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G-DIMB

Not Another OO WR BLT layout

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Right Ive been here as a lurker for many years but i really suppose I'd better get my finger out and show what i am currently working on. Its called Crapstone (which is a real place on Dartmoor) and is a 9x2 scenic section WR BLT line set in 1963/64. Its set somewhere in the Bristol, Gloucester and Swindon Triangle so i can run a number of different things. Since i took the photos as shown on the Flickr album https://www.flickr.com/photos/fatherjacksphotos/albums/72157711211842206  Ive extended the freight headshunt so i can run a small industrial line for some vans to somewhere as yet off scene. A small engine shed, goods shed and small coal unloading point are also planned. The platform has been designed to take up to 4 coach trains (3 will be more normal) so i can be flexible with what i do. I am now at the stage of wiring and i really cant decide whether to go DC or DCC. A few of the locos i own aren't DCC ready and are in fact quite difficult to do. I did consider going the whole hog and doing it all DCC but everything else i have decided will be DC so i suspect given i already have all the parts to make it DC i suspect that is the way it will go.

It will be exhibitable except for that the fiddle yard will be straight rather than being in a U, the U shaped one will remain in the workshop. Oh and yes i do plan to have a rather unremarkable stone placed somewhere so that the place actually has some basis for its name.

 

Anyway Enjoy.

 

 

 

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Good luck, it will be interesting to see it develop.

 

welcome to RMWeb

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Look forward to seeing this one progress - hopefully you will post some pictures here as well!

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Not Another OO WR BLT layout???

 

The more the merrier I say.

 

Looking forward to seeing this progressing.

 

Les

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Welcome to this very niche and unusual type of modelling...

 

My own WR BLT is set a decade earlier in South Wales.  There is, despite what you may have been told, no such thing as a typical GW BLT, as nearly all of them were originally built by locally floated companies and absorbed, often before opening, into the GW.  This means that each has an individuality in terms of typical architecture, track plans, and so on.  Buildings depended on the grandiosity of the original scheme, and many locally funded enterprises went for impressive local stone edifices (which they could usually ill afford) or brick where suitable local stone was not available.  Part of the Victorian rural mindset was that railways were the future and it was vital for your tiny market town to be connected to the network so that your farm produce or meat could access the lucrative markets of London or the big industrial towns.  Invest in this and you'll be rich, guaranteed (actually, no, you won't, but you might recover your initial outlay if the scheme has been underwritten by the GW).  

 

Few of them were ever able to come close to covering their running costs, never mind put out a return on their capital investment; the bigger companies, seeing their value as feeders and able to exploit the economies of scale, often underwrote them and stepped in when realty dawned on the investors, who were now desperate to get out.  A factor in this was strategic, so in your area, especially in Gloucestershire south of the Severn, the good folk of Crapstone might have benefited from a bidding war between the GW and Midland for underwriting in order to block each other's expansion plans to control and monopolise areas...

 

Other places set their levels of grandiosity more realistically, and went for a minimalist approach, with planked wooden structures and more basic facilities (Oxford station was built like this due to the poverty of the OW&W).  This became more common as the 19th century progressed, and the mistakes of earlier schemes became apparent.  The realekonomik of branch lines is that, while they facilitated getting your produce to market, they facilitated everyone else's as well and the profits were much less than you thought they were going to be.  At the same time, stuff came in by rail, undoubtedly improving the standard of living in the locality but having to be paid for, and the micro-economy of the little market town struggled to balance the books.  Cost cutting is not just a modern phenomenon.

 

So, most branches looked different, but with an overlay of GW standardisations in terms of signalling, lamps, etc.  In mineral producing areas such as South Wales, the Forest of Dean, or the Cornish China Clay district, the original purpose of the branch is usually the mineral traffic, and passenger or general merchandise traffic or facilities are an add on.  Building styles tend to be more basic, and the passenger traffic mostly miners or quarrymen travelling to or from work, not requiring the grandiosity that impressed gentlemen farmers going Up To Town (or Swindon/Bristol/Gloucester on business).  But of course passenger and general merchandise facilities are still required, arguably more so where populations were larger than rural market towns.

 

This gives you a lot of variety in the look that you want for your BLT.  In South Gloucestershire you are likely to see local Cotswold stone buildings, but Northern Wiltshire and Avon will feature more brick.  There actually weren't that many branches in your triangle, mostly through routes, but Cirencester should provide some inspiration, as should Tetbury.  The Tetbury branch was the subject of articles in 'Model Railway Constructor' written by Chris Leigh back in the 1960s, with a fine model of Culkerton; these may be worth searching out.  Malmesbury is an alternative, but was closed before your period.

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I fully agree:- The more, the merrier.

 

I'm quite a way behind you though, the civil engineering aspect is going a bit slow at the moment.

 

Happy modelling,

 

Ian.

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Thanks for your kind comments. With this one I'm going for something that i can actually use an learn some skills for my ultimate aim. Ive always wanted to model Devizes station in OO and have now got enough information (including building drawings which are in the Wiltshire Archive) to do this but i want to have something a little more generic to hone up my modelling skills first so i;'m planning to use mainly propriety kits from ratio with a little kit-bashing to break me in before i need to go down the wholesale. 

To that end Ive got a large parcel on the way containing many of the scenic bits and electrical bits i need to continue. Then i can begin doing the electrics. I am probably going to do it DC which although will be more complicated, i cant convince myself DCC would be of any benefit for this especially as i would still be using conventional point control. Anyway a few more busy days beckon before i can get out there and start work again but i did receive some books though the post, The Devizes branch by N Bray (of which ive had a copy but lost) and also Steam Around Bristol, the final years which is an Amberley book. Both of which are very useful tools. I also received a Bachmann pannier in black late crest i won off ebay which will be renumbered to something more suitable from a photo and then weathered to suit.

 

 

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Hi G-DIMB,

 

Some of your track is very close to the outer edge of the boards. Have you thought about how you will make it work scenically?

 

I hope you don't mind me saying this but, the track plan is quite regimented. If you made it a bit looser and more flowing it might look more realistic.

 

Is there room for the goods shed to work properly?

 

"That would be an ecumenical matter" :wink_mini:

 

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HI

I know what you mean and it something in the past ive been torn in which way to look at it, in terms of the end i am adding a small board for the scenic section to give a little extra bit but as i don't have the space when set up at home (at the present time) i have to leave it off. In terms of the parallel nature of the plan i came to conclusion that many lines are simply like that and that many small WR termini are fairly linear. I did consider going a little different in some areas with this but in the end decided that id rather leave it as it is as i wanted something enjoyable to operate, to that extent i think this track plan was number 30 or 31 of about 40 or so and i believe every layout is a compromise of space, practicality etc. I do concede however that the points are not ideal however the board joint kind of forced my hand on this one.

 

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Been doing a little more work to this. Indeed Ive had to trim a siding a bit as the goods shed i got wouldn't fit in the space right so a little trimming became necessary to make it all fit. I've also cut a little bit more out and will be moving one or two of the roads to remove some of the regimented nature of it as the more i look at it i think that it just isnt right.

 

I am also at the stage where i have to solder all the droppers on. Its not a job i enjoy very much but its a means to an end. I know that once Ive got it done i can then focus on the scenic side which is the bit i enjoy most of all. Once Ive got some of the building shells built up i will do some photos or even do a small video as i think that might show what i want to do better.

 

Mike Bravo

 

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Its been a bit quiet here recently in terms of the layout. Ive decided to move it indoors as while the shed was OK and pretty good temperature wise there wasn't much of a desire to go out there in the wind and the rain. Therefore with a little bit of cunning i have managed to find a space indoors.

The only trouble is that space is a little tighter than it was outside so Ive had to shorten the front boards by 2ft. This in itself is not a bad thing as it makes the layout more practical to move as i have reduce each board length by a foot. I have also had to reduce the fiddle yard from being an L shape to being straight. Again this has also allowed me to make this the same size for easy of transport.

 

Anyway i will upload some pictures later on for you all to look at.

 

Mike Bravo

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