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Hi All, and once again thanks for all the positive comments. I think I'll keep Difford as a lazy S with two platform faces. I like it more operationally and esthetically. 

 

Zomboid - the idea of an island as a basis for an independent network is a great one. I think if that was a route I was following I'd choose to follow the example (if not the gauge) of the Isle of Man Steam Railway. That network seemed to have a Rule 1 of its very own. In an island only 32 miles long there were 46 miles of track with 33 stations and halts including no less than five termini. It went through a period of three separate railway companies on the network, briefly had mineral trains carrying lead ore from Foxdale to Ramsey and boasted a head office station building in Douglas that would have done justice to a much larger network (with a manure siding - now there's something you don't see on many layouts). 

 

Mind you, the Isle of Wight has its appeal. A station on a pier, a history that included a paddle train ferry, all make for great modelling potential.  Ventnor itself seems a perfect subject for a BLT modeller. It has an interesting track plan that led to some strange practices, a turntable because of the lack of space and as soon as the trains left the station they disappeared into a tunnel. The backscene would be a cliff, with caves excavated in it for the coal  merchants (troglodytic lineside industries, no less).

 

But I digress, and if I keep thinking like this it might mean a total redesign to an island layout. I'd probably have two harbours, where Itshall and Knower Vale are, with Moorhaven as a mineral branch. I don't think I'll do it though, The current plan is the one I've wanted for a long time, and the exchange sidings with the XXXR give me the scope to include strange stock and visitors that an island railway would never see.

 

It occurs to me that the redesigns of both Moorhaven  and Difford have resulted in a reduction in size without a loss of operation. Maybe there's a few other stations I could apply this to...

 

Cam

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3 hours ago, CameronL said:

, and the exchange sidings with the XXXR give me the scope to include strange stock and visitors that an island railway would never see.

Car float/ train ferry ;)

 

Nah, you've got to build and live with this large project, so stick with whatever actually inspires you.

 

One observation I would make is that less track often means more operation (by which I mean one siding with several car spots, rather than several single purpose sidings requires you do do more car shuffling). And that is entirely in keeping with the light railway feel that you mentioned. But don't over rationalise and have just plain line...

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I must have had a senior moment because I only just got the pun in the layout's name.

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Sorry Martin. I tried to make it as eye-watering as possible. I've always had a fondness for puns and double meanings in my layouts. The BLT on which Knower Vale is based was a GWR-inspired layout called "Nitt Combe", and another I was developing when I proudly took delivery of my first company car ended up called "Escott Ford". I think it all harks back to one day when I was in Manchester Victoria station and BR (as it was then) were proudly announcing improvements in services to the north  of the city with posters proclaiming "MORE TRAINS TO BURY". Now, we know that Bury is a town to the north of Manchester famous for its black puddings, but the mental image it conjured up gave me a fit of giggles and set a precedent I've tried to follow ever since. When the KVLR was in its early design stages I was listening to the radio and heard the presenter use the phrase "to no avail". I immediately made the connection and the rest, as they say, is railway modelling.

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Nice stories.

My layout names are more whimsical than they are puns. I'll be planning away, or just driving the car or something else unrelated and a humorous name will pop into my head. Snarling station was born that way, and Coggles Causeway is a road in Bourne, Lincolnshire - I just saw the name as I drove by and knew instantly I had to have a railway halt named after it. Other names on my railway pay homage to John Ahern as well as some books and music bands I like, and previous railway modelling locations.

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I get the point. I think the difference between my names and yours is that mine sound like something out of a Carry On film whereas yours sound like even if they aren't places they ought to be.

 

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On 14/03/2019 at 01:27, CameronL said:

 

The following sequence sprang to mind -

 

  • Tram arrives at Difford  from Moorhaven with passengers from the ferry. Passengers get off.
  • Tram runs around its train then shunts into one of the exchange sidings.
  • Up and down passenger trains arrive at Difford from Itshall and Knower Vale. Passengers for Difford and Moorhaven get off. Passengers from Moorhaven get on.
  • Up and down passenger  trains  depart.
  • Tram backs out of exchange siding.
  • Passengers for Moorhaven get on.
  • Tram departs for Moorhaven.

Eureka! The two platforms with three platform faces can be replaced by two platform faces and some shunting (which is what this layout is all about).  Two platform faces are provided by one island platform, and all of a sudden Difford has a much simpler design. 

 

526704213_OldNewDiffordjpeg.jpg.32eb23eafce7a7b10f3fdb0608a41f03.jpg

 

 

The sequence you've described there is exactly what happened at Merstone on the Isle of Wight - the branch push-pull would come in, unload, then run into a siding. The Newport-Sandown trains would then cross, before the PP would emerge again to pick up passengers for it's next run. Unusually both sides of the island platform were bidirectionally signalled too.

 

On 14/03/2019 at 06:49, Zomboid said:

The revised design (and Milton Gate) just struck me as being similar to Haven Street. (There's no bridge there, but that doesn't matter). It then occurred to me that the whole thing has parallels to the Isle of Wight system. An isolated Island railway would credibly allow this kind of thing.

 

I'll echo the isolated island system comments - it gives you the flexibility to do all sorts of things your own way! I'd love to build a 'system' layout like these, but don't have the time or space...

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Thanks for that, Nick. It seems that whatever you want to do there's a prototypical example of it. 

 

Would people please stop talking about islands? As a huge fan of the Isle of Man the idea of an island-based railway is more and more appealing. There would still be plenty of operational interest - after all the whole island's every need would be supplied by ship and therefore transferred by rail for distribution round the island, you could have quirky industries like an Edison-type power station (mostly long gone on the mainland by the early 20th century but hanging on in some places), forestry, a mineral branch a la Foxdale, fisheries industries such as a kipper factory and shipyard (already got them), the list goes on. As previously mentioned, the Isle of Man railways seemed to have their own way of doing things - for instance, on an island network totally run using tank engines they had one turntable, at St Johns. This was deemed necessary because the trains on the west coast route to Ramsey always ran with the sea to the west, and therefore received a battering from the prevailing south-westerly weather which caused one side of the coaches to weather much faster than the other. They were turned periodically at St John to even things up. 

 

Capturing the beauty and "Traa dy Liooar" (time enough) atmosphere of the island would be the real challenge. It'd probably need a bit of a cut down to the current plan in terms of complexity, with fewer stations and maybe a wayside halt or two.

 

Aargh! Somebody stop me before I'm back to the drawing board.

Edited by CameronL
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A few little thoughts on train ferries -

 

Yes, as I'm still at the pixel-pushing stage I'm thinking about it. Moorhaven might still have one.

 

But I'm a bit stuck on the detail.

 

It seems to me that train ferries split into two types; the "car float" which is basically just a barge with tracks on it, pulled by a tugboat, and proper train ferries with their own engines. 

 

The car float type was (and sometimes still is) used to shortcut across major harbours and enclosed waterways because, being flat-bottomed and with little freeboard, they weren't seaworthy enough for open sea. 

 

image.png.3ef0a1330d03ea9c60e356fd0d86184d.png

 

You wouldn't want to be on that in a Force 8.

 

The train ferry which (briefly) served the Isle of Wight was really a car float with paddle wheels - two tracks that carried about fourteen wagons and paddle wheels either side. It was built for ferrying rail wagons across the Firths of Forth and Tay, and as such wasn't (not surprisingly) really suited to the choppy waters of the Solent. It only lasted three years. 

 

Train ferries proper were higher in the bow and usually only had stern access to rail. The GER had some after World War I running from Harwich to Zeebrugge. They were proper seagoing vessels which could carry 54 wagons on four tracks - 

 

image.png.78f80500da4b85898b86d48ac304889b.png

 

That's a floating fiddle yard on a layout. Problem is, at 403' long it would be about 5'4" in OO scale. Big feature on a layout. It was also a pure train ferry with no passenger facilities. That came later with the Southern Railway on its Dover-Dunkirk route - 

 

  image.png.f8b5f22eeb63bbde1902852b6a41de49.png

 

Only 359' long, it could still take 40 wagons but would still be a lot of space on a model at 4'10" ish. Would it be possible to model a smaller version that would only take maybe 12 wagons at a time (probably the maximum length of train on the layout)? I reckon I could get that down to about 2'6" overall.

 

And then there's the link span - the means of getting wagons on and off the boat. This has to work irrespective of the state of the tide. It turns any train ferry installation into a sizeable bit of layout. The Isle of Wight ferries had a novel solution - the link span was on a railed incline which partially submerged with the tide and the span itself was pulled up and down this incline by a steam winch so as to always be level with the ferry -  

 

image.png.8a6db06bbbd810e13df2778a3f965962.png

 

But as you can see this still makes for a big investment in space. The SR did it better - at Dover they built a dock with seagates into which the ferries were backed, and then water pumped in until the ships were at the right height for a short link span. It greatly reduced the space needed.

 

So, here's the question. I want to model a proper seagoing train ferry in a limited space. Is it OK to model a small version at about 2'6" that carries both wagons and passengers (so I can lose the passenger ferry and save a bit of room), unloaded via a dock and gate system which with gates and link span would add about another 1' to the model? Please bear in mind that the SR introduced these ferries in 1934 and I'm planning a pre-grouping layout. Am I being a bit of a Rule 1 Radical here or can I get away with it?

 

Comments please. 

 

Cam

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When I suggested it I was definitely thinking of a proper train ferry rather than a car-float which to my mind yells "USA east coast city" so loud all other considerations get lost in the noise.

The train ferry which (briefly) served the Isle of Wight was really a car float with paddle wheels - two tracks that carried about fourteen wagons and paddle wheels either side. It was built for ferrying rail wagons across the Firths of Forth and Tay, and as such wasn't (not surprisingly) really suited to the choppy waters of the Solent.



Absolutely. Except the body of water off Moorhaven wil be more sheltered... ;)

While the UK was limited (IIRC) to cross-channel traffic, I was indeed carrying in my head a fictional version of the end of the Ryde Pier, or maybe a harbour line down from Ryde station with a small paddle steamer taking a first class sleeping coach across the Solent or a few wagons ditto. That kind of very English but fantasy small-scale affair.

It was only a suggestion - a means of introducing a fiddle yard concept alongside a fun bit of modelling.

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Not just a fun bit of modelling. I had huge fun just researching this topic. My love of trains is only matched by my love of the sea / boats etc. Thank you all who brought the idea to mind.

 

OK, so I want something a bit more seagoing than a paddle steamer with a few wagons or a single coach on it. I'm sure it will fit in somehow.

 

As far as "car float" goes,  I think the very word "car" screams Trans-Atlantic. On this side of the pond a "car" has four rubber tyres and runs on a road.  I want something that will carry wagons.

 

Still evolvingly yours. Watch this space for the next evolution.

 

Cam

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