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It's been a while since I had the time to do any railway modelling. 

Hopefully 2019 will allow more time and than just in the cold winter months?

While  all previous layouts have been mostly ews diesels and in what now seems N gauge, even if it was 00, a deterioration in eyesight has now brought me to O gauge.

And I like it ! !

Just means 3 pairs of glasses instead of 1 !

Currently don't do much "building" or modelling as some call it as the Rtr O gauge has like many others caught my attention with its more affordable introduction to the scale.


So to the plan!

 I did start a oo steam layout a year or many ago but it never got past some track laying and testing.


Thus as the boards have been laying in the Dogs room for a while I decided to waste not and use them, albeit with an extension. 


So it's now 18 inch x 16 ft for the layout plus a further 4ft of fiddle board.

Initially building it for exhibiton as well as home use, but that will only be on the days no 1 Wife is at work !!


2 lines will enter from the left as you look. One will be on a slight incline ( high level to somewhere else) while the other is flat.

The lines will converge at a small halt where there is some local branch line style passenger action and a daily collection of milk from the local farm. Plus of course the pick up freight option.

The track plan will be a little exotic for a branch in reality but I design all my layouts so they have enough play value and movement for me to enjoy at a show or at home.

That should mean at shows always something on the move ( if I can find a 2nd dcc driver.) May even have a bit of banking ?

Period is around 1932 to 1939 ish. GWR somewhere in South Wales.


My now ancient Dynamis is still powering the dcc control and all locos will be sound chipped.

Point control wI'll be old fashioned switch via cdu and for now seep point motors?

Not having built O gauge before I don't currently know if seeps work well enough with O gauge peco points so that could change as it's 1 double slip and about 5 other points ( open to suggestions!)

Looking to add some of those new fangled Juicy frogs for the first time on a layout too ??

All other track currently peco. 


Don't have a confirmed track plan right now as I always plan as I lay so things may change.

No idea how long it will take to build, I usually  don't take more than a week or 2 building layouts when I start lol but I think little and often with this one.


So started today with undercoat on the boards.

This is the old oo incline board in its sorry state !20190204_151311.jpg.41f140dff34fe302180ac413fd399032.jpg



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Welcome to the better gauge! Sounds a good basis for the layout, shall be following along with interest....


14 hours ago, Piemanlarger said:

So it's now 18 inch x 16 ft for the layout plus a further 4ft of fiddle board.

Initially building it for exhibiton as well as home use, but that will only be on the days no 1 Wife is at work !!


Little concerned here .... you don’t mean you have more than one to contend with do you??!! Ye gods!



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Look forward to seeing a trackplan and progress in due course. Sounds like you're off to a good start though. Once you start in this scale you never look back!  


Yes I also wondered about the covert reference to multiple spouses!! :laugh_mini:

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South Wales, especially The Valleys, offers great potential for the steam-age railway modeller.  The main attractions of South Wales before rationalisation and modernisation, especially for 0 Gauge, are the almost exclusive use of tank locomotives on most of the Valleys' lines, the survival of a surprising number of pre-Grouping locomotives into the mid and even late 1950s, the very dense network of lines, cramped locations in narrow valleys and ample scope for industrial railway operations. Cwm Bach is one of my layouts and is inspired by The Valleys. You can read the story on RMWeb here: 


Your idea for milk traffic suggests a location in Pembrokeshire and there are some attractive locations. Pont Llanio on the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen line is a station that offers great potential. 


I shall follow with interest.





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12 hours ago, MarshLane said:

Little concerned here .... you don’t mean you have more than one to contend with do you??!! Ye gods!




He might be on to something. If you had 7 wives, on rotation,  you would be nagged 7 days a week. So exactly the same as normal, but quite possibly with some variety?

Edited by Hal Nail
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Haha, no I have to be honest 1 is enough and if I'm she is a cracker.

Don't mind me building the 16 ft scenic sections in the  house even though they stretch from the kitchen through to the dining room.


I have a no 1 son too but he has little interest in model railways as most  all other teenagers it's x box that rules him.


More details on the layout as work allows. 


Charlie Chan !


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Got some spare time today so managed to get going.

Started by giving the flexy track a mixed undercoat of frame dirt and sleeper grime.


Then popped out to pick up the curved point I needed.


Decided to put some back boards on to give the setting some feel. 

It is also a case of finding a pair of single track tunnel mouth I like. Roughly marked out where at the left end of the layout the high and low levl are likely to be?


Managed to get some track pinned down after binning the whole pack of longer / thinner gauge master pins. Just kept bending despite  pre-drilling!! Thank god I had some old one here.


Roughly got the low and high level  in place

Got to decide where onecessary the high level the catch point will go?

Through the space saving double slip and onto the station in place.

Also got the milk loading dock track down and the head shunt for run round loop.


So only the goods loop and run round to roughly pin out next week  and then some testing ?



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4 hours ago, Piemanlarger said:



Then popped out to pick up the curved point I needed.






Not something I've heard many people say - I reckon it would take me all day to 'pop' to the nearest place I could buy a 7mm point! :lol:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not much modelling been going on, mainly as I was short of a few legs!


So picked these up today. Nice and light. The may even do for operational purposes, saying that probably too low?

Still,  should be able to get pairs of boards together now and work on them slowly


Edited by Piemanlarger
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  • 2 months later...

Progress has been unusuallying slow for me over the last few months! 


Not much or as it is nothing has really happened on the Baseboard side of things bar me buying another set of folding lightweight plastic legs and a tunnel mouth.

Must finish track laying soon.


The loco fleet currentlystands at 4, but shall soon be 3!

A Dapol g w r pannier is making way as I spoilt myself with an unusualalternative in 1362.

I like different and having this on the branch is a little different. Some will say out of place, but in that case it's in good company with the 72xx!

It's brilliant black is to be re-sprayed soon and back dated to "great Western ". 

A pair of sugar cubes are on stand by to make it sound sweet! 


The 72xx is back in steam, having come across a v4 loksound chip in  no81, which has been swapped .

Not sure of the project but it seems dated so will be re-blown with something a bit more up to date and playable?

Just a single 3w speaker in the boiler seems to give nice sound.


I have to search the Web world as I'm sure I saw that someone does a 1361 sound chip. Hope they do it on zimo !!


The 3rd loco that will be staying in paid service is no"81" an ex Rhymney 0-6-2T .

This it turns out is a scratch built loco by the late Brian bunce,  a former club mate of mine at Barry and Penarth mrc.

To say I'm over the moon to get one of Brian's locos is an understatement! 

It needs some repair and tarting up, work on which started today.

A zimo sound chip is installed with a digitrains pannier sound file.

Might have to upgrade that with something a bit beefier sounding? 

Runs well enough though 




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  • 5 months later...

Well progress has been as expected almost non existent through the summer! 

However with the dark winter nights ahead there should be plenty of time to get things moving.  The plan is to have it done by the end of January 


So the rough plan shall be:

All track laid on the 4 boards

All track wiring done

Test run



What could go wrong !


Operation is currently scheduled as


72xx plus 6 open wagon stone train.

1362 on short mixed goods

81 on milk train

48xx + Autotrain ( xmas pressy)

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  • 3 months later...
On 01/11/2019 at 16:04, GWR57xx said:

Nice work.

Backscene looks stunning - a real work of art.


Haha unfortunately I can't take credit for it and indeed it's off one of my first 4mm exhibition layout.

It's just to give me some idea while planning / very slowly building this one.

But thank you and if I can still get hold of the artist I'll be commissionin him to do new ones for this layout. 

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So the weather means Ft shooting is on stop thus some extra time has come up to look at things and try and remember my plan A ?


I can't so it's plan B! 

This so far involved putting the end board up in the kitchen while swmbiw is not protesting and deciding a few things.

So far I've decided it's green and grey for DCC power supply. Red and blue for point motor supply.

Pink and yellow for lighting.


Next to decide on is, having never used let alone powered an 0 gauge point is is it seep or peco point motors? Seep have the advantage as I have enough left over for the 6 or 7 points I have on the layout.

Dc power this time though via cpu as in exhibitions on previous layouts I found swithing points via DCC ( lens ls150) and trying to control the layout (sounds) to much. 

Did even consider manual switched points but Dc is simple enough.


So any thoughts on seep and 0 guage peco points ??




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It's starting to come back to me!


Loading platform for local dairy farms milk churns was / is going here. Roughly. 

There will be a small gap and then another loading platform for what ever is in the van?


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All this sudden excitement is down to the new Dapol 48xx which of course this is not.

But I was going to get excited about the 48xx in a week or two, possibly months !!


In the meantime this 57XX floated into the bay of E ( next one over from mumbles) and having missed out first time round I could not pass up the chance.


So it's on this week's to do list, fit the digitrains pannier sound chip I have into it.


Also got to go to Greggs once a day this week to get more barrow crossing planks which they think make good coffee stirring tools !

2020-02-16 13.42.15.jpg

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Perhaps 5" scale would be better!


I've forgotten how long it is since my last layout build (Oliver's Road) but I do know my eyes are much worse than then!

Really struggled with seeing things, despite 3 pairs of glasses but between last night and todays extended build time at least some progress is being made!


Thanks to Rmweb I have managed to find out /remember such basic things I had forgotten, wiring a Cdu, seep point motors lol!

But at least the first short section of track and curved point are down and the 72xx runs over them.

A short shopping trip now which will include small screws for the seep point motors and hopefully, by the end of today most of the end board track will be down and powered, possibly some of the Station board too??




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Plan 6, foot??


So a fairly productive couple of days has seen most of the track laid, if somewhat temporary, on the end board and the station board next to it.


Thing is these 18 inch x 4 ft boards were rough left overs from a planned 4mm layout.


I'm now of the opinion that to avoid 4 lines being cut and thus needing carefull alignment when being re-assembled,  such as an exhibition,  that instead of 4ft boards, I would be better off with new 6 foot boards  (still x 18inch) as the join between the "end" board and what would then be labelled the double slip board would be crossed by just 3 lines and not points.

It would cut the station platform in half but I think I can get by that by making the platform removable.  It is just a small " Halt" so should not be too much hassle?


Makes sense, if I can't fit 6ft boards in my fairly small car?



The 72xx was having a bit of trouble with the peco curved point so I have called in a back 2 back expert ( he got a gauge ) to check the pony truck tomorrow as that's de railing especially when travellingforwards over the point from the toe end.





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