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HalfScot

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  1. Hello All, Sorry if I’ve been some time away, but life intervenes. Firstly, a slightly amended plan with a new version of Braemore = As you can see, the station has become an island platform (like Gaerlochhead, for example) with subway access to the platform, and the distillery has reduced in size. I did think on reflection that it was oversized for the location, and reducing it still gives me the same operational fun, and room for a long siding to restore the timber trains. I found pictures on the websites of the Friends of the Far North Line of timber trains, and a bit more research revealed that they are still running today, with timber being loaded at Georgemas Junction for shipping to Inverness. So, a bit of a redesign allowed the inclusion of these. Thanks, Robin. The way I see this station working is that goods trains could be shunted using the passing loop opposite the engine shed. The siding further up the line is just a storage siding (I think there was a similar arrangement at Mallaig once upon a time). Thanks, Scott. A huge amount of use. I think the 12x CCT, 2x BSO, 3x SLS combination would be ideal for the length of train I want to portray. If I could find some evidence that it was pulled by a Class 55 I'd be a happy modeller, as I've got one I want to use. I can't find anything to suggest they ever went North of Edinburgh, except on Aberdeen services after HSTs were introduced in the mid-1970s, and excursion trains in the 1980s onwards. It might need a bit of Rule 1 to have the sleeper pulled by a green Deltic. Maybe they never went North of Edinburgh because there was no need for them to, but pulling a sleeper to Ullapool creates a need. That's good enough for me. This whole issue of appropriate locos is causing me some long sessions with Google (which often directs me straight back to RMWeb. As far as I can tell, the Scottish lines would have had Class 24s, 25s, and 26s, maybe the odd 20. Steam in the early 60s would have been Black 5s, with the odd 4MT tank. LNER K2s/ K3s (?) were also seen up there, but were withdrawn by 1962. This means I have to consider what out of my current stock I can run. Most of the above I've already got (apart from the LNER Ks), but there’s a 9F and a Britannia Pacific which will have to stay in their boxes, and some Western Region locos (a Western and some ex-GWR steamers) which would look out of place (although I did find a picture of a pannier tank at Dingwall). i do want this layout to look right. In the past I've had layouts with a flavour of different areas of the country, or just generic BR green that could be anywhere. However, this is the one I want to get right - the "magnum opus". It's also the retirement layout, as the name of this thread suggests. The real choker for me is that I've a couple of green Class 37s I'd love to include, but even though any website about Scottish railways includes many pictures of them they didn't get that far North until the 1980s - much too late for me. I just might have to invoke Rule 1 again. The sight of a long mineral or timber train double-headed by Class 37s is something I'd really like on the layout. You bet. I think they'll be great for what I need. I think the signal box, double engine shed and Blair Atholl station building will definitely find homes on the layout. Anyway, that's it for now. I will be starting on the shed in the New Year, so 2022 will be when it all happens. Thanks to everyone for their input. I hope I haven't missed anyone out who was kind enough to make constructive suggestions. All the best Ollie.
  2. I've just found this thread and am in the process of binge-reading it from start to finish. I'm currently in the planning phase of a Scottish layout in N, and if I can create the Scottish atmosphere this well I'll be a very happy modeller. Love the way this is developing. Best wishes Ollie
  3. Hi Shaun. I'm in the throes of starting a layout of the railway that never was - the Garve and Ullapool - which would have left the line from Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh at Garve. After posting the initial track plan I had a reply saying that I should turn Garve into a version of Georgemas with trains from Dingwall being split for Kyle and Ullapool. This piqued my interest and I was delighted to find an N scale version on RMWeb. The plan was duly amended to include it Love it so far. I'll be a happy little modeller if my own efforts meet yours Best wishes. Ollie
  4. Hi Again All Well, life has intervened in postings recently, but that’s not a bad thing. Having given Garve and Ullapool its first public airing it’s been good to just leave it and have a think about the design for a bit. Which made me realise that it still needs some work. The problem I could see was with Braemore. It was just too simple from an operational point of view. It might be when the layout is up and running that I invite a couple of like-minded friends over for operating sessions, so I’d want to make sure that there was plenty for them to do. Garve would have trains in four directions (Dingwall / Kyle of Lochalsh and back and Dingwall / Ullapool and back) and some goods movements, and Ullapool itself would have plenty for an operator, but Braemore just had one goods siding and the timber siding. It needed a bit of extra interest for an operator. So I started thinking about other industries that you might find in the Highlands of Scotland. A distillery seemed like the obvious choice, but the question was, would such still be rail-served in the 1960s. It didn’t take much research to find the answer was a very definite “Yes”. I didn’t even have to stray outside the pages of RMWeb to find the information. So, a bit of redesigning included a distillery with rail access and an engine shed for an 0-4-0 tank engine, providing some shunting action for a Braemore operator. The timber siding went, but the upside was that I could include a longer (hopefully grander) viaduct for the visual impact. A distillery would require a variety of wagons – opens with casks both full and empty, vans with various stores, grain wagons and coal wagons. There might even be the enigmatic tank wagon. The new design made Braemore a much more satisfying design operationally. The link to the enigmatic tank wagon picture takes you to a Flickr page with some excellent pictures of Dailuaine Distillery in Speyside, which was very inspirational. Then the above from AngusDe was added to the thread. There was really some food for thought here. Splitting / assembling trains at Garve, as they do at Georgemas? (I also found a lovely N-gauge layout of Georgemas). It seemed so obvious. Why send two trains up the line from Dingwall to the different termini when I could send one and split it – five coaches for Ullapool and three for Kyle (the assumption being that the move of the ferries from Kyle to Ullapool caused a shift in passenger numbers). It would need an engine shed at Garve, so that nasty red line that represented the branch for the Garve and Ullapool railway in the original plan has been replaced by a small engine shed / turntable. (This layout’s backstory is that some time during the Grouping / Nationalisation process the rather over-designed station at Garve was simplified to handle the level of traffic required). So here’s the new plan – As you can see, Braemore now has a little distillery with an exchange siding. It’s not quite a shunting puzzle, but there’s plenty to be done to get the various wagon types to their destinations. The Dailuaine distillery provided a lot of inspiration (much reduced – a scale model of that site would be the size of a single bed in N). Garve has had its platforms extended to cope with eight-coach trains and the engine shed added. Eight coaches come from Dingwall / Inverness, five go on to Ullapool and the engine stabled at Garve takes the remaining three to Kyle. The same principle could be used for parcels trains, and the Garve engine could also be used for double-heading heavy freight workings or extra-long seasonal traffic on the Ullapool line. Garve has suddenly taken a big leap in operational interest as well. (As Garve is one of the passing stations on the Dingwall / Kyle line it occurs to me that the scenario of a down train from Dingwall being split for Kyle and Ullapool meeting ups from Kyle and Ullapool being joined at Garve could be quite a challenge for the Garve operator). As this layout is set in about 1960 I couldn’t include a Motorail facility at Ullapool, but mainly because the Motorail brand wasn’t introduced until 1966. Motorail’s predecessor, from what I could find, was the Car Sleeper Limited from London to Perth. A form of this could be run through to Ullapool. I’m not sure what would actually carry the cars. GUVs seems the most possible, even though carflats were around in 1960. So, an extra siding has been added at Ullapool with an end-loading dock for the cars, and to store the whole train between trips (I presume that a sleeper would just sit in a siding for a day until it could be used for the return overnight journey again). Hopefully the rake will be about five sleepers and four GUVs. Thanks to AngusDe for such a thought-provoking post, and for all the other contributions that have improved the design. I’m beginning to think that starting this thread before I’ve even built baseboards (not that I’m in any position to do so at the moment) was a good idea. Once again I’ve been amazed by how many questions in Google produced results in RMWeb. This site is a national treasure. Best wishes Ollie
  5. Hi, and thanks for the info. That's a lovely little signal cabin and a 2mm version would fit in perfectly. I'll be keeping an eye out for it. Popup do some excellent Scottish railway structures. (I think my main problem with buildings is going to be the 9' of low-relief seafront cottages at Ullapool, but that'll be something to complete over a fairly long timescale). Back to the matter of the layout at Garve, I've decided to leave it as is. As Garve is one of the passing stations on the line I did consider putting in a bay platform line at the Kyle end of the Up platform (the righthand end of the lower one) to allow a DMU service from Ullapool to connect with trains crossing on the Kyle / Dingwall line, but then I thought why? The DMU could arrive from Ullapool, passengers for Kyle and Dingwall could alight, then the DMU could simply move to the goods shed passing loop while the Kyle / Dingwall trains crossed, then move back to a platform to pick up passengers who had alighted for Ullapool. The problem was solved operationally and it does allow me to have a local DMU service connecting with the Kyle line as well as through trains from Ullapool to Dingwall and on to Inverness. I once saw something similar happen at Kirkham in Lancashire in the 1970s. Thanks again. Best wishes Ollie
  6. Hi again All. I must start by saying Thank You for all the positive comments and encouragement. Apologies for taking a bit of time to reply to them all. Following all of that I have taken some things on board and made a couple of changes to the layout design – As you can see, Braemore has moved to the other end of its scenic section and is now on a straight section of baseboard. I kept a small curve in the platform because I like curved platforms. The MPD at Ullapool has been re-designed to a much more Kyle style, so that the facilities can still be used if the turntable is filled with snow, and I’ve re-aligned the 180 degree curve at the end of the peninsula slightly. I’ve left it in because the quarry loader at the end of the Ullapool section forms the scenic break and I need some way to get the loader’s tail track in without it projecting into the Braemore section. The area shaded grey is not part of either section and not modelled, so the tightness of the curve won’t be part of either scene and there will be some delay between trains leaving one section and appearing in another. (It occurs to me that, with the new site of Braemore, it would be possible for one operator to work all three stations with hardly a footstep. Lazy pig that I am). Scott – thank you so much for your kind offer of photos of Garve station. I do have some already, in all its yellow glory, and plan to go up there when things ease up a bit to visit both Garve and Ullapool and get some pictures. On the matter of the divergence of the Ullapool line at Garve, I was basing my design on this document: which shows the line leaving the Dingwall – Kyle line about 200 yards east of Garve station. This is from the original proposal for the line. A 1967 map of the area shows pretty much the same track plan. I can only infer from this that the Ullapool line would have had its own platforms, as the drawing shows its route going behind the existing station building. My worries therefore still exist – what was the planned layout of Garve if the new line was built? Robert - I’m familiar with the Pop Up buildings and am hoping to incorporate a few in the layout. (I think Ullapool would look great with the Blair Atholl station building). Thanks for the tip. On the matter of trains lengths, I’ve kept things to five coaches and an engine as that still is the length of the platforms at Garve. Longer freight trains can be accommodated on some of the fiddle yard sidings, and there will certainly be times when a passenger train will have a parcels van or two added. Parcels traffic was a large part of operations at Garve, being unloaded for shipment by road to Ullapool. This can of course be replaced by direct rail service on this model. Speaking of shipment by road, further research has revealed that at this time just about all coal traffic in the Highlands went that way (apart from loco coal) so coal facilities have been removed from Garve and Braemore. They’ve been replaced by cattle docks, as cattle traffic was important and there were even all-cattle trains on the Highland lines. Cattle were shipped to and from the islands via stations like Kyle as deck cargo, and Kyle even has a cattle creep to allow loading and unloading of boats at any state of the tide. Thanks again to everyone for such positivity and helpful advice. Best wishes Ollie
  7. Hi All. If you’re the type of person to look at a thread about Scottish N Gauge in the 1960s and think “Oh no, not another one” then click on your back button now. Still here? OK. My name’s Oliver (Ollie) and this is my first foray into RMWeb, after some time of being a reader. I started modelling in the 70s with a Hornby set (a Hymek and 2 container wagons, complete with gantry crane), which was followed by a class 37(still one of my favourite locos) and some coaches, so my start to modelling was definitely BR Blue. Then Hornby brought out its range of Ringfield-motored engines which included a Black 5. I decided I really wanted one. The blue engines got a repaint in green, the coaches were sold and replaced by some blood and custard ones, and of course the container wagons went (which I didn’t think was much of a loss – if you ever want to check the quality of your tracklaying, just get a couple of 1970s Hornby container wagons and run them. They’ll derail at the slightest flaw). But university beckoned. The OO gauge layout was demolished and modelling had a bit of a hiatus. When I returned to the hobby I was often short of space for a layout, and so I discovered N gauge. I loved it because you could model so much more in smaller spaces. So, the OO collection went and was replaced by diesel and BR steam in N. That's my era - I find it fascinating that on a layout set in 1960 you could have a brand-new Class 37 sitting alongside an ex-LMS 4F built over 50 years earlier and based on technology that has been around since the 1830s (a boiler with tubes making steam to push pistons). Anyway, after several small BLTs and roundy-rounds as big as limited space could permit it's finally time for a decent sized layout (15’ x 15’). I've decided I want to set it in the West of Scotland. I first discovered the West of Scotland through SCUBA diving. The railways came later but now it’s a part of the country I love and it provides the setting I want to model - trains running by the sea or through grand, remote scenery. . My requirements were as follows – * A BLT with a harbour, allowing passenger and freight traffic. * A junction based on a roundy-round which would represent a larger part of the network * An intermediate station (if possible with some kind of industry to provide further train movements). *Set in the early 1960s to make the best use of the stock I’ve already got. If you look at the above the line from Kyle of Lochalsh to Dingwall would seem to provide all of that. However, modelling Dingwall would be a challenge as it’s such a big station and there’s already an excellent thread for Kyle of Lochalsh on RMWeb at the moment. I spent a lot of time looking at the various West of Scotland termini, and while they all had something to offer, none of them was exactly what I was looking for. So, I turned my attention to towns on the West Coast that might have had a railway, but don’t. Ullapool seemed to fit the bill. Now, bear in mind that I knew nothing when I started looking at Ullapool. It was a pleasant surprise to find that there had been a proposal to build a railway there from Garve on the Kyle of Lochalsh line. So, I started some real research. I was amazed at how many queries in Google brought an answer in RMWeb. It seemed I had tapped into a vast resource of knowledge. That’s great, ‘cos I still have some unanswered questions. After a lot of time I came up with a plan, as follows - Garve, at the top, is pretty much as it was shown in the proposal for the railway line in 1890, and I also found a map showing it in 1969 which was just about the same. The passing loop is shorter, it’s acquired a tunnel at one end and at the other the road crossing has turned from a level crossing to a bridge to provide a scenic break. As stated above it’s pretty much a roundy-round that represents the line from Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh. The branch line lower right in the plan is the never-built line to Ullapool. From Garve it runs round the back of the fiddle yard before entering the next scenic section (Braemore). Dingwall – KoL trains can be turned using the return loop on the right and so it will be possible to have trains going down the line and coming back again. The problem is that nasty red line at the bottom of the Garve plan. That’s all I could find to show what the track plan might be for the new branch. It perplexed me somewhat until I realised that the plan must have been for the Garve and Ullapool to have its own platforms at Garve. This would make the station a serious piece of modelling, with four platforms and another passing loop. Would that layout survive Grouping, and then Nationalisation? By the 60s might there still only be two lines in use, with a derelict platform and the rails taken up? What should I try to model, or should I just go with what I’ve got, which works for me? Next is Braemore, which I picked for an intermediate station as it is shown on the 1890 documents as having a tunnel which immediately goes onto a bridge. It’s a small hamlet in the Highlands, but might justify a station, and might have grown because it got one. I also situated a long siding there which I intend to be for the loading of timber trains, probably for transport to Inverness. In 1960 that would probably be on Macaw bogie bolsters. The problem I’m having is finding how those wagons would be loaded. Any ideas? Finally, after another tunnel providing a scenic break we come to the Ullapool section. The break on this side is provide by a quarry loader which crosses the main line to a siding (it makes a change from tunnels or road bridges). It also gives me an excuse to run mineral trains pulled by a couple of Class 37s. Then there’s the scenic feature I wanted most on the layout – a long run by the sea into Ullapool. If you asked me if I found any track plans of that station my answer, like Bilbo Baggins’, would be “Lots and none at all”. Ullapool has often been modelled but I couldn’t find any track plans of what the actual station might look like. The closest I could find was again from the 1890 proposal document which showed the railway following the sea front to a terminus at the junction of Shore Road and Quay Street, where the pier was. The problem is that Shore Road is the sea front, and in photographs from the 1930s it didn’t even have a sea wall. The only way to build any kind of railway facilities here would be a man-made extension from the shoreline. I also knew that the new-formed railway company had bought land at the eastern end of the bay, so my vision for this station was a wedge-shaped structure starting out at the east end and widening to its maximum at the Quay Street end. On the plan the light green line represents the original shoreline – not strictly accurately as what I’ve managed in 11’ x 2’6” would take 16’ x 5’ if modelled to scale. However, dimensions apart I think it captures the essence of what an Ullapool station might have looked like. There will be docking for a passenger ferry, local freighters and fish trains to take away herring catches, goods shed and unloading platform, dockside crane and an oil storage tank for refuelling ships, as at Kyle of Lochalsh. So there it is. Operationally I think it could be quite satisfying, with trains on the Kyle of Lochalsh – Dingwall line passing through Garve, and Ullapool – Dingwall (and on to Inverness) trains starting at Ullapool and coming back again Freight would be mixed for the ferries, up fish trains and down empties, fuel oil trains and, on the Ullapool branch, mineral and timber trains. What do people think? I’ve tried to capture the spirit of a Highland line and I hope those familiar with the West of Scotland railways see something they think is in keeping with the area. Thanks for reading. Ollie
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