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  1. Slow but steady progress recently with work still being busy and kids taking up much of my days off. I’ve installed the inclines for the branch line, got the power base laid and put down some of the track. (photo is an early one from the one side. Couldn’t find one I’ve taken since. Rest assured there will be one in a future update) Inclines are 2% up from the station (pictured), and 3% down on the other side. When I got a bit bored of that, I decided to create Gathurst as a modular section, so I could easily access the back during construction. I’ve found the slope roof of the attic to be quite the hindrance when working towards the back side of the layout. This has made it easier, but hopefully none of the further sections will be affected. Track laid and a bit of scenic forming done with the start of some platforms shaping up There’s seemingly quite an interesting road bridge at the bottom of the hill, so work has begun on constructing that from reference photos and driving through it daily For texture I’m thinking either scribed DAS clay or slaters plastikard. Here’s one of my reference photos for comparison Next up is building the station building, or my local as it is now. Another interesting shape which has kept me busy head scratching working out various scale measurements (with artistic license taken into account). Short of going down there with a tape measure, which could be a bit weird it’s all estimated. You can see the basic footprint in the second picture of the post. this is what I’m trying to achieve (well, 80% of it anyway). As always, thanks for looking and any comments, hints or ideas always welcome.
  2. Thanks. Having spent the evening reading around, I think my issue was trying to reprogram the trailer car rather than the driving car as everything stopped working when I did that. Still trying to figure out how to program different CVs and what that all means, but I’m sure I’ll get there
  3. Hi all, I’ve had a search, but either can’t get the search terms right or just can’t find the information I need. I’ve just bought a Hornby class 800 and as per the instructions fitted 2 DCC chips (one per end car). I’ve put these on my test/programming track and changed the address. Everything works beautifully except the fact that when I turn the lights on they are either both headlights or both tail lights. I’ve had a play with the CV values (very much a newbie so don’t think I did it right), but can’t seem to get them to work in the correct orientation as one. Hopefully someone will be able to help me with a simple solution so it looks right when running. If it helps I use a Z21 and Lenz silver chips. thanks in advance
  4. You know I’ve only just noticed that. Despite spending hours working out how to get a train in and out of (almost) any platform to go each way and I never noticed it could be even more simplified. Having had a rethink- to ease operation (Generally only me playing with it at any one time), I think I’ll just remove the double slip and have the station as two separate sides. Will make the wiring much simpler and ease the risk of shorts and having to mess with reverse loop modules or frog juicers (thanks for the help with that jpendle). Visually, it shouldn’t be much different, but we’ll see. Perhaps have a session on AnyRail and see what comes up.
  5. Fixed the issue now. Turns out it was a dodgy servo. Not sure how that managed to have the effect it did, but swapping the duff one out and a new one in has fixed it. So in that respect, North Western is now all wired up, tested and working. Hurrah! I now have a new conundrum. One I’m definitely going to need advice on here with as this one is a design flaw. I’ve come to wire up the terminus and while tracing which colour wire corresponds to which rail, I’ve found there’s a crossover which will definitely short the layout before I’ve even started. This is the point layout, where you can see the lines leading in from the main line across the top. Platforms are at the bottom. So my question is, how can I make this work? My only thought at the moment is to remove the double slip to effectively isolate the two sides and have it as two separate entities. Any help or guidance would be appreciated. As a final thought, I got a photo of one corner I had a play at ballasting with. Still work to do, but starting to take shape.
  6. Thanks Ade. Still partially undecided as to the exact topography, but I’ve varied the height of the baseboards on the scenic side to give me options. The section underneath the tv will definitely be viaducts as it’s quite a narrow section to maximise available floor space in that area (sofa going in by the hatch). Its definitely a daunting task, but I’m just going to take it section by section and not set myself any time constraints so I can enjoy the journey. At the moment I’m having trouble with 2 points shorting that aren’t (or shouldn’t be) connected to each other electrically or otherwise when two locos are on their respective frogs. So far I’ve spent 3 hours trying to figure out why and how. I’ll do one more day on it before I go all sledgehammer on that section and start again. Either that or post photos and ask for advice here. Thanks. Al
  7. It’s been quite a while since I last updated this. With the summer holidays and the kids (and wife) hanging around wanting to do things, I didn’t get much chance to do anything on the layout. I’m starting to pick up the pace again when I’m not in work. I’ve now managed to get a full up and down loop around the room so I can continuously run a couple of locos. I’ve also managed to lay the whole through station track work, which I’m currently working on getting reliable point operation and belt & braces dropper wires. Bit of a rats nest underneath, but it’s all colour coded and labelled so I know what’s happening with what. All makes sense to me anyway. The terminus track work has mostly been laid but not wired up yet. Still figuring out where the scenery and building is going so I know how much to extend the platform tracks. The through station (Wigan North Western) The scenic side of the room, or at least it will be eventually I also got got a bit impatient with all the wiring and track laying so decided to have a dabble at weathering ideas on my test track Then liked what I saw so did a corner I knew worked and was happy with That’s about it for now. Hopefully won’t be as long between posts next time, but as always any feedback or hints/tips appreciated.
  8. Been a while since my last post. Needless to say I have been squirrelling away when I can get a bit of spare time off work and the kids aren’t about. The conversion finished, I painted and made a start on the baseboards. First I laid out the boards on the floor so I could ‘dry fit’ the track. This was so I could figure out where the points (more specifically the point servos) would go, so I don’t accidentally put a supporting beam exactly where I need a servo. As my old lecturers used to say- a picture paints 1,000 words, so be prepared now for a several thousand word essay. So it’s all going pretty well. My only issue so far is the corners. Having laid the baseboards, I’ve found I now can’t quite reach into the corners. I’ve beefed up the support underneath, so I’m able to lie across the baseboards if necessary, but that’s not so much an option once I start getting scenery down. Does anyone have any suggestions on easy access to hard to reach areas? I don’t expect to have any track in those areas, but it’s be handy to be able to do maintenance. A picture below shows the arc of my absolute reach limit. It’s only a small amount, but I’d still like to be able to get to all parts. As always. Thanks for looking in and any suggestions, constructive criticisms or tips are always welcome.
  9. Excellent. I’ve had a look, but can’t find anything from your layout except for a few old posts from a Bolton layout you did/are doing? I’d love to take a look at that if you have a link? Hi Ade, lots of steel in there now. Starting to take shape and look like a proper room now. Should all be completed and plastered tomorrow. Unfortunately I’m back in work Thursday so won’t be able to start until at least next Tuesday! I’ve just had a look and a little follow of your layout there. Looks like it’s going to be quite the layout. Dont worry about hogging the topic. Anything and anywhere I can learn things from, I’m more than happy to see. Hi RFS. That’s very helpful, thanks. I also struggle with the head height, so have got some strip lights being put in as I was unsure as to how much coverage into the corners downlights would cover and dangly lights would just get in the way. My plan was also to paint the walls sky blue as, like you mention, it’s going to be very difficult to get a decent backscene in, not without sacrificing a huge amount of width. Only issue would be lack of vertical profile along the walls, as I’ll have cupboards both sides, so can’t go below them. Due to the restrictions on my ‘lease’, I couldn’t put any windows in the front, so both are at the rear of the house, which is south facing. I feel that this will be quite handy in winter, but summer it could get pretty warm. I’ll definitely be investing in some blinds. Do you have a layout thread I could have a follow of? Sounds like you’re doing something very similar. There should be more to come after tomorrow when the builders have moved out. Also slight change of layout plan- swmbo has had a look up in the loft and suggested how I might use the space more ‘efficiently’ which allows me to have the kids up there with me so I can continue modelling. The space on the left will now be a little more compressed as a tv will be put on the wall above the layout. A sofa next to the hatch should create a decent little area for the kids to play with their toys while I play with mine. Updated plan to follow with the pictures of the completed loft. As always, hints, tips and constructive criticism appreciated.
  10. Thanks for those Gibbo. That’s precisely what I aim to recreate in addition to the surrounding landscape. Unfortunately I can’t find a whole lot of information about that site despite living about 500 yards away from it. It would be nice if I could figure out a way to get the OO9 section to go somewhere too. Perhaps have a mirror image of the original, so it can head off to the left where there is currently not much planned. Then I could put some sort of works in to link the two up. Rest assured all your assumptions in this post are correct. It’ll be OO scale with the dark blue line being branch line and yellow being main line. Same with the OO9 next to Gathurst. As I said above, still not sure where to go with that section. I forgot to post some photos of how it looks as we stand now. Obviously this week it should get finished and Thursday week after the dreaded carpet monster is being fitted. In the meantime, I’ll use the hard floor as a baseboard to get an idea for how it’ll look (at least the top section, which I’ve now got the track for). just because of the shallow pitch of the roof and limiting head height, this will be at a sitting height. So basically at the top of the cupboards shown by the ladder type affair on each side. Do you have a thread for Bannstaple Town? I’ll have to give it a follow if/when you do. Living near Hattons is both a blessing and a curse. It’s not so much a model shop than a model warehouse, where it helps to know exactly what you want when you go rather than browse and come away with way more than you expected to as with regular model shops. As always. Thanks for looking. Comments and suggestions always appreciated. Al
  11. Thanks. I’m looking forward to getting started myself. After work last week, I got a bit excited about getting started and bought a load of track from Hattons on my way home (I work near by), more so I can get an idea of scale and how it’ll work in the real world. It’s great seeing people assess a house with a future layout in mind. I unfortunately had to find and create a space.
  12. Hi Ade, Thanks for the reply. I’ve changed the topic title now. Only reason I didn’t put a name to it is I’ve not managed to come up with one for the layout yet. But I see what you’re saying, so I’ve had a little update and once I come up with something decent, I’ll put a final title. The builders have been proper grafters, so I’ve not managed to get too many photos as it has progressed, but they assure me they’ve been taking photos, so once I get them, I can put some work in progress shots up. With regards to the plan, it’s always tricky to show elevation on a 2d plan. Top right, the branch line bridges over the top of the main line, starting its incline from the set of points just prior to the top through station. At the bottom, I think somewhere on the curve out of the terminus, the main line will disappear under a bridge and descend under the main layout. This leaves a scenic section for just the branch line while allowing the 4 continuous loops to operate. I hoped to have an ‘underground’ fiddle/storage yard, but immediately underneath each long side are cupboards for loft storage, and above is the roof slope. The ends are fine for ‘unlimited’ elevation as they’re the gables. However, obviously they’re not long enough to accommodate not only the slope to and from, but the fiddle yard itself, so I’ll just have to create lots of sidings for ‘on layout’ storage. The TMD is top left, but will probably be a later addition once I’ve got the majority of the layout squared away and I know it’s all working. With regards to scale, the squares I’ve used are 500mm rather than 1ft, as I tend to work in metric. So the widths down the side should be wide enough for me to fit through. Should I build the baseboards and find it doesn’t quite work, I can always take a circular saw to it before I start laying any track haha. As always, thanks for looking and comments/advice are always appreciated
  13. Hello everyone, I’ve been a long time lurker on here for a while and decided to finally join as I may now actually have something to contribute. While not exactly new to the hobby having hoped to start my layout a few years back, in the meantime I’ve been acquiring locos and trying to learn as much as I can so when I finally manage to build my layout, I have a reasonable idea on what to expect and how to do it. Now the location of this new layout will be no surprise as you’ll have read the title of the thread. As I type this my loft is being converted to a proper play room, so my dream is now becoming a reality. Dimensions I’ve been reliably informed are 8.5m x 4m (27’11” x 13’1”) so quite a decent size. Here is a before photo. All the trusses will be gone, real floor put in and it’ll be a proper room with the layout at sitting height to maximise the width available due to the shallow pitch of the roof. I’ve been playing with Anyrail to get some semblance of a plan. My brief was basically to have a mainline station, a shunting yard/TMD, replicate my local station (Gathurst near Wigan as it was when it had the narrow gauge railway supplying the local explosives factory). Era is generally modern, but rule 1 applies. The mainline will have OHLE, and also parts of the branch line to fit in with the theme. So my main idea has evolved over several iterations with a bit of input from my friend and colleague, who has his own layout and effectively got me started in railway modelling. This is what I have so far. The top station is based on Wigan North Western (I did also have a Wallgate replica where the island terminus branches off, but I liked the idea of a terminus, so that stayed). Gathurst is at the bottom. Both terminus and TMD are fictional, however I did take inspiration from other layouts I’d seen on here to come up with that plan. With regards to the TMD, I’m still not convinced that it’ll be in that location, but it’s what I’ve come up with so far. The layout is DCC controlled using a Z21 controller. I’m still umming and ahhing over the best way to control the points. I’d like servo control due to the nice slow operation and the compact nature of the servos themselves. Having used solenoids on a little end to end layout I built little over a year ago, I’m not a fan of the clunking when they change. Having looked at a few different systems, I quite like what I’ve seen of the ANE system, although I can’t find much information on it, which is a shame. Does anyone else have this system and can recommend it/put me off or even suggest a system that will match what I’m after. Control-wise, as I’m sure that’s quite an important bit of information, I’m still undecided on whether to have a control panel and use the old fashioned switch method, or just do it through my controller, as the Z21 has a pictorial representation and points control can be as simple as pressing the screen, which I also like. Should one particular system work best and be recommended the most, I’m more than willing to commit to that particular control method. I think that’s about it for now. I always welcome constructive criticism or suggestions on what might work better, which is basically why I’m on here now. There is a vast wealth of experience on here and I’m hoping to learn a lot. Im sure there will be plenty more questions from me as I have lots to learn, but for now, thanks for looking and congratulations for reading this far. Al
  14. BusDriver


    Hello everyone. Al here. Long time watcher, first time poster. I’ve been getting ideas and enjoying reading about others’ layouts, hints and tips for a while. I thought I’d join the forum as I’m finally going to be starting my layout I’ve been thinking about doing for the past couple of years. That is once the attic gets converted at the start of Feb. I’m sure more to come, but for now I thought I’d just say hello and introduce myself here.
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