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Well, I think it is about time I threw my hat into the ring. I have been meandering here for some time with a few builds but now I need to have something for them to run on. My interest originated as a boy with a trainset and my then neighbour had a wonderful model layout in his spare bedroom, which I watched him run. Good times, wonderful days. Welcome to Chippenham. My intention is to build a prototypical based layout of Chippenham mainline through station and the Calne branch line. Track plans will be based in the 1920/30s as will the structures. Both will be roundy roundy. The rolling stock will range from early to late Great Western. I will try to keep train formations correct but not all at the same time, i.e. an outside framed Pannier freight may be passing a King hauling a rake of Colletts on the main line. About thirteen or so years ago I hastily built baseboards to start building my planned layout based on a prototype mainline station with a branch. I had only one station and branch in mind. With a 20ft x 13ft space available, I knew a few compromises would be essential regarding the track plan and how to merge the branch into the space. The space itself is a loft. I could have waited until I was able to afford a loft conversion so it would have been a very comfortable room. That could be a long time and runs the risk of finding a different use for said space, so I made good what I could and got on with the layout. This was all pre RMweb for me and many lessons learnt since. Once I had the track plan down on paper I squeezed the available space to the max. Adding a few more sidings plus increasing the shed space into something more suited to Swindon or Bristol. At one point I had the layout completely wired and working but it just did not feel right. I fell out of love with the layout and modelling for some years whilst life took over and new events and projects undertaken. A change of job meant a change of focus. I discovered RMweb and started lurking, like so many. Totally seduced by the fantastic layouts and projects on show by the members here, I started to rediscover my enthusiasm. Eventually I was persuaded by my colleagues to start my Great Western Hercules loco project. The help and encouragement from the web members not only motivated the build but reignited my enthusiasm for the long stagnating layout project. After being invited and subsequently attending the RMweb Didcot day hosted by Castle (thank you Sir) my determination to complete this project is completely set in stone. I am under no illusion that this will be a quick build I expect the project to take many years to complete possibly at least 10 years to get it exactly as I want it. I had collected a lot of pictorial research, maps and books as I still had a general interest in the station, branch and surrounding area, after all my Great Uncle was a driver on the bunk. Unfortunately I never had chance to talk to him about his career. This was a great help as I did not have to start completely from scratch. Looking at the layout as it stood I again felt the lack of motivation, something was just not right about it or the track plan I just could not put my finger on it. However I know that if I continued rebuilding it I would never be happy so I have decided to dismantle the entire thing and start again. Whilst deconstruction commenced the reason behind my dislike for the track plan hit me. LESS IS MORE! I have viewed numerous wonderful layouts on this forum and enjoyed reading about their development as well as the banter. I had fallen into the trap of getting as many sidings and lines on the board as possible, whilst still true to a general over-view of the chosen station I had increased the amount of sidings and shed area. This can easily be rectified especially as I am completely rebuilding from the boards up. I do not want a layout to run to a timetable as I like having my trains just running, so as the next kit is being built I can watch the trains roll by. I really enjoy building kits and collecting/running RTR stock. I will have to scratch build all my buildings and will attempt to recreate these as accurately as possible. As previously mentioned I had already started this layout and have already purchased my track and points etc. Unfortunately (as I did not know any better then) I have electrofrog pointwork. There are far many too many points and cross-overs to be able to afford replacing with livefrog. The existing track is Peco 100 again too much to think about replacing with either bullhead, code 75 or making my own. I don’t have enough time to realistically build my own especially as I expect to be building all the structures myself after researching them. Like most others I also have a decent amount of rolling stock kits to keep me distracted. I have mentioned RTR stock as well and have a good collection of this. So the layout will be DC controlled. As much as I love seeing and hearing all the DCC locos and appreciate everything they can offer I am a little old school and enjoy wiring up sections of track. Plus the initial outlay is quite high especially as I have DC controls already. I regrettably do not have any pre-existing knowledge of railways; model or prototype. So I do not necessarily know names and terms used for locos, stock and infrastructure. I have learnt a lot and still learning. This also includes ALL modelling skills from the basic track down to the weathering, detailing of buildings and stock and use of equipment, i.e. soldering irons, airbrushes to what materials to use and when. Modelling time is still at a premium and will be for some years to come, building will be slow as a single handed project but I intend on producing a layout that I am 100% happy with. I would rather spend three weeks getting a small detail right to the best of my ability than three hours just to get it done and in place. So here is an idea of the main station layout. Unfortunately I am not very good with computer programmes so I have drawn the plan; Calne will follow in due course. The track plan is much simpler, being a smaller market town terminus. Additionally the branch will have to be inclined to a different level to the mainline in order to be able to incorporate it. All comments and conversations are encouraged here. I would like for this thread to become more of a conversation as well as a sharing point for ideas, skills, knowledge and banter. Hopefully it will become a good source of information for all of those visiting, as well as an enjoyable and amusing read. After all, we are here because we share the same interest but for many different reasons. My postings may be sporadic due to available time but updates will be documented.
This is an N Gauge Code 55 plan. Each square is 12" by 12". It assumes that Perth Station developed differently and at a site further north of the city than it is at present. It forms a junction between the Inverness and Aberdeen lines from the right hand side. Aberdeen comes from the curve at lower right, Inverness from directly right, and through a partition wall. To the left (south) the double track heads for Glasgow & Edinburgh via a further junction off scene. The oval track at the left hand side represents an elongated helix connected to a storage yard under the main station board. Platforms 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 should be ten coach platforms, 1 & 2 should take eight coaches. 7 & 8 will take six coaches. There are two avoiding/freight holding lines at the top of the plan for freight, with access only to/from the Inverness route. An Aberdeen route freight/holding line runs between platforms 3 & 4. I'm in two minds about rationalising the platforms a bit and removing either 7 & 8 or 5 & 6. I'm not sure if it's all too cluttered. Every platform should be accessible from/to any approach track, although I still have to include a crossing on the left hand side twin track to allow access to/from the freight avoiding lines.Top right will be a distillers (Dewars) loading/unloading siding or two. The other sidings I haven't decided on yet. Possibly transfer sidings or DMU stabling. All points will be motorised and control will be DCC. The main station building will lead out onto platform 1. approach curves will be disguised with bridges at the left hand side. I'm undecided about the right hand side, although the Inverness line will most likely be tunnelled. Ten coach trains will be restricted to long distance traffic to/from London, mostly via the Waverley route and behind Type 4 diesels, including a sleeper service. More local/short distance passenger trains will be predominantly diesel hauled (Type 2s), although the Glasgow/Aberdeen 3hr expresses will be modelled with A4, A2 and A1 Pacifics (until someone produces a RTR class 21/29.) Freight trains will be a mix of Steam and diesel (WD 2-8-0, Princess Coronation, Black 5, B1 Type 4 Diesels, Type 2 Diesels, etc.) Any terminating trains will be removed by a station pilot back down to the storage yard and vice versa. Comments regarding the track plan requested.