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On 24/07/2019 at 19:24, chuffinghell said:

Looking good!...... I know I’ve said it already but I really do like that trestle bridge :good_mini:

 

 

I totally agree. I think that when the landscaping is complete to stand at that spot hearing a train approaching then see it pop out of the tunnel and rumble over the bridge will be a real visual treat. 

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15 hours ago, Martin S-C said:

Hm... one rough shunt and we'd all be talking from our left head to our right head... Mind you, on the plus side you'd need half as many operator for a model railway.
 

Cheers Stephen, thanks for the link. My model is based 25 years before the BR period however, so my modelled pit-prop loads will follow local practice which would be close to GWR instructions.

 

All the following images are courtesy of Chris Gwilliam and the Freight and Goods Wagons (UK) FaceBook group.

 

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Interested to see the combination of cast plates and 1904 lettering on the  O10s

 

On 25/07/2019 at 12:51, Nearholmer said:

I thought RPG meant  ‘rocket propelled grenade’, which worries me, because I don’t know how I know that!

 

As in Black Hawk Down

 

On 25/07/2019 at 13:23, Martin S-C said:

You are well equipped to design a freight despatch system for your railway then!

My dice are 20 sided, which I think makes them dodecahedrons. I use the red to indicate tens and the black for units. 00 is 100. I apologise for the yellowed numbers and the accumulation of, ...erm, material, within the recessed digits; I bought these when I played D&D in the sixth form at school and they've been rattled between teenagers sweaty palms far more times than I've had hot dinners.

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For information the roll above is 76.

A bit more on my open wagon loads method. Due to quite a few pre-grouping small wagons I have five sizes of coal load - #1 is 57mm long, #2 is 60mm #3 is 63mm, #4 is 66mm and #5 82mm, the last being for 20t wagons of which I only have a couple. The 66mm ones are also restricted to my 1950s stock set as they fit a few old Mainline and Hornby wagons of non-standard dimensions which in time I'll probably dispose of. The smaller three are for 14ft 6ins/9ft wb wagons, 15ft/9ft wheelbase wagons and 16ft/10ft wheelbase respectively. I have to mark them up on the underside with the size as an aid to operators but perhaps I may need to put a corresponding mark inside each wagon somewhere. I'll see if confusion reigns when we get operating sessions started.

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Plastic or resin coal loads commonly come with RTR wagons so I just spray these black, daub on a generous helping of PVA and shake real crushed coal onto them. To prevent coal granules getting stuck near the edges and fouling the wagon sides I don't put PVA near the edges. This also lets you handle them by the edges so you don't get dirty fingers. If the load is injection moulded plastic it'll have a domed shape underneath. For this type I press in a blob of DAS clay and when that's dry, glue the steel nut to that.

So far I have loads of coal, graded limestone, sawn timber and some engineering parts resting on timber baulks, the baulks being cut to be a close but not tight fit inside the wagon. For my bogie bolster and twin MITES wagons I have some sawn timber loads, a few lengths of timber in the round (old offcuts of buddleia) and a pipes and a girder load. I also have some of the commercial resin tarpaulin loads, some barrels, etc. I am not a big fan of these as they look wrong, the tarpaulins being over the load but inside the wagon which is a useless way of keeping rain off the load, but they are very easy and forgiving to use so for private use I accept their inaccuracies. My limestone test examples I am not happy with and will re-do these. The machinery loads can be hand-lifted out, but all the mineral loads have either nuts or washers glued underneath and can be lifted out with my magnetic "grabbers". These are a 10cm length of 15mm dia wooden dowel with a neodymium magnet glued on one end and a screw loop fixed to the other so it can be hung on a hook next to the control panel. Each control position on the layout has a grabber made for it.

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Tools of the trade.

 

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Underside of load showing DAS clay filler and markings for a #3 63mm long load. Some have had washers added under the nut for extra weight.
 

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Loaded! There is a small visible gap but having that is a price I am prepared to pay for the ease of use. The alternatives are permanently full and permanently empty wagons (just no) and loose filling with a loader system. This requires handling the models too much to empty them.
 

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Unloaded! Endless hours of fun for all the family. Well, the operating team anyhow. My apologies to Annie and anyone else of a nervous disposition for that strange green contraption in the background. I was play-testing with my 1950s rolling stock set yesterday.
 

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I recommend consuming copious amounts of Cornish ice cream to provide suitable storage containers. Other flavours of container are available. I'm going to need one per operator location. Yum.
 

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The graded limestone shapes need to be lower to go into the 2- 3- and 4- plank quarry wagons. A couple of washers does the trick for these. On the right is a #1 57mm load for a small 9ft wb wagon.

 

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Some of the easy to use but not so realistic resin loads.

 

 

Great idea, well executed.

 

19 hours ago, Martin S-C said:

On the Southern Railway the aliens ask "Take us to your leader".

leader1a.jpg

 

As someone once remarked to Schubert, "take us to your lieder"

 

(Tom Lehrer) 

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The GW wagons in that sequence of images had caused a bit of a stir on the UK wagons FB group as well. It is the 1920 instructions book but the book itself notes that some of the photos were re-used from previous versions and it arose in the discussion that some of the photos date back as far as 1900 (and show 1880s wagons). In all Chris Gwilliam posted some 40-odd images concerning the loading of different length timbers, barrels, scrap, sheeting methods and so on.

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On 24/07/2019 at 19:07, Joe61264 said:

Fantastic to see the layout coming on so well (and the sheer scale of it!). Perhaps the 'testing' could be an ideal opportunity to work out some running times between locations to aid drawing up a running schedule/timetable? :)  Or some other similar excuse ;) 

I'm intrigued by the freight generation system and how it works. Is it something that could be done 'on-the-go' during an operating session or would it be better done in advance then allocated to locations at the start of play?

This is the second version of the long post I was writing 2 days ago which got lost.

Yes, I have been running trains at reasonably slow speeds which I imagine is a scale 20mph or so. I have written down the digital number setting for each engine at this speed so that operators can run trains at about the correct speeds. It takes 3 mins 45 secs to get around the circuit which surprised me as it felt like about 2 mins. Only Puddlebrook station and the colliery are on the circuit so it could be feasible to do the old school trick of having a train passing a number of different stations and different collieries on a fictitious journey along the line. I’ve also run trains between the different stations and these vary from about 30 secs (SJ to CC) to 2 mins (PB to GS). I am not so sure such short runs would affect a timetable to any useful degree. I am thinking I will go for a sequence in any case as my previous experiences of real timetables on other layouts is its always next to impossible to keep to them due to mishaps and so on. I end up clock watching and getting a bit stressed over it all which to me isn’t why I’m in the hobby.

The fictional circuit could be used however to insert a long run between Puddlebrook and Green Soudley or between Puddlebrook and Snarling. As I mentioned above, this adds nearly 4 mins to a journey time that is already about 2 mins so something approaching a scale time interval is starting to take shape there.

To use computer software speak the freight system is an early alpha build. I’ve only had the opportunity to build 6 trains from it so far but each trip freight was quite different in character which surprised me. I use a card deck of 54 cards (inc 2 jokers) to select which wagons or loads will go into the train. I rank coal as the most common traffic and therefore all the face cards (Knave, Queen, King, Ace) generate a coal load. All coal comes from the colliery and runs as mineral trains to NM where holding sidings allow it to be stored before wagon loads are despatched to customers as per the card-deck drawing part of the system. Therefore we immediately create two traffics of loaded mineral trains from the colliery to NM and empties by return. I mentioned the cards generate either a wagon type or a freight type and these are largely interchangeable since a van is a van and a sheeted open is a sheeted open and what is inside the vehicle isn’t important – it becomes whatever commodity is needed at a particular destination. Other loads are specific and only run one way to one destination such as cordwood to the wood distillation works, or empty cask wagons to the brewery. For this reason if the card drawn indicates a van from the brewery then most likely its carrying beer barrels. A van going to the brewery would most probably be empty and be sent there to collect a consignment of ale or it might be carrying sacks of hops, sugar, or another ingredient. Likewise an identical van going to the flour mill could be either full of grain sacks or empty and being sent to collect flour. The point being that in some cases the actual load is the relevant issue and in others only the vehicle type is.

Once I have drawn enough cards to make up a train, for which I am finding about eight is a good number, I then roll the d100 dice for each card to see where that load is going. I have written out every destination on the system – 7 stations and 13 industries and for each have written out what wagon and load types could be expected to be sent to that particular location. For example the list for Nether Madder is: house coal, loco coal, sheeted opens, vans, timber, machinery, livestock (almost exclusively sheep in the Forest, almost never cattle), horses, CCT/OCT, perishables (aka fruit/veg/meat – not fish), fodder, graded limestone, milk. In the case of NM a van, sheeted open or machinery could be for a domestic customer and so would be shunted to the relevant siding of the goods yard or it could be for the loco works and the operator has the choice of where he puts the wagon. By way of contrast, Catspaw Quarry will take: graded limestone, dressed stone, GPV, vans, sheeted opens, machinery. The mention of graded and dressed stone in fact means empties for these loads, naming them all the same makes the lists simpler. So a graded stone “load” at the quarry will be an empty wagon, while the same notation for the Forest Stone Co means a loaded wagon. This therefore implies that for the Forest Stone Co to receive a load of stone the quarry has to despatch one, which gives us two more traffics – loaded and empty quarry trains between the quarry and NM sidings.

I have also found it logical to have separate main line trip freights and branch freights, with 8 and 6 being the maximum number of wagons, plus brake, respectively. I therefore have begun to draw 16 playing cards at a time which often gives me two balanced trains and a spare or two, but since coal is stabled at NM and NM is also a coal customer, often one or two wagons in a “set” only get moved from the holding siding to the coal merchants siding. If I don’t get enough wagons to make up what I consider a viable train for the branch then the wagons remain in a holding siding at NM or get taken on the main line freight and left in the exchange siding at SJ. So the system allows a fair bit of operator freedom on how to resolve the puzzle.

Loads that fall under the NPCS category (horse boxes, milk vans, CCTs, etc) get attached to the first outgoing passenger train that will call at that station. For the branch though this means holding the wagon until one of the two daily branch through workings is available.

If anyone is especially interested in all the techy details of the percentages of loads and the types of deliveries to stations and industries I can list these.

Edited by Martin S-C
EDIT: Useless spelling
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Wow! Might be early days, but seems like you're off to a very positive start. 

 

I'm sure you've come across this already, but in case it's of interest this is the freight-generating system used on David Hyde's Deresley, not unrelated in approach: 

 

 

44 minutes ago, Martin S-C said:

...7 stations and 13 industries...

Yum :)

 

44 minutes ago, Martin S-C said:

If anyone is especially interested in all the techy details of the percentages of loads and the types of deliveries to stations and industries I can list these.

Interested party over here!

 

 

Edited by Schooner
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12 minutes ago, Schooner said:

Interested party over here!

 

.... and another!!

 

The description of the operation of the layout is absolutely fascinating Martin. You have obviously put much thought and consideration into the methodology. Ultimately I imagine it is something that will be refined as you go along as you will only realise any pitfalls and/or limitations once you start playing. It is this operational scope that makes this project so wonderful. Unlike most layouts it can be operated like a real railway.... there is a purpose to it and and the whole thing is just magical! Certainly puts my embryonic micro-layout tp shame... it seems literally pointless compared to your empire! :laugh_mini:

 

Keep up the good work and cannot wait to see and read more about your progress! :good_mini:

 

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Okay, you asked for it. The nitty-gritty

 

1) LOCATIONS

 

01-13 - STATION 1 - NETHER MADDER - MAIN TERMINUS - GOODS STORAGE SIDINGS - LOCO & C&W WORKS - LOCO SHED

coal, sheeted opens, vans, perishables, beer/brewing supplies, sawn timber, machinery, livestock, horses, CCT/OCT, milk, fodder, graded stone, quick lime

14-25 - STATION 2 - GREEN SOUDLEY - SECOND TERMINUS - LOCO SHED

coal, sheeted opens, vans, perishables, sawn timber, machinery, livestock, horses, CCT/OCT, milk, fodder, graded stone, quick lime

26-33 - STATION 3 - SNARLING JUNCTION - THROUGH STATION

coal, sheeted opens, vans, perishables, sawn timber, machinery, horses, CCT/OCT, milk, fodder, graded stone

34-39 - STATION 4 - PUDDLEBROOK - THROUGH STATION

sheeted opens, vans, perishables, sawn timber, machinery, CCT/OCT, fodder

40-41 - STATION 5 - COGGLES CAUSEWAY - BRANCH HALT

coal, sheeted opens, vans, sawn timber, graded stone, quick lime

42 - STATION 6 - CATSPAW - BRANCH HALT

sheeted opens, vans

43-50 - STATION 7 - WITTS END - BRANCH TERMINUS - LOCO SHED

coal, sheeted opens, vans, perishables, sawn timber, machinery, timber in the round, livestock, horses, CCT/OCT, milk, fodder, graded stone

N/A - STATION 8 - MVR EXCHANGE SIDINGS (i.e. FIDDLE YARD)

accepts and generates goods as required

 

51-64 - INDUSTRY 1 - DEAN SOLLERS COLLIERY (MAIN LINE - Nr. PUDDLEBROOK)

sheeted opens, vans, pit props, machinery

67-71 - INDUSTRY 2 - RYEHOPE WOOD DISTILLATION WORKS (BRANCH - Nr. CATSPAW)

coal, sheeted opens, vans, cordwood, tanks, tar tanks

72-76 - INDUSTRY 3 - CATSPAW QUARRY (BRANCH)

sheeted opens, vans, sawn timber, machinery, graded stone, dressed stone, GPVs

65-66 - INDUSTRY 4 - CATSPAW LIME KILNS (BRANCH)

coal, quick lime

77-80 - INDUSTRY 5 - SNARLING CORPORATION GASWORKS (SNARLING JCT.)

coal, sheeted opens, vans, machinery, tanks, tar tanks

81-82 - INDUSTRY 6 - ARMISFORD MILL (SNARLING JCT.)

coal, sheeted opens, vans, perishables, GPVs

83-84 - INDUSTRY 7 - CROWN TIMBER SIDING (Nr. NETHER MADDER)

sawn timber, timber in the round, cordwood

85-86 - INDUSTRY 8 - BENNINGS JAM AND PICKLES (preserves factory) (was wagons works) (NETHER MADDER)

sheeted opens, vans, perishables

87-90 - INDUSTRY 9 - FOREST STONE CO. (PUDDLEBROOK)

coal, sheeted opens, vans, machinery, graded stone, dressed stone, GPVs

91-93 - INDUSTRY 10 - LEDWARDINE BREWERY (GREEN SOUDLEY)

coal, sheeted opens, vans, cask wagons

94-96 - INDUSTRY 11 - L. BOHE GREASEWORKS (GREEN SOUDLEY)

coal, sheeted opens, vans, machinery, tanks, tar tanks,

99-00 - INDUSTRY 12 - BOSCOMBE TINPLATE WORKS (GREEN SOUDLEY)

sheeted opens, vans, machinery

97-98 - INDUSTRY 13 - WYE & AIGHT CANAL WHARF Co. (GREEN SOUDLEY)

coal, sheeted opens, sawn timber, machinery, fodder, graded stone

 

Key:

The numbers are the d100 result to deliver goods to that location.

2) GOODS

Coal = J-Q-K-A

Sheeted Opens = 10, 9BS

Vans = 9 (except BS)

Sawn Timber = B8

Pit Props = B7

Cordwood = R7

Timber in the Round = R8

Livestock = B6

Horses & Bloodstock = R6H

CCT/OCT = R6D

Perishables = B2

Milk = Jok1

Beer/Brewing Supplies = R5

Empty Casks = B5C

Tank Wagons = B4

Tar Tank Wagons = R4H

Fodder = B5S

Machinery = R4D

Crushed/Graded Stone = B3, R2D

Dressed Stone = R3
GPV = R2H

Quick Lime = Jok2

Key:

J - Jack

Q - Queen

K - King

A - Ace

2 to 10 - number cards

B - Black

R - Red

H - Hearts

D - Diamonds

C - Clubs

S - Spades

Jok = Joker

 

Notes:

Coal covers house coal for domestic coal merchants, industrial fuel delivered direct to industries and company loco coal.

Sheeted Opens convey a wide variety of goods and can deliver to goods yards or industries (boxes, barrels, crates, sacks, bags, rolls, almost anything)

Vans convey a wide variety of goods and can deliver to goods yards or industries. Higher value lower bulk goods tend to go in vans which being lockable reduces the opportunity for pilfering. Vans also protect more delicate goods from the elements.

Sawn Timber is carried in open wagons and used by several industries in the region and supplied to builders merchants or one-time customers at the principal towns.

Pit Props are carried in open wagons. Imported from Scandinavia they are sent only from the MVR Exch. Sdgs. to Dean Sollers Colliery.

Cordwood is loaded at the Crown Timber Siding and the only local customer is the Wood Distillation Works.

Timber in the Round is loaded at the Crown Timber Siding and has no local customer. It is sent to the MVR Exch. Sdgs.

Livestock in the region is principally sheep with cattle very much a minority. Livestock is generally only transported on market days.

Horses & Bloodstock are animals sent for hunts, for breeding or events such as country fairs. (NPCS).

CCT/OCT - motor cars or horse drawn conveyances sent by rail. (NPCS). Note - on a 50/50 basis an OCT conveying a horse drawn carriage will also generate a horse box which must be attached to the same train.

Perishables includes vegetables, fruit and meat. Conveyed in fitted vans. Most enters the region via the MVR Exch. Sdgs. but Witts End generates fruit and vegetable traffic in season. Bennings Jam & Pickles factory at NM is also a customer. (NPCS - mostly).

Milk (in churns) is not produced in the region in significant enough volume to require rail-borne carriage. Conveyed in NPCS vans it enters via the MVR Exch. Sdgs. and has customers only at the four principal stations (NM, GS, SJ, WE).

Beer/Brewing Supplies conveyed in vans or sheeted opens travels between Ledwardine Brewery at GS and the MVR Exch. Sdgs. as well as Nether Madder.

Empty Casks are rarely conveyed and travel to the Ledwardine Brewery at GS from the MVR Exch. Sdgs.

Tank Wagons convey a variety of oils, lubricants, alcohols, bulk pastes, emulsions, crushed seed oil and some other chemicals. Not all are volatile. The principal users are the Wood Distillation Works and the Greaseworks.
Tar Tank Wagons (rectangular tanks) convey heavier oils and tars. The principal users are the Wood Distillation Works, Snarling Gasworks and the Greaseworks.

Fodder is imported into the region via the MVR Exch. Sdgs. in specialised open high-side wagons by the railway company and distributed to each station that has a company stables.

Machinery can be industrial components or whole mechanisms as well as farm machinery. Traction engines fall in this category. Usually conveyed in open wagons.

Crushed/Graded Stone is produced at Catspaw Quarry and conveyed to the Forest Stone Co. at Puddlebrook as well as some other goods yards for use as road stone or building stone. Some graded stone is exported from the region via the MVR Exch. Sdgs.

Dressed Stone is produced at Catspaw Quarry and conveyed to the Forest Stone Co. at Puddlebrook. Some dressed stone is exported from the region via the MVR Exch. Sdgs.
GPVs are used to convey explosives and travel only from the MVR Exch. Sdgs. to Catspaw Quarry. While bagged flour is carried in similar iron vans due to the explosive nature of the fine dust, these are classified under general purpose vans.

Quick Lime is produced at the Catspaw lime kilns. There are domestic customers at NM, GS, WE and CC for agricultural use. The majority leaves the local region.

Comments:

Puddlebrook receives no domestic coal as it is near the colliery and local merchants obtain their supplies from the colliery land sales siding.

I think I will eventually need more cards. A pair of jokers from another pack maybe. Some traffics do not seem to be generated enough and I have not enough options to offer other cards to the low use traffics.

Edits:

1) Changed the furniture manufacturer at Nether Madder to a jam and pickles factory so that more perishables vans can be run.

2) Beer/brewing supplies added to Nether Madder as a customer.

3) Perishables traffic added to Snarling Jct. and Puddlebrook.
4) Timber in the round added to Witts End as a customer for an unspecified rural use. A ploy to allow me to occasionally run twin single bolster and bogie bolster wagons down the branch.
5) Deleted coal as a traffic at the colliery. Coal traffic is automatically generated when it is required at any of the customer destinations. Empties return when there are sufficient to make up a train.

6) Tank wagons added to Snarling Corp. Gasworks.

7) Perishables added to Armisford Mill.

8) Jam & Pickles factory at Nether Madder has had its traffic types added.

9) GPVs have been added to the Forest Stone Co and Armisford Mill. In the former case these will be limestone vans and in the latter, flour vans. Both of iron construction to contain explosive dust.

Edited by Martin S-C
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Just ab observation about cards and dice for generating traffic.

 

Dice don't need reshuffling and can be bought in 4,6.8,10,12 and 20 sided combinations to give different probabilities.

There are 100 sided dice as well. They are rare but I have four for use in my own traffic generator.

 

I have used these for years and wrote about my own system on the website.

 

7 hours ago, Martin S-C said:

Some traffics do not seem to be generated enough

 

That is the beauty of these systems. A few alterations to the probabilities and you will soon get what you want!

Unfortunately I seem to have over-egged my pudding and may have to "lose" some traffic if the chaos of the last operating "day" is to be avoided.

 

Best of luck and enjoy your operations.

It is nice to see modellers replicating traffic patterns.

 

Ian T 

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Ian, yes, I use a d100 pair for generating the destinations. I thought of other dice in weighted pairs or average dice but these didn't produce the huge variations I am discovering I need!

The card deck is very old school but I find it useful as I have a discard pile and only reshuffle the deck when its exhausted. This means every wagon/freight type will get called upon at least once in every cycle.

I am already seeing potential adjustments - I have vans and sheeted opens at equal numbers and I'm aware that vans were less frequently used in pre-grouping days so I need to slip one of the 9s over to the 10s group to increase sheeted opens and reduce vans.

One thing this exercise has done is really open my eyes to how little variation there generally was to most freight trains. At exhibitions its often the case that you'll see exotic loads like ships propellers on low wagons, or boilers or some other weird and wonderful load but I am discovering that (in a coal producing region at least) coal was king and open basic wagons were about 75% of the rolling stock.

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Why not make your own cards instead of being restricted to a standard deck? Then you could adjust the probabilities exactly how you wanted - and even readjust them for different sessions by adding and removing cards from the deck, e.g to simulate different times of year.

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Software would be your friend in all these issues. You could adjust probabilities, add to the number of "cards" at any time, ensure balancing movements, have Sunday workings when more exotic stock is allowed to run, replace out of service wagons with stand-ins, etc. etc...

 

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On ‎27‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 09:36, Martin S-C said:

One thing this exercise has done is really open my eyes to how little variation there generally was to most freight trains. At exhibitions its often the case that you'll see exotic loads like ships propellers on low wagons, or boilers or some other weird and wonderful load but I am discovering that (in a coal producing region at least) coal was king and open basic wagons were about 75% of the rolling stock.

Hi Martin.

 

The above is very true. On an exhibition layout, particularly a fiddle yard / through station arrangement it's quite possible to have the "exotic" loads just trundling through on the way to somewhere else. So you can have the ship's propeller without a shipyard and the aircraft fuselages without the aircraft factory. 

 

However, on many layouts from the humble BLT to systems layouts such as NM&GS the rule is "If you have a wagon you need the facilities to unload / load it and the industry to use what it's carrying." Put it simply, if you have a lovely string of milk tank wagons you need a creamery. 

 

(Am I announcing my attempt to get on Mastermind with a specialist subject of "The B******* Obvious" here?)

 

As you detailed above, the NM&GS has a wonderful range of industries, all requiring several types of wagons. OK, a lot of them are opens, sheeted opens and simple vans, but there is scope for some quirky loads. You want a boiler on a low-loader? How many of your industries will have a boiler house? The gasworks, the mine and the brewery to start with. It doesn't have to be a locomotive boiler (although as you have a loco works there's also the scope for that).  You hinted at this kind of load in the "Machinery" description of a previous post.

 

This can really work in your favour if you take some time to work out what the "Exotic" loads might be for a particular location - a new boiler,  a new copper for the brewery, an oxide tank for the gasworks, new heavy plant for the quarry etc etc. These are the loads you won't see every day. List them then decide on what percentage of your operating sessions you want one of these out-of-the-ordinary loads to make an appearance. If it's one in three and you have ten special loads give each of them a number between 1 and 30 then use the many-sided dice to give you a number. On average 2 out of 3 times you'll roll nulls  and not have a special load to cope with, but occasionally you'll have a special to include, probably with one of your mobile cranes to unload it. You also mentioned traction engines. There could be an added tweak to move these from their last location to a new one, so they'll move round the system occasionally.

 

In this way your unusual loads can put in an occasional appearance (so staying unusual). As you build up a stock of such loads you just tweak the numbers to accommodate more of them. You can have unusual loads that help to tell the story of the layout without a ship's propeller in sight.

 

You  can even use a similar system for throwing a spanner in the works of your loco roster by adding the chances of an engine breaking down. Decide on a  chance of this happening (maybe 1 in 5)  and multiply the number of engines you have by that. So if you have 20 engines you can then use the dice to roll a number between 1 and 100. If the number of a loco comes up it's off to the works for the day and you have to find a replacement. You can even refine it by deciding what needs doing to the loco when it gets there, from  a simple valve replacement to a re-boiler. So then you can have a special load with a loco boiler on it (as long as you're happy producing dummy boilers  for everything from the Pecketts to the E4 or can live with a one-size-fits-all boiler for your entire roster. It all depends on how much of a stickler for accuracy you are, and I get the feeling that you are admirably so).

 

Has this been helpful or have I just wasted everybody's time? The former, I hope.

 

Great seeing all the progress.

 

Best wishes

 

Cam

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On 27/07/2019 at 09:36, Martin S-C said:

I am already seeing potential adjustments - I have vans and sheeted opens at equal numbers and I'm aware that vans were less frequently used in pre-grouping days so I need to slip one of the 9s over to the 10s group to increase sheeted opens and reduce vans.

One thing this exercise has done is really open my eyes to how little variation there generally was to most freight trains. At exhibitions its often the case that you'll see exotic loads like ships propellers on low wagons, or boilers or some other weird and wonderful load but I am discovering that (in a coal producing region at least) coal was king and open basic wagons were about 75% of the rolling stock.

 

8 minutes ago, CameronL said:

The above is very true. On an exhibition layout, particularly a fiddle yard / through station arrangement it's quite possible to have the "exotic" loads just trundling through on the way to somewhere else. So you can have the ship's propeller without a shipyard and the aircraft fuselages without the aircraft factory. 

 

In this way your unusual loads can put in an occasional appearance (so staying unusual). As you build up a stock of such loads you just tweak the numbers to accommodate more of them. You can have unusual loads that help to tell the story of the layout without a ship's propeller in sight.

 

 

Exactly. The odds have to be stacked enormously heavily against the unusual and in favour of the mundane if there is to be any semblance of reality. 

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1 hour ago, CameronL said:

Has this been helpful or have I just wasted everybody's time? The former, I hope.

 

Very much so, Cam, thanks very much. I hadn't thought of bringing in the rare and unusual via a system so I can do this. I have a traction engine on a LOWMAC already and luckily I checked that such vehicles pre-dated the layout and found that the GER (I think?) built a few of them in 1909. The idea that it might move around the region by rail (farm lanes too narrow? Bridges not strong enough?) is an interesting idea. It might be used for ploughing, threshing or as a stationary boiler for various reasons.

I have a couple of "rust coloured cylinder things" that I made up out of scraps of plastic plumbers tube, some plasticard wagon strapping strips, miniature chain, etc. I am not sure what I was imagining them to be but being abstract they could fill a multitude of uses. Much machinery would just travel protected by a sheet so I can get away with a very simple anonymous hump under wraps for many cases. A loco boiler is an interesting option and of course moving one of the railway crane wagons somewhere would count as an unusual move too.

Dsc03190.jpg.98a5a36816ae56629a4a490f27ec43c3.jpg

Dsc00772.jpg.67fd19c9f8aac7f2664d89a2f0e538d6.jpg

 

Please excuse the modern wagons.

Edited by Martin S-C
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Thanks. I have shown it here before. I just edited my post because a long time ago it was commented that the sheet wasn't securely tied down so I added more strings and shaved off the moulded tie-rings on the model wagon and made new ones out of loops of wire.

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25 minutes ago, Martin S-C said:

Thanks. I have shown it here before. I just edited my post because a long time ago it was commented that the sheet wasn't securely tied down so I added more strings and shaved off the moulded tie-rings on the model wagon and made new ones out of loops of wire.

 

I know you’ve posted it before but let’s face it, it’s that good it’s worth posting again :good_mini:

 

And the addition of the tie down ropes and loop look superb 

Edited by chuffinghell
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3 hours ago, CameronL said:

However, on many layouts from the humble BLT to systems layouts such as NM&GS the rule is "If you have a wagon you need the facilities to unload / load it and the industry to use what it's carrying." Put it simply, if you have a lovely string of milk tank wagons you need a creamery.

 

I would say that on a BLT you have a little more leeway than that as many of the through stations on small branches had goods facilities only accessed from one direction. So the BLT would see goods for these intermediate stations, or empties from them, brought in, run around and taken back out without any facilities at the BLT for handling then.

 

So you don't necessarily need a creamery at the BLT for your milk tanks as long as the branch has one somewhere along it. But a through station would need one if the tanks are stopped there.

 

So that principle could make some more detailed differences to your traffic flows if some of your facilities are only accessed by trains going in one direction.

 

Kind regards, Neil 

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22 minutes ago, Anotheran said:

 

I would say that on a BLT you have a little more leeway than that as many of the through stations on small branches had goods facilities only accessed from one direction. So the BLT would see goods for these intermediate stations, or empties from them, brought in, run around and taken back out without any facilities at the BLT for handling then.

 

So you don't necessarily need a creamery at the BLT for your milk tanks as long as the branch has one somewhere along it. But a through station would need one if the tanks are stopped there.

 

So that principle could make some more detailed differences to your traffic flows if some of your facilities are only accessed by trains going in one direction.

 

Kind regards, Neil 

Sorry Neil, I stand corrected. Wasn't knocking BLTs - I've modelled more than one myself. However, you do reach a sort of event horizon where the number of wagons that just go in and out again stretches the layout's capacity. (And I was stupid enough to have a boiler on a Lowmac that just came out, sat there and went back again. We live and learn). I was mainly focusing on the "exotic" loads that sometimes appear. It's unlikely that any BLT, no matter what's down the line, would see a ship's propeller or a loco boiler. 

 

Thanks.

 

Cam

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How can you not like a BLT?

C6311BB7-65E9-4568-89E8-EA23B0C85EF4.jpeg.dd29ebc65e09160a397657385a9ad195.jpeg

 

unless you’re a vegetarian of course 

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23 hours ago, Anotheran said:

 

I would say that on a BLT you have a little more leeway than that as many of the through stations on small branches had goods facilities only accessed from one direction. So the BLT would see goods for these intermediate stations, or empties from them, brought in, run around and taken back out without any facilities at the BLT for handling then.

 

So you don't necessarily need a creamery at the BLT for your milk tanks as long as the branch has one somewhere along it. But a through station would need one if the tanks are stopped there.

 

So that principle could make some more detailed differences to your traffic flows if some of your facilities are only accessed by trains going in one direction.

I think you would need to make this known to the casual observer if you did this at an exhibition. And I wouldn't want to attempt it with more than one vehicle type or else the effect is lost and it gains the appearance of "pointless trains" again. Dairies may be a poor example as milk tankers generally only moved between them and the main customer (often London or another big city) so if you are modelling the years in which churns were used, it would be possible to argue that a milk van was attached at a prior station and is being reversed at the BLT. I would expect any dairy to be sited so it has access from either direction, it strikes me as odd to do otherwise when the cargo concerned needs to be handled in a timely fashion.

The point is taken though, and it can be done. Bodmin Road and the clay traffic provides a well-known example.

I have one station on the branch at Coggles Causeway which has a tiny passing loop. It can only hold about 4 wagons and its single siding faces the junction so it may be reasonable to take a wagon destined for this station past the stop and drop it at Catspaw, the next halt down the line, and on the return the branch goods can collect it and shunt it into the siding via the now trailing direction where there's easier access. That is a move I'll add to the rule book for when branch goods trains exceed a certain length. Having these options adds interest.
 

23 hours ago, CameronL said:

Sorry Neil, I stand corrected. Wasn't knocking BLTs - I've modelled more than one myself. However, you do reach a sort of event horizon where the number of wagons that just go in and out again stretches the layout's capacity. I was mainly focusing on the "exotic" loads that sometimes appear. It's unlikely that any BLT, no matter what's down the line, would see a ship's propeller or a loco boiler. 

 

Agreed... and on that point I think we all view the issue the same way. You can apply Rule #1 (if that's what you want to call it) to a lesser degree and get away with it, but slapping a Rule #1 Permit on too many trains kills the realism.
 

22 hours ago, chuffinghell said:

How can you not like a BLT?

C6311BB7-65E9-4568-89E8-EA23B0C85EF4.jpeg.dd29ebc65e09160a397657385a9ad195.jpeg

 

unless you’re a vegetarian of course 

That looks so delicious it may even have the power to convert vegetarians back to the one true faith; all hail Lord Bacon of Juiciness!

Edited by Martin S-C
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One or two further points have come up about ops that interest me and prompt me to shove my twopennorth in!

You are probably fed up with me by now!

 

On 27/07/2019 at 12:10, Harlequin said:

Software would be your friend in all these issues. You could adjust probabilities, add to the number of "cards" at any time, ensure balancing movements, have Sunday workings when more exotic stock is allowed to run, replace out of service wagons with stand-ins, etc. etc...

 

I accept that this might be the case but does any-one know of a commercially available system?

I once experimentally attempted to create a generator for one station on the AFK using the logistics components on Excel.

It soon became a complicated nightmare and was quickly abandoned!

 

In any case my  preference is for low-tech pencil and paper solutions.

I can get a feel of the traffic requirements for the day as they are generated and begin to anticipate potential problems.

 

22 hours ago, CameronL said:

You  can even use a similar system for throwing a spanner in the works of your loco roster by adding the chances of an engine breaking down. Decide on a  chance of this happening (maybe 1 in 5)  and multiply the number of engines you have by that. So if you have 20 engines you can then use the dice to roll a number between 1 and 100. If the number of a loco comes up it's off to the works for the day and you have to find a replacement. You can even refine it by deciding what needs doing to the loco when it gets there, from  a simple valve replacement to a re-boiler. So then you can have a special load with a loco boiler on it (as long as you're happy producing dummy boilers  for everything from the Pecketts to the E4 or can live with a one-size-fits-all boiler for your entire roster. It all depends on how much of a stickler for accuracy you are, and I get the feeling that you are admirably so).

 

Has this been helpful or have I just wasted everybody's time? The former, I hope.

 

These are excellent ideas for replicating the problems that the real thing faced, although ! in 5 for engine failures is rather high!

I use 1 in 1000 for a goods wagon failure (hotbox etc) obtained by turning up a 9 on a 10 sided dice and 99 on a 100 sided dice.

This is thrown for every goods train on its arrival at a station (when I remember).

 

Rotating locos around is more plausible by stopping them for scheduled maintenance such as boiler washouts.

I once devised a system for this but it is in abeyance due to changes in the "calendar" used for operating sessions.

 

On reflection I might be tempted to include the nuts and bolts of these processes for the next operating session on the website, not that that is likely to start for some time.

Any interest any-one?

 

Ian T

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Ian, I am always interested in operational ideas and systems, so feel free to keep shoving those tuppences in. When you get that system up on your website, please let us know. I'd be interested to take a look and I think others will.

I have a friend who is a programmer and I am sure he could write a system for me, but I, too, tend to like the tactile aspect of cards and dice and writing things down. It was how it was done in 1919 (well, not the dice maybe) but while a program would be really quick I wonder if it might make things lose a bit of atmosphere. When I am happy the system is what I want I will approach him and see what he can do because I am willing to try it, but it is early days, I need to get the point motors installed and all the control panels and lever frames finished before I can really get my teeth into this.

As regards stock failures I may or may not introduce these. I am not entirely convinced these features add to the key factor which should always be fun. If events throw up activity that becomes a distraction or even adds the wrong kind of tension to the operations I would almost certainly chop those out. The bottom line is I like playing trains, I don't want to be an actual railway freight traffic manager or the foreman of an MPD.

Meanwhile I have done a bit of rolling stock modelling which was well overdue as I haven't picked up a paintbrush or a bottle of weathering powders for ages.

The John Yates wagon is your basic Dapol 9ft wb one-sided brakes offering. As this small concern was at Monmouth I felt it reasonable that they would send their wagons into the Forest for coal. The model has received my very basic 30-minutes speed weathering job. As I have so many wagons most receive this basic treatment, I then do a bit extra on about 10% of them to give variations.
 

Dsc04826.jpg.11221667dbc7f446fd0cd4e3b02271e5.jpg

Dsc04827.jpg.0c9708dae8f44c2538b812092d7e622e.jpg

 

Then we have the classic Airfix Broadoak, one of their very early wagons. The wb is a little long and probably there are other errors with this model but I have always liked this livery very much and since its vaguely in the correct region (GWR S Wales) I wanted one. Then three came along together. Two were e-Bay purchases off a couple of well-known weathering companies, the other was in boxed condition on a second hand stall at a show. Airfix made no attempt to depict a draw hook on this model, nor even the steel mounting plate, so the plates were made of scrap 5 thou plastic card and the hooks were white metal castings from somewhere-or-other. My other criticism of a number of RTR wagons is how manufacturers depict the end door hinge. Bachmann do it properly, though their glued-on part is very fragile. Hornby, Dapol and Airfix/Mainline mould them in plastic as part of the wagon body which I dislike, so out comes the scalpel and off these bits go. I then drill out the end irons carefully and slide a length of 0.5mm brass wire through, gluing at both ends and painting over. The hinge guides or supports are simply paper, cut carefully to about 0.8mm wide and folded over the hinge bar and glued down, then any excess is trimmed off with a sharp blade. A quick coat of my generic grot colour (rust red, tyre grey and black in a 2:2:1 mix) and the job is done.

Two of them had the third digit of the fleet number removed and replaced using a 0.7mm white Posca paint pen, then shaded with a small brush and black paint.

Dsc04823.jpg.2f82512c067aa796bf4965491915b1fd.jpg

Dsc04824.jpg.0fce8ee1aa60350abc601d8645af31f4.jpg

Dsc04828.jpg.7187af20203732e2be9aa080a2382690.jpg

Lastly a few more Dapol offerings having the holes in their floors blanked off with rectangles of scribed plasticard and end door hinges modified. I'm not a fan of the Dapol "screwfix". A large screw goes up through the floor of the model holding together frame, weight, body and load. I immediately remove the plastic load because my arrangement requires it and the whole wagon then falls to bits. I glue it back together and conceal the hole in the floor. I wish Dapol would devise an alternative method of securing the loads in.

 

Dsc04825.jpg.6dc22d9e27eba4c1cde9707c107af7d4.jpg

 

The battered one on right with the replaced planks will join my 1950s fleet.

Edited by Martin S-C
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1 hour ago, ianathompson said:

One or two further points have come up about ops that interest me and prompt me to shove my twopennorth in!

You are probably fed up with me by now!

 

 

I accept that this might be the case but does any-one know of a commercially available system?

I once experimentally attempted to create a generator for one station on the AFK using the logistics components on Excel.

It soon became a complicated nightmare and was quickly abandoned!

 

In any case my  preference is for low-tech pencil and paper solutions.

I can get a feel of the traffic requirements for the day as they are generated and begin to anticipate potential problems.

 

 

These are excellent ideas for replicating the problems that the real thing faced, although ! in 5 for engine failures is rather high!

I use 1 in 1000 for a goods wagon failure (hotbox etc) obtained by turning up a 9 on a 10 sided dice and 99 on a 100 sided dice.

This is thrown for every goods train on its arrival at a station (when I remember).

 

Rotating locos around is more plausible by stopping them for scheduled maintenance such as boiler washouts.

I once devised a system for this but it is in abeyance due to changes in the "calendar" used for operating sessions.

 

On reflection I might be tempted to include the nuts and bolts of these processes for the next operating session on the website, not that that is likely to start for some time.

Any interest any-one?

 

Ian T

Yes please!

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On 14/07/2019 at 13:14, St Enodoc said:

Thanks Martin. Let us know how you get on. I haven't decided yet how to control the triangle at Treloggan Junction.

Hi John, so far no problems at all. I just drive locos around the triangle and the gadget does everything. Very pleased with it so far although for now the train timetable isn't very intense. It will mostly be passenger trains that need tender engines to face the right way and at the moment I'm hardly running any at all. Presumably it will be some time before you get to your installation so I'll give you updates if you need them.

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