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Christleton Junction - 1986 - It’s back (or it will be)

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Hi Andy,

The trackwork is looking great, and your wiring is way more tidy than mine are they CDUs by the point motors? I like the shot of the 85 on vans, how much overhead are you planning? will the electrics arrive then the train be worked forward by a diesel Like at Crewe.

 

Cheers Peter.

The Crewe - Warrington lines will be electrified as a WCML loop, so cross country services can run via Christleton. Euston - Holyhead services and Mossend - Dee Marsh etc will change traction at Christleton. I’m also planning EMU services Crewe - Manchester via Christleton - I have fond memories of catching 305s at Oxford Road. I’m not sure yet if I’ll electrify the bay platforms, I need to do a bit more thinking about how I weave the fiction of the station into the reality of 1986.

 

I’m sure there are neater and messier wiring examples everywhere, on balance I’ve decided I’m happy if it works reliably! Each point motor has its own capacitor and two diodes for normal and reverse, changing polarity changes the position, without the need for a momentary switch. It’s a neat solution (not mine) once you get your head around it.

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The Crewe - Warrington lines will be electrified as a WCML loop, so cross country services can run via Christleton. Euston - Holyhead services and Mossend - Dee Marsh etc will change traction at Christleton. I’m also planning EMU services Crewe - Manchester via Christleton - I have fond memories of catching 305s at Oxford Road. I’m not sure yet if I’ll electrify the bay platforms, I need to do a bit more thinking about how I weave the fiction of the station into the reality of 1986.

 

I’m sure there are neater and messier wiring examples everywhere, on balance I’ve decided I’m happy if it works reliably! Each point motor has its own capacitor and two diodes for normal and reverse, changing polarity changes the position, without the need for a momentary switch. It’s a neat solution (not mine) once you get your head around it.

Thanks Mate, I might look out for some small CDUs to fit under a few of my points as the one i have in the control panel isn't quite powerful enough.

I think the overhead will look good I have often though how it would look on Llanbourne.

 

Cheers Peter.

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Thanks Mate, I might look out for some small CDUs to fit under a few of my points as the one i have in the control panel isn't quite powerful enough.

I think the overhead will look good I have often though how it would look on Llanbourne.

 

Cheers Peter.

I used Brian Lambert’s excellent webpage on wiring as the basis for my layout. He has a number of options for point control.

 

http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical.html

 

My points use a 10A 24V DC supply. They throw normal whilst the capacitor charges, reversing the polarity discharges the capacitor and throws the point normal. This means each motor has a single feed and a common return. I’ve noticed the power supply can only reliably throw 2 or 3 motors normal at the same time, as that’s how many capacitors it can simultaneously charge in a short enough duration for the motor to work. Any number can throw reverse at the same time as they are individually fed from the discharging capacitor.

 

In the future I may change the wiring so that each throw of the point is driven by a discharging capacitor, which will allow the high number of points to throw simultaneously that some of the routes demand. For now, just having working points is satisfying enough!

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The railway is back together again and it’s been great to have a few trains running, not least that they can go a lot of places previously not possible.

 

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A class 47 arrives with a Holyhead - Euston service, seen from the end of the electric loco stabling point.

 

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The 47 having detached, an 85 has backed out of the sidings and hooked on for the journey South.

 

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All the depot roads are available now and the 47 has moved down one of the centre lines and on to what will become Christleton Burbeck shed.

 

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The 47’s next duty is to work a parcels from platform 5 to Holyhead, alongside a peak on a Scarborough to Bangor service.

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Some more pictures from the running session:

 

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A view down the goods yard from the station throat with a 37 shunting the yard. A 37 isn’t really right for the period but this one is a really good runner and satisfying to shunt with. On the left is a rake of coaches in platform 4 with the parcels in 5. The 3 sidings of the yard are accessed by a 3-way point with a catch point out of focus in the foreground.

 

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Turning around we see the 08 in the headshunt. This loco is a lot less satisfying to shunt with and really needs some more purposeful pickups.

 

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Standing a bit further back and looking down the terminal platforms with a trans-pennine set in platform 4. The first bit of running has been really pleasing, although a couple of point motors need adjusting so that the frog switches polarity every time. My patience with peco dead frog points in the fiddle yard is also at an end! Relaying the fiddle yard was going to be a priority as there was never any space in it - now I have everything working at the front there are never any trains in the fiddle yard. Time for more trains...

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A few things to update following a favourable week’s progress on the layout. Early in the week two more sound units arrived from Howes, for the 25 and 33. Having fitted a few now I found these easy to mount in the fuel tanks and the sound quality on both is superb, I’ve even had to turn their volume down. They are significantly louder than the 45 and 47, so I may need to revisit the speaker mounting in the future. I do like the noise of a small Sulzer loco, I can remember 33s quite well in service, but most of my 25 running has been on heritage lines - a little engine sounds much better than a type 4 on a 25mph railway.

 

This weekend saw the two main operators visit for what turned out to be an excellent running session on all fronts, the locos ran well, we really tested the operability of the whole layout for the first time and the beer was first class (Harbour Pale Ale and Ilkley Brewery Pale). It was great to run trains through the majority of the available routes, although I’m sure their are still a few we didn’t try (there are about 90 signal to signal possibilities). The longest route involves 17 point motors (excluding flank points), so it’s really satisfying to back 10 three link coupled 4 wheelers back through them all with a 1Co-Co1.

 

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I only took one shot (I think the major may have more) during the running session, the 25 departing the yard on a speedlink service. I grabbed that shot during a brief spell on the operating handle, most of the night I was signalman which leaves barely enough time to drink beer, let alone take pictures.

 

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Tonight the track got a coat of track grime on the wooden sleepers and Peugeot Beige on the concrete. This shot is looking down into the station, where attention will be focused next to get some platforms in place. I’m going to base the platforms on the brick type found at Chester and the north end of the West Coast; they are very simple affairs and shouldn’t be too demanding. The island platforms 4 and 5 will be concrete at the end to show they are recently extended.

 

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This shot looks into Christleton Blubeck depot. After the platforms I’d like to get the long viaduct started along this section. I’ve had a look at the SE finecast arches and I think they look just the ticket.

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Another picture update showing the main junction with sprayed track and rails cleaned. I’ve used a Sharpie pen to colour the check rails, which gives quite a pleasing effect.

 

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My thoughts are now turning to the platforms. I think I’ll cut the foam underlay away from where they will go, to prevent future sagging of the platforms relative to the track. I wonder if sagging track might also be an issue in time, but my thinking is that track will be easier to resolve.

 

I’m planning to use relatively thin stripwood (about 4mm) to get a smooth curve to the platforms, faced with plastikard and topped with something similar. I need to study some photos of former LNWR platforms to see what the surface should be (but tarmac would be easiest).

 

I have in mind a grand brick built station building attached to platform 1 with a concrete abomination on the modernised area between platform 2 and 3. I think stations like Wolverhampton are wonderfully evocative of how the 1980’s railway looked. I like the idea of sitting in a Traveller’s Fare with an atomically hot cup of Maxpax hoping that the next Holyhead is a peak, having been bowled by a Duff on the Newcastle train, possibly wondering what the world record for the thinest slice of ham actually is....

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Trackwork looks awesome mate; just remember I'm really busy when you start ballasting.

 

Maj.

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Trackwork looks awesome mate; just remember I'm really busy when you start ballasting.

 

Maj.

There’ll be no ballast going down in its current location, so you’re off the hook for a while yet.

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The trackwork does look very nice. 

I noticed you said that your class 08 isn't the best runner. Is it Bachmann or Hornby?

 

Cheers Peter.

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The trackwork does look very nice.

I noticed you said that your class 08 isn't the best runner. Is it Bachmann or Hornby?

 

Cheers Peter.

It’s the Hornby. I’m not sure if the pickups or the decoder that’s the problem. One of the issues is that each time it momentarily loses power the sound unit has to go through the engine start up sequence before the loco will move again. I need to try the loco with a different chip and probably sort some better pick ups. I also think a good clean of the wheels and track might help; although with 16V always on the rails it ought to be better than it is.

 

Really happy with the track and the alignment. Some improved lighting will help with the photos of it too!

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It’s the Hornby. I’m not sure if the pickups or the decoder that’s the problem. One of the issues is that each time it momentarily loses power the sound unit has to go through the engine start up sequence before the loco will move again. I need to try the loco with a different chip and probably sort some better pick ups. I also think a good clean of the wheels and track might help; although with 16V always on the rails it ought to be better than it is.

 

Really happy with the track and the alignment. Some improved lighting will help with the photos of it too!

I think the Hornby is the better model. Both of mine run better than the Bachmann one's I had. Having said that one of my Hornby models stops on the single slip now and then  I think it's the Pick ups but even after tweeking them it;s no better. 

 

Cheers Peter.

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I think the Hornby is the better model. Both of mine run better than the Bachmann one's I had. Having said that one of my Hornby models stops on the single slip now and then  I think it's the Pick ups but even after tweeking them it;s no better. 

 

Cheers Peter.

The Hornby captures the prototype better in my view, I think it just needs new pick ups and possibly some sort of stay alive for the sound.

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Back from two weeks’ skiing and another class 47 has joined the fleet, this time in Intercity mainline livery. I also got a couple of additional LED site lights rigged up which makes taking photos a little better.

 

I couldn’t resist a couple of shots of a busy station. A class 33 is in platform one on a Holyhead - Crewe service, an 85 on vans in the down through road, the mainline liveried 47 in platform 2 having just taken over from electric traction on the Euston - Holyhead, in platform 3 is a peak on a late running Scarborough - Bangor service and will have to await the 47’s departure before it gets the road and another 45 is in platform 4 on a Holyhead - Newcastle service. In platform 5, a large logo 47 stands at the signal awaiting a road into the shed whilst a 25 shunts the yard. It took about 15 minutes to clear the station after this shot - spotter heaven!

 

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I also started cutting out the foam underlay ready for the platform work to begin. Furthest right behind the 25’s train is a short platform, I’m not sure if this will be disused or a parcels dock. It will take a 2 car DMU, but the presence of a trap point between the double slip and the three way point prevents its use for passenger moves. I quite like having something of a run-down feel so typical of the 80’s.

 

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At the South end of the station, I plan to have a former bay platform to the right of platform 1, access to which was removed when the electric stabling sidings were installed.

 

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Work on the platforms has commenced. With this being my first proper layout so much is trial and error, but this method seems quite pleasing and is straightforward so far - possibly because it’s more carpentry than modelling! The first 4 platforms have their formwork done, with platform 5 and the dock still to do.

 

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A general view down the platforms. The blocks are first screwed down and then the platform face screwed into the blocks, the holes being pre-drilled and countersunk. The faces will all be tested for clearance before having plastikard brickwork glued on.

 

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This view shows the gaps in the platform faces where the subway will be. There’ll be steel beams here.

 

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A view from the south end, showing the disused bay and the old formation, taken out of use when the electric loco stabling point was built.

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post-20618-0-37712400-1518125768.jpeg

 

The final formwork in place for the platforms. It takes a fraction less imagination to see a station now. The walls across the ends of the platform tracks are just glued down, which may need extra support for the odd overshoot. Ideally I’d like some nice big hydraulic buffer stops, but the space for a 45 at each end and 6 coaches is fairly tight in the platforms. I seem to recall seeing some platform mounted mini hydraulic buffers somewhere, but can’t recall where.

 

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Another shot because I can never resist running a train! Not least since the sulzers got sound units. The Howes 25 and 33 sound units are really good.

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A quick video of a 33 starting up at the home signal and coming in to platform 1.

 

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A quick video of a 33 starting up at the home signal and coming in to platform 1.

 

Hi Andy, the Platforms are looking very good and I like the Sound of your 33, and thanks for posting your Video on my Kings Moreton Thread. 

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The new 47 was sound fitted today, a Howes production with a rectangular speaker mounted in the fuel tanks. The sound is excellent but the loco performance leaves something to be desired - its top speed is embarrassingly low. I’m not sure whether it’s a decoder issue or just that the loco needs a proper running in. Ideas required!

 

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The first photo shows the fuel tanks with the cutaway for the speaker. I’ve disconnected the cab and tail light switches and used a disc cutter to create the space. I also drilled a hole for the wires to come through.

 

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The speaker in place, held in with some black tack for testing.

 

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Once done, it’s hard to spot at all from the side. I find this location gives the maximum volume and sound clarity.

 

Finally, a video of a Euston - Holyhead service having a loco swap. The 85 comes off and 47612 is pressed straight into service.

 

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The new 47 was sound fitted today, a Howes production with a rectangular speaker mounted in the fuel tanks. The sound is excellent but the loco performance leaves something to be desired - its top speed is embarrassingly low. I’m not sure whether it’s a decoder issue or just that the loco needs a proper running in. Ideas required!

 

attachicon.gif6D98206C-FE0F-40A4-A141-7150E0D9E10B.jpeg

 

The first photo shows the fuel tanks with the cutaway for the speaker. I’ve disconnected the cab and tail light switches and used a disc cutter to create the space. I also drilled a hole for the wires to come through.

 

attachicon.gif0B17C03A-D694-4758-AF10-5E96DD630F27.jpeg

 

attachicon.gif7F1AA21B-2C64-4AB6-9421-C34058608307.jpeg

 

The speaker in place, held in with some black tack for testing.

 

attachicon.gif2F68CFFC-7E20-40C3-BEBF-388E25D02C5D.jpeg

 

Once done, it’s hard to spot at all from the side. I find this location gives the maximum volume and sound clarity.

 

Finally, a video of a Euston - Holyhead service having a loco swap. The 85 comes off and 47612 is pressed straight into service.

 

Nice Sound and fitting, I have 47's with Howes, SWD and Factory, plus one with a Belly Tank speaker that was a Leggo that SWD did a re-blow on, trouble is, there all a little different, and I cant remember which is which when I run them, but Tamar is one of my Favourites.

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Basement layout?

Looks dry unlike the one I tried to build a layout in!

Good stuff https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_smile3.gif

It is in the cellar. At this time of year the cellar is quite dry - for two reasons. Firstly there’s a radiator in there and secondly the air supply to the living room fire comes from the cellar; a roaring fire has a very drying affect! In the summer I occasionally run a dehumidifier to keep it dry.

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Nice Sound and fitting, I have 47's with Howes, SWD and Factory, plus one with a Belly Tank speaker that was a Leggo that SWD did a re-blow on, trouble is, there all a little different, and I cant remember which is which when I run them, but Tamar is one of my Favourites.

I have a Legomanbiffo and a Howes. Not sure which I prefer yet, but I quite like that all the engines are a bit different.

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I have a Legomanbiffo and a Howes. Not sure which I prefer yet, but I quite like that all the engines are a bit different.

The only reason I had the 47 Leggo re blown was because of the Horn that sounded like a Hippos wet FA*T :no:  to me. My mate had the same one, and had his re blown at the same time by SWD.

 

I did like the starting and running sounds though.

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The only reason I had the 47 Leggo re blown was because of the Horn that sounded like a Hippos wet FA*T https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_no.gif  to me. My mate had the same one, and had his re blown at the same time by SWD.

 

I did like the starting and running sounds though.

I think the horn is as disappointing as the real thing. I’ve also never been well enough acquainted with a hippo to feel comfortable asking if it was a wet or dry release.

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