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Great Southern Railway (Fictitious) - Signalling and Carriage Trucks


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  • RMweb Gold
On 16/09/2020 at 13:13, Skinnylinny said:

A little more work on the row of houses along the back of Station Road - I managed to get my hands on a pair of the old Hornby semi-detached kits - one Victorian Semi and one pair of matching shops. The plan is to cut the buildings in half, using the fronts as half-relief along the backscene, while the rears will be used over the tunnel used as a scenic break. Perfect! At first glance, things looked good - proper Flemish-bond brickwork, beautifully-moulded displays for the shops (4mm scale chicken, bacon, ham and ribs?, anyone?):

Meat.jpg.d1d15dd5501966a891d34298b5e3f91e.jpg

However, once I started to build, there are a few issues. The fit of parts... isn't great. The corners I have tidied up with a bit of filler, but the windows don't fit very nicely into the front wall - there's a bit of a gap around the edges of the bricks making up the arch. I got the thing built up, and plonked it next to a Petite Properties kit, and. Well.

20200916_074240.jpg

There's a bit of a size discrepancy! Normally I'd disguise this by saying that the right-hand one is a more up-market building (presumably further from the station with its soot and grime?) while the left-hand building is more of a worker's house, with lower ceilings, smaller rooms etc. I think this might be one of those cases of early building kits being made to a slightly smaller scale so as to fit better (read: more!) on a train set board.

 

A good way to check sizes of houses is estate agent's particulars - As they look similar to the Victorian terraces round here, I've found this one, for which the front bedroom is 16' 1" wide, and the garden is listed as 16' 5" - so you'd be looking at ~66mm in 4mm/ft (so 132mm for the pair). Another similar one is 13'2", and this one, over in Horsham, is 13'11"

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Victorian / Edwardian terraced houses were standardised at 15 ft, 18 ft, 21 ft widths, at least in Reading. So I imagine the plots of land were marked off in yards. Of course those dimensions are also integer multiples of the standard 9" brick (including mortar).

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Well something different again (Yes, I do seem to jump about a lot, don't I?).

The laser cutter software played ball today, much to my surprise, so I managed to get some bits cut, including my first laser-cut acetate (for which I still need to play around with the settings to get a clean cut). A few mists of spray paint, a couple of dabs of Sharpie, some brush painting, some wire bending and gluing... and we have:

20200927_212753.jpg

Even better, it moves! This one was mainly intended as a proof-of-concept, and I will probably re-laser the spectacles in acetate rather than card once I get the settings dialed in properly, but it looks like the GSR standard slotted-post signal design is coming along nicely.
 

 

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A slightly better picture of the signal in question, now that it has been painted  and had various detailing parts added. I'm in two minds on whether to fit a "proper" finial or just leave the post with a plain cap. I suspect that a spiky finial, while being more painful if not paying attention while rail cleaning, is more probable.

20200928_205832.jpg

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Definitely go for some sort of finial or cap.  The flat top as it is would allow water to collect and soak down and slowly rot the wood around the important bit handling the pivot for the signal arm - something to be avoided.

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7 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

That would shout North Eastern Railway. That might or might not be what you want.

 

5 minutes ago, Annie said:

A simple peaked cap would be a lot less costly regarding sticking plaster purchases.


Both good points. I'd prefer to avoid anything that brings to mind any real company, while still trying to stay within the realms of plausibility. This may have something to do with why I'm saving up for two rakes of the Hattons Genesis carriages, which, while professing to be generic are in fact very close to accurate models of GSR rolling stock. The panelling style matches, the only major differences are that GSR 6-wheelers had continuous footboards, and the guard's lookouts on GWR carriages had a different profile. 

Looking at photos, plain peaked caps seem to actually be fairly rare in pre-grouping settings. Given the signalling was ostensibly carried out by Saxby & Farmer (hence the appearance of their 'box on the layout) perhaps I should go for one of their patterns... 

Wizard Models show a nice simple Saxby & Farmer "pagoda type" cap as seen on LBSC signals (among others):
 image.png.b0084934ca20e1f9d05f7bda42827d90.png

Although there's also this rather nice NER one, also by Saxby & Farmer...
  

image.png.eda7a2c086098ce206071cd9f1fb62b5.png

And this frankly terrifying McKenzie & Holland type, which I think I'd want cast in some form of flexible rubber!

image.png.7252a274e7263130b85db0a4c22c88a7.png

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I seem to remember that your 'box is Saxby so a Saxby cap would make sense, or something simpler if you're going to suggest that the GSR had it's own pattern.

Edited by sem34090
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I'm still torn. I do like the idea of the Saxby & Farmer Pagoda style cap and they ought to be easy enough to 3D print. 

The signal has now been planted on the entrance to the station - the down home on the far right of the plan below.
image.png.03cd4660998688345d76f45e7ac08035.png
I felt like I had to run a ceremonial "first signalled train" (although not that ceremonial, or I would have tidied up a bit!


The next signal to be worked on will be the bracket platform starter on platforms 1 and 2 (where 1 is the end-loading/dock). Because platform 1 will, strictly speaking, be a goods line, it's getting a ringed arm thus:
image.png.f43513814b350987d7c7f4dd3899be4d.png
 

The rocking arms for the operating wires will be sandwiched inside the bracket structure and thus (hopefully!) invisible from most viewing angles. After this will be the signal for departing from platform 3 (a simple single-arm signal allowing access to the up line over the crossover - I can't see any reason to allow access back to the down line? It doesn't give access to anywhere other than platform 3, then the big complicated one on the up line allowing shunting access to anywhere in the station, and the yard. From left to right I imagine this will need:

- Miniature arm for access to yard
- Entry to Platform 3 (possibly with a calling-on arm?)
- Entry to Platform 2 (with calling-on arm)
- Miniature arm for access to Platform 1 (parcels bay)

That's going to take some building!
 

The bits for the Platform 1/2 starter have now been drawn up, and since it's my day off today, I'm going to go for a wander down to the hacklab later on...

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Well, I went to the lab and cut the first version of the bracket signal. I came home and had a go at building it but found several problems with the design. There were several places where I hadn't left enough clearance for moving parts, and I'd made the rocking lever very fragile. A quick redesign and another trip back to the lab, and I had a much better chance at getting it to work correctly. In fact, after about an hour of fiddly assembly (with operating wires repeatedly jumping out of holes - they're held in place by other parts assembled later) I now have the basics functioning. Next step is painting and then fitting spectacles and back blinders.

 

20200930_225644.jpg

 

20200930_225730.jpg

 

But that can wait for another night!

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Then you'll have to design and build a properly interlocked lever frame, in Saxby and Farmer style, to operate them!  :jester:

 

Jim 

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Maybe not a Saxby & Farmer one strictly, but the intention is very much to have the layout operable from an interlocked lever frame! I've produced a basic lever prototype which is representative rather than dead scale but allows for electrical locking and operates microswitches to work signals and points. The intention is to have the lever frame work all points and signals, even those off scene, to allow a signaller and a driver to be separate roles. 

 

Incidentally, ground signals for the GSR will be of the rotating body type rather than miniature arms or rotating discs. This has nothing at all to do with the fact that these are easier to motorise! 

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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

If the signals allowing access back from the up line are all for non-passenger use, there's no need for separate calling-on arms, just have them all shunting signals - a single dummy would probably suffice for all routes. You'd only need calling-on arms to allow a train to pass a running signal that can't be cleared due to the section being occupied.

 

Edit - see Seaford (https://www.s-r-s.org.uk/html/srh/R1049.htm) for a suitably local example - ground signal 14 controlling all inbound access from the up line.

Edited by Nick C
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2 hours ago, Nick C said:

If the signals allowing access back from the up line are all for non-passenger use, there's no need for separate calling-on arms, just have them all shunting signals - a single dummy would probably suffice for all routes. You'd only need calling-on arms to allow a train to pass a running signal that can't be cleared due to the section being occupied.


Oh, that's interesting to know, and would certainly save me some complex signal-building! Would this be true even for a loco buffering up to stock in, say platform 2 after running around?

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24 minutes ago, Skinnylinny said:


Oh, that's interesting to know, and would certainly save me some complex signal-building! Would this be true even for a loco buffering up to stock in, say platform 2 after running around?

Yes. The section beyond the signal is occupied, although it is possible that this requirement pist-dated the most recent alterations to the track layout.

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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

Yep. The key difference between a running signal (i.e. a normal full size arm) and a shunt signal is that a running signal tells the driver that the line is clear to the next running signal (in this case, the buffer stops), and thus the train can proceed at line speed, whereas a shunt signal merely tells him that he can proceed as far as he can see the line to be clear, i.e. the line may already be occupied. Passenger trains are only allowed to use running signals, non-passenger movements can use either. A loco running round would use a shunt signal to get back onto it's stock.

 

Calling on signals are effectively a special case of shunt signals that passenger trains can use.

 

Having looked at a few double track SR termini for another thread,it seems the usual practice was to use the outbound line for run-round and shunting moves, as they all seemed to have a shunt signal allowing inbound movements from there.

Edited by Nick C
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Posted (edited)

Thank you, that is a huge amount off my mind. Now I just need to work out what GSR ground signals looked like! 

The bracket starter is coming along nicely. A parcel arrived with some tiny (and I mean tiny) LEDs. Pre-wired 0402 warm white (i.e. 0.5mm x 1mm, on 0.1mm diameter wire). What this means is that these LEDs can fit inside a 0.3mm hole drilled through a 4mm scale signal lamp, neatly, and illuminate it.

20201001_184249.jpg?width=845&height=475

And that lamp has been fitted to the signal, which has received some paint and is still running smoothly:

20201001_210238.jpg
 

 

Edited by Skinnylinny
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Posted (edited)

Thank you, Corbs. I might have to re-cut this signal again with one small modification - unfortunately the right arm moves but its spectacle sometimes doesn't - it seems that the glue holding the arm to its pivot has failed so the arm is rotating about the axle, and there isn't space to get in there to fix it! Fortunately with these signals the cost of materials is fairly negligible, it just means I'll need to get back to the lab at some point. My thought is to slightly enlarge the hole in the post (by ~0.05-0.1mm in diameter) and to reduce the hole in the arm to a very snug friction fit, then reinforce this with some thin superglue before assembling further.

I've also been distracted by something I've spotted on eBay - a set of three Norwegian (?) vans for a rather reasonable £34 delivered. I'm wondering if it would take much work to anglicise these into covered carriage trucks - I'm thinking new buffers, some etched strapping on the ends and some scoring to suggest end doors (and modifying those end stanchions!)... and possibly some brake levers from the bits box.

H098c4d01290e475fb93275b7e19a13afB.jpg

Dimensions given below.

image.png.1f4257e645f5e6a23024b09ee2cd2d4b.png

Oh, of course, as a carriage truck it'd be coaching stock, so would need to, at the very least, be through piped, would it not? That being said, fitting a vac cylinder is hardly the hardest thing in the world...

Edited by Skinnylinny
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  • Skinnylinny changed the title to Great Southern Railway (Fictitious) - Signalling and Carriage Trucks

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