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On 05/06/2019 at 23:36, Martin S-C said:

A little too distant from Gloucestershire for me to use it as an example, sadly.

Neil has been busy with other business in the last few days so track-laying being such a doddle I've laid Catspaw Halt out, drilling holes for point motors but not adding the droppers yet. In a previous life (heck, it seems so long ago now but must have been the early 1990s that I last worked in 4mm scale) I worked with Peco code 100 which was very forgiving but the flimsiness of code 75 was brought home to me today as I tried to cut it with a razor saw (I really ought to invest in a Dremel) and attempted to push fishplates on. Quite the chore, doing that. Got the basic track layout finished however and even tested the passing loop length with the branch passenger train, to discover there's loads of room.

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Looking west. Farthest siding is the wood distillation works, middle right is the lime kilns and near right the quarry.

The timber platform of the halt will be in the middle of the left hand loop, where there's a wider bit of board on the

left. Passenger trains won't pass here. Freight will.

 

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A more distant view showing the wibbly-wobbly quarry siding which I laid deliberately badly. Honest.

 

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Quarry on the left, branch line going into a tunnel and up the grade to Coggles Causeway in the centre, main line grade up to Green Soudley on the right.

 

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More distant view.

 

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Branch train at the platform. Sort of. Loco needs a repaint. I think it'll turn yellow ochre as well eventually, although I'm tempted for a GER blue for the WELR locos as this will match nicely the crimson lake coaches.

 

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Loads of space in the passing loop. All branch locos will face in the up direction to Snarling Junction due to the gradients which

are severe and all drop down to the terminus.

 

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Track pins are temporary!

 

I do love that train. 

 

The brake van at the end is a wonderful creation.  Other than that, it resembles my Bishop's Lynn GE train, with one each of the 4-wheel and bogie W&UT coaches (the D&S kits came as a pair) and the luggage van.  In my case the latter is an excellent print by Radstock Models. 

 

The livery suits the stock well, as it did on the GE, and, yes, it will go very well with the GE ultramarine blue.  It will be quite a thing to see a Beattie tank in rich blue livery; I look forward to that.

 

Great to see so many tracks now snaking their way across the bare boards.  Keep up the good work!

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On 05/06/2019 at 10:19, Martin S-C said:

My understanding is that disc signals were operated by a rotating rod that turned through 90deg inside the structure of the post (or secured to it by brackets) so I am wondering how one would mechanically work a doll on one of these.

 

Cannot see that this would be a problem if you want to go down this route (no pun intended).

Instead of placing the crank vertically on the post, as with a traditional semaphore, the crank is laid flat next to, or around, the post.

 

I have made plenty of French type discs  which operate in this manner.

 

26677191404_4fa2c7a397_c.jpgP1020373 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

Standard (Verlant code) SNCF home and distant "on".

 

28351446761_ac9dd5b318_c.jpg68 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

Similar signal in French pre-Grouping format showing "off". The holes are to prevent the wind from blowing the boards into a false clear position which was a problem in exposed locations.

 

At the risk of hi-jacking the thread, Bavarian Railways distants are much more fun as the fold up along a 45 degree axis to show clear. I could show photos if you request, or visit the AFK website where there is a section devoted to weird and wonderful continental signals.

 

Ian T

Edited by ianathompson
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On 07/06/2019 at 01:20, CameronL said:

Hi Martin.

 

As for the kickback siding at Catspaw - totally understand. Can I be a bit controversial here? The quarry at Catspaw produces limestone. The kickback siding is for access to lime kilns. This involves quarried limestone being loaded into railway wagons and then transferred all of 3 feet to be unloaded to charge the kilns. 

 

When we develop a model railway we have to make some compromises, and one of those relates to lineside industries. An entire factory might be hinted at by a scenic backdrop with a loading dock. A mineral line disappearing under a road bridge will see empty wagons going in and full ones coming out, hinting at the mine or quarry that's loading those wagons. 

 

So, what do you want your lime industry to do? Just carry the limestone from the quarry, which would be done in ordinary mineral wagons, or ship the quicklime (limestone which has been calcinated in a kiln) to where it might be used industrially, which would need those well-weathered lime wagons (called "cottage tops" by railway workers - lovely name).

 

Many limestone quarries in Victorian times (and hanging on in the 20th century) had kilns on site which produced the quicklime without any need for shipping the raw material anywhere. Would you consider getting rid of the kickback siding and developing the quarry siding as a quicklime production facility, with the kilns at that end of Catspaw? The quarry feeding the kilns could be hinted at by the method used to charge the kilns - possibly a narrow-gauge tramway with wagons pulled by horses - and therefore the space on the layout could be used for the kiln setup. I know it removes a bit of shunting but you'd still need to get both the cottage tops and coal wagons to provide the fuel for the kilns on that siding. 

 

It's just a thought. If you're really cooling on the idea of the kickback this gives you an alternative. Feel free to ignore this or tell me I'm totally out of order.

 

Cam

 

 

Hi Cameron

Originally it was just going to be a single siding to the quarry here, the idea of a (representation of) a bank of lime kilns came much later. Possibly too late really. I bought a couple of cheapo Dapol pitched roof quicklime wagons on e-Bay and then needed a reason to have them. Duh.

 

However lime burning was a thing in the Forest for many decades,

The idea was always to move the graded crushed limestone from the quarry to the kilns via a (non-working) NG track (maybe Z gauge) with tubs of stone pushed by hand. As you noted, its only a scale couple of hundred yards. The kilns would be owned and operated by the quarry and it appears that in Victorian times such an arrangement was fairly common because the quicklime was distributed only locally; it made economic sense to manufacture it near where it was quarried.

 

The quarry will generate 3 traffics 1) graded crushed stone moved by NG tubs to the nearby kilns. 2) graded crushed stone sent either off scene or to other stations for use as roadstone, wall-building and other constructional uses or general aggregate and 3) dressed stone which will be sent as cut blocks to the Forest Stone Co. plant at Puddlebrook. The kilns will generate quicklime which goes either off-scene or to another station on the line for agricultural or chemical use.

The kickback siding was the problem, it made access awkward. Yesterday I altered the lime kiln siding so it has direct access off the shunting loop. The siding is now a lot shorter but can hold three cottage tops and will have space for a low relief kiln model atop a loading bank.

The problem is the look of the Catspaw scene was superior with the kickback. The direct access siding unbalances the scene unfortunately. I am still ruminating on how best to resolve the issue.

 

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Other work done yesterday involved a lot of stuff not worth showing photos of because it was wiring. We worked out a design for a pair of micro switches to cut off power to the Puddlebrook station board so that power there is killed when the access flap is raised. Track-laying at Puddlebrook was completed; the arrival of a Y point to let us lay the Forest Stone Co. workshop sidings. Catspaw was mostly wired up.

I spent a while pondering the access trackwork to the colliery. I've decided to fit in a short headshunt off the stabling road. The stabling siding is over 72" long and will hold up to 24 empty wagons. The washery and screens will be worked by shunting rakes of four wagons at a time. Train limits on the layout are eight wagons, so half a train can be shunted at a time. Here's a photo of a J94 with four 21 ton hoppers which I am using in my 1959 layout rolling stock set. All are bigger than my 1919 vehicles hence their use in headshunt length testing. If this fits, a Peckett and four twelve tonners will easily go in.

 

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The last two pics show some loose pointwork checking for the colliery entry. I'm unsure whether to use a left-hand straight turnout or a curved one. The double slip allows access direct to the stabling road plus its shunting neck and the next siding to the right will be for brake vans.

 

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Edited by Martin S-C
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16 minutes ago, Martin S-C said:

.......The last two pics show some loose pointwork checking for the colliery entry. I'm unsure whether to use a left-hand straight turnout or a curved one.

 

I’d be tempted to use a curved one to compliment the existing curve maybe?

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I have a left hand curved turnout on order, hopefully it should be here later this week. The straight turnout isn't a biggie as it lets the curve of the main line continue, but the curved turnout does two things - the left hand (main line) curve is less tight and the curved nature of it brings the colliery entrance that little bit to the left which will be helpful for other reasons.

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On 11/06/2019 at 20:38, Martin S-C said:

I have a left hand curved turnout on order, hopefully it should be here later this week. The straight turnout isn't a biggie as it lets the curve of the main line continue, but the curved turnout does two things - the left hand (main line) curve is less tight and the curved nature of it brings the colliery entrance that little bit to the left which will be helpful for other reasons.

 

Did your curved point work out as planned?

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21 hours ago, Northroader said:

I was idly tripping along the C&L this evening in Roger Farnworths thread, and came across an interesting signal, a semaphore arm fixed to a vertical rotating post with a lamp on top. 

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That is very nice. It also looks quite short. Must find a use for that! Thanks.

21 hours ago, chuffinghell said:

 

Did your curved point work out as planned?

I've been away at the GCR model railway event since Friday morning (returning happy but bl**dy exhausted a while ago), but the extra points and track were delivered to me at the show. I have just got back and tomorrow will do some checking with the curved turnout. I also received another box of flexitrack and ought to be able to lay the last pieces that will complete the circuit. When I reach that milestone I have promised myself a train trundling round, a comfy seat and a cuppa.

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I have been away at the GCR model railway event all weekend operating a friends layout and came home last night totally shattered but feeling very mellow. There's something about the social and friendship aspect of these events that easily outweighs the tiredness of focusing on railway layout operations for three days.

 

Today I spent the afternoon spent fiddling with the colliery entrance trackwork. As I suspected the curved turnout works better, so its in and the straight left-hander is out. I then plucked up the courage to attack 40 quids worth of brand new Peco double slip by chopping out some of the sleeper webbing and bending it into a curve. Its not my idea, but comes from LNER4479 of this parish. His instructions are here. He tackled a single slip with these pictures but I had a go at two double slips and I'm happy to say that you can introduce some minor curvature into the slip, enough in my case, that the colliery entry became much more reasonable looking.

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Curved turnout and curved slip beyond. It is only a minor distortion of the Peco mirror-image slip but it makes quite a difference in appearance.

 

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View from the other direction. The nearest slip has been "bent" as well. The lifting flap across the door is not fully seated down!

 

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The curvature of the "flexed" slips is subtle but effective, I think. You only need a 5- or 10- degree curve and you're there.

 

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Left-most track here is the gradient dropping away towards the MVR Exchange sidings.

The curved turnout's left path is the main line; right accesses the colliery.

 

After that the double slip's left path is the stabling road for empties. Its facing right hand path is the stabling road headshunt.

 

Beyond the first slip, the next turnout forms the brake van siding.

 

Beyond that the second slip gives access to the shunting loops, while the turnout coming off it's near-right arm will provide two tracks to access the screens.

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Today's efforts. Almost all the colliery pointwork now installed. Another box of bullhead track is arriving tomorrow so I ought to be able to finish the circuit and lay some plain track in other areas.

 

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10 minutes ago, Martin S-C said:

A red letter day today. Circuit complete, glass of sparkling white Samur in hand and I sat and watched the trains. Apologies for the terrible sound - as the room is entirely bare plaster walls and wooden baseboards its a terrible echo chamber. Things will sound better once there's some nice sound-absorbing carpet and scenery in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well done Martin. It's a great feeling, isn't it?

 

I do like train 3.

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Excellent!

 

I bet it feels good to see movement on the layout :)

 

I’m following this thread but haven’t had notifications so I’d missed your last few posts

 

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Right, that does it: I'm selling the wife and commandeering our entire flat for a proper layout like this one :)

 

Congratulations Martin, just been watching the videos and it was a bit like being there. Some interesting trains too.

 

Edited by Mikkel
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On 20/06/2019 at 22:24, Martin S-C said:

A red letter day today. Circuit complete, glass of sparkling white Samur in hand and I sat and watched the trains. Apologies for the terrible sound - as the room is entirely bare plaster walls and wooden baseboards its a terrible echo chamber. Things will sound better once there's some nice sound-absorbing carpet and scenery in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations, Martin. It's always a special moment, the first train of your layout.

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Once in a blue moon, on e-Bay, you buy something random, wondering if you've wasted your money and the unwrapped parcel reveals something quite unexpected - even magical.

I bid on a collection of model railway spare parts, obviously old, but full of potentially useful things like wheels, buffers, W-irons and lead weights.

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When it arrived I was presented with this - an incredible collection of old St Bruno tins and matchboxes. The gent who once owned these was clearly from the CJF mould, in the days of the 50s and 60s when railway modelling meant wearing a suit and tie, your hair brylcreemed back and smoking your pipe. It was like opening a time capsule and the discovery of what lay inside was worth the price alone.

 

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There's some electrical parts that are past their best and will have to be binned and some of the white metal castings of axle box assemblies, etc are a bit crude but there was a great selection of wheelsets, brake hoses, buffers, fine chain, some jolly useful lead sheet cut up into postage stamp size rectangles for use as weight and a half-dozen other things.

Some of the packets inside the tins should be in museums. I felt transported back 50 or 60 years when I opened up this lot and quite a sense of nostalgia came over me.

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I don't ever recall seeing a Barclay's bank paper bag for £1 worth of 6d coins before. I was too young to worry about banks when these things went out of use.

Railway modelling - what curious moments we encounter in this hobby.

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Small amount of track laying progress in the last couple of days. I have laid the branch incline in its tunnel from Catspaw (+2") to Coggles Causeway (+4") but lack a left hand curved point to finish the Coggles track completely. Once that arrives hopefully near the end of this week I will lay the track at Snarling which will then join the grade down to Puddlebrook so that all trackwork on the layout will then be interconnected. Neil is returning this Friday and Saturday and we should then get droppers fitted to all track and power connected. I also have the track on order for Witts End, and when that's laid the branch line track will be complete.

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Branch line track at bottom going into the tunnel under the entry area for Green Soudley. The track curves off to the left distance and all this will be in tunnel under Nether Madder's loco works. We've got lots of open baseboard framing to get at the trains which WILL derail under here but at right hand side of the curving track we've put in 3mil ply backing so stuff can only come off one way.

 

The left diverging route from the point in the right foreground is the entrance to Green Soudley - the straight ahead route runs downhill to the main circuit storage.

 

In the far distance a start has been made on laying the track at the loco works coaling dock which is at datum +7".

 

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Incline up to Coggles Causeway. The tunnel mouth will be about at the board join. The curve to the left needs some support on the outside camber.

 

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Coggles Causeway. The overhanging board on the upper level at right will need to be trimmed back to give more space for the grassy embankment here. As you can see at extreme right I've had to use an inverted RH curved point to get the correct location of the left hander that will go here. The big holes in the middle will be covered by the main Nether Madder station boards.

Edited by Martin S-C
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This is an appeal for advice and assistance. I posted up this signal diagram for Snarling some time ago and my problem is I need to assign numbers to the levers in a manner that requires the fewest number of paces up and down the frame by the signalman in order to control the most usual movements.

 

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These would be:

 

1) Up trains - from Puddlebrook, via the up platform to Nether Madder.

2) Down trains - the exact reverse movement, via the down platform.

3) Branch trains #1. Note: branch trains usually run mixed. Most up branch trains will terminate at the branch platform. After dropping off passengers, the loco will reverse the train into the exchange siding and drop the brake van onto any wagons therein, bringing the train back into the branch platform. It will then run around, and moving via the down main platform will collect the brake van and any wagons destined for the branch from the exchange siding and shunt these onto what was the front of the train but for the down journey will now be the rear. The whole (empty of passengers) train is then shunted into the exchange siding where any wagons leaving the branch are dropped off. The engine draws the train back into the branch platform, leaves it there and runs around again to join the front (down end) of the train to make its return journey.
4) Branch trains #2. For some services these will run on to the main line to Nether Madder. In this case after stopping at the branch platform the train continues on via the right hand crossover. Empty wagons are not dropped in the exchange siding but taken on to be shunted at the principal yard of the railway at Nether Madder.

5) Branch trains #3. For some services these will run on to the main line to Green Soudley which requires a reversal at Snarling. The shunt is identical to that in #1 but the train departs via the double slip on the main line in the down direction. If this train has wagons for Green Soudley or Puddlebrook, it will not leave them in the exchange siding. It will drop off wagons for Nether Madder.

6) The goods dock to the left of the up main platform is served by down main trains only.

7) The creamery siding is served by up main trains only, although some milk traffic will be dropped off by up branch trains.

8) The flour mill siding is served by either down main goods trains or down branch goods trains.

9) Up or down main line goods trains may need to shunt to the exchange siding to either collect wagons leaving the branch, or drop off wagons destined for the branch.

 

Note that I may have made errors in the diagram depicting the normal and reversed positions of points, so I'm quite happy to edit the diagram.

 

Placement of signals in the diagram may also be incorrect. Advice sought on that as well.

 

If someone who knows signalling is willing to offer advice on how best to number the levers to save on signalmen's shoe leather I'd be very grateful.

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From the diagram of the box I take it that the frame is on the side nearest the track, i.e. the signalman is facing the track when operating.

 

That being the case the levers for the route from Nether Madder will be at his left hand end of the frame and therefore starting at 1and 2 for the down home, then 3 for the FPL for the turnout for the main line loop, then the turnout as 4, followed by the FPL and turnout for the branch and then the FPL and crossover over the slip and then the Main Down starter.  These would then be followed by the FPL and crossover on the branch platform followed by the branch platform starters. Those for the up direction will be at the other end in a similar, but reversed, order i.e. the home signals at the end of the frame.  This groups the levers for the most common moves together and in a logical order, from left to right for down trains and right to left for up.

 

I am open to correction on this.

 

Jim

 

Edited to correct that the levers for the turnout at the down end (3 & 4) and those for the crossover through the slip should be the oposite way round.

Edited by Caley Jim
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Jim is nearly right, except that (at least with Southern practice), you'd normally find the signals for each route grouped together - so up homes 1, 2, up starter 3, then probably the up direction branch signals,then the points and locks,then the down signals in the reverse order. 

 

The signalman would set up the route first, then he can pull off the signals in the order the train will pass them.

 

Using Sandown, IOW as an example as it's a similar layout:

 

Down distant, down home, down starter, shunt from exchange siding, branch home, FPL on branch loop, branch down starter, down siding points, shunt from down main to down siding, shunt from up main to down main, crossover up to down, crossover up to branch, etc...

 

Note the oddities like the FPL 6 which locks a set of points way down the frame...

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4 hours ago, Caley Jim said:

From the diagram of the box I take it that the frame is on the side nearest the track, i.e. the signalman is facing the track when operating.


That being the case the levers for the route from Nether Madder will be at his left hand end of the frame and therefore starting at 1and 2 for the down home, then 3 for the FPL for the turnout for the main line loop, then the turnout as 4, followed by the FPL and turnout for the branch and then the FPL and crossover over the slip and then the Main Down starter.  These would then be followed by the FPL and crossover on the branch platform followed by the branch platform starters. Those for the up direction will be at the other end in a similar, but reversed, order i.e. the home signals at the end of the frame.  This groups the levers for the most common moves together and in a logical order, from left to right for down trains and right to left for up.

 

I am open to correction on this.

 

Jim

 

Edited to correct that the levers for the turnout at the down end (3 & 4) and those for the crossover through the slip should be the oposite way round. 

Hi Jim, thanks. The mimic diagram is oriented in the position the model railway operator faces the baseboard; that is the signal box model is on the opposite side. I thought this was the easiest layout for the operators in case people operate this station who are not very familiar with the model. So for the 12" to 1ft operator, up to Nether Madder (NM) is to his right and down to Puddlebrook (PB) is to his left. This is the OPPOSITE of how a 4mm to 1ft signalman would view the station layout.

 

I think (though am not 100% sure) that all the numbered levers you referred to are therefore the reverse of what I will need. The NM levers will be on the right of the frame and the PB ones on the left. I know this is absolutely wrong for the placing of the model signal box, but it is what it is. I think the model signal box marked in that location is the best position as it allows a clear view into the tunnel mouth as well as a view around the curved tracks in the up direction. The signalman also has a clear view of the majority of branch train movements. I think siting the model box anywhere else within station precincts would not give such clear views of movements but am happy to move it elsewhere if a better site can be found. Ideally it should face the tracks but on the branch side of the model so that the 12" to 1ft signal man has the same orientation as the 4mm to 1ft chappie.

 

I plan to use economical FPLs so the locks are operated by the point levers. I don't wish to use separate FPL levers. The expense is just too great and it adds a level of authenticity I have no desire to attain.

Deleting reference to FPL levers would you be so gracious as to number the levers again for me please?

3 hours ago, Nick C said:

Jim is nearly right, except that (at least with Southern practice), you'd normally find the signals for each route grouped together - so up homes 1, 2, up starter 3, then probably the up direction branch signals,then the points and locks,then the down signals in the reverse order. 

 

The signalman would set up the route first, then he can pull off the signals in the order the train will pass them.

 

Using Sandown, IOW as an example as it's a similar layout:

 

Down distant, down home, down starter, shunt from exchange siding, branch home, FPL on branch loop, branch down starter, down siding points, shunt from down main to down siding, shunt from up main to down main, crossover up to down, crossover up to branch, etc...

 

Note the oddities like the FPL 6 which locks a set of points way down the frame...

Cheers Nick. I'm not familiar with Sandown's track layout, me being fairly dim I think I really need someone to specifically assist me with lever numbers for this layout.

I do not plan to have operating ground discs or shunt signals. I really only want to signal movements of trains that are carrying passengers, so shunt moves will be conducted by flag/arm signals by the signalman out of his cabin window and corresponding toots of acceptance by the footplate crew.

It looks to me that even with all these economies I still need about 17 levers for Snarling and that begins to take up a lot of space.

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