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Branch line platform length question (1950/60 steam)

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Posted (edited)

How long do I need to make a 4mm/ft platform which will take a train of three coaches?  Problem is, I need to establish this now before I can crack on with track laying, but I don't yet have the coaching stock to measure it myself, and I just don't have the space to make this thing any longer than it needs to be!

 

This is for a single-track branch line station set in the Midlands/East Anglia between 1948 and 1960-ish, and whatever stock I buy for it in the future will be 00 RTR with tension-locks.  All I need to know is the minimum length of level platform which will accomodate any three carriages likely to be found on such a railway: just front of first carriage to back of last, with the three of them coupled with standard tension locks. 

 

Edited by spikey
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Oh good - I can actually squeeze in 33 inches plus ramps!

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53 minutes ago, spikey said:

Oh good - I can actually squeeze in 33 inches plus ramps!

A lot will depend on your coaching stock. A 57 foot coach scales to 228mm plus couplings which equals 684mm plus couplings or 27 inches plus whatever loco you use to pull it. At 33 inches maximum you'll only be able to use small tank engines e.g LMS Jinty or LNER J72. Longer coaches will reduce to two coaches plus maybe a parcels van or similar. Failing that you could consider an early DMU for passenger trains.

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13 hours ago, spikey said:

...for a single-track branch line station set in the Midlands/East Anglia between 1948 and 1960-ish,

 ... 00 RTR with tension-locks. 

...three carriages likely to be found on such a railway...

If this is former LNER lines then you have a tad more wiggle room because the Gresley and Thompson non-gangwayed that would then be the appropriate stock are on 51' and 52' frames respectively. Three of the 52' frame Thompsons coupled as supplied with t-l's, reckon 680mm/27". Most of a J15 (the branchliniest LNER ex GER loco currently available RTR) at just over 7" long would be mostly on a 33" platform too.

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57' stock GWR B set etc 250 mm / 10" per coach so 750 mm / 30"   plus ramps   64' BR std Corridor stock etc 285mm/ 11.25" per coach so 855mm / 33.75" 

 For  75' stock Mk3 etc 300mm / 12" per coach so 900mm or 12 "    My local station Chedworth had 180' platforms so a scale 720mm etc and was served by trains much longer than 3 coaches.   If running round stock you need about 18" more to allow the two tracks to become parallel again after the points.

The idea that platforms have to be a certain length to take trains of a certain length is a modern post steam era idea. Itf the train was a lot longer than the platform Trains used to stop so folk could enter and leave the front coaches and then "Draw Up" to let folk in and out of the rear one,

Lots of terminus' had platforms far longer than needed, I think Bridgewater S+D was one while some like Bournemouth West were nothing like long enough,  but with corridor trains it was no big issue.  Even today some trains are much longer than some platforms and the staff have to ensure passengers for those destinations have to ride in the correct coach.

 

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One of the platforms at Market Harborough is way shorter than the other and you have to be in certain coaches to be able to get off.

 

Also when we were away at the New Forest the platforms at Sway are short and only take 3-4 coaches.

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Thanks, gents.  I've just spent over two hours making small sequential adjustments to the position of three points and a couple of curves, but it's paid off - I can now get almost 35" plus ramps.  Seeing as how three carriages is the absolute max for the storage loops (and that only in two of them), I do believe I've succeeded in future-proofing the platform, which was the objective :)

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My calculation was based on Mk1 carriages - a worst case in several ways, not least because there are many more interesting (and shorter) carriages about. 

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The platform will need to be of a length that will accommodate your chosen length of train and ideally allow a locomotive, once uncoupled to run forward and set back (run around) the coaches thus enabling it to work the return trip. The platform itself need not extend as far as the stop block but it is more aesthetically pleasing if it does.

 

It's surprising how much additional space is required to enable this movement within the constraints of fouling points; i.e. not clouting a coach on the way around!

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The wording of the OP's question implied that the platform need only be long enough to accommodate the carriages; I took this to imply that this is a through station. Those who are adding in the length of an engine and engine release crossover are making the assumption that it's a terminus. Not all branch stations are terminii! Nevertheless, there's no reason why the platform at a terminus needs to extend all the way to the buffer stops; there are plenty if instances where it didn't.

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8 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

The wording of the OP's question implied that the platform need only be long enough to accommodate the carriages; I took this to imply that this is a through station ...

 

Correct on both counts.  The normal scheme of things on my railway is that passenger trains will consist of either one or two carriage.  Anything longer will be an exception, in which case I'm quite happy for all or part of the locomotive to stop past the level part of the platform.

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They are a lot longer than you think. To me in 4mm anything less than4 feet look to toy like. Three coaches, loco and a foot or more each end looks so much better than the coaches hanging off the end. 

Don't forget if you have a run round you need even more to clear the carriages, and give the loco space to avoid the point blades.

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I think it was established that the OP was talking of a through station. If a block post on a single line, the loop needs to be of sufficient length to allow trains to pass. If not a block post, there needn't be a loop at all; there could be a siding or two worked from a ground frame released by a token from the box either side. 

 

I have the impression that platform lengths at such stations tended to be round multiples of 100 ft in length - 300 ft might be more prototypical than 200 ft but we all know it's necessary to compress. Of course, a short platform looks longer the shorter your carriages are - 200 ft might just take three Mk1s but will look spacious with three or four 19th century 6-wheelers!

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Posted (edited)

Platforms were and still are expensive to build and maintain. You aren't building long platforms if you don't need them.

 

Even large expresses and stoppers stopped at small stations. Remember Adlestrop….

 

 

 

Jason

Edited by Steamport Southport

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3 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

Remember Adlestrop….

 

 

... but that was unwonted.

 

The down platform at Adlestrop would appear to have been about 250 ft and the up, just over 200 ft. It's unclear in which direction Thomas' train was travelling.

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Actually, this has prompted me to ask about something I was never sure about.  I'd swear I can recall occasions in early 1960s when trains I was on made scheduled stops at platforms considerably shorter than was needed for the train length.  But what was the Rule about this?  Did things just rely on passengers having more sense then than they seem to have nowadays, or what?

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Once upon a time the practice was to draw forward so that passengers in the rear coaches could get out - essential in the days of non-corridor carriages.

 

In the second half of the 1990s I commuted from Reading to Twickenham. This was before the platforms had been extended to the full length of an eight-coach train (or at least the up platform). The on-train announcement instructed passengers for Earley to move into and alight from the front five coaches.

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6 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

Once upon a time the practice was to draw forward so that passengers in the rear coaches could get out - essential in the days of non-corridor carriages.

 Now you mention it, I remember that happening as a kid with the old non-corridorstock used between Grimsby and New Holland (?) - and wondering how come those in the back half knew to sit tight until it was their turn ...

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56 minutes ago, spikey said:

 Now you mention it, I remember that happening as a kid with the old non-corridorstock used between Grimsby and New Holland (?) - and wondering how come those in the back half knew to sit tight until it was their turn ...

 

The big drop to the ground outside the door? :)

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On 14/03/2019 at 19:37, spikey said:

Actually, this has prompted me to ask about something I was never sure about.  I'd swear I can recall occasions in early 1960s when trains I was on made scheduled stops at platforms considerably shorter than was needed for the train length.  But what was the Rule about this?  Did things just rely on passengers having more sense then than they seem to have nowadays, or what?

 

Yes!

 

I can remember alighting at Marsh Mills  (Launceston branch Devon) in my youth and we had to cross the track on the board crossing.

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Old Dalkby on the Melton to Nottingham line (now the test track.

 

image.png.741ce7d17814a2ac9591ace3ebb36d1d.png

 

image.png.07d7b9c3a728834b6e4045fa3b73f382.png

 

The second vie, looking towards Old Dalby village shows a much higher bridge parapet than the other side.

 

This was added after a nasty accident during the 2nd World War that I was told about by several of the older locals. A troop train from Nottingham pulled up at Old Dalby station in the blackout, to the left of the second pic, with several coaches off the platform, at the rear (ie, over the bridge).

 

A Canadian Serviceeman thought he was at the platform, stepped from the coach onto the bridge parapet, then turned round and plunged to his death on the road below.

 

The parapet was increased in height after this accident.

 

Regards

 

Ian

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1 hour ago, Il Grifone said:

 

Yes!

 

I can remember alighting at Marsh Mills  (Launceston branch Devon) in my youth and we had to cross the track on the board crossing.

Still do in places, there are some stations on the Settle-Carlisle line where that's necessary, the only difference being a non-slip surface to walk on instead of wooden boards (might be wood underneath for all I know).

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