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Lacathedrale

A Slice of the Edwardian City of London

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Thanks to the kind help of the folk in my planning thread (and here), I cut the first sod today on my layout.

 

It has been something of a winding road through scales and prototypes, always with a theme of a late 19th or early 20th century urban terminus where I can run trains of my favourite lines: principally either SECR or LBSCR. After some research (again, assisted greatly by RMWeb!)  it seemed a simple massaging of the truth to fabricate a station as a kick-back off the Widened Lines: a mish-mash of Holborn Viaduct, Ludgate Hill, Blackfriars, Cannon Street.

 

My broad theme is given the absolute hatred between Watkin of the SER and Forbes of the LCDR and their apparent desire to lock each other into a mutual death-struggle, it would not be out of character for one or both to build a station just to spite the other, or in the genteel manner of the L&BR/SER towards the L&GR, to 'bring them to terms'. As it happens the Joint Committee of the SE&CR now has made this station a little redundant, squashed as it is between the behemoths of the main lines. No doubt some damn fool plot in the Balkans will cause it to shutter for economic measures, never to reopen - but for now, it lives on in the heavy, dun air of the city. Fast services to Orpington, branch shuttles to Greenwich Park and Crystal Palace (HL) and Bromley by the SE&CR, as well as the ever more rare GNR and Midland passenger services from points north and occasional reversing LSWR service towards Wimbledon.

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Here is the track plan, the throat is based heavily on Buckingham (GC)


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And a 3D render of the same.

 

The idea is that the FY can connect directly to the scenic boards for end-on operation for exhibiting, and the curved section slots in when the layout is set up at home.

 

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Not exactly the most practical of vans...

 

 

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Up main bottom left has access to platforms 1, 2 and 3 - the roads off the right of the assymetric three-way are a pilot pocket and a departures-only road.

 

I'm mulling over hand-laying this throat, but a scissor diamond with an asymmetric three-way AND a double slip on opposite corners just feels like it might be a bridge too far. We'll see - but if I do hand lay it, it'll just be narrower version of the above.  If I can find someone to comission to build an asymmetric three-way and short diamond, then I'd be a happy camper - I'd rather not use Streamline!


PCuFqNL.jpg

I decided to use the Tim Horn laser cut baseboards, with holes cut in them to access the underside of the viaduct at strategic locations.

 

I also have lengths of ply strip cut to the height of the viaduct surface, and these will be glued and tacked into both the risers, the surface and some additional alignment sections of 3/4" square stripwood. The viaduct itself will be bolted or screwed to the baseboard for removal in a real FUBAR emergency without destroying everything. The next step will be to put the TH board together properly, and make sure it all still lines up!

 

  

Edited by Lacathedrale
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Do you have a copy of London's Lost Railways by Charles Klapper?

 

Terry

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It’s not essential but it has a lot about cross London traffic from Edwardian times. I’m in mid Sussex but I’m often in Surrey/south London. If you email me your address I’ll drop it in some time.

 

Terry

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Day two has seen some positive progress:


Q7I21Mn.jpg

Risers fitted to the viaduct

 

Risers are 19mm x 69mm pine cut to length, screwed into the viaduct surface. Evidence of the first alignment blocks is shown adjacent the scenic exit riser - this is to permit horizontal fixing of the riser to the layout board, since underneath is the Tim Horn endcap mitre joint.

 

yI3kdzM.jpg

The Tim Horn baseboard structurally complete, apart from the top fascia

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Hi again William. I've been looking through my collection of Railways South East magazines. The first issue from winter 1987/88 has an article by David Jenkinson on The Pattern of London's Railways at the End of the Edwardian Era. The summer 1990 issue has one by Alan A Jackson on Holborn Viaduct 1874-1990. If you haven't come across these I'm happy to scan them and send to you.

 

Cheers, Terry

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I will follow with interest. How about an electrified platform with LB&SCR South London line stock. Along with Midland GNR the GWR also ran services down Sarff.

 

Keith

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@KeithHC - it's not out of the question, certainly - one of my thoughts initially was to build out Central Croydon (with an identical footprint/throat, albeit in a cutting and 10mi south) which would have been almost entirely served by the AC electrics - I think I'll earmark that one for the future.

 

2 hours ago, TJ52 said:

Hi again William. I've been looking through my collection of Railways South East magazines. The first issue from winter 1987/88 has an article by David Jenkinson on The Pattern of London's Railways at the End of the Edwardian Era. The summer 1990 issue has one by Alan A Jackson on Holborn Viaduct 1874-1990. If you haven't come across these I'm happy to scan them and send to you.

 

Cheers, Terry

 

Terry, that would be wonderful. My address is [email protected] - I've seen the Lost Railways of London book online for less than £1 plus postage, so I don't think it makes sense to spend and effort dropping it off though  - so I've bought it!

 

 

Edited by Lacathedrale

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Ok William, I'm off out to the shops and I'll do the scanning after I get back.

 

Terry

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Exciting progress!

 

Klapper is worth getting, although he rambles-off into what might/ought to be done with the (when he was writing) disused routes, rather than sticking to history - its a bit like LondonReConnections on the web. 

 

Hope you get the DJ, because the cover picture is beautiful!

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer

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Thanks @Nearholmer and @TJ52 !

 

I've posted some juicy info on the SE&CR/GNR lines in this comment on the research thread - a fun example is the planned-but-not-built LCDR spur opposite the curve which  allows trains to climb from the SER metals outside London Bridge into Blackfriars. This is the site of my notional station, I think!

 

 

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Might I suggest a fiddleyard modification? At the moment it looks like a lot of manual labour swapping inbound and outbound trains. To add fiddleyard play value and minimise stock handling, a double slip and curved point would allow the station inbound track to be used as a headshunt to swap trains from inbound and outbound fiddleyard sides.

 

5DCA84A7-945D-4811-A29B-826BEEDBB79B.jpeg

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14 minutes ago, PMP said:

Might I suggest a fiddleyard modification? At the moment it looks like a lot of manual labour swapping inbound and outbound trains. To add fiddleyard play value and minimise stock handling, a double slip and curved point would allow the station inbound track to be used as a headshunt to swap trains from inbound and outbound fiddleyard sides.

 

5DCA84A7-945D-4811-A29B-826BEEDBB79B.jpeg

 

I don't know if you have seen the planning thread but one of the ideas was to leave out the curved section and connect the fiddle yard to the layout as a straight exhibition layout, so keeping points off the curved section was deliberate. Apart from that, it was a good idea!

 

We had a bit of a discussion about operating methods on the planning thread and worked out that if you say there are off scene carriage sidings, you can work the layout by simply swapping locos in the fiddle yard and allowing ecs workings "wrong line" to the carriage sidings.

 

 

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I see the ‘sense’ in the ecs working, but my gut feeling is that the volume of wrong line inbound workings might look and feel odd quite quickly. The majority of all movements would seem to occur over the station outbound route.

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Nearholmer is right, the Klapper dust cover is inspirational!

 

Terry

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1 hour ago, PMP said:

I see the ‘sense’ in the ecs working, but my gut feeling is that the volume of wrong line inbound workings might look and feel odd quite quickly. The majority of all movements would seem to occur over the station outbound route.

 

The other possibility is to assume a further cross over or even a pair of crossovers on the "off scene" section, so the wrong line running would only be for a few yards.

 

Having said that, your modification would allow more right line arrivals. Thinking a bit more deeply about it, that crossover would work in L shaped mode but would not create any less movements when in straight mode, so it might well be worth looking at.

 

 

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3 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

The other possibility is to assume a further cross over or even a pair of crossovers on the "off scene" section, so the wrong line running would only be for a few yards.

 

 

Looking at t’other thread it was interesting to see Greenwich Park come up. VH and I have discussed the practicalities of doing G/Park and that has a scissors a short distance out that may perform a similar function. My thoughts were two fold, primarily to minimise stock handling, thinking pre group, steps, handrails not to mention the number of shorter vehicles, and secondly to ‘balance’ the flow over the inbound lines. For me I’d need to see that crossover, my imagination would have ‘issues‘ not seeing the reason for the wrong line arrivals.

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I have finished the construction of the right hand board, as it pertains to carpentry at least!

 

S7XNkyM.png

Note the shaped cutouts, and the outline of the vertical risers. The leftmost risers needed those blocks in order that they could be fastened (since directly underneath is the TH endcap).

 

I also have finished the viaduct - the surface is 5.5mm ply from Homebase (so bad, in comparison to the material Tim uses for his baseboards!) and I was planning to skin the front and back in the same, having lengths cut explicity for that purpose, but in any event some spare 3mm ply in my workshop was much easier to form to the curves. I cut voids where it would be possible to fit recessed scenes under arches or doorways, where they don't overlap cutouts for point motor access/etc.

 

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The viaduct is fully self contained, and will be scenicked and track laid separately

 

With regard to planning, @PMP @t-b-g - the scissors was planned to appear on the curved corner piece, but would just introduce the same issues - another instance of wrong line working, just further out. That said, I'm not sure your solution fixes it, other than providing the FY operator a railway mechanism (rather than hand-of-God) to restage the stock?

 

That said, I've sketched it in below (the additional tiny line on the left of the FY is due to the unforeseen extension of the FY baseboards to 18")

 

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Given the choice (and I'm not entirely sure I'm not missing something) I think I'd prefer a self-contained scissors in the curve. Until that curve was built and the scissors laid, it's true that I would only have four inbound trains before a reshuffle would be required - but it would mean all FY tracks are accessible by all visible tracks, negating the need to make mutually exclusive changes to the FY - this is done using peco geometry, but this is something I would definitely hand-lay to retain the parallelism of the curve:

 

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The unit is/would be scenically isolated from the station board as its own cameo, with a scene similar to this:

 

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Maybe the hidden advantage of your ( @PMP) idea is that with the curved point and double slip, the 'down' FY tracks can be shunted wholly on the curve, rather than having to enter into the station area? Speaking of Greenwich Park, I am specifically going to model the push-pull LCDR sets with the P-class sandwiched between for this layout :biggrin_mini2:

 

A dear thanks to @TJ52 for the scans, I'm going to spend some time digesting them and will update this thread (or the 'pre-grouping across the thames' thread!) with info gleaned. Cheers!

 

Edited by Lacathedrale
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As I see it, the idea suggested by PMP allows you to arrive "right line" in the station from any of the fiddle yard roads. To get a train back to the LH fiddle yard sidings would still need a wrong road empty carriage stock type move but it would half the number of wrong line moves. It does it with much less disruption to the curves than the "epic scissors".

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16 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

As I see it, the idea suggested by PMP allows you to arrive "right line" in the station from any of the fiddle yard roads. To get a train back to the LH fiddle yard sidings would still need a wrong road empty carriage stock type move but it would half the number of wrong line moves. It does it with much less disruption to the curves than the "epic scissors".


^^That in essence is it. ^^

The centre section with a scissors on an embankment would look excellent too, and alleviate the need for my suggested slip ‘fix’

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Looking forward to seeing your layout progressing especially if you intend to model that beautiful bridge and surrounding buildings. That’ll be a good project for 3D printing and etched brass

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Posted (edited)

Thanks to some wonderful scans from @TJ52 - now I won't feel so bad about extending those platforms right up to the bare minimum width - behind that middle signal can't be much more than 5 feet wide!

 

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The LCDR's Ludgate Hill was the original terminus in 1866 - a tiny, cramped statin of two island platforms serving the MR, GNR, LSWR and itself. This was superseded by Holborn Viaduct later - but doesn't it sound familiar? Platform faces at Holborn Viaduct (the replacement were a mere 400 feet long - only a foot longer than mine are in 1:76!  The platforms were shaded by a ridged train shed of iron, glass and wood for some distance, and then individual platform canopies.  I was wondering how to hide the gap in the backscene, only to find that Holborn Viaduct had a Signal Box on a gantry over the lines!  The Dover boat trains would be split and re-joined at Herne Hill, the Victoria section using large express locos and the City section with a tank loco.

Here's Holborn Viaduct from a similar position in SE&CR days - on the far right is No. 247 - a D-class, I think!

image.png.39dfca0bdf550b8cf7899e4ea933830a.png

 

Holborn Viaduct's position as a backwater by the 1900's where newspapers and parcels were about equal to passenger figures, and Cannon Street (ex-SER) and Blackfriars (ex-LCDR) had stolen all the spotlight is very much the idea I proposed earlier in this thread - I'm glad to see it has some historical precedent too.

 

It might be taking the simily too far to include the dive down into the Widened lines, but this shot does show the station throat and trainshed, as I could imagine this layout having. The water tower would make a great visual break in the backscene (where the Tim Horn board has an arch producting half an inch into the scenic section). Incidentally behind the smoke and soot of the J50 powering up the bank into Ludgate Hill, there is an ex-SE&CR C-class shunting parcels (the rest of the train is under platform 2's island canopy:

image.png.2a2515ad02fe1088443986345e78da90.png

 

Edited by Lacathedrale
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I wonder how those signals fit with the rule about there being 6ft clearance to a fixed object, or have I got that wrong?

 

Those are cracking good photos!

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Posted (edited)

I don't think you've got that wrong, Waterloo was added onto with organic growth from the 1850's until 1899 ish - three stations-in-stations with their own booking offices, platform numbers in common, etc. and apparently quite ramshackle - it was rebuilt wholly after then - so it might not be outrageous to assume these are some of the original platform/signal sites, grandfathered in despite the rule breaches?

 

It seems the water tower in that last photo was actually an engine shed, I wondered if the caption in that photograph was wrong, but this photograph shows the doors open, with what looks like some wagons inside, circa 1913:

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Holborn Viaduct circa 1913

 

I wonder if it might be practical to swap the pilot/platform sidings on my plan to include this little odd cameo - slightly re-jigging the platform board gives this:

 

ijcTYD0.png

 

For reference, this was the original design:

 

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The more I think about it, the small overall roof with the left hand board end being almost wholly filled by a massive station hotel is a no-brainer, so really the only choice is putting the loco pocket at the end of the platform, or in a Victorian-era relic of a pilot shed!

I think I am however, going to bend the lower road into the board so I can run the 'front' of the viaduct all the way to the left hand edge of the platform board, - otherwise there will be a weird 'edge of the world' drop off.

 

 

And jJust to prove I've done more than mess around on the internet, the platform board is built, and I've added endcap strengtheners and the veneer piece to the throat board in the meantime:

 

IXVEBD8.png

Both boards together for the first time, not too shabby!

 

Edited by Lacathedrale
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