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61656

Christleton Junction - 1986 - Gateway to North Wales

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I need to have words with you about your cable ties: serrations on the inside?!

Good job it’s ‘non-vital’.

;-)

Looking all very nice and tidy.

Paul.

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10 minutes ago, 5BarVT said:

I need to have words with you about your cable ties: serrations on the inside?!

Good job it’s ‘non-vital’.

;-)

Looking all very nice and tidy.

Paul.

That’s the annoying attention to detail that means we will get on well. 
 

It’s tidy enough and more importantly feels like it is robust. 

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That view along the junctions looks great, a real improvement on the last incarnation. Going to look great watching rakes of coaches snake through the junction, just leave me out of rail painting duty...

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2 hours ago, 61656 said:

That’s the annoying attention to detail that means we will get on well. 
 

It’s tidy enough and more importantly feels like it is robust. 

Are you going to label each wire?

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17 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

Are you going to label each wire?

They already are to an extent. Under the boards most wires are beaded to identify them. Every wire is identifiable by type due to the coloured sleeves, and the terminations at each end are labelled or indexed. 

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19 hours ago, BenW said:

That view along the junctions looks great, a real improvement on the last incarnation. Going to look great watching rakes of coaches snake through the junction, just leave me out of rail painting duty...

I can’t work out why it looks better as it’s basically the same track. I think the boards being stiffer helps. 
 

Track painting will largely be undertaken by contractors Rattle and Can. It’s just the rails on the concrete sleepers that you’ll need to do. 

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9 hours ago, 61656 said:

They already are to an extent. Under the boards most wires are beaded to identify them. Every wire is identifiable by type due to the coloured sleeves, and the terminations at each end are labelled or indexed. 

Must be my eyes - I didn't spot any of that!

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As I crack on with the wiring for board 4 in the deluded belief that this one will be much quicker, I’ve started to think a little bit about the fiddle yard. 
 

I’ve not given the yards much thought yet other than where they are going to be. On the last incarnation I never got further than a couple of temporary loops. They did help me learn a few useful things:

 

1.  I run it much more often as an end to end layout, only occasionally making use of the continuous runs. The Chester yard will be 6 dead end sidings. The Crewe to Warrington will be a mix of through and terminal sidings. I can have about 12 lines in terms of width, but I think the length for points will be the limiting factor. 10 sidings of which 4 are through and 3 terminals for each way should be ok. 
 

2. I didn’t like dead frog points. The 08 didn’t like them and occasionally a wheel would short out on where the live rails are too close. Unfortunately the access to the yards is too tight to use Peco’s code 75 live frog curved points, leaving the code 100 set track dead frog as the only real option. Hmmm. I guess I could build some...

 

3. Initially I thought I’d want to be hands-free, but you end up spending more time shunting the yard than running the layout, so I’m happy with hand shunting the locos from end to end. 

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3 hours ago, 61656 said:

occasionally a wheel would short out on where the live rails are too close.

Doesn’t help with the 08 but you can avoid the ‘short across the vee’ by always feeding from the toes and insulating beyond.  In a FY, switch rail contact might be good enough as you’re not going to paint them.  Alternatively, modify as live frog and strap both V legs together.  You could then use conductive paint to try to reduce the V gap.

Paul.

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12 hours ago, 5BarVT said:

Doesn’t help with the 08 but you can avoid the ‘short across the vee’ by always feeding from the toes and insulating beyond.  In a FY, switch rail contact might be good enough as you’re not going to paint them.  Alternatively, modify as live frog and strap both V legs together.  You could then use conductive paint to try to reduce the V gap.

Paul.

Sometimes you can’t see what’s right in front of you...  To avoid issues with switch blades failing to make contact I wired all the sidings individually, which of course makes the issue at the crossing vee come about. Gapping the rails after the vee should sort that. 
 

As the 03 will have a match truck and the 08 will only circulate for running in, I’m wondering if I can live with dead frogs now the short circuit issue can be solved. Certainly the set track curved points give a lot more storage potential. 

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On 16/05/2020 at 02:50, St Enodoc said:

Must be my eyes - I didn't spot any of that!

68A13DD0-E2AD-4360-A96E-A4622ABE8F12.jpeg.f458e903f1ab1e150544cb47c2fe61f4.jpeg

 

Here’s the first wires for two of the points on board 4. The normal and reverse of these points are different, hence the feeds to the coils are swapped relative to one another. 
 

Each motor is labelled on the board (and then covered with wires) and the feed wires have beads to identify them. 

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35 minutes ago, 61656 said:

Here’s the first wires for two of the points on board 4. The normal and reverse of these points are different, hence the feeds to the coils are swapped relative to one another. 
 

Each motor is labelled on the board (and then covered with wires) and the feed wires have beads to identify them. 

Ah yes, got it!

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A220153E-C964-4C6D-A532-E1BC3BD56E03.jpeg.44c4bfb84efead0706bb2b2dd35c9da7.jpeg

 

Another little milestone as a 47 becomes the first traction unit to run on board 4. Also the first time that the double junction has been operational - on the last layout it never got wired up. Quite a bit of testing and fettling to do on this board and then I can start on the comparatively easy board 1. 
 

There’s a real chance of there being a model railway here soon. 

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I had rather hoped to post a video of the first loco running across all 4 boards, however it’s too big to upload direct and I have managed to lock myself out of my Youtube account!

 

So with rather less pomp than envisaged, I have completed the wiring on all 4 boards and it is now probably much more complete in terms of wiring than I got to with the previous version. A little frustrating not to be able to meaningfully run trains yet, but building fiddle yards seems a less daunting task than wiring the layout. 
 

I’ll probably start with the Chester yard as that will allow a lot of the layout to be run as a simple end to end. 
 

There will also be some photos to come as I start to get some more stock out - the boards shouldn’t need to come apart again, so no reason not to. 
 

In the meantime, here’s a shot of all 4 boards back together again. The 47 is in platform 3 and a 7 coach set in platform 4. I’m not sure I’ll be able to fit this length in the fiddle yard though. 
 

4C483CFA-5C1D-4080-AED5-F015326AE696.jpeg.c5daee327763c880acc561736d8f36a3.jpeg

 

 

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I had rather hoped to post a video of the first loco running across all 4 boards, however it’s too big to upload direct and I have managed to lock myself out of my Youtube account!

 

So with rather less pomp than envisaged, I have completed the wiring on all 4 boards and it is now probably much more complete in terms of wiring than I got to with the previous version. A little frustrating not to be able to meaningfully run trains yet, but building fiddle yards seems a less daunting task than wiring the layout. 
 

I’ll probably start with the Chester yard as that will allow a lot of the layout to be run as a simple end to end. 
 

There will also be some photos to come as I start to get some more stock out - the boards shouldn’t need to come apart again, so no reason not to. 
 

In the meantime, here’s a shot of all 4 boards back together again. The 47 is in platform 3 and a 7 coach set in platform 4. I’m not sure I’ll be able to fit this length in the fiddle yard though. 
 

4C483CFA-5C1D-4080-AED5-F015326AE696.jpeg.c5daee327763c880acc561736d8f36a3.jpeg

 

 

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A couple of hours this weekend enabled me to build the Supporting frames for the Chester end fiddle yard and the through Warrington lines. 
 

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If I get the pointwork right I should be able to have 6 roads; at least 2 will be long enough for a loco plus 7 and the rest a loco plus 6. 
 

The Warrington lines will cut in front of the Chester fiddle yard and over a lifting section before joining the Crewe end yard. There should be enough space for a little scenic section before the lifting part. 
 

I am toying with the idea of having the Chester lines climb a small gradient as they come up to the junction. I need to see if there’s enough space before the fiddle yard points to make it worthwhile. It would allow a heavy freight to apply some power once the junction signal clears. One of the best bits of a model railway is envisaging a loco you don’t own pulling trucks you haven’t got along a line you’ve not built!
 

I think I’ll also need to take some precautions to stop the evening sun fading any stock stored in the yard. It doesn’t really come into the room too much, but probably not wise to leave things in the sun for too long. 

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1 hour ago, 61656 said:

One of the best bits of a model railway is envisaging a loco you don’t own pulling trucks you haven’t got along a line you’ve not built!

Like it!

Paul. 

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And then there were 5! The fifth board was constructed this evening, a relatively complex shaped board that will have the carriage sidings and the pairs of northbound lines on them, including the transition to the Chester fiddle yard. 
 

I like to cut the top first to get the shape right and then build up a kit of parts so that I can put it together in one. The first photo shows all the parts laid out ready for assembly.  
 

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Next up, the finished board seen from underneath. It’s ridiculously complicated for what is essentially a rectangular layout. If you find yourself building a baseboard of this shape, it’s probably time to ask yourself how your life got you to here. It’s undoubtedly the sign of something a lot more serious. Luckily there are any number of websites where you can share pictures and other apparently normal humans will make you feel like this is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Whatever you do, just don’t let your other half catch you taking a picture of it. 

 

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It makes a lot more sense fitted alongside board 4. I opted against the gradient idea, as I worked out it would be at most 750mm losing as much as 7.5mm, so barely noticeable. I briefly thought about raising the height of the carriage sidings before I remembered that not all the coaches have handbrakes(!).

 

F031F344-447F-480E-8F35-A11E6F3C2208.jpeg.f28fd0eee302ec258038dd24a8937743.jpeg
 

It’s very tempting to lay some track so that I can run a short train in and out of the station, but I will wait and build the rest of the boards for this end first. 

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Pretty much a year to the day since I started building the layout properly and 45048 pulls the first passenger train out of Christleton destined for North Wales. 
 

4A407582-F27D-41ED-80B6-826A4177BFB2.jpeg.6f81c3a73f8c153e5016c72ab17581db.jpeg

 

Here it is making its way back from the very makeshift fiddle yard, with a 33 and celebrity class 40 on the fuel point. 
 

D4CED6E2-EB02-44FA-A457-F737A9877D45.jpeg.46b3b64e7ba9f2e32328bdee812074e7.jpeg

 

Much to the delight of the end of platform enthusiasts, the 40 has made its way to White Lane carriage sidings ready to set back on to the coaches.  
 

079DC88B-7633-457B-943A-4DFEE7DC8077.jpeg.ca350800b51ffb5821626104c48aa7e5.jpeg
 

As the whistler disappears towards Chester, the peak follows the set down the platform to await the shunt signal to the loco holding line before moving back to Bluebeck shed. 

 

CAD80AF9-690E-482A-A57D-69C2917CFF54.jpeg.87b0421439586b0ecb77bf4b94c6356b.jpeg

 

Something of a brave move as a 47 hauls a container train out of the yard towards Holyhead. The boxes aren’t fixed to the container flats yet! I’m not a fan of how bright the high intensity lights are. I may disconnect or maybe use a filter to tone it down.  
 

539F9C42-AB1E-40B4-8F89-19CDB24D1978.jpeg.98c947a3e4d2f18cfa86f784ef8ecbc3.jpeg
 

60EBE15F-CB07-4BDE-BA52-986EEF14E048.jpeg.fd3cc194fe2a4fe0bcb457593ec38fb6.jpeg

 

The freightliner heads West past the site of White Lane carriage sidings which can now be laid. 
 

A very satisfying end to the day! It should be quite quick now to provide some more makeshift sidings for the Warrington and Crewe directions and then some serious running can commence to really test the track laying. 
 

A good friend of mine accurately describes a part finished model railway as a millstone around your neck; this is the point that I put the millstone down. Let the good times commence! 

8F9B5878-F7DD-4856-A11E-844F38FCE4D6.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

After almost 2 years in storage it was time to unbox a lot more stock, and to take a couple of pictures whilst I was at it. 
 

The pictures highlight the need to paint some very shiny soldered joints and to get some backscenes in place. The latter is going to be quite tricky where the fireplace is as the mantel overhangs the ends of platforms 3 and 4. 

 

First photo shows the 03 shunting some coaches in platform 2, with the TPO set in platform 4. The 03 isn’t a great runner, so I quickly stripped it down to look at the pick ups. In line with a lot of new Bachmann stuff they are disappointing. I have managed to get them to make slightly better contact with the wheels, but I suspect they’ll need replacing. 


AB210D45-F1A7-4C97-A9FE-A977EDDF93B0.jpeg.93f78ebb1fac93e8b5b7db58a2242e0d.jpeg

 

The next photo is of the shed area. If you like a Sulzer...

 

I have quite a few Metcalfe kits to make up to create a brewery on the right hand side here. 

88BCF3F6-8E0C-4D9A-AE45-7B2E97DEBAEC.jpeg.760d239f8cffc3f910c2e80e97366a52.jpeg

 

An overall view of the temporary fiddle yards. As I have already run out of space (how does this happen?), I’ll need to get the Crewe end done quickly. 
 

0C9D5CB9-4FF6-484E-8DAF-5D1744F5868D.jpeg.c3080e328dba1a9b8d752b46fc2cc5ce.jpeg

 

Finally, a couple of shots of the electric stabling, showing just how good the modern electrics are, at least in terms of looks (both only picked up on one bogie out of the box, which I suppose is at least consistent).

 

72394186-2720-49BC-8610-C6ED01C2D3E5.jpeg.13e1245f53aaaee99fa32f7f25325048.jpeg

 

A final shot with a quick mock up of the bridge at the Crewe end. This area will be quite built up and the railway contained within damp and grim retaining walls. 
 

BA4C5A20-217E-4C3E-BEE2-B448707C982F.jpeg.d3383a8c1d47d3673f189d533b0bccf5.jpeg

Edited by 61656
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8 minutes ago, 61656 said:

the mantel overhangs the ends of platforms 3 and 4.

You could make that part of the overall roof...

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53 minutes ago, St Enodoc said:

You could make that part of the overall roof...

That’s sort of in my mind. Originally I wanted the station to look a little like Huddersfield, but I think I prefer a sort of Wolverhampton feel. The problem with either is that the mantle piece is a scale 60 feet in the air!
 

I also need to think about the uncoupling of locos before I cover all the tracks. 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, 61656 said:

the mantle piece is a scale 60 feet in the air!
 

I also need to think about the uncoupling of locos before I cover all the tracks. 

What's your problem then?

Edited by St Enodoc
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Hi, Just been catching up, the layout is looking great. Nice to see some stock on the layout and getting a run.

 

Cheers Peter.

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Progress feels incredibly fast at the moment, at least relative to my previous efforts! I’ve now got the board for the Crewe end storage yard made and some temporary sidings laid. 
 

The curve looks incredibly tight but is actually around 750mm radius, thanks in part to the scenic section lines starting to bend ahead of the corner itself. The temporary yards definitely need some thinking about, but they will suffice to get some trains running. I also think that I have (briefly) more storage than stock. 
 

Next up is to do a lot of running and iron out all the niggles. I have quite a list of stock that needs the back to backs checking and adjusting. Does anyone have a recommended method?

 

5DAB5840-1E69-41F1-AC2D-F5A58835D9EC.jpeg.5307a0c5605beef8d06a1692e7aa16ad.jpeg

 

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A loco plus 6 is just possible in the temporary yard. A loco plus 7 will be feasible with some clever pointwork. 
 

First in the yard is celebratory green class 40 on the 2K38 Stoke to Llandudno, whilst the short set is awaiting transfer from Crewe to Christleton to form the Holyhead shuttle service. As the 31 is not DCC fitted yet, this will probably be a 25 or 37 (or 47 555 if you turn up hoping for anything but a Duff).

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