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Trinity Road - 4'x2' urban project in N Gauge


nharding99
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So what does one do on the eve of a royal wedding with the wife and daughter out and setting up a celebration tea party? One reveals one's plans for a small N gauge layout.

 

I have never managed to complete a layout, my attempts have always been somewhat half-hearted or over-ambitious. Without further ado, the plan is below.

 

post-3567-0-69942400-1526668915_thumb.jpg

 

This is unashamedly based upon/inspired by Steve Farmer's excellent Lymebrook Yard. The track plan is pretty much identical. His layout is beautifully executed and if I can come up with a first layout that is 50% as good then I'll be happy. There will be some differences though...

 

  • The layout will be set in the transition era ca 1961-1966
  • The layout will not be based upon an actual location but the intention is to have a cross-city branch line feel, hinting at a south Manchester location without ever explicitly being so.
  • I'm toying with the idea of using overhead catenary for the mainline to add some interest with "Electric trains stop here" signs and as an excuse for diesel traffic (to access the non-electrified goods yard).
  • Alot of the traffic will be cross city DMUs and, whenever my ambitions and skills grow, I'd like to try to represent some class 304 EMUs.
  • On the electric front, a couple of Class 86s will be backdated and will manage cross city empty coaching stock or parcels services (it's probably a bit unrealistic to have a class 86 pulling a 3 coach express).
  • Steam locos will be lingering with a Fairburn 2-6-4 tank, couple of 3MTs and a few others.
  • There will be plenty of green diesels making an appearance too.

Why does building this layout appeal to me?

  • I grew up in south Cheshire where a train ride to Manchester was the ultimate excitement!
  • The layout will be a manageable size and hopefully it won't be too daunting.
  • I already have a fair amount of rolling stock that will be suitable

 

Things I'm a bit worried about

  • Carpentry! I have the baseboard assembled but adding the elevated sections and backscene will be a challenge for me
  • The stream. How easy is it to countersink a stream into a flat baseboard? Will it be worth the effort?
  • Drilling accurate holes for Cobalt point motors. I know, I should get one of their template kits.

The name?

I'm thinking about calling the layout 'Trinity Road' (to me it just sounds like every city should have a Trinity Road and for some reason the quasi religious feel appeals to me).

 

Any comments or questions are welcome!

 

Thanks

Nigel H

Edited by nharding99
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Hello Nigel

Firstly how flattered I am that you want to copy Lymebrook Yard. It would be interesting to see another persons take on it especially if your going to add the wires.

I did think about electrifying Lymebrook so could run my 309 and my 323 that I ran on shaweport. But settled for backdating it to the 70s.

Don’t know if your going to DEMU Showcase but the week after at Armitage near Stafford there’s the Midland Small layout show and Lymebrook is going to be there. Your welcome to come and have a go to get the feel of how it works and you could poke your head underneath to see how the brook was let in and I can show you that you don’t need to be a whizz at the elevated sections carpentry wise.

If your going to do some 304 units I would love one as I used to enjoy riding about in them between Manchester and Stafford.

Thanks Steve.

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Hello Nigel

Firstly how flattered I am that you want to copy Lymebrook Yard. It would be interesting to see another persons take on it especially if your going to add the wires.

I did think about electrifying Lymebrook so could run my 309 and my 323 that I ran on shaweport. But settled for backdating it to the 70s.

Don’t know if your going to DEMU Showcase but the week after at Armitage near Stafford there’s the Midland Small layout show and Lymebrook is going to be there. Your welcome to come and have a go to get the feel of how it works and you could poke your head underneath to see how the brook was let in and I can show you that you don’t need to be a whizz at the elevated sections carpentry wise.

If your going to do some 304 units I would love one as I used to enjoy riding about in them between Manchester and Stafford.

Thanks Steve.

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement Steve. I'm more of a Southerner these days so Burton and Stafford would be a bit of a hike for me. I'm really looking forward to seeing Lymebrook Yard in the flesh though, I'm sure it will happen, I'm sure you'll be invited to TINGS or Warley before too long. Thank you for your kind offer of letting me have a look in detail. For now, perhaps you can let me know how high your high level roads are above the baseboard, just to give me an idea? I assume that the backscene is flexible MDF or similar. I think the next stage is for me to try out some cardboard templates to get an idea of fit.

 

I have got as far as trying out a full size version of the trackplan on the baseboard as below.

 

I probably won't slavishly reproduce the goods yard. I may have a traditional goods building with track serving it and maybe ayard crane vehicle to load/unload conflats on one of the other sidings and I'm thinking of maybe a furniture factory building somewhere to justify the conflat traffic.

 

post-3567-0-88149900-1526744795_thumb.jpg

 

post-3567-0-51236900-1526744742_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks again

Nigel H

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Nigel

Looking good like the pics.

The upper level is 40 mm as this is the thickness of wood I had for the spacer blocks. Both my upper scenic sections are removable if it all goes wrong in the fiddle yard and also for maintenance. If your going to use set track on the curves you can get two small sidings at either end in the fiddle yard by using PECO set track points as the curve they give is equal to first radius. The siding length will hold a 121 DMUor the like. It may be worth thinking about using set track points in the fiddle yard as it will give you more roads. Lymebrook uses set track points operated by finger poke as they are right in front of you. The backscene is as you say bendy MDF.

Lymebrook Yard will be at Warley this year.

Thanks

Steve.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's always reassuring (and a relief!) when you complete a circuit... Track laying has begun.

 

post-3567-0-91970600-1527720613_thumb.jpg

 

post-3567-0-88566100-1527720655_thumb.jpg

 

I have used electrofrog points (rather than your suggested set track points Steve) because I had a couple of small wheel base locos that stalled on the insul frogs. In the long run that would irritate me so I'm reasonably happy to sacrifice a bit of space.

 

I am actually a small R/H point short so that will be added to the fiddle yard in due course. There are a few niggles to sort out, there's a distinct dip in the middle of the code 55 point and it causes my class 40 to derail. I think I'd like to ease out the station curve slightly, it looks a little bit flat and eventually ends up as quite a sharp curve. There's space to nudge it out by a cm or two and I'll have a resulting hidden curve that isn't quite so much on the limits of tightness. I did sort out another derailment spot where a fishplate hadn't engaged properly. Had plenty of fun testing it. The fiddle yard really needs a lip (crash barrier) on the outer edge of the board as the track is quite close to the edge!

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A bit late now, as you have started laying track.

 

But I think it would be better in mirror image so that the crossover is trailing not facing.

 

Otherwise, a very neat layout plan.

 

Edit: Silly me! It's not a crossover but entrance to the goods yard. Still, same applies, it should really be trailing rather than ffacing.

Edited by Joseph_Pestell
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  • 5 weeks later...

Most of the track-laying has now been completed...

 

post-3567-0-35403600-1530315422_thumb.jpg

 

Since last time I have adjusted some of the curves. On the viewing side I felt that track was too close to the baseboard edge and didn't look right. I'm happier with it now. I've been doing lots of track testing with all locos. The only one that has problems is my new Farish class 40 which derails at some of the frogs (it seems to be the outer bogie wheels that slip off. I haven't measured the B2Bs yet, there is alot of play in those wheels. Apart from that everything is running pretty smoothly.

 

In parallel (and because it's starting to be a pain to change the points which are fitted with Cobalt motors but no switches yet) I have started to build a control panel. It's a bit OTT for such a small layout, I could have used some much smaller switches but I've always wanted to try a signal lever arrangement so I'm using Cobalt S lever switches. The wiring needs to be tidied up a bit, rest assured that I have documented what goes in/out of the baseboard connector. The wiring was quite a challenge for this beginner. Eventually I want to add LEDs to a control panel diagram.

 

post-3567-0-78681000-1530316251_thumb.jpg

 

post-3567-0-91353400-1530316384_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

More of the track work has been completed. Tonight I have been soak testing (aka playing trains...)

 


You may notice a trio of the new class B Tanks by RevolutioN trains. These are as close to perfection in N gauge as you can get, they are beautifully crafted items.

 

I have also made progress on the design of the mimic panel.

 

post-3567-0-01839400-1531516204_thumb.jpg

 

Next job there will be to add the LEDs for route indication. That's something I've never done before so before too long I'll be ordering and playing with LEDs, holders and resistors.

 

Thanks

Edited by nharding99
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  • 2 months later...

I'm not one of those modellers that seem to make very quick progress but I have moved things forward.

 

I have started to ballast the track. Most of the viewing side is covered though alot of tidying up and re-applying to missed parts is required. That has been a learning curve, early efforts were a bit of a mess (I think I didn't soak the ballast enough prior to dropping the glue on). I have also slightly over ballasted in the sense that I probably laid it a little bit deep. I have trying to lessen that effect by tidying and scraping away with a dentist's pick (it is both painstaking and relaxing at the same time).

 

post-3567-0-11125300-1536921075_thumb.jpg

 

 

The station platform is coming along. This is made from PECO brick platform sides with PECO paving on top.  I had issues bending the platform sides, they seemed quite brittle and tended to snap (even after heating them up by soaking in boiling water) but I got something resembling the right shape in the end. The sides have been pre-painted. The top still needs the filler to be tidied up with some gentle sanding and is still to be painted.

 

post-3567-0-52229300-1536920960_thumb.jpg

 

I think that's all for now!

Edited by nharding99
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Seems good to me Nigel...

 

There can't be many of us who didn't think that ballasting seemed messy to begin with, but you end up with a system that works for you and gets much tidier as you go on. The depth seems fine from here.

I notch the rear rails of the platform edging every 10-15mm on the upper and lower rails with a slitting disc, and bend each section gently.. They will sit and follow a curve easily then... ( Have still snapped a few that way as well )

 

Progress is what it is, for all sorts of reasons i suppose. I know I'll get a fair bit done in the next few weeks, and then other things will get in the way for a while. 

 

Thanks for posting 

 

Regards - Steve

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Hi Nigel,

 

I love the plan - shows N gauge at its best in my opinion, small, manageable but with superb operating potential. Looks like you're making excellent progress and that ballasting looks fine to me! It is always a messy job but can be very quickly cleaned up if there are any issues and waeathering/painting of the track has helped me cover a multitude of sins in the past!

 

Keep on sharing and carry on the good work!

David

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Seems good to me Nigel...

 

There can't be many of us who didn't think that ballasting seemed messy to begin with, but you end up with a system that works for you and gets much tidier as you go on. The depth seems fine from here.

I notch the rear rails of the platform edging every 10-15mm on the upper and lower rails with a slitting disc, and bend each section gently.. They will sit and follow a curve easily then... ( Have still snapped a few that way as well )

 

Progress is what it is, for all sorts of reasons i suppose. I know I'll get a fair bit done in the next few weeks, and then other things will get in the way for a while. 

 

Thanks for posting 

 

Regards - Steve

Ballasting - I'm showing off the best bit here. Other bits are alot rougher with some clumps in evidence so I'll be working on those. Thanks for the comments and encouragement!

Edited by nharding99
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Hi Nigel,

 

I love the plan - shows N gauge at its best in my opinion, small, manageable but with superb operating potential. Looks like you're making excellent progress and that ballasting looks fine to me! It is always a messy job but can be very quickly cleaned up if there are any issues and waeathering/painting of the track has helped me cover a multitude of sins in the past!

 

Keep on sharing and carry on the good work!

David

I can't take credit for the plan (see http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/112891-lymebrook-yard/) but the idea is that I can watch trains roll by if I wish or dabble with some shunting if I fancy a different kind of operation. There is hopefully a bit of interest in having a situation where the double track becomes single line beyond the station so we will be able to see trains having to wait for others to pass. Thanks for the reassuring comments about ballasting.

Edited by nharding99
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  • 2 weeks later...

!post-3567-0-15771600-1537792125_thumb.jpg

 

With most of the ballasting completed (though still some tidying up to be done) thoughts are turning to one of the hidden sections. I have put together an elevated section which is 3mm ply cut to approximate shape and braced with balsa strips. For now this is posed on some wooden blocks which haven't yet been squared off properly. The top needs to be semi-removable (in case of in tunnel problems). I'd welcome hints here. What does everyone else use to do this? Just some screws into wooden blocks?

 

The Metcalfe wall is representative, it will be used at the other side of the layout. I used it here to test the height. This section may just have a bespoke retaining wall made of matching Metcalfe brick. The height seems about right (53mm high to street level, 50mm for the blocks and 3mm for the width of the ply).

 

The station platform is quite narrow so I'm thinking that a bus stop style shelter will be used and we will then see steps up to a small booking hall at street level. My inspiration for that will be Small Heath station in Birmingham (see www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/Stations/small_heath.php)  although my track layout is, of course, a bit different so I'll only need one staircase.

 

The brass buffers on the Class 20 are a sign that it has been dropped and repaired!

 

Thanks!

Edited by nharding99
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Looking good

On Lymebrook Yard i used blocks as you have but I’ve fastened three blocks by glue and screw to the top upper deck. On the bottom of these blocks a hole 6 mm was drilled and a sawn off threaded part of a bolt was araldited in but protruding out about 15 mm worth of thread so when passed through a corresponding hole in the baseboard it can be secured with a 6mm wing nut the other blocks that you haven’t modified can be glued screwed to the baseboard as they won’t need to be removed. When you need to remove the upper deck undo the wing nuts and lift it off. Hope the above makes sense.

 

Thanks Steve

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Looking good

On Lymebrook Yard i used blocks as you have but I’ve fastened three blocks by glue and screw to the top upper deck. On the bottom of these blocks a hole 6 mm was drilled and a sawn off threaded part of a bolt was araldited in but protruding out about 15 mm worth of thread so when passed through a corresponding hole in the baseboard it can be secured with a 6mm wing nut the other blocks that you haven’t modified can be glued screwed to the baseboard as they won’t need to be removed. When you need to remove the upper deck undo the wing nuts and lift it off. Hope the above makes sense.

 

Thanks Steve

Thanks Steve, that's very useful to know. The other thought I had was to maybe attach a small flat base to each support block (sticking out) which would have a hole in it which could then accomodate a screw and wing nut. Your method would be more compact (and possibly a stronger solution).

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post-3567-0-44556000-1537968840_thumb.jpg

 

A little bit more development, some tidying up of ballast in the 2 sidings in the centre of the image. I have created a mockup of the booking hall. It seemed a tad overscale to me (at the time of the photo) but I have since drawn on some lintels. I think the windows need to be dropped down a bit. Overall height of the structure is comparable to a Scalescenes island platform building and by my calculations scales to around 3m in 1:1 so I think it's just window placement that needs improving. I have some Brassmasters windows for the actual construction. I plan to use PECO brick sheets for the walls. I've never scratch built anything before so fingers crossed!

 

I hadn't run any trains since doing alot of cosmetic work, I have completed some more wiring and given one of the DMUs a run around. It's still pretty smooth after all of my ballast laying efforts so that's good news!

Edited by nharding99
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been working on some of the building structures...

 

post-3567-0-47060200-1539109063_thumb.jpg

 

On the left is the Goods shed. Like my muse (Lymebrook Yard see http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/112891-lymebrook-yard/?p=3194391) I have used the Kestrel kit, painted into LMR 1960s colours with added gutters, drain pipes and signage (see also below). This is the first time that I have successfully created a mortar effect on brickwork that I am reasonably happy with. I thought I was going to botch it at one point but hit upon the formula of using fine white filler to infill the mortar colour then tried dry brushing the brick colours (some of which looked very inconsistent) but with a few repeated applications and then treating the whole thing with a few thin dirty washes it all came together. Phew. The roof still needs some subtle shades of weathering and there's a few bits of paintwork to be touched up.

 

To the right is my scratch build station booking hall that will sit above the station bridge. Early days for that one, the cutting out of parts is teaching me patience! Alan Downes standard it is not but hopefully it will head in the right direction and I'll end up with something a little bit different.

 

post-3567-0-43597100-1539109730_thumb.jpg

 

There's also a signal box in production.

 

That's all for now :-)

Edited by nharding99
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post-3567-0-34382200-1539125846_thumb.jpg

 

Here we have the aforementioned signal box and a test fit of pieces for the station booking hall.

 

The signal box is almost finished. It just needs a bit more toning down of the brick work and a few details added in places. This box is based upon the Knightwing model but I thought that the original small windows panes were a bit on the thick side so I took them out, retaining the top level vents (I think that's what they are), and added finer brass windows from a Ratio detailing kit.

 

Time for bed now!

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Good evening everyone!

 

On my workbench tonight...

 

I have made progress on the station building. It still needs some detailing (adding of drain pipes, some paintwork such as the main doors) but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It took a long time (probably 10 or more hours) but I have something which is unique and fits the location. It was much harder to get the brick coursework looking right on this building. The posters cover a multitude of sins.  It might be a while before I scratch build my next building! I do need to add a Gents toilet to the left. That will be a simple 4 wall facility, probably without a roof.

 

post-3567-0-32013300-1539376545_thumb.jpg

 

I have been looking at how I lay everything out on the over-the-station section so here is a trial fit...

 

post-3567-0-59838100-1539376905_thumb.jpg

 

I'm not 100% convinced by the cobblestones (Scalescenes). The contrast seems to be quite high and a bit monochrome, I may try some tinting in Photoshop. I have really changed mediums for the moment and am using Scalescenes roads with mounting card to get a feel of how it will all fit together. I need to come up with a good vanishing point on the left as that road will hit the backscene. Does anyone have any particularly good examples of how this can be done well in a city scene?

 

Right at the front of this scene as you look at it will be a couple of terraced houses (with their backs to the current perspective if you see what I mean). On the right is the baseboard edge at the viewing side.

 

I think there will be a zebra crossing, it's perhaps not in the right place yet. The pavement is just a trial and will need to be extended. I plan to mount the station building on a pavement section too.

 

Thanks for reading!

Edited by nharding99
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Looking good

like the station building excellent work.The other buildings look good as well. For cobblestones you could try Redutex ones as they have texture as well and in my opinion look very good.

Backscene wise have a look at Townscene Backscenes theres one that has a busy scene going into a background. Ive used them before on other layouts. 

Keep on scratchbuilding as it makes a unique model look at your station building and practice makes perfect.

 

thanks steve

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Looking good

like the station building excellent work.The other buildings look good as well. For cobblestones you could try Redutex ones as they have texture as well and in my opinion look very good.

Backscene wise have a look at Townscene Backscenes theres one that has a busy scene going into a background. Ive used them before on other layouts.

Keep on scratchbuilding as it makes a unique model look at your station building and practice makes perfect.

 

thanks steve

Thanks Steve. Redutex- that's a good idea. Never used it but I've seen that others use it so I'll give that a try. I do have the Townscenes town/city rooftops scene already. I'll have to dig that out and see how the roads fit in. Thanks again for the hints. Edited by nharding99
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The station forecourt is taking shape now. The Redutex sheet arrived and for me really looks the part. It's expensive so I wouldn't want to use it for large expanses (I am building this layout on a budget where possible) but it does a great job for the station area. The station has had a gents toilet added (scratchbuilt using brick sheets and platform edging for the wall capping). The bus stop island has a temporary bus stop sign tacked in place.

 

post-3567-0-72144100-1539892054_thumb.jpg

 

post-3567-0-73248800-1539892761_thumb.jpg

 

I'm not sure if I will persist with the Scalescenes roads. They may look alot better when properly glued down and blended in. I'm wondering if it would be easier to just paint the road surfaces or maybe use some painted fine grit paper. Maybe I could cut out and use elements from Scalescenes such as the zebra crossing and give-way signs. I'll maybe do some experimenting there.

 

The left hand upper section has now been mapped out and pavements glued into place. Just a reminder that this area sits above the station platforms. My thinking is to complete the station and upper section first, then move on to the other side of the layout. Hopefully it will be more fun and motivational to see distinct zones completed in reasonable detail before tackling the next job.

 

post-3567-0-87672700-1539892835_thumb.jpg

 

 

In many ways I'm finding that building a layout is like watching 'The Martian' (or reading the book if you are of a more literary bent). You have to solve one problem, then sort out the next challenge, then if you keep going you end up with a successful outcome. Next challenges for the layout are:

 

  • Sorting out auto uncoupling. I have some small neodymium magnets which I have tried fitting between sleepers in conjunction with Dapol EasyShunt couplings. So far the magnets are too strong so I may try burying them deeper in the baseboard
  • Building an NBrass catenary overhead gantry. I've never worked with etches before. It's going okay, I'll probably share that in a future update.

I think that's all for now. Thanks for your interest!

 

post-3567-0-72144100-1539892054_thumb.jpg

post-3567-0-73248800-1539892761_thumb.jpg

post-3567-0-87672700-1539892835_thumb.jpg

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Nice update Nigel

 

You can get a realistic road surface by spraying Halfords grey primer onto a well prepared surface, and then mist some matt black sideways across the top and let it fall on...

 

Fair bit of masking required if the roadbed is already down I know, don't overdo the black, road will still look mid to dark grey.

 

Stencil and or watercolor pencil white / yellow lines, if stencilling use a virtually dry brush so as not to flood.

 

A test piece is probably best to see if your happy with the results. Picked it up from books and mags, I cut a fine stencil for the centre lines and used the scalescenes downloads to make stencils for the larger junction arrows... Other methods available, keep up the good work...

 

Regards - Steve

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