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Heath Town - New Beginnings . . .


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Evening All,

 

I have been pontificating on others' threads for some time now, so I thought I ought to put my head above the parapet with what I have been doing.

 

Heath Town was the name of a terminal station layout that my father started with me almost 50 years ago. We started a second layout after moving house four years later (which I replaced with a roundy roundy) and since then I have had two other attempts in different houses modifying and cutting down the original boards. None of these got much further than the track laying stage. All the boards had been cut down so much that a new start was required so lots of new ideas (to me) are being tried out: plywood baseboards, Tortoise point motors, computer controlled signalling and DCC for starters.

Please join me for the ride bringing Heath Town back to life . . .

 

Edited by 5BarVT
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Heath Town is more or less the C J Freezer Minories layout with the added parcels depot but bent round a curve.

 

post-27044-0-16823200-1529959726_thumb.jpg

 

The top two boards are the scenic section, the lower three are the hidden sidings.

 

Paul.

Edited by 5BarVT
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L

 

Heath Town is more or less the C J Freezer Minories layout with the added parcels depot but bent round a curve.

 

attachicon.gifHT Full.jpg

 

The top two boards are the scenic section, the lower three are the hidden sidings.

 

Paul.

Looks really good.  

 

There is a Heath Town in Wolverhampton near here! 

 

All the best with the layout!

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Well this looks interesting, but just one suggestion. Would it be possible to make the returning loop going into the parcels siding go into the two main platform roads, similar to Waverly west on here, so you could get a continuous run.

The layout could still look like a terminus by having an overall roof to disguise the circular nature of the layout.

I think this would allow to keep a train circling whilst shunting sidings etc. Also sometimes it's nice to watch the trains go by.

 

All the best

 

Nik

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Ivebeen thinking of doing something very similar. What are the dimensions?

Overall about 10’4”x7’6”. Scenic is 21” wide. The longer alternating lines below the scenic boards are 1’ and the shorter are 3”. The lump out of the top left is to fit round an old chimney breast and the gap bottom right is to allow the door to open just enough to squeeze past.

The longest platform will take 4x64’ Mk1 or Mk2 plus loco top and tail, the run round is good for 3x64’ clear of the Point work. In the hidden sidings, the bottom one (longest) will get loco plus 4 on the straight with just enough for the second loco’s bogie to straighten up for coupling. Parcels next up as GUV and BG are just that little bit shorter. Loco plus 3 on the next up, 3car DMU fits on the curved centre siding. Two short roads bottom left are for DPU and Bubble car.

Paul.

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Well this looks interesting, but just one suggestion. Would it be possible to make the returning loop going into the parcels siding go into the two main platform roads, similar to Waverly west on here, so you could get a continuous run.

The layout could still look like a terminus by having an overall roof to disguise the circular nature of the layout.

I think this would allow to keep a train circling whilst shunting sidings etc. Also sometimes it's nice to watch the trains go by.

All the best

Nik

Thanks for that input Nik, you’re right about watching the trains go by and that’s why I wanted a continuous run. Just going round and round I find boring so shunting is needed, but end to end doesn’t work when you just want to sit back and listen to trains moving. With the curve radius I want I couldn’t get a long enough platform for loco plus 4 clear of points. There was another design which had the long platform and a run round loop on the outside of an island with the loop extended into the continuous run. It worked for that aspect but the rest of the station and parcels area didn’t.

The through line isn’t intended for parcels (although on one version of minories that’s what it was drawn as). Think of it more as a junction just before a terminal station. Examples it’s based on are Weymouth (the quay line), Buxton (connection to Great Rocks and Hindlow) or Swansea High St (former connection down to the docks). The parcels platform is right at the top of the layout with the siding but can also use the adjacent platform. The intention for this third platform is peak time passenger use, other times parcels.

Operating is my interest rather than building so I’m hoping to build once and ‘test’ lots! The plan has been a long time in gestation, it’s drawn in xtrack cad and has been ‘tested’ using their trains operation which I found very helpful in weeding out designs that weren’t going to satisfy. We’ll see if I’ve been successful when it’s built,

Paul.

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  • 4 months later...

What's in a name?

This is the Heath Town after which the layout is named.  The railway is still there but looks very different two generations of signalling later.

post-27044-0-77612700-1541185968_thumb.jpg

The photo must have been taken between summer '60 and summer '64.

Paul.

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This looks great Paul. I have toyed in the past with similar plans but couldn't find much evidence of the continuous run loop in the prototype, but having read your previous posts that has opened my eyes and hit a nail on the head. Your reasoning for such a setup I.E the watching trains go past but also having some interesting operation is exactly what I've thought too. Really looking forward to watching this one. All the best with it.

 

John

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Keeping on with the history a bit, in post 1 I mentioned the original Heath Town layout.  16'x2' with a 5'x1' extension - what would I give for that sort of space today! By its final incarnation it was down to 9'6"x10" on spur shelving with an add on fiddle yard when I wanted to operate.  This is the only layout that I have photos for.  Here it is just prior to dismantling in 2017: ignore the track damaged during the move.  Note my lack of progress/skill with scenery.

 

post-27044-0-28366200-1541260202_thumb.jpg          post-27044-0-74119800-1541260170_thumb.jpg

 

Trusty old H&M motors and control panel: I can do wiring!

 

post-27044-0-14232300-1541260181_thumb.jpg

 

post-27044-0-61601300-1541260194_thumb.jpg

 

post-27044-0-84823800-1541260222_thumb.jpg

 

And with some more recent stock.

 

post-27044-0-14214900-1541260592_thumb.jpg

 

post-27044-0-14941700-1541260575_thumb.jpg

 

Next instalment may even show some progress on the current layout!  Thanks for looking.

Paul.

Edited by 5BarVT
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  • 3 weeks later...

This looks great Paul. I have toyed in the past with similar plans but couldn't find much evidence of the continuous run loop in the prototype, but having read your previous posts that has opened my eyes and hit a nail on the head. Your reasoning for such a setup I.E the watching trains go past but also having some interesting operation is exactly what I've thought too. Really looking forward to watching this one. All the best with it.

 

John

Hi Paul and John

 

I like the plan Paul and having the approach on a curve avoids any reverse curves.

 

You're quite right about the through line to give a contnuous run. Dead end termini with a separate through avoiding line (rather than those like Barry Island where trains normally terminated but the line through the station simply carried on to Barry Pier) were surprisingly common. Many were associated with docks, which gives scope for some interesting wagon loads, and, as well as Weymouth, included Southampton Terminus (long gone but the line into the docks is still active with goods) Plymouth Millbay & Friary.    Millbay and Southampton also provide scope for rather grander trains than goods transfers, hauled by main line locos. Pullman trains from Waterloo to Ocean Terminal at Southampton ran until 2007 to connect with Cunard's transatlantic ships but, in the great days of the liners, a large ship would probably have needed several "specials" .

 

A similar arrangement was also found in cities such as at Birmingham Moor Street. Since 1987, the double track main line to Snow Hill has had its own through platforms at Moor St. but before then the  station was a pure terminus. In London you had two in a row with Blackfriars, which did and does have two through platforms alongside the three (now two) terminus roads, closely followed by High Holborn  where there were no through platforms and the double track line to Snow Hill and the Metropolitan widened lines dived steeply after crossing Ludgate Viaduct to pass under the edge of the terminus.High Holborn and the viaduct have disappeared without trace and the Thameslink through lines now start their steep descent immediatey after Blackfriars to pass beneath Ludgate Hill. .

 

One I'd not spotted before yesterday evening was Porthcawl which had a three platform terminus (single track but it was always supposed  to be doubled) but with a docks branch extended from the end of platform three. This had an unusual trap siding with a sprung point that would have allowed a train coming into platform three to overrun onto the docks line but anything coming from the docks would have been diverted into the trap siding unless the points were set.

 

Fort William had been similar when the quay beyond the station still handled goods- some fish but mostly grain for the local rail served distilleries. However, by the 1940s, the "pier siding" that extended platform one had become a carriage siding.

 

There was a curious example at Dieppe where the line to the ferry port (Gare Maritime) ran to one side and avoided the town's terminus, as at Weymouth, but trains that ran to the port often still stopped there to drop and pick up passengers (with less need for a platform than in Britain). Unlike at Weymouth, boat trains to and from Dieppe Gare Maritime were hauled between the two stations by their own locos (with flagmen). There were no pilot or shunting locos based on the quay so an express loco that had just arrived would shunt its trains (mostly the baggage cars) before running back to the MPD at the town station. I don't think the Bulleid Pacifics that handled the Cunard (and other) boat trains were required to do that as Southampton docks were well supplied with shunting engines.

Edited by Pacific231G
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Hi Paul and John

 

I like the plan Paul and having the approach on a curve avoids any reverse curves.

 

You're quite right about the through line to give a contnuous run. Dead end termini with a separate through avoiding line (rather than those like Barry Island where trains normally terminated but the line through the station simply carried on to Barry Pier) were surprisingly common. Many were associated with docks, which gives scope for some interesting wagon loads, and, as well as Weymouth, included Southampton Terminus (long gone but the line into the docks is still active with goods) Plymouth Millbay & Friary. Millbay and Southampton also provide scope for rather grander trains than goods transfers, hauled by main line locos. Pullman trains from Waterloo to Ocean Terminal at Southampton ran until 2007 to connect with Cunard's transatlantic ships but, in the great days of the liners, a large ship would probably have needed several "specials" .

 

A similar arrangement was also found in cities such as at Birmingham Moor Street. Since 1987, the double track main line to Snow Hill has had its own through platforms at Moor St. but before then the station was a pure terminus. In London you had two in a row with Blackfriars, which did and does have two through platforms alongside the three (now two) terminus roads, closely followed by High Holborn where there were no through platforms and the double track line to Snow Hill and the Metropolitan widened lines dived steeply after crossing Ludgate Viaduct to pass under the edge of the terminus.High Holborn and the viaduct have disappeared without trace and the Thameslink through lines now start their steep descent immediatey after Blackfriars to pass beneath Ludgate Hill. .

 

One I'd not spotted before yesterday evening was Porthcawl which had a three platform terminus (single track but it was always supposed to be doubled) but with a docks branch extended from the end of platform three. This had an unusual trap siding with a sprung point that would have allowed a train coming into platform three to overrun onto the docks line but anything coming from the docks would have been diverted into the trap siding unless the points were set.

 

Fort William had been similar when the quay beyond the station still handled goods- some fish but mostly grain for the local rail served distilleries. However, by the 1940s, the "pier siding" that extended platform one had become a carriage siding.

 

There was a curious example at Dieppe where the line to the ferry port (Gare Maritime) ran to one side and avoided the town's terminus, as at Weymouth, but trains that ran to the port often still stopped there to drop and pick up passengers (with less need for a platform than in Britain). Unlike at Weymouth, boat trains to and from Dieppe Gare Maritime were hauled between the two stations by their own locos (with flagmen). There were no pilot or shunting locos based on the quay so an express loco that had just arrived would shunt its trains (mostly the baggage cars) before running back to the MPD at the town station. I don't think the Bulleid Pacifics that handled the Cunard (and other) boat trains were required to do that as Southampton docks were well supplied with shunting engines.

Great Post, thank you for the information! Very interesting. I must admit that Birmingham Moore Street appealed to me. Will enjoy researching the other examples now too.

 

P.s apologies for the thread hijack!

 

Many thanks

John

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P.s apologies for the thread hijack!

 

Not a problem, John: it was related to the thread contents anyway.

And it's booted me into adding more - success on two fronts!

 

So, going back nearly three years now, this is the baseboard kit in December 2015 . . .

post-27044-0-14931900-1543173134_thumb.jpg

 

and over Christmas and New Year I managed to get the framework for the fiddle yard boards in place.

post-27044-0-31062800-1543173276_thumb.jpg

 

Some 18 months later I had built all the boards and was trying out the station layout.

post-27044-0-88068600-1543173147_thumb.jpg

 

And another 18 months later that track is all connected and temporarily wired, with most of the points operational (sorry no photos yet).

I have been 'distracted' by fitting chips to locos, getting to grips with Kadee couplings and trying out RR&Co Traincontroller.  RR&Co TC has involved a lot of 'operational testing' which is far more fun than getting on with the modelling!

 

Paul.

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And finally (for the moment), here is the state of the boards today (specially tidied up for the photos).

Three long roads are available in the storage yard:

post-27044-0-23273600-1543513252_thumb.jpg

 

and two single car roads, together with a headshunt:

post-27044-0-46841900-1543513259_thumb.jpg

 

The station throat:

post-27044-0-00545100-1543513279_thumb.jpg

 

and platforms:

post-27044-0-88735900-1543513243_thumb.jpg

 

Blue Peter style "cereal packet and sticky tape" mock ups for platforms, with one temporarily reused.  Potential site for station buildings too.

 

Paul.

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And finally (for the moment), here is the state of the boards today (specially tidied up for the photos).

Three long roads are available in the storage yard:

attachicon.gifHT FY1.JPG

 

and two single car roads, together with a headshunt:

attachicon.gifHT FY2.JPG

 

The station throat:

attachicon.gifHT Up.JPG

 

and platforms:

attachicon.gifHT Dn.JPG

 

Blue Peter style "cereal packet and sticky tape" mock ups for platforms, with one temporarily reused.  Potential site for station buildings too.

 

Paul.

Nice flow to the track Paul. If you can get a very slight curve in that short piece of concrete-sleepered track leading to the platform where the Hymek is, I think you will have nailed it.

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Nice flow to the track Paul. If you can get a very slight curve in that short piece of concrete-sleepered track leading to the platform where the Hymek is, I think you will have nailed it.

If only . . . !

Trying to get that slight curve without pushing other parts of the formation too close to or off the edge of the board has been the most difficult part due to the Peco standard geometry. (Building my own track is not on the agenda!). I accept your ‘challenge’ and will have another try.

Watch this space. :-)

Paul.

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If only . . . !

Trying to get that slight curve without pushing other parts of the formation too close to or off the edge of the board has been the most difficult part due to the Peco standard geometry. (Building my own track is not on the agenda!). I accept your ‘challenge’ and will have another try.

Watch this space. :-)

Paul.

Based purely on the two photos, I'd try moving the crossover between that platform road and the sidings just a few (2 - 3 max) inches further from the buffer stops.

 

Edit: if you succeed, I'll accept your challenge to have Train On Line indications as well as Line Clear!

Edited by St Enodoc
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Based purely on the two photos, I'd try moving the crossover between that platform road and the sidings just a few (2 - 3 max) inches further from the buffer stops.

 

Edit: if you succeed, I'll accept your challenge to have Train On Line indications as well as Line Clear!

The longitudinal position of that Xover is determined by the board joint and not wanting points over the join.  Having said that, I have set track curves cut over the board joint in the storage yard with no problems so that is a possible design relaxation I could adopt.  What I have done is rotate the Xover by 1o and move the station by 1/2" 'down' and managed to get a 640" curve.  Whether that can be seen visually or not will require on site testing.

 

post-27044-0-35126700-1543583351_thumb.jpg

 

Your potentially rash promise may yet be safe.  :D

Thanks for the prod to have another go.

Paul.

 

Edit to add plan.

Edited by 5BarVT
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The longitudinal position of that Xover is determined by the board joint and not wanting points over the join.  Having said that, I have set track curves cut over the board joint in the storage yard with no problems so that is a possible design relaxation I could adopt.  What I have done is rotate the Xover by 1o and move the station by 1/2" 'down' and managed to get a 640" curve.  Whether that can be seen visually or not will require on site testing.

 

attachicon.gifHT Station v2.jpg

 

Your potentially rash promise may yet be safe.  :D

Thanks for the prod to have another go.

Paul.

 

Edit to add plan.

Ah, didn't spot the baseboard joins. Your 640" curve should be noticeable. I've got 480" curves across Nancegwithey viaduct and also a 480" outer radius curved point in Porthmellyn Road goods yard. The curves are obvious compared with straight track.

 

post-21039-0-84848900-1543616647_thumb.jpg

 

post-21039-0-05614000-1543617342_thumb.jpg

The nearest point is the one with the curve. If you lay a ruler along the line of the double slips you will see it straight away.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The p-way have been out and slewed all three platforms.

 

post-27044-0-55373600-1545254956_thumb.jpg

 

post-27044-0-30337300-1545254947_thumb.jpg

 

There is now a curve on the third platform (honest!) but it is only 1/4o.  More of a kink at the rail joint at present partly because of wiring through the baseboard.

 

post-27044-0-11796500-1545254933_thumb.jpg

 

The two main platforms have a more noticeable curve.  I have discovered that their arrangement is very like Newquay with a curve to the right part way down the platform and the curving away to the left leaving the station.  Newquay also gives me an excuse for a terminal station with the main buildings along one platform rather than across the stop blocks - much more suited to the space I have for scenery.

 

Paul.

 

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The p-way have been out and slewed all three platforms.

 

attachicon.gifHT Up v2.JPG

 

attachicon.gifHT Dn v2.JPG

 

There is now a curve on the third platform (honest!) but it is only 1/4o.  More of a kink at the rail joint at present partly because of wiring through the baseboard.

 

attachicon.gifHT Curve.JPG

 

The two main platforms have a more noticeable curve.  I have discovered that their arrangement is very like Newquay with a curve to the right part way down the platform and the curving away to the left leaving the station.  Newquay also gives me an excuse for a terminal station with the main buildings along one platform rather than across the stop blocks - much more suited to the space I have for scenery.

 

Paul.

So now you're copying Pentowan...

 

Looks much more promising.

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