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Pacifics, Passengers, Prime real estate (Minories thread split)


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Rather than clutter the Minories thread with random thoughts about a potential Minories-based layout, I thought it might be better to keep it separated and not derail the fascinating discussion there.

 

I've always wanted a railway that DOES something, and after my little 2FS cameo has become partway done, I've realised that it doesn't. I know that many people find lots of enjoyment from shuttling a single loco back and forth, or playing the Inglenook game - but it's just not for me. Maybe because my young brain was saturated with Commodore and Nintendo games? Either way, I needed more. Minories has been a more or less constant in my mind since discovering in on Carl Arendt's micro layout sight, and I've whipped up a number of different arrangements in every setting from privatisation SE London to communist Poland and 70's Japan. I've never actually built one of them though - even if my 4mm layout 'Godstone Rd' comes fairly close.
 

 

I was looking through the 'Is Minories Operationally Satisfying' thread in this subforum and a kind gent (imt) suggested my attempt at contraction needed some tweaks. I found that post and had a look today, and came out with this, version 1:

 

7NGfTyn.png

The simplicity of the Minories design is evident - the only real changes are the substitution of back-to-back turnouts with single slips.

 

After a short time operating this in XtrkCAD, though totally feasible and enjoyable - one thing nagged me which was how the shunter (top middle) would need to reverse into the down main to either exit the pocket, or manipulate carriage stock and release locomotives. A simple tweak was to add a loco pocket and a headshunt at the bottom of the throat, and an additional carriage siding/parcels/milk dock at the bottom of the layout - and so, version 2. 

 

tdE69N7.png

 

Due to the strange geometry of XtrkCAD's turnouts, the double track spacing was huge, so I mocked it up in Templot, which shows a 20" minimum radius (on that 90 degree turn into the FY), as well as a minimum platform length of just over three feet was easily attainable in the space.

 

The space available is approximately 8' x 8' in an L shape around the edge of my workshop, above my workbenches. To retain some air, the scenic section can only be 1' wide, and the fiddle yard only 8" and made of plain, varnished wood. As per my current whim, the layout would be built to 2mmFS.

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Just by way of having something physical, I printed out the plan and put some trains on it.

 

Here's the world's most confused LMS inspector and GWR Autocoach driver arriving behind a Type 3 on the Up main.

 

RAB8EeY.jpg

 

In the other direction, you can see the station roads which are from left to right for now!) - a carriage siding/parcels platform/milk dock, Platform 3, 2 and 1, and the 'old' loco pocket.

 

dKAPjEc.jpg

 

You can also see the curve of the headshunt and pilot pocket in the bottom right.  I really like the symmetry the old pocket adds to the plan even though the 'new' pocket is much better situated. Maybe the solution is to adapt the 'new' pocket into a connection to an off-scene an engine shed. That way, it can be used to escape the pilot, but only to clear the other roads.

 

By a happy coincidence, every turnout on the scenic section of the layout fits into approx 3' x 1', more or less what you can see here. It consists of five standard turnouts, a three-way and two single slips. I think this is great, because I can build the whole thing separately - and should the need arise, I can remove it from the layout as one piece for maintenance/adjustment/salvage. One thing I'm particularly happy with is the smooth geometry - just look how long that slip is compared to the EE Type 3!!

 

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Interesting concept.  Remember Lime Street in Liverpool had a shunt neck (it still existed until the recent track layout changes and resignalling).  This allowed the station pilot to draw out the entire train intot he neck, to release the train locomotive from the stops.  Something like that may be what you are looking for?

 

Are you still working in 2mm/2FS?

 

Richie

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I don't think the short spur on the incoming side has any value.    The pilot will usually be puling stock from the arrival platforms and pushing back into the departure ones using the departure line so parking upon the departure side makes a lot of sense.   Its a lot easier to use the departure line as long as it remains in station limits as departing trains tend to run to time unlike arrivals, and the shunt will hold up incoming trains at best at the outer home or the previous section.

Likewise carriage sidings are more use on the departure side.

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In terms of setting and era, to me this really must be in the 20's or 30's - big pacifics and coaches with lots of obnoxious gilt and lining. Specifically which company, I think is anyone's guess?

 

9 hours ago, Richie Kynaston said:

Interesting concept.  Remember Lime Street in Liverpool had a shunt neck (it still existed until the recent track layout changes and resignalling).  This allowed the station pilot to draw out the entire train intot he neck, to release the train locomotive from the stops.  Something like that may be what you are looking for?

 

Are you still working in 2mm/2FS?

 

Richie

 

Hi Richie, should I infer that shunting necks were more rare than I have given credit? I would have thought it was standard operating practise! In terms of operation that's what I'm after - the alternative is to use one of the running lines which would work, but seems a bit wasteful!  If I were to build this, I am looking to attempt in 2FS - the little cameo I've done is fine, but it's just too small to do anything than be anything other than a semi-static diorama as I alluded to in the OP.  My trackwork gets better every time, so it's just a case of sticking with it through some small adversities I think.

 

8 hours ago, Flying Pig said:

As regards loco sidings Bradford Exchange had a middle siding and Liverpool Central a middle road (per flyingsignalman's diagram) which doesn't have main running signals, so appears to be set up for shunting and loco movements. 

 

Lovely links, cheers :)

 

5 hours ago, DavidCBroad said:

I don't think the short spur on the incoming side has any value.    The pilot will usually be puling stock from the arrival platforms and pushing back into the departure ones using the departure line so parking upon the departure side makes a lot of sense.   Its a lot easier to use the departure line as long as it remains in station limits as departing trains tend to run to time unlike arrivals, and the shunt will hold up incoming trains at best at the outer home or the previous section.

Likewise carriage sidings are more use on the departure side.

 

Ah that's a cracking observation, I I didn't really twig that the pilot would sit inside the station but that makes sense, particularly around the signalling and use of the departure line. I would never have thought of that, thank you!

 

It does beg the question then - is it worth including that 'new' pilot/neck for any other purpose? Either as a road the engine service area (which for the sake of argument I will assume is parallel with the main a short distance down the line, or maybe a branch of some kind? Thinking of Cannon Street's MPD and the wye which connects to Charing Cross - maybe a suitable source and destination for some commuter trains? Or, as per the original design I can just leave it off and take this blessing of two points saved.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Lacathedrale said:

Hi Richie, should I infer that shunting necks were more rare than I have given credit? I would have thought it was standard operating practise! In terms of operation that's what I'm after - the alternative is to use one of the running lines which would work, but seems a bit wasteful!  If I were to build this, I am looking to attempt in 2FS - the little cameo I've done is fine, but it's just too small to do anything than be anything other than a semi-static diorama as I alluded to in the OP.  My trackwork gets better every time, so it's just a case of sticking with it through some small adversities I think.

 

Shunting necks, shunt roads, headshunts, were not universal at big stations but common enough. A lot depends on how you want to operate and whether your striving for having an enjoyable time running as you want, or whether you want to stick to prototypical option.

 

If the latter, then it’s necessary to consider how a station on the ‘real’ railway would have operated. Lime Street for example would have had pilots shuttling stock in and out, while some main line locos would have backed down to take out stock off an incoming working. If the incoming stock was to form an outbound service but the train locomotive needed to be released the shunt neck comes into play. Using the ‘Up’ or ‘Down’ Main/Slow for this purpose would have hindered the operation of the station. One reason such necks were positioned between the Up and Down lines (on double track layouts) or between Fast and Slow (on quad track layouts) was the ability to reach all platforms with the minimum number of conflicting moves - ie a shunt should cause minimal effect on arrivals and departures.

 

Kings Cross worked differently, there was a small loco headshunt next to Gasworks Tunnel, which could accommodate two tanks (I think). This gave access to almost all platforms, all stock, unless it was forming a outbound service was moved out to Ferme Park carriage Sidings a few miles away. It led to a very busy, complicated operating situation for the LNER but appeared to work as it lasted so long!

 

2 hours ago, Lacathedrale said:

Ah that's a cracking observation, I I didn't really twig that the pilot would sit inside the station but that makes sense, particularly around the signalling and use of the departure line. I would never have thought of that, thank you!

 

It does beg the question then - is it worth including that 'new' pilot/neck for any other purpose? Either as a road the engine service area (which for the sake of argument I will assume is parallel with the main a short distance down the line, or maybe a branch of some kind? Thinking of Cannon Street's MPD and the wye which connects to Charing Cross - maybe a suitable source and destination for some commuter trains? Or, as per the original design I can just leave it off and take this blessing of two points saved.

 

Again, it’s how you intend to use it. If your thinking of a servicing area, you wouldn’t use it as a shunt neck. Either there will be a loco there when a shunt is needed, or a shunt will be taking place when you want a loco in or out! Loco Sidings are useful. Liverpool Street in London had a turntable and stabling roads, but Manchester Piccadilly (post 1960s) just had two engine stabling roads, having been designed to accommodate modern traction - not sure what the layout was when it was London Road.

 

its really about running the moves through in your mind:

1) Train arrives - what happens to stock? Needs shunting go to 2, forms outbound service go to 5.

2) shunt set via XYZ line using station pilot, either to carriage Sidings or to departure platform

3) release loco off incoming service.

4) pilot back to stabling road, new loco onto set

5) train departs

 

so wherever you locos go to, arrive from, can that happen with other services arriving/departing (is that important?) or while the shunt is happening?

 

Richie

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Ah, I see - so given the relatively sharp curve required at the country end, and the minmum train lengths at the station end  - I don't think a road in the middle would work, particularly. The more I ponder your post and have had a play, the pocket and using the down line for shunting seems to work well enough. It's a happy coincidence I've got approximately my max train length on the visible section of the down main, too :)

 

I feel like that line might be suitable as the end of a loop, which has the connections to the carriage sidings parallel with the station (and of scene) and/or an engine shed down where the FY is, similar to Marylebone? Access to the carriage sidings from say, P4 blocks ALL moves, much like we are dicussing here? https://www.signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=414

 

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Yes it would block all moves, as such I'd suggest it was a rare daytime move, more perhaps start/end of service.  But I do not know how Marylebone was worked in the 1940s, so somebody else may well be better placed to comment.

 

It is a bit like today's railway where Network Rail is working to remove conflicting movements from stations - Reading and the resignalling, flyovers etc, being a prime example.  Back in the days of steam, flexibility was one of the key aims, but just because something could be done does not necessarily mean it was.  I suspect most daytime (especially any peak hour) movements to/from the carriage sidings would have been likely from Platforms 1 or 2 to minimise disruption.  It may only take 60 seconds from clearing the road to the last coach leaving the end of the platform, but that is a long time for a busy station to be brought to a standstill.

 

However, in all of this, don't lose sight of what YOU want to achieve. Rule #1 applies at all times - its your railway so run it how you wnat, and most importantly be happy with it and get enjoyment from it.


Richie

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Thanks Richie, that makes perfect sense. I've asked some pertinent questions in this thread and found some wonderful answers:

I am having a think about whether that up loop is worthwhile - I think in the current configuration it's not providing much at all. I could either move the platforms forward and put a turntable and coaling platform behind the station, or move the platforms rearward and have the up loop connecting to some facilities that are otherwise inaccessible from the mainlines, like a fish dock. Both examples using Marylebone again for justification.

 

I'm still not 100% on the exact signal layout, but I'm excited by the idea of working signals and maybe some basic bell-code type interaction between the FY and layout. Certainly there's more than enough scope for both - and the potential for an 'automatic' signalmen at the FY using an Arduino.

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Determining the signalling plan could get quite complicated, particularly in respect of shunting moves, due to the relatively early date you've chosen.  Quite a lot of pre-grouping practice could remain, so you will probably need to pick a region, down to the pre-grouping company, for a full answer.

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I always think Marylebone is a great starting point for small terminus with big ambitions. It helps that it had its own milk bottling plant at the throat which adds a compact but prototypical dash of variety to the proceedings. It was owned by the IMS and was the rather natty art deco building visible in this shot.

 

class-115-dmu-1491107886-800.jpg

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On 04/04/2019 at 22:54, Lacathedrale said:

Had a sneaky read of the British Railway Signalling book by Alan Williams and G. M. Kichenside - I think I might have come up with a first draft of a signal diagram, though I'm sure those brackets are all wrong!

 

pwPhDwD.png

 

I don't know what happened to my reply of a few days ago, but I would say that the island platform starter bracket would would have the a pair of starter signals and the lower platform would have a single starter signal, not the triple bracket as shown, unless it's a gantry.

 

 

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AH, that makes more sense! Thank you!

 

 

@Karhedron , Marylebone was the source of modification to the Minories plan for sure - I am however, going to try to resist the urge to cram more in - three platform faces, a carriage road and a loco pocket seems like it will be more than enough!

 

@Flying Pig my gut feeling is to go for GER - I have happily found some MRJs with info.

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