Jump to content

Whitland & Cardigan Railway, 1930s (OO Gauge)


Recommended Posts

This layout idea started off as a simple test circuit on another thread, but has evolved into a fictional branch line set in West Wales during the 1950s/60s. The inspiration comes primarily from the Whitland and Cardigan Railway (Cardi Bach), but also a few others (taken from the book The Railways of Pembrokeshire, which is a great source of information). Whilst the layout is initially going to be a circuit on a 200 x 130cm board, I do have plans to do it "properly" one day, hopefully a round-the-room or a loft layout (depending on where I end up living).

 

This is the latest track plan, which has seen almost 60 revisions in just under a month! The idea is to have a station and goods siding on one side of the board, with a halt and siding t'other side. Not quite sure what the scenic break will look like, but I would like to try something scenic, perhaps some high ground and woods. I'm not going to have a backscene as the layout can be viewed from any side (although in practice, one short is against a wall).

 

I made a start on the baseboard last weekend, which is a pine timber frame into which I will drop craftfoam sheets (25mm deep). I can cut into these and build them up with more craftfoam or some polystyrene I have hanging about the place. The main thing is to keep the baseboard lightweight and I can infact pick it up with one hand at the moment. I will need to add some more supports in (some more to support the craftfoam and also the point motors). I've also been building a few plastic kits and doing a little kit-bashing, on the evenings.

 

Although the loop on a rectangular baseboard is a bit train-set like (using Peco Code 100 and set track for the tight curves and points), I still want it to be prototypical as much as possible. Anyway, this is where I am at the moment. Any feedback will be more than welcome. The guys on the previous thread have been most helpful.

 

This was the original thread: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/146079-simple-oo-gauge-test-layout/

 

v.5.2.jpg

2019.08.12-02.jpg

2019.08.12-03.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I really need a fiddle yard, so have managed to work one into the top right corner, which will fit along the wall on top of some racking in my room. The design of the tracks on the fiddle yard will need some work, but I wanted to get a rough idea of what would fit. I have kept the track circuit in place for when I just want to watch a train go round for a while, but this will be disguised as a private siding from both the up and down lines, with some scenic jiggery-pokery playing a part.

 

v.6.0.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Much better; now you've got room for pretty much as many trains as you could probably need in both up and down directions.  An obvious suggestion is to replace the crossovers in the fiddle yard with double slips to save space.  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Re-arranged the fiddle yard (it's a little like Newcastle Emlyn now, but in reverse!), swapped the set track points for electrofrogs in the fiddle yard, plus a couple of the easier ones on the main layout (will look at switching to slips next). Also removed the engineers siding opposite the halt as there is now the *fake* siding to the right of that. I also renumbered the lever frame, which are the small numbers by the signals. points, etc. (20 lever frame in the box).

 

v.6.1.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I like this idea a lot. The visible yard effectively stands in for the junction yards at both ends of the branch. Contrary to what we tend to model I suspect that rather more branches were cross country lines between  junctions than those that ended at a terminus but there's no reason why some trains shouldn't terrminate at your main station. Unless you have particular need for an engineer's siding I'd be tempted to make the siding at the halt  into a goods siding.

I'm not sure you need the ground frame at the right hand end of the hidden line. When you're operating normally just do what John Charman did with Charford. Shove a hedge over that end of it and simply assume that the  points lead to a now disused quarry siding or something.

I've been looking at the Cheltenham-Banbury line recently as a friend has just moved into the area and Rollright Halt, between Chipping Norton and Hook Norton, which opened in 1906 after years of local pressure,  gained a goods siding three years later. It mostly handled incoming coal for a couple of local merchants but also outgoing game and sugar beet. Despite a landslip in 1958 that cut the branch on the Banbury side (passenger services between Chipping Norton and Banbury having closed in 1951)  the siding continued to be used for goods until the whole line closed in 1962.  The siding was about 200 yards from the halt and had a loading platform and a small corrugated iron shed but yours could be all coal and mileage.  

In its more prosperous times the branch had five passenger and two goods trains each way each day but also, despite being a very twisty line, the daily "Ports to Ports" express from Newcastle to Cardiff and Barry  which took 11 hours and ran from 1906 until at least the 1930s.  

https://railwaywondersoftheworld.com/ports.html

A cross country branch does provide opportunities for a wider range of services than the typical BLT.

Edited by Pacific231G
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

Unless you have particular need for an engineer's siding I'd be tempted to make the siding at the halt  into a goods siding.

 

I will add it back in as a goods siding, thanks.

 

18 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

I'm not sure you need the ground frame at the right hand end of the hidden line. When you're operating normally just do what John Charman did with Charford. Shove a hedge over that end of it and simply assume that the  points lead to a now disused quarry siding or something.

 

OK, thanks - a hedge will do me fine!

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the lever frame so far:

  1. Signal, Up, Home (Red)
  2. Signal, Up, Starter (Red)
  3. Signal, Up, Advanced Starter (Red)
  4. Facing Point Lock, Up, Loop (Blue)
  5. Points, Up, Loop (Black)
  6. Signal, Shunt, Goods Siding Entrance (Red)
  7. Facing Point Lock, Up, Goods Siding Entrance (Blue)
  8. Points, Goods Siding Entrance (Black)
  9. Electric Release to 2 Lever Ground Frame, Goods Siding Entrance (Blue)
  10. Electric Release to 2 Lever Ground Frame, Coal Merchant Siding (Blue)
  11. Spare (White)
  12. Electric Release to 2 Lever Ground Frame, Goods Siding Exit (Blue)
  13. Points, Goods Siding Exit (Black)
  14. Facing Point Lock, Up, Goods Siding Exit (Blue)
  15. Signal, Shunt, Goods Siding Exit (Red)
  16. Points, Down, Loop (Black)
  17. Facing Point Lock, Down, Loop (Blue)
  18. Signal, Down, Advanced Starter (Red)
  19. Signal, Down, Starter (Red)
  20. Signal, Down, Home (Red)
Link to post
Share on other sites

The yard is getting a bit confusing to understand as it's not representing a station terminus, more the area where shunting, loco servicing and train formation takes place. So would it be OK to add signals for trains arriving and departing? I've added four signals, two incoming, two outgoing, but not entirely sure they are necessary. Perhaps the signal box isn't even necessary.

 

Yard.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Andy Kirkham said:

Do you have a specific geographical location in mind? Here is a fantasy branch line that I sketched out when I was living in Dale at the end of the 70's.

 

That's a good idea, Andy, thanks. I was thinking of a line connecting Crymmych Arms to Newport on the coast, which was a possibility at the time they were pushing for a line from Whitland to Cardigan. However, I don't need to stick to this idea.

Edited by petejones
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

Hi Pete,

 

I do like this, I sometimes think in our quest for scale fidelity we lose the fun element, and this layout looks fun.

Setrack does not have to equate to un-railway like in appearance and operation.

 

I've something similar lurking in the garage half built that was intend for my lad but he lost interest when he discovered computer games.

I've contemplating dusting it off an finishing it, this time for me!

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Argos said:

I do like this, I sometimes think in our quest for scale fidelity we lose the fun element, and this layout looks fun.

Setrack does not have to equate to un-railway like in appearance and operation.

 

Thanks Angus, that's encouraging. I rather like the curved setrack points, just hoping my smaller locos will run on them OK. Will test them soon, no doubt.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

Hi Pete,

 

The track plan for my lad's abortive layout is below:-

 

image.png.489ccfbc14f327c1545c90abbe9fde69.png

 

The dotted lines run off to a couple of loops below the station.

The track is all laid and powered and a Hornby Percy had no issues with the curved points forming the crossover, albeit scale speed and Percy is somewhat of an oxymoron!

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps this would be better with a station terminus in the yard area - more in line with Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn. Also extended the fiddle yard to 240cm, which gives more room in the station and the sidings.

 

Yard.jpg

Edited by petejones
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold
12 hours ago, petejones said:

I rather like the curved setrack points, just hoping my smaller locos will run on them OK. Will test them soon, no doubt.

If you're worried about the insulated frog you could try what Shaun has done to his shiny new insulated frog points. He replaced the plastic with rail to make them conducting. I've never tried it myself but it looks reasonably straight forward. 

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Anotheran said:

I like that. But I would, wouldn't I, as it's very reminiscent of a mirrored Newcastle Emlyn

 

And a little bit of Cardigan in there too!

 

18 minutes ago, Anotheran said:

If you're worried about the insulated frog you could try what Shaun has done to his shiny new insulated frog points. He replaced the plastic with rail to make them conducting. I've never tried it myself but it looks reasonably straight forward.

 

Thanks, that looks like a possibility. The funny thing is, the fiddle yard will have better track than the circuit. I'm even thinking of using Code 75 for it as I have a few points and a box of track, so may as well use it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is with Code 75 - not much changed as the geometry is the same apart from the 3-way turnout. I have some medium radius turnouts available, so have put those in where possible. The benefit of using Code 75 at this stage, even though the circuit is Code 100, is future proofing the yard, so when the time comes to build a larger layout (either round-the-room or end-to-end), I can re-use this scenic fiddle yard/terminus.

 

Yard.jpg

Edited by petejones
Link to post
Share on other sites

How comprehensively you scenic and signal the fiddle yard (which is looking more like a station and less like a fiddle yard with every iteration :D) is going to depend on a few things, quite apart from the "because I want to" subclause of Rule 1.

 

How "real" is the existence of this bit of railway going to be in your scheme of operation? Will you be operating it as a prototypical station, or will it just be somewhere for trains to go to and come from, whilst looking a bit better than bare boards and unballasted track? 

 

If operating it as a fiddle yard, are you going to be doing all train rearrangement "hands off"? If not, consider how vulnerable signals and other details may be to the great hand from the sky. If you're going to have them, try to avoid placement where you're likely to be doing lots of manual uncoupling or crane shunting. 

 

Are you going to have a means of moving stock onto or off the layout? A slot on one of the fiddle sidings for  a loco lift or short cassette may be useful, and worth the sacrifice of a bit of realism, depending on where you want to strike the fiddleyard/station balance. 

 

Just looking at the points I've just raised makes me think it might be time to consider, at least broadly, how the layout is to be operated (sequence, timetable, at-whim, shunting puzzle, etc.) and whether stock will all be stored on the layout or if there will be an off-layout overflow. 

 

Incidentally, the current footprint is reminding me very strongly of a CJ Freezer plan that turned up in Track Plans, which was similar in principal to your scheme, but reversed. That is, the extension board(s) housed the main layout - a comprehensive and fairly impressive junction terminus - whilst the 6 x 4 board, assumed to be a relic of the starter train set development, held an elaborate spiral/return loop arrangement for reversing trains or keeping them circulating until required by the timetable. An interesting concept and one which I haven't really seen used much in practice. 

Edited by PatB
  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PatB said:

How "real" is the existence of this bit of railway going to be in your scheme of operation? Will you be operating it as a prototypical station, or will it just be somewhere for trains to go to and come from, whilst looking a bit better than bare boards and unballasted track? 

 

I would like it all to be scenic, so turning it into either a terminus or a yard makes sense. Now that I have the "L" shape, my position when operating the layout has changed. On the rectangular baseboard, I was going to operate it from the station, but will move the operating position to the inner corner of the "L". It will be DCC for the track, but all the turnouts, signals and lights will be using switches on a control panel.

 

2 hours ago, PatB said:

If operating it as a fiddle yard, are you going to be doing all train rearrangement "hands off"? If not, consider how vulnerable signals and other details may be to the great hand from the sky. If you're going to have them, try to avoid placement where you're likely to be doing lots of manual uncoupling or crane shunting.

 

The tracks nearest the lower edge of the baseboard will be for manual fiddling, the back two tracks will be where the train formations end up before going on their way round the circuit. The signals, should I use them, will be at the back out of the way.

 

2 hours ago, PatB said:

Just looking at the points I've just raised makes me think it might be time to consider, at least broadly, how the layout is to be operated (sequence, timetable, at-whim, shunting puzzle, etc.) and whether stock will all be stored on the layout or if there will be an off-layout overflow.

 

I'm not 100% sure. I think all the stock will end up being on the layout (I don't have much and want to keep it that way - 25 wagons, 6 coaches, 1 GV). I would like to aim for a timetable with some shunting at various places around the layout, with the possibility of a random event that I have to deal with as sometimes things don't go according to plan.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • petejones changed the title to Whitland & Cardigan Railway, 1930s (OO Gauge)

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.