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Neil

Life in a Northern Town

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Hi Neil,

 

Appreciate this might be a slow burner but will be following with interest as this project develops. Looks like you have a fantastic space to work in now and, given your previous projects and layouts, I know it will be modelling of the highest quality. I have always been fascinated by the railways of York, particularly the Foss Islands branch and DVLR, as well as being interested in all the former NER branch lines in the wider area. Being just up the road I have been a regular visitor over the years and still really 'enjoy' mooching around the city at any opportunity.

 

I loved Shell Island and some of your other layouts and cannot wait to see what you do here :) Is there any design at all at present or just a broad idea to develop a series of cameos based on the railways of the city? If you don't mind me asking, what size is the overall space? Now living in Wales is it a case of 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'! ;)

 

David

Edited by south_tyne

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I assume, Neil, that you have watched the BT Film “This Is York”, set in the ‘50s? It is available on YouTube, and includes a brief sequence in the rural hinterland as well as much busy operation. One of the better BTF efforts IMHO.

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Oh, how wonderful.

 

Looking forward to seeing this develop, Neil. Just fantastic.

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I assume, Neil, that you have watched the BT Film “This Is York”, set in the ‘50s? It is available on YouTube, and includes a brief sequence in the rural hinterland as well as much busy operation. One of the better BTF efforts IMHO.

 

Thank you Ian for the reminder. I have seen the film but some time ago. I really should take another look at it soon.

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....  Is there any design at all at present or just a broad idea to develop a series of cameos based on the railways of the city? If you don't mind me asking, what size is the overall space? Now living in Wales is it a case of 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'! ;)

 

David

 

Thank you for the kind words David, as you first speculated I think the project will be a bit of a slow burner. To try and tackle your questions I'll take the easy one first. The space I have is 19' x 9' but that totally given over to the layout is only 14' x 9' though I'll be swiping a part of the partitioned off workshop bit for a 5' long fiddle yard. At the moment there's no hard a fast design, nothing I could really put down on paper though the concept, York of my youth is firmly fixed. I can say that what I'll end up building will be a blend of fact and fiction, just as Morfa, Shell Island or any of my other recent layouts have been. I imagine that anyone who knows York will be able to point to bits and recognise them but that the whole won't be a direct lift from the real place either as it is now or as it was then. Absence making the heart grow fonder? I'm not sure. Even if I was still living in York I still couldn't go back to my childhood in real life as so much has changed over the years; maybe it's more to do with distance in time than distance in miles; I'll have to think about that some more.

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Loved all your previous layouts, Neil, and look forward to seeing this one develop. Vans and a 9F! Swoon . . .  Although I assume there'll still be a place for some Sulzer Type 2s?

 

David

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This looks like a brilliant project Neil....and a 9F too! :sungum:  :sungum:

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Is this going to be an OO layout, Neil?

 

It most certainly is CK. Though my recent UK outline layouts have been EM gauge I've gone this time for a less exacting formula which should see me less bogged down in the bread and butter stages of construction and therefore leave more time to savour the jam on top. In fact I'm using a not very finescale recipe with Peco code 100 track as the main ingredient.  Though in some circles this might be considered a heretical approach I'm convinced that the wow factor lies in the arty farty bits of layout design and construction, not in the engineering purity or obsessive dimensional accuracy. To see whether this theory holds water I need to put my time and money where my mouth is and build something to prove it works.

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This looks like a brilliant project Neil....and a 9F too! :sungum:  :sungum:

 

I do like a 9F; this one is a weathered and lightly tweaked Hornby Railroad one I picked up for twenty five quid. I spent an extra tenner on a chip so it could run on friends dcc layouts, however it never ran as well as it did initially on dc so the chip has come out; my Hornby Q6 exhibited the same dislike of being chipped. The new layout will be dc.

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Looking forward to this.

Always found the chocolatey foss islands branch interesting .

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Another one hre wating to see you make the ordinary into that little bit extraodinary! 

Edited by LBRJ

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A couple of snaps of my Crosti 9F...certainly not a York engine though!

 

post-6728-0-88276200-1533622408_thumb.jpg

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Edited by Re6/6
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A couple of snaps of my Crosti 9F...certainly not a York engine though!

 

Wellingborough and Cricklewood come to mind?

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Wellingborough and Cricklewood come to mind?

 

Indeed Ian!

 

This Crosti certainly had an odd journey! A 'one-off' return trip from Wellingborough to Brighton for repair but was refused entry to Brighton Works and sent packing two days later, hence our interest in it. Soon to appear crossing the OVV!

 

92028 leaving Redhill on 7th September 1955. Photo ctsy 'Bluebell Museum Archive'

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I've managed to spend a few more hours in the playroom trying out different arrangements of track and structures. but first of all I lifted what had been temporarily fixed down and covered the surface of the baseboards with lining paper. Once I've settled on what goes where I can mark out on the lining paper then use it as a template for cutting out the different surface layers. Although one side of the layout was fixed almost from the outset I had been struggling to get an arrangement which looks good and will work operationally for the end and remaining side.

 

post-6793-0-73099900-1533804349_thumb.jpg

 

I think I'm about there for the end but the other leg of the U shape is still a work in progress. In the meantime I thought I'd show you my curve marking gadget, a thin strip of wood just over three feet long with a hole at the zero point and others at two feet, two foot six and three feet. The holes are all the same size as the pencil and fixing screw on my tripod have compatible dimensions.

 

post-6793-0-34829300-1533804347_thumb.jpg

 

At first I struggled with the overhang on curves of less than maximum size until I put the pencil in the zero and the tripod screw in the two feet or two foot six holes. Obvious really but I had a few minutes of head scratching before the penny dropped.

 

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Finally another gratuitous photo of a train.  I could use the excuse that it shows that one shouldn't be afraid to ditch stuff if it doesn't work and that paring back often gives a better result; the diamond crossing was an attractive feature in its own right but a blind alley as far as the total design was concerned. In reality I just liked it.

 

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Nice to see some vintage Tri-ang buildings getting a new lease of life.

 

Still have plenty of default_popcorn.gif

 

Stu

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I like to do a little each day to the layout, even if it's only going into the garage, taking a look and plotting further tweaks to the design. However on Thursday and Friday I must have had a sudden rush of enthusiasm as the head of nickel has pushed on quite a bit.

 

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The cause of this motivation was working out how the middle section would look. As ever cutting back my wish list of features I wanted led to the notion that I could adapt a Foss side location in York to my needs and maintain some coherence when the totality of the model is compared to the real location. I'd always advise when design block strikes to trim away the frills and reduce track down to the essentials. Quite often this results in greater operational interest as it's challenging to push at the boundaries at what can be done with a limited amount of track. A siding for everything can make things too easy.

 

Another day and another gadget, or set of gadgets. Using the tripod and timber trammel gives an even sweep to lay the initial track to. Cutting some 40thou plasticard pieces to the same width gives a set of spacers make laying curves parallel to this a doddle.

 

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Also in the photo is a sewing needle in a pin vice, pressing it into the sleeper makes starting track pins in the right position dead easy.

 

As part of the planning process I needed to establish the position of roads concurrently with the track. To give a feel for their width I made some strips of brown paper by tearing along a straight edge. Though the centre of York is renowned for its narrow medieval streets, some later constructions are much wider. As my city centre goods yard abuts The Stonebow, newly built at the time I've set my version of York, this road needs to be a generous proportions.

 

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Away from The Stonebow the Q6 awaits to depart the sidings behind Picadilly as an 05 arrives with a short train from the Glass Works at the bottom of Blue Bridge Lane.

 

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Though two thirds of the layout have been worked out in my mind there's a long way to go with the remainder.

 

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Edited by Neil
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Hi Neil,

 

Like many others I'm looking forward to seeing this develop.  Have you the basis of a track plan that you could share with us?

 

Thanks.

 

Regards,

 

Alex.

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Hi Neil,

 

Like many others I'm looking forward to seeing this develop.  Have you the basis of a track plan that you could share with us?

 

Thanks.

 

Regards,

 

Alex.

 

Hello Alex, thank you for the interest in my project. I'm afraid that as yet I haven't drawn a track plan. My starting point was a vague notion that bits of York as it was would be collaged together to give a layout that locals would recognise but which wouldn't actually be York. Many of the bits I wanted to include were not railway and some didn't suggest themselves until I started to map out my ideas full size on the baseboards. The upshot of this free-form approach to planning is that no track plan exists. At some stage I will break out paper and pens but this will be once the design is closer to being finalised.  I know from experience that my plans can be subject to revision right until the last moment and beyond. My last big layout Morfa went though a series of minor tweaks and a few big upheavals before emerging in its final form.

 

In the meantime you might be able to get a sense of what the layout will look like if I point you in the direction of a few of the images that have inspired me.

 

Glassworks 1

 

Glassworks 2

 

Stonebow 1

 

Stonebow 2

 

Kings Square

 

Most of the images, and I have loads stacked up on my pc, come from the York Press or as it was know then the York Evening Press. It's a fantastic resource from what was then a fantastic local paper.

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Hi again,

 

Thanks for the response and the links.  The one I immediately recognised was the Stonebow - hadn't seen an image of it from before the 'modernisation'.  Nice to see some of the older architecture remains, even in its original use.

 

Regards,

 

Alex.

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Having said I like to do a little each day to the layout, this last week has seen no progress as we've had friends staying. However yesterday I made a start on mocking up possible buildings for the glassworks area of the layout; today I finished them and tried them out for size.

 

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post-6793-0-24234900-1534686767_thumb.jpg

 

This is the first bit of the layout I've had to do this for, the rest I could visualise easily. I'm not sure whether they're a bit too big or not. The real thing to scale would be far larger and dominant but as I mentioned at the beginning I'm not seeking a 100% accurate model, just something that evokes the spirit of the place as it was fifty odd years ago. I think I'm going to leave them in place for a while to see what the passage of time does to my judgement.

 

 

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