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Schooner

O gauge GWR branch shunting layout - inspiration sought

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Posted (edited)

Evening all,

 

Despite having plenty to occupy my spare time already, a developing appreciation for the breadth of RTR GWR O gauge motive power is leading me towards a new avenue of investigation. It suits a number of pre-existing biases (the GWR is my home region, to which I'm rather attached; I enjoy the operational side of railway modelling and so tend look to branch line/goods workings, and see a clear benefit in working in a larger scale; the poisoned chalice of being able to plan a layout for a large space), and I would like to follow these thoughts up. The problem I have is that all my modelling experience is in 4mm, and I'm uncertain of the best way to proceed in 7mm.

 

I ask for help in finding a trackplan for a 7mm, GWR, rural (seems to make the most sense, although very open to alternatives) facility, which will allow involved operations (I'm mostly about the shunting) without resorting to hectic timetabling, but also justify a 43XX-worked passenger service from time to time. Nothing from the usual touchstones of CJF's 60 Plans, a brace of Iain Rice books has grabbed me (or indeed RMWeb's own @Harlequin, inspiring as they are) and I'm struggling to usefully develop an Inglenook-based idea. I lean slightly towards plans with a continuous run, or at least return loop, but remain very open to the traditional BLT-to-fiddleyard/traverser approach. The layout would be for one operator (the norm, there are up to four interested parties but this is not a major consideration), and sessions would likely be in the 2-4 hour region. No exhibition day-long marathons, no 15-minute-solution shunting puzzles. Automation is an area of interest for me, as are any dock/quayside links the railway might have.

 

The maximum potenial space is c.42'x22'. Access is primarily central, from above, or optionally midway along the right-hand 22' wall. This is very much a limit, not a target. The usual drive to use space efficently still exists. The available area may be near-infinite, but time is  currently non-existant (hence all the layout planning) and funds are likely to have reachable limits.

 

The sort of prototypes that appeal are:

1897474396_Yeovilgoods.jpg.22ab0aeca1b4c92fbd7ffdc9e47bdb48.jpg

Yeovil, Hendford Sidings

 

1526571730_FromeSouth.jpg.3659e4a7c55725795f634ce425406388.jpg

Frome (I'm very happy to have only half the station, using that overall roof and workshops as a scenic break).

 

Teignmouth.jpg.842f1d637867961495410623baf42997.jpg

Teignmouth. I feel there's lots of potential here, but that it would be difficult to realise...?

 

Of the 'pure' shunting puzzles, the Inglenook has always been a favourite; of 'small' layout designs, The Piano Line has struck me as particularly elegant.

 

Any ideas much appreciated, thanks for your time

 

Schooner

Edited by Schooner
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You certainly have an "Interesting" take on what appeals.

 

Teignmouth on the GW Main line to Plymouth and  Cornwall would have seen an occasional 43XX on a local, when NA or Exeter were short of a 51XX and the 2251 wasn't available.  Trouble is the number of 10 + coach expresses with Kings and Castles  totally dwarfed the number of 43XX hauled trains.

I am pretty sure Yeovil Town and Hendford sidings were LSWR with just a single GWR track.

Its claim to fame was the loco shed for Yeovil was there so a lot of light engine moves to and from Yeovil Junction and just a GW Auto train from Pen Mill to Taunton plus an occasional freight?

Yeovil Pen Mill might be better but again Halls and Castles came through on Weymouth boat trains daily until 1957 and there was a lot of fitted perishables traffic from the Channel Islands until steam ended in 1967.

Frome sounds good, most through trains bypassed it after the cut off was completed (1930?), I think Bristol  - Radstock - Frome locals terminated there, its the birthplace of Britains finest racing driver, Jenson Button (See Canada 2011) so you can pretty much run local passenger and  pick Up freight.

Other lines with 43XX and not Castles Kings etc were pretty sparse, Cambrian post WW2, but long trains, Manors, Dukedogs etc, MSWJR, again Manors and long through freights, Barnstaple line esp Dulverton, where Exe Valley (Auto) trains terminated , was 43XX territory as a few had their cab steps narrowed to allow them into Barnstaple SR where no other GW Outside cyl tender locos were allowed.  There may be some south west wales byways but we aren't allowed into Wales at present (May 2020)

Frome in the 1950s  sounds good.  Before WW2 there were Bulldogs and Dean Goods, Metros, 517s and weird little 850 and 2021 panniers, after 1950 there were 57XX , 16XX, 74XX panniers  the stuff available RTR.  Frome..  Did I mention Frome sounds good.   Maybe you could get Harlequin to draw it for you!

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Posted (edited)

I can see the attractions of O gauge but it does pose some slightly different challenges. Apart from the space requirement, which doesn’t seem to be a problem for you(!), decent scenic depth is probably too far to safely reach across. So access from both sides of baseboards would seem to be useful. When that is combined with the time and cost constraints you mention I think an end to end design might be preferable to a roundy round.

 

I imagine a curving L shaped design that follows two walls of the room but leaves space behind for access.
 

So then you’d be looking for termini that are small enough to model but big enough to have an interesting goods yard and with route availability for the 43xx...

 

Something like Kingsbridge, perhaps? (Edit: But route availability is not sufficient.)

 

Edit2: A cut down version of Cheltenham St James' ? (Red route availability) Edit3: No that's a silly idea - much too big even cut down in a room 42ft long!

 

Edited by Harlequin
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Posted (edited)

I'm delving into the topic of whereabouts 43XX and 5101 both worked passenger services too, since I now have a 5101 in service, and a 43XX on order in coarse-0 format.

 

Because I'm mainly into suburban railways, my eye keeps getting drawn to the Birmingham outer-suburban services, which traversed some very pleasant countryside, and which might offer opportunities in terms of "shunty" places for you. Exchange with a military line (Long Marston); former passenger terminus turned goods depot (Henley-in-Arden);  potential for diary traffic; exchange with a big factory (many, several with their own shunting engines); an old canal or tramway wharf turned into a coal and goods depot (slight outbreak of imagination based on several nearly-like-that). The "Warwickshire Railways" website is a phenomenally good free research resource.

 

My experience, BTW, is that a single-garage-sized layout, let alone one as big as you have room for, really needs a fair bit of time put into it (more than I can actually find!), so unless your time ashore is entirely devoid of other calls on time you might want to think in terms of using only part of the space for "developed layout area", and completing the circuit (essential IMO) as a non-scenified loop with a bit of train storage (you will end-up buying too many!).

 

How about a simple double-track circuit effectively round the outside, for circulation of longer trains, with the "shunty" stuff happening at a slightly lower level in the foreground. The line in the background on an embankment with a back-scene behind would mark the "far edge" of your slice of the world, with maybe a canal right at the front to edge-off there? You could link the two, via an incline, or give the "shunty" bit its own FY. If you want a passenger facility, make it a really simple halt, so that it doesn't make everything look small by being big.

 

Developing buildings and scenery in 0 is very time-consuming, because you get drawn into vast amounts of detail (unless you stay coarse and sketchy like me), but it is a far, far better scale overall, because trains have a bit of weight to them and behave a bit more like trains.

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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6 hours ago, DavidCBroad said:

You certainly have an "Interesting" take on what appeals.

 

Teignmouth on the GW Main line to Plymouth and  Cornwall would have seen an occasional 43XX on a local, when NA or Exeter were short of a 51XX and the 2251 wasn't available.  Trouble is the number of 10 + coach expresses with Kings and Castles  totally dwarfed the number of 43XX hauled trains.

I am pretty sure Yeovil Town and Hendford sidings were LSWR with just a single GWR track.

Its claim to fame was the loco shed for Yeovil was there so a lot of light engine moves to and from Yeovil Junction and just a GW Auto train from Pen Mill to Taunton plus an occasional freight?

Yeovil Pen Mill might be better but again Halls and Castles came through on Weymouth boat trains daily until 1957 and there was a lot of fitted perishables traffic from the Channel Islands until steam ended in 1967.

Frome sounds good, most through trains bypassed it after the cut off was completed (1930?), I think Bristol  - Radstock - Frome locals terminated there, its the birthplace of Britains finest racing driver, Jenson Button (See Canada 2011) so you can pretty much run local passenger and  pick Up freight.

Other lines with 43XX and not Castles Kings etc were pretty sparse, Cambrian post WW2, but long trains, Manors, Dukedogs etc, MSWJR, again Manors and long through freights, Barnstaple line esp Dulverton, where Exe Valley (Auto) trains terminated , was 43XX territory as a few had their cab steps narrowed to allow them into Barnstaple SR where no other GW Outside cyl tender locos were allowed.  There may be some south west wales byways but we aren't allowed into Wales at present (May 2020)

Frome in the 1950s  sounds good.  Before WW2 there were Bulldogs and Dean Goods, Metros, 517s and weird little 850 and 2021 panniers, after 1950 there were 57XX , 16XX, 74XX panniers  the stuff available RTR.  Frome..  Did I mention Frome sounds good.   Maybe you could get Harlequin to draw it for you!

Hendford was GWR (formerly B&ER) and was the original terminus of the B&E branch from Durston opened in 1853.  The line was extended through to Pen Mill in in 1857 to make a connection with the new Wilts, Somerset & Weymouth Railway at their new Pen Mill station.  The original Hendford station closed in 1861 although the building and remains of the platform were extant for a long time after that.  The much later Hendford Halt opened in 1932 further west than the original station and immediately west of the connection to the goods yard (the original station appears to have been roughly parallel with the goods yard judging by the only photo I can find and the OS map extract posted above)

 

As layout inspiration it is not such a bad idea but more as inspiration rather than a slavish reproduction.  Thus the original chalet style(ish) building might perhaps be retained and teh various overbridges could be used to provide scenic breaks.  But using a 61XX and a 43XX would I suggest be rather atypical of that line which relied very much on small prairies and panniers so i understand.

 

The west end of Frome is not a bad idea but while the train shed provides a good scenic break at one end the other end in the real world would have t rely on subterfuge such as trees and buildings to provide a visual break.  The big advantage it has over Hendford is teh far greater complexity of sidings and traffic plus the small engine shed (which played host to plenty of panniers).   Again I think perhaps motre of an 'inspiration for' rather than a slavish copy of original traffic patterns if the OP wishes to follow the motive power thoughts he has in mind.

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16 hours ago, Schooner said:

The maximum potenial space is c.42'x22'. Access is primarily central, from above, or optionally midway along the right-hand 22' wall. This is very much a limit, not a target. The usual drive to use space efficently still exists. The available area may be near-infinite, but time is  currently non-existant (hence all the layout planning) and funds are likely to have reachable limits.

 

Abundant space, but limited funds, are going to lead to some necessary restrictions that in the long run could prove beneficial by forcing a focus on what is really needed/wanted.

 

Also be aware of the drawbacks of 7mm - both the depth problems as mentioned by Harlequin but also the minimum radius in 7mm eating into your wall lengths and the length causing a lot of walking (good if you want exercise!).  While your 42' will allow a lot of track layouts to be built to scale even in 7mm, having to repeatedly walk back and forth along 25' to 30' to do switching will become tedious quickly.  Thus in my Kingsbridge idea below make Kingsbridge suitable for a rolling chair perhaps...

 

A lot will depend on just how accurate you wish to be, or can you exercise rule 1 in terms of rolling stock.

 

I agree with Harlequin on the idea of Kingsbridge, in a large part because that is an idea I have had in the back of my head for over a year now if space and money allowed a 7mm layout.

 

There is a thread on the Kingsbridge branch on here, and while it didn't have your wanted 43xx it does have the advantage of a lot of the stuff used on the line (at least in the 1950s) is available in 7mm.

 

My thoughts were along the line  of having Kingsbridge as a lower level, and then the track winding around the room to Gara Bridge, and then finally to either Brent or a fiddle yard.  Depending on room size Gara Bridge could either be on the opposite long wall, or even above Kingsbridge.  If you use the opposite wall, then Brent could be put in above Kinsbridge.  This gives some nice rural Devon scenery to travel through to actually get to the next station, and the connecting sections could be only 12" to 18" deep to save on both building and scenery.

 

If you include Brent, then one could have an upper level roundy servicing Brent, with the Kingsbridge branch descending from Brent on the inside.  Leave most of the roundy as bare wood.

 

Discussion of what operated on the Kingsbridge branch:

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the kindly and helpful responses, lots of excellent stuff to inform a first battleplan :)

 

22 hours ago, DavidCBroad said:

Did I mention Frome sounds good

Well noted! Having a quick play this evening, it's certainly my preferred option from those three (more below)...

 

15 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

The west end of Frome is not a bad idea but while the train shed provides a good scenic break at one end the other end in the real world would have t rely on subterfuge such as trees and buildings to provide a visual break.  The big advantage it has over Hendford is teh far greater complexity of sidings and traffic plus the small engine shed (which played host to plenty of panniers).   Again I think perhaps motre of an 'inspiration for' rather than a slavish copy of original traffic patterns if the OP wishes to follow the motive power thoughts he has in mind.

Yes, I was wondering about the other end! I wonder if scale-height trees (so rare because of their size) as a riverside copse would allow for both the embankment and a decent scenic break...

 

I had a go at Frome in SCARM tonight, using the Peco code 124 bullhead library, and found that with a little compression and selection, Frome fits in a 20' run rather nicely...then I got distracted by something else, and forgot to save so nothing to show for it now, sorry!

 

22 hours ago, Harlequin said:

Something like Kingsbridge, perhaps? (Edit: But route availability is not sufficient.)

An excellent call, it's one of those that is always worth investigating! Didn't get there tonight, but I'll definitely pop Kingsbridge in the Inspiration Book! As for route availability, it's within range of Rule One I reckon :)

 

19 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

The "Warwickshire Railways" website is a phenomenally good free research resource.

Isn't it just!

 

19 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

former passenger terminus turned goods depot (Henley-in-Arden)

Dingdingding! All your suggestions were new to me, it's not a part of the world I'm too familiar with, and all were interesting to follow up. The one which really caught my attention was Henley-in-Arden. It's ticking an awful lot of boxes for me. A very rough first crack at it in SCARM yielded this:

1811855249_henleyogaugev1.jpg.d3cadb077b6e713690435ad409cf728e.jpg

The old station based closely on 1:25 inch OS (too early, but accurate). The new station cobbled together whilst looking at the 1930 aerial photos hosted by Britain From Above, and those hosted by Warwickshire Railwaysgwrha467.jpg but is just representative for now. Capacities are, I think, something like 6 x carriages at the new station, and about 12 wagons in the headshunt for the old which sounds like plenty to be getting on with :)

 

8 hours ago, mdvle said:

 

A lot will depend on just how accurate you wish to be, or can you exercise rule 1 in terms of rolling stock.

Informed by reality - the learing and research is an enjoyable part of the hobby for me -  but not a slave to it. Rule 1 has plenty of scope, particularly with stock :)

 

8 hours ago, mdvle said:

hat is an idea I have had

What an idea it is! That would be an amazing thing to accomplish...intimidatingly large though...!

 

Thanks again for all the useful comments. More investigation to be done in the coming weeks, in between further research for my claustophobic little 00 Docklands proposition :).

 

Cheers,

 

Schooner

 

ps.

19 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

My experience, BTW, is that a single-garage-sized layout, let alone one as big as you have room for, really needs a fair bit of time put into it (more than I can actually find!), so unless your time ashore is entirely devoid of other calls on time you might want to think in terms of using only part of the space for "developed layout area", and completing the circuit (essential IMO) as a non-scenified loop with a bit of train storage (you will end-up buying too many!).

Well noted also. These larger plans aren't feasible until I'm shoreside permanently, and I'm in no particular hurry. More time to learn and plan! Even the smaller brickworks or docks ideas are more than could be attempted in the foreseeable future...not that anyone can see very far at the moment...

Edited by Schooner
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The thread title is "O gauge GWR branch shunting layout", you said in the OP that shunting was your interest, time and funds were limited and that the room size was a limit not a target.

 

And yet your design above shows a double track roundy-round that fills the entire space...

 

Just sayin', that's all... :wink_mini:

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Really glad you chose Henley-in-Arden, a very characterful place which I’d love to build myself in a different style - coarse scale, the initial terminus in pre-WW1 condition, using as much genuinely pre-WW1 model railway material as possible. It would cost several mortgages though, because although many suitable things were made at that time, they are all now super-rate and mega-collectible!

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The track plan has nowhere for the trains to go.  You can run a train clockwise, and shunt to run anticlockwise but add a second train and one goes clockwise and the other anticlockwise and that's about it.  Nowhere for the first to go while the second reverses. The goods headshunt restricts train length and the cost is getting very serious, O gauge points are expensive either in cost or hours. I would suggest some non scenic sidings or loops so stock can stay on the layout clear of the running lines.  O gauge stock likes being handled and dropped if anything less than smaller scales which themselves aren't improved by dropping on the deck, (Playcraft class 21 excepted)  See doodle A for two suggestions (shaded areas)   With all that space I would stick in a return loop by raising the goods yard so a loop could go under (b) and I  would definitely use a simpler track plan for the goods yard.

Screenshot (324)a.png

Screenshot (324)b.png

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11 hours ago, Schooner said:

 A very rough first crack at it in SCARM yielded this:

1811855249_henleyogaugev1.jpg.d3cadb077b6e713690435ad409cf728e.jpg

 

While to a certain extent you are just playing around at the moment, remember sizes in O - the upper left of this layout has a lot of track that (as currently drawn) is unreachable.

 

Depending on whether this space would be dedicated to the layout, or need to allow other uses, the space is big enough for some benchwork to jut out in peninsula's.

 

Admittedly it will be a big if, but if you decide to go for something of a larger layout then perhaps consider looking at some American track plans - not for the track layouts, but to see how they are used to using the entire room and not just running around the walls.

 

11 hours ago, Schooner said:

What an idea it is! That would be an amazing thing to accomplish...intimidatingly large though...!

 

Kingsbridge (or something like it) has some advantages, and it doesn't have to be intimidatingly large.

 

Once you remove the goods wagons (and photos show the yard at Kingsbridge with a fair number of wagons), in terms of accurate-to-the-branch stuff you can get away with say 2 locos, and at most might need 3.  Coaching stock can be the B-Set (available from Lionheart).  Or if you go towards the end you can use a Class 121/122.  And be done.

 

Going for the Summer Saturday coaching stock could be entirely optional.

 

To start (and really all you need to build) is Kingsbridge itself and a small fiddle yard.  Nothing says the rest of the branch need to be built.

 

But if one ever decided to go beyond just building Kingsbridge then Gara Bridge is a simple place with passing loop and signal box and a siding.  As pointed out, keep the shelving narrow to join the areas and while it won't be cheap (the length of track still adds up in a room of your size) it also doesn't have to be as bad as a normal shelf section that is 2' or more deep (this again may be a case to look at the Americans, who with their basement empires have moved more to the narrow 12" or so shelves to cut down on the amount of scenery required - not the sort of problem most UK layouts have).

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I haven't seen anyone comment on the corner curves.  To my eye they look like 4' rad.  IMO this is not big enough and 6' rad or larger would be better.

 

My layout resides in my "basement empire", but I really don't have a lot of usable space, 11' x 20'.  I positioned mine on the diagonal giving me 21' of length (5' sector plate) with 18" at the end to permit my corporation to get to the work room.

 

P1010175.JPG.3dda4c992a6939930bcc93c1a45ddb59.JPG

 

John

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Posted (edited)
On 25/05/2020 at 08:27, Harlequin said:

 

And yet your design above shows a double track roundy-round that fills the entire space...

Oops... :angel: 

You are of course, quite right! It was a bit of a deviation from what I had in mind, but such a interesting prototype seemed worth a little investigation, and I'm glad I did :)

 

Modelling time is not just tight, but non-existant. The hobby for me is, for the foreseeable future, in the learning and the planning and the research. Not everyone's cup of tea, but suits me for now. The silver lining is the time to invest in playing with silly layout ideas I'll never build (working towards one I will), and more time for the piggy bank to be topped up. The OP money comment was mostly to indicate awareness that a warchest that would seem generous for 00 is...well...less generous when working in O and looking at RTR!

 

On 25/05/2020 at 10:52, Nearholmer said:

...using as much genuinely pre-WW1 model railway material as possible.

That would be a wonderful thing to see... Kickstarter campaign?!

 

On 25/05/2020 at 12:32, DavidCBroad said:

The track plan has nowhere for the trains to go. 

True, and thanks for your thoughts. All good food for thought when I return to looking at Henley-in-Ardent :)

 

On 25/05/2020 at 14:37, mdvle said:

the upper left of this layout has a lot of track that (as currently drawn) is unreachable.

Noted. As you say, it was just a quick sketch of a plan but it's a factor that very much needs to be born in mind, as I'm finding!

On 25/05/2020 at 14:37, mdvle said:

but to see how they are used to using the entire room and not just running around the walls.

A good idea, and a bit of a guilty Youtube pleasure for me! However, I think it might push me in a direction I'm actively trying to avoid with this layout idea (I've a 00 plan for the same space in the works, which absolutely leans on some of those US tropes). Aiming for a restricted scenic section with plenty of operational potential to get absorbed in, with a bare circuit or loop for longer trains to get a decent run. Not what I indicated with the Henley-in-Ardent sketch, but it is what I've got in mind, honest!

 

On 25/05/2020 at 14:46, brossard said:

I haven't seen anyone comment on the corner curves.  To my eye they look like 4' rad.  IMO this is not big enough and 6' rad or larger would be better.

Excellent info, thank you. You're quite right - they are c.4'. They are also the only set curves in the SCARM library I was using (Peco Bullhead, code 124), used for convenience :) Thanks also for the photo, that looks like a great trackplan and I've enjoyed catching up with your layout topic. Lots of good info I'll be stealing, cheers :)

 

Time's even tighter than usual at the moment, but recent scufflings about in SCARM have used Frome and Fowey as starting points for 'large' and 'little' (-ish) options:

983960766_0Frome.jpg.9e1c275e4436f69d6b673447bff8f8a7.jpg

'Frome' has been compressed a fair bit, the goods shed shifted entirely as a result (and to ease shunting the end-loading dock), and a carriage siding marmaladed in. Photographs of Frome show it packed, almost without exception, so plenty of sidings full of stock would help the model achieve the atmosphere of the real thing. Otherwise fairly close to the real thing, albeit with trackwork 50 years earlier than the intended 1930s era that the stock will represent :)

 

1622431839_0Foweyv1.jpg.7a0eb0034d7cc419e7c932f8efb21ae5.jpg

Again, this was done looking at an 1880s trackplan, and then messing about with it from there. It helps to have history do some of the selective compression and omission, especially as I'm very happy with an 'inspired by' approach and will be taking a staunch pro-Rule One positon with the stock roster! The intent will be to model absolutely to the best of my ability, but to acknowledge that they are not museum comissions and 'just' grown-up (hah!) toy trains - fun to build and fun to use - and aim for emotive as much as technically accurate scenes. 

 

Anyway, that's all too far in the future to worry about so for now, thanks everyone for your help so far, your time now and any feedbackto come. Always keen to hear it :)

 

Cheers,

 

Schooner

 

 

 

Edited by Schooner

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Reading the original post brings up 2 main limits to what you can do; your space is impressive even in 7mm scale, but your time and cash are more limited.  First the bad news; 7mm is expensive if you buy RTR but, because of the need for greater detail and need for more scratchbuilding, also more time consuming and just as expensive; triple whammy.  Now for the good news; you don't want much.  A bit of shunting and a 43xx turning up, presumably with a B set or similar, now and then.  You don't need double track main lines or complex station layouts to do that, or to shell out for 10 coach expresses at £3k a pop!

 

I'd suggest a rethink to a single track through line on a continuous run around what sounds like a basement from your description but could be a vast underground chamber of a salt mine or something, with a junction and a branch.  There is, I contend, time and money for one station, which is either the junction or the branch terminus; I would go for the second of these options.  The single track line runs around the walls and there is no railway more than 2 feet from the edge of it's baseboards so that everything can be reached.  Except for the junction it is plain track but one side can have off-scene fiddle yard loops, about 4 or 5 of them.  The end curves can be up to 11' radius and will be very impressive.  Coming off one of them will be the junction, which has a passing loop and probably a refuge siding.  The branch will curve away from the wal towards the centre of the basement/cellar/salt mine/abandoned nuclear bunker storage facility/whatever on a set of trestles carrying baseboards about a foot wide, or a little more with scenery, which can be approached from both sides.  An S shaped curve of about 8' radius will bring it to the centre of the space where it can fan out into the sidings that will provide the shunting you want and the passenger terminus; this can be up to about 5' wide.  The 'island' baseboards for this will stop at about 6 feet from the continuous run circuit's baseboards at the other end of the space.  A goods yard might be provided as a kickback from this to occupy the area at the other end of the space.  The loop at the junction can start on the end 180 degree curve and the actual junction, the start of the branch, will be about 6 or 8 feet along the straight.  

 

Plenty of operation in this and you don't need vast amounts of stock to run it.  As I've said, the station can be at the junction and the branch a purely goods operation as an alternative.  You can run trains in each direction around the outer circuit, and pass them at the loop at the junction.  You can run trains from the fy direct to the branch in one direction, and they can return the way they came, holding a through train in the loop while this takes place, or you can run goods trains from the fy to or from the branch in the other direction which have to run around to change direction at the junction.  You don't need more than 2 locos but have room for more than that if you want, and the layout as I've described can't hold more than 4 trains in the fy anyway, so you can stock it without breaking the bank as you don't need any more than 4 rakes.  You can run it well enough with 2..  You will have plenty of room to move around, especially if the branch terminus platform is situated dead centre of the island baseboards and you don't have to access that area for operating.  If the normal operating position is at the throat of the terminus, the fy can be on the wall behind it, so you don't have to spend so much time walking up and down this 42' cavern; this is well within the limits of an office chair being pushed off with your feet assuming the floor is reasonably smooth!

 

 

 

How does that sound!

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If you can avoid the temptation to fill every sq cm of the layout with track, then a simple BLT should fit the bill. 

 

As for cost, Minerva and Dapol produce some lovely locos for not a lot more money than an 00 loco ~ 200.00.  Heljan do RTR GWR locos but these cost more.

 

Wagons, whether RTR or kit are, perversely, on pretty much the same price point ~40.00.  The choice for RTR wagons is nowhere near as extensive as the choice for 00 RTR.  I think I prefer kits because the choice is vastly better.

 

Coaches will set you back a bit coming in around 200.00 each.  However, a BLT may have a autotrain or B set so I think that is manageable.  Besides shunting goods stock is more interesting than passenger working.

 

John

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2 hours ago, The Johnster said:

 

How does that sound!

Bloody brilliant :) Plenty there to keep me quiet for a while - thank you! 

 

2 hours ago, brossard said:

If you can avoid the temptation to fill every sq cm of the layout with track

Shhh...! Thanks for the excellent info on stock costs. It's one thing to check retailers' websites, but much better to hear from someone who knows :)

 

There goes my early night...

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5 hours ago, The Johnster said:

I'd suggest a rethink to a single track through line on a continuous run around what sounds like a basement from your description but could be a vast underground chamber of a salt mine or something, with a junction and a branch.  There is, I contend, time and money for one station, which is either the junction or the branch terminus; I would go for the second of these options.

 

Which perhaps brings us back to Kingsbridge, as first brought up by Harlequin and then myself.

 

Create a loop of track, then a branch to Kingsbridge.  As mentioned simple stock required for accurate recreation is mainly available in RTR (B-set, maybe Class 122 if wanted, can't remember the steam locos offhand but could get away with 1 or 2) and the wanted 43xx could be a rule 1 substitute on test from Newton Abbot.

 

To start all that really needs to be modelled is Kingsbridge.  If the layout is enjoyable then there are possibilities if time/funds permit to expand to include Gara Bridge or Brent.

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Thought occurred overnight, another possibility is to take some of the designs for a small BLT that have appeared on here for OO and simply do some scaling up, with some compression on depth as necessary.

 

So perhaps something like Lambstead would be of interest and could be modified to work in O - something that offers opportunities but as the same time is simple enough that the trackwork won't overwhelm a budget and could be a useful first attempt to learn with in O.

 

 

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Kingsbridge gets my vote, maybe a little licence used, or even add the extension that never got built and you have a roundy-roundy as well.

 

Out of curiosity has anyone drawn Kingsbridge in 7mm on templot or similar to see how much space is actually needed for a good representation?

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Posted (edited)

It’s all down to Cap’n Schooner’s choice as to what goes in the salt mine (or is it actually the hold of a beached collier?), but I’m very much with what Johnster says, effectively KISS, with a simple circuit and a terminus, certainly to cut your teeth on.

 

Henley-in-Arden old terminus, maybe with the addition of a long straggly siding to a mill or something to add to shuntability.

 

I keep banging-on about H-in-A, because it was suburban, not rural, which gives just a bit of extra operating interest with the through business trains. 
 

Set it in 1956, rather than c1905, but assume that it remained as a full terminus.

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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Posted (edited)
On 15/06/2020 at 09:25, M51625 said:

Kingsbridge gets my vote, maybe a little licence used, or even add the extension that never got built and you have a roundy-roundy as well.

 

Out of curiosity has anyone drawn Kingsbridge in 7mm on templot or similar to see how much space is actually needed for a good representation?

 

603257683_Annotation2020-06-16152921.jpg.847b241e3b073945b688c797b73ca22a.jpg

 

Depending on the amount of curve you went for, acceptable level of compression etc but c.30' x 6' would do it comfortably. Sorry about out-dated map, see here for more relevant trackplan. SCARM version to follow...

 

Continued thanks all for the useful suggestions. Plenty to think about and work on, but it seems pursuing a plain circuit with a branch to terminus would be both desirable and attainable so I'll put some effort in that direction. Kingsbridge is a great prototype, and well worth investigation; H-in-A still has me intrigued also, so expect a more thought-through look in that direction in time :) 

 

@mdvle is quite right, and I will go back over previously discounted plans - there's always inspiration to be found, and I might well have just been in a particularly churlish mood! On a related note, I wonder if @Harlequin might be overly modest in what layouts make it to his blog...I remember several interesting trackplans (one with a kickback off loop to a mill stands out in my memory) which aren't featured in the album. Lamstead and Little Fairford remain utterly charming, of course :)

 

Just in case I find myself with too much free time, the recent developments in the Minories thread and at Castle Aching have also started me thinking along different lines:

1966929636_Annotation2020-06-161529221.jpg.1bb2ae3b52dbc4c518477b73ecc51ea8.jpg

Here, shunting happens not at one location large/complex enough to maintain interest for an extended period but at several linked locations. Each one could then be smaller (with all the attendant benefits), but the network would provide both the complexity and the rationale to moves. I don't know if the idea's got legs, but there's only one way to find out... :)

 

Cheers all,

 

Schooner

Edited by Schooner
Spellink

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I can recommend two multi volume books:

 

Stephen Williams' "Great Western Branchline Modelling":  https://britishrailwaybooks.co.uk/books/ISBN/0906867959.php  3 volumes.  First two volumes discuss prototype, third volume covers the building of 4mm layout Faringdon.

 

Paul Karau's "Great Western Branchline Termini".  2 volumes that I know of.  Covers several stations in detail including track plans, and scale drawings of buildings. 

 

John

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On 23/05/2020 at 21:05, Schooner said:

The layout would be for one operator (the norm, there are up to four interested parties but this is not a major consideration), and sessions would likely be in the 2-4 hour region. No exhibition day-long marathons, no 15-minute-solution shunting puzzles. Automation is an area of interest for me, as are any dock/quayside links the railway might have.

 

So a bit if a step to the side to maybe help you figure out what you need to get what you want.

 

My suggestion is a brief visit to Canada - specifically an S scale layout called Port Rowan in 1:64. (only because I am aware of it, other might be able to come up with UK O examples).

 

Layout is in a 15'x30' room, 2 towns but only 8 turnouts and a 4 track sector plate.

 

The key points, relative to your wishes, is that an operating session is 75 to 90 minutes even on this "simple" track plan - that is largely the result of working to emulate the real thing (think observing real track speeds, the time it really takes to couple/uncouple, doing a bit of "paperwork" all of which eats up time when shunting).

 

In other words, a bigger passenger station or other layout design with lots of track is not necessarily the only way to get hours of operation so maybe this helps you ponder your options.

 

This layout only has a handful of rolling stock, and while now close to being complete is the result of 10 years of work.

 

He recently did a presentation online, this is a link to his presentation - while the entire thing doesn't take long to scroll through and much of it is about the challenges (or not) of S the current layout portion starts on p32 with the track plan with following pages showing the small amount of equipment for the layout.

http://www.7divpnr.ca/railwaymodellersmeetofbc.ca/sites/default/files/2020 clinic presentations/RMMBC-2020-PortRowan-Handout.pdf

 

And for those interested a link to bunch of layout photos on his new blog (sadly a lot of stuff from his old blog is no longer available, though he has reposted some of it).

https://themodelrailwaydotshow.wordpress.com/port-rowan-in-164/

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Posted (edited)

How interesting.  I'm acquainted with Trevor through our connection with Brian Dickey's 7mm layout Roweham:

 

http://themodelrailwayshow.com/LayoutDesign/?p=3485

 

I had the pleasure of being part of the operating team, along with Trevor, when the layout was at GBTS in Brampton ON in 2018.

 

Discovered this video.  I was delighted to see some of my mineral wagons on one of the trains.

 

 

John

Edited by brossard
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The Canadian layout is interesting, I guess it was freight only when modelled, but the 4-6-0s and turntable put it in a different league to most UK branches. The concept is good though and the track plan more prototypically accurate for the UK than the vast majority seem to be.  Rowenham looks like a collection of exquisite models displayed on a model squeezing a litre into a pint pot.

As Schooner's plans now include a square oval, its probably worth laying down some design parameters.   The GWR seemed to go for a four turnout track plan for branch stations circa 1890/ 1900.  Turnchapel branch and Wrington Vale used them for through and terminus stations. A loop and two long sidings.  Nothing fancy, no shunting necks or kick backs and they are fun to shunt, if you have enough main line to draw out a decent train. See my doodle.  If the available main line C is less than siding length D you have trouble drawing out the wagons against the buffers.  B is the loop length which is the limit on train length, and A is the length between  the loop points and buffers which limits loco length.  Mine is deliberately long enough for a 22XX or Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0 but too short for a 43XX or Manor.

Again the square oval  would work well with a couple of stations with sidings and a set of Marshalling or sorting sidings.   Goods sidings need room for carts to get alongside wagons so they can be unloaded, so a wide spacing is usually employed so carts can get between roads, sometimes they are paired with access from both sides, especially in larger yards.  

Sorting sidings just need enough room for the blokes to get to apply handbrakes uncouple etc so equally spaced roads were the norm,  some of them were parallel loops for all the world like fiddle yards.  Over Junction at Gloucester had no through running so  trains had to reverse in or out.  The Forest of Dean also had some good ones.  Sorting sidings often had a pilot loco on duty, maybe 24 hours with almost continuous movement breaking up and assembling trains while goods yards concentrated on loading and unloading wagons and were shunted once or twice a day, or maybe three times a week

I like to start from first principals rather than condense a full size track layout as you can find  some aspects become so truncated as to be operationally useless. Especially run rounds and short sidings, and not having enough room to draw wagons out of a siding without doing a yo yo impression with the loco.   The weakness with the square oval will be finding somewhere for the passenger to lurk when the goods is operating. Passengers had priority in steam days and had to run to time. I tried a doodle but it didn't work.  Give @Harlequin another nudge.

Screenshot (337).jpg

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