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Friden - Cromford & High Peak


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It seems like a good day to be starting this new thread, not specifically because it's a new project but because today marks the 53rd anniversary of the last rites on the Cromford & High Peak, a day captured by many hundreds of enthusiasts on film.

 

The project to model Friden has been on the drawing board for some time. Having covered the subjects of quarries and working inclines in previous layouts (Rise End Quarry and Middlepeak), and then spent many years pursuing my other interest in Danish railways in p87, I thought it was time to come back to old haunts. The ever growing collection of High Peak photos and research material prompted me to look at other options, this time with a view to constructing a home based layout for my retirement. I've never had a permanent layout at home, so all my modelling activity up to now has been focussed on exhibitions. With the current hiatus in such activity, compounded by the fact that my wife's health renders her as 'extremely vulnerable' and me as the self-isolated carer, I reasoned that now was a good time to start.

 

The initial problem was that the space available in my workshop, about half the size of a conventional garage space, is not particularly conducive to layout design. I wanted something that would allow shunting of trains and if possible more 'main line' stock, but retained the High Peak theme. Various locations were examined and Friden seemed the best option. This was the interchange point between the High Peak and the main line in more recent years, so two trains would be in the yard at the same time. As a bonus there was a lineside industry providing traffic for the railway - the Derbyshire Silica Firebrick Company.

 

Design commenced using Templot in late 2018. Although the layout at Friden was basically long and straight, I could fit something in by creating a long curve and using two sides of the workshop. With the operators on the inside of the curve, the curvature would be less noticeable. All of the elements of the prototype track plan could be fitted in, and to improve the presentation and operation, the fiddle yards at each end would be fully scenic with some form of cassettes to change the trains over.

 

Having sorted out the track plan, the design was then transferred to my CAD package, which allowed the baseboards to be designed for laser cutting. The first three boards, which are small and in strange shapes to allow easy movement within the confined space, are now being built, whilst one or two rolling stock and research elements to the project can continue in parallel.

 

I'll leave much of the detail to later posts as things develop. A word of warning however - this will not be a speedy project in terms of construction and completion. There is no great hurry and a great deal of enjoyment to be had by taking my time and doing things properly. If you can be patient and bear with me, I hope to entertain and inform as the project goes on.

 

In the mean time, attached is the layout plan and a couple of photos of Friden to whet your appetite. Thanks for looking in!

 

Geraint

 

 

 

 

Friden V4.pdf

Edited by AY Mod
Copyright images removed
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The design period for Friden took some months, firstly getting to grips with Templot and then transferring the output to my CAD program. As I've mentioned before on my p87 thread, CAD drawing is now such an integral part of my modelling projects that I don't know what I would do without it. I quite enjoy the challenge of working out how to construct something by drawing it out first. It should, and in most cases does, make the construction easier. Aside from the basic track plan, I was able to map out the other key features of the layout, including the position of the road bridge and the basic shapes of all the buildings. All of this was done before any consideration of baseboards and the like. I suppose that it might have been slightly easier to imagine things if I had drawn it in 3D, but that's a whole different ball game for me and not something I can profess to at this stage. Maybe some day?

 

As I said earlier, the layout is designed primarily for home use and has to fit into a somewhat confined space in my workshop. The space isn't rectangular and it's blessed with various bits of extraneous plumbing and pipework on the walls which reveal its previous use as a utility area. I wanted to keep these facilities intact in case we want to sell the house in the future, so the design has to allow for these. Also, I have various workbenches and bookshelves in there, so the main run of baseboards would have to sit on top of these, rather than being supported by conventional legs.

 

Space to move baseboards around during construction is also at a premium, so partly because of their odd shapes, the boards had to be relatively small for easy handling. I was also conscious of the need to position the baseboard joints carefully to avoid difficult track configurations, and the locations of turnout operating units, point motors and uncoupling magnets were also determined at this stage.

 

The first picture below shows the eventual design of baseboard layout - 6 boards in all, with the Middleton fiddle yard at the left hand end removable for normal access to the room. Taking each baseboard in turn, I then  began to draw out the parts for laser cutting in 6mm birch ply. The basic carcass is 90mm deep, which allows for installation of Tortoise motors in the future, if I decide to stick with these. Baseboard ends are formed of a double layer of the ply, with the holes for pattern makers dowels being cut in the outer layer. All around there are access holes to allow easy routes for wiring, and in most cases there are diagonal braces to strengthen the structure. When completed however, the final boards are very light and strong.

 

The second picture shows a cutting plan for one of the boards. From this you will see that much of the construction is on a 'tab and slot' basis. The colours used reflect the three stages of cutting on the machine. Blue is the first cut of what I call 'surface marks', essentially a line drawn on the surface of the ply for track centrelines, backscene locations, etc. Red is the second cut to remove sections within the overall shape of each part, principally the lightening holes but also the locations of uncoupling magnets and tiebar mechanisms. Finally comes the green cut, which separates all the main parts from the sheet. It's vital that the cutting is done in this order, otherwise the parts would start to move on the cutting bed before the detail is cut.

 

Assembly of the boards is done with PVA glue and large numbers of squares and clamps. A flat surface is helpful and it's also important to ensure that there's not an overtight fit to the tabs and slots, which might build distortion into the final structure. There's then a final sand down, especially important where you have dimensionally critical joints.

 

For the boards that sit on top of the bookcase, adjustable rubber feet have been fitted to each board for levelling purposes. The first four boards are now virtually complete, and will have a coat of Danish Oil before final installation and the laying of cork and trackwork. 

 

That's all for a later post! Hope you found the above informative and helpful.

 

Friden Baseboard Outlines.JPG

Friden V3b2 Cutting sheet.JPG

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Oh this will certainly be one to watch as they say!

 

Having  seen and admired

Rise End at a Sheffield exhibition (City Hall early 80s) and

Middle Peak (Cromford Wharf Works* 97-ish)

I could claim to be a long term fan of your works!

 

*was that a 30th anniversary of the line closure event?

 

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8 hours ago, LBRJ said:

Oh this will certainly be one to watch as they say!

 

Having  seen and admired

Rise End at a Sheffield exhibition (City Hall early 80s) and

Middle Peak (Cromford Wharf Works* 97-ish)

I could claim to be a long term fan of your works!

 

*was that a 30th anniversary of the line closure event?

 

 

* Yes it was. 3 layouts in the workshop at Cromford Wharf, plus a gathering of former employees. The only time we had to operate the layout under an umbrella because of the marauding swifts nesting in the roof!

 

Geraint

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7 hours ago, Middlepeak said:

 

* Yes it was. 3 layouts in the workshop at Cromford Wharf, plus a gathering of former employees. The only time we had to operate the layout under an umbrella because of the marauding swifts nesting in the roof!

 

Geraint

 

I remember it well Geraint - bird poo on the layout covering sheets first thing in the morning.

 

Friden boards looking good.

 

Robin

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As the Danish Oil is being applied to the expanses of virgin plywood, a few words about the next stage would be in order.

 

Just about the only downside of using a plywood skeleton is the potential for vibration to be transmitted from locos through the track and the baseboard framework, producing an annoying drumming noise in the worst case scenario. Previously I've tried various options such as foam underlay and camping mat, but never really solved the problem. With an exhibition layout, any such drumming is usually lost in the ambient noise of the venue, but for a home layout that's not going to be the case.

 

This time I'm planning to use a variation on the cork sub-base for trackwork which I've also used on my current p87 project. Apologies to those who have already seen it described on that thread.

 

The idea is to use a thick layer of cork mat, in this case 10mm thick, which is stuck down to the plywood with a rubber based adhesive such as Copydex. The track and ballast are then stuck down to the cork using the same adhesive. The principle is that the glue will only penetrate the immediate surface layer of the cork, leaving a section of 5 or 6mm in the centre unaffected by the glue. The cork's sound insulation qualities are therefore preserved.

 

The other element of the plan is to have the Templot drawing laser etched onto the top surface of the cork, allowing the trackwork to be accurately constructed in situ. The attached photo shows one of the 900x600 sheets after the etching has taken place. The shapes are then cut out with a Stanley knife before they are attached to the boards.

 

I'll be back to explain more once the cork is down on the first couple of boards and track laying has commenced.

 

Geraint

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Good idea to leave some area of cork unaffected so it retains its sound absorbing qualities. I’ve been thinking about this and mentioned the problem on my thread. The ply base essentially acts like a drum head so an additional method I’m going to try out will be a small metal arm attached to the end piece angled upwards pressing a rubber pad to the underside of the ply track bed. Basically like an old snare drum dampening system. The action of pressing the rubber to the timber should reduce any vibration in the material. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

A bit of an update on progress with the baseboards.

 

The first three, including the Middleton fiddle yard, have now got the cork laid and you can get a good impression of how the track layout will look from the laser cut track diagram on the top surface.

 

The Middleton board, which is a portable addition that's only attached to the layout for operation, now has the timbers laid for the single point at the east end of the yard. Beyond that will be the scenic cassette, for which some acrylic sheet and aluminium angle has been ordered. More on that later when the ideas have materialised into something that can be photographed.

 

There's also been some work done on an item of motive power, but I'll save that surprise until it rolls out of the paint shops  ......  !!!

 

Best wishes to all,

 

Geraint

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Hello Geraint,

Great to see you back working on a C&HP layout, having greatly admired your earlier projects.

I will be following with interest.

All the best,

Dave.T

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1 hour ago, Gordon A said:

Geraint, how did you get your track plan printed on the cork?

 

Gordon A

See the post on May 8th:

 

Quote

The other element of the plan is to have the Templot drawing laser etched onto the top surface of the cork, allowing the trackwork to be accurately constructed in situ. The attached photo shows one of the 900x600 sheets after the etching has taken place.

 

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Gordon,

 

The advantage of using Templot as the basis for design is that the resulting file can then be imported to a CAD package as part of a formal drawing for the project. That drawing, or bits of it, has then been used to produce the artwork for laser cutting of baseboards, and now for the marking out of the cork layer. As I mentioned earlier, the cork is 10mm thick, designed for notice boards and sold in 3'x2' sheets. The laser cutter is set to produce only a slight surface mark, with the cutting through being done with a Stanley knife.

 

Dave,

 

Good to hear from you. It seems a long time since Middlepeak and Charmouth stood side by side in that cold exhibition hall in Utrecht! I've really enjoyed your recent writings in NG&IR. Keep them coming!

 

Regards,

 

Geraint

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Hi Geraint,

Thank you for your recent reply.

 

The laser print of the track plan onto the cork makes looks like it makes life easier. 

 

I have never operated Charmouth, but have been with Clutton and later Horselunges  and this year with Neil Kinison's P87 at Utrecht.

 

Who did this for you, or do you have the kit?

 

Gordon

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