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Briganton - A interchange station set in the North East of England.

Starting a new layout is always fun - the aspirations, the dreams of wanting to see it become a reality - met by the pragmatism of not being able to do it all and looking to what can be done. Briganton is set to become a modern interchange station, where branch line units park into bays and some mainline services terminate and return back south. The station itself will be old by design. The idea being to have a massive station as the centre piece and main focus, based on that at Darlington (my favourite) where the William Bell designed masterpiece stands on top of the bank overlooking the town.

At Briganton the station is set to have two sets of bays on either side, with 2 main platforms in the centre arch and a through line allowing some services to pass through the centre heading southbound. Those non stop northbound will pass through the platform. The main design of the approach has come due to the purchase of a scissor crossover set, with two threeway points into two double slips, allowing two tracks to switch to 6 in front of the station. This will give more possibility of movements across the junction overall rather than limit some of the options with less point work. It has been practical - the bays for the main use for traffic coming from the branch will be able to skirt the junction, although will conflict with some movements wanting to pass southwards. This is deliberate so that trains need to be given paths into and out of the station, where as others across the junction will also be given priority based on the workings they are. The other side of the station will have access to the branch but such a move crosses the whole junction - one of the few times it would be done so this move would prevent anything else passing.

Originally plans for the layout were to have an end to end layout, complete with preserved branch running steam services - this would have allowed me to run both the steam engines (lots of North Eastern built preserved engines that somehow survived) including some of the new build steam that I have become well known for. Instead the new build steam will run with its fictitious company operating services through the area, alongside others - allowing a full modern scene station to be modelled rather than mix in the preserved steam which was taking modellers licence a bit far.

Instead the station will be on a circular layout - with areas probably for a depot and an area to unload freight in a yard (all layouts need these..). These would be great as again it will allow some action away from the comings and goings of trains to the station. The track plan will give all yards access to all platforms and for the branch to serve both ends of the station - with the idea that some branch trains will pass in the station centre and thus hold up the main. Quite where the yard and depot will go is still subject to debate as plans will evolve as the layout is progressed with.

I hope the introduction does get interesting and will update soon with photos and steps taken thus far.

Edited by The Black Hat
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As ever, the first thing that many want to see is the track plan. The attachment below shows what was already a second draft. With the entrance to the station being done with a limited layout that was originally envisaged and with a freight loading area to the right. A river is shown to give the chance of some scenery but this again looks to change as events move forwards. The station building is expected to be going on the section closest to the operators in the centre which will cause the length of the bays for the branch to be adapted to suit.

 

1445188967_BrigantonplanD.jpg.ea33aeb9b1e8d9620bf370d9405c74c1.jpg

 

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So... onto events actually taking place. At the weekend the layout boards were cut at B+Q. This saw them made to 120 by 75 cm. There was a plan to go for 130 or 140 length on some areas but having got home and found the boards cut to incorrect lengths it forced a slight rethink. In the end a further two boards will be cut. These will allow the sides to be extended. In many ways this is a good thing - it gives operators in the centre much more room to use the layout - while now avoids the problem of squeezing in so much detail into the sides, especially given a desire for a freight loading area for trains to come off the main and then be loaded as some activity. The idea is that north of the station now will see a lot more scenery and probably the main town scene - however, there is the possibility of a loop or even a triangle being put in. I am conscious not to overload the railway with track and fear this could happen.

 

However, this has seen plans for the freight loading area shoved to the other side of the layout, putting it south of the station. The main reason for this is because the point work to the north to get the two lines and branch getting access to allow all routes in to have access to both platforms and the centre road will see the junction being quite spread out and will very likely use all the space the 75cm width can offer to accommodate the junction and not be too sharp for cornering. The junction to the south can also curve more quickly but allow just enough room for a loop or two to be included. This will probably need some scenery too so could be a squeeze. As ever, the plan for the layout is not fixed and will evolve as its built. If the plan is too rigid then it won't allow for change and developments but the main factors, being the junctions, the station and the main routes into the station for operation have all been thought of long in advance.

The plan below is more in tune with how the layout will end up looking:

 

650050845_BrigantonplanF.jpg.f3f4b3f670d233ed08941cbb3f87a2a4.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello all,

 

Time for more of an update. Finally with photos!

 

As expected, the baseboards have been started. The wood purchased as been cut to match the size of the boards that have also been cut when purchased from a store. The idea will be that the boards have one that flips and then forms a crate. That will make the layout much easier to set up. In the event that they are swapped, all the boards are being marked and measured so that they should all swap with each other. Naturally its expected that some should never be turned as they will have all the electrics and detailed scenery.

 

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In the garage the racking that was purchased at Christmas stands ready for the boards to be placed on. The shelves will need to be altered to take the crates when formed.

 

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Will post next on track and layout design.

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As the layout comes together the plans for it are constantly evolving. Already there are several changes to the ones drawn above - this is not an issue. Rather than plan things exact and then then be disappointed when it doesn't happen, the idea is to get things needed in sequence and then start the build. As things take shape, parts will be moved to suit. There is a plan for things to move forwards and as a result that is seeing things changed on the actual design of the layout.

 

Some of the changes above have been that the main station building will swap sides. I have purchased a Faller kit and its impressive - but it made no sense to have this where it was as the station would then face the backscene and nothing of its grandeur would be seen by the viewer. Instead it will be swapped and the bays lengths changed to suit. This will see the bays for the branch increase in size. The idea was that some main line services would terminate, so to accommodate this an extra ladder will be needed to get them across from the down to the up line as the bays are accessed only from the down main line. Personally, I have no problem with this - it will cause extra conflict with movements for when these do happen and conflict on the layout is designed so that trains arrive and stand on approaches giving the viewer something to watch.

 

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Here you can see that as the track plan comes together, I am measuring the width of the expected track to plan the platform sizes. This is very important as the main over roof will sit on pillars and need to be equal lengths across the station.  The extra double slip can also be seen on the approach to platform 2. This is there as a means of bypassing the main junction allowing the main down access platforms 1 and 2 and give a greater chance of two moves being conducted over the junction. Pointwork on the approach to the main junction is already changing as the freight yard as seen in the plan above is too tight and thus has been moved to the space closer to the backscene. The depot too, which has an old 2 road shed on here will also be swapped for 2 modern buildings but how much access it gets from the station is all yet to be confirmed.

With the depot on the other side to the freight yard and the main now having more access to the bays designed for the branch there should be possibility of more conflicting movements - which in turn will generate activity, but then need to be planned and worked out so as not to bring everything to a stop.

Hope that's of interest. More to follow soon. Comments and feedback always welcome...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Back story to Briganton's location.

 

Briganton sits roughly just south of where Sedgefield is in County Durham and due west of Stillington (which has become an area on the outskirts of town). The town has its origins as a small village from the middle ages thanks to the good farming land nearby, being on relatively flat land that is well fed by the local streams. It was not until the industrial revolution where farming and coal mining took hold that the town grew. Crops and farming saw items brought to market that were then sold on, where as the town took a prominent role in being well located for several mines that were in the area of the south Durham coalfield. With its nearby proximity to Teesside and the port, as well as farming and merchants the town also grew for administration and banking, with the railway allowing goods to pass through to Teesside and allow some of the wealthy to live in some of the more prosperous suburbs that where building during the Victorian period that allowed its occupants access to the countryside.

 

The station was rebuilt during 1888-91, following the development of William Bell’s standardised plans following the construction of the station at Darlington Bank Top. Traffic levels from the NER routes crossing the area brought a variety of freight and passenger traffic through the area, with some expresses diverted away from the core ECML route via Darlington. This remained the same through grouping and into British Railways, although traffic levels changed given the status of the economy, the freight from coal and steel remained busy. The yard built to the south east of the station saw freight for the local area and the town being delivered but was then closed with the end of steam. There was a small shed to the south west of the station, which was to stable engines for services. This was a sub-shed of Stockton but was closed and then flattened after services switched to DMUs.

 

With the Beaching Report closing a number of lines, Briganton’s services managed to carry on with a shift to units and the establishment of what would become regular turns. Briganton to the Durham Coast line via Norton North Junction and then on towards Hartlepool; to Middlesbrough and Saltburn – and to Darlington via Eaglescliffe. The through route from Northallerton, via Yarm, Eaglescliffe and Briganton saw routes continue north to Ferryhill and Durham, or split and take the Sedgefield branch that joined the Leamside route at Tursdale junction to then go via Washington. The route via Leamside was proposed for closure but remained open, the building of Washington itself was a reason for the route staying open. As the Metro system expanded to Washington services to Briganton were reduced to one an hour, although these then operated in a loop from Newcastle down the Durham coast, to Briganton and then via Leamside back to Newcastle, with services running what became known as the Durham Circuit also in the other direction. With Pacers having reliability issues to begin with this service did see sporadic locomotive haulage. This happened again during the late 1990s and again around 2010-15 as the Northern Franchise looked to increase capacity with units moved elsewhere. In the half hour when the service alternated with the coast service via Middlesbrough, a unit would shuttle between Hartlepool and Briganton.

 

Other services from Briganton used the bay platforms for shuttles to Saltburn or Nunthorpe via Middlesbrough or for the service to Darlington. This saw Briganton becoming an interchange style operation, mixed with ECML, Cross Country and Transpennine services from the south and York towards Newcastle using Briganton as a means to take passengers close to Teesside for onward connections. The station itself was fortunate to keep its over roof and not lose it, as is what happened at Stockton, as Briganton was selected to be a hub for services to lay over and so was kept. The approach was rationalised during the early 1990s and re-signalled to match. With the run down of the network Briganton started to get more work owing to a logistics firm moving into the area and building on the former site of the goods yard to the south east, building a new rail hub that was also supplied by rail. This did see some workings split at Tyne Yard and brought down to access the yard. Meanwhile a new small maintenance depot was built for track access on what was the former steam site. This then was closed as the services were withdrawn but then taken up by GBRF/DRS/Freightliner/Colas (pending on which company is being used on the day – EWS will still use Tees or Tyne, or head shunt to south of Platform 1) as a shed to service engines that were operating in the North East.

 

As services switched to privatisation, some operators saw the ideal chance to terminate at Briganton and then send stock back southwards, in essence serving Teesside area and while trains via Darlington went onwards to Newcastle – Transpennine and Cross Country being the key two. The Grand Central operation, also saw Briganton used as a destination, with some services running to Sunderland and others using Briganton.

Freight levels also picked up given that Briganton allowed freight to come off the ECML at Ferryhill, before then going via Northallerton (Longlands Junction) and on the slow lines to York. Some would access via Leamside and again pass through.

 

Occasional charters are seen into the area, Briganton being good for those visiting one of the few high streets where some stores remained open, but often by also giving the chance for onward travel to Durham and/or Newcastle. Some charters would visit solely Briganton and these became popular for trips from York to then head north and terminate here. One problem here was to turn the steam engine ready for the run south, often this would see them back down to Bowesfield before then returning to service, with a diesel shunting the stock.

 

Various test trains would also pass through the area on a regular basis, as per the monthly routines for mapping the network. Diversionary traffic still took some trains straight through the station, using the passing line through the middle road, so Briganton has become a busy modern interchange in a traditional setting.

------------

Map of the location is here:

 

 

Brigantonmap.jpg

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The progress with the woodwork is continuing. Here the first crate to form the boards is completed so it shows how they will be folded over for ease of transport. One lower board sees the station being built on it, with the fiddle yard set to go above. Thus, theres no danger of things overlapping and with the fiddle yard on the roof theres no chance of ballast and things dropping as these areas wont be touched like that. The trusses holding the back scene to the main board are also deliberately lop sided so that on the station board they start from the top and on the fiddle yard they protrude over the top. That way each crate can have four 'feet' allowing it to stand on floors and be picked up to be moved much easier. This helps transport, storage, but also mitigates manual handling risks.

 

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  • 4 months later...

Some news and update as to how the layout is progressing. The boards have been made for the front three allowing the station to be planned. The main junction too has been laid out and looked at. 

 

Much of the progress of the last few months has been on research for the main station roof and working with the company that would cut the parts to order and make it. These has been York Model-making, who I recommend highly. More about them and that part later. 

Before the station could be measured fully to be accurate for its placing there was a trip to Darlington to attempt to roughly measure the roof designed by William Bell - that just looks stunning. Notes and drawings made allowed me to get a feel for how big it would all be. 

With this done, the station building was purchased being a Faller and Kibri kit combination that is partly built so I can get the placement for these right. Given how impressive the main structure is, it would have been stupid to have it facing the backscene. This saw me need to swap over the bay platforms as its size makes them smaller on one side. To be honest, this will create more movements and action. Having planned the station platform access was again worked out. 

 

Some photos below, show the main station building being constructed. 

 

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Additional brickwork has been placed instead windows for the first floor as the station roof will be placed here.  

 

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Work on measuring train lengths and where the retaining walls will go is being done here. 

 

More photos and updates to follow. Feedback and interest is always welcome. 

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David 

 

That is a very impressive station building and I like the concept for the layout. 

 

Thinking about the baseboards, did you consider some additional bracing? The boards look quite large and so coul dbe subject to twisting in the long term.

 

Regards 

 

Nick 

 

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Hiya Nick. 

The track is only just starting to go down on the boards so there is to be more additional bracing when the bottom of the box for each board is completed and goes on. That way all the wiring and accessory decoders, point motors etc is all protected from damage when moved around. 
 

I'm liking the station and its coming together nicely - but now Im thinking it needs another Darlington type symbol.... the clock tower!

 

David

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  • 3 weeks later...

A few pictures here of the progress on the layout and the development so far. 

 

Backscenes have been painted into a base blue colour. The station retaining wall has been put in on one side and another has been cut into to try and get the windows in the right place. 

 

20200920_144417.jpg.6aa4367c465b11b8193f05012265294d.jpg

 

In the bottom of the picture you can see that the platform on the southbound side has been made thinner, with a gantry across the top there for gauging. Track has been cut and nailed into place - which involved a lot of measuring. Set track has been used to provide more support to hold track in place. 

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A view here from approaching the main junction. This should be about half the junction as the other half will be on the next board, which will take the track around the curve and towards the main and branch access. Off the branch will come a freight yard, which will have sidings following the main track route round towards the station, making it look as if built on a former marshalling area and wider station access route in. These sidings are roughly laid on the right of the picture. 

 

On the left will have the single line to the shed area and a head shunt that again has been left in following track rationalisation. However, this head shunt I am liking a lot as this can be where steam engines stable to be serviced ready for returning tours. So I can see a lot of attention being posted here eventually when operational. 

 

20200920_144516.jpg

Edited by The Black Hat
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  • The Black Hat changed the title to Briganton - It begins...

Also happening is a lot of painting... 

Parts of the station structure are all being done ready for the building of the station roof. These are some of those ordered from York Model works and need minor touching up. 

 

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Meanwhile the girders for the roof are also being painted. These are done from one end before then drying and being turned ready for the other end to be painted. Some of the lattice work has also been painted. 

 

Work should be happening this next weekend on finishing some of the wiring under the station boards. Connection blocks have arrived this week, with some wire to allow this process to be completed. Then track will be tacked down and painted before being soldered to connections and power applied for trains to move under test! 

Comments and feedback welcome. 

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  • 1 month later...

Update: Work has continued on trackwork and electrics - with the main junction now more or less complete. To do this I have removed a station board and put that into the garage, while having got a new board done for the other have of the junction and the yard entrance. I have discussed how the yard could be done with my brother - who always says has little interest, despite asking frequently how its going and will no doubt, be operating at an exhibition. 

The issues around this centre how best to get the train into the area and unloaded, with the engine able to run round. While Andrew favoured some shunting needed, normally full trains now are loaded as a rake. To that end, I have added a siding which follows the main layout of the junction back round towards the station. This then allows the train to be put through the loading area as needed with a line nearby to let the engine run round. It might need a shunter as well to release the train locomotive, but that will add the variety needed. 

 

The layout will then allow the branch and main lines to pass to the side, before then heading off to the fiddle yard on the next board. I am uncertain if another board will be added for more scenery in between these two as it will depend on storage. I am thinking a river scene with bridges might be a nice touch. 

I will try to take photos and update that soon.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello all, 

 

Photographs here of the second half of the main junction laid and being constructed. The lines have been gauged repeatedly for the various ways in which the junction has been put together. The main challenge has been to get the freight yard to accommodate the longest trains possible so that they can fit in with the size of other trains passing through the main station. One this was realised the issue of working out how the trains would be unloaded proved to be another problem (again as mentioned above). This has seen some conversations had, but in the end a run round loop to release the train engine will be installed. I have favoured the idea of using a shunter to pull the train through the loading area and round towards the station on a long siding - which is now dubbed 'the nike tick' given the yards layout when seen looking at the whole area from the side of the layout. 

 

The other area that has been done is the entrance into the shed area for a depot into the corner. This has been done as its made best use of the space available and has been done so that the track plan suits the alignment. The idea is that this will be modelled has having been installed during the areas rebuilding so some scenic work might include a truncated route off where the shed now stands. 

 

Its anticipated that this area will be quite busy. The track plan deliberately allows all routes in from branch and main access to all platforms, with some routes allowing two trains to pass over the junction at the same time. On other occasions there will be times when trains traverse the whole area and bring things to a stand. Again, that is on purpose to create activity. One unforeseen development was that in order for the freight engine to be able to run round its train in the loading area - it must do so by actually entering the station and then setting back to the yard. This again should not be much of an issue, as they could swap with one from the depot. It will, however, encourage yet more activity. 

Photographs are attached and I will post more on updates soon. 

 

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  • The Black Hat changed the title to Briganton - Under construction

Hello all,

 

Some files here from a few weeks ago when the layout was out under test. It was a cold day but dry so I took the chance to connect more boards together in my garden and see how it was looking. Engines worked across the boards under their own power but the space to put it together wasnt great and with the ground not level some derailments occured. This was then corrected as best I could and the layout was running. Point work is all now wired in under ECoS control and these were tested too. 

 

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There's also been more work done on the area around where the loading area will feature and after seeing some bridges on ebay they layout as grown again to encompass a river scene down this side which will now also mean the town scene on the far side is going to be longer as well. More photos on this and the trackwork for it soon. 

 

Hope these are of interest. 

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Meanwhile the layout continues to expand. The board for the freight loading area has been done, with the trackplan to the top being fitted as things go. The loop for the area gives the maximum size for a train coming into the area, with the trackwork staying on the one board. 

 

As things have turned out. The layout has grown somewhat, with another board now to be placed next to this - allowing bridges and a river scene to be included. This will also give trains off the branch a chance to stand on the scenic section ready to come in - but also be passed by another one traversing the branch line access route. The branch line access is now further away than planned owing to it becoming double track and the fact that a block section on the single line really would not work due to the small size. Instead, taking the section to where the branch splits is logical but also practical. It might mean some trains stand on the main on approach but again in reality this should be not often as they would have priority. I do like the set up - being someone who does like branch workings - as it gives them more of a role shuttling back and forth into the station, but then also passing and blocking some main stuff that needs to pass and will thus stand on the main or in the station waiting for a path over the junction. 

 

20210110_173132.jpg.c57324e56555e04470dd81be45782f21.jpg 

In the picture above the branch is in the centre, the point in showing how the line could split. The loop for the holding yard is seen closest to camera - with the line for loading closest and a VGA wagon standing roughly where the building will be. The class 67 is where an engine could stand ready to run round. The main lines are on the far side. Lights are being installed to light up the area where transport for distribution will be seen. 

 

20210103_144713.jpg.00c441fa987bf208853b281fe0a09525.jpg

 

The mess of the layout under construction - point motors are wired ready for instillation where as gauging work has been going on for where the building can be sited. The two coaches in the centre are testing the branch line access pointwork. 

The bus in the lower picture is testing the height of the baseboards overall between the two sides of the box - as plans for the town scene are starting to take shape. 

Hope thats of interest. Comments and feedback welcome. 

 

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Hello, 

 

Another quick update with some photos of progress. Here the wiring under the board for the loading area is coming along nicely. The points are wired in and the wiring from board to board is in place.

 

20210110_163124.jpg.0e689606293c0af267c0019de666c631.jpg

 

Track still needs to be soldered but also added now is the wiring for lighting as this process starts across the layout. Lights have been purchased and these have been fitted - the 3v supply being different to the uniform 12v that my last layout had. These have been tested but there are a few issues with the connections due to the size of the wires. 

 

20210110_173132.jpg.a7ec72fc2036734365cf99d8ec261c36.jpg

 

Also seen in the photograph is the track layout for the branch line as it approaches the next board. Having been looking at this for a day or so I was not convinced over the geometry of the trackwork, with a more pronounced reverse curve because of the use of the straight aspect of the point. Having had another point that was spare from a previous idea I have fitted this instead. The extended Y point gives a much better angle and will allow smoother and faster running. 

 

More soon. Hope its all of interest. 

 

 

 

 

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Just discovered this thread. Wonderful looking layout there David! The station buildings, and especially your complex station throat pointwork, are very impressive.

 

Shall keep an eye on this...

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Thanks guys for the feedback! Was nice to read having got back to the forum having been struck down by the dreaded Corona virus this weekend. It did cheer me up. 

 

Meanwhile... if you like the station... I have a surprise coming as its going to have more 'Darlington' treatment than I originally thought. I looked a the buildings and was pleased too but in for a penny, in for several lots of pounds later and that idea is now becoming reality. 

Will let you guess what it might be.... 

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