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I like both options! 

 

The shed area is based on a plan I found in Iain Rice's "Designs for Urban Layouts" and that too uses a cassette to get locos on and off.  I think what needs to borne in mind (and the plan doesn't really show it too well) is that the shed layout will be probably 5 - 6" above the main layout, so a cassette option probably makes more sense in avoiding an awkward gradient that has to come across in front of the main fiddle yard and then make a 90-degree turn (still climbing) to get to the yard entrance.  . 

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It also allows me to play with the multi-period idea I was toying with a few years ago. I've lost count of exactly how many locos I have, suffice to say some of my collection is, strictly, out of period for me. I could have the main layout set in my stated 1918-22 period and the loco depot could occasionally go back to, say, 1905-10. Or vice-versa, the loco depot being 1918 onward and the main layout being 1912-14.

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  • 2 months later...

It's struck me somewhat that I might have been looking at this all wrong.  Consider my list of wants; a decent-sized station, an interesting goods yard, a loco shed and a bit of open mainline; consider the room- 12' x 8', realistically reduced to about 9' x 7' when you allow for the door and the chimney breast, and then further consider that I don't want a roundy-roundy that eats the entire space- and consider how if I rearrange the furniture I can get a 9' unimpeded length of wall...

 

Realistically I've got an L shape 9' x 8' to play with, allowing for the depth of the inglenook, I can get all the scene track I want in that space but the payoff is no scenery, and also no fiddle yard... something's got to give somewhere. 

 

One thing I can pare down is my train lengths, the more I've considered Red Lion Square the more I'm thinking of it as being the hub of a network of branch or secondary lines, rather than being on the main trunk.  Sufficient services to merit a multi-platform station with a bit of architectural nous, but only a few of them going further afield than Sheffield/ Nottingham/ Lincoln/ Chesterfield.  So less big 4-6-0s on rakes of long bogie stock, and more 4-4-0s on sets of non-corridor arc roof or clerestories and small tanks with 6-wheelers.  Four 50' carriages with a van and a 4-4-0, or 6 or 7 6-wheelers with a 2-4-2 on the front, looks impressive enough but will sit in a platform only 1100mm or so long.  Go up to the bigger Barnums and the Robinson matchboard stock, and you'll struggle to get three carriages and a loco tender in there- my post-1910 mainline stock should really be thinned out just to one or two short rakes.  I'm minded that Mansfield Central had a direct service to Marylebone and I doubt somehow that merited a full mainline set.  This means my Sam Fays and Jersey Lillies and Lord Faringdons will probably be more shelf queens with occasional running rights than DIDO motive power.  Directors and Imminghams will probably be the upper end big 'uns to see regular use.   

 

I've recently been finding a lot of my time on Youtube is spent watching American trackplanning videos, and it's struck me how more spatially-aware some of their designs are.  We tend to forget it seems that a room is measured in the X, Y and Z axis, and my railway room has a lot of the Z dimension.  A surfeit of it, you might say. 

 

So what is there to stop me looking at a layout with two decks, joined by a helix sitting at least partially in that inglenook?  I could have a point to point layout, one deck could have the interesting goods yard and the other the loco depot, operationally I could work one deck on my own and use the other as staging, or I could have people over and run it like a real railway with trains actually going somewhere.  

 

I could have one deck where I concentrate on the track layout with perhaps almost minimal scenery beyond the boundary fence, the other I could have a more minimalist design but really go to town- if you'll pardon the pun- scenically, I'd get a mainline that is something a bit more than your typical fisherman's walk, which can only be good for the locos (even if a lot of that run is uphill on a curve), it seems a bit of a rare win-win-win-win. 

 

I wonder if with a bit of thought it might even be possible to work a junction into it and put a third deck in, maybe freight-only to a colliery or something. 

 

On the face of it this might give me two or even three 9' x 5' L layouts on the footprint of one, and suddenly I'm looking at this thinking I might be able to squeeze the proverbial quart into a pint pot, even perhaps working Cremorne for Pittance into the scheme.

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That's got me thinking about small 'hub' stations that might be worth looking at for some inspiration and three that immediately come to mind are St. Ives (Cambs.), Buildwas Junc., both through stations,  and Banbury (Merton St.) as a terminus.

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Two levels could work but need a 6 ft diameter helix which takes a lot of space why not 2 unconnected layers with one for smaller stock. The other a roundy roundy for the later stock.

just an idea.

richard 

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20 minutes ago, richard i said:

Two levels could work but need a 6 ft diameter helix which takes a lot of space why not 2 unconnected layers with one for smaller stock. The other a roundy roundy for the later stock.

just an idea.

richard 

Which suggests Three Cocks Junction with the LMS (ex-MR) and GWR (ex-Cambrian) crossing at a right-angle and at different levels.

 

Edited by CKPR
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The problem with a helix will be whether the adhesion of your locos will be sufficient to haul the size of trains you want to run up it.  not only are they having to cope with the gradient, but also the curve, which adds to the rolling resistance of the train.

 

A 'Nelevator' might be a way round that.

 

Jim

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In this thread he started out with a helix, and found that he could get nothing to run up it.  He then elongated the helix, not sure by how much, it was a long time ago that I read it, but found that his steam locos still could not cope.  He is running full length main line trains over the Settle and Carlisle.  He sorted that by adding a power bogie to the leading coaches.  (There are videos later on.)  He also has a lot of space

 

A rising branch to a station where the trains have to reverse?  Back date to smaller locos and four and six wheelers?  No?  Not surprised.

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Thanks for everyone's thoughts so far- I agree, it's going to need a bit of thought and forward planning to see if it's even possible.  I think I could do worse than starting out with some haulage trials, maybe a circle of 4th radius set track and those bridge ramp things Hornby produce, and see if my locos can drag anything worthwhile up them.  I'm thinking more of a single track helix, to keep things fairly simple, of about 4' radius.  If it starts getting wider than that then I'm probably going to be better off with a train lift sort of arrangement, which then also means that the train that disappears offstage on one level is not necessarily the one that appears on the other level a minute or two later.  For operational flexibility that's probably a better idea all round, however what I don't want to find is that a sizeable chunk of an operating session is taken up with running a lift rather than trains. 

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I've scrapped the helix idea... 

 

I mentioned a few days ago what I considered my maximum train length- 4 50' carriages and a loco- well the 50'ers that's obviously 200mm per carriage (say 210 including a coupling), a Sam Fay (the biggest loco I anticipate running) clocks in at 260mm, that's (210*4) + 260 = 1100mm, or a little under 4'.  The room is 8' wide, I'd be losing half of that width for a helix, at least, assuming trains can even get up it.

 

Why not just have a 1200mm length of straight track on a lifting system... I'd need to keep some room in front of it open to allow access to move stock around (so that when moved to another level the train is facing the right way and running on the right road) but suddenly I've got at least half of that 4' x 4' zone back.  Also, on at least one of the decks I can carry the scenery and on-stage work right up into the corner, in the foreground at least. 

 

The concept seems to have grown like topsy over the last few days, I'm now thinking of a four-deck layout consisting of

-Cremorne & Pittance set up as the end of a truncated branch line, with some sort of industry (a water works perhaps) that justifies at least keeping that station open;

-Red Lion Square itself, with fairly modest goods-handling facilities;

-An extensive goods depot, probably based on the LDEC at Attercliffe or Chesterfield Marketplace;

-Something like a repeat of RLS, or a Minories, with an MPD on the same level. 

 

Consider how this then lets me operate it.  Obviously running it alone I can only make full use of one deck at any time- the rest of the layout is basically scenic staging.  If I let others come play with it we can then run trains between the levels and they'll actually seem to go somewhere.

 

On a note that's almost put my enthusiasm through the roof- suddenly all the ideas which I have had or found and really liked and wanted to put into it and then had to regretfully file away as there not being enough to space- I can get them all in... 

 

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So, presented in no particular order...

 

51102720338_65c0e2056f_c.jpg

 

Rufford Red Lion Square station.  No provision for goods at all, except for parcels traffic- and a couple of carriage sidings.  The plan is based, quite loosely, on C J Freezer's Cretun design (see the PSL book of track plans for that original design).

 

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The passenger trains have to have somewhere to go, so I looked to Chesterfield Market Place for inspiration.  The goods yard I scaled right back to the bare minimum, and this deck I'm actually thinking as presenting as two separate scenes, rather than one L-shaped vista; I took Iain Rice's plan for a GC loco depot (see his 'Designs for Urban Layouts' book) and found that whilst his turnouts are 'optimistic', shall we say, I could thin it down a little and get it in.  

 

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Now this deck I've drawn up simply to make use of the country station diorama I built a few years ago.  It will sit between the crossovers, but then for a bit more interest I've drawn up a spur leading off into some sort of industrial area, probably a waterworks.  If I have to scale my intentions back, this is the deck I can dispense with.  

 

51102720293_cac6c58207_c.jpg

 

Lastly... that's the sort of goods yard I've had in mind since starting planning four years ago.  It takes its cues from a couple of Iain Rice designs, cut up, mucked about and spliced back together. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thinking ahead for the future, does anybody know where I could find drawings of Chesterfield Market Place station?  I've drawn a blank in Chris Booth's excellent LDECR trilogy, I don't recall seeing any in volume 3 of George Dow's GCR trilogy, nor in Cupit and Taylor's work.  I could crib something rough from the few photographs I've found, but I'd sooner be working from the original designs.

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For the last few weeks I've been quietly getting on with a few projects...

 

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The lavatory brake third clerestory, which I made the sides for just before Christmas and then put aside for a few months.  I've stripped down the donor vehicle, fitted my new sides, painted them and built and fitted an interior.  I'm now just waiting on some new material before I can reinstate the roof. 

 

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These two aren't quite so involved.  They're Triang-Hornby clerestories, which have had their cookie-cutter wheels swapped out for ones which will be happier on Code 75 rail.  Then I've taken the couplings off and started to repaint the bodies.  These will also be getting an interior. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm now the very pleased owner of one five carriage rake of GCR clerestories, after completing the last of the hatchet jobs.

 

51156112184_b495e514c7_c.jpg

 

The other rake of clerestory stock is simply repainted Hornby, with scratchbuilt interiors.

 

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On, now, with the brake carriages for that second rake. 

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12 hours ago, richard i said:

The seat colours really stand out in that light.

richard

 

Yes, I was rather surprised by that as usually I build an interior and marvel at how it then becomes practically invisible.  I think it just goes to show that a little bit of effort (and really it was the work of maybe an hour) to fit even a basic interior can pay off. 

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