfrog points. Electrofrog points would be one way to reduce this risk, especially if accompanied by a change to DCC. Keeping most trains short avoids these issues, particularly the signalling problem. Finally, Harlequin uses a helpful colour coding for different sized points but I’m slightly colour blind, so here is what I understand to be the parts list (all points Peco Streamline Flat-bottom ranges), working clockwise from top left: Top Station: Loop entry - Right hand Curved Loading Dock - Left hand Medium Exchange Sidings Entry Point (Trailing) - Right hand Short Exchange Sidings Point - Right hand Medium Loop exit - Left hand Medium Left hand Curved Lower Station Loop entry (bottom right) - Right hand Curved Engine Shed Entry Point (Trailing) - Left hand Curved Engine Service Siding - Left hand Short Goods Yard Entry (Trailing) - Right hand Medium Right hand Curved Goods Yard - Single Slip Loop exit - Left hand Curved. Principal Buildings 2 Stations 1 large industry 1 Small pre-grouping Engine Shed 1 Small Goods Shed (lineside rather than through running as it is for a curved siding) 2 small Signal Boxes Other small buildings (eg: Platform Shelters / Pagoda, Weighbridge Hut / Coal Merchants and other Huts, Water cranes etc..) For me, the extra track would involve a bit of saving up if I go for this (my birthday is near Christmas), but with the boards packed away again for now there’s time to print off the different plans and templates and work through the choices while I think about scenery for my practice piece. Whatever I end up with, I’m going to have fun. Keith.
  9. Like this? Assume there is a curve on the right hand side coming into the points from bottom to top. Diagram pinched from my GW Branch Line thread but illustrates the suggestion. [Note - the purpose of this diagram was to compare the lengths of alternative Peco Streamline points - the angle of entry into the points from the right is not the same in 1 and 2].
  10. A couple more thoughts if I might add them at this point: ________________________________ With regards to the idea Zomboid suggests of moving the Engine Shed, inevitably there are trade-offs: On the positive side, I think the rationale for it at the "Junction" station with the exchange sidings becomes easier. Also, moving the loading dock to the other side of the station places it next to the Station Building, which makes sense and justifies the larger Station Building - this type of arrangement was discussed on a related thread: GW Branch Line Station Buildings The down side is that one of the Exchange Sidings is affected - it could start to look more like a typical Goods Yard instead (not a problem as such, but the layout already has one at Lower Station). Note the need to avoid having a point across the 4' Grid line as that is a baseboard joint, if creating a Loading Dock Bay behind the Platform. The gentle angle of the exchange sidings as drawn by Harlequin helps maintain space between the stations, so road access round to a loading dock would need to be carefully thought through - or just shorten the first Exchange Siding and add a side / end loading dock. More generally, having the Engine Shed at either top left or bottom right would allow for a dodge that might be worth considering - the Engine Shed could have a false back and feed a short Cassette Fiddle Stick for changing over locomotives. Given the increasing delicacy of features on small locomotives (eg: fine wire handrails), it is more difficult to pick them up without damaging them, so this might be useful - and not a gimmick. _______________________________________ If the Loading Dock and Engine Shed swap places (per Harlequin's post just now), then it keeps the Loading Dock on the outer or clockwise side, where longer trains can fit more comfortably into the loops (noting The Stationmaster's point). This makes sense when running loaded tail traffic on passenger trains (I think empties can return anticlockwise in shorter Goods Trains?). Keeping shorter trains on the inside helps now there are running lines with trailing inside points at both stations. The trade off is between the character of the two stations, as Harlequin notes. With the Engine Shed bottom right, I think it maybe ought to look like an inherited facility from the original independent builders of the line before it was absorbed into the GW. On balance I think the idea of moving the Engine Shed has merit, but I'd probably stick with it at bottom right. ______________________________________ Thinking about the compound curve idea a bit more (this is the: "why didn't I think of this?" moment). If I go back to my own final design and swap out the central 45 degree 3rd Rad. Setrack Curve at each end for a 2nd Rad. curve then it gives another 2" width and eases considerably the problem of fitting in Station buildings. Along with my r-t-r rolling stock I do have a rake of kit-built 3 Ratio 4-wheelers which don't like anything tighter than 3rd radius, but that's because of the couplings I used (the small ones in the kit). As a result I don't use them much anyway. Changing the couplings, which I ought to do anyway, would address this problem - the track doesn't have to take the weight of solving all the issues! (NB: I've already shortened the long buffers that came with the kit so these no longer lock, or they would be a second problem here). In other words, there are other easy to do things to support Harlequin's design where it changes this given. There's one more point I'd like to cover which I'll come back to later. Needless to say, I am quite taken with Harlequin's development of the idea.
  11. You may have all you need now, and it sounds like some of your trackwork will be hidden, but a thought came to me this morning I'd not mentioned in my earlier posts that may be helpful to some. This quick sketch illustrates: Taking a 4th Radius Curve as my start point, a transition into a 3rd Radius Curve instead saves on width, but adds length (here: 6"). Where that is not possible, continuing the curve into a point when it reaches the straight, as in the third suggestion, may help mask the sudden change visually - at least when there are no trains present. Just a thought for where space is particularly tight.
  12. This is excellent - thank you for taking the time to prepare - and illustrate - this. It will definitely work. I think it is a perfect example of when a Given should be broken: as I use r-t-r rolling stock it will negotiate the 2nd radius curves. I went for 3rd Rad. as a minimum for aesthetic reasons, but for just a 60 degree turn at each end (hidden scenically) no-one would notice. Personally I know from past experience (photo posted in another thread) that a compound end curve is no trouble. Relaxing the number of tracks crossing baseboard joints - increase from 6 to 10 - is for sidings, not running lines, and all are straightforward. I had a layout using Setrack some years ago in a different house that used the same boards and had 11 lines crossing the joints in total - it took a bit of care to set up but it was worth it. Clearances are tight - but they always will be. As noted in other posts recently, this is only when running maximum length trains. When normal Service is resumed, this is no problem. The arrangement bottom left with converging platforms has a prototype at Witney Passenger on the Fairford line - the building there was in a different place, but I had a Station in the corner on a previous layout with a level crossing and it looked fine. Whenever I’ve been translating American model railroad designs for UK practice I’ve found that helpful as they frequently plonk a depot in a corner (in their case often to get it out of the way!). Are there any things to think about - not to redraw - just two: the backstory for the location of the engine shed (the location and arrangement works practically- loco coal wagons can use the second siding so the short engine shed siding is no trouble: it’s also something I did on my Setrack layout). And the entrance point for the exchange sidings is where a loco might be paused in that loop - avoiding stalling on the point when starting is to be watched for. But I wouldn’t change either of these - the layout has balance and plenty to go at. I’d just need a lot of practice making trees (but worth it - they provide the scenic break the layout needs). Thank you once again.
  13. I can relate to that. Having got through O level Design and Technology (Woodwork) on the strength of my design work and because the specialist subject in my year really was the new-fangled idea of ‘flat-pack furniture‘ (ironically called ‘knock-down furniture‘ if I remember the syllabus correctly), I still struggle to persuade a saw that my pencil markings are more than just a suggestion. The baseboard solution I’ve therefore followed is a bit different. If the experts, the competent and those qualified to do more than follow IKEA instructions could please look away for the next few moments... 4’ x 2’ boards in 12mm plywood framed round the edges with 2 x 1 softwood. Two of the four boards stacked here are now 20 years old, one is fifteen and one nearly 10. Until a couple of weeks ago they hadn’t even been painted. Despite being in vertical storage for most of that time, only one shows any sign of warping, and that is just a little at one edge. All fixings are drilled and screwed, not pinned or glued, which has (until I painted them) allowed me to undo or redo the combinations to suit over the years. The plywood has never been cut (I’ve never actually yet needed to try). Downsides: I’ve never got as far as drilling holes for wiring, nor fixing proper legs, so can’t comment on how the boards would perform if properly erected in a permanent layout. Upsides: trouble free fun laying track and running trains when I’ve had the opportunity. Easy to modify the combination of boards as just screws have been used (NB: quite a lot of screws, but drilling is easier than sawing I find). I’m not saying I’d recommend this approach for others without thinking carefully, but it has helped me enjoy the hobby. Others may now open their eyes, sigh and move on...
  14. One thing I really like about this plan, which Danemouth also demonstrates really well, is having a longer platform than needed to help with the illusions of a) space, and b) this is a country branch terminus operating well within the capacity originally envisaged. In both cases the fiddle yard is shorter than the platform and 2/3rds of the total length or more is scenic. The instant I see a plan like this we’re out of the city, life is generally lived at a slower pace, and I for one would like to stay and watch a while. Excellent.
  15. I only joined RMweb towards the end of 2018, so missed the early stages of this layout, but since happening upon it a while back I’ve had a look several times - I think it’s a fantastic layout, well designed and executed really well. I particularly like the way you’ve got a 5’ platform into the space while running short trains, which gives a wonderful air of spaciousness. Love it.
  16. Just to echo the comments of others - well done all and thank you for putting the show on. Having also had to move much of my ‘core’ work online in recent months, I’ve come to appreciate just how much time it takes to prepare a good presentation. When I do get to attend exhibitions, I often come home keen to do some modelling and run some trains, but having spent the time at the show. Today I’ve been able to do that at the same time, so it’s not just been a virtual experience. Thanks again, Keith.
  17. Just a PS on this discussion about clearances on small layouts and this design in particular. I’ve had the opportunity this weekend to get out the boards again and check the clearances using actual track and rolling stock and using the revised final plan: The measurements check out, and there is now room to pass a 40” train stationary in the Down platform loop (anti-clockwise) at Top Station: the distance between the inner ends of the points at each of the loop is nearer 49” than the 48 3/4” expected. Clearances are still tight - the platform at Lower Station can extend to 30” although with a maximum width in the centre of 2”. For the main Up Platform at Top Station it is 1 3/4”. It’ll be interesting to see how Harlequin interprets the brief when ready - there’s no rush: I think I’ve refined the design as far as I can with the help of the Forum, thank you (I’ll have said that before, but I also now know everything can fit on the baseboards). Any regrets? Only the lack of space for Station buildings - which wasn’t on my list of requirements. Maybe for the next layout...
  18. Good point, thank you for highlighting this. I think the same can apply to platforms. A normal daily branch train on a line like this might be an 0-4-2T and Autocoach, or a Pannier Tank (or Small Prairie) and two coaches. In my case I specify a 40” design train length so 3 coach trains can also be run on occasion: specials for Market Day, or so tail traffic or through coaches can be added. When running an excursion train (another example of a Special), tight clearances may change the illusion to one where the tight fit adds to the sense of occasion that this is not normal.
  19. Harlequin has correctly pointed out I'd mistakenly attributed the problem with the Down Platform Loop at Top Station (anticlockwise) to the divergence of the Curved Streamline points used, and I also confusingly gave the same reason - the Curved Point - as to why the Up Platform Loop line (clockwise) works better. I'd been mixing up some different things, which the following diagram should hopefully clarify: Putting Scenario 1 next to Scenario 2 correctly explains my problem with the lower Down Line: it is actually the length of the Curved Streamline Point that means the end of the point at D1 is more than an inch to the left of the equivalent position D2 if a Medium Point was used. Both points diverge at 12 degrees and therefore need the same curved section to achieve parallel lines as drawn here. Comparing Scenario 1 with Scenario 3 illustrates my second point, about "sideswipe." I'm also building a layout using Setrack points at the moment. Setrack curves are sharper. If I place the footplate of a locomotive with a protruding buffer beam (say a 4-4-0) at E1, a position 4" from the end of the curved point (which is marked by D1), I think the protrusion is less than if I place the same locomotive at the equivalent spot E3 on a Setrack point. E3 is also 4" from the tangent line through D1. The buffer beam of the locomotive is further along the straight part of the lower line in Scenario 3 before sideswipe is eliminated because the Setrack point has a sharper radius than the Streamline points. Does this matter? Where clearances are tight, every inch can make a difference - and with a passing loop, the effect is sometimes doubled when both ends use the same assumptions. I needed a longer passing loop than I'd thought.
  20. By all means, please do - the Forum is for exchange of ideas, and I may well learn something too of course. Thanks, Keith.
  21. Hi Terry. When the BRM team updated an older Art of Compromise Layout I think that is where it went, although maybe nearer the first point (I might even have been to hide a point motor, I can’t remember, sorry). At Fairford, which is generally seen as the inspiration for the plan, it was on the platform and positioned to the left of the station building (ie, nearer the goods sidings). I think the original plan shows a Ground Frame centrally next to the sidings - it almost looks like a hut for the coal staithes but is marked “G.F.” - the running line is nearer the front of the baseboard on the plan, so there’s less room. I don’t think there’s a signal box at all (the example usually quoted here is Ashburton for GW termini, which didn’t have a signal box). The suggested position works for the signal, but is further from the points. I don’t know enough about signalling to know if there would be any need to collect / issue block tokens as a train entered or left the station, but my guess would be possibly not for a one engine in steam terminus? Others will know more, but it looks like there are choices. Keith.
  22. Thank you. Your kind comment prompted me to have a look to see if I had any old photos with trains on the curve, and I found this one, which I think I actually took on track-laying day itself. It does rather demonstrate how large the overhang gets, but do allow for the effect of parallax and the camera angle: both the first and second coaches in the train are on 2nd radius curves but they look very different here. The key point is the gaps and angle between the coaches: but operating the layout from the side (not the outside end) meant the coaches were seen from the inside of the end curve, where they were being pushed closer together, so it wasn’t as obvious. I no longer have this engine or rolling stock - the A4 Pacific was an excellent runner and the train would glide through the Streamline points with minimal throwover (Note: I only used medium points or larger). As you've spotted, I also avoided an S-curve on the left side crossover by using a curved point. Based on my personal experience running trains, my conclusion would be that the end curves were something I had to live with - but I could do something about the transitions and points that made a noticeable difference.
  23. I can help here: I don't have a photo with a 4th radius curve, but I can illustrate the point: the first picture shows a 2nd and 3rd Radius Setrack curved end on a 4' wide board: There are no transition curves. All track was spaced using Setrack spacing, so the siding on the far right would be where a 4th radius curve would start. As noted by @Harlequin at the start of the thread, there's no space left for scenery or structures outside a 4th radius curve. The second picture shows what happened when the track was relaid using a mixture of Streamline and Setrack, as @Flying Pig suggests: For 45 degrees either side of the apex of the curve, it is still 2nd and 3rd Radius Setrack, but then eases into Streamline Transition curves. On the right, the wider curve goes to the edge of the baseboard (like a 4th Radius curve would need to) but then curves back in to make room for a platform. The layouts never progressed beyond bare track and are well gone now, but the end curves never gave any trouble - where derailments occurred they were almost always on the Setrack points (on the first layout). Fortunately for me I stored the boards and kept the track as I'm now living in a house where I can use them again. Hope this helps, Keith.
  24. Hi Mark, I had a feeling you might say something like that (which is fair enough): I started a diorama for the railbus at a BR(W) station using a Ratio Awning Kit but progress stopped after Christmas: The sub-assemlbies have about 8 or 9 pieces to them each (chocolate and cream can be found on some BR(W), though I think it would have been GW Light and Dark Stone before nationalisation). Anyway, I will stop 'hacking' into your thread - even if it appears I'm not the only one! We tune in to see your modelling: so nice to read the endorsement from the domestic authority confirming just how good it is!
  25. Thanks - it’s a neat little Wills kit, excellent value (cost me about £5). It was part of a layout that didn’t get to the scenic stage in a previous home, but is now on display with a Dapol Railbus kit I bought to practice gluing windows in place. The driver - who should actually be seated and on the left, is presumably hoping someone shuts the door that’s been left open on the wrong side before the train departs (that, and someone finds the missing rails, and the painter learns how to paint lining properly, etc, etc...)
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