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Is Minories operationally satisfying?


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Having a curved approach meant that there were no reverse curves and the trackwork 'flowed' nicely.

 

 

Quite prototypical too.

Paddington, Euston, St Pancras, Liverpool St, Victoria, Marylebone all face a different direction to the lines eminating from them, although some do curve around a little further out.

Waterloo has a reverse curve though.

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Simon, I've put your plan down using P4 sized turnouts and the whole throat comes to around 5' (needing the extra length for diverging lines between platform roads 2 and 3 for the width of the platform. 

 

One of the deciding factors it would appear in the layout dimensions however is the size of the trains. Six 57' coaches and a tender locomotive end up about 6' in 4mm/ft which means that with that much capacity either end of the throat a minimum size of 17', plus some space either end for a station building and  a gap between the throat and the fiddle yard means we're looking in the 17' to 18' range. Of course that would again be totally feasible in 2mm:ft but just for the sake of conjecture!!

 

So, for a minories-type station running mainline steam tender locomotives, what is a reasonable train length? Bradfield Gloucester Square is only 14' and looks MASSIVE, but I'm aware that the video cuts of operating sessions do preclude seeing a whole rake in one view. TheLaird also makes extensive use of view blocks to chop the scene up - bridges, signal gantries and the station building itself, and so on.

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1) Additional unnecessary points to build;

 

2) Two to three more point lengths in the throat;

 

3) Less operational flexibility than Minories (a train arriving in the middle platform blocks one departing from the rightmost platform).

 

A good illustration of why CJF was unable to improve on his original idea ;)

 

I've drawn up a plan as mentioned earlier around your extra runaround posited and it does look good. In 4mm:ft it the whole shebang can fit into 20'  with space left over, using six 57' carriages or five MK1's:

 

UPlQJYd.png

 

In 2mmFS the same plan would fit on my wall as a semi-permanent fixture without any issue at all, which does appeal to me even with the cubed cost of N-scale! 

 

 

Phew! I'm always worried when replying in these cases in case it's taken the wrong way....! So, happy to have helped.ere is a bit of variety withe regards trains arriving on scene. 

 

If I look at pre-BR steam then it seems most modern carriages were 57' long? It seems a 6' rule of thumb would work in 4mm and 3' would still be broadly plausible in 2mm. Anything longer than that would have to reside purely in Platform 1 as a special of some sort. 

 

So from what I can gather the backbone of Minories is incredible solid as it pertains to both design and operational work; the question is merely how one adorns it with freight or engine workings.  One one hand a Cannon St. style turntable and engine shed crunched up against the riverside seems very appealing, and on the other a Grand Vitesse freight depot (and associated carriage siding) could operationally give a little more - both of which do have fairly plausible applications and would end up with a very different scene. 

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Your platform that forms the shunt line for the carriage sidings won't fit the 6 coaches and a locomotive so you won't be able to shunt full trains into the carriage sidings, why not swap the right hand point that leads into platform 2 and the slip which then allows two platforms to gain access to your carriage sidings including a full length train without costing you any platforms or lines in the station.

 

I would also say too much plain line between the slip and the three-way point as well.

 

Use the spare space to increase the length of your platforms so that trains don't go right to the end of the platform, looks better that way.

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Hi,

I suspect that over the years CJF's Minories may have inspired more layouts than any other plan. I first encountered it when the newsagent delivered my April 1957 Railway Modeller (the order for this being part of my pocket money). The basic idea of a station in a cramped urban setting is sound and the track plan seemed to allow for plenty of operation in it's original form yet allowed scope for expansion/improvement.  I have used it several times over the years. My first was a straight copy built on top of a bookcase that fed onto the model railway at one end of my bedroom (let's be honest the big train set).

As you have proved with your drawings you can take the original idea and add to it.  In my "early adult" modelling I built another as an exhibition layout. This extended the original from 6ft to 10 to increase train lengths and added another platform. The layout fed into hidden sidings beyond the tunnel mouth.  The goods sidings set back trough a short tunnel to a small goods yard in front of the hidden sidings. Very much like the arrangement of your drawing above but only using plain points.  I called the layout " Princess Lane" as I operated the passenger side as a small version of Glasgow Queen Street.

All strength to your project and I shall watch progress with interest.

 

best wishes,

 

Ian

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Hi Woodenhead, that was most definitely just a pastiche to show the overall platform lengths, etc. I would most certainly run the lower siding down the full length of the layout - as you can see there's a bunch of room all around. I've shuffled around a bit as you can see below, but really I was just using it to elaborate the trackplan rather than the specifics. I think given the choice I would set the whole layout on arches (like Cannon St, London Bridge SECR,etc.) and have that Grande Vitesse style continental freight depot infront of the fiddle yard: i.e. grand plans but ultimately ending up as an infrequently used area for perishables and an overflow carriage/loco stabling area.

 

LtpGFsf.png

 

I visited the Beckenham MRC open day earlier and had a really hard look at their 7mm, 4mm and 2mm layouts and I think that this really does deserve 4mm:ft, but I really don't know how I can justify the practicalities of it - a rake of five mk1's in 4mm looks like a train. The same rake in 2mm looks... not much like a train.

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I think operating Minories would be a great way to while away fifteen minutes.  It was intended to be an inner city terminus with small tank engines and fixed rakes of coaches.  It is also designed to fold in the middle and work with a fiddle yard or as part of a larger layout.   The pointwork is iconic and provides a minimum of reverse curves and is probably the ultimate possible in the space.  The other schemes on here trade length and complexity for little improvement in flexibility though I would look at doing a mirror image so the arrival platform is longer than the departures.

It would be great to model it on a viaduct, but there is a limit to the amount of fun to be had from trains shuttling backwards and forwards, though a train of ECS setting back. into the departure platform as another train arrives would look good, and tender locos backing out and back in would look good but for me it needs to be part of a bigger system.  Maybe with Carriage sidings and an MPD.

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FWIW I've found a problem - the pilot loco can't shunt the carriage roads directly without a runaround. Looks like platform 3 and the siding need to have a connection to make that happen. Replacing the points below the loco spur and the entry into platform one compresses further, but I don't really like the look of it (to say nothing of my ability to build such pointwork!)

 

3raftgg.png

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 a rake of five mk1's in 4mm looks like a train. The same rake in 2mm looks... not much like a train.

 

But, in the context of a 2mm layout it may well do look like a train....?

Edited by scottystitch
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But, in the context of a 2mm layout it may well do look like a train....?

 

You are quite right. I've been thinking about the system diagram for a layout of this kind and wondering if a linear terminus to fiddleyard arrangement is an efficient use of space. In roughly the same length Kirkallanmuir has a through mainline, branch, station, goods yard, engine servicing area, interchange sidings, etc. all by "Ricean" tweaks. Certainly something to consider.

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FWIW I've found a problem - the pilot loco can't shunt the carriage roads directly without a runaround. Looks like platform 3 and the siding need to have a connection to make that happen. Replacing the points below the loco spur and the entry into platform one compresses further, but I don't really like the look of it (to say nothing of my ability to build such pointwork!)

 

 

This is why I was suggesting moving the slip - generally what you want is the train engine to propel the empty stock into the sidings to release it and the pilot can remarshal (if necessary) before drawing the empty stock back into the station platform where another train engine can be attached.

 

The other alternative is the Bradfield way - one of the coach sidings is the arrival/departure road for the sidings and your train engines arrive light, enter the coach arrival/departure siding, the pilot propels stock into the siding to attach to the train engine which then pushes the train back into the platform.

 

A run round may actually decrease operational interest, whereas lots of light engine movements and shunt moves add to interest.

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That makes alot of sense, thank you! 

 

EDIT: to clarify, when my pilot engine remarshalls and pulls stock into the platform road, it's then going to be trapped behind it while the train loco couples up and moves of? Not a problem but just want to understand :)

Edited by Lacathedrale
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I understood (?!) that layouts like Minories worked one of two ways.

 

1) train runs in to Platform 2 (the designated arrival line) and loco decouples.  Replacement loco from siding pulls out stock onto "out" main line and then propels back into Platform 1 and then departs after taking on passengers.  These were likely "tank only" services where the loco from incoming would go for water to the to the loco siding and then do the honours for the next train. All in to Platform 2 and out from Platform 1.  Note shunting (as per Bradfield) would be to the outgoing main line and NOT to the incoming line.

 

2) trains run in to either platform, new loco arrives LE and attaches to draw out.  No need for pilot.  Though of course previous loco (if it was a tank) could simmer in the sidings.  Tender locos have to rattle off LE to the nearest turntable (unless you want grumbling  and black faced drivers on long distance trains?)

 

If you want carriage siding(s) they really ought to be parallel and alongside the main station so the pilot can draw out from the platform and propel into the CS.  Else it becomes trapped as it can propel into the head shunt but is left to draw back into the siding and is trapped since there is nowhere to run round?? Hence carriage sidings usually off scene in areas where land is cheaper and there is space for run rounds etc.

 

Your throat diagram is a little over egged (?) for either way of working since the slips only need to be singles, the upper in favour of P1 to out main and the lower in favour of in to P2/3.  The other routes have alternatives.  Your design allows arrival to 2/3 whilst departure from 1 and departure from 1/2 with arrival to 3.  Unless you want parallel moves (fun if you can control them) the the upper slip could be a single LH point and the extra point at the end of P2 deleted - but keep the lower double slip to provide access all areas.

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Not sure if this is useful but if you haven't found this yet, it might spark some new ideas:

 

In one of the Minories threads I did a version of Minories that would work as a shelf layout (running lines entering near front of board so that traverser has max travel out from the wall) and that largely smoothed out the reverse curves.

 

post-32492-0-03437500-1505861502_thumb.png
 
Scale: 4mm
Size: 4000mm * 400mm
 
The kickback sidings in this version are a goods/milk/parcels/industrial depot where, having drawn into the headshunt, a loco would propel wagons or vans and leave them there for a while. So no problems with locos getting trapped behind coaches!
 
There is an engine release crossover between platforms 1 and 2 but the idea was that this was optional and, if present, would only be useful for small trains while longer ones would still need a second loco to remove the carriages.
 
Something like this, or any Minories-derived design, might be a good plan to model as the London terminus for late Victorian/Edwardian commuter traffic with 4 and 6 wheeled coaches coming in from, say, Caterham. (Just a thought.)
Edited by Harlequin
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That makes alot of sense, thank you! 

 

EDIT: to clarify, when my pilot engine remarshalls and pulls stock into the platform road, it's then going to be trapped behind it while the train loco couples up and moves of? Not a problem but just want to understand :)

That wasn't unknown, but if you use your pilot loco to shunt the ECS to the back of the new train engine which then propels the ECS move into the platform no engines are trapped.

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Looking at other comments I thought I ought to go and watch some of the Bradfield videos again.  This one shows ECS handling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLjYkFkbIZk. I don't know how "prototypical" this is - but it looks impressive and good fun to do.  I had assumed that there was (and I believe there is) enough space for the pilot to run round the ECS having drawn it out into the "Fish Dock" road by pushing back a bit, and then using the crossover on Platform 3 to run round so it could then do a pull into the Branch Siding and a propel into the appropriate Platform.  The process used in the video seems more "efficient".  This process would work fine with your throat, the train loco either waiting in Platform 3 or in the loco lay by before collecting stock that the pilot has pulled out into a head shunt.  However, unlike Bradfield, without the extra parallel Branch Siding with access to all platforms, you would have to pull out and propel back from the main out line, hence blocking all movements.

 

As you have said this needs platforms/ECS sidings to be 5 carriages + main line loco long.  Hence the 12ft overall needed for platform+throat+CS.  I can only have 4 carriage sets (plus an occasional short BG) on my 00 layout (completely dissimilar!).

 

A fascinating subject area and thanks for raising it again.

Edited by imt
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Not sure if this is useful but if you haven't found this yet, it might spark some new ideas:

 

In one of the Minories threads I did a version of Minories that would work as a shelf layout (running lines entering near front of board so that traverser has max travel out from the wall) and that largely smoothed out the reverse curves. ......

 

 

I love Harlequins designs, and this one has raised another thought which might strike you as useful.  Forget ECS and use the traverser idea.  Just align the the top head shunt with line 6 on the traverser.  Using the traverser idea with Peco Loco Lifts to move locos from one end to the other would make it possible to have quite an intensive service.

 

As this stands, the idea won't work because the head shunt is too short.  I am sure there are ways round that provided you are happy with a traverser mechanism 5 feet long.

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The ECS thing seems to depend on how far from the terminus the carriage sidings were/ are.

One of the last UK stations to do traditional loco hauled trains is Inverness. The carriage sidings / Maintenance shed is a few train lengths from the south facing terminal platforms and during infrequent visits over the past 30 years I have watched 08 shunters haul stock out of the terminal roads and away, usually followed at a couple of coach lengths by the train loco which waits at the platform end for the road to be reset to take it to shed.  The carriage sidings are arranged so the shunter pushes the stock back into them.

The Empty stock is then serviced and returned to the platform by either the train loco or an 08 pushing the stock in guided by hand signals from platform staff.

 

Conversely at Paddington in steam days the carriage sidings were several block sections away at OOC so pilot engines pulled ECS into the station and became trapped at the buffers. Absolutely anything from a 57XX or 45XX to a Castle (Possibly even a King but I have never seen evidence of it) was used on ECS in later years. Sometimes the ECS loco was working down to take out a later train especially at busy times which saved a path so either MO is reasonable.

 

My own take is to provide at least one run round facility so off peak services don't need a pilot loco to be on duty, but its your choice how you operate the Minories concept and to a certain extent one with 5 to 8 coach long platforms is going to be a lot more interesting than one struggling to hold 4

Edited by DavidCBroad
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[snip]

 
The kickback sidings in this version are a goods/milk/parcels/industrial depot where, having drawn into the headshunt, a loco would propel wagons or vans and leave them there for a while. So no problems with locos getting trapped behind coaches!
 
[snip]

 

 

But before you propel in, you have got to lose the incoming train's brake van which you don't want in your kickback sidings.  And then you've got to assemble a departing train with the brake at the back, presumably by using the station pilot which will then be trapped against the headshunt buffers until the freight departs behind the train engine.  Same interest / difficulties :O , just in a different order.

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I found operating Sheffield Exchange Mk1 as intended by Cyril Freezer as a busy inner-city terminus great fun.

 

Basing my operating around research I had done on Moorgate the first signaled movement was the arrival of a light engine, now that could be ushered to the loco siding  or allowed to sit in one of the platforms. I had 11 trains on the traverser and would work them from siding 1 to number 11 so no real time table. These would be a mix of DMUs and loco hauled suburban coaches. With the arrival of the first loco hauled train the light engine would be coupled up to the country end of the train. On departure the loco left down by the buffers would trundle off to the loco siding and wait the next loco hauled train. There were times when there would be two loco hauled trains in the station. When the loco of the first train was released it would simply drop back on to the second train. At odd times all three platforms would have loco hauled trains and another loco was required, in the real world this would be factored in and the nearby shed would send another light engine. At other times I would have two locos without trains and there was only room for one loco in the loco siding, so one would be dispatched back to the shed (for servicing). It was known for me to clear off the DMUs and make the session all loco hauled and I would race against the clock in turning the trains around, quite an intensive service.

 

Liverpool Street in the days of the Jazz service operated on a very similar routine, it has been said that when the EMUs replaced the steam trains it took longer to turn a train around due to the speed of the driver walking the length of the platform from one cab to the other end.

 

On occasions I would have a parcels train or a perishables van train. I am not one for too much shunting so the van train would have a brake van each end. Otherwise it was all passenger. Many large cities had huge goods yards just on the city edge where the passenger station would be just inside the city limits and rarely see a freight train.

 

I find with the Minories style layouts when people start to add goods yards, too big an engine facility and run round loops they end up being an urban version of the branch line terminus.

Edited by Clive Mortimore
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