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Cholsey & Moulsford (Change for Wallingford)


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On 28/04/2020 at 13:58, Nick Gough said:

 

Thanks Nick

 

I'm hoping to include at least part of the branch eventually. How much depends on how I can sort out the gradients and curves to pass around the main line storage sidings. I certainly plan to have the first section from the junction up to the overbridge near Cholsey church.

 

Even if you could just do the first bit that would add quite a bit of operational interest, exchanging freight to/from the branch and also the dropping off and collection of a milk tank for the creamery at Wallingford. (My branch line is heavily inspired by Wallingford but my mainline is set north of Oxford, the layout of Cholsey and Moulsford didn't suit.)

 

Your river bridge is very impressive, I could not not have sawn those arches that neatly for sure!

 

Good to see another western mainline layout, look forward to seeing more.

 

All the best

 

Jon

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Nick Gough said:

And it's cheap!

And a lot less mucky  than messing round with plaster, especially after track's laid & ballasted.

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6 hours ago, The Great Bear said:

 

Even if you could just do the first bit that would add quite a bit of operational interest, exchanging freight to/from the branch and also the dropping off and collection of a milk tank for the creamery at Wallingford. (My branch line is heavily inspired by Wallingford but my mainline is set north of Oxford, the layout of Cholsey and Moulsford didn't suit.)

 

Your river bridge is very impressive, I could not not have sawn those arches that neatly for sure!

 

Good to see another western mainline layout, look forward to seeing more.

 

All the best

 

Jon

 

 

 

 

Thanks Jon 

 

I'm going to include the transfer sidings, between the branch and main line, albeit on an unprototypical sharp curve, so I will be able to exchange traffic.

I'm rather pleased with my work on the bridges. Although my grandfather was a carpenter I don't think I've inherited much of his skills - thank goodness for power tools! There's a lot more to do to them but I think they are starting to capture the look of the originals.

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There's a hole(s) in my river:

P1250870.JPG.e47177bc9e85339bd71d8374101745c5.JPG

 

For many years I have had a large sheet of plywood (4' x 3') hiding in the back of my garage.  If I remember correctly it was there when we moved in - 36 years ago - and I thought, "that will come in useful for something".

 

A two or three weeks ago, when I started to build the baseboard for the river and bridges I needed a large piece of wood for the river. I had run out of larger pieces of plywood and, certainly at that time, the chances of buying any more or at least having it cut for me seemed non-existent.

 

I remembered my vintage piece, which was large enough, but it has a circular pattern of round holes in it. I suspect it must have, at one time been attached to the rear of a large radiogram (or similar device). Still it was, I think the best solution rather than use two smaller pieces side by side, with a difficult to hide join. 

 

I have backed up the holes with small scraps of ply. When the holes are filled and painted, and the river surface applied I think they should be well masked. Also, as you can see in the photo, there is one bridge pier covering part and the second bridge will be in front of this.

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Posted (edited)

I've fixed a couple of pieces of scrap ply across the river baseboard under the bridge arch at one end:

P1250890.JPG.06f4d679b40a5bbf7f35d0cf6bb39395.JPG

 

This is both to provide a bit more rigidity at this end of the board and to provide a base/support for the river bank/marshy ground, in this area, when I get on to creating the scenery here.

 

P1250892.JPG.7283d15d3d0ef91335800bc4dd751a07.JPG

 

'UR' on the side of the bridge  refers to 'Up Relief (line)'

When I constructed them I marked the sides of both bridges to remind me which one is which and which way round they should go since all four sides are different (as indeed are both the widths). 

Edited by Nick Gough
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Posted (edited)

A few notes on the photos:

 

The first two shew the first floor of the main station building. This fronts onto the up relief platform and is still in fairly original condition.

At that time there were still three GWR wooden seats at the front.

 

The next three shew the remaining section of the building on the central island platform. Originally this was roughly twice as long, but in two sections, bisected by a passageway providing access between the two platform faces. The two parts were joined by a continuous slate roof and an octagonal canopy surrounding the entire building.

The first of these shots shew the down relief platform face. To the left, Reading, end a large open archway can be seen. This is the current exit from the staircase leading from the passenger subway. This was a then recent extension at that end. Originally the staircase opened out at the end of the building, centrally between the two platform faces.

The second shews the Didcot end of the building and this is where the central passageway was. Worth noting that there is no sign of the large wooden fence that now separates the down relief side of the platform from the up main side.

The third of these shots is the up relief side. To the right the newer brickwork highlights the extension incorporating the new subway exit. The windows in this part match the originals and suggest these were reused from the demolished section. Also to be seen, on this side, are the stubs of the lattice girders that had been supporting the canopy.

 

The last two photos shew the down main building from the front and rear. Again this used to be roughly twice as long, but in a single structure. The lower section of the other half remains, as it incorporates the staircase and subway. The footprint of the missing part can be identified at platform level by a small paved area surrounded by a dwarf brick wall and railings. Again, the canopy has been removed and the supporting girders truncated. The pair of windows at the rear, lower floor have since been replaced by a door, at the end of the subway, which would open to the field behind the station. Is this a fire safety alteration?

 

Also, at that time, all the platforms were still surfaced with paving slabs or diamond bricks rather than the modern non-slip surfaces.

Edited by Nick Gough
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Time for some tracklaying.

 

First the underlay:

P1250893.JPG.927f8c470642047c6a5b5fc979431e53.JPG

This is foam underlay for laminate flooring, self-adhesive on one side. Arrived on a 10 metre x 1 metre x 3mm roll.

Cut to shape and stuck to the baseboard top.

 

Coated with Copydex for the track:

P1250894.JPG.141e229606a3abfbcccf50a7641969a9.JPG

 

And track placed in position:

P1250897.JPG.044ae14e54f085235edcfefcf5539b5e.JPG

Dropper wires soldered to each piece and positioned with tracksetta template.

 

Some heavyweight GWR matter to hold in place:

P1250899.JPG.4fa56de3cb208a345da1b1b429d1bf95.JPG

Although the Peco bullhead seems to stay in position quite well once it's made contact with the Copydex.

 

And testing clearances and smoothness with the Nespresso Express:

P1250904.JPG.fbbcc4d2249fbe775a6b3112ef7cf0c2.JPG

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Tracklaying today on the Up Main line, using my trusty, modified Peco 6' way gauges:

P1250905.JPG.edd5d02937531361871a180ffe8a6b4f.JPG

Modified by slightly shortening them so that what was the set track side, of the gauge, now gives the correct spacing for former broad gauge track.

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Up and down main lines in place across the window:

P1250906.JPG.7e7f576c9f47352d8c5877c2af8692ad.JPG

With a nice, sunny pattern from the net curtain.

 

Cork underlay glued to the deck of the main lines' river bridge:

P1250907.JPG.ff1bae52c9a0cb4a3b671a7472dbdcc7.JPG

With numerous, heavy items deployed to prevent it curling up again whilst it dries!

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1 hour ago, Nick Gough said:

Up and down main lines in place across the window:

P1250906.JPG.7e7f576c9f47352d8c5877c2af8692ad.JPG

With a nice, sunny pattern from the net curtain.

 

Cork underlay glued to the deck of the main lines' river bridge:

P1250907.JPG.ff1bae52c9a0cb4a3b671a7472dbdcc7.JPG

With numerous, heavy items deployed to prevent it curling up again whilst it dries!

Coming along treat now Nick:good:

 

 

thanks neil..

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4 hours ago, saxokid said:

Coming along treat now Nick:good:

 

 

thanks neil..

Thanks Neil

 

I certainly feel that I'm making progress at the moment.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, The Great Bear said:

You're certainly using every last millimetre available to you in the window area and corner of the window reveal. 

 

I'm trying my best!

The railway room is part of a recent extension to the house. The architect designed in a setback, at first floor level, to keep the planners happy, but they insisted on an even deeper one. After that I was determined to claw back as much space as I could!

 

3 hours ago, The Great Bear said:

Are those areas scenic?

 

The railway passes through a steep sided chalk cutting, at this point. I intend to replicate this as far as possible although, where the clearance is tightest, I may have a short gap, in one side of the cutting, or a short vertical section, depending on what I can fit in and what looks best.

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8 hours ago, Nick Gough said:

Thanks Neil

 

I certainly feel that I'm making progress at the moment.

Im looking forward to another one of your updates Nick my frend:good::senile:

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Our daughter dropped off some shopping this morning so we had a 'social distance' visit with her and her two boys in our front garden.

 

The inevitable question arose, "How are you getting on with the railway grandad?"

 

By moving the net curtain aside I was able to put a smile on their faces (and mine) by letting them see a train passing the window for the first time:

P1250912.JPG.62b76ce1376ff38013200e4b2bb8a288.JPG

 

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I spent a frustrating hour or two yesterday afternoon whilst trying to lay pointwork for the storage sidings.

I tried a dry run, placing three points in the position I wanted them, to try the geometry. As one of the points, the middle one in this formation, is recycled from my previous layout I thought I had better try running a loco over them before glueing into position.

 

Of course the loco reached the frog of the 'old' point and stopped. Took it out, gave it a good clean round all the switch contacts, try again still no good. Check the little tabs under the switch rails are making contact - still nothing.

Tried another 'old' point in the same position - still the same problem (that should have been a clue). Clean up, check clearances re-assemble - no good.

 

I decided to try another loco - a tank engine. This also stopped, but part way along the first, new point in the formation - light bulb moment. Removed the new point and found:

P1250916.JPG.fbd1e4fea6ec5ec6858704ea31354622.JPG

 

Then I realised that the first loco had tender pickups so was actually losing power at a different position to where I had thought!

 

Fortunately I had discovered the problem before I had glued the point into position. I have contacted the retailer, but whether I can get a replacement at the current time.....???

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I've had the odd similar problem in this area Nick. The joint where the wire is fixed to the rail acts as a hinge and is a weak point (!).  A tiny wire 'swinging about' on a rigid fixing.

 

When I was laying my track I was careful to the point of paranoia and was never  happy until trains had run and it was thoroughly tested.

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After a bit of thought I decided, rather than faff about returning the defective point, and the possibility of not being able to get a replacement at the moment, I would have a go at sorting it myself.

Initially I was reluctant to try and re-solder the loose wires since the space is small and (with my level of soldering competence) I was likely to severely damage the surrounding plastic.

However, there are a couple of areas underneath where the rail is fairly accessible so I soldered a wire to each rail at one of these, ensuring that they were insulated from each other:P1250917.JPG.fe2fb3aff045e2c214edd025df99d4a9.JPG

 

I soldered the other end of each wire to a track joiner and placed these on the appropriate rail ends:

P1250918.JPG.b0f0bca25ef90478c5abaf96bf2fa964.JPG

 

P1250919.JPG.1235ea56aebd81418720a8170f11a590.JPG

 

Not the most elegant solution, but since this point was destined for the storage sidings, function, not beauty was more important:

P1250921.JPG.91d0670ef6f1bab2e22a688742b7e192.JPG

All works, and I can now continue tracklaying. 

 

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Seeking Refuge!

 

It's too hot to do much this afternoon - so a small diversion:

Before I laid the track underlay over the river bridge I removed a small section of parapet from each corner:

P1250915.JPG.853f9317da900c4d9ec668a609870e14.JPG

This is because the bridge widens at these points above the raked abutments and I didn't want to damage the track or underlay by doing this later. 

The question then arose, should I do something similar for the three brick refuges that extend out from the parapet, above each pier, adjacent to the down main?

https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1782860

 

Clearly these are a later addition to the original 1838 design. They are not shewn on the original drawings and the brickwork is obviously more recent - but how recent? 

 

The Historic England listing, for its Grade II status, gives "with a small projecting C20 brick refuge above each pier", but what part of the 20th century?

 

Of all the photos on the internet only one, dating from 1897, shows the bridge without the refuges however, all the others I found are modern ones dating from the digital age.

 

So who added the refuges, the GWR or BR/Network Rail? 

No answer from my book collection either.

 

However some more internet searching and I came across a letter to the 'Henley Standard' local newspaper from 2015. The writer was following previous correspondence concerning the 'disfigurement' to be caused by the electrification of the GWML through the 'Goring Gap'.  He drew attention to similar concerns from 1975 when BR was constructing refuges on the Brunel Gatehampton and Moulsford Thames bridges. At the time the River Thames Society complained that, "Gatehampton Bridge, on its upstream side, has had three holes hacked in the brickwork of the parapet and iron structures inserted and an iron railing now runs along the length of the bridge. At Moulsford only the holes have been made but presumably the intention is to disfigure the structure as at Gatehampton. This society hopes that the weight of public opinion will force British Rail to restore the bridges to their former appearance and that they will thereafter be protected by preservation orders.”

 

Apparently this work was in connection with the forthcoming introduction of the HSTs, higher line speeds and safety of trackworkers.

 

Further complaints from the Parish Council, and liaison with BR, resulted in a re-think at Moulsford and brick structures with concrete coping stones were the result.

 

So the upshot is - I don't need to include the refuges on my model, particularly since it will never see an HST! 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Nick Gough said:

So the upshot is - I don't need to include the refuges on my model, particularly since it will never see an HST! 

Fatal mistake Nick!

You should not say NEVER, with respect to a model railway, cos you don't know what might happen in the future?

 

However, joking apart, it is nice that local democracy does occasionally work, and produce results that please everyone.

 

I know what you mean about the temperature though, at one stage we were due a storm today but that has disappeared, however the weekend should be a better temperature?

 

Cheers

Paul

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