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Veja Megstra - RhB Nm layout


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Hi everyone,

 

I was hoping I might be able to get your thoughts and advice on planning a small RhB inspired layout using Kato Unitrack?

 

Inspired by some of the threads on here, including Paul's Bonsai RhB, I bought a Glacier Express set and then a GE 4/4 II with the basic EW 1 coach set. I also have a collection of Unitrack from a previous project and I purchased a small radius curve set with the intention of building a layout.

 

Last year I had the set up around the Christmas tree and it's been on the dining room table a few times but what I'd really like to do is create something permanent but fairly portable. With that in mind I bought one of the Scale Model Scenery diorama boards as a test and I'm quite impressed with it.

 

I have a space about 2m x 1m to play with but the boards need to be separated so that they can be packed away. I'd like to include a station and a scenic section with elements of the Albula line if possible.

 

This is what I've come up with so far:

1642144961_RhBStationlayoutv2.png.53cb91c2f6a5a1c691a518b794927db2.png

 

This uses 3 boards laid end to end for the middle section (circa 4') and 2 back to back on the ends.

 

Originally the station just had a loop but that looked too bare. I have tried to get the loop long enough to accept a decent length train (5-6 coaches + a loco) whilst not having complex track work over the joints.

 

The blue lines indicate the back boards that come with the baseboard kits - although they could be arranged in a number of ways.

 

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

 

Ian

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Visually, I'd suggest rotating the trackplan by a degree or so, which will mean the tracks don't match the baseboard edge, making it look more natural. That will make it harder to do the board joints though.

You'd have the space to wind it down to put some staging tracks on a lower level if you wanted - though that'd make it a much more complex build.

 

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This link was previously posted by PaulRHB and I found it useful, have a look at the prototype plans and see what you fancy, your proposal is not far from quite a number of them.

 

http://www.sporenplan.nl/

 

click on sporenplan (in red text) near the top left of the screen, click on switzerland on the map (CH), click on RhB over on the right of the Swiss map.

 

That will give you a diagramatic of all the stations.

 

Using Google Street (taken from a flat car in front of the train!) will also give you a chance to explore the Albula line from the comfort of home.

 

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@46.6751282,9.6806857,2a,75y,66.11h,84.74t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s0dXa3bxPRu5-pS2nMjcAQQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3D0dXa3bxPRu5-pS2nMjcAQQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D37.98369%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en-GB

 

As a shameless plug, if you are not a member, you might want to join the Swiss Railway Society, their quarterly magazine is great and at £20 per year excellent value. https://swissrailsoc.org.uk/

 

Do share what you decide on!

 

 

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Thanks guys. I have been thinking about joining the Swiss Rail Society so will look into that.

 

I've been using sporenplan.nl and Google Maps to see how the station layouts compare in real life. Often it seems that the loops are quite long (or perhaps have been lengthened in recent years?).

 

Another option I've toyed with in my head is rotating the boards at one end and creating a mini-cameo scene possibly including a curved viaduct e.g.

 

1152533696_RhBStationlayoutv3.png.d262a1227b65931d5f8d130bb5c18819.png

 

On this one I've simplified the station layout by removing the headshunt and moving the siding left to make it longer / more useful.

 

If I can I want to keep the track joints over the baseboard joints just to make it easier to put together - hence why everything looks a bit 'square on'. Having said that I hope that by using risers and some rising and falling gradients I can make the track feel like it's part of the landscape rather than plonked on top.

Edited by MrTea
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13 hours ago, MrTea said:

I've been using sporenplan.nl and Google Maps to see how the station layouts compare in real life. Often it seems that the loops are quite long (or perhaps have been lengthened in recent years?).


On the Albula particularly train lengths can be quite long - the minimum regular (not GEX/BEX) passenger train in 2019 is a loco and 7 coach push pull set, and I reckon the majority will be longer than that as half the diagrams are hauled/shoved by Allegra units, some have tail loads, and they add additional passenger cars onto that too!

Ones up to the region of 12 cars are not rare (looking at vids, a couple of years back one of the GEX trains was scheduled to be combined with one of the (then) 6 car Albula sets, making that one minimum loco +12!)

Whatever you do will be some kind of trade-off...

If you really wanted the extra length, double tracking one end would be possible in the space (R183s) without messing up the joints - but would then restrict the scenery at that end (double track tunnels I think wouldn't look right for that line...)

 

13 hours ago, MrTea said:

If I can I want to keep the track joints over the baseboard joints just to make it easier to put together - hence why everything looks a bit 'square on'. Having said that I hope that by using risers and some rising and falling gradients I can make the track feel like it's part of the landscape rather than plonked on top. 


I understand, always a trade-off - it's why my (first) little project will try and be all on one board despite that heavily compromising train lengths!

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Based on @Glorious NSE's advice I've had a go at a version with an extended loop. It's got potential but I agree the double track tunnels that I'd probably need to hide the back scene exits do look a bit odd. However you could have 12 coach trains running on this in both directions no problem.

1465706909_RhBStationlayoutv4.png.ddecae58ef5c31933eb19e85df83222a.png

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This is a nice plan. For a further refinement, at many RhB stations the siding commonly runs the full length of the station, with the station building set back behind it. This means passengers have to cross the siding on foot to get to the platforms for the running roads. Here’s Versam-Safien in 2008. Other details here are that the siding splits into 2 in the foreground, and there’s no spur where the siding joins the main line in the distance, it’s just a simple turnout off the nearer running line. 
 

I also noticed that the spoorenplan web site is inaccurate for this station as it shows the siding here as joining the main line at both ends, which is not the case, though it may have been at some time in the past. 

BE780B4E-2B57-4A2D-BEFF-88AF42537D91.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

The latest plan I've got to looks like this:

537418739_RhBStationlayoutv6.png.8b268a21166fe4031b8f38bac9ab09bd.png

 

I decided that the double track didn't really do it for me and I could live with 6 car trains.

 

I've tweaked the mountain scene side to make the curves more sweeping - as if the track is following the contours into a side valley. I've also incorporated a 4% gradient with a summit on the left and a low point on the right (the station is on the level for simplicity). By changing the radius of the curves on the ends to 2x R249 and 2x R183 at each end I think I've managed to make the curves that will be visible slightly more realistic and the whole thing hopefully less 'train set'. 

 

The tunnels aren't in quite the right place but that was the closest I could get using RailModeller Pro (which I love BTW).

 

I've ordered the baseboards from ScaleModelScenery so the next steps are to get those made up and start laying things out full size!

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Ooh I like this :)

Well I think you’ve made the right decision on keeping the short station. While the mainline does have long loops, the very long dynamic loops are spreading under the station modernisation, there are still quite a few untouched. Many of the smaller stations still exist but are now out of use and used as engineering bolt holes and stabling.

BB5D164F-4648-4291-ABD6-F69359117FA8.jpeg.e7d0af84b2a891febadf31ee5e095923.jpeg

 

E39302E3-81DB-4CDF-A035-A144107768C4.jpeg.0cb3d05410e456a5c014604da1bd92e9.jpeg

Still a few small stations in use though. Look at Wiesen between Davos & Filisur, an absolute gem of a traditional RhB station with little change apart from a new platform surface. Susch on the Engadine also original although they added a temporary wooden platform extension, during the recent Scuol line closure, to accommodate longer trains. The Arosa line also has several examples where modernisation hasn’t changed them. 

8C2C4D66-D443-48D4-900B-ACD6DB2C3CFA.jpeg.b2a69c2de638d28e2644bcdb13513833.jpeg

650 on the back of a four coach push pull at Davos. 

Once someone gets their finger out and produces a driving trailer you can happily run 3-4 coach trains as the local service with a ge4/4iii providing superpower and then a GEX or BEX trundle through with 6 on the adjoining line :)

63900DEF-7A84-4324-A979-9326A2691082.jpeg.586267a9611809fb56a02b0104434087.jpeg

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On 14/12/2019 at 10:50, MrTea said:

The latest plan I've got to looks like this:

537418739_RhBStationlayoutv6.png.8b268a21166fe4031b8f38bac9ab09bd.png

 

I decided that the double track didn't really do it for me and I could live with 6 car trains.

 

I've tweaked the mountain scene side to make the curves more sweeping - as if the track is following the contours into a side valley. I've also incorporated a 4% gradient with a summit on the left and a low point on the right (the station is on the level for simplicity). By changing the radius of the curves on the ends to 2x R249 and 2x R183 at each end I think I've managed to make the curves that will be visible slightly more realistic and the whole thing hopefully less 'train set'. 

 

The tunnels aren't in quite the right place but that was the closest I could get using RailModeller Pro (which I love BTW).

 

I've ordered the baseboards from ScaleModelScenery so the next steps are to get those made up and start laying things out full size!


I am following your progress Mr Tea, as I would like to do something similar with a layout scenic split between the shoreline of Lake Brienz on one side and a mountain view on the other. Look forward to seeing photographs of the different stages?

 

Marlyn

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I'm STILL in the throws of building something similar, I went with Tomix track to fit 3 APA boxes, although you have more width, I went for two helix tunnels at end, the locos can take 140mm radius curves but not the points. I went with the Stugl Stuhls Building from Faller for the station. I look forward to seeing this develop.

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First stage was to get the boards made up. They’re really very easy to construct with just wood glue required. 
 

I used small plastic clamps from Wilko to keep the back boards aligned while the glue was drying:

 

CDEC4287-BBA4-4354-8A2B-818B715F28E4.jpeg.1cf1908ed25f02494fd36416c42ce433.jpeg7D0B7596-3A3C-4BD0-9018-1D405E8F9EB2.jpeg.da02c55a3a86a486cec9d6702198b5b2.jpeg

After the first couple I got it down to around 5 mins per board so I managed to get all 10 put together in an evening. 
 

The 3 straight boards on each side have been joined using the bolts supplied and I also ran a bead of glue around the edge to add extra strength. 
 

For the end boards I’m planning to glue the back boards back to back for strength but as I’ll need to cut holes for the track to pass through I’ve left them unfixed for now. 

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I managed to get some time to myself on Friday night so I decided to try out the track layout full size. 
 

One of the useful features of RailModeller Pro for Mac OS is the ability to generate a parts list which you can export as a .CSV file. This works with Excel or Google Sheets and makes a useful shopping list. I had 90% of the pieces of track I need in stock and ordered the rest from a Kato specialist I’ve used in the past. 
 

On the station side the plan is to have the loop on the level but raised up 2” from the baseboard level:

 

IMG_5885.jpeg.5f2f96a1da4f22c46854346b0531af4c.jpeg

 

CCD25C4F-9B64-4F88-A63B-9705AA939C61.jpeg.6214782b03c02c4039cb0329011d6b9f.jpeg


On the scenic side the track layout is fairly plain but I wanted to try and replicate the sweeping curves on some sections of the RhB where the track follows the contours and in and out of the side valleys:

 

IMG_5887.jpeg.66cb4c1147df550394651fcfc7e7550c.jpeg

 

There are some really useful details about the Albula line’s construction including diagrams of the key bridges and viaducts in chapter four of John Marshall’s book - Metre Gauge Railways in South and East Switzerland. 

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Made a bit more progress last week and got most of the risers installed for the track bed. 


The Woodlands Scenics polystyrene pieces are easier to work with than I expected and they seem to work well with hot glue from Hobbycraft. Although I need to get some more glue sticks to finish off!

 

I’m wondering what the best source of  suitable bridges and tunnels would be for the layout? Looking online Kibri and Faller seem to have some nice looking viaduct kits in n gauge but the curved bridges are fairly sharp. The place I’d probably want to put one on the layout is on an R315 curve with a 4% gradient so I’m not sure whether to start with a curved bridge or a straight one or make my own. 
 

6B7654D8-8922-45A6-90B0-4F4F2359ED9B.jpeg.780f4341d6f27242886497d4b1cb31cb.jpeg

 

 

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I built my own using foam stone sheet in HOm

980FF0C6-28BB-47C7-B45C-6780581E1FB3.jpeg.ff2e350f8014313ef19f05e1a0b89a39.jpeg

I made card templates to test it out, and use as cutting guides, as curving and climbing gets a bit complicated and the first two attempts looked wrong. 

Now I’m using a hot wire to cut from solid foam. https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F253160438428
 

 

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A2509451-2FC3-4EC5-BEAD-408A2B862C82.jpeg.3e30704988b08e68f9c2dd2838e77f4d.jpeg

I cut out the valley after drawing the track curve on top. I then wedged the future viaduct block, on the left, level and cut the curve of the viaduct. 
 

8263F42A-D1B7-43DB-B690-7F0F36B78F94.jpeg.42e9a12df9e45b07b1d3f457c5809d19.jpeg

 

Then I made card templates to guide the hotwire, this is too small on the arches as it was a caricature test piece but it gives the idea. 
B72E18BA-625C-465E-9AD2-9F220A9F9202.jpeg.4e02c152317f1552676035b345868921.jpeg

 

and then the stones drawn on with a pencil that ‘engraved’ them into the foam. 

9BEDE3A5-3292-4021-8DEC-02C3B7F6BEFB.jpeg.b84deed286869d58bad2d128b609a4da.jpeg

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1 hour ago, PaulRhB said:

and then the stones drawn on with a pencil that ‘engraved’ them into the foam. 

 

 

Come out something like this with a coat of matt acrylic  (HOm) - IMG_20181116_214601505.jpg.0526125686961a27241d6df43232413b.jpg

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22B547CF-D7A6-44DC-B6B0-E8E3096E2BA1.jpeg.074ef9a75651a8d292a68b3ce52a161a.jpeg
I agree, much more satisfying to make your own to fit your site. This one isn’t as sophisticated as the ones above, but it allows me to have the right radius (it’s Kato Unitrack on a SBB/BLS layout), on a 2% gradient and with the depth of valley that I wanted. Scenery is work in progress. 
 

I did a cardboard mockup in the same way as Paul but then I just replicated that out of sheet expanded polystyrene rather than carve it from a block. You can see in the picture that it’s less convincing under the arches, but the way the layout is set up you wouldn’t normally notice that. The finish is more “distressed concrete” than stonework, but I’ve since got the hang of stonework and have made another bridge and quite a few retaining walls that I’m very happy with. 
 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Made a bit more progress on the layout in the past week. Having sourced an additional pack of risers I needed to complete the station area I’ve now fixed the track down and also on one of the end boards. 
 

I’m using Kato catenary poles for the plain track at what looks like a reasonably prototypical spacing. Not sure what to do with the station section as I need something that spans 3-4 tracks?

 

Other things that need sorting are a back scene and where to put things like tunnels and the main landforms. I’ve been doing bits of research online and there is some really good reference material on YouTube (both real world and model). 

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Yes the Sommerfeldt range is ideal

399 trafo mast

396 is a two track span

393 insulators

 

or custom spans can be made using:

390 53mm mast

397 70mm mast


391 side arms, (ends for cross span)

 

398 cross span (cut up as required)

 

 

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