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Upton Hanbury - GWR mainline fantasy

GWR mainline OO fanstasy roundy landscape




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#1 Harlequin

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 19:57

Here is a big fantasy design I've been thinking about.

(It's not completely out of this world. I've measured up and it would actually fit in my house but I would have to make some huge sacrifices!)
 

Givens
The givens for me are:

  • It has to be 4mm and OO.
  • It has to be classic period GWR, 1923-1939.
  • I want to see the railway in the landscape.
  • I want to see mainline locos and varied traffic.

The last two givens pretty much rule out BLTs because:

  • BLT stations usually fill the model leaving little space for landscape
  • Realistic operation would probably be quiet and infrequent
  • BLTs typically relied on a limited cast of rolling stock and small locos

 

Brief

So the brief is this:

  • Have space to express a section of the GWR network in a more representative and open way than the tightly compressed layouts that are typical of OO.
  • Model mainline trains where they are doing their natural thing: running at speed in open countryside on big sweeping curves - not where they are slowest, approaching or departing a terminus or running on very tight urban curves.
  • Model the most prolific type of station - a double-track wayside station.
  • Show simple railway in the landscape. Don't get sucked into covering the baseboard with track to make it more "interesting".
  • Show a good mix of traffic and the interactions between them: slow, fast, long distance, local stopper, passenger, freight, specials.
  • Fit the design in by rationalising and combining instead of compressing.
  • Big enough for representative train lengths without them looking silly. (Castles hauling 5-11 coaches. 2-8-0 heavy freight locos hauling 30-60 wagons.)

The consequences of the brief are significant:

  1. The layout is going to be BIG!
  2. It must be a roundy-round to rationalise the fiddle yard behind the scenic area and so that trains can run through the scenic area at constant speed.
  3. To give the longest possible landscape run, the station must be at one end of the scenic area or the other, not in the middle.
  4. Scenic track length must be at least twice the length of express passenger or express freight trains.

Location

My chosen location is the Berks & Hants line from Reading down towards the South West where rail, river and canal dance around each other.

Back-story:
In a parallel universe there are pockets here and there where the geography is subtly different than our world. So settlements are in different places, they have different names and road, rail and canals take different routes.
One such pocket is between Great Bedwyn and Newbury. The river is no longer the Kennet, it is the Hannet. Where Hungerford should be there's only a small village with a basic station. A few miles further east is the larger town of Upton Hanbury. (The station takes it's name from the town but it is actually closer to the village of Lower Hanbury.)
 

Design

Upton Hanbury 15.png

[Click to enlarge]

 

The scenic area trackwork would be all Peco bullhead track (er, except for the small diamond crossing in the goods yard, dammit!).

The fiddle yard trackwork would be Code 75.

Scenic breaks of a tunnel mouth at one end and a road overbridge at the other are a bit "on-the-nose" but I think they are appropriate for the setting.

I have a feeling that the fiddle yard could be improved.

 

Here are a few questions that you knowledgeable folks might be able to help with:

  • Does the station layout look convincing? (Is it OK to use the refuge loop as a headshunt?)
  • Does the goods refuge loop look right? (Is "refuge loop" the correct term?)
  • Would slow up freights ever use a refuge loop on the down side of the tracks by running clear of the crossover and propelling back into it? 
  • If commuter traffic from the east (e.g. Reading, London) terminated at Upton Hanbury would the sketched-in west crossover be needed? Is there any traffic movement that would need, or be made easier by, a west crossover?

Edited by Harlequin, 05 November 2018 - 08:27 .

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#2 Junctionmad

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 21:32

For operational interest , have you considered adding up and down platform loops , rather like those on the Badminton line . Allows you to run mainline trains past while holding stopping passenger or slow freights in the loops

Dave
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#3 mdvle

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 23:56

Is this meant as a display layout, or a home layout?

 

Either way, a better design would seem to indicate having a hole in the middle - if a display layout then the operators can be behind the scenic portion so they don't block access to the public, and if a home layout then the centre of the room so both the scenic and fiddle yard can be easily accessed (by flipping the scenic portion to face the inside).  Alternately it means you are sacrificing layout space at one or both ends to get around to the opposite side.

 

The benefit of the hole in middle is that it gains you extra space on the sides of additional scenic area.

 

Is this meant to be single person operation, or having an operating session with multiple people?  Or automation?  The interaction of traffic requirement implies more than a single person operation, and while automation wouldn't take up additional space if it's meant to be multiple people then make sure the room has enough space for people to get around each other.

 

If it's not meant to be a multiple person type operation then you might be able to get most of what you want by modelling Torbay - you get full length trains, almost any loco you want to throw out there including King's and 47xx, some freight though not as long or as frequent, some smaller locals, possibly some light engine moves or even ECS, while also having some of the simplicity of a branchline.  You could even add in the operating potential of a yard if you either went multi-level with the fiddle yard (fiddle yard underneath a scenic version of Goodrington carriage sidings / freight shed) or split that side it a fiddle yard half / scenic half.  This biggest thing you would give up would be operating at speed.

 

To really run trains at speed what one really needs given the usual lack of space is a freemo type layout, more specific than the usual style of separate interests but a group dedicated to achieving a specific goal (essentially a freemo version of a club layout).  Get a group of people who all want to model the GWR mainline style in that time period, commit to a bunch of modules were more than the basic are specified - also specify ballast, etc - and you could get what you want without giving up an entire house.


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#4 jamespetts

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:07

I do very much like this layout concept, and it would be a splendid thing to see it built, especially with Peco Bullhead. I also love the name.

 

The fiddle yards are interesting. Do you intend to be able to have a system where a train arriving in the down fiddle yard will re-emerge again from the down fiddle yard rather than endlessly cycling in the same direction? I note that you appear to have designed the fiddle yards to allow for this. I wonder whether you might be able to get even more variety of locomotives by having a few more locomotive spurs on each side?

 

I note with interest the use of dual turntables in the fiddle yard. I can see that this layout would be an excellent candidate for automation (or semi-automation, with the through trains automated and the local trains manually controlled).


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#5 Harlequin

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 08:23

For operational interest , have you considered adding up and down platform loops , rather like those on the Badminton line . Allows you to run mainline trains past while holding stopping passenger or slow freights in the loops

Dave

Hi Dave,

 

I don't think that was common practice on the Berk & Hants. All the stations that I'm using for inspiration (Kintbury, Hungerford, Pewsey, etc.) had platforms against the main running lines.

 

Of course the goods refuge loop beyond the platforms is designed to do exactly that for freight traffic and where it passes south of the south platform could theoretically do the job for passenger traffic, in either direction. I don't know whether that sort of thing was ever done in practice, though.



#6 clachnaharry

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 09:09

Hi Dave,

 

I don't think that was common practice on the Berk & Hants. All the stations that I'm using for inspiration (Kintbury, Hungerford, Pewsey, etc.) had platforms against the main running lines.

 

 

Newbury has that sort of layout, with the platforms on loops rather than the main running line.



#7 Miss Prism

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 09:23

Looking good. I like the long refuge loop, but I agree with Harlequin that it would be unlikely to be used for up trains.

 

I think the middle crossover would be a good idea, and can be used for getting vehicles off up trains into the yard. Here's a bit of leisurely shunting on the mainline at Lavington:

 

lavington.jpg

 

 


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#8 clachnaharry

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 10:39

Have you looked at the Hungerford layout? It appears to have all the features that you are looking for (including the diamond in the goods yard). If you model the prototype track layout, but with a different name and in a different setting, then you can still have the freedom of doing your own thing scenically and operationally, but all the questions on the rightness of the track layout and signalling go away.

 

https://maps.nls.uk/view/104197513

 

The biggest drawback that I can see is that the relief sidings are sidings rather than loops, but that is pretty characteristic of the classic era that you aspire to. In many cases these sidings were turned into loops during WW2, so you could stretch history a bit.


Edited by clachnaharry, 05 November 2018 - 10:47 .

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#9 The Stationmaster

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 10:48

Hi Dave,

 

I don't think that was common practice on the Berk & Hants. All the stations that I'm using for inspiration (Kintbury, Hungerford, Pewsey, etc.) had platforms against the main running lines.

 

Of course the goods refuge loop beyond the platforms is designed to do exactly that for freight traffic and where it passes south of the south platform could theoretically do the job for passenger traffic, in either direction. I don't know whether that sort of thing was ever done in practice, though.

 

The only station on the B&H with centre through lines was Newbury - which also had three bay platforms for the branches of course so was rather unusual in a number of respects compared with ALL other stations on the B&H/B&H Extension.

 

There were no goods loops on the B&H prior to WWII (although I'm not certain of the date when Hungerford Down Loop was added but I suspect not prior to the 1939 layout changes) and there were relatively few refuge sidings of any useful length.  There were also relatively few stations with more than one crossover road but as 'Upton Hanbury' has displaced Hungerford I think two crossovers - as you have suggested - could be justified.

 

The thing which really needs a bit of further thought is the Goods Loop/refuge as a Down train can only access it by setting back but in that case the point would be much closer to the signalbox, especially so in pre 1939-45 guise.  I would be inclined to keep no more than a short spur there (and I mean short - there were no long headshunts/spurs at any B&H intermediate station pre-war) and provide a refuge siding on the Up side if you really want such a feature.  The yard can still be serviced from the Down Main with limited access from the Up Main which would be perfectly realistic as at least one B&H yard was served by freight trips or trains in both directions but only shunted in the one direction (Down trip in your case).


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#10 clachnaharry

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 11:02

 

There were no goods loops on the B&H prior to WWII (although I'm not certain of the date when Hungerford Down Loop was added but I suspect not prior to the 1939 layout changes) and there were relatively few refuge sidings of any useful length.  There were also relatively few stations with more than one crossover road but as 'Upton Hanbury' has displaced Hungerford I think two crossovers - as you have suggested - could be justified.

 

 

The link I posted in my previous post shows most of the layout at Hungerford in 1936. Am I right in surmising that the long siding trailing from the up line was in fact a refuge siding, and that the yard headshunt doubled as a down refuge?

 

How did the layout change in 1939? Were either of these sidings converted to loops?

 

If you check the adjoining map showing the west end of the station, there is another crossover.


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#11 Flying Pig

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 12:40

The placing of the goods yard alongside the platforms immediately looks "model railway" to me and detracts from the prototypical spaciousness you appear to be aiming for. I'd agree that a suitably simplified version of Hungerford would be well worth drawing out and would have suitable local provenance.

#12 34theletterbetweenB&D

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 13:25

The 'fiddle yard' piece.

 

Broadly speaking, the traffic that goes down, mostly returns going up. What I would suggest is transposing the yard. So the rhs is 'up arrival', lhs 'down arrival'. Then in place of the trailing direction oblique parallel roads in yard centre, have a facing points ladder. What this enables is simpler reversal and re-engining for those trains departing in the opposte direction to arrival, and half the run of the yard to get up to full express speed before entering the scene. This latter starts to matter with relatively small locos on 11 coaches going around roughly 30" radius, they can use a flying start.

 

You only need one engine turn / storage site as well with this arrangement, which is a space saver.



#13 Joseph_Pestell

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 15:16

The track plan has much of Brent about it. All those slips were necessary at Brent, a very confined site, but look wrong elsewhere - certainly nothing like any Berks & Hants station.



#14 Miss Prism

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 15:24

I don't think you need two boxes. Your current west box location can reach the outer crossovers adequately.


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#15 Harlequin

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 19:48

Thanks everyone for the comments.

 

I will consider everything and reply in due course.



#16 Neal Ball

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 21:39

Wow that’s huge!

It will be great to see this built, presumably you have a huge spare garage!

Good luck with the project.
Neal
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#17 DavidCBroad

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 04:00

A couple of observations, there are no crossovers between up and down lines. a pair of trailing crossovers was pretty much universal as it allowed trains to erminate and reverse and for trains to reverse onto the "Other" line to allow other trains to overtake. 

I would not have the refuge loop.

A train in the goods loop will hide trains running on the running lines, it would be better visually to have a loop on the inner line if you need a loop or refuge at all, and better visually to not have a loop or refuge at all, just plain double track.  With a passenger train every couple of hours and not a huge volume of freights there was little need for headshunts on the GWR, and loops were avoided as if the loops were a decent length the far points were too far from the signalbox to be operated if the brake van was to pass the box.   Usual practice was to have a refuge siding on the approach side of the station so the train arrives, the van passes the box and the signalman gives train out of section if he has an outer home or warning if not, and he can then let the train back into the siding. When converted to loops the signalman often had to wait for the guard to trudge all the way from his van 60 wagons or so away to give the "Tail Lamp" before he could give train out of section.  The loops tended to be wartime additions often with power operated points following a relaxation in the regs over distances points could be operated over and often slowed down operations instead of speeding them up.   

I would have a pair of trailing crossovers, and a refuge siding on the inner track.   That way I could bring long freights into the station and set them back to allow faster trains to pass, and shunt the yard on the outer using the outer main line as a headshunt.  A vestigial two or three wagon headshunt was quite common on the GW as it meant a stray wagon would only hit the buffers and not come to too much grief, and the loco could buffer up and slip the wheels to refill the boiler in the days before injectors.  A pair of crossovers would allow the occasional once or twice per day local to reverse direction, or every local if you prefer.



#18 Harlequin

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 08:11

Thanks, David.

 

Because the drawing is so big it's not so easy to see the station details and the forum software hasn't helped by making the bitmap smaller than I actually posted.

 

So maybe it's not so easy to see but there is a trailing crossover at the east end of the station and the dotted suggestion of one at the west end.

 

I can see that I got the refuge loop wrong. I hadn't thought it through properly and I was trying to be clever by combining functions. (And I had the slightly romantic vision of a 28xx simmering on the bridge over the Hannet while it waited for fast traffic to come past.)

 

But, David and Mike, you are both right that a proper refuge siding on the up side will be a much better solution:

  • It is more correct for the period and operation.
  • It still means that I can keep the trackwork in the countryside section simple, while giving it extra interest and purpose.
  • It won't obscure passing traffic.
  • The set back manoeuvre happens "on stage".
  • It balances the up and down activity a bit better.

I will make the changes and post a new version with clearer details as soon as I can.


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#19 jamespetts

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:43

One thing that I did notice about the design was the rather tight curve just before the tunnel entrance on the left hand (down?) side. You may have different preferences, of course, but I always find these to have an unfortunate air of the train set about them, a problem which is in principle readily solved by moving the scenic break slightly further back along the line to a straighter part.


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#20 Harlequin

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 11:02

One thing that I did notice about the design was the rather tight curve just before the tunnel entrance on the left hand (down?) side. You may have different preferences, of course, but I always find these to have an unfortunate air of the train set about them, a problem which is in principle readily solved by moving the scenic break slightly further back along the line to a straighter part.

Yep, it's a compromise between maximising the scenic length and trying not to show tight curves too much. If I move the scenic break back then the river might have to move to avoid a stupidly steep hillside, the bridge moves, the refuge siding/loop becomes shorter, etc... It's all finely balanced!

 

The inner track radius at the left end is 915mm and for interest the minimum radius for the Hall class loco was 8 chains at normal speed - i.e. ~2.1m at 4mm scale...



#21 jamespetts

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 11:06

These things always involve often complex compromises, the balance of which may well depend on individual taste. In any event, sharp curves or no, I shall look forward to seeing this built if you do manage to build it.



#22 The Stationmaster

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 11:11

The link I posted in my previous post shows most of the layout at Hungerford in 1936. Am I right in surmising that the long siding trailing from the up line was in fact a refuge siding, and that the yard headshunt doubled as a down refuge?

 

How did the layout change in 1939? Were either of these sidings converted to loops?

 

If you check the adjoining map showing the west end of the station, there is another crossover.

 

The Down Refuge Siding seems to have been extended eastwards to create a loop - probably in 1939 when the signalling was concentrated onto one 'box.  The long siding behind the Up Platform is noted in one (unofficial) source as the Up Refuge Siding and is listed officially in 1960 as a refuge siding having a capacity of 39 wagons - which seems to have been about the normal length pre-war for the very few refuge sidings that existed on the B&H.

 

Now let's get down to some B&H facts  which I have carefully checked both to confirm my own dated memories and fill in any gaps in my knowledge of the route -

 

1. At almost all stations which had goods sheds they were beyond the station in one direction or another, the sole exception was Thatcham where the good shed was on a through siding behind the platform very much like Phil's drawing.  The small stations had short sidings behind one platform or the other where goods could be dealt with.

 

2. Single slips forming trailing crossovers were a common feature at GWR stations and on the B&H existed at Bedwyn, probably Hungerford before the 1939 alterations (when crossovers appear to have been moved due to closure of the East Signalbox), Kintbury, Newbury, Thatcham,  Midgham, Aldermaston, and Theale.  In other words EVERY station on the B&H had a trailing crossover formed by a single slip (with the situation at Hungerford admittedly being conjectural).  On the Berks & Hants Extension every station except Savernake (and Devizes which was on a single line of course) had a slip forming part of a crossover, i.e three out of the four stations on double line had a slip connection forming part of a trailing crossover.  Taken on the balance of evidence everywhere else on the B&H I would be very surprised if Hungerford didn't previously have a slip connection forming a crossover, but you never know ... 

Putting it another way if you were looking for a 'typical' B&H/B&H Extension double track station layout you would find a slip connection forming part of a running lines trailing crossover


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#23 Harlequin

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 11:46

hungerford.png

[Edit: I should have labelled the single slip crossover with a question mark but I assume it to be one, for the reasons Mike set out above.]


Edited by Harlequin, 06 November 2018 - 12:40 .

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#24 clachnaharry

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 12:47

Presumably the diamond between the refuge siding and the goods sidings was also a single slip, allowing the refuge siding to form a trap/headshunt combination.


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#25 clachnaharry

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 15:02


The 1957 signalling diagram shows a significantly different layout.

https://www.s-r-s.or...ml/gwa/S197.htm
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