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No46

Chippenham and surrounding Wiltshire lines - A long term project in OO to watch model trains run by

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Well, I think it is about time I threw my hat into the ring. I have been meandering here for some time with a few builds but now I need to have something for them to run on.

 

My interest originated as a boy with a trainset and my then neighbour had a wonderful model layout in his spare bedroom, which I watched him run. Good times, wonderful days.

 

Welcome to Chippenham. My intention is to build a prototypical based layout of Chippenham mainline through station and the Calne branch line. Track plans will be based in the 1920/30s as will the structures. Both will be roundy roundy. The rolling stock will range from early to late Great Western. I will try to keep train formations correct but not all at the same time, i.e. an outside framed Pannier freight may be passing a King hauling a rake of Colletts on the main line.

 

About thirteen or so years ago I hastily built baseboards to start building my planned layout based on a prototype mainline station with a branch. I had only one station and branch in mind. With a 20ft x 13ft space available, I knew a few compromises would be essential regarding the track plan and how to merge the branch into the space. The space itself is a loft. I could have waited until I was able to afford a loft conversion so it would have been a very comfortable room. That could be a long time and runs the risk of finding a different use for said space, so I made good what I could and got on with the layout.

 

This was all pre RMweb for me and many lessons learnt since. Once I had the track plan down on paper I squeezed the available space to the max. Adding a few more sidings plus increasing the shed space into something more suited to Swindon or Bristol. At one point I had the layout completely wired and working but it just did not feel right. I fell out of love with the layout and modelling for some years whilst life took over and new events and projects undertaken.

 

A change of job meant a change of focus.  I discovered RMweb and started lurking, like so many. Totally seduced by the fantastic layouts and projects on show by the members here, I started to rediscover my enthusiasm. Eventually I was persuaded by my colleagues to start my Great Western Hercules loco project. The help and encouragement from the web members not only motivated the build but reignited my enthusiasm for the long stagnating layout project. After being invited and subsequently attending the RMweb Didcot day hosted by Castle (thank you Sir) my determination to complete this project is completely set in stone. I am under no illusion that this will be a quick build I expect the project to take many years to complete possibly at least 10 years to get it exactly as I want it.

 

I had collected a lot of pictorial research, maps and books as I still had a general interest in the station, branch and surrounding area, after all my Great Uncle was a driver on the bunk. Unfortunately I never had chance to talk to him about his career. This was a great help as I did not have to start completely from scratch.

 

Looking at the layout as it stood I again felt the lack of motivation, something was just not right about it or the track plan I just could not put my finger on it. However I know that if I continued rebuilding it I would never be happy so I have decided to dismantle the entire thing and start again. Whilst deconstruction commenced the reason behind my dislike for the track plan hit me. LESS IS MORE! I have viewed numerous wonderful layouts on this forum and enjoyed reading about their development as well as the banter. I had fallen into the trap of getting as many sidings and lines on the board as possible, whilst still true to a general over-view of the chosen station I had increased the amount of sidings and shed area. This can easily be rectified especially as I am completely rebuilding from the boards up.

 

I do not want a layout to run to a timetable as I like having my trains just running, so as the next kit is being built I can watch the trains roll by. I really enjoy building kits and collecting/running RTR stock. I will have to scratch build all my buildings and will attempt to recreate these as accurately as possible. As previously mentioned I had already started this layout and have already purchased my track and points etc. Unfortunately (as I did not know any better then) I have electrofrog pointwork. There are far many too many points and cross-overs to be able to afford replacing with livefrog. The existing track is Peco 100 again too much to think about replacing with either bullhead, code 75 or making my own. I don’t have enough time to realistically build my own especially as I expect to be building all the structures myself after researching them. Like most others I also have a decent amount of rolling stock kits to keep me distracted. I have mentioned RTR stock as well and have a good collection of this. So the layout will be DC controlled. As much as I love seeing and hearing all the DCC locos and appreciate everything they can offer I am a little old school and enjoy wiring up sections of track. Plus the initial outlay is quite high especially as I have DC controls already.

 

I regrettably do not have any pre-existing knowledge of railways; model or prototype. So I do not necessarily know names and terms used for locos, stock and infrastructure. I have learnt a lot and still learning. This also includes ALL modelling skills from the basic track down to the weathering, detailing of buildings and stock and use of equipment, i.e. soldering irons, airbrushes to what materials to use and when.

 

Modelling time is still at a premium and will be for some years to come, building will be slow as a single handed project but I intend on producing a layout that I am 100% happy with. I would rather spend three weeks getting a small detail right to the best of my ability than three hours just to get it done and in place.

 

So here is an idea of the main station layout. Unfortunately I am not very good with computer programmes so I have drawn the plan;

 

post-18130-0-53185100-1539695085_thumb.jpg

 

Calne will follow in due course. The track plan is much simpler, being a smaller market town terminus. Additionally the branch will have to be inclined to a different level to the mainline in order to be able to incorporate it.

 

All comments and conversations are encouraged here. I would like for this thread to become more of a conversation as well as a sharing point for ideas, skills, knowledge and banter. Hopefully it will become a good source of information for all of those visiting, as well as an enjoyable and amusing read. After all, we are here because we share the same interest but for many different reasons. My postings may be sporadic due to available time but updates will be documented.

 

 

Edited by No46
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I suggest you look at the plans of real GWR / WR engine shed diagrams. There was more to them than just a shed and turntable. For example watering, coaling, sand ash disposal, repair shop?

 

Also having the turntable as the only means of access to your shed area, should the turntable break down?

 

Gordon A

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This looks a very interesting project and by the look of your photographs you are making good progress. I do agree with Gordon A's comment about the engine shed, looking at Lyons book the actual track layout is much simpler. As a general rule, I find that in modelling less is more.

 

Brian

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Will follow with interest, I have lived near Chippenham for a while and use the station most weeks. Compared to today it is hard to visualise the station once had so much track

 

The former coal yard building has been modelled on "Mortimer Yard" which appears on RMweb and also used to be home of the Bentley model railway club until a few years ago.

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I suggest you look at the plans of real GWR / WR engine shed diagrams. There was more to them than just a shed and turntable. For example watering, coaling, sand ash disposal, repair shop?

 

Also having the turntable as the only means of access to your shed area, should the turntable break down?

 

Gordon A

 

Thank you Gordon and everyone, really appreciate your observations and thoughts. I will have to rethink it. This is one of the compromises that I had to make in order to fit the most salient points of interest from the prototype in the space available. The original track layout was, shed access via point work between the table and the shed. I will see what can be done to be more prototypical.

I will be creating a much larger shed with coaling etc facilities 'off scene' but that will be later in development as my focus needs to be Chippenham at this point.

Edited by No46

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Here is a rough drawing of the revised track plan, sorry it has been so long in coming. Taking on board Gordon A's suggestion (thank you Sir, appreciate your input)and also following the prototype track plan closer. The siding just short of the shed is for coaling as there was a seemingly very makeshift coal stage type thing there. Will try and get a picture of the map so a better comparison can be made especially for those not familiar with the station. 

 

post-18130-0-13802300-1540388923_thumb.jpg

 

A little more work has been managed to remove some of the existing boards. I have realised that these can (if careful) be reused for the fiddle yard side hence taking longer to dismantle than just smash and burn.

 

post-18130-0-71373300-1540407634_thumb.jpg  post-18130-0-93125300-1540407678_thumb.jpg

 

Additionally I plan to use the roof bean as additional support, reducing the number of legs required whilst raising the level by another 4 inches (ish). 

Edited by No46
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So here are some picture of the map I am working from to compare (looking West to East);

 

 

post-18130-0-33412100-1540628113.jpg post-18130-0-05047200-1540628130.jpg post-18130-0-32280300-1540628140.jpg post-18130-0-02875600-1540628146.jpg

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Well, I think it is about time I threw my hat into the ring. I have been meandering here for some time with a few builds but now I need to have something for them to run on.

 

As previously mentioned I had already started this layout and have already purchased my track and points etc. Unfortunately (as I did not know any better then) I have electrofrog pointwork. There are far many too many points and cross-overs to be able to afford replacing with livefrog. The existing track is Peco 100 again too much to think about replacing with either bullhead, code 75 or making my own. I don’t have enough time to realistically build my own especially as I expect to be building all the structures myself after researching them. Like most others I also have a decent amount of rolling stock kits to keep me distracted. I have mentioned RTR stock as well and have a good collection of this. So the layout will be DC controlled. As much as I love seeing and hearing all the DCC locos and appreciate everything they can offer I am a little old school and enjoy wiring up sections of track. Plus the initial outlay is quite high especially as I have DC controls already.

 

 

 

When you bought those points, etc. there was only Electro-frog or Insul-frog.

These have been replaced by the Uni-frog, but (in my opinion) you have the

best option available.

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First board finally moved and re-positioned. Don't remember it being that heavy!

The new position is now at a height of 100cm (ish). This varies as the floor is not even and rather than emptying the loft to replace all the boards I am building insitu . I should be able to now build the new boards off of this one. I have pictured the height difference from the old to new positions. Hope we do not need to move house for a long time  :O

 

post-18130-0-59180300-1540749847.jpg     post-18130-0-85669300-1540749852.jpg

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Hi

 

You may want to get a copy of Model Railway Journal 107 which includes an article on Roy Ball's model of Chippenham?

 

Ian

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Ian, thanks. An excellent article with some interesting pictures.

 

 

 

Not much has happened and as promised I will not be picturing 'blow by blow' but will attach pictures of the latest stage of board construction as it does show the new higher position. I have also managed to complete a very nice Parkside kit of GWR Mica B that was half built on my bench;

 

post-18130-0-93143300-1542047319.jpg  Each handrail was tricky to bend in various directions whilst trying to make four identical ones.

 

Construction is slow. Access is minimal through a loft hatch and the floor is loft boards and completely uneven so everything has to be individually made in situ but I am happy with what has been finished so far;

 

post-18130-0-06726500-1542047337.jpg  post-18130-0-39803600-1542047348.jpg

Edited by No46
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Not a huge amount of development recently. Fixing a couple more board frames and checked the point positions for underboard obstructions. Got a little side tracked with making this from a Falcon brass kit;

 

post-18130-0-81452200-1544353619.jpg

Edited by No46
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It has again been a little while. Some more existing boards have been removed and new frames in place. Also discovered a decent sized wasp nest which obviously needed some serious attention before continuation.

 

In the meantime; in pursuit of additional Christmas and timber funds, I sold some duplicate kits and the above brake van (someone got a real bargain on that one). I was however unable to pass on a complete O gauge pannier tank kit. After some discussion (mainly in my head) whether I should build or retry to sell, build a High Level Fowler kit received earlier this year as a birthday gift or finish the two, ongoing projects in the bottom draw, a twin railcar and 39xx (all in OO gauge). I eventually persuaded myself to build the O monster, reasoning that I have built enough OO wagon kits and I still do not have a baseboard to run them on so build the Pannier to the working display model that I had intended many years ago whilst finishing off the boards. Ever started anything you wish you hadn't?!!! I had removed so much flash I think I could melt it all and cast new parts for a complete OO gauge Pannier and the instructions are a little above my knowledge/skill level

 

Current state of play;

 

post-18130-0-50845800-1545475335.jpg

 

To hopefully build 64xx;

 

post-18130-0-89948900-1545475368.jpg

 

As Christmas tends to be a little quieter for myself I intend to have the station frames and boards constructed and in place by the end of the year and possibly the other side at least ready to accept track so a run around can be achieved.

 

Happy Christmas to one and all and thank you all for your very kind comments and extremely useful information and suggestions for all my projects. Here's to good modelling in 2019.  :drink_mini:

Edited by No46
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The layout board frames are coming along nicely although slower than hoped, due to doing other jobs as I notice them. Re-lagging the header tank and boxing it in, foolishly leveling and strengthening some of the existing loft boarding.

 

Thinking ahead to the track bed etc has anyone used or have an opinion on acoustic underlay on top of the ply baseboards, something like;

 

https://www.screwfix.com/p/acoustic-polyolefin-foam-underlay-20m/4720r#product_additional_details_container

 

I have been trying to find out what is better on top of the ply baseboards;

 

  • Plain ply
  • Cork underlay only
  • Cork covering withe a second layer of cork underlay to make a track bed
  • Acoustic foam (what sort?)
  • Acoustic foam with a cork track bed

Thoughts and opinions more than welcome please.

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I have looked at some of the foam underlay and although it seems very strong and less 'noisy' I have a concern that it is too shiny and this will limit paint and adhesive ability to take thus providing a lovely flat and quiet (ish) base but one that you can not add any scenic quality or detail.

 

Thoughts?

 

Mean while the layout framework is nearly there. I decided the ordinal boards are too heavy and the frames are warped due to the lack of support I originally provided so not to use them at all. Better to get it right rather than regret it in a couple of years time and never use the layout again.

The boards have been reused to level and add strength to the existing floor boarding. This obviously has delayed the frame construction by a couple of weeks but the flip side is; I now have a very strong and stable floor to which the new layout supports can be placed on providing a much better and more suitable base. Very happy with the end result. I may use some of the old frame short bracing but more likely on an outside project in the summer or give to a friend for fire wood.

 

Pannier build is somewhat slower, no chassis instructions is a real pain but it is nice to have a loco build running alongside the layout build (albeit O gauge!).

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I have looked at some of the foam underlay and although it seems very strong and less 'noisy' I have a concern that it is too shiny and this will limit paint and adhesive ability to take thus providing a lovely flat and quiet (ish) base but one that you can not add any scenic quality or detail.

 

Thoughts?

 

Don't go there, It breaks up with age with disastrous consequences, It also looks rubbish compared to properly ballasted track..

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Hi Rob,

Thanks for the feedback. I do mean the laminate floor foam underlay not the foam ballast underlay. Does that break up as well? 

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Hi Rob,

Thanks for the feedback. I do mean the laminate floor foam underlay not the foam ballast underlay. Does that break up as well? 

 

Hi, if it is the stuff I think it is I haven't seen it tried on a layout so can't comment on it's durability.

Edited by 37114

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Hi Rob,

Thanks for the feedback. I do mean the laminate floor foam underlay not the foam ballast underlay. Does that break up as well? 

 

If you look across the forum you will find a fair few that have used laminate floor foam as a track underlay, I have used it on my modern camieo layout Wheal Imogen and not experenced any issues.  I cut the edges of foam to an angle after gluing it down, then ballasted using Carrs ballast secured with Johnstons Klear. 

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Hi Rob,

Thanks for the feedback. I do mean the laminate floor foam underlay not the foam ballast underlay. Does that break up as well?

 

I fitted some with spray glue for flooring about 18 years ago for my sons layout, recently hauled out the loft, still just as good and flexible as the day I did it.

 

post-32910-0-69069500-1547561417_thumb.jpeg

 

Cheers

Ade

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Thanks guys, excellent news. I will continue researching as I am still frame building but always good to get ahead of the game when dealing with track bases etc.

Appreciate all the feedback.

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Thanks guys, excellent news. I will continue researching as I am still frame building but always good to get ahead of the game when dealing with track bases etc.

Appreciate all the feedback.

One other thing, be careful with glues. The spray I usually use gluing down track templates was partially melting the foam, while my usual evostick for gluing down track completely melted the foam

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