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Dongits -- A Lockdown Layout


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Getting this bit installed in the back corner turned out to be a bit more tricky than I thought it was going to be, as the entire thing is on a gradient and thus none of the supports end up being flat / horizontal. The entire piece needs a twist in it. Hopefully I've got this correct. The spirit level is giving me pretty much the same angle no matter where I put it lined up with the track-bed, but I won't really find out for sure until it's track-laying time...

Back_Corner.jpg.8a0e4a562a01fa46a351358a94a832a9.jpg
 

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On 20/04/2020 at 17:51, Bloodnok said:

Many months ago I "acquired" (re-acquired?) a bunch of stuff that was in my parents loft. This was stored when we moved house, and I no longer had the space to set up my previous OO gauge layout. As we've had a bit of time on our hands recently, I went through it to see what I could find. As well as many Hornby train-set platform pieces, the typical Hornby small platform building, engine shed and goods shed (all in faux "large stone" print, and containing about half the number of printed windows they should have) and about two-thirds of a very sad looking girder bridge, I found some stuff that might still pass muster.

Do bear in mind here that this stuff hasn't seen the light of day since 1992, and I wasn't yet a teenager at the time. My level of kitbuilding success wasn't so much measured as "Does this look presentable to exhibition standard?", but more "Are any of the bits that fell off and got stuck to the carpet actually critical?" and "Did I manage to avoid making my fingers an integral part of the model?"

Anyway, first I encountered these two huts. I don't recall anything about them at all. I highly doubt I built them. Does anyone know what they are?
huts.jpg.b4e510990d000ac4e9497eeafe78e1d7.jpg


I then encountered this signal box, which I definitely remember building. I remember it being quite intricate and struggling with initially, but once I'd got the basic shape together the rest all went on pretty straightforwardly:

Signal_Box.jpg.fe050b9209273326eeb275764e42a51d.jpg

It seems to have had the finials and the chimney broken in the intervening 28 years in storage, as the bottom half of all of them are firmly glued into the roof and the top half nowhere to be seen. I'm not convinced the rest of the railings ever actually existed, as there is no evidence of glue in any of the places I'd expect had they broken off.

Finally I encountered this footbridge:
footbridge.jpg.c625820fbe8d625d53ca63be1f304ad4.jpg
I think this is Airfix, as I also found the box for it (which contained the pieces for a level crossing kit, all separated from the sprues, but not assembled). There are in the box the two object deflectors to put under the footbridge -- apparently I had the foresight not to glue these on as they'd need to be positioned over the track later, and I hadn't decided where the footbridge would go. Little did I know /how much/ later, or /on which layout/ it might be...

Not too sure about the huts, and can't identify the corrugated roof one at all.  I wonder what fitted into the diagonal holes.  The other one is a platelayer's hut and very similar ones were available from a variety of sources but I think this one's an Airfix (later Dapol and now marketed by Dapol as Kitmaster).  Signal box is Airfix as well, based on the Midland Railway one at Oakham, Rutland, and you seem to have made a perfectly acceptable job of it.  This can be worked up with new windows and interior details to a pretty good scale model.  The footbridge is Airfix as well.

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I think the corrugated roofed hut is a Triang offering. The rest, as The Johnster said, is all Airfix.

If you put decent windows in the hut it makes a nice example of the type. There's nothing wrong with any of Airfix's lineside kits and most of them are still going strong under the Dapol label.

At the time they were manna from heaven. Even the rolling stock kits still stand up well. I'm not sure about the ferry van I believe it's to 3.5mm scale and I'm not sure how widespread they were on BR metals. Sadly they didn't do the match truck for the crane but that's not insurmountable either. Many of us here cut our teeth on these models. I've lost count of how many 16 tonners, class B tanks and even the brake van kits I've built over the years. With a bit of work all of them are useful models.   
Regards Lez.  

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Got busy with the jigsaw today. First up, this piece, the exit from the storage yard:

Yard_Exit.jpg.37679351873a8d27bff220e85ed082e7.jpg

Then the start of the gradient up around this horseshoe curve:

Horseshoe_Curve.jpg.9a810827fce0f7a4e051c11de0c4f299.jpg

And finally the missing bit, the entrance to the storage yard.

Yard_Entrance.jpg.3f2b0009b1ef6fdf78d8351134081799.jpg

 

I also cut a piece to extend the gradient as far as the beginning of the triangle, but haven't photographed this bit.

The triangle won't be installed yet as I want to get the track laid and tested underneath it before I put that bit in.

So ... track. I now have all the track I need for the boards I have made so far. I might have bought the last box of Peco flextrack in the country (or at least, the last box available for online order). It certainly took a lot of trawling the model shop directory to find somewhere that still had it in stock...

But before track, I should probably put some underlay down. Hmmm, let me revise that. I should probably get some underlay...

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I was talking to my Dad earlier in the week, and apparently, I came up with a couple of fictional names many, many years ago, as a very small child.

I do remember the fictional place "Dongits" appearing repeatedly in my childhood in a meme like fashion -- I didn't remember that I was the one who created it, but apparently I did... (We got lost somewhere, Mum asked Dad where we were, and I answered from the back seat of the car).

I was almost convinced that would have to be the name of the layout -- but it feels ... awkward somehow when written down. I'm not even sure that'd be the correct spelling for how it's pronounced.

However, Dad had a second placename that I didn't remember -- "Barlow". According to Google there are several roads called "Barlow Road" or "Barlow Street" in various towns and cities in the target area, but no actual towns named that -- so that looks like a plausible candidate.

Of course, there is more than one thing on the layout that will need naming, there's a bridge, a junction, a yard, at least three locations where signal boxes would have been located and would therefore be named. I suspect a lot of what's been discussed in this thread is going to get used somewhere on this layout...

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Posted (edited)

One step forward, two steps backward.

First, the forward step:

Yard_Entrance_2.jpg.e4af19f12eac568b2ef1ba9a4b134f20.jpg

 

There's something about seeing track on a board for the first time (even if it's not laid properly) that's quite impressive. Also that my curves through the junction appear to work.

Two steps back though -- the ply at the other end of the layout has warped, producing a very ... undulating board surface around the far corner. I apparently either need to add some longitudinal bracing to that corner or re-cut that piece in better ply.

... And I found I had already used the last of the 2x1. None of the offcuts that remain are suitable.

Edited by Bloodnok
Clarification of meaning
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The first track got stuck down last night:

yard_entrance_3.jpg.5060f21b6ccfee8a5232513189360b76.jpg

My tub of PVA appears to have gone a bit lumpy on the surface, but after a good mixing it's mostly behaving itself -- and I've managed to avoid getting any in the wrong place and gluing the points solid.

The blades are sitting in the centre because the springs have been removed. The point motors I will be using are servo based slow action motors and work best with the springs removed.

I have discovered that drilling holes through this closed cell foam stuff I'm using as underlay is a touch more difficult than traditional cork, as the drill doesn't cut it in the same way. On the plus side, the holes where wires go down are much neater when done, the hole has much less visual impact and should also ballast better. On the minus side, there's a risk of getting the sawdust from the ply built up under the foam, causing a lump to form. Cutting a cross in the foam  with a knife before drilling seems to help...

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Posted (edited)

I'm a bit late to the party, but I'd suggest a WCML branch to Sheffield might fit your requirements.

 

There is a Barlow Road and Barlow Drive in Sheffield, but nowhere near the centre.

Edited by Zomboid
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Posted (edited)
On 14/05/2020 at 16:30, Bloodnok said:

However, Dad had a second placename that I didn't remember -- "Barlow". According to Google there are several roads called "Barlow Road" or "Barlow Street" in various towns and cities in the target area, but no actual towns named that -- so that looks like a plausible candidate.

 

There is a village called Barlow between Chesterfield and Sheffield, which is probably what those mentioned by Zomboid refer to, but it has no rail connection and never did.

 

There is also a village called Barlow near Selby in North Yorkshire. It did have a railway connection, and a station, which closed in 1964. The line however remained in use until 1983, as it was part of the MGR route to Drax power station.

 

Al.

Edited by Alister_G
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10 hours ago, Alister_G said:

 

There is a village called Barlow between Chesterfield and Sheffield, which is probably what those mentioned by Zomboid refer to, but it has no rail connection and never did.

 

There is also a village called Barlow near Selby in North Yorkshire. It did have a railway connection, and a station, which closed in 1964. The line however remained in use until 1983, as it was part of the MGR route to Drax power station.

 

Al.

 

Hi Al.

Barlow near Selby was on the Selby to Goole line which as you say closed in 1964, the section to Barlow remained open as it served the railway tip which i believe dates back to LNER days, asbestos was found there in 1983  and it was covered in tons of soil. It is now a nature reserve

Drax Power Station uses part the line east of Barlow where a connection was made to the old Hull and Barnsley  line.

 

Graham

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hmmm. It's been a while.

This all came to a screaming halt when I got some kind of insect bite on my ankle, and it swelled up like crazy. I lost about 7 days altogether, including a complete long weekend.

Last thing I did beforehand was get the last two point motors fitted.

As I couldn't do much in the way of construction while I had an ankle that wanted to LARP as a barrage balloon, I moved the servo controller across from my desk to the layout and connected the point motors. Well, four of them at least -- the leads aren't quite long enough to get to all five at the same time.

I also got a PC set up for the layout. I have two available spare PCs I could run the layout from, but for various reasons both of them run Linux. The software I'm using to run the layout works fine on Linux, but the config utility for setting the servo movement up is another matter. This has proven to be a significant challenge -- one I haven't managed to overcome yet.

I did order some PCB mounting feet and some servo extension cables I need to install the controllers properly, but the delivery estimates are ... somewhat large ... at the moment.

I'm now back at it -- I have more underlay gluing at the moment...

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One step forward, two steps backward...

Stepping forward, the underlay has reached the other end of the storage yard. Track spacing has been widened around the curve, then it narrows back to streamline standard for the exit points.

Buuuut, as I was working out exactly where the edges of the underlay need to go (which requires precisely locating those exit points), it's ... all not /quite/ coming out as per the plan. Tiny differences between the plan and the real world all add up to nothing fitting quite how I wanted -- the ends of the curve are awkward, and a point motor intersects a key crossmember it was designed to avoid.

Some real-world re-design is required. Time to break out the cardboard and string...

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I have bitten the bullet, cut the 'wrong' piece off, secured the part of it that I'm keeping, and marked out a new piece to fit in the hole using the cut piece as a template.

This fixes all the problems in one go -- it was the same part which was both warped and too narrow. At least I made all my mistakes in the same place...

Hopefully the new piece will go in without warping.

The yard exit has been marked out and is currently having it's underlay glued down.

 

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Well, it's been raining on and off today. I normally do sawing and sanding outside so the study (where this layout is) doesn't fill up with sawdust. So I've not been able to finish the new baseboard piece.

Instead, I have the yard exit points gluing, plus the first bits of the clearance block sections:

Yard_Exit_1.jpg.f7db1ad897fcd779782f30737f87cf9d.jpg

I've fitted the point motor on the most difficult point (the one in the foreground) to prove to myself that there is enough space.

I'm going to be using current detectors to implement block sections, and thus it's not as simple as throwing an insulating rail joiner on the end of the electrofrog and adding some flex track. I want to know if a train is close enough to the point that it's a risk to run something past it. So a second set of insulating rail joiners is required a bit further away from the point.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, FoxUnpopuli said:

What brand are these servo-based point motors?


They are a MERG kit: https://www.merg.org.uk/kits.php#sect30. I'm using the '681' kit plus the optional '683' microswitch kit, which I will use to power the frog.
There are other combinations of parts for other mounting positions, plus custom mounts for signals and level crossing gates too.

The servos themselves are not included in the kit, you need to source them separately. They are the common SG90 / 9g type which are cheap and widely available.

Edited by Bloodnok
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Posted (edited)

Laying mostly-straight track is a lot easier than tight curves -- the track doesn't want to move about anywhere near as much while it's gluing, so I can get more done in parallel.

The first yard track is now complete between the entrance and exit junctions. Capacity Loco+8 comfortably (or two shorter multiple unit trains):

Yard_3.jpg.66c24458187e06ac6ba97466c1ac77ba.jpg

Edited by Bloodnok
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On 10/04/2020 at 22:28, Bloodnok said:

What this layout really really needs, though, is a name.

Any suggestions for how to come up with a good one?

HI Bloodnok. 

 

Just been through the same process with my new layout plan - see here if you're interested. The original plan on page 1 used bad puns and obscure references to 1970s post-punk bands and science fiction stories, but for the revised plan on page 2 I used names derived from Old Norse (the layout is set in the North West of England). Old English is equally good for this purpose.

 

To use these languages as the basis of place names you don't need a good imagination - you need an absolute lack of it. For instance, "Liverpool" is OE for "muddy creek" and "Manchester" possibly means "place of the river goddess where a Roman fort used to be". All English place names ending in "Chester" or "Cester" probably had a Roman fort there (so "Chester" is a particularly unimaginative one). 

 

Anything ending in "ford" was a river crossing. Anything ending in "by" was simply a "place" or "settlement"  (so Whitby was the "white place". "Shaw" or "Weald" was a forest. 

 

The definition of the word "goon" includes "simpleton". The old Norse for simpleton was "jstor". if you called your station "Storrby" that would loosely translate as "place of the Goons". Quite appropriate for someone called Bloodnok.

 

Have fun researching. Love the layout plan. Looking forward to more.

 

Best wishes

 

Cam

Edited by CameronL
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23 hours ago, CameronL said:

To use these languages as the basis of place names you don't need a good imagination - you need an absolute lack of it. For instance, "Liverpool" is OE for "muddy creek" and "Manchester" possibly means "place of the river goddess where a Roman fort used to be". All English place names ending in "Chester" or "Cester" probably had a Roman fort there (so "Chester" is a particularly unimaginative one).

 

So ... much like every small town has a 'London road' in it -- because when someone came around and asked the local "What's that road called?", they knew that road as the one you take if you are going to/from London?

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More gluing of track has been achieved. I now have four yard tracks complete:
Yard_4.jpg.cb6d22242d77ceea20954cbdd42e9a8e.jpg

 

Train for scale:

Yard_Train_For_Scale.jpg.dec189386343ef273ab00e30f2fd6862.jpg

 

Loops #1, #3 and #4 are able to park a loco+9 consist. Loop #3 will hold loco+10. Future loops #5 and #6 are going to be loco+9 and loco+10 respectively. This is more than will fit in the terminus station, which has been designed to host loco+7, or 8 car multiple unit sets. This extra space will allow me to run longer trains around the continuous run when I want to.

All loops have been divided up electrically so I can detect multiple shorter trains on track circuits and to apply ABC braking. This will allow me to dual or triple park shorter trains in the loops automatically.

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No more photos yet but track #5 is gluing, more underlay has arrived, and I've now got enough point motor kits for both ends of the yards. Still waiting on another controller for the north end. It has been ordered.

I am hoping for some good weather this weekend so I can finish sanding the replacement board piece and complete the baseboard at the far end of the layout.

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