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    Travel, entertaining, model rail, the enviroment, open uni

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  1. No problem, been busy myself! If you're still stuck is it worth getting a builders merchant to deliver the balance of raw material and getting a second hand mixer to finish it off yourself? Also have you got an electrician lined up for the power supply yet? For insulation you may want to look at this company that I think does the cheapest insulation board that I've found to date:- https://www.insulation4less.co.uk/40mm-celotex-tb3040-2-4m-x-1-2m I'm currently lucky enough to be able to work from home full time but at the same time source and price up material for this project. since my last post I've got a new base prepared for the moving of the right blue shed when I sourced the last few slab layer mixes (the miracle in the depths of lockdown!) from a local Wickes. I can now look at moving it with some help as long as social distancing is relaxed. In the meantime I've managed to get a delivery from e-bay all the slabs I needed and when Buildbase reopened for deliveries I received a good start on an aggregate base, sharp sand and cement. (see projected base in the photo, the 8 by 6 footprint has given me a good start) Given that I'll rebuild the steps too needing further mortar and around 600 bricks I've even managed to persuade SWMBO that a half decent cement mixer will speed up the project and it is now on order. I did get in touch with the shed manufacturer that was kindly recommended by class26 and have been quoted £2600 including assembly for a 20 x 11 plus a delivery charge. It seems reasonable compared to some quotes I've had, when lock down is relaxed enough I'll be definitely be making a trip up there to look at the structures they sell. With luck I'm hoping on having everything in place by Mid August to make the shed order and can spend September fitting it out and getting an armoured cable to it. In the meantime I continue to play with XtrackCAD with potential configurations and I'll post again at the weekend regarding some ideas I have. Oh the agony in trying to decide, I think I'm going to have to tap up the forum for some advice again! lol Cheers for now, stay safe out there everyone, Bryant
  2. On the layout I'm planning currently I aimed for no less than 36" radius on mainlines and no less than 30" radius in shunting areas, hidden areas and fiddle yards. I may rethink the latter based on Junctionmads experience.
  3. Nice size, will look forward to seeing your layout. Also, thanks for the shed tip, have you ordered a bespoke size? How did you find them as a business to deal with? I may give that them a call if they do bespoke and can assembly in the Staffs / Warks area later this year. Their prices seem reasonable and I am impressed by the build specs. There was also a reason for reverting to 10 feet width with respect to space, however I've agreed with SWMBO that the shed can go up 11 feet in width. See the below photo showing the footprint of the shed in 10, 11 and 12 feet of width. There is just a small matter of taking down the small blue shed, moving the right hand shed to the former site of the small one and extending the existing base of the right side. My job over the next few months!
  4. Hi All, Given I'm in lock down for the next week and a half I thought I would share what I have in mind for the entire plan. I'm still more enamoured with loops for the fiddle yard however I've reduced these to 10 lines and increased spacing for access. With a lot of optimisation and a couple of 28" radius curves I have the ability to run 13 trains with up to 10 coaches. This was achieved by having sufficient length for double stacking on both up fiddle yards lines and one on the down and having 3 bidirectional with one dedicated runaround loop. I even managed allow access from the up bay to the Branch using a scissors and double slips, which will be handy for the odd DMU. I thought I would throw it out there for critique, please be gentle as a I'm a novice with respect to prototype but will take on board observations that will result in a better end design. Please feel free to comment! Many thanks, Bryant
  5. I've had a look at whether a double track roundy is feasible on xTrackCAD. It's tight and the question needs to go to the OP whether it's possible to add baseboard to the corners of the 1 foot board to allow the inside loop. If not, then the outside loop low relief goods shed will need to go. Other than that, I've kept to the brief of size, set track and peco short radius points. Hope this helps. Cheers Bryant
  6. A really thought provoking idea, but having a running line bridge and a branch bridge over a watercourse on the fiddle yard side may be an issue. It could however be moved to one of the corners where the track work is a wee bit lighter. One other thought I had, in the fiddle yard is a minimum radius of 30" is sensible? Or could I go as tight as 24" and still have relatively bulletproof running? Reason for asking is that I may have to revert to a 20 by 10 shed due to very few sheds being available in 20 x 12 foot size. Whatever the answer is I still have the luxury of being able to plan for it.
  7. <slams head against wall> Now that is such a schoolboy error. So bad in fact I'm doing him an injustice!
  8. A couple more sketches based on advice given now with an assumed size of 11' 4" x 19' 4". I tried out Joseph Pestells idea which if implemented would save a shed load of points. I'm still leaning towards going with loops but have relaxed a little with regard curved point as long as the as the direction of travel is to the single end. Also they can be straightened as well to give a radius more towards 30" on the inner curve. If anyone else has any suggestions please feel free to comment.
  9. Thankyou for your contributions and comments. In my original post I was intially looking at a 10 x 20 foot shed but some measurements taken in the garden a couple of days ago have made me realise that I can have a larger building. Given the expense, this year I'll be preparing the upper garden for a 12 x 20 foot shed for installation in early 2021. That extra 2 feet in width has opened up an awful lot of space and has eased no end the crampedness in some of the early plan sketches and the running line have benefited no end too. I'm probably going to stay with the loops, although that plan from Joseph_Pestell really turned my head. Will post over the weekend some more sketches.... Cheers Bryant
  10. And further optimisation by moving the left hand junction a few inches upwards has yielded this:-
  11. Thanks for the comments. On the plan my last post I had tried starting the loops early but was like trying to close an almost impossible circle with 30" minimum radius, considering the running lines in the edge of the base board and that I dropped the curved points. I tend to agree about the wasted space and the obvious limitations of the last plan. Like all design iterations at least it's something I can discount. Last night I put together a hydrid plan (Credit to JDW) where I have 4 up and 4 down lines in the fiddle yard and 4 centre roads that can be entered bidirectionally. This plan does allows some shuffling and variation and it is a much better use of space. There were a few compromises to make it work, one being the use of medium radius points only on the running lines (which I probably will relook at) and also a curved point for the centre roads on the left hand side. I even sketched in some sidings in the FY to store single engines and DMU's as well as a passing loop on the bottommost road and starting doodling a station. Overall I'm much happier and may stick with this as a solution unless anyone can see something obvious that I should take heed of.
  12. Hi Everyone Thanks for the responses and comments, they've really been of help. I'll try to answer all feedback and question raised as well as giving a further flavour of what I have in mind. With regard the running lines I want to keep the double track as a roundy in the foreground so that I could also watch the trains go by and to also put a countryside scene and possibly a viaduct. Also I'm keeping in mind a branch line if space permits. I did some research online about curved points and found their radius was closer to 28 inches in old money. I also verified this on XtrackCAD by building a circle of curved point and comparing them against a helix radius. To stay within no less than 30" radius I felt the curved points had to go. I'm taking on board the feedback about single slips (thereby saving me a the best part of 70 quid!!) and switched to diamonds instead. Given that I'm not running anything with a short wheel base over them I'm minded to go the insulfrog option. In this iteration I've tried out bring the line to the fiddle yard as singles and found the yard roads have a minimum of 8.5 up to 11 feet with a rough average across all 12 roads of 9.5 feet. I've used long points on the running lines and mediums in the fiddle yard area. There's still some work to do on the plan particularly in the upper left station approach where the curved points need to go. In my mind the left hand fiddle yard entry is to be partially hidden under a townscape, the right hand junction will be hidden be a tunnel just before the first point starts splitting the line into three at the start of the fiddle yard. I must admit I'm tempted by DavidCBroad's idea of simply having 6 roads clockwise and 6 roads anticlockwise so tomorrow night I'll model this option and see what comes out. I suspect that a decent length train of 9- 10 coaches plus a DMU / light goods will fit, which actually may mean more than 10 minutes per repetition. Also I plan to sketch out a hybrid option mentioned by JDW where I think with careful thought the centre two roads could be made bidirectional. More work to do and thanks once more. Please PM me if any of you would like a copy of the files for your own use. Regards Bryant
  13. Hi All, I'm currently in the garage with with my trusty layout which is around 75% complete which I hope to get finished this year. We had been mulling a house move recently regarding a property owned by a relative that had substantial space in the loft which would serve for my next layout. After thinking this over I realised we would be spending more time refurbishing the property than spending time on our hobbies. I also realised that we had adequate space in our current home if we were to use the space more intelligently for much less cost. So next year I plan with the blessing of my wife to move out of the garage so that we can create extra living space as well as a utility room. The payback for the move is that I can purchase a 20ft by 10ft purpose built shed to house the next layout in the garden giving me the ability to run full length rolling stock. I'll be continuing on with BR blue diesel era, on DCC, using code 75 track and electrofrogs and some initial planning doodling on XtrackCAD has started. My question relates to fiddle yards when running with up to 10 coach trains. I'm looking at using a combination of curved and medium radius electrofrogs in the fiddle yard with an absolute minimum 30" inch radius curves. I also want to keep the ability to watch trains run around too which limits the yard to 12 roads. The design utilises a single slip and a crossover each end of the yard to enable bidirection entry and departure but I am a little concerned at the way I'm maximising yard length. Is this a sensible approach or should I look at dropping all the curved points and keeping the approach as straight as possible using a scissors at either end? Hopefully this is not a silly question, but I'd rather take advice now rather than learn the hard way later on. (It happened a while ago!) All responses gratefully recieved and all the best. Regards Bryant
  14. Had a play on xtrackCAD and it's doable - just. Minimum radius is 3rd, the plan isn't prototypical but should give you a feel as to what could be acheived. Gives you twin track running, parcel bay, three sidings with a small headshunt, a by direction loop and a six track fiddle yard. Hope this helps, PM me if you want the file.
  15. Following from others comments about points I've had a crack on the OP's original layout using XTrackCAD and medium radius Peco streamline points. By eliminating a set of points for the branch line the adjacent platform should accommodate a DMU. The other two platforms should accommodate 5 to 6 coach rakes of MK1 or 2's, I've also put possible scenic breaks as thick black lines. Using other streamline points it should be possible to have at least 8 lines in the fiddle yard. Hope that helps! Cheers Bryant
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