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I didn’t really want to be an engine driver, it looked too much like hard work, but train spotting certainly began a lifelong interest in railways of all sizes.

It was just seeing those marvelous machines simmering and waiting to burst into life and whisk you away to some far off destination, London, Leeds, Llandudno, there were no foreign holidays in those days!

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After quite a few years of using  RMWeb  as a source of information I thought it might be a suitable time to post some details of my own small efforts.

 

Byford

 This has been under construction for about the past four years in the store room under the house and measures about 7.00m by 3.50m and is designed for my own preferences in a layout, i.e. seeing the trains that I remember running around in the late 50s.

 Since I grew up in a mainly LMS(BR) region of Yorkshire but spent every summer holiday at my grandparents who lived in a village adjacent to an LNER mainline south of York it was impossible to separate the two regions, so Byford is not based on a real location but is a compromise which allows me to run both region’s stock

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 Having built a few layouts over the years there were a couple of rules learnt from previous experience:-

1:- No mainline inclines; steam outline locos don’t like them.

2:-No hidden underboard sidings,  if something is going to go wrong it will be there.

 

With this in mind I have finished up with a circular layout, large station on one side and country station on the other.

 Ten storage sidings behind the small station capable of holding about twenty trains.

A large island in the middle for the steam and diesel sheds  in order to display and use the locomotive collection.

A spur where I can load up the spare rolling stock from cassettes which are kept in a storage trolley under the layout.

 

The basic layout plan is now just about finished so the intention is begin to start adding the finer details to bring the layout up to a better standard.

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These are pictures of the Robinson J11 shunting in the Station Yard. This has had the usual treatment of weathering by airbrush and then finer details such as oil spills and grease brushed on.

 

Lamps, crew and other details have also been added but in this case the imitation coal has not been replaced by real coal because the tender has pick-ups installed and its a nice heavy weight which helps performance

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Here we see the 9f as it slowly wends its way through Byford with a heavy train of mineral wagons

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Following on from the video previously posted here are some photos of the Black 5 as it approaches

 

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And then eases into The Station

 

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Really nice stuff Richard,

 

The weathered locos really bring things to life. Your photos remind me of shots from books with the angles and scale distances.

 

Looking forward to seeing more.

 

Best,

 

John

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Nice work !

Are you actually in Mazarron ? My in-laws live on camposol and are big mazarron FC supporters

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Nice work !

Are you actually in Mazarron ? My in-laws live on camposol and are big mazarron FC supporters

Thanks, we originally lived Camposol but moved down to the port a few years ago. Mazarron is actually in two sections, the town which is a few miles inland and very spanish and the port which used to be a traditional spanish resort but is now quite modern with its new Marina

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A Little bit of Technical Info on Byford

 

Track

 Code 75 track has been used in the display section with switched and wired electrofrog points used to give better performance.

 Older code 100 was used in the storage yards and cassette trays.

 

The new Bullhead rail was fitted in the countryside section which is the last section to be built and is still under construction (just waiting for a single slip to be released). It looks very good, just a pity it wasn’t available earlier.

 

Control

 The layout is DCC using the NCE system and their Macro route setup, so each area, Station, Goods Yard etc has its own set of macro routes and by entering three or four macros I can set up a route between any two points on the layout.

 I have been very happy with this system over the years and it certainly works well for me but new control systems are always appearing as technology improves so I am now in the process of installing and testing the RocRail system. The advantages for me are that it works through the NCE system so if I turn it off nothing has changed and I am back to the old system.

 

 The big plus though is control, routes can be set from a touch screen monitor and the trains can be operated from any device with Wi-Fi so I am now able to run my trains cable free from my mobile phone or a tablet device. Another plus with this system is that with sound equipped locos you can record what all the function buttons do so if F3 is a long whistle your device will show this, no more trying to remember what all the buttons are for.

 

All points and frog switching are operated by Tortoise motors and their internal spare switches are used to also control the coloured light signals which then show and confirm the route set.

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Here are a couple of photos of Byford Town and Station just to give an idea of the overall setup

 

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Here we follow the progress of Jubilee 45715 Invincible as it crosses Fell Dale viaduct with the Thames-Clyde Express and heads for town

 

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Before finally easing into the Station

 

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Buildings and Scenery

The one type of building I no longer use are the card kits, nothing against them they are very good and I have used them a lot in the past   but out here the summer temperature can be 40+ in the underbuild (can’t afford air-con in a railway room) and I found that after a couple of years they were coming apart as the glue had gone brittle and the card was distorting.

 

So my buildings now are a mixture of scratchbuilt i.e. plasticard sheeting on a thin ply framework, ready to plant, plus a variety of kits including strengthened American HO which I try to make look more British by adding sloping roofs and other features.

 

 I am also a big fan of Townstreet kits, if I’m allowed to say that, I really like the texture and definition you get on them which allows you to work in lots of colouring and weathering.

 

The pages of RMweb are constantly scoured for tips on scenery as there are some wonderful layouts out there and there are a lot of new materials and techniques now but most of the scenery is built up from shaped foam blocks covered in whatever material is locally available. Once I have the basic outline static grass is added and then gradually further materials so as to try and obtain a natural look without overdoing it.

 

Most of the trees used to be seafoam  but since I found out about Sage Bush trees from the Little Muddle site these are now appearing in prominent positions as they really do look first class.

 

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Continuing our look around the layout we now arrive at the Old Town.

 

 

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                                                        Hill Top Road and Memorial Gardens

 

 

 

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                                                                                                                            Unsafe Building - Keep Out!

 

 

 

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                                                                                                                                   Byford Old Town

                          

 

                                                      

 

 

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  A few more photos of the Old Town 

 

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I recently bought one of the Class 128 Parcels unit (it was on offer for a very good price), I thought it looked a nice model and would make for something different on the layout. So when it arrived it proved to be a nice surprise, a very good model which weighs about the same as a house-brick  and so give excellent running, it performs faultlessly even down to a crawl. Here are a few photos.

 

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Here is a video of the Parcels Unit in action,it has been weathered and fitted with a Zimo Sound Decoder, normally a stay alive capacitor would be added but in this case it wasn't needed as the performance was good enough without it.

 

 

                            

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Today we have a few photos of A3 Neil Gow as it races south with Up Yorkshire Pullman

 

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Neil Gow was an attempt at weathering which didn't quite work as expected.

I have seen stunning results with a product called Johnsons Klear which produces what is described as an oily rag finish and this was an try at replicating it with an equivalent local product.

 

Although the original Klear is no longer available it looks like I will have to risk it and order some of the modern replacement  for it and hope that it does the job.

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Early in the morning we manage to dodge the foreman and sneak into Lowbeck Shed and here we see some of Sir Nigels finest cleaned and awaiting their turn of duty.

 

 

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Further into the shed we catch sight of the little Sentinel Loco busy keeping the place in order.

 

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                                        Sand To Refill

 

 

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                                        Ash To Clear

 

                    

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                                        And Coal To Load

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Here we have an overall view of the Loco Shed showing some of the engines being prepared for duty.

 

A mixture of fine 2mm ballast and powders in charcoal and black were used here to try to get the appearance of dirt and clag build-up that you get between the sleepers in these areas.

 

The inspection pits are Peco but they have been weathered to a darker colour and oils and fuel stains added

 

 

 

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Here we have a couple of evening photos    

taken around the depot.

Time for a brew for some but more hard

work for others.

 

 

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One final shot around the Steam Shed.

 

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It's amazing how the camera will highlight all the faults the eye overlooks, more work needed here, Gable end to paint, windows to glaze, building to weather and bed in...........

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