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Shelf Marshes: Roads and Fences


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Hi everyone. I've bought a copy of Iain Rice's book on cameo layouts and realised, almost at a glance, his proposal for "a wee puggie line" would make a perfect way to finish my "Shelf Island" layout project. Pages 103 and 104 of his book.

 

  • I have one advantage - I want to build it for 1:87 scale, and I'm happy with radius 2 curves.
  • I have one potential snag - my alcove is 64 inches wide, not 72 inches.

 

I have had a go with AnyRail, using only Peco code 100 track and points, on a baseboard 62 inches long and up to 23 inches wide. This giving me two inches of leeway to get the thing in and out of its alcove:

874681059_Screenshot2020-03-2913_12_03.png.be2a54e5a6982faefdacdbdcfa50305c.png

 

I wonder if anyone here tried to sketch this plan full size, or even build it, in one of the 4mm gauges? It seems terribly tight; but on the other hand it seems to offer me everything I want to round off my layout.

 

I've reduced the length by 62/69 = 90%. This much the same as the linear reduction of 76/87 = 0.87 going to the smaller scale.

 

- Richard.

 

Edit on 9 April 2020: I posted this topic in the area for cameo layouts. I was hoping people who knew about cameo layouts (and indeed had read the book) would make some inputs, but this didn't happen within the first ten days. Andy Y has kindly moved the topic into the British H0 area yesterday - Richard.

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Hi Richard,

That does look a compact plan! Still, I should think the more compact nature of H0 scale would make it workable and I think you have suitable motive power that will handle sharper points?

I assume the 'train safe' tubes attach to the layout beyond the thickness of the chimney breast? If you don't use them, I guess cassettes or a permanent link would do just as well.

Cheers,

John.

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The alcove is 64 x 37 inches. I've got a flush door cut to length to experiment on:

20200330_072946.jpg.1042ba20f663769bbf8aba6e750d162f.jpg

 

 

The alcove is enclosed by a stud partition (not a chimney breast) on the right. I have a hankering to extend the layout through the wall onto the landing:

20200330_073037.jpg.41451ee1f5881edd62c301969888b861.jpg

 

The stock will be trains which have run in Britain or I think reasonably could or ought to have run in Britain. This can include an entirely freelance model based on the work of Armstrong Whitworth through to the Di-8 used by British Steel. I don't really do twee.

 

20200330_072923.jpg.ff185a87b16042246e9c6f815f6cee44.jpg

 

Most rolling stock is six or seven inches long - like the traditional ferry wagon or the BYA in the photo. If I want more realism (cynics might say, an attempt at realism), I can use pug-sized motive power on this site and to take trains to the fiddle yard, and attach something meatier there to get the train up the gradient on the main baseboard.

 

The track plan should help this make more sense:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/17896-general-arrangement/

 

We are looking at the "experimental area".

 

Mechanically (but not prototypically), all of the trains are happy on a radius 2 curve.

 

Edit: the main objective for me is, I suppose, to run short trains and have lots of destinations for them to go to.

 

- Richard.

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I can't help thinking this plan would be really good for 0-16.5.

 

If anyone knows of a layout on RMweb built to this plan (or you thought about building it and decided against), do post a link.

 

- Richard.

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Well, at least one person has built it. This is my creative effort from yesterday:

2012270779_IMG-20200404-WA0000-Copy.jpg.b844d8bd2a5ceb838498659fb2b8e457.jpg

 

The idea is to build a working mock-up and run trains on it for a month or so.

 

I envisage the road with the class 11 extending through the stud partition onto the landing. The exit hidden by a loco shed or workshop by the pile of sleepers. The 'wing' on the fascia would hide the end of the headshunt. The siding at the back needs to be shorter to make space for the backscene.

 

- Richard.

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Hi Richard,

At least you're modelling!! It's looking good to me, I think there is a lot of potential.

Was the use of code 100 track purely virtual during the planning stage? That looks like code 75 to me!

Cheers,

John.

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Well spotted John!

 

Yes it's nearly all code 75. I used code 100 for the Setrack point (or course) and the 90 degree curve, both out of the frame.

 

The original idea was to use sectional code 100 and rearrange it to give the most pleasing view - and the first plan used only one length of flexi. Then I discovered the cost of short bits of Setrack, and decided to use flexi track almost everywhere. And having decided this, it seemed sensible to buy code 75 - it's easier to cut and I can use some or all of the points in the finished version, and sell unwanted ones on eBay.

 

The new idea is to regard the flexi track as sacrificial, and glue it onto the base (the flush door), but leave the points unglued and held by only the track so I can re-use them or sell them. However, the rail joiners are quite tight and I might get away with leaving everything loose. The only real pain is those horrible plastic code 75/100 joiners to connect to the Setrack. I might end up soldering wires cross the joints to hold everything together.

 

Today I have been lopping odd half inches off the flexi here and there. I'd really like to get the depth down from 24 to 22 inches but it just won't quite go.

 

- Richard.

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I've redrawn the AnyRail file to show how I've built my mock-up, so code 75 throughout except for the Setrack point, the 90 degree curve and the tram stop. The "main line" (through route) runs through the middle and divides the layout into two halves, front and back:

1431382706_asbuilt.png.4148d744d81400a0963c3ba1925f60ec.png

 

Putting some stock on the track:

 

- the loco spur is long enough to hold my class 66, and this means it will hold any loco I possess.

- the headshunt is long enough to hold the Di-8, and there is enough space for this to shunt one condemned vehicle up to 64 ft long into the receiving sidings.

- each of the receiving sidings will hold two 64 ft vehicles or three traditional ferry wagons.

- the PW depot is big enough to hold a ballast tamper, a self-propelled crane and a track cleaning wagon.

- the tram terminus can hold a Flexity 2 (just).

 

There is room for another siding, from the run round loop into the area of the tank farm.  This would add to operations e.g. imagine the "tank farm" is served by rail.

 

Obviously I've taken this plan rather a long way from how Iain Rice suggests it in his book, but if he ever reads this I hopes he accepts it in a good spirit. Of course I'd like to use smaller locos and wagons, but it seems sensible to plan for what I have right now.

 

I'd like to have some hand-built track at the front of the layout, and build some better-looking points to replace the four nearest the front. I have discovered, if I solder code 65 rail onto copperclad sleepers there is still room for RTR wheel flanges. The tram stop can have Peco bi-block if I can find some and the other tracks will probably be Peco FB with the sleepers spaced out to British practice.

 

If anyone has any suggestions on this scheme please do post them. I've got plenty of ideas but they will always be limited to what I can think of myself.

 

- Richard.

 

P1010736.JPG.ef42e8d83b09548bb2d07e595268c0c0.JPG

 

P1010733.JPG.e5bde4520d2a3941f852b576bedd4b7a.JPG

 

P1010735.JPG.bbd94330a1374c89ab392c08499a8f1f.JPG

 

 

 

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Hi Richard,

I think it's amazing just what you have fitted into that space, you and Mr Rice are very imaginative!

All I can suggest is that you don't add any further track, i.e. for the tank farm as (imho) it would make the whole thing look like there's too much track.

I might even sacrifice the loco spur and have a slightly longer headshunt instead? I guess I'm in the less is more school when it comes to this kind of thing.

I must confess, I'm tempted to emulate this myself!

Cheers,

John.

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I envisage this as the place where incoming trains arrive, and my railway's own engine takes over. So I really do want the loco spur to stable the incoming train engine. The local engine can reside at the PW depot.

 

There can still be through workings onto the railway of course - examples might be incoming fuel oils, and of course the weekend passenger excursions. I do envisage vehicles arriving for scrapping (the main business of the railway) going into the receiving sidings here.

 

I think I suffer from a "single-purpose siding" mentality, in which each and every siding on the layout is a "defined destination" and has to have its purpose nailed down to a specific form of traffic. I have got to lose this because otherwise the layout will never get finished, and I will run out of space before I have a siding for every different kind of wagon.

 

- Richard.

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I've just realised, there is enough space to replace at least two of the small radius wye points with Peco medium radius wye points, SL-E8348 from their code 83 range. This would look better, at least if I cover the American-style sleepers. I wonder if anyone has ever connected code 83 to code 75?

 

- Richard.

 

Edit: I've exchanged PMs with John (Allegheny 1600) and yes, codes 75 and 83 will go together, but I will need to mill out the plastic at the crossing vee to make room for the usual European wheel flanges.

Edited by 47137
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I've put in some wiring and arranged a link to the rest of my layout, and run some engines onto the line: the Di-8, the class 66 and a 4mm scale Rapido J70. Seeing the tram on the layout suggests the plan would work in 4mm scale, even in its shrunken form.

 

The layout will remain as a temporary build until I am able to buy baseboard materials, but in the meantime it should be fun to operate.

 

- Richard.

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I think it looks great!

Must admit I'm not sure what a puggie line really is, but that does remind me that Giles Barnabe converted the Dapol L&Y Pug into a very nice H0 industrial saddletank a few years ago. I think he just lowered the cab a bit.

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4 hours ago, Ian Simpson said:

I think it looks great!

Must admit I'm not sure what a puggie line really is, but that does remind me that Giles Barnabe converted the Dapol L&Y Pug into a very nice H0 industrial saddletank a few years ago. I think he just lowered the cab a bit.

 

A wee puggie line is (from Iain Rice's book - see first post), "a minor industrial or mineral railway worked by small locomotives".

 

This seems a perfect setting for me - I've got a collection of small 00 locomotives, some small H0 ones as well, and I want another location on my wall-hugger. The scheme fits into my alcove and it lets me take my railway around the third side of the room.

 

Suppose I set up the permanent way so it looks roughly H0 scale (in a compact and industrial sense) - there are no bridges or platforms to restrict the loading gauge. Everything I have for 16.5 mm gauge will go round the curves. I could even try 0-16.5 and have somewhere to run it.

 

In essence, a busy scheme where the scene is defined by the trains as much as the landscape.

 

I think it will be fun.

 

- Richard.

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4 hours ago, Ian Simpson said:

I think it looks great!

Must admit I'm not sure what a puggie line really is, but that does remind me that Giles Barnabe converted the Dapol L&Y Pug into a very nice H0 industrial saddletank a few years ago. I think he just lowered the cab a bit.

 

I do like the idea of converting the Dapol Pug. Maybe some dumb buffers and lower the chimney as well as the cab. Keep it on the track facing so the motor in the cab is less obvious. Sounds like a nice little project.

 

- Richard.

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I've shown a tank farm on the plan because I have a Faller kit for one. I bought this kit some years ago, full of enthusiasm but soon realised there wasn't room for it on the first baseboard.

 

1351848439_2020-04-0910_24.38-Copy.jpg.75a1e804d2b3e88aeb73f3a26ac35189.jpg

 

Making a start, I've discovered some of the steel staircases are to be made up from sides and individual treads. Feeling a bit miffed - surely these could be one-piece mouldings? Then again ( : April 2020 : ) I've got plenty of time on my hands ...

 

- Richard.

 

Edit: I built the kit and posted some photos here:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/152919-si-modelling/&do=findComment&comment=3926430 

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On 08/04/2020 at 04:40, Ian Simpson said:

I think it looks great!

Must admit I'm not sure what a puggie line really is, but that does remind me that Giles Barnabe converted the Dapol L&Y Pug into a very nice H0 industrial saddletank a few years ago. I think he just lowered the cab a bit.

 

I bought a couple of Dapol Pug kits specially for motorizing chassis experiments which are well under way. Only problem now is the uncertain delay due to the etchers closing temporarily due to the pandemic.

 

Andy

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17 hours ago, Andy Reichert said:

 

I bought a couple of Dapol Pug kits specially for motorizing chassis experiments which are well under way. Only problem now is the uncertain delay due to the etchers closing temporarily due to the pandemic.

 

Andy

 

The Dapol pug kit is very adaptable. I saw one built for 009, side skirts fitted hiding a Kato 103 chassis - it looked great.

 

- Richard.

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The plan lends itself to a lot of different scenic treatments. I fancy a fairly bleak appearance, as if the place is in the middle of nowhere. So the buildings and scenery of interest will go near the middle of the baseboard, tailing off into nothingness at the edges.

 

I think the layout wants fairly broad side wings at the front, left and right These will hide the connection to the rest of the layout (left) and most of the very short headshunt (right).

 

Here are some photos of the scenic details I'm thinking of at the moment. The main thing is to do these from materials and models I already have to hand - I've spent enough on the track! The period of the scene is June 2012, location rather uncertain.

 

Wing masking entry, premises of a classic car restorers beside the tracks:

DSCF0325.jpg.de87e25e99a3419b71cc572ed7f4c412.jpg

 

Tank farm, this will be a gas installation not oil and I'd like a gantry taking pipes over the railway to more tanks at the back:

DSCF0327.jpg.4064c9f6fa089e9f6baad931f16ab058.jpg

 

Roadway crossing the tracks at quite a shallow angle; road disappears behind a stack of shipping containers:

DSCF0328.jpg.34e9587837c1ebdc0840f9c4564ddaac.jpg

 

A few minor buildings nearby and a refuelling point beside the loco spur. (The corrugated hut is a bit too old-fashioned here):

DSCF0323.jpg.85244613aa76a290f43dcf0d1df6f224.jpg

 

At the front, I'd like the front edge of the baseboard to have a concave curve and perhaps a slimy pool of water and the odd shopping trolley poking out.

 

All ideas welcome! Yes the scheme is for H0 not 00 but really the principles of layout design are exactly the same. Dimensions are fixed at 62 x 24 inches: the longest length I can fit into the alcove (two inches to spare to get it in and out of the space) and the deepest model I can hope to carry around the house.

 

- Richard.

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On 05/04/2020 at 16:38, Allegheny1600 said:

...

I might even sacrifice the loco spur and have a slightly longer headshunt instead? I guess I'm in the less is more school when it comes to this kind of thing.

...

 

I have bought a Knightwing refuelling point. The idea was to put this beside the loco spur but I think it will look much better at the back of the scene:

DSCF0426.jpg.bcd816c83f9a7378379bd343751254f0.jpg

 

So - the PW depot becomes a single PW siding, this can hold the self-powered crane and the track cleaning wagon (often useful for operations) or the ballast tamper (which logically would be on hire to the railway not its own property).

 

As you say, I could lose the loco spur. I could fill this space with some more storage tanks - the shape of a vertical tank fits nicely into a triangular site. But at the moment I would prefer to truncate the loco spur so it will hold the works shunter but not a class 66 or the Di-8. The larger locos will have to use the refuelling point. This makes some sense to me - a home for the shunter and a place to get the larger loco out of the way.

 

DSCF0428.jpg.abeecce725a0f222c5bf6c3193b29c74.jpg

 

I'm fairly happy with the minimal headshunt, the end of it will be hidden from view behind the "wing" so the track can go up to the very corner of the baseboard and it doesn't need a buffer stop. I might end up with a lump of foam in here.

 

- Richard.

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1 hour ago, Ben B said:

Would you mind sharing some details about that rather nice converted Matchbox diesel shunter please, the one in the last pic?

 

Of course!

 

The engine is running on the chassis from the Underground Ernie inspection car (Bachmann), and it has a Lenz Standard+ V2 decoder coupled up to a DCC concepts stay alive tucked inside:

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/18275-mb-24-no-5-matchbox-Bachmann/

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/136888-underground-ernie-inspection-car-chassis-dcc-fitting/

 

I sometime feel embarrassed including it in photos because its not a "scale model" but it is still running very well. It's a bit too old for my layout (freelance or not), it would be better on a 1960s or 70s setting and taking it through to 2010s is pushing things a bit.

 

- Richard.

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Firming up the Design of the Layout

 

I have finished the tank farm. This was my third Faller kit in the last few years and it went together so well … well, I found myself browsing their other kits online. I think they do a kit for every industry you can put beside a model railway line.

 

I found their kit for a “Chemical Plant”, or maybe the kit found me, and I ordered one up last week. This arrived yesterday. The idea is to slew the two exchange sidings forwards towards the front of the layout and put the chemical plant in front of the long curve, on the blue patch here:

P1010839.jpg.b16160f878ba01fc7e0effe393092e21.jpg


The access road now goes across all the tracks so I can justify a larger lorry emerging from behind the stack of containers. The vehicle restorers will be at the back of the layout, with a connection to this road. The chemical plant can have a small car park (directors only?), and I can change the road vehicles here to set the time frame of the scene.

There is room for a low relief factory or warehouse marked by the Ladybird book.

 

The tank farm will now go in front of the tracks. Its main pipework can have a gantry to go across the headshunt and loco spur to connect with a large vertical tank marked by the can of Haggis. There is scope for the ground at the front of the layout to be a bit lower than the tracks. I've also got a diesel fuel tank underway to support the refuelling point:

P1010838.jpg.ec91fff46c26b4e4ee7b8065368c0e0a.jpg

 

The control panel can go on one of the wings. This leaves the back corner at the left to firm up on. At the beginning I thought of the tram stop being on the edge of the town but now I think this will be better integrated into the industrial scene. Hopefully the answer will come when the tank farm is done. The tram stop might be modelled as a private platform to serve the various industries here.

 

The chemical plant boasts 1000+ parts in six colours. I’ve never bought such a large plastic kit before. There are over fifty sprues in the box. This is my project for week no. 5 of the Covid-19 lockdown in England. I suspect it will take me a fortnight, especially if I paint lots of it.

 

- Richard.

 

P1010840.jpg.601f47a3c18c02039ca8c01b5ffa960d.jpg

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I shared this photo on the charity shop vollie support group early today:

1083039564_2020-04-2009_20.jpg.97e4cd8712c39a5e47ac270f22b4e619.jpg

 

And the ensuing discussion went like this:

20/04/2020, 09:28 - Anna (shop): Richard, there will have to be a grand unveiling!
20/04/2020, 10:00 - Richard: I think I'm bonkers to tackle such a thing, but I will certainly try to arrange a suitably socially distanced unveiling! Have a great day everyone [blue heart emoji]
20/04/2020, 10:08 - Anna (shop): I think the bonkers bit came at the time of purchase, too late now. You are in for the long haul.

 

:-)

 

- Richard.

 

 

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  • 47137 changed the title to Shelf Marshes (building a wee puggie line in 1:87 scale)
  • 47137 changed the title to Shelf Marshes: Roads and Fences

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