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Schooner

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  1. Thanks to the support and help found here, and elsewhere on RMWeb, I think everything is now in place for this plan to become reality!
  2. Work begins on my first layout for a couple of decades! It's an Inglenook shunting puzzle, set on a canal-side wharf in the Cotswolds around the year 1900, tentatively named Ingleford. Planning and inspiration This whole process started a couple of years ago. I started designing a layout to fit in everything I could possibly want (a vast scheme, (still in the background but very much a problem for the future) and then over time whittled away at it until I arrived at the smallest possible layout that would tick my boxes, but be achievable in the time I had available. Armed with what looked like the perfect trackplan ( @Harlequin's take on the Inglenook shunting puzzle), and a desired aesthetic (Victorian-era canal wharf, in pleasant countryside, in the late Spring) I was able to start a planning thread and start exploring real-world touchstones over on my general musings thread, starting about here. Inspiration was found along the Stroudwater Navigation, where canal, GWR and MR all run together through glorious Cotswold countryside, an area as industrious as beautiful: https://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EPW050626 https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=16&lat=51.74258&lon=-2.26671&layers=178&b=1 And now, this is the plan: 305mm squares; red dots are proposed locations of uncoupling magnets - although not set in stone, I think Spratt and Winkle coupling are the way I will want to go. No idea why it's showing the gradient (0%). The background buildings are all kit/RTP; but the foreground will be my first three bits of scratch building: A shed, a crane and a bridge. Very rough sketches, and inspiration, for these are below The watercraft are very area-specific, in being a Severn trow (the smallest of which were very happy going up the Stroudwater Navigation through to Brimscombe Port and the connection to the Thames and Severn Canal), something like: and a Stroud barge: and a narrowboat (less local, from Cirencester, but a lovely scene it might be nice to model): ...and this is the layout as it stood before being packed away for safekeeping: ...in a moderately advance state of mock-up, but most things just loose. Things stalled because I work away from home, so time is often very limited (more 'a week or two a year', than 'an hour or two a week' which has impacted my approach), and I have been lacking the pointwork to lay track (Peco Code 75 BH) until very recently. Thanks to the kindness of some RMWebbers, I'm now able to move forward Stock The plan is to develop a few sets of motive power and stock for various dates (starting c.1880) and companies (private, Midland and Great Western). One loco, eight 'standard' and three extra 'wildcard' wagons for each. The length of the headshunt and sidings means that the Inglenook puzzle would remain functional (all moves possible) with all stock on the layout, but the general game will be the standard puzzle, with the wildcards providing some extra variety. For example, the early Midland train might look like: (Midland full of LNWR, courtesy of the excellent Mousa Models), with one of the Midland's green-liveried Manning Wardle H Class (Hardy's Hobbies body kit for Hornby Peckett W4) doing the bossing about. One of the nice things about the layout is it allows the game to be played both ways - assembling a train of five wagons, picked at random from the eight available, the 'puzzle proper'; or taking the random train, and spotting wagons in their proper place by type or load. I'm sorely tempted by leaving particularly these earlier wagons with three (or five!) link couplings - as they will be matched to a particular loco it should be fairly easy to keep things compatible. At the moment, I've got eight standards commissioned by the Gloucesertshire and Warwickshire Steam Railway (lovely bodies on awful Dapol chassis) and wildcards from Wessex Wagons and a couple of locos So, The layout so far... ...is just a frame. Made of 10mm foamboard, following advice on this forum, with a doubled around the outside and three full-width braces. The 'baseboard' is still loose so the first job is to turn that into one rigid piece. After that comes the bit where I'd appreciate my plan checking by people who know what they're doing! Measure and mark for track underlay (5mm foam), stick down (Copydex). Measure, mark and lay track (Peco Code 75 BH) - also with Copydex, pins temporary only. Fit point motors (DCC Concepts Cobalt iP Analogue), doing my best to follow the instructions. And then work out how to fit the point controls (DCC Concepts S Levers), which will drive the point motors and the motors for animated scenery (to indicate the set of the turnouts). No idea where to put them. Seemed like a good idea at the time! Control is DC, via a Gaugemaster DS. Seperate power feeds for track and accessories. Tentative wiring plan, following previous advice on RMWeb: Feedback sought, please. I think that'll keep me busy for the foreseeable! Thanks for reading, welcome to Ingleford
  3. Hullo, sorry, bit slow off the mark. No answers, but perhaps of interest are: A bit on Kingswear and coal A nice little reference for (modern) maritime tonnages If it helps visualise, I think of a narrowboat as taking 30 tons of coal; a large barge or lighter <100t; a sailing coaster c.200t and collier brig <500t. No sources for that I'm afraid. Possibly next week though, if still of any use? Another avenue of investigation follows the info in the Lloyd's Register Heritage and Education Centre's digitised records. Follow for a quick example. Fascinating stuff as ever, enjoyed the catch up. Cheers all!
  4. Indeed! I'm thinking of going for that Cirencester scene front and centre...and hoping the fact it is literally under the operator's nose is enough to stop it being the main focus of the entire layout. We'll have to see how it looks when the time comes for the next round of mock-ups. Thanks for excellent information on modelling trees by the way, yet another valuable missive from Farthing which I'll certainly be referring to in future. Thank you, kind of you to say - even though there's a long way to go, and I've messed up far easier things! Perhaps greater thanks for your help in finding a supplier. Between that and a very kind offer from another RMWebber, I think that should be track requirements dealt with. With a little luck, this means I should next get home to baseboards, underlay, track, turnouts, point motors, accessory motors*, power supplies and controller with wire and time enough to link the whole lot up. Then, trains shall be played at length *the plan is to motorise wharf gates, crane and something else, linked to the switch levers, to indicate the set of the turnouts. Maybe.
  5. Another quick turnaround, but time for a small update. Easily done. The news is: there is no news. Ticking into the ninth month of waiting for RH BH points. Everything else functional is present, correct and ready to go. At this point juncture I'd welcome pointers a lead to any vendor who may have them in stock, but I suspect the lack of supply isn't a purely Hattons problem. The layout is now boxed for safe keeping, but the plan hasn't changed significantly since it was last out in the open: All very WIP, obviously, but constructive feedback welcome as ever, if something stands out. September likely to be busy, but no firm plans for after. Fingers x'd for some modelling time before long. Cheers, thanks all for keeping this forum a very pleasant corner of the internet! Schooner
  6. What progress on all fronts! Bloody impressive stuff Linny, a real pleasure to have a quick catch-up on your projects many and various. Looking forward to the next update
  7. Annie, just dropping in quickly to say thank you for the BG cheer-up pics and the regular updates on the dual-gauging of Crowcombe. Each a real joy, and much appreciated. Keep up the good fight! Schooner
  8. Which often differ radically from the stated conditions. No wonder confusion abounds.
  9. If so then he has excellent taste in guru: the detail on the cattle wagon is exquisite. All the best for tomorrow.
  10. For one night only, in meatspace as in SCARM, back to London and back to layout design: Those who have been following this project will recognise it in general and in detail. To those looking at the Grand Plan for the first time, the above is a representation of West India South Dock and environs, set in the mid-1880s. South Dock Station is on the right, and that area is fairly accurate. Millwall's enormous grain depot is on the left, and is representative only. In between are various buildings (warehouse, transit shed, timber shed, rail goods depot (lower left) etc), again representative, and water craft ranging from the Cutty Sark to Thames sailing barges and lighters. The pink length bottom centre is a cassette. Engine shed bottom right. It looks complicated, but isn't really - just a set of four simple end-to-end layouts superimposed and then joined up at the back! Hopefully the below explains: Millwall Extension Railway circuit. In reality, a service of two trains shuttling between Millwall Junction and North Greenwhich stations, passing at South Dock station. On the layout, a service of two trains running opposing circuits, passing at South Dock on one side and a loop+storage sidings on the other. Automation planned. Goods circuit. In reality a vast range of goods vehicles moving adjacent to the MER between the various Poplar rail yards and Millwall Docks and Isle of Dogs industries. On the layout, three trains which can represent North- or South-bound traffic through the modeled area, with locos running around (via cassette road, route not shown)/running light as required. Automation planned. Shunting circuit. The main operator activity #1 on the layout - taking short trains of six or so wagons from the two storage sidings (inside radius tracks, bottom) and shunting individual wagons to locations representing quay, tranist shed and warehouse. The three funny little sidings on the right are lifted from the real thing. No idea how they were actually used, but the plan is for them to act as a micro-nook shunting puzzle and/or utility sidings for temporary wagon storage etc. Spotting circuit Activity #2 is the movement of short cuts (three wagons) between three short sidings in the yard (again, inned radius at the bottom) and various quays, 'industry' sidings (eg. grain and timber) and storage locations. Timber, for instance, will come from the Baltic via schooner (upper left of the operating well) and be taken to the timber yard siding (lower right, outside radius) with internal-use wagons; in time, Railway Company wagons will collect it from that siding and send it out to the network. A similar cycle exists for grain. The idea of splitting shunting and spotting is to acknowledge the reduced access and visibility* of this circuit; and to allow for link couplings within each fixed cut - couplings on the ends will, I fear, have to be tension-locks to deal with the tight radii**. If any cut is to be shunted (eg. to represent the flow of empty and full wool wagons to the Cutty Sark), then this can be done with those three little sidings on the right. I'm at home with the idea of shunting the storage yard/goods depot being an activity in itself to be done as required (see *), and to this end it will be a fully scenic'd. It's a big, involved layout, for sure...but mostly the operator sits in the well merrily punting wagons around them as goods and passenger trains trundle around their respective circuits at intervals to (I hope) maintain the illusion of being a small part of a much larger whole. Sorry for lack of better presentation and supporting info - in a bit of a rush. Quick turnaround tonight and off again too early tomorrow morning, and I wanted to get these plans posted so I can refer to them over the next month or so. Closing bit of info for Ingleford: The rail-served wharf at Stonehouse (off the MR's Nailworth branch, on the Stroudwater) is the only one along the entire network. I've recently read, although I forget where, that it was a contractual requirement of the branch line's existence. Although all the photos I can think of show some stock on the siding, nearly every mill had its own siding anyway, every station had a goods yard, and every wharf continued to exist: I can't imagine it was greatly used. In terms of layout planning, this information has limited impact - the whole concept is a sham, and leans on actual locations only lightly. Still, I had wondered about it, and now have an answer. Cheers, Schooner *Envisioned as taking up one end of a dedicated shed, with access to operating well via duck-under (top) from the door and full access to the bottom. The remaining space, c.4', allows for modelling desk, storage etc. Still wondering how to deal with the lower dock, which has grown to accomodate a full-sized President, but currently think to have the ship models mounted on brackets, fixed to the sides, whilst the water-with-lighters-attached can be lowered away and moved to give occasional access as required. **Circuits are R2 or greater, but some of the quay access is via R1 or under. Can't see it being a problem for short stock and tiny 0-4-0Ts. EDIT: I should probably mention that the real flow of traffic around the docks actually works very well for the modeller. Company trains exchanged wagons at vast yards outside the dock. These were then marshalled by a company tank loco into trains for each dock or rail depot and, under the PLA at least, these ran as scheduled trips to their destinations - smaller yards on Dock property, or their 'home' depots. Here the train was again marshalled, by a Dock Co. loco, per quay or shed and taken to the required area three times a day - typically before 08.00, over the lunch break, and after 17.00. On the quays the individual wagons would be spotted by man, horse or loco as required. The same in reverse for outbound traffic. It is this general flow I hope the layout can run, even if there is only one yard.
  11. Not much left to hope for but a hard boiled egg. There must be a parishoner who keeps chickens?
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