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I think I would  chop out the cork and add fresh. Did you use a template for your first build? If you did and have a copy, I would be seriously tempted to build the replacement off the layout and leave the the rail ends free after you have cleared the next timber after the check rails,  this should give you a bit of wriggle room to align all the bits back up before adding the last timbering and sleepers at the heel end,  oh and don't forget to leave the rails a bit longer than required.

 

Best of luck and don't rush it!!

 

 

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I've spent the last two weekends helping a friend move to a stone's throw from the Rivet Teign (as per my original post about this layout!), and my previous holiday with my Grandma was to Swanage - so lots of time in Peco country.

 

I was somewhat cynical about Iain Rice's idea of jigsaw track pieces which fit into baseboards, but given this travail it would certainly have been a significantly more easy thing to resolve if I'd done that. With that in mind, I've sourced some 2mm ply and I will be mounting the entry turnout and exit out to the FY as a single unit.

 

Last week after some rather dubious weathering attempts on some LMS Suburbans, I took @justin1985's advice to keep it subtle on the autocoach, just using some inks:

OMJuZAy.jpg

It's just plonked on - no 2FS wheels or couplers - but I thought that the bright sunshine captured the feel of sunny Devon quite well.

 

 

I also have rebuilt the turnout - it will need the rest of the sleepers soldered, but I can bat a wagon down it using an x-acto handle and it stays on in all directions. Though it's not exactly a very complicated piece of track, nor am I pushing any boundaries with chairplates or detailing - I feel that I have incorporated enough little bits of knowledge along the way that it wil be successful: a joggle, a set bend, switchblades with the top 'corner' shaved down a little, and much checking and re-checking of flangeways with 0.5mm brass strip:

 

ykD1doO.jpg

 

Just in the shot top-left is my indispensible 6-in-1 nail file, perfect for smoothing out 2FS trackwork :)  You'll see I've left long tails on the pointwork, deliberately because I want to make double-sure that it all connects properly.

 

If anyone has any suggestions for ensuring accurate end-on rail connections I'd really appreciate it.  I am happy to add a barrow crossing to cover up any particularly involved ideas - on the layout it's the station throat at the end of a platform.

 

 

Edited by Lacathedrale
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I use a the short end of a 6 inch rule, with half of it pushed against the gauge face of each pair of rails being joined, it's short enough that a slight straight isn't noticeable, at least in 4mm. Just make sure that you maintain the gauge through out.

 

 

 

 

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I got the turnout placed in-situ and cut to length - since this photograph was taken I've soldered the outside rails and added a little glue to the inside rails to keep them aligned, but as it's now buried under sundry pieces of heavy metal to set properly, please see the 'before':

 

Dj5UmTI.jpg

 

Through the hole in the sky you can see the end of Cassette V1 - I was planning on using pincers made from brass wire to both transfer current and hold alignment but I am definitely going to need something more rigid.

 

Everything appears to line up, and all of the feeds are wired and isolating gaps have been cut - so hopefully I can connect up the droppers and with nothing more than a good clean, and be in a position to run trains. Of course, I don't actually have any trains to run on it other than my constantly-derailing Type 3 - but let's not focus on that too much yet.

Edited by Lacathedrale
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I'm pretty sure I've gone over them a number of times, I will be checking that when I come around to running some trains. After some swearing and lots of weight, the joins are good and aligned well. My task for the next few days is to just go over the entire track plan with a fine toothed comb. When I initially had the layout down I was fatigued with such a length of sustained work and I just 'wanted it done', which resulted in some unfortunate glitches.

 

So far I've caught a number of areas to focus on - mismatched railheads, tight spots and little gaps. The latter seem to present the most troublesome issue - too small to splice and too big to flood with solder. I'm debating my options, becaue a particularly egregious problem is right in the middle of the runaround loop...

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Lots of splicing later, and I think we're close to being good. There are a few small trouble spots still extant elsewhere on the layout but I've spliced in about three short sections of rail already to repair some gaps that were wider than optimal. With much annoyance, it seems the switchblade plates used with the easitrac tie bars are catching on the underside of the rail one side of the new turnout I've fitted, which is particularly galling since it ran perfectly well on my workbench on the same bloody piece of wood that it's currently mounted to!  The only thing I can think of is to try to file it down in-situ, probably a mug's game but I can't face taking the whole thing apart again. You can see one of the new rail splices just to the right of this shot.

 

Capture.PNG.2066cd8022f6f22263e0c069c04b4bea.PNG

 

On similarly frustrating note, I'm very close to the end of my tether with DCC on this layout - did a whole bunch of continuity checking and everything's perfect, plonked my Type 3 on and my z21 App wouldn't work, so dug out the Roco WLANMaus and it connects, but not a carrot a from the loco. Wired up a temporary programming track, then spent half an hour trying to find out how to reset locos on the prog. track with no luck, Took the whole thing apart and finally got some life out of it, but the sodding thing derails on the vee foreground turnout too now.

 

EDIT: Also mystifyingly the Dapol coach wheels are 6.5mm and thus underscale, so normal scale 2FS coach wheels rub on the underside of the carriage body, so that's a nice £12 wasted :(

 

Overall, a very disheartening day.

Edited by Lacathedrale
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William,

I'm not picking fault, and it may just be a trick of the camera, but to me it looks like there is a dog-leg on the rail nearest the camera where the newly laid point meets the toe of the point in the foreground, and if the same rail is followed to the bottom right of the photo (past the point) it looks like there is another dog-leg there too.  Whilst these kinks (if indeed they are) may not be the reason for the loco derailing, they may be worth a closer look just to ensure that they are not the cause (you don't say which direction the loco derails in, so these areas of track may not be helping).

Ian 

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Until recent times all N coach wheels were undersized - wagon wheel size - because of clearance issues with the oversize flanges. It is only really Farish who have now made some with the more correct size, while Dapol have carried on as before. I would suggest trying some plain disc 6mm 2FS ones. Modern coaching stock has smaller wheels these days.

 

As regards the trouble with with the Farish 37 is it the recent production? I ask because I had both a first generation China one (non DCC ready) and a later second generation 37 & 47 and both of the latter had running problems re track holding while the first generation was fine. There are various issues with the bogies on some models I discovered, so low they catch the rail head, and yours might be one of them. It’s just a thought.

 

Izzy

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Another few hours of fiddling last night got the 37 running. One of my crossovers has gone dead, so there's work to do there. I filed and tweaked the nose of the middle turnout and re-set the check rails and it's better but not perfect. I can't quite figure it because the gauge is fine and if anything the nose is at a lower level than the rest of the surrounding pointwork, but wheels still ride up.

 

9 hours ago, Ian Smith said:

William,

I'm not picking fault, and it may just be a trick of the camera, but to me it looks like there is a dog-leg on the rail nearest the camera where the newly laid point meets the toe of the point in the foreground, and if the same rail is followed to the bottom right of the photo (past the point) it looks like there is another dog-leg there too.  Whilst these kinks (if indeed they are) may not be the reason for the loco derailing, they may be worth a closer look just to ensure that they are not the cause (you don't say which direction the loco derails in, so these areas of track may not be helping).

Ian 

Ian, I will gladly take all criticism - this is wholly a learning experience and there are a number of things I will do differently on the next iteration so please fire at will. With regard to your two suggestions - the first dogleg is actually quite benign, I have used a little brass rod on the outside face of the rail to make sure it's aligned and it has blobbed out a bit, combined with it being the curved leg makes it look offset but the inside faces are perfectly flush. The other kink (on the foreground rail) you're totally right about, so far it's had no impact on running but it's on the list :)

 

8 hours ago, Izzy said:

Until recent times all N coach wheels were undersized - wagon wheel size - because of clearance issues with the oversize flanges. It is only really Farish who have now made some with the more correct size, while Dapol have carried on as before. I would suggest trying some plain disc 6mm 2FS ones. Modern coaching stock has smaller wheels these days.

 

As regards the trouble with with the Farish 37 is it the recent production? I ask because I had both a first generation China one (non DCC ready) and a later second generation 37 & 47 and both of the latter had running problems re track holding while the first generation was fine. There are various issues with the bogies on some models I discovered, so low they catch the rail head, and yours might be one of them. It’s just a thought.

 

Izzy

 

Thanks for that info Izzy, I had no idea - I was thinking about putting an 0.5mm shim between the bogie and the body, but using smaller wheels would also work :) As for the 37 - the main issue appears to be if the front wheel is deflected momentarily in any way, it can ride up onto the railhead or over it - this doesn't cause the loco to stop, but primes for a more catastrophic derailment on the next vee/checkrail.

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I use a pair of very light wagons to test my pointwork. I use one wagon to push the other one very slowly through the point. As soon as the pushed wagon starts to rise up, that is where the problem is. Usually it is gauge narrowing, but check rails can also be a culprit.

 

I also find changes in rail height (steps) to be more of a problem than misaligned rails or even quite large gaps. On earlier layouts, where my point making was not too good, I used a large flat sharpening stone to bring all the rail tops to the same level - brutal but effective.

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

So it's been three months, and i have done little modelling but the time I have spent, has been primarily building, rebuilding, scrapping and building again, and then rebuilding the same bloody Jinty over and over again. I briefly was inspired to investigate 7mm but while it's certainly an interesting diversion it's not my core focus. I realised that since I'm going to be working out of a remote apartment for a few months I could pack some 2mm wagon kits and a small toolbox and get going on them - thoughts which steered me back towards Hennock.

 

Well, booting it back up after a time was quite a disheartening process - the WLANmaus controller had run out of batteries, upon  replacing them the layout just refused to work with the Type 3. Even after a thorough go-over with garryflex. After some sage advice from @justin1985 I actually spent some time cleaning rather than burnishing the layout, and sorting out the rear faces of the Type 3 wheels and pickups. The layout now worked, but I'd developed a dead spot (for some reason I was relying on an end-on soldered connection between rail pieces to conduct) - a few droppers and that was sorted. Then I realised the first turnout decoder/motor (cobalt) wasn't working either - but that was sorted with a quick relearning of the DCC address.

 

At this point, the trackwork all worked - even if the loco was a bit lumpy in one or two places. I needed to sort a proper 'dock' for the cassette system I plan on using, so whipped this up out of 1mm brass rod and 1mmn I/D brass tube:

 

171Orw7.png

 

I put the male side on the layout, because otherwise those pins would project out and easily get snagged on something:

 

VI7sXSP.png

 

And it worked a real treat - very smooth and easy to use with a nice positive alignment. With all of the electrics and trackwork bar uncouplers complete (and since i don't actually have any couplings that's a bit moot), thoughts turned to the next stages - finalising the groundwork and ballasting.

 

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The track has been (re) painted and trains run without issue, so I've laid out the road at one end of the board and painted it with a dusty grey. It will get some gravel covering and sympathetic airbrushing, but looks OK to me - the big pink slash is the frame of the scenic board - hopefully illustrating how sight lines are cut effectively, and the foreshortening of the road as it reaches towards the backscene:

 

image.png.fd63cd9765f8cfb937a28081895f65c3.png

 

The idea is to have both crossings closed against the railway, to justify the abrupt truncation of the layout on the right hand side. The rear 'mainline' would notionally continue onward towards a terminus (or maybe just a yard), and the front siding will be a siding going off to an industry of sorts.  Current front runners are a dairy (i.e. adventures printing some four and six wheeled Siphons) or a gasworks (rectangular tar wagons, coke wagons, etc).

 

The grey driveway is mostly for contouring, to bring the goods yard area up to road level. Behind the driveway will be a cattle dock accessed directly from the road.

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2 hours ago, Lacathedrale said:

The track has been (re) painted and trains run without issue, so I've laid out the road at one end of the board and painted it with a dusty grey. It will get some gravel covering and sympathetic airbrushing, but looks OK to me - the big pink slash is the frame of the scenic board - hopefully illustrating how sight lines are cut effectively, and the foreshortening of the road as it reaches towards the backscene:

 

image.png.fd63cd9765f8cfb937a28081895f65c3.png

 

The idea is to have both crossings closed against the railway, to justify the abrupt truncation of the layout on the right hand side. The rear 'mainline' would notionally continue onward towards a terminus (or maybe just a yard), and the front siding will be a siding going off to an industry of sorts.  Current front runners are a dairy (i.e. adventures printing some four and six wheeled Siphons) or a gasworks (rectangular tar wagons, coke wagons, etc).

 

The grey driveway is mostly for contouring, to bring the goods yard area up to road level. Behind the driveway will be a cattle dock accessed directly from the road.

 

 

The road disappearing into the earth around a corner looks particularly effective, even from this elevated viewpoint from which our models are so regularly viewed. I'd like to see the view from above to learn how much space you used for this if you could take another picture, please.

 

I feel it is worthwhile me mentioning that 4 wheeled siphons were obsolete by C19th. If you do go for a dairy I can help out with etched kits for any of the 6 wheeled siphons, if of interest. They are no longer on general sale but the photo tools still exist and can be rerun as I did for someone earlier in the year. Kits for the other diagrams were/are available from Shire Scenes (Siphon C) and Etched Pixels (Siphon G, H, J? - ex-ultima). I hesitate to recommend the Shire Scenes kit however since it is in my opinion expensive for something that will be quite a challenge to create a good model from.

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Thanks, Richard - I'm looking forwad to getting some of those six-wheeler's on the layout soon!

 

Today I've been painting the rail sides (in a very thin sienna) and laying out the ballast for the layout, see below:

 

image.png.4fbc8f033e2de82c76459d00f9112acb.png

 

The areas not ballasted are around the switch blades - I think I'll do that traditionally with pledge/wet-water + PVA, etc. rather than using Ballast Magic as elsewhere.

 

Here's a test piece I did. Ballast magic is a powder based glue that activates with water, so misting over the top is all you need to do - unfortunately this test piece was slightly damp, hence the rather egregious amount of ballast ontop of the sleepers! I'm using Treemendus Normandy Earth as recommended by @TomE

 

image.png.78f549673e768c817cf6d3cba0655812.png

 

In the rear was ballasted using Stacey's Miniature Masonry: Feldon Grit 30 - but I found that it darkened out way too much. It might be suitable to create some subtle blending effects but seems a bit useless by itself.

 

The Layout's been sprayed with wet water, so now it's just a case of sitting on my hands for a few hours to see how it's going to end up!

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  • 4 months later...

Somehow, despite my use of a test piece, this was the result of the above Treemendus + Ballast Magic:

 

image.png.bc9d4a535ac40367fe5e3d9049112258.png

 

Very much not what I was intending!

 

I can only assume that there was or is something in the ballast magic that's caused this reaction, as @TomE's use of the product with Pledge seems flawless. I've got myself some floor polish too - and i am debating whether to add the thinnest of layers ontop of this one here and fixing with pledge to even out the colouring, or to wash/drybrush, or to use powders. Answers on a postcard, please :)

 

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2 minutes ago, Lacathedrale said:

Somehow, despite my use of a test piece, this was the result of the above Treemendus + Ballast Magic:

 

image.png.bc9d4a535ac40367fe5e3d9049112258.png

 

Very much not what I was intending!

 

I can only assume that there was or is something in the ballast magic that's caused this reaction, as @TomE's use of the product with Pledge seems flawless. I've got myself some floor polish too - and i am debating whether to add the thinnest of layers ontop of this one here and fixing with pledge to even out the colouring, or to wash/drybrush, or to use powders. Answers on a postcard, please :)

 

 

I don't know much about ballast magic, but i've never had a reaction like that with either old Kleer or the new Pledge polish i've been using! 

 

You might want to test on a small area whether applying pledge on top of that is going to cause any further unexpected reaction. 

 

Tom.  

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I've tried ontop of my now green test piece with a thin layer above and it's worked out really well from a tone perspective:

 

image.png.360f2e1e4921d92ec16d36a0f3acbba6.png

 

Of course, I wasn't very focused on ensuring the ballast was in-line with the sleepers/etc. so it's a bit over the place - but from a colour and texture persective it's a million miles away and I couldn't be happier. Now all I have to do is very. very. carefully. reballast the layout and fix with Pledge instead.

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Hi @Caley Jim,

 

There may well be - the middle track there is a tiny splice of easitrack between two pieces of PCB pointwork, and definitely the part of the layout I'm least pleased with. I don't think it's as bad as it looks in that picture however - as it's a curve as well. See here for a side view:

 

image.png.61ac53bacb5ec4288afde863c441e34a.png

 

Smack bang in the middle is right hand end of that splice, whichi s the most egregious. It doesn't (yet) appear to affect running.

 

I was very, very close to binning this whole layout and starting over - my thoughts were that while not quite up to the standard I'd like, it is at least the furthest I've ever gotten with a layout and it seemed wasteful to start from scratch with so little left to do - just some ground cover, a few small buildings and it's more or less complete - that is however contingent on everything so far actually working, and unfortunately, a couple more problems manifested:

 

The throat turnout had a burr (or something similar) on the switchblade fishplate so was jammed, which I fixed - but now while the turnouts are working I can't get my only working loco (the Brush Type 3 elsewhere in this thread) running - either on the layout or on a programming track. It doesn't help that the WLANmaus/Z21 programming so obtuse. I guess it's time to strip it down for the hundredth time!

 

 

Edited by Lacathedrale
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I would just make a short length of track using the half metre lengths of rail and easitrac connect the DCC to it the try running the loco back and forth until it will reliably do that it is not much use to test the layout. 

 

Don

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The loco needed a thorough clean (despite being in a foam box since the last time it was running), and I went hog wild on the layout with q-tips and lighter fluid - gosh knows how it ends up so filthy so quickly - but the loco is running a treat. All points actuating, no dead rails, etc. although I do need to clean the inside edges of the bullhead as there are areas where grains have settled and the ride is a little bumpy.

 

Two more things have jumped out at me - for some reason wagons push through the layout throat turnout without any problem at all, but when the loco is going from the curved route towards the tie bar the bogie just jumps straight off into the four-foot just after it passes through the common crossing.  Also, the bars I use to transmit power to my fiddle-yard stick are causing lumpy movement onto and off the layout.

 

I'm not yet ready to pull the plug, but the feeling that this layout might be a lost cause keeps coming back around - just one confounding issue after another. Who is to say though, that a future layout will be any better?

 

In the meantime, have a shot of one of my SR vans sitting on what would be the platform road, with the new ballast all dry:

image.png.0343da2607448786c585b26e10de0a8a.png

Edited by Lacathedrale
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It's important to find out the exact cause of the problem, rather than just scrap and start again.  Otherwise you are likely to find it recurring.  You can't cure a problem without diagnosing what's causing it in the first place.

 

Is there a grain of ballast in the wing or check rail clearance which the wagons are riding over, but is derailing the loco?

Is there an issue with the back-to-back on the loco?

Are the check/wing rail clearances too tight/wide?

is the knuckle of the wing rail well aligned with the nose of the crossing?

 

Watch closely as the loco passes over the trouble spot and try and observe exactly what is going on to derail it.  Sometimes it just needs a tiny adjustment to cure things.

 

Jim

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