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Burton-on-Trent South - Upper Level Tracklaying


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9 minutes ago, 47137 said:

I decided to remove the springs, but I then put the little covers back, and I'm now thinking the turnouts look better without the covers.

Richard,

 

I put the little plastic covers back for 2 reasons; first it makes the sleeper the correct thickness (its visibly a bit thin without the cover), and secondly the tongue rails do slide over the top of the little cover. If the cover is missing there is a 'chance' (?) that the tongue rail movement might be impaired.

 

However, I'll take your thoughts on-board, and investigate when I get to by next turnout installation.

 

----------------------------------------

 

Going back to the tongue rails moving longitudinally when the spring is missing, oh yes very true. The 2 I've installed have ~0.5mm of movement already and that's without any traffic or vibration. They push back nicely, but I'll be keeping an eye on them with a view to adding a 0.5mm packer next between the tiebar and the sleeper to prevent this happening. My only concern is this could lead to increased friction on the tiebar reducing operational reliability. Have you experienced this?

 

Ian

 

Ian

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I haven't noticed any friction in my tiebars. I am hoping, with a shim each side of the tiebar I won't get scraps of ballast jamming things up.

 

I expect the sides of the tiebar are slightly rounded and not flat, so there won't be much contact area. Unfortunately I would have to remove a tiebar to be sure, and this isn't practical.

 

- Richard.

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Rail Cleaning

 

Much has been written (and re-written) on the subject of rail cleaning:rtfm:. Myself, with quite a fleet of traction-tyre fitted locomotives, suffer from the dreaded 'black blobs' that appear on the railhead:O.

 

In order to make rail cleaning as easy as possible:good:, I knocked up the tool shown below. Operation is as simple as pushing it along the railhead. Cleaning efficiency is enhanced with a few sprays of IPA on the green pad.

 

For less 'abrasive' cleaning, the green pad can be easy unclipped, using the the 2 dog-clips, and be replaced with a cloth. Some underlay foam can be used between the tool and the cloth to provide a little 'give' if necessary.

 

20201004_114047_resize.jpg.92bf61ec512d98e04323cb3056f7ea07.jpg

 

It should also be useful to remove paint from the railhead after application of weathering to the track. I'll just use a cloth sprayed with paint thinner. It should work ... but that's something for next year.

 

Ian

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Upper Level Baseboards - Going Round the a Bend

 

A few posting ago (last Friday to be precise) I showed some photos of the Upper Level Baseboard tracklaying being connected onto the 3-Track Ramp at Baseboard B/C. I would have liked to complete the 3-track Ramp across Baseboard C, but the lack of LH turnouts in stock means I have to carry on elsewhere:angry:.

 

I have therefore re-installed Upper Level Baseboard C, which then allows me to extend the 2-track Ramp tracks across Baseboard C and D (and part of E as well actually), before I encounter more turnouts I don't have in stock:read:.

 

Yes, yes, the turnouts are on order, and have been since mid-July, but they have still not arrived:ireful:. As an aside, it's really frustrating to go into Rails of Sheffield and be told your Order has not been completed despite there being loads of the same turnouts hanging on the wall, none of which are available for sale:crazy:.

 

Anyway, below is a photo, taken from a similar advantage point to my previous related posting, showing Upper Level Baseboard C now back in position. As before, the tracks have been annotated for your ease of comprehension:good:. The 2-track Ramp tracks have been extended onto Baseboard C and are currently being glued down, hence the provision of 'map pins' (installation of which entails the use of a small hammer to get them into the baseboard plywood:haha:). The 3-track Ramp tracks appear through the opening designed into the framework of Baseboard C.

20201004_170234_resize.jpg.352f6dd71270279696930d8c3f2ce9f5.jpg

 

I've recently changed to 'map pins' from my previous method of using heavy weights with the load distributed by a plank of timber while the glue sets. The reason being I can more accurately position the track, especially in curves:danced:. I have the alignment (the sleeper edge) marked onto the underlay (using my box of 'railway curves' and a 1m straight edge) and so it's a simply matter of 'following the line' and knocking in the 'map pins'. Now, it's easy to 'tweak' the alignment as the glue dries as I have full access to the track, something the previous method did not allow. Lesson learnt.

 

Ian

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How Long?

 

With the Ramp tracks completed, I wondered how long it would take for a locomotive to get from the top of the 2-track Ramp to the top of the 3-track Ramp:huh:. To answer this question a Bachmann Class 45 on light engine was pressed into service. Running down the 2-track Ramp, around the Lower Level, and back up the 3-track Ramp took around 2-minutes on a 'moderate' throttle. At 'full' throttle the distance was covered in around 1 minute 30 seconds.

 

Based on this, I'd estimate that once the Upper Level tracks are completed, a full circuit will take around 3-minutes to complete. The layout may be a 'tail chaser', but there will be a suitably long wait between passing trains.

 

Ian

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Upper Level Baseboards - Finally, some Turnouts

 

This has taken some effort, involving driving to several model railway shops to get the turnouts I need for the Upper Level Baseboards:read:. There is still quite a shortage of Peco turnouts (and track) around my area with most shops very low on stock and unable to obtain the stock they request:crazy:. My guess is that the issue is nation-wide. Still, I've managed to locate 38 out of the total of 42 needed. Hopefully, the remaining 4 can be obtained before the end of this year. 

20201008_203256_resize.jpg.a6a6dadab931826c57e72c737d63b02c.jpg

 

I can now make progress across Baseboard E, which includes quite a complicated junction at the south end of the station platform. This mirrors the actual track layout that existed up until the late 1960s. 

1433952836_20201008-modelrailwayPlan50-FinalV1_0028_resize.jpg.c6a8e70fffc6eb23ee39c4da2dc29803.jpg

 

Ian

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Ian, have you thought about moving cars or lorries on your layout? It looks like you have room for almost any kind of street scene, from a country lane to a section of dual carriageway. I've ordered up one of those Magnorail bicycle kits in the hope I can shoe-horn something into "Shelf Marshes".

 

- Richard.

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2 hours ago, 47137 said:

Ian, have you thought about moving cars or lorries on your layout?

Richard,

 

It's not something I'd considered. I've not planned out the scenery yet, but my initial thoughts are that there will be a number of disconnected lengths of road, not enough to warrant a Magnorail system. Plus, to install the magnorail my understanding is that you need to recess the track into the top of the baseboards, which might be a tad difficult on built baseboards. And the final real problem is that I have 10 joints in the baseboards that the magnorail could not cross. Nice system though.

 

Ian

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

Upper Level Baseboards - Tracklaying

 

Following the arrival of some turnouts:danced:, I've finally made some progress across Baseboard E where the main junction at the south end of the station is located. In a previous posting I showed a plan of the junction:read:.

 

Well, that has now been installed, along with the platform tracks (including the Bay platform [1]), the through Slow Lines, and the sidings to the East of the station.

 

[1] - The Bay platform was removed towards the end of the 1960s and a much simpler layout resulted. However, I wanted to keep the Bay platform due to its operational interest:senile:.

 

Here's a couple of photos of the installation:

View looking North towards the station:

P1140525_resize.JPG.1137d08b4a2ac50312ac61e54ff8e627.JPG

 

View looking South from the station:P1140524_resize.JPG.cd6785d325ba70c8e4cf202d4de3156f.JPG

 

All the droppers were installed, including on each turnout, along with a wire to power the turnout frogs. Although not strictly necessary, the Peco Code-100 single slips (insulfrog) have also been wired as electrofrog as this gives me the possibility to replace the plastic crossing nose with a 'metal' one later if this proves necessary.

 

The Peco Code-100 equal split (SL-E99) proved to be a real oddity from an electrical standpoint. The back of the packet includes the usual information on how to wire it for a separately powered frog:rtfm:, but the intermediate rails between the tongue rails and the crossing were continuous. There was no 'gap' with the obligatory jumper wire on the rail foot to remove. I introduced the necessary gap by cutting the intermediate rails in the same position as for an electrofrog medium radius turnout.

 

All the turnouts were treated to a bit of 'beautification' with the extended sleepers at the switch toe cut back to standard length. I've done the same on the single slips, but left some of the connecting plastic at the ends as this seems necessary to retain the sleeper spacing at the tiebars. I might be able to remove that bit later once the glue has set.

 

Ian

 

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Looking good, the outline of the station is begining to emerge. By the time you have ballasted and weathered the track I doubt you will notice or even think about the fact it is code 100. If I was starting again I would not bother moving to code 75, the difference visually that I see between the two types is negligible.  

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1 hour ago, young37215 said:

Looking good, the outline of the station is begining to emerge.

Rob,

 

Thanks, it was nice to finally get some track down and see the 'plan' slowly emerge. I'd have liked the station platform to be longer, but that is as long as I can make it given the limits of the room length.

 

I was also pleased with the junction installation at the south of the platform. I spent days wiring, drilling and assembling before I committed to gluing the track down. Even then I had to plan the exact sequence of gluing to allow for installation in a series of sub-assemblies. All that work paid off though, as the track is well aligned without any visible kinks. I went with a one-shot gluing session for the whole junction to give me the best chance of getting it all adjusted and aligned.

 

I have now completed the 4 mainline curves across Baseboard F, and managed to incorporate 1mm of cant / superelevation into the curves. Still a long way to go though ...

 

Ian

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2 hours ago, young37215 said:

... I doubt you will notice or even think about the fact it is code 100. If I was starting again I would not bother moving to code 75, the difference visually that I see between the two types is negligible.  

Rob,

 

An interesting observation. I don't actually own any Code-75 so I can't do my own comparison. Sometimes I do think Code-100 'looks' a bit too high, but that's only under close scrutiny.

 

However, all of this is 'above my pay grade', as they say. From my viewpoint, I had to go with Code-100 for 2 simple reasons; I have a lot of old Lima locos, wagons, & coaches with their 'famous' pizza-cutter wheels that are only suited to Code-100, and Peco doesn't make all the turnout geometries I need in Code-75 (well, not yet).

 

Ian

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Upper Level Baseboards - Tracklaying

 

As tracklaying continues 'south' from the station across Upper Baseboards F & G, I'm planning ahead:read: for the arrival of the plain line Mainline tracks at the main junction on Baseboards I & J, the Leicester Line Junction, in a few days.

 

The Leicester Line Junction is a major 'feature':senile: of the layout and gives access between the two Leicester Line Tracks and the four Mainlines. It also provides access to the Brewery Sidings and the MPD. It's a complicated junction [1]:rtfm:, made worse by the presence of join between Baseboards I & J:angry:. Location of the junction in relation to this joint is rather important:yes:.

 

[1] - Actually, the junction has been 'simplified' from that in existence at the end of the 1960s, but the main features have been retained. Even as 'simplified', it still includes three single-slips and three double-slips:paint:.

 

I have pre-assembled the entire junction onto the trackplan including locating all the droppers, 'beautifying' the turnouts, and converting them to all to frog polarity power (including the insulfrog slips). It's looks like this ...

 

View looking 'south':

20201018_210210_resize.jpg.69475e7c8a960a38314744186e1998d9.jpg

 

View looking 'north':

20201018_210256.xar_resize.jpg.f71cd2e9eaa5d1b6fbb0e7dc7bd581a1.jpg

 

The Mainline Tracks are arranged as Up Relief / Up Main / Down Main / Down Relief, when looking 'north'.

 

The next task will be to solder on all the droppers. There's quite a few as I put droppers on all turnouts and each piece of plain line:

20201018_210409_resize.jpg.0bd519e4034db589961aefbfc1e213b3.jpg

 

and then to mark out and drill all the necessary baseboard holes for these droppers and the under-board point motors (servos) in readiness for final tracklaying / gluing once the plain line reaches this point.

 

Making good progress finally ....:danced:

 

Ian

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Mimic Panel for Single Slips

 

When I built the Lower Levels, this included a pair of double-slips which, in tandem with other turnouts, provided 4 crossovers. Once I had got my head around the fact that you could think of a double-slip as a pair of turnouts installed toe-to-toe:yes:, this became easy to wire up as crossovers and produce the necessary mimic panel:read:. You can see more details in posting: 

 

On the Upper Level Baseboards, the Leicester Line Junction includes both double and single slips:O. This lead me to wonder how to wire and mimic a single slip:huh:. Various fiddlings around with a 'crossover' formed of a pair of single slips wasn't getting me anywhere, and my head started to hurt:ireful:.

 

I eventually realised that a single slip can be represented as a pair of turnouts with the 'straight track' for each turnout forming the diamond:danced:. This is easily shown as below:

slips.jpg.32c218c74f737dd5f87e23292b326dbf.jpg

 

With that little 'challenge' sorted I feel a bit more confident to tackle the wiring and mimic panel for the Leicester Line Junction.

 

Ian

slips.jpg

Edited by ISW
Mimic replaced by Equivalent in the diagram.
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19 minutes ago, ISW said:

Mimic Panel for Single Slips

 

When I built the Lower Levels, this included a pair of double-slips which, in tandem with other turnouts, provided 4 crossovers. Once I had got my head around the fact that you could think of a double-slip as a pair of turnouts installed toe-to-toe:yes:, this became easy to wire up as crossovers and produce the necessary mimic panel:read:. You can see more details in posting: 

 

On the Upper Level Baseboards, the Leicester Line Junction includes both double and single slips:O. This lead me to wonder how to wire and mimic a single slip:huh:. Various fiddlings around with a 'crossover' formed of a pair of single slips wasn't getting me anywhere, and my head started to hurt:ireful:.

 

I eventually realised that a single slip can be represented as a pair of turnouts with the 'straight track' for each turnout forming the diamond:danced:. This is easily shown as below:

slips.jpg.be1c3b1582f770450c25c7dc3a541125.jpg

 

With that little 'challenge' sorted I feel a bit more confident to tackle the wiring and mimic panel for the Leicester Line Junction.

 

Ian

 

Hi Ian,

 

Doesn't the inconsistent representation of similar track formations with very different mimic diagrams worry you? (It's making my teeth itch just looking at it! :wink_mini: )

 

Technically speaking, a train travelling through the double slip from west to east will encounter the facing red points before the trailing orange but the diagram shows something different...

 

Using the idea you've come up with for the single slip on the double as well would be more correct and more consistent (but would admittedly place a lot of buttons and lights in close proximity).

 

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1 hour ago, Harlequin said:

Doesn't the inconsistent representation of similar track formations with very different mimic diagrams worry you? (It's making my teeth itch just looking at it! :wink_mini: )

Phil,

 

Itchy teeth eh, is that another Covid19 symptom :sarcastichand:??

 

Agreed the representation is a little jarring:angry:, but it's a necessary step to understand how to think of a single slip for wiring purposes. Maybe I should have used 'Equivalent' instead of 'mimic':sorry:.

 

My current mimic for a double slip is as follows:

2020-10-23_165951.jpg.4f0381f4ebf5b09ec43c7bd9e0900c1f.jpg

For crossovers 101A/B and 102A/B pressing the relevant blue button selects either the straight track or the crossover road. I can't use the same mimic for a single slip as some routes are not valid.

 

Following on from my previous posting, one idea for the single slip is as follows. Pretend that the slip on the Southbound is a single slip this time:

2020-10-23_170857.jpg.6af60bec7456942d4c16eb5a3cafe699.jpg

 

This time, pressing the Blue button for 101 crossover would cycle the 2 green and 2 cyan LEDs. For 102 crossover the button would cycle the 2 green and 2 yellow LEDs.

 

Well, something like that. Now my teeth hurt just trying to think each combination through:crazy:! However, I still think there is something amiss / incorrect / wrong somewhere. For one thing, trains have to be able to use the Northbound straight while the slip on the Southbound is being used for a crossover.

 

Hopefully there's a nice 'simple' and elegant solution out there, but I'm not there yet!

 

Ian

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3 hours ago, ISW said:

Hopefully there's a nice 'simple' and elegant solution out there, but I'm not there yet!

After Phils' comments I've made a concerted effort to try and understand how to wire and operate single-slips to come up with a reasonably 'elegant' solution to the mimic panel conundrum.

 

And here it is, or at least my first good stab at it. This is the Leicester Line Junction, where the 2 Leicester Lines diverge off the Down Slow & Down Fast Lines. It provides:

  • A crossover from the Down Fast to Down Slow
  • Access from the Brewery Sidings to the Down Fast & Down Slow
  • Access to the Brewery Sidings to/from the Leicester Lines (there is a trailing crossover just off the top of the diagram) 
  • Access to the Brewery Sidings to/from the Up Fast & Up Slow 
  • Access to the Brewery Sidings to/from the MPD 
  • Access to the Leicester Line from the Down Fast & Down Slow
  • Access from the Leicester Line to the Up Fast & Up Slow

ll.jpg.ca71c9da396fa858eceb75363c83172c.jpg

 

It seems the whole junction can be reduced to 8 push button operation:danced:.

 

Ian

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12 hours ago, ISW said:

After Phils' comments I've made a concerted effort to try and understand how to wire and operate single-slips to come up with a reasonably 'elegant' solution to the mimic panel conundrum.

 

And here it is, or at least my first good stab at it. This is the Leicester Line Junction, where the 2 Leicester Lines diverge off the Down Slow & Down Fast Lines. It provides:

  • A crossover from the Down Fast to Down Slow
  • Access from the Brewery Sidings to the Down Fast & Down Slow
  • Access to the Brewery Sidings to/from the Leicester Lines (there is a trailing crossover just off the top of the diagram) 
  • Access to the Brewery Sidings to/from the Up Fast & Up Slow 
  • Access to the Brewery Sidings to/from the MPD 
  • Access to the Leicester Line from the Down Fast & Down Slow
  • Access from the Leicester Line to the Up Fast & Up Slow

ll.jpg.ca71c9da396fa858eceb75363c83172c.jpg

 

It seems the whole junction can be reduced to 8 push button operation:danced:.

 

Ian

 

Quick thought:

 

You have two lights close together on many of the slip turning routes. I think that's because you want to show the states of the two sets of points at either end because they could be different, am I right?

 

If so, you could simplify the panel by using just one light and making it only light up when state1 AND state2 are set using a simple diode AND gate.

 

That has pros and cons but it would simplify the board a bit.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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12 hours ago, ISW said:

It seems the whole junction can be reduced to 8 push button operation:danced:.

Not quite. :-(

Assuming each button sets one route through the layout, wherever you have ‘and’ that’s two buttons.  Then you also need one for each straight through route.  I make it 15 excluding the Leicester line crossover, 17 including.

Treating them as a mixture of crossovers and single end points I think I can get it down to 9.  But I think that will put you back in your ‘it’s confusing on the mimic’ state.

Paul.

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29 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

You have two lights close together on many of the slip turning routes. I think that's because you want to show the states of the two sets of points at either end because they could be different, am I right?

Phil,

 

You got that spot on:yes:. If I only have a single light for one of the pair of servos, I can't tell if it's opposite LED has failed. The only way I know for sure is when both lights are unlit.

 

30 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

If so, you could simplify the panel by using just one light and making it only light up when state1 AND state2 are set using a simple diode AND gate.

 

Hmmm, that's a new definition of 'simplify' I wasn't previous aware of :crazy:(with credit to THHGTTG). I'll have to research that a bit further before I can understand and/or see how to actually wire it. You need to remember that the MegaPoints controller, I'll be using, drives the pair of LEDs (for a single servo location) using 3-wires and it's the polarity of the common wire that causes an LED to light:rtfm:.

30 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

That has pros and cons but it would simplify the board a bit.

 

Agreed, it would simplify the panel, but the underlying circuity gets a bit more complicated. As I am generally pushed for space under the panel for the little PCB that carry the LEDs and push buttons (see previous posting), I am concerned I will not be able to make it work. I'll be giving a go though!:good: Good job I have a breadboard to try out these things.

 

Ian

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30 minutes ago, 5BarVT said:

Not quite. :-(

Assuming each button sets one route through the layout,

Paul,

 

You are making assumptions of my abilities that are way above my capabilities!:picknose: Push button route setting (aka NX panels) well exceed my knowledge. Rather, each of the buttons simply (?) operate the pair of servos for that double / single slip or crossover, nothing more complicated that that:read:.

 

So, to set the route from the Brewery to the Leicester Lines :senile:I could need to press up to 6 buttons (depending on how they are already set) such that the LEDs all light along that route, more if I wanted to provide 'flank protection' on other routes!

 

It's not that I'm against route setting, and I'm aware that MegaPoints does do a product for such capabilities, but it's not currently 'on my radar' as they say. A project for the future me thinks.

 

Ian

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Ooops

 

Having installed the Leicester Line Junction on Baseboard J (see previous postings) I thought I should transfer the Leicester Lines alignment to the baseboards. Oh dear ...:cray_mini2:

 

When I built the baseboards I used an alignment to cut and slope the Leicester Lines above the surrounding area. Subsequently, I discovered that the crossover I had on the Leicester Lines straddled the joint between Baseboard J & Baseboard A. Something had to be done:yes:. So, I proceeded to 'adjust' the geometry of the crossover such that it symmetrically straddled the baseboard joint and only plain track actually crossed the joint. Job done.:danced:

 

When I transferred the Leicester Lines alignment to the baseboard the tracks 'missed' the raised bit of the baseboard due to me re-aligning it.:ireful:

 

A fix (I'd use the word 'bodge' but I gather from other RMWeb postings that it is Trademarked ...:haha:) was in order comprising a new saw cut through Baseboard A, adjacent to the raised section, and the additional sliver of baseboard (~30mm wide tapering to nothing) was raised up and glued / nailed / cleated into position. Once the additional underlay is installed you will not be able to see the joint.

 

Crisis averted.:heat:

 

Ian

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Upper Level Baseboards - Leicester Line Junction

 

After many days of preparation the Leicester Line Junction has been installed and glued into place:danced:. The preparation work was really worthwhile as the gluing, aligning, and pinning down went without a hitch. I do like it when a plan comes together and the whole process is stress-free:yes:.

 

What you can't see in the photo is the joint between Baseboard I & J where I preinstalled brass screws for soldering to the underside of the rails, including between 2 slips.

20201024_110300_resize.jpg.be7807e50b804eef08b2fd6ac4adfd0c.jpg

 

Ian

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Upper Level Baseboards - Mainlines Complete

 

A few more days tracklaying on the Upper Level baseboards has seen completion of the Mainlines and the twin-track Leicester Line:good:. The Leicester Line Junction has been finished off by the addition of the crossover on the Leicester Lines.

 

Leicester Line Junction looking 'south':

20201029_102959_resize.jpg.4bd01abb37f830b88ad35135a84bfd92.jpg

 

Mainlines adjacent to the MPD looking 'north':

20201029_103050_resize.jpg.8460d89e0e0a62a012558664c74a300b.jpg

 

I had bought a box of Peco concrete sleepered track for the two Mainlines, but found I had enough to do the Leicester Lines as well. That's fairly prototypical for the Burton-on-Trent area and so I'm pleased with the outcome, especially as I only have 2 short scraps of concrete sleepered track left! :danced:

 

That just leaves me with two areas to complete, the MPD and the Brewery Sidings, all in timber sleepered track.:read:

 

Ian

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