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Burton-on-Trent South - Upper Level Tracklaying


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7 hours ago, ISW said:

Just follow the design drawing ...

Heard that before (in the 12” world).  I wish you success.

Paul.

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3 hours ago, 5BarVT said:

Heard that before (in the 12” world).  I wish you success.

Paul.

Paul,

 

When I was working on 1:1 scale railways we always followed the Drawings:boast:, unless it didn't fit. Then we'd just change the Drawing to suit reality ...:laugh:

 

So to make our railway models more 'realistic', shouldn't we follow the same philosophy:sarcastichand:

 

And don't forget, there are always the 'as-builts' to capture all those little things where changes were made ....:paint:

 

 

 

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A staggering effort on the baseboards! I really admire the workmanship and the patience. Far too many layouts like this don’t make the final journey to become a model railway, so really nice to see so much progress. 
 

I’m looking forward to seeing some blue and grey trains in the not too distant future!

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3 hours ago, 61656 said:

A staggering effort on the baseboards! I really admire the workmanship and the patience. Far too many layouts like this don’t make the final journey to become a model railway, so really nice to see so much progress. 
 

I’m looking forward to seeing some blue and grey trains in the not too distant future!

61656,

 

Thanks very much for the complement. Yes, it has been a bit of a mission to get the Upper Level baseboard support system into position. I think that having a detailed drawing / plan for the model railway has helped a lot:read:. I knew from the beginning that it was going to take years to build, but that was the point. I've got the time to pursue this build and I've no self-imposed deadlines to meet. As people on RMWeb always say, it's a hobby and it has to be enjoyable:imsohappy:. To date, the experience has been about what I was expecting.

 

I'm currently in the process of 'test fitting' the actual Upper Level baseboards, which is going reasonably well. Of course there are one of two 'issues' to resolve:stop: but nothing insurmountable has cropped up - yet. One baseboard (Baseboard B) turned out to be a little heavier than the others due to the raised track on 12mm plywood:training:. I think that it'll need a lot of holes cutting into that plywood it to reduce the weight.

 

The Blue and Grey rolling stock has been packed away while baseboard construction has been in progress to avoid any damage. Due to my assumed timeframe for the model railway (~mid-1970s) a few Green locomotives will be 'permitted', and even some 'large logo' Class 56s:good:.

 

It may not be common knowledge, but pairs of Hymeks (Class 35) used to turn up on coal trains from the south to/from Drakelow power station in the same timeframe, so that's another 'excuse' for other rolling stock:yes:. However, at present the finances are being spent on the layout itself ...

 

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2 hours ago, ISW said:

I knew from the beginning that it was going to take years to build, but that was the point. I've got the time to pursue this build and I've no self-imposed deadlines to meet. As people on RMWeb always say, it's a hobby and it has to be enjoyable.
 

...a few Green locomotives will be 'permitted', and even some 'large logo' Class 56s.

 

 

 

This is how I think of my approach, except in reality I really want the railway to work. I’m happy to take my time over the scenery, but I do like to run trains. I admire your ability to keep taking your time when you could be cutting a few corners and getting something moving. 
 

Period wise I thought I was flexible in saying September ‘86, without tying myself down to an actual day! But double headed Hymeks and LL56s...this is far too serious a hobby to enjoy yourself!

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12 hours ago, 61656 said:

This is how I think of my approach, except in reality I really want the railway to work. I’m happy to take my time over the scenery, but I do like to run trains. I admire your ability to keep taking your time when you could be cutting a few corners and getting something moving. 
 

Period wise I thought I was flexible in saying September ‘86, without tying myself down to an actual day! But double headed Hymeks and LL56s...this is far too serious a hobby to enjoy yourself!

In essence I 'cheated' at bit:wink_mini:. I built the Lower Level baseboards and designed it so that there was 1 continuous loop on that level, just so I could get some trains running. That gave me the time to build the Ramp tracks while still having a few trains moving.

 

Only then did I finalise the Upper Level baseboards and start their construction. Now, of course, I 'can' still operate trains on the Lower Level, but there is too much risk of damage from falling tools and other such objects. However, it shouldn't take too long to get the Upper Level baseboards into their final configuration and allow some trains back on the Lower Levels.

 

As well has pairs of Hymeks one year, we had some Summer in the early 1970s when a Summer Saturdays northbound NE/SW train was Class 52 Western hauled as far as Derby:clapping:. I still have my Lima Class 52 from ~1981, so their's no excuse for not converting it to DCC, fitting Kadees, installing a cab interior, fitting tail / headcode lights and getting it running. Another little project for the future:taunt:.

 

 

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Upper Level Baseboards - Installed

 

Finally, the baseboards are in position on the support framework and have been bolted together:heat:. One of the main holdups has been the connections to/from the Ramp tracks. I didn't incorporate the design for these connections into the SketchUp drawing so I was 'making it up on the hoof', but I was following the same design language / methods. One of the connections I had to do twice:sorry: as my first attempt, although it did work was actually impossible to install:mad_mini:. The second attempt was much neater and practical.

 

Here is a single panoramic view from the doorway of the Upper Level baseboards. Please note that because it's a 180-degree field of view the baseboards in the foreground are distorted, and the edge is really straight - honest gov

20200710_174056.jpg.b41e832eede51f37e647a959825c3dfd.jpg

 

You can see one Ramp track connection appearing in the upper-right and the other disappears through the opening top-left (after the series of holes ...). Them there holes were added (can you 'add' holes:nono:) to make that baseboard (Baseboard B) a bit lighter.

 

The next job will be to remove all the Upper Level baseboards again, take them back down to the garage, and get them all sanded and painted in grey undercoat ...

 

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39 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

Superb work, Ian.
You must be really excited at the prospect of laying track on the top level!

 

Phil,

 

Well I would be if I could actually buy the turnouts :banghead:... It seems that Peco turnouts are out-of-stock at most of the usual suppliers. I presume COVID19 caused them to reduce their output and it's taking a while for them to catch up.

 

In the meantime, I've still plenty of others tasks to complete:read:. One of them is to use the Upper Level baseboard support framework to fashion some much needed 'additional' support to the curved elements of the Ramp tracks. It's also a good use of the timber 'offcuts' from the baseboard construction:good:.

 

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14 hours ago, ISW said:

Phil,

 

Well I would be if I could actually buy the turnouts... It seems that Peco turnouts are out-of-stock at most of the usual suppliers. I presume COVID19 caused them to reduce their output and it's taking a while for them to catch up.

 


My local model shop told me they’ve never sold anything like as much track as they have in the past few weeks. It seems that suddenly a lot of people found they had some time on their hands....

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5 hours ago, 61656 said:


My local model shop told me they’ve never sold anything like as much track as they have in the past few weeks. It seems that suddenly a lot of people found they had some time on their hands....

Typical, Sods Law applies once again:nono:. Looks like I'll have to wait a short while to allow Peco time to catch up on their back orders:bb:.

 

Fingers crossed it will be business as usual by about mid-August:sarcastic:. In the meantime I can keep myself occupied ironing out those little issues that I know we eventually come back to bite me later, such as very limited clearances:paint:. They maybe fine now (by which I mean there is a few millimetres gap:O) but baseboards and track move very slightly ...

 

 

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2 hours ago, ISW said:

Typical, Sods Law applies once again:nono:. Looks like I'll have to wait a short while to allow Peco time to catch up on their back orders:bb:.

 

Fingers crossed it will be business as usual by about mid-August:sarcastic:. In the meantime I can keep myself occupied ironing out those little issues that I know we eventually come back to bite me later, such as very limited clearances:paint:. They maybe fine now (by which I mean there is a few millimetres gap:O) but baseboards and track move very slightly ...

 

 


I made a list of all the jobs I could do in lockdown assuming no shops or deliveries were possible.  It’s inconceivable that lockdown will last long enough! I am very happy to have my wiring done, but sorting fiddle yard pointwork is definitely going to go on hold until ebay prices are at least less than double the RRP...

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Upper Level Baseboards

 

Been waiting for the paint to dry:boredom:. Not the most exciting step in the construction of the Upper Level baseboards, but no less important nonetheless. Am waiting a few extra days this time. Lesson learnt:rtfm:.

 

When I did the Lower Level baseboards I assembled them together only a day or so after painting. Yes, the paint was touch 'dry', but not fully dry. When I came to loosen the connections between the baseboards they were 'glued' together by the paint:banghead:. It took quite a bit of effort to get them apart.

 

Baseboards drying:

20200719_100711_resize.jpg.2989d54e4d4cb250e896d97f9b849c05.jpg

 

As usual, I used 'battleship' grey undercoat to 'seal' the baseboard surface. The whole underside is left unpainted.

 

In other news, the turnouts for the Upper Level baseboards have been ordered:good: but I'll have to wait a week or so for Rails of Sheffield to fulfil the order. I'm sure other establishments could have been used, but they are local to me and I can easily collect, saving on postage.

 

While I was waiting, I've cleaned all the tracks on the Lower Level and the Ramps while I have good access. I found that a Scotch 'green pad' wrapped over a small piece of plywood and sprayed with isopropol worked very well. I just need to give the same tracks the 'once over' with the hoover to remove any dust and debris from Upper Level baseboard construction.

 

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Fixing Ramp Tracks

 

While I still have good access to the Ramp tracks, which will be 'covered' by the Upper Level baseboards, I thought it would be a good idea to fix the 'sagging' of the Ramp tracks on the curves.

 

As you may recall from previous posts:read:, I have the Ramp tracks in segments that align with the baseboard joints in the Upper & Lower baseboards. As a result I have nice straight elements and, more troublesome, curved elements. These are all affixed by M6 nuts / tee-bolts as shown below:

20200721_214126_resize.jpg.7083ae7da59667eec11ba5686e72af45.jpg

 

I thought this would be enough, which they are on straight elements, but this has not proven to be true on the curved elements. These 'sagged' rather a lot due to the off-axis loading (you try holding a long curved track in the air just by the ends :no:). Up till now this has been resolved :nono: by a short timber prop off the Lower baseboards. However, a more permanent solution was always an aim.

 

Now I have the baseboard support structure in place for the Upper Level baseboards I decided to use that to fashion a more permanent solution to the 'sagging' curved Ramp track elements. So, keeping it nice and simple :yes: I've added a mid-curve support 'finger' off the perimeter timber framework, as follows:

20200721_214259_resize.jpg.88f067786e4876d4cdd81e80c7ec5b7f.jpg

 

This seems to have solved the problem, and the Ramp tracks are now a much more consistent gradient::danced:

20200721_214239_resize.jpg.ae6c3421af26dc609ba84f90e1b30c3f.jpg

 

You might also notice that the baseboards are a bit cleaner. They have all been hoovered while I have good access.

 

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Upper Level Baseboards - Track Underlay

 

I really have that feeling the deja vu:haha:. I'm proceeding with the installation of the track underlay. As before (see Ramp tracks & Lower Level baseboards) I'm using 3mm thick Vitrex "Underlay for Wood & Laminate Flooring" adhered with PVA glue. I'm still using my original 10-sq-m roll, and really hoping there is enough. I don't want to be having to look for another roll when I'll only need a little bit of it to finish the Upper Level baseboards.

 

The only major difference this time is that I plan to 'trim' the track underlay to roughly 5mm from the sleeper ends (once the track is laid of course) at a ~45-degree angle. I'm hoping that that will reduce the amount of ballast needed, as there will only need to be a thin covering of the ballast slope, and also reduce the noise transmission to the baseboards through the glued ballast. Between tracks I'll leave the underlay continuous. Where 2 tracks converge / diverge, at turnouts for example, the ballast / underlay will be continuous until the track centres are 65mm, equivalent to 5m at 1:1 scale. At least that's the plan:rtfm:.

 

Underlay gluing in progress, although spotting grey underlay under bricks & timber spreaders on grey painted baseboards can be challenging:nono::

1371721953_NewPanorama1_resize.jpg.4b3e182a3d1a987fc421fcd2e59764d2.jpg

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3 hours ago, Bluemonkey presents.... said:

BlueMonkey

 

Thanks for the link, it may prove invaluable if (when?:mad_mini:) my existing roll of underlay runs out!

 

"... Identical to Diall ..." it says. I'll have to look that up as well, just in case. In all my visits to B&Q I've not seen such underlay in their shops. I wonder if they do a small roll?

 

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4 hours ago, Bluemonkey presents.... said:

BlueMonkey,

 

Hmmm, self-adhesive. Hadn't noticed that at the first read. It's probably okay, but I've been using PVA up to now without issue, and that allows it to be 'moved' to properly position before the glue dries. I'll not have that option with the self-adhesive material.

 

Now you've got me checking the interweb, I think I might be more inclined to use the Vitrex 'folding' sheet underlay; same area but a bit cheaper. Found that at https://www.screwfix.com/p/vitrex-fan-fold-underlay-board-9-6m/9035h (again, just a previous satisfied customer). I'd just need to check if it's the same "material".

 

 

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On 01/05/2019 at 20:10, ISW said:

Lower Level - Mimic Panel

 

*snip*

 

The only problem I've noticed is that the LEDs are rather bright, much brighter than those that came from MegaPoints themselves. I'll have to see if I can introduce a suitable additional resistor into the LED cables (there is no space on the small veroboard units) by, hopefully, putting the resistor right at the plug. If anyone has a better / easier way to add the resistor I'd be please to hear as I will have to do this on ~30 cables.

 

A while ago err:yes:, over a year ago it seems, I commented that the LEDs on my mimic panel are a bit too bright. In fact if you look directly down on the panel you can't even see the schematic track layout because the LEDs are so bright:aggressive:.

 

As I have to do this 33-times, I had to find a simple remedial measure, and so here it is. One track on the veroboard has to be cut and this is then bridged with a 4.7k resistor. The choice of resistor size was a bit arbitrary as it only had to reduce the glare.

 

20200725_195117_resize.jpg.253bd12eb26d9aaf4c0d2142b1c7601c.jpg

 

Great, that's one down 32 more to go :O. Whilst I only have 10 of the 4.7k resistors in stock some more have been ordered from TheBay.

 

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1 hour ago, ISW said:

A while ago err:yes:, over a year ago it seems, I commented that the LEDs on my mimic panel are a bit too bright. In fact if you look directly down on the panel you can't even see the schematic track layout because the LEDs are so bright:aggressive:.

 

As I have to do this 33-times, I had to find a simple remedial measure, and so here it is. One track on the veroboard has to be cut and this is then bridged with a 4.7k resistor. The choice of resistor size was a bit arbitrary as it only had to reduce the glare.

 

20200725_195117_resize.jpg.253bd12eb26d9aaf4c0d2142b1c7601c.jpg

 

Great, that's one down 32 more to go :O. Whilst I only have 10 of the 4.7k resistors in stock some more have been ordered from TheBay.

 

Ian,

I admire your electronic wizardry. I'm ok with DC wiring, route setting with diodes etc but I don't think I'd have the patience to do the same job across 33 boards.

 

Glad you have found a solution to the over-bright LEDs though.

 

Martyn.

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10 hours ago, Signaller69 said:

Ian,

I admire your electronic wizardry. I'm ok with DC wiring, route setting with diodes etc but I don't think I'd have the patience to do the same job across 33 boards.

 

Glad you have found a solution to the over-bright LEDs though.

 

Martyn.

Martyn,

 

It may look complicated but, like most things, its quite simple really:yes:. What does help is have a decent soldering iron. I wouldn't put mine in that classification but I do find it capable of most soldering jobs. It has 2 nice features; firstly the cable is very flexible (I'd guess it's silicone based) meaning the cable doesn't affect the handling of the tip, and secondly it's power adjustable from 10w to 60w in 10w increments. The little red button cycles through the power settings. I generally have it set on 30w, but I find 50w necessary for lead-free solder.

20200727_094328_resize.jpg.76e8582fb471e933a11d863fbd8bd6f6.jpg

 

Here's what the manual has to say about the suitability of the power settings:rtfm:.

image.png.e84a166e2aa3a59a3c982de2fa05d4c3.png

 

If anyone is interested:nono:, the soldering iron is a "Young Shin Electric Ltd." Model No.1060, made in Taiwan. And, yes, it's 110v. I bought it in Taiwan over 15-years ago.

 

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Lower Level - Mimic Panel

 

My supply of 4.7k resistors has arrived from TheBay :yes:and so I set to fitting some more of the resistors. I've now completed the LH part of the mimic panel, and the difference is quite marked:danced:, as you can see below:

20200731_204633_resize.jpg.1fd9dfd4995658cd716e5aeb970492f6.jpg

 

In other 'news', I have been progressing with the track underlay of the Upper Level baseboards. Unfortunately, my 10m2 roll of underlay has proved to be insufficient:mad_mini:, which is a real shame. I had to 'bite the bullet' and buy another 10m2 roll of 'Vitrex Unison Plus', knowing that I'll probably only use about 25% of it. Anyone found 'other' uses for the underlay, short of laying some flooring of course! Any other uses on the model railway?

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love the planning and organisation here!

 

Y'know, it'd be quite straightforward to draw up those modular stripboard point controller modules and get them cheaply made as PCBs. Possible new product for Mr MegaPoints as I'm sure many others would like the same control system.

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9 hours ago, BusDriverMan said:

I love the planning and organisation here!

 

Y'know, it'd be quite straightforward to draw up those modular stripboard point controller modules and get them cheaply made as PCBs. Possible new product for Mr MegaPoints as I'm sure many others would like the same control system.

Thank you for the compliments. I spent my entire working life on railway 'projects' so planning comes naturally these days. It's one of those 'good' habits that is hard to shake.

 

I think you'd find each railway modeller has different ideas / arrangements and application of a common module might be hard to apply. Myself, I enjoy the building of little veroboards, with the exception of cutting them out in the first place! It gives such flexibility whilst keeping things tidy.

 

Ian

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold

Ian, I am installing my point servos in similar 15 mm U-section aluminium, and having a terrible time trying to set them up to drive the points.

 

My main problem is, there is far too much up-and-down movement of the piano wire. If the wire is long enough to go through the tie-bar in the neutral position, the wire extends 4 mm or so above the tie bar at the end stops - enough to foul a Kadee coupler.

 

I have a 6 mm ply track bed and I am suspecting the fulcrum in the aluminium is simply too close to the tie bar. Does this sound likely? I am feeling a sense of exasperation coming on.

 

- Richard.

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  • ISW changed the title to Burton-on-Trent South - Upper Level Tracklaying

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