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Mantles Wood


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Welcome to Mantles Wood.

Followers of my old layout will know that sadly I had to tear it up, in preparation for a house move to west Wales May 2014.

The Head of Household gave approval for me to use the new garage as my layout room, a very commendable 17’ x 13’ area. However, it wasn’t until nearly Christmas that we were able to have local chippies convert it into a proper room, as we were endlessly moving furniture from room to room whilst the bungalow was re-decorated etc, and the garage was needed as decanting space.

Why Mantles Wood? Well I’d always been fascinated by Rickmansworth ever since I discovered it as a lad, and as you know my old layout had elements of BR and LT. Even with my larger facility there’s no way I could attempt Ricky so was pondering a poor man’s Rickmansworth.

Many of you will know that Mantles Wood marks the boundary these days between Network Rail and TfL, and in the past BR/LT etc. Needless to say Mantles Wood isn’t actually at Mantles Wood but then Clapham Junction isn’t at Clapham so nothing new there then. Further reading here:

This gave me the opportunity to have a name from the right area, but use my old stock and the old pretext that the line here was originally LNWR/Metropolitan Joint before eventually becoming BR/LT.

The rest of this first post concerns the conversion of the garage into a proper room as I hope some viewers will be interested.

The garage was built in about 1999, with a typical concrete floor and breeze block construction, and a window that was little better than green-house glass. Fortunately we had a sum of money left over from the house move that meant paying for the job to be done properly wasn’t too onerous, although we avoided super-dooper professional firms who would have charged well who knows….?

Although the bungalow wasn’t a wreck, we had a lot to do with thorough redecoration, and then (mostly through choice) rebuilding the kitchen, major re-wiring and replacing the fireplace.

This gave us the chance to check out the price/quality of local tradesmen who generally did a good day’s work for a good day’s pay and by and large were semi-retired/almost retired. We decided to offer the work to a local carpenter who’d done good work for us, a shopfitter/chippie who he also used on bigger jobs, and an electrician who’d done a lot of wiring for us. Generally speaking their work was £12-£15 per hour (amazing considering where we’d come from in South Bucks).

As the garage was all concrete/stone I decided to go for hi-spec within reason and I’m really glad I did. Note: I was quite ill when most of the work was done so quality of pics varies.

I had the window replaced with a double-glazed one just before the major work was done. The walls and floors were covered with waterproof membranes. The flooring timbers were either 4” x 3” or 4” x 2” and the wall timbers were 3” x 2”. In both cases the spaces were filled with 40mm insulating foamy stuff which had waterproof facings. The walls were then covered with plasterboard and then plastered. The floor then had a covering of flooring quality chipboard. Also the living room carpet from the previous owner didn’t suit us indoors but it was fairly new and did a treat in the garage.
The work was complete just before Christmas. It took a while for the top plaster to dry as it was damp weather at the time, however it was worth the wait. Touch wood there’s been no shrinkage to date since it dried so slowly.

As the garage was a bare shell, the cost of additional wiring and sockets was minimal (as compared doing half the amount I eventually chose) so I had 16 electric sockets and eight 4’ fluorescent lights in 2 banks of 4. With the wiring that we’d had done in the main house, we’d had to have a new consumer unit (fuse box in old money). There was spare capacity on this to run a 40A cable to the garage so the electrician gave me another ring main in the garage with its own fuse box. I could actually have a cooker in there but that’s probably overkill unless I’m really in the doghouse.

The ‘loft’ space was filled with something like 12” of rock-wool to give further insulation.

Total cost of the work was in the region of £4k, roughly 50/50 parts/labour. Clearly that’s not the sort of sum most people have on tap, and neither did I before the house move. However that was by no means bad when you consider that people who advertise heavily about converting lofts/garages into meaningful space would like have wanted double. Even if you’re doing it yourself I’d strongly recommend doing it to a decent spec if funds allow.
A couple of pics of the garage just prior to the work:



35856409255_cdb9008e3a_o.jpgrev a unconverted garage 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr


35016353364_c1a58eb26e_o.jpgrev b unconverted garage 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Early wiring work before the build proper can start:


35856465745_250a47bc65_o.jpgrev c start of wiring 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Roof and floor work. Note the garage door hasn’t yet been covered:


35687316982_bacae75a49_o.jpgrev d roof 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr


35687316812_c8265ac8a1_o.jpgrev e floor 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

The garage door has now disappeared behind a wall




Top-coat plastering under way on the end wall opposite the garage doors




The finished room but still bare



Layout baseboards installed (described in next posting). Also old kitchen units and work surfaces have been recycled to give a decent workbench in the middle.



Next posting: Initial track work

Edited by Metr0Land
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Welcome Back. (Initial Track Work)

Finally in the spring I was able to think about track laying, but first of course I needed something to lay it on. I’d looked at various suppliers of kits for baseboards, some of which looked rather good, but having spent quite a bit on the garage conversion I felt there were just too many additional costs after what I’d already incurred.

My carpentry skills are ok-ish but with a room this size I really wanted something decent to do it justice. Step forward (again) the local carpenter. He’d never done model railway baseboards. I was confident enough to work with open-frame baseboards this time round but he wasn’t.

Basically he was confident with MDF. I’m sure he could have done open-frame boards but the time factor would have pushed the cost up. You can see from the last picture in my first post that he constructed a framework all around, with MDF ‘table’ on top. This only took him 3 and a half days to do an excellent job that I could never hope to match. I drove him a bit crazy with the lift-out section – it was quarter circle which (if not done properly) would have had a tendency to fall away outwards under gravity. The position/shape etc was dictated by the entry door position and my need to try and keep all ‘main line’ curves to 3’ radius or better.

As I was planning to lay my own version of 4-rail, I needed a layer of half-inch insulation board on top, which I thought would be easy to source. After all that’s what I had before. Wrong! Most insulation board is now 40mm and/or some other material. Jewsons had some board in their catalogue but none in the local store in Llandysul (I’m out in the sticks now). They found some in stock at a branch elsewhere and several days later it was due to be delivered to the Llandysul branch. When they did it was all damaged…..

Fair do’s to the local bloke behind the counter. He spent some time trying to source 8’ x 4’ x 1/2inch insulation/fibre boards and eventually found some and I had them delivered. The carpenter was then able to cut them and fit them quickly as he had the in-situ baseboards as templates.

I was now able to test track configurations…. or not……..

I’d used Anyrail program to plan my layout (no disrespect to SCARM but I just couldn’t get on with it). So I was ready to try some general arrangements.



You may not be able to see from this pic but the insulation board is very finely rippled – a bit like the patterns you see in compacted sand when the tide goes out. This was creating quite a bit of very fine dust and looked like it would be a problem over time. Consequently I had to spend several more days covering it with a coat of wallpaper paste then 2 coats of white emulsion.

The next few pics are a bit bland but give you an idea of what should be evolving. I have a lot of stock but was wary of over-complicating the layout and wanted something running before too long (ie before I got bored with track-laying etc). In effect I have 2 sides with ‘scenery’ (or will have) and 2 sides for storage.  (In practice I have about 14’ of one 17’ side, a full 13’ side, and 3’ of another 17’ side).

Two views of the intended station area.



Through lines with siding, Up and Down Goods loop, and entrance to goods yard.


Storage roads by window (with sun cover).


Storage roads on end wall.


So following the KISS principle the scenic part of the layout is 2 through lines, a bay platform at the station with facing crossover. Facing and trailing crossovers for the U and D goods loops/goods yard, plus some simple sidings and headshunts.

It may not be terribly clear, but on the main lines I used Tracklay under the track which I’ve used before and find is a boon to easy ballasting (well when I say easy, I suppose all things are relative…..)
(No connection other than a happy user on 2 layouts)

Needless to say Track is Peco Streamline Code 100 which I’m happy with. I like the ‘plug and play’ simplicity, but even so, it works, and I feel you can do a lot to make it reasonably convincing. With the exception of a few turnouts for short sidings and headshunts all turnouts on the main circuit are either large or medium radius. I’m fortunate to have the room to do this and it’s a great aid to smooth running. In fact from late July onwards, once I’d got 2 complete circuits running, I was able to test the trackwork extensively (not play you understand).

Such is the beauty (to me) of Code 100 that anything which plays up now has to be a problem with the stock not the track. With a variety of RTR and kitbuilt stock, and various couplings etc problems arise from wheel back-to-backs, couplings and buffer lock, but at least if I have troublesome trucks now I can be confident I need to work on the rolling stock, not the track.

The one area that was terrifying me was the 2 main lines traversing the lift out section.

The poor old carpenter couldn’t really understand the need to have wood at the ends with insulation board inlaid for the rest of the trackbed but he made a good job of it. My soldering isn’t terribly elegant but you can see I followed a traditional route of replacing plastic sleepers with copper ones (scored top and bottom to avoid shorts!) These were then glued to wood, not insulation board. To these I soldered brass tubes which had rods inside as an interference fit. Then I cut the tubes and reinserted the rods. Hey presto! Physical and electrical alignment.


I’m sure there are more elegant ways of doing this but I’m a pragmatist and the lift out section is in the non-scenic area, and it works (so far…. 4 months and counting….)

Next posting – Track weathering, and ballasting.

Edited by Metr0Land
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Initial ballasting, and track weathering.

Those of you that remember my old layout will recall that I don’t profess to have any great skill levels and am always looking to create the right ‘look and feel’ without being a master-builder. To this end there’s been some evolution to my trackwork.

The first change is to get some quick weathering to the track. On youtube I discovered people spraying their track with Tamiya TS1 red/brown. This year I sprayed most track with a dusting of this before laying (don’t forget to wipe the top of the rails before it hardens!)



The 2nd change is to use ready-mixed ballast. I the past I mixed my own as I wasn’t happy with most commercial offerings. However I discovered Carrs sand-stone mix which I’ve used on this layout. Note: it appears a bit more orangey in these pics than to the naked eye.



The main thing to remember this isn’t the end of weathering ballast or track but it does give a reasonable and reasonably quick way of getting something down that looks ok for now, and I don’t need to come back to it until after I’ve done 101 other jobs.



The sidings and passing loops here need to be ballasted to a lesser standard hence all the white underneath some track.




Edited by Metr0Land
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Interesting choice of inspiration, and interesting thread.


Our "utility room" was created much the same way, and is now home to my slowly emerging layout.


Be assured, that finding a good "garage conversionist" is just as difficult in North Bucks as South, and, the chap I used is also a "mature tradesman", recommended by a pal whose garage he had already done.


Will keep watching this one - good luck.



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Well done. You have accomplished a lot in, I guess, about 18 months since moving in. I moved 10 months ago (from Wales to England, the reverse of you), had far less to do in the new home than you, and have only just managed to get my baseboards re-erected (or what there was room for). The much-modified and down-sized layout is now decided upon, and I am hoping that a putative Uxbridge Central (version 2) might be taking shape by Christmas.


Part of my delay in restoring a layout was uncertainty as to where I put it. The originally designated smallish bedroom proved out of the question, as one problem with house down-sizing, even including disposal of a large proportion (we thought) of three decades' worth of accumulated tat, is that quarts still don't fit into pint pots! A newly-built large model railway shed in the garden was ruled out as the only suitable level ground had our main drains running under it. So, the new layout shares a (still functioning) garage with my MGC; a sort of multi-hobby den, even including gardening stuff and lawn-mower! It's drafty, but manageable at present with some new carpet trimmings laid over the floor. I'll have to see how damp this becomes.


Uxbridge Central is generally much smaller than its first incarnation. Pictures may follow as long as I make progress, but I think I can fit twin fiddle yards at either end - a larger one for LT and BR trains to Paddington, and the other, smaller to handle only push-pull or diesel railcars/units, in the opposite direction towards Denham. At least this time I can pretend to model the lines from the three historic Uxbridge stations. Gone will be my intention to run 7-car tube trains, and there will be only two tube and two BR platforms. However, I shall have a much improved BR sidings layout, plus numerous LT sidings, so I should have plenty of operating fun ... one day.


I suppose, I must say 'watch this space'..... Can't wait to power a run of track to make sure the Heljan Met-Vic Bo-Bo runs OK! My humbly assembled Radley kit looks quite good next to it; currently prides of place on a study bookshelf.



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Slight off-topickery, so apologies in advance MetrOLand, but I didn't realise until recently that there was a firm plan in the 1860s to extend the Watford-Rickmansworth line to Uxbridge Vine Street, creating a Paddington-Watford route.


Definitely one to file for the fictional layout scenarios!



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Slight off-topickery, so apologies in advance MetrOLand, but I didn't realise until recently that there was a firm plan in the 1860s to extend the Watford-Rickmansworth line to Uxbridge Vine Street, creating a Paddington-Watford route.


Definitely one to file for the fictional layout scenarios!




Sounds like metmangraham has some replanning to do!

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Slight off-topickery, so apologies in advance MetrOLand, but I didn't realise until recently that there was a firm plan in the 1860s to extend the Watford-Rickmansworth line to Uxbridge Vine Street, creating a Paddington-Watford route.


Definitely one to file for the fictional layout scenarios!



Wow! Now that would be a great rationale to include Met-Vics at my Uxbridge Central. It's stretching a point 100 years later in the 1960s, but, hey, in for a penny, in for a pound!



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Let’s see some trains. A few pics showing general juxtaposition now the main line track is laid and ballasted:

The Q stock arrives from London


35731704221_8c81068339_o.jpgPos a IMG_1379 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

A closer view


35731704331_55d845445f_o.jpgPos c IMG_1383 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Q stock in the bay


35822785676_3fdf402959_o.jpgPos b IMG_1382 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Loco stabling area


35731704161_be0c59da9e_o.jpgPos d IMG_1385 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

An N2 heads for Aylesbury with a pair of quad-arts


35731704261_05f4636eb6_o.jpgPos e IMG_1387 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

An L1 heads back to London with 2 sets of quad-arts

35731704091_5335de30b7_o.jpgPos f IMG_1388 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr


Why is it the more I do, the more there is left to do?

Edited by Metr0Land
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Yes, I'm both impressed and humbled by the rate of progress.


In the past week, I have laid 6" of track on my layout!


Mind you, I have been madly busy with family matters, and in the odd evening half-hour of peace, I ended up playing trains, instead of building things (again!).



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  • 4 weeks later...

OK the time has come to start 3rd and 4th rail track-laying. Laying the centre rail has taken place during November and part of December.

On my old layout I glued the centre rail to the sleepers. This was generally successful but I’m trying another way this time. On the real thing the centre rail is elevated approx. 3” compared with the running rails but as that’s only 1mm there’s no way I’m going for super accuracy.

However, on my old layout the centre rails didn’t have to curve much, just eg into bay platforms. On this layout they have to do a complete 90deg turn for the ‘electrified tracks’ to reach the turnback siding, so glueing probably won’t stand the test of time.

For the centre rails (these are much too clunky for normal track-laying) I’ve used Gaugemaster ‘Hornby’ pins.


35874696025_b34b788d8d_o.jpgCentre 1 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

I then added a blob of solder to the heads.


35874695135_9f59bb2ed9_o.jpgCentre 2 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Pins are then pushed into the ballast between sleepers. It doesn’t matter (in fact it can be quite helpful) if the pins are some way proud of sleeper level at this stage.


35486976820_ba52124d9f_o.jpgCentre 3 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Solder the centre rail to the pins and then push the whole ensemble down to the correct height. I recycled some rail from the old layout here so the rail needs re-weathering, but hopefully shows the principle.

A facing crossover taking shape.

35874695845_c61ffbd7a1_o.jpgCentre 4 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr


35486976650_2b206fe015_o.jpgCentre 5 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

I’ve started using C&L Finescale ramps. At £7 for 4 they’re not cheap (but then brass castings are never cheap these days). Here’s a close up of one attached to some new rail. I’m hoping that further weathering and ballasting will provide some visual tricks to take the eye away from the joins where these ramps need to be soldered onto Peco rail.


35834204636_8e4432d342_o.jpgCentre 6 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

The C&L ramps aren’t designed to fit end-on to Peco100 so there’s still work to be done blending/disguising the joins. A few pics of progress to date:

The London end:


35874694885_9bb6fb49c8_o.jpgrev a IMG_1389 by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

At ground level:


35834204876_24d55ffbf7_o.jpgrev b IMG_1389 by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Loco servicing sidings:

35874695255_6cf1d375f2_o.jpgrev c IMG_1389 by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Approaching the turnback siding:


35834204396_fdf3927bc0_o.jpgrev d IMG_1389 by Sarah S1ddons, on Flick

The turnback siding:


35834204796_6b4d603392_c.jpgrev e IMG_1389 by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr


Edited by Metr0Land
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Very good to see the current rail going in, but regarding the heights above running rail top it should be:

- Positive (Outside) rail 3 inch above.

- Negative (Centre) rail 1.5 inch above.


There are tolerances of course, but the nominal heights are as given for all LU lines, except the Central Line from White City to/from Liverpool Street where the Positive (Outside) rail is set 4.5 inch (and the rest) above running rail top.


Sorry to be a pedant, but intended as constructive.


I look forward to more pictures soon.



Chris H

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Good installation method - it's pretty much exactly what I was about to suggest, assuming that the pins are brass.


(I will be dropping off a 0.85mm height gauge to Met H later, so that negative rail height can be set correctly on his 0 scale layout ;-) )



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And there was me putting off the eventual inevitable, by making it very 'eventual', and saying that I would only attempt third and fourth rail construction once I had done lots of other things, like making buildings, platforms, bridges, tunnel entrances, etc. Always the procrastinator, that's me!


Methinks you have found a very good method for fixing the centre rail, perhaps deceptively simple. Your layout has come on in leaps and bounds. Well done. I think I may now have the track laid for the final layout (it must be of course once I do finally take the decision to lay third and fourth rails), and hope to start wiring this week, daughter's imminent baby permitting. Maybe one day soon I'll start a new thread about my resuscitated layout, and put up a few pictures. Courage, mon ami.


I have at least run trains over the tracks using temporary clips and it seems to work. Better still, my Heljan Bo-Bo is running impressively well, and, yes, my self-built Radley version compares very well next to it on the layout. My 9 year old grandson thinks mine is the better model, though he may of course feel he has to say that!



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Slight off-topickery, so apologies in advance MetrOLand, but I didn't realise until recently that there was a firm plan in the 1860s to extend the Watford-Rickmansworth line to Uxbridge Vine Street, creating a Paddington-Watford route.


Definitely one to file for the fictional layout scenarios!




It is a scheme that has been proposed many times, most recently in the 1948 Abercrombie report.


As a model, a through station at Uxbridge, situated between the Oxford and Slough roads could be quite a compact layout. But with through traffic from the LNWR at Watford, the GCR/GW Joint, GW and SR at Staines, it is almost the ultimate "rule one" location.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Unfortunately my wife had a week in hospital in December which meant progress since the last update has been slow.


I’ve now installed outer conductor rail at the entrance to the turnback siding, and the crossover for trains to exit and return to ‘London’.

35874694735_6847028aaa_c.jpgrev IMG_1399 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Edited by Metr0Land
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  • 4 weeks later...

I’ve been able to make progress with the outer conductor rails in January. The work isn’t yet finished, but here’s an update.

On my old layout I used N gauge track for the outer rail (Code 60). This was glued to Peco track pins and took quite a while to do, as it wasn’t easy keeping the track on the pins whilst the glue hardened. It had been suggested that I should solder the rails to the pins.

I was going to use this method on Mantles Wood, but I found that I couldn’t actually solder anything to the Peco track pins, so back to the drawing board….. I had quite a bit of Peco HOm track lying around from another project which is Code 75 rail so I decided to give this a go for the outer rails. Of course Code 75 is available in its own right as Peco OO finescale so you don’t need to seek out HOm. After a few experiments I continued using the Gaugemaster track pins which are quite chunky but actually have helped here. (Bear in mind I’m no engineer and always looking to apply the KISS principle to create the look and feel of 4 rail track whilst working within my own limits and the fact that OO track is only 4’2” wide).

For outer conductor rail an insulating pot is needed every 5 sleepers or so, and with over 60’ of track to do, that’s quite a bit of tinning and soldering. In order to tin batches of pins I hit upon the simple solution of using old jiffy envelopes. A few dozen pins at a time can be held in place whilst flux and solder is added to the heads.



35531074600_aedfc15be2_c.jpgOuter 1 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

The relatively wide heads of these pins turned out to be quite an advantage. If I solder the rail to the pin and got the rail too close/far from the running rail I had room to unsolder the joint and move it slightly. Bearing in mind that most pots disappear under grime, adding a dab of off-white colour to some of the pins hopefully makes them look like pots from a normal viewing distance. A couple of wider shots of the junction shown in my previous posting:



35531074940_10ec98b0a8_c.jpgOuter 2 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr


35878742356_99d1fb17ab_c.jpgOuter 3 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

On my previous layout I didn’t have to lay 4 rail track on any really difficult curves. I had a bay platform, and a siding, both of which had gentle curves. On Mantles Wood I have 2 concentric curves of 3’ radius turning through a right angle. I wasn’t looking forwards to this, but in fact after having had some practice with the new method on easier sections, this didn’t go too badly. Some joins had to be re-soldered, but again from a reasonable distance they pass muster – I hope.
Most of the curve is shown here.



35878742866_5c3362eac9_c.jpgOuter 4 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

A close-up of the track at the western/northern end of the curve.



35531074800_57dc355f89_c.jpgOuter 5 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Because Rickmansworth station is on a tight-ish curve it’s difficult to find pictures showing the whole length of rail without trains covering most of the tracks. So far as I can tell both the centre and outer conductor rails do not have any breaks and continue unbroken alongside the whole length of the platforms.

Although I’m not doing Rickmansworth this does mean I have 2 x 8’ runs which need 4 rail and of course no-one makes rail in that length. I wasn’t looking forwards to this either. I’ve now done the Down side. This meant I had to solder 3 lengths of Code 75 together, and cut to length. I’m quite pleased with this (the outer rail has not been weathered yet).



35878742606_b1b5e744c3_c.jpgOuter 6 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

A cruel close-up of one join in the outer rail. Hopefully a bit of careful sanding and then weathering will disguise the join.



35531074470_8f23ce901f_c.jpgOuter 7 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

As I’ve said so many times, I’m no engineer, simply trying to get the look and feel of 4 rail in OO, without the need for any specialist tools or skills. Hopefully some of you will be encouraged to experiment.

Edited by Metr0Land
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ISTR there were gaps in the juice rails at Ricky where the fireman had to go between to couple/uncouple.

Do you have any pics/references? From the pics I've seen, there were protection boards beside the outer conductor rail, but no breaks in the rail itself. eg




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A couple more from either end. Wooden blocks between the rails, and wooden side boards at the side of the outer conductor (and the outer conductor of the other track so workers don't step back onto them). But no breaks in the 3rd or 4th rails (apart from foot crossings and barrow crossing).





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  • 5 months later...

I thought it was about time I did an update.

Some of you asked about the ‘performance’ of the garage. We had a relatively mild but very wet winter. I live about 20 miles from Eglwyswrw (pronounced eggla-sooroo) which you may have seen in the news early 2016 as it nearly gained the record for the most continuous days rain in the UK….

In general, the 10am temp in the garage was about +4C though on a couple of very cold nights this dropped to +2C. By early March though, the 10am temp was a creditable +7C, a position from which the room heated up quite quickly. If anyone is considering a garage conversion I’d recommend a high-spec finish if you can afford it.

So far as I can tell the 3rd and 4th rails haven’t buckled due to temperature variations though some were a bit wonky – probably because I rushed some of the later work. Quite a bit of time has been spent correcting bits I should have done better in the first place, and I’ve redone the weathering on several lengths of rail – a tedious but eventually rewarding task!

My attention has lately turned to getting the platforms done which as always involves compromises. I’m lucky enough to be able to have quite long platforms (approx. 6’ 6”). The down side of this is, what do I use to get a realistic coverage of the platform surface?

Various manufacturers offer products but these are always quite short relative to my needs and would mean a join or joins which I would like to avoid. Some people have made realistic surfaces of smooth asphalt with eg DAS modelling clay but again, there’s no way I could make a 6’ 6” length look adequate. Another problem again, is the fact that most ballast is way too large and ‘grainy’ to represent a platform surface.

I’ve used ½” insulation board which I had left over from my old layout. Overview of platform area:

35079947704_a516d13fb2_c.jpgrev Platform overview 800px by Sarah S1ddons

What you can’t see from the pic is the narrow platform was first sealed with PVA before grey undercoat was applied. The front face was also sealed which should help with attaching the facing later.
I had a supply of Carrs 2mm grey ballast but this was really too coarse, however I hit upon Busch quarzsand 7524 in black (they don’t seem to do a grey).

35110611603_cec2c566b1_c.jpgrev Carrs_Busch comparison 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

The platform was then covered again with PVA and the quarzsand liberally sprinkled on top. (Yes I know the bench needs tidying, don’t nag…..)



35110612133_67963b0217_c.jpgrev Platform Busch quartzsand 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Some shots of it in situ after 24 hours and the excess had been shaken off.



35079947704_a516d13fb2_c.jpgrev Platform overview 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr


35787650431_d2d7118e50_c.jpgrev Platform plus goods 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

One of the things about asphalt is that when it’s laid, it tends to be black, but after a lot of traffic has worn it down it goes grey, except where there’s little use. This final shot shows an early attempt to try and get this effect on the end ramp. This was done with brushes and really needs an airbrush to get it looking more correct.


35110611383_b5b000a532_c.jpgrev Platform plus goods incl ramp 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr


Edited by Metr0Land
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