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Zomboid

Light Railway in 8x4

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Posted (edited)

So this is a layout that I've no intention of building, and nor do I expect anyone else to... (though there are enough potential gimmicks and so on that it would actually  by quite good for the Channel 5 "Great British Train-Set off" program. Or whatever it's actually called).

I was inspired by @Keith Addenbrooke's thread about a self contained GWR branch on an 8x4, and the fact that I've been reading about the Basingstoke and Alton light railway lately.

Here's the thread I was referring to...

So, without further ado, here is an 8x4 rendition of Herriard and Bentworth & Lasham stations from the Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway

HerriardLasham8x4.png.d3ed57306cb998f71a3530878dde36f0.png

 

The Basingstoke & Alton is quite famous as a film set, with Cliddesden station having been used as "Buggleskelly" in "Oh! Mr Porter", and also for staging the train crash used in "The Wrecker". Cliddesden station is if anything the least interesting station on the line though.

 

Herriard was the only station on the line to have a passing loop or signalling. It had a home signal protecting the loop, and that was your lot. The two signals and points were operated from an open air ground frame next to the station building. The two sidings were the same as at Cliddesden and Lasham, one with a dock/ cattle pen, and the other just a siding.

 

Anyone who's got this far will have noticed that Bentworth & Lasham also has a loop. This was a wonderful extravagance, because at Cliddesden and Herriard the sidings faced Alton, and at B&L they faced Basingstoke. So rather than serve it with a Basingstoke bound train, the LSWR decided to install a loop so the southbound (up) train could run round and shunt the sidings before heading on to Alton. It was not a token station, so whilst in theory the track would allow a train to be locked into the sidings, this was not possible under normal operation. The railway cottages and station agent's house are pretty accurate (for an 8x4), and the station was on a curve as shown, though not quite as sharp as 3rd radius.

 

The other named feature is the level crossing. This was between Herriard and Lasham, and is the one which was used for the spectacular crash in "The Wrecker", which could be replicated by a "GBMRO" team if they fancied it. The other obvious "GBMRO" gimmick is the wind powered water pump, which was in approximately that location at Lasham (another was provided at Cliddesden).

 

To operate this you wouldn't need a lot of rolling stock - motive power was mostly O2 tank engines, though to be accurate they'd have to be in LSWR colours whilst the loop at Herriard is installed, as the Southern didn't reinstate it when they reopened the line in the 1920s (having been originally closed in 1916 and the rails sent to aid the war effort). Kernow seem to sell an O2, but not in LSWR colours. Passenger trains were usually a single brake composite, presumably ancient. Maybe add a van if you like... In the early years the LSWR tried out a couple of steam railmotors, which proved that they were absolutely not up to the 1/50 gradients that were found on much of the route. Freight would be an O2 with maybe as many as 5 wagons, so the shortness of the loops isn't likely to pose a major problem - there were also mixed trains if that's the kind of thing you like (I do).

 

It doesn't in all honest have massive operating potential, but plenty of scope for undulating rural scenery. With a proper plan for collecting and setting out wagons I'd probably have a fun 30-40 minute operating session.

 

Anyway, that was a fun lunch break on Anyrail. :) 

Edited by Zomboid
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Posted (edited)

I like this.  As you mentioned in my earlier thread, a Light Railway Prototype is an excellent idea for this kind of space: simple track layouts, short trains, maybe no connection to the outside railway system.
 

IIRC, an old edition of the PECO OO Setrack planbook had a layout closer to 6’ x 4’ with a central operating well, and I think it featured on the front cover (ie: they had also built it). The sides were very thin!

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke

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Ah, the site of my last employment.

Bravo :D

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...and then I started thinking about a narrow gauge version, either in OO9 with the existing buildings as suggested, or with larger scale scenery in O scale if the track centres still work.  

Perhaps as a ‘second layout‘ for someone wanting something different for a change, or considering a switch to narrow gauge modelling?

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

...and then I started thinking about a narrow gauge version, 

One of my "one day" layouts is a 16mm scale live steam garden railway, based on the ludicrous conceit that when the Southern reopened the Basingstoke & Alton, they built it to 2' gauge, and it somehow survived and thrived into Bulleid's time.

 

A Roundhouse Lady Anne in black with a sunshine "Southern" down the side and a couple of malachite Lynton & Barnstaple style coaches puffing around the garden, or shunting a few wagons at Bentworth & Lasham is pretty close to my idea of railway heaven...

 

I suppose with a full loop of track, there's no reason why "Herriard" couldn't be by the patio and "Lasham" by the pond... (Insert your own garden features here, I have neither right now...).

 

Edit- obviously that's not going to fit in 8x4 unless those are metres...

Edited by Zomboid
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Being a skinny sort of chap, I could probably just about turn round in an 18" wide operating well - but I don't think my spatial awareness is good enough for me to carry out the duck-under-and-surface manoeuvre necessary to get into it :). 8m x 4m with a 150 cm well, on the other hand …..

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There's plenty of space to extend it towards the loop at Lasham if you so wish.

But a hole in an 8x4 can only be so big before there's no useable board left...

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Posted (edited)

There's an 18 inch by 3ft-something bit of board doing nothing... :wink_mini:

 

Edited by Harlequin
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2 hours ago, Chimer said:

Being a skinny sort of chap, I could probably just about turn round in an 18" wide operating well - but I don't think my spatial awareness is good enough for me to carry out the duck-under-and-surface manoeuvre necessary to get into it :). 8m x 4m with a 150 cm well, on the other hand …..


A few years ago (I think in BRM) there was something about a company making the mechanisms you’d need to gently lower your layout from the ceiling to operating height.  As long as you stand in the right place (an X on the floor?) the layout comes to you.

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You could build it in the loft at floor level around the hatch and stand on the loft ladder to operate it.   Easier than raising and lowering the layout.

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If you trust your children not to tie your shoelaces together while you are shunting the early morning milk train.

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Built it at normal height then dig a trench to a chair on a hydraulic lift.

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3 hours ago, Harlequin said:

There's an 18 inch by 3ft-something bit of board doing nothing... :wink_mini:

 

C966F830-DC15-4942-A35E-9834094AA505.jpeg.2c58cb6c56cf7b72121936d5bb21c2df.jpeg

 

If the space to the left of the layout is a viewing area / space for a second operator an extension could be added with the spare board.  If it is a loco works then mainly light engine movements might be appropriate, for which hands-off operation is fine.

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There were a couple of industries like that on the line. Treloars hospital just up the line from Butts Junction in Alton is probably the better choice for something like that (and it was served with inbound coal until the mid 1960s). The Thornycrofts factory in Basingstoke would probably fill an 8x4 on its own.

 

An issue with the design is that it's a pair of intermediate stations on a line that should never really have been built, there's not much in the way of a destination for freight. I'm not sure if they typically interchanged with the rest of the world at Basingstoke or Alton, but a representation of one or the other would make operations a bit more plausible. I'd want to avoid any "off scene" parts of the light railway though, part of the point is that everything happens on the layout.

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Posted (edited)

One feature on a number of Colonel Stephen's light railways was gravity shunting, rather than the loco running round it's train by means of a loop. Sometimes it was through laziness - mixed trains from Headcorn to Tenderden on the K&ESR would stop short of Tenderden station - and a little up gradient - then roll the coach to the platform and the goods wagons into the yard, thus saving a bit of shunting. This is recorded as happening but it's not clear that it would have occurred on days when the Colonel motored over from Tonbridge to look things over.

 

It might have done as on the East Kent, the Colonel didn't provide a loop at Wingham Canterbury Road and gravity shunting was the only possibility. (The first passing loop was at Eastry, a dozen miles away)

 

So gravity shunting would be an interesting, if challenging, feature on a light railway layout. I drew out this plan for a 3mm scale light railway layout in a spare bedroom (The plan - with 6" squares - is nicely drawn as it was intended for publication in the 3mm Society magazine as part of a series on how 3mm scale made things possible in modern domestic locations)

 

stephens.png.59ffaf46e1676b7833287a430ea8fe92.png

 

As you can see, the extension to the Town station requires a gravity shunt. I figured on simple methods like a pin rising between the tracks to hold back the axle of the coach while the loco runs into the siding, and then the pin dropping and the coach rolling into the platform where a spring retarder slows it down to a halt. Cleverer solutions are of course available.

 

The operation envisaged also had most passenger services operated by those back to back railbuses. That this is possible in 3mm scale is demonstrated by Stephen Driscoll's layout, Wimblehurst Road, which is effectively a small part of the larger scheme

 

 

 

 

Edited by whart57
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Wimblehurst Road at the Croydon MRC show about three years ago.

 

 

WimblehurstAtCroydon.JPG

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