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Max Legroom

Strachur - BR blue in the West Highlands

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I've been planning a layout based on Strachur on the shores of Loch Fyne for some time. It's based on St Catherines by Ian Futers, with a similar trackplan, and assumes that the line from Arrochar ran onwards from St Catherines to Strachur where it connected with the ferry service.

 

Thanks to a protracted house move I haven't been able to start the actual layout construction so I've put the time to use on planning and a few small scale projects.

 

Here is the signal box (recently repainted blue/white) inspired by Ken Gibbon's Port Pennan and a slightly reconfigured Wills hut.

 

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I think I may end up building a larger signal box but this one will do initially.

 

A couple of smaller huts:

 

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Rust is the order of the day! Finally the station canopy which will attach to a storm wall.

 

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Period is mid to late 1970s run-down BR blue though I may use a bit of licence to keep the odd van of fish running. I also plan to run early 1970s and early 1980s stock occasionally.

 

All the best 

 

Max

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Thanks Yorkshire Pud. While the delay in getting started has been frustrating I have been able to do a few smaller bits and pieces. Here are a couple of the excellent Lanarkshire buffer stops. One LNER and one BR standard.

 

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Next up is a Peco plastic buffer stop that doesn't look too bad attached to bullhead track. 

 

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I'm also thinking of using DCC for the first time. I've got the same feelings of trepidation that I had when I switched from vinyl to CDs back in the 90s! It was the thought of SLW 24009 with full sound that prompted the change.

 

Max

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Here are a few bits and pieces to go around the loading dock. Hopefully the fish crates and old rowing boat will give a suitable loch side flavour.

 

post-14541-0-19571300-1528128206.jpg

 

Next a few items for the station.

 

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I drove along the rough course of the route recently and it would've been one heck of a climb up to Rest and Be Thankful! I imagine there would have been a passing station and couple of engineers sidings there. Further down the line would be a station at Cairndow with a siding and another station at St Catherine's. 

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The station building is Peco and I think it looks the part. The intended line was to be a light railway so I wanted something that would fit that scenario but still look substantial enough to go alongside the canopy and storm wall. It will go across the buffer stops at the left-hand edge of the layout so I've modelled it in half relief.

 

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After a bit of thought I went for a cream finish with brown trim. I think white and blue might be a bit bright for this outpost. At some point it's going to be weathered to reflect the exposed location.

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Progress at last! I ordered three baseboards from White Rose to speed things up. If I'm honest, I've never quite managed to master using a jigsaw so this seemed to be a good way of getting things moving quickly. Here are a few pix while I was playing around with some track and stock. This should give a good idea of the track plan.

 

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Looks like some nicely weathered stock there. First train running before Christmas you think?

Possibly, though this is my first dcc layout so I've got to get to grips with that side of things. I've been building the stock up for a while so should be good to go on that front.

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I've managed to make some progress over the weekend. The wiring is in and it all seems to work! Here is 27037 testing the pointwork.

 

post-14541-0-68047500-1544978434.jpg

 

Points are Peco code 75 and the plain track is bullhead.

 

A couple more shots with a few structures in position.

 

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Next up is to paint and weather the plain track and construct a few Lanarkshire buffer stops.

 

All the best 

 

Max

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post-14541-0-12558200-1545849636_thumb.jpg

 

Ah the joy of Christmas! So I was going to spend a few hours painting and weathering track. Instead I started running trains and I suddenly realised what DCC is all about! Look the drivers cab light is on! Felt like a kid at Christmas for the first time in many years.

 

post-14541-0-55600800-1545849667_thumb.jpg

 

Merry Christmas all.

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Layout looking very good and following with interest.

 

What size is your layout and please could we see a track plan?

 

Regards

 

Mark

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https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gifIMG_0307.jpg

 

Ah the joy of Christmas! So I was going to spend a few hours painting and weathering track. Instead I started running trains and I suddenly realised what DCC is all about! Look the drivers cab light is on! Felt like a kid at Christmas for the first time in many years.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gifIMG_0309.jpg

 

Merry Christmas all.

Good for you . Having fun is what it’s all about . Looking forward to seeing how you get on with this .

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Layout looking very good and following with interest.

 

What size is your layout and please could we see a track plan?

 

Regards

 

Mark

Hi Mark

 

Scenic section is 8 foot by 14 inches and the fiddle yard is 4 foot long so maximum train length is a type 2, two coaches and a parcels van. I'll draw up a trackplan shortly. There is no run-round so all stock has to be shunted. The excuse for this arrangement is that the station was intended to be a passing station but funds to continue the line south dried up. 

 

Anyway, on with painting the track if I don't get distracted by the joys of DCC.

 

Max

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Hi Mark

 

Scenic section is 8 foot by 14 inches and the fiddle yard is 4 foot long so maximum train length is a type 2, two coaches and a parcels van. I'll draw up a trackplan shortly. There is no run-round so all stock has to be shunted. The excuse for this arrangement is that the station was intended to be a passing station but funds to continue the line south dried up. 

 

Anyway, on with painting the track if I don't get distracted by the joys of DCC.

 

Max

Thanks Max for your reply.

 

Looking forward to more updates and photos, as your layout progresses.

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post-14541-0-92833200-1546347531_thumb.jpg

 

A quick snap of one of the excellent Lanarkshire NBR buffers. I replaced the cast metal beam with a wooden beam. 

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Here is a quick sketch of the trackplan. As you can see there is no loop though I'm pretty sure BR would have added a loop and removed a siding when installing RETB in the mid 80s (in my alternative reality!).

 

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Traffic will be sparse. The railcar will do three round trips from Arrochar each day and there will be a through train from Glasgow that arrives in the morning and stables over until late afternoon. Add a daily freight and the odd engineers train and that's about it though the usual Rule 1 applies! The lack of a loop at Strachur justifies a dedicated engine for pilot and local work and I think a class 20 will fit the bill.

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Here is a quick sketch of the trackplan. As you can see there is no loop though I'm pretty sure BR would have added a loop and removed a siding when installing RETB in the mid 80s (in my alternative reality!).

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0335.jpg

 

Traffic will be sparse. The railcar will do three round trips from Arrochar each day and there will be a through train from Glasgow that arrives in the morning and stables over until late afternoon. Add a daily freight and the odd engineers train and that's about it though the usual Rule 1 applies! The lack of a loop at Strachur justifies a dedicated engine for pilot and local work and I think a class 20 will fit the bill.

Max, thanks for posting a track plan.

 

Good luck with the build and will be following with interest.

 

Cheers

 

Mark

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Thanks Mark

 

I'm currently painting and weathering the track a few feet a day to avoid rushing things and making a mess. There is more track than I'm used to on previous layouts but I think it's worth the effort with the Peco bullhead.

 

After that my plan is to fit the back scene, then ballast and then onto the fun things - scenery and buildings. Plus a few mark 1s to detail and renumber. Lots to keep me busy.

 

All the best

 

Max

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This looks like a very interesting project and great work so far. Look forward to seeing more progress.

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The final two buffer stops are in place.

 

post-14541-0-70755300-1548175519_thumb.jpg

 

These are both Lanarkshire NBR stops and really help with the local atmosphere. The left-hand one has a stained timber beam and the one on the right is based on a prototype at Spean Bridge where the wooden beam has been replaced by a couple of rails. I think the white paint will need to be weathered a bit.

 

And now to my least favourite task of all - ballasting! I'm determined not to rush it and make a mess.

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The chore of ballasting is over! I did the usual ballast in place/spray with water and washing up liquid/add dilute PVA with an eyedropper method and it hasn't turned out too badly. Didn't gum up the points though the track sides needed quite a bit of cleaning up of stray bits of Woodland Scenics fine ballast.

 

IMG_0380.jpg.5bcbcc84c7b9f59961db80eef0001992.jpg

 

The track and sleepers were painted and weathered before ballasting. I think it looks quite good on the sidings but the track in the station has some PVA residue on top of the sleepers and will need a bit more work.

 

IMG_0381.jpg.27cd738591eb0f0378fe28e230000a3a.jpg

 

I'm going to tidy up the ballast and add plenty of weeds etc when I do the ground cover later. Hopefully everything should blend in nicely. Next step is to finish the back-scene and make sure everything still works!

 

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