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10800

St Martin-sur-Orb - H0 Midi layout

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Posted (edited)

Further to an older thread on the forum,

 

 

I am now starting in earnest on a small layout (a lot smaller than the Ouse Viaduct!) after much pondering and planning. Working name is St Martin-sur-Orb, and it is inspired by the ex-Midi line west of Bedarieux in the Languedoc. It was once going to be 'based on', but has been downgraded to 'inspired by' because of all the liberties I am taking, not least its electrification (of which more anon).

 

My knowledge of French railways has been on a steep learning curve, which has been fun, and I have acquired a fair selection of rolling stock including steam, diesel and electric locos, autorails, coaches and wagons. Locos mostly second hand from Roco, with a couple of Jouef - eyes water a bit at some of the prices for new European models!

 

The baseboards are built using Tim Horn's modules. I started with 2 x 3ft, and 18in deep, but later added a 2ft middle section. This is about the limit I can get in my car. LED lighting has been fitted.

 

image006.jpg.53f4bba3330abd92b33628fbdca70948.jpg

 

It will be a through station so there will be fiddle yards at each end. I've settled on a plan after much pottering about with Templot; very simple with one end of a station/passing loop, a couple of short sidings, and a long industrial siding at the back which will also go off-scene into the fiddle yard. This will run along the road at the back, in front of shops/bars/houses - which may be in half-relief (thanks to Captain Kernow for that suggestion). So there's only four points. Control will be DC with front operation from either end.

 

image001.jpg.6fe7254fbf32e5523ca424b25d0a8ecc.jpg

 

All track work on-scene will be Tillig, with the four points all being their mid-radius EW3s. The first one went down a few days ago, on Carr's cork strip and droppers already attached.

 

image003.jpg.cc0480c1a22695ff0fcda2ca90a8f647.jpg

 

At this point I hit a snag in that the plain flexitrack I had was Code 100 and not the Code 83 of the pointwork. This has now been rectified - the Code 100 might see use in the fiddle yards.

 

Meanwhile, I received as a (requested) Christmas present a laser-cut kit for a generic PLM station building. I know it's not a Midi or even PO prototype, but to my eyes it has the feel of such a building, and ultimately Rule 1 applies. The kit is made by a company called Bois Modelisme, and was obtained very efficiently from the Jura Modelisme online shop - no doubt there are other outlets. I have to say I am very impressed with this kit, with the details of doors, windows, stonework etc being cut in card of some kind, not the Rowmark plastic I was expecting it to be, and the fineness of the door and window glazing bars and representation of panelling is amazing. So I've spent a few hours between Christmas and New Year getting on with it.

 

image002.jpg.96e458928d669ef43755817f29cd4f1e.jpg

 

IMG_3737.JPG.210a4ed0d3eae6eb5b1ff1d45c56fa92.JPG

 

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What do you think the colour scheme should be? Typical photos suggest light cream with pale blue/grey for the woodwork, but I'm open to suggestions. What about the corner stones and door/window surrounds? Existing structures are often in a pale pink base colour, but I don't know if they are original or repaints after line closure.

 

More details to follow as I progress.

 

 

 

  

Edited by 10800
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Bon Jour Rod!

You're further towards the Med than my old property but in the Lot et Garonne, older, abandoned ex-SNCF building were usually still painted in a mid to darkish cream colour (much faded) and the stonework was a faded brown colour. I did a photo survey of several such building but those pics are on a broken computer, sorry.

This looks like an interesting subject, I shall enjoy tagging along with you.

Bonne Annee!

John.

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Thanks John, and to you too. Faded cream looks about right for the walls, the photos of the kits at Jura Modelisme vary on other bits, but they could represent prenationalisation PLM for all I know.

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Posted (edited)

lovely model. My only concern would be the size. The station building I have seen on that route are mainly 2 door not 3 door structures.

As for colour , nothing stands out in memory. Quite a few of the old station buildings still exist. I have a house in St Pons(really need to visit this year!), and have photos of St Pons station.As it is on edge of town,there are no restrictions on colour etc, but I will have a look at my photos.

 

Thinking about local materials. Marble is local, and used for a lot of buildings and surfaces.

Edited by rue_d_etropal
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Posted (edited)

Hi again, Rod,

 

On 08/06/2017 at 16:13, 10800 said:

Measured up this crossing keeper's house at St Martin de l'Arcon for a future project, much to the amusement of passing cyclists on the voie verte ('Vous l'achetez?'). This also has what appear to be conserved 'roll-across' gates.

 

post-6669-0-85995700-1496933431.jpg

 

This seems to be the pattern for smaller stations on the line too, such as Colombieres-sur-Orb.

Edited by Allegheny1600
Add information somehow?

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There is something strange going on with this post, sorry!

Anyway, I was wrong about the darker colour on the edging stones - this picture of yours is how "my" station buildings looked. The line I was surveying was the line from Casteljaloux (47) due southwest towards Mont-de-Marsan . Funny, that line from Casteljaloux is now closed all the way back to Marmande on the line from Bordeaux to Agen and the Med!

I know it's a LONG way from your area but I'm very familiar with that style of electrification as my parents and I used to drive alongside the line from Bordeaux to Hendaye and the Spanish border.

 

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Thanks Simon, you are probably right about the building size, but a) it was irresistible, and b) my reasoning is that my layout could just be a cameo/snapshot of one end of a station that marks the end of a double track section (so not necessarily just one end of a passing loop). There is more station beyond what is 'on scene', and maybe more yard facilities etc as well. I'll put up a track plan later.

 

This is the level crossing keeper's house at Mons La Trivalle, which started all this off (it's now the tourist information office).

 

1660149581_P1010386copy.JPG.6719f64c9cd9d26653b819c08e40e68c.JPG

 

Initially I thought this was the station building, but that is 200m or so away:

 

1040943921_P1040874copy.JPG.b1f47dca65f5072f88a83ab895291932.JPG

 

As you suggest, only a 2-door structure but with an annexe beyond (and some recent additions). The next station west towards St Pons, Olargues, is also only a 2-door main building but with a bigger annexe, so it looks quite substantial:

 

1783436014_P1010307copy.JPG.e979816a71d9d780f5129a13ba1992af.JPG

 

About 2km east of Mons La Trivalle is the level crossing at St Martin d'Alarcon (as linked above from my earlier thread by John). There is no station here.

 

1687600374_P1060849copy.jpg.4fede27edd1ea596e1538c30f3dbf6ce.jpg

 

However, there is a conserved pair of 'roll-across' level crossing gates which I measured up and would like to include on the layout - and even get to work! There is also a scale drawing of one of these in the book 'Les Chemins de Fer du Midi' by Jean-Pierre Vergez-Larrouy.

 

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Going further east towards Bedarieux there are two more crossing keeper's houses similar to the above, before you get to the next actual station at Colombières-sur-Orb, which looks to be more of an extended crossing-keeper's building than the stations at Mons La Trivalle and Olargues - unless that had been demolished, but it seems unlikely in this area.

 

1387520899_P1060876copy.jpg.3e12bd4e857ebbe1c4452ac2996b0343.jpg

 

 

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So here is an annotated track plan as promised, which should make things a bit clearer - hope you can read it OK

 

IMG_3740.JPG.9f5907982f444fc4ffce9edf9a967feb.JPG

 

 

So, the running line goes from top left to bottom right, where there is a passing loop and half a station (the other half plus who knows what else is off scene to the right). Two short sidings bottom left and an industrial siding which wanders along the road at the back and also off-scene. A road runs across the layout with a level crossing. 

 

I wanted enough trackwork to make it interesting, but not so much as to clutter it up. So any run-rounds will have to go off-scene and back again, to save space. The running lines off to the right could be the end/beginning of a double track section. The station platforms are bidirectional, so that the loop is the main one used for stopping autorails, and the other for passing and through traffic. The industrial siding will go to a small factory/agricultural supplies/vineyard or similar - there were coal and bauxite mines in the area, but they would have had much more substantial railheads.

 

Yes, it will be electrified. The electrical engineer is my partner in crime Re6/6, and we have come up with a cunning plan to have ogive catenary coming in from the right, and handing over to single masts for the single line. Ogives look daunting, but some of them have 'crossbars' across them which make suspending the catenary a lot easier and without going for the extreme pull-off angles often seen on the Midi. The masts may be more complicated in fact, as the Midi typically used tapered double-lattice masts which neither Sommerfeldt or anyone else seems to do. I looked at UK tapered lattice signal masts but they are too undernourished, so they will be scratch built somehow - I have some Scale Model Scenery laser cut lattices for UK masts which might be a starting point. 

 

Stock includes:

 

Locos - Midi and SNCF BB electrics, 63000 diesel, 141TA tank engine, all Roco (I know the 141TAs went almost everywhere, and it will have to do for now - ones that did work in the south west seem to have had different shaped side tanks and boiler saddles etc - another minefield). Because of the industrial siding I also had to buy a 61000 diesel locotracteur (Jouef) which I hope I can tune up to make it run smoothly at slow speeds.

 

Autorails - X2800 (Roco) and Picasso (Jouef), both with remorques. I also have a bimodal 'Amphibie' - one of those Atlas 'plinth' models - which will be motorised with a LowRider gearbox and have a 'proper' pantograph fitted.

 

Coaches include a couple of typical bogie 3rds, and a natty triple set of post-war all-steel 6-wheelers (Fleischmann). There is a photo of a set of these near Beziers being hauled by two BB electrics.

 

And a selection of wagons, Roco or Piko.

 

Signalling is another challenge, which I will return to - probably in the French prototype section, cross-referenced to here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Signalling query here:

 

 

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For railcars, had you considered the semi articuated railcars which ran on St Chinian and other Herault lines. I had sarted a 3D design but got stuck,as drawings are only side view,

What sort of local freight ? Marble, chestnuts are both local. There were also some mines(?) further up the line. 

Not sure how much passenger traffic. The replacement bus service is rather thin on the ground, as more travel down towards Beziers, one reason for demise of the railway. There was a proposal to build a line from west of St Pons down to St Chinian. Scheme floudered though . It would have been a pretty big engineeering exercise as well.

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Hi Simon, no (or not yet!). But wouldn't they just be on Herault lines and not Midi/SNCF? Was there any transfer between the two networks?

 

As I said I'm not looking to faithfully reproduce the line or all its characteristics, just give a flavour. I haven't given much thought yet to freight flows, but your suggestions are useful, thanks. 

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As you are considering a fictional upgrade of the line, maybe the line to St Chinian was built. This would have brought the Herault stock up to the line. There might have also been alterative routes for extension of St Chinian line.

I wonder if Chris Elliot could help, he lives somewhere near to where you stayed and wrote book on lost lines of Herault.

Just had a look at his book, and he mentions Bugatti railcars being used on the line.

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I have that book Simon, I'll check. Chris now lives in Colombières.

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Hi Rod,

Are you building the ogive catenaire yourself or would you like a helping hand?

My friend, Marc Emery has actually built a section that represents the (1955) record breaking stretch and used 'Dut Dut' kits, these are now available from: https://ateliercjmodels.com/epages/631c379c-594e-4ae7-bdda-fdf984f11fd8.sf/fr_FR/?ObjectPath=/Shops/631c379c-594e-4ae7-bdda-fdf984f11fd8/Products/AD063

They look the part!

ad063.JPG

Naturally, being from a French artisan, they are definitely not cheap but I always consider such signature things worthwhile.

I hope this is useful to you.

Cheers and bon chance!

John.

 

PS I thought this online article may be useful: http://www.club-ccac.fr/index.php/le-reseau-ho/les-catenaires-du-reseau-ho

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Posted (edited)

John, that's great thanks! That is the form of ogive we are looking at, with the 'crossbar' rather than individual brackets from each side. €36 is a lot of money though, even if we only need four or so! Re6/6 was going to fabricate them with annealed brass section etc. Those 'ear' things we might not do, they don't seem to appear on modern photos. The double contact wire typical of the PO-Midi is noted - a bit of neat soldering on Sommerfeldt catenary will sort that (well, mostly!).

 

I was going to estimate principal dimensions from photos such as these, but do you or Marc have a dimensioned sketch by any chance? (Or I could get one to use as a template!)

 

IMG_3735.JPG.45823e425490f6cbc66b19ab1375b6bc.JPG

 

IMG_4894.jpg.d1241fac9df40c15bd6c48d999bbe19a.jpg

 

image002.jpg.3697debda284ba2c5c625c3069a6ab93.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by 10800
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This firm does some seriously good 1500v OHL stuff.

 

midi.jpg.1ae92358fa368d63c04227ff20bc6aae.jpg

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5 hours ago, 10800 said:

John, that's great thanks! That is the form of ogive we are looking at, with the 'crossbar' rather than individual brackets from each side. €36 is a lot of money though, even if we only need four or so! Re6/6 was going to fabricate them with annealed brass section etc. Those 'ear' things we might not do, they don't seem to appear on modern photos. The double contact wire typical of the PO-Midi is noted - a bit of neat soldering on Sommerfeldt catenary will sort that (well, mostly!).

 

I was going to estimate principal dimensions from photos such as these, but do you or Marc have a dimensioned sketch by any chance?

 

You're welcome!

I certainly don't have any such drawings, sorry but I can ask Marc. However, don't expect a quick reply - he has a different take on the word "urgent"!!! He could almost be Spanish or even, Greek, he's so laid back!! (But then, that's just one more reason to love the Continentals!).

Cheers,

John.

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Not to worry John, I'm going to buy one of them to look at from Atelier CJ together with some masts.

 

Cheers

 

Rod

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Just been looking through Chris's book and there is a photo of Lamalou les Bains, which had a bigger 3 door station building, probably because it had more passengers because of the local health spa. Something to think about, to justify bigger station.

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Some more progress on the station building kit - which, one or two very minor issues aside, grows in my estimation.

 

There is a full-length canopy, although not one like the UK where it reaches to the platform edge, but just enough to keep passengers dry or out of the sun as they exit the building. The structure of the canopy is in some plastic material, 0.9mm thick, and the ridges in the sheeting are done very finely in the 0.35mm white card material.

 

IMG_3744s.jpg.73cf78cd8bbeb5b4286adc802f8cd3e0.jpg

 

The support brackets are laser cut in the same 0.9mm plastic, and despite their fineness are quite robust. Gluing them works fine with the PVA recommended for the whole kit, along the guide lines provided (they are not regularly spaced)

 

IMG_3745s.jpg.ee84ae3e742d353ff73108bc57cc88da.jpg

 

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The kit even provides guttering, folded from parts half-cut in the 0.35mm card material; and a representation of downpipes, cut in the 0.9mm plastic.

 

IMG_3761s.jpg.24a3d5323e588ac9455006b120018274.jpg

 

I think the downpipes are a step too far, and I'll probably use Wills plastic ones or maybe try the new ModelU products.

 

Meanwhile, I've been doing the rafters - in stages, to give time for glue to go off, and also doing them alternately to stop my fingers knocking the ones I've just attached. These have to be glued to minimal landing on the longitudinal joists - there are guide marks but no 'notches' to assist alignment. According to the instructions these are 'optional', although you would then miss out on the view of the ends of them under the roof which would be a shame.

 

IMG_3763s.jpg.7ec7f9548240bc1754b9742c6a6704e8.jpg

 

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I think the downpipes are a step too far, and I'll probably use Wills plastic ones or maybe try the new ModelU products.

Use the downpipes as a template for metal rod/wire.

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That's an option - I had thought about using them as a template for something.

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For other railway buildings based upon Midi prototypes, Architecture & Passion has quite an offering, if you haven’t seen it. 

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Thanks Ian, I think my PLM building is OK, at least there was nothing there that made me wish I'd got one of those instead! I notice they do kits for the rolling level crossings though ...

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