Jump to content

Is Minories operationally satisfying?


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

 

I'm sure we've discussed before the various pre-WW1 commercial exhibition layouts that used various forms of what we would now call a fiddle-yard, although they were for dealing with complete trains, rather than fiddling, so the germ of the idea was around from a very early date in our hobby.

 

But, a mental sea-change does seem to have occurred during the 1940s, with both FYs and scenery being rare in the late '30s, yet apparently instantly accepted by the early '50s. It might have to do with the crop of younger modellers who "came through" during that time, going off to war leaving their clockwork 0 gauge behind, and coming back to the hobby carrying in their heads a crop of ideas that they knew of when they left, but hadn't been able to put into practice.

 

The MRN, for instance, punted a very modern-style scenic layout, basically a simple circuit with a halt (and one siding??), advocating a fine-scale approach to it, c1938, just the sort of minimalist, but superbly executed, sort of thing that people do as a first try in P4, so radical ideas were swirling around waiting to alight.

 

PS: found it! How unlike a typical 1930s layout is this?

 

 

9784BC1C-F5A1-4E97-9673-0BDCF7E958CF.jpeg

Hah! You beat me to it . I've just found it too. 1938 is the one year of MRN that I don't have as a bound volume  but only as individal copies so I'm less familiar with it.

The article was the tenth (and I think last) of a series 'Some Notes on the Layout of Small Stations' by "Precedent" (who may well have  been J.N.Maskelyne - the editor) Each article presented  a small station that might be adapted for a layout but only the first and last went into any detail about how that might be achieved and the plan above was the most complete.

"Precedent" was mainly trying to encourage modellers to aspire for similar levels of authenticity in their stations as in their locos and rolling stock.

"It is a curious fact that while the majority of model railway owners are careful to see that their locos, coaches etc. are realistic in appearance, very few take the same care with the layout of their stations and the general appearance of their line"

He goes on to say that this seems to be due to trying to cram every conceivable variety of running into too small a space leading to curves too sharp, stations too close to one another, platforms and sidings too short, and .....continuous running . He suggested that this particular evil that could be obviated by the use of a reverse loop or loops . Curiously, no mention of using hidden sidings even though Maybank had by then been exhibited for several years.

By 1937, though most layouts were still all track, a few layouts with scenery were starting to appear and in March 1937 there was what I think was the first complete article on Modelling Scenery by M.D. Thornburgh.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Back to Minories: I've just had a quick delve into Alexandra Palace station and recommend perusal of the signalling diagram here: http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/a/alexandra_palace/index.shtml

 

A whacking great entertainment complex looming over the station makes a change from the usual house/office backs!

 

I am still waiting for the day when a layout of Alexandra Palace station is exhibited at the Alexandra Palace exhibition.

  • Like 4
  • Funny 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Back to Minories: I've just had a quick delve into Alexandra Palace station and recommend perusal of the signalling diagram here: http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/a/alexandra_palace/index.shtml

 

A whacking great entertainment complex looming over the station makes a change from the usual house/office backs!

A very good find Kevin.

For some reason I'd never quite twigged that the unusually wide residential street leading up to the "back" park entrance of Ally Pally (where I usually park for the London Festival) had been the grand drive to its main entrance. Presumably, before the area was developed for houses, the prospect of the Palace from the north was just as grand as it now is from the south.

On the 1912 OS maps on the disused stations site it's also interesting to see that there were two tram termini at either end of the Palace- the eastern one is just a single track but the western one is the end of a double track with a scissors crossover and adjoins the railway- though separated from it.

Rather than an inner city commuter terminus, Minories could well be the station serving some major public complex such as , well such as somewhere like Ally Pally. or a slightly smaller version of Crystal Palace (High Level) with plenty of excursion etc. trains coming in and out. Had the North London and District Railways not gone near it one could imagine a Kew Gardens terminus. 

Edited by Pacific231G
Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

He goes on to say that this seems to be due to trying to cram every conceivable variety of running into too small a space leading to curves too sharp, stations too close to one another, platforms and sidings too short


A fine and accurate description of my layout!

  • Friendly/supportive 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:


A fine and accurate description of my layout!

No Kevin. I've looked at it and your station trackplans are far too prototypical for a proper pre-war 'never really looked at anything but the engines'  enthusiast's layout.  It's remarkably hard to unknow all the prototypical knowledge we're all far more aware of.

Edited by Pacific231G
  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, jamespetts said:

 

I am still waiting for the day when a layout of Alexandra Palace station is exhibited at the Alexandra Palace exhibition.

Away you go then. Can we look forward to seeing it at the 2011 show ? :dance_mini:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There’s actually quite a bit of Minories-esque inspiration to be found at London suburban termini: the District Railway sides at Wimbledon, Richmond, and Acton; Watford Junction; Caterham etc etc.

 

They tended to get electric traction fairly early, because of the density of traffic, so for operational intensity mixed with interesting locos possibly best done pre-grouping.

 

Watford cWW1 would be very interesting, because it served a little hinterland of branch-lines and industrial areas, so there must have been a fair bit of goods traffic across the throat of the suburban side. I’m not sure exactly when the ‘DC Lines’ north of Harrow we’re finished, and whether they were electrified from the outset - I think not, so possibly a ‘steam window’ at this period.

Edited by Nearholmer
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

I’m not sure exactly when the ‘DC Lines’ north of Harrow we’re finished, and whether they were electrified from the outset - I think not, so possibly a ‘steam window’ at this period.

The DC Lines were electrified in 1912 from when they were installed.

Edited by Chris116
Link to post
Share on other sites

That's where I'm uncertain.

 

I thought Willesden to Watford was electrified in 1917 (or possibly as late as 1920, when the Joint Stock was delivered), with a service only onto the Bakerloo, which had previously terminated in the middle bays at Will Jct LL, with the Watford/Croxley to Euston/Broad Street services not starting until 1922, which possibly leaves a completely steam window 1912-17 (or 20), assuming that steam ran over the "new line", and a mixed steam/electric service at Watford until 1927, when the Ricky branch was electrified.

 

It would take an LNWR expert (which you may well be!) to answer definitively; my understanding comes from attempting to piece-together the history of the LNWR electrifications, which are less well written-up in contemporary engineering magazines, presumably because there was a war on, and I readily admit to uncertainty.

Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

There’s actually quite a bit of Minories-esque inspiration to be found at London suburban termini: the District Railway sides at Wimbledon, Richmond, and Acton; Watford Junction; Caterham etc etc.

 

They tended to get electric traction fairly early, because of the density of traffic, so for operational intensity mixed with interesting locos possibly best done pre-grouping.

 

Watford cWW1 would be very interesting, because it served a little hinterland of branch-lines and industrial areas, so there must have been a fair bit of goods traffic across the throat of the suburban side. I’m not sure exactly when the ‘DC Lines’ north of Harrow we’re finished, and whether they were electrified from the outset - I think not, so possibly a ‘steam window’ at this period.

 

There are myriad London places, many of them on the Underground, that at one point or another would have had Minories-like operation to a greater or lesser extent. From memory, assuming that my understanding of how these stations were worked is accurate, I can think of:

 

* Liverpool Street (Metropolitan);

* Aldgate;

* Moorgate St. (Metropolitan/widened lines - I am planning a layout inspired by this myself);

* Baker St. (Metropolitan);

* Hammersmith (H&C);

* Broad Street;

* Holborn Viaduct;

* Whitechapel (pre-1902); and

* New Cross/New Cross Gate (pre-electrification).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my latest. I removed one of the crossovers, so there are two arrival platforms and two departure platforms (the centre one being available for both arrivals and departures). The RH line being a siding.

 

A three platform double track terminus plus a siding for parcels/horse loading and a loco spur, with only 5 conventional points.

 

The coal wagon is on the loco spur and the van in the distance is in the loading dock.

 

SDR1.jpg.63598431b678d2ef456857274b3eeee1.jpg

 

I nicked the idea from a combination of Minories and an O Gauge layout I saw at Doncaster Gauge O Guild show.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

JP

 

I suppose its a question of definition, in that all busy urban/suburban termini were operated in roughly the same fashion, using turnover engines. I would put a limit at three platforms to retain the spirit of Minories, so Broad Steert would be "out" in my estimation, being Minories x 4 (ish).

 

Whitechapel District Railway, before the extension eastwards in 1902, was unbelievably cramped so would make an ideal model, it even had the necessary overbridges to hide the hinges to fold the baseboards!

 

I'll see if I can find a photo of it.

 

K

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

JP

 

I suppose its a question of definition, in that all busy urban/suburban termini were operated in roughly the same fashion, using turnover engines. I would put a limit at three platforms to retain the spirit of Minories, so Broad Steert would be "out" in my estimation, being Minories x 4 (ish).

 

Whitechapel District Railway, before the extension eastwards in 1902, was unbelievably cramped so would make an ideal model, it even had the necessary overbridges to hide the hinges to fold the baseboards!

 

I'll see if I can find a photo of it.

 

K

 

We used Broad Street as a plan for the passenger section on Narrow Road (see where the name came from!). In reality, it was two smaller stations side by side, each with 4 platforms. There was a connection between the two but each half works perfectly well as a terminus without the other half. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, t-b-g said:

Here is my latest. I removed one of the crossovers, so there are two arrival platforms and two departure platforms (the centre one being available for both arrivals and departures). The RH line being a siding.

 

A three platform double track terminus plus a siding for parcels/horse loading and a loco spur, with only 5 conventional points.

 

The coal wagon is on the loco spur and the van in the distance is in the loading dock.

 

SDR1.jpg.63598431b678d2ef456857274b3eeee1.jpg

 

I nicked the idea from a combination of Minories and an O Gauge layout I saw at Doncaster Gauge O Guild show.

Hi Tony

I don't quite get this plan. the throat pointwork is only two turnouts long compared with Minories' four but surely,  to get the stock from a train arriving on the left hand arrivals platform to the right hand departure is going to require an awkward sawtooth move via the centre platform. I could see it better if the centre road was  a stock siding between an arrivals and departures platform facing each other 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Pacific231G said:

Hi Tony

I don't quite get this plan. the throat pointwork is only two turnouts long compared with Minories' four but surely,  to get the stock from a train arriving on the left hand arrivals platform to the right hand departure is going to require an awkward sawtooth move via the centre platform. I could see it better if the centre road was  a stock siding between an arrivals and departures platform facing each other 

 

That was my thought too and then the penny dropped!

 

Numbering the platforms 1,2 and 3 from the left, any arrivals in 1 are shunted to 2 and can depart from there. Arrivals in 2 can either depart from there or shunt to 3. It all comes down to the timetable being done so that anything in 1 stays there until 2 is clear. Anything that needs vans attaching or removing is arrived into 2.

 

You also have the opportunity for multiple moves, with arrivals and departures, or either an arrival/departure and a shunt, happening together, perhaps with a light engine following the departing train up the platform.

 

If you also envisage an offstage loco shed and some carriage sidings, plus a goods yard nearby, so a goods can come in, drop a couple of vans and go off to the yard, or a goods yard pilot can work a short train in and is shunted to the siding by the station pilot, then you get quite a range of potential movements. ECS and light engines to and from the fiddle yard, with the locos coming back turned later. Loco coal to the siding and empties removed, horse box specials, Newspaper trains. Lots of stock building! 

 

In my mind, I wanted a minimum space, one car/two operator exhibition layout, capable of taking a tender loco and 5 short bogie carriages, all in 8ft x 1ft 3". I could only get that with a two point length approach and this was the best I could come up with using conventional turnouts and no fancy stuff.

 

I can see it being quite good fun to operate with a mix of Midland Railway, Great Northern Railway and Great Central Railway locos and stock. It is set on the outskirts of Sheffield, near the Sheffield District Railway/LD&ECR  Attercliffe Goods depot.

 

It did cross my mind that I could later add more boards between the station and the fiddle yard to include the carriage sidings and a small loco servicing facility with a turntable but that will be a long way in the future. If a further crossover is regarded as essential for operating, when I get to try it out, I can "imagine" a facing crossover just off scene in the fiddle yard but I think I have enough moves worked out to not need it.   

Edited by t-b-g
Add more info
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

Rather than an inner city commuter terminus, Minories could well be the station serving some major public complex such as , well such as somewhere like Ally Pally. or a slightly smaller version of Crystal Palace (High Level) with plenty of excursion etc. trains coming in and out. Had the North London and District Railways not gone near it one could imagine a Kew Gardens terminus. 

 

Or how about an airport?  In addition to the regular service add in the occasional passenger special for tour groups (with perhaps a separate goods service bringing their luggage, or in the case of something like an orchetra / sports team all their equipment).

 

Then add in "air mail" arriving by train to be sent off to exotic foreign locations.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you seen the very good 1930s streamline-moderne Southern Electric themed airport layout? It is pretty much what you suggest, although only two platforms, and curved rather that very straight like Minories, and it is really good. If only I could remember what its called!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Nearholmer said:

Have you seen the very good 1930s streamline-moderne Southern Electric themed airport layout? It is pretty much what you suggest, although only two platforms, and curved rather that very straight like Minories, and it is really good. If only I could remember what its called!!

 

Marston?

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a good one called Manston, I think, themed around the idea of an international airport at Manston in Thanet, but that wasn't the one I was thinking of, which has a more urban feel to it.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, t-b-g said:

Here is my latest. I removed one of the crossovers, so there are two arrival platforms and two departure platforms (the centre one being available for both arrivals and departures). The RH line being a siding.

 

A three platform double track terminus plus a siding for parcels/horse loading and a loco spur, with only 5 conventional points.

 

The coal wagon is on the loco spur and the van in the distance is in the loading dock.

 

SDR1.jpg.63598431b678d2ef456857274b3eeee1.jpg

 

I nicked the idea from a combination of Minories and an O Gauge layout I saw at Doncaster Gauge O Guild show.

 

I think you should have a few operating sessions before doing too much more work.

I don't think the left hand platform has any value.  Trains can't depart from it.   That includes ECS moves to the departure platforms, so trains are trapped until the centre road is clear, and the pilot engine can't get to the left hand platform unless the centre is clear.   I think a few hours operating and you may well want to rip it up and start again.

Minories is a very clever design CJF spent 50 years trying to improve on it but without success.

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, DavidCBroad said:

 

I think you should have a few operating sessions before doing too much more work.

I don't think the left hand platform has any value.  Trains can't depart from it.   That includes ECS moves to the departure platforms, so trains are trapped until the centre road is clear, and the pilot engine can't get to the left hand platform unless the centre is clear.   I think a few hours operating and you may well want to rip it up and start again.

Minories is a very clever design CJF spent 50 years trying to improve on it but without success.

 

In that case, I won't bother wiring it up, I shall scrap it and start again.

 

I will tell the chaps with the layout I watched for ages and really enjoyed to scrap theirs too.

 

To answer seriously, I am not trying to improve on Minories. I have actually built a full Minories with both cross overs and really enjoyed running it. I have also built around 10 other terminus layouts, so I do have a bit of experience of how and what works well. I set myself certain criteria n terms of baseboard size and train length and did the best I could within those constraints.

 

Your concern about the pilot not being able to do its job is unfounded. It lives on a siding off the LH Platform, so always has access. the platforms are long enough for it to negotiate to other platforms even if the LH one is occupied by a full length train. I model the pre-grouping era and at that time many stations had an arrival side and a departure side. So an arrival only platform is quite typical. 

 

I have already outlined the potential moves I can envisage and for a very simple station, I can see plenty to keep me occupied. It won't be a layout for running sessions at home. It is more to demonstrate the Manchester EM Standards at exhibitions and to let people see the lovely carriages and wagons that came to me from the late Sid Stubbs. So if a train stays a while in a platform before it can be moved, that is a bonus, not a problem!

 

But I genuinely ask, if you can come up with a better design that has three platforms, two sidings, caters for 5 coach trains in an 8ft length and doesn't involve complex pointwork, please, I would love to see it.

 

Edit to add a further criteria. I don't like layouts where the shunt needs to be done by moving a traverser/fiddleyard over. I had one once and it was a pain! I don't want my trains to have to disappear off scene and reappear on a different track. On my plan, about a foot of track is available before it goes off scene, so a loco moving to another line is always on view.

Edited by t-b-g
To add content
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I think we might be in danger of comparing apples and wildebeeste here, in that Minories is designed for very rapid turnover of trains, quintessentially fast-paced urban or suburban, whereas t-b-g's formation requires a stack of shuffling about, and in the real world could only cope with a quite slow turnover of trains; its a different sort of station, for a different sort of traffic. My gut instinct is that it couldn't do much better than two trains an hour in each direction, whereas as real Minories would have a capacity of at least 12tph in each direction.

 

There were suburban termini with separate arrival and departure platforms, Bromley North being a good example, but as places turned from "small towns just outside the city" into suburbs proper, and traffic grew, they had to be reconfigured to cope with rising demand.

 

That having been said, I do think t-b-g's is a very unusual set-up, and I somehow imagine the LH platform being used primarily for van traffic that would be shunted in there and left there for ages while loading or unloading takes place, and that the gentle circulation of passenger trains would use the other two platforms. I'd be tempted to put a turntable or sector-plate at the buffer-stop end of these two, to allow the arriving engine to run-round without the need for a pilot, because railway managers are always looking for ways to save money, and reducing or eliminating the use of a pilot could save coal and wages!

Edited by Nearholmer
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

I think we might be in danger of comparing apples and wildebeeste here, in that Minories is designed for very rapid turnover of trains, quintessentially fast-paced urban or suburban, whereas t-b-g's formation requires a stack of shuffling about, and in the real world could only cope with a quite slow turnover of trains; its a different sort of station, for a different sort of traffic. My gut instinct is that it couldn't do much better than two trains an hour in each direction, whereas as real Minories would have a capacity of at least 12tph in each direction.

 

There were suburban termini with separate arrival and departure platforms, Bromley North being a good example, but as places turned from "small towns just outside the city" into suburbs proper, and traffic grew, they had to be reconfigured to cope with rising demand.

 

That having been said, I do think t-b-g's is a very unusual set-up, and I somehow imagine the LH platform being used primarily for van traffic that would be shunted in there and left there for ages while loading or unloading takes place, and that the gentle circulation of passenger trains would use the other two platforms. I'd be tempted to put a turntable or sector-plate at the buffer-stop end of these two, to allow the arriving engine to run-round without the need for a pilot, because railway managers are always looking for ways to save money, and reducing or eliminating the use of a pilot could save coal and wages!

 

I did look at a traverser or turntable. Perhaps a traverser hidden under an overall roof. The end of a 5 coach train would have to be left on it, making it unavailable for much of the time.

 

The idea is that platform 1 only gets used when 3 trains are in, which won't be too often. Most arrive in 2 and can depart from there. If two arrivals follow each other they can arrive in 1 and 2 or the stock can be moved from 2 to 3 or back to the fiddle yard as empty coaching stock. The "much shuffling about" will be, at most, a shunt from one platform to the next and then not all the time.

 

Having a pilot isn't a problem. Where I am setting it is as an add on to an existing extensive goods only facility. The pilot really existed and was already on site.

 

I had something like this in mind for a while and I also had great doubts about it being practical and realistic. Then I saw a layout that was very similar apart from the position of the sidings. I watched it for ages. To be truthful, it wasn't being operated very well at the time, I think they had electrical gremlins. I could see all the possible moves and realised the great potential.

 

If others don't like it or can't see the potential that I can, that is fine but please nobody tell me to rip it up and start again or suggest alterations. It is too late now! My 40 years experience of building and exhibiting mainly terminus layouts is giving me nothing but good vibes. If I am happy with design, I am sure that is what really matters.

 

The dimensions and train lengths, as an aside, are pure Buckinham. From the buffers to the end of the last point in the station throat is just under 8ft. It can cope with a 5 coach train but most are 4 bogies or 5 6 wheelers long as a maximum. Platform 1 at Buckingham is for departures only as it has no facing access. 

Edited by t-b-g
Spelling
  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, jamespetts said:

 

There are myriad London places, many of them on the Underground, that at one point or another would have had Minories-like operation to a greater or lesser extent. From memory, assuming that my understanding of how these stations were worked is accurate, I can think of:

 

* Liverpool Street (Metropolitan);

* Aldgate;

* Moorgate St. (Metropolitan/widened lines - I am planning a layout inspired by this myself);

* Baker St. (Metropolitan);

* Hammersmith (H&C);

* Broad Street;

* Holborn Viaduct;

* Whitechapel (pre-1902); and

* New Cross/New Cross Gate (pre-electrification).

Also Mansion House, which would make an interesting model with its intense timetable, multi-company service and ultra-tight curves. But one would have to cut away the ground and buildings over to see anything. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.