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pgcroc

First and last layout

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Hi Everyone.

This is my first, and probably last, attempt to build a layout. My knowledge of actual railway workings is miniscule.

I have decided to go public with my attempt after a lot of head scratching and fear.

I retired in 2011 after working abroad for 35 years and need something to keep me out of mischief.

I joined RMweb in January last year and have been lurking here ever since trying to pick up ideas.

Collection of locos and wagons started around 16 years ago so I have some ‘old’ stuff which may have to be sold.

It was planned to build it in a spare bedroom after the kids flew the nest but as all plans we make, it went awry. Kids got married, had kids and SWMBO decided to repurpose one spare room for overnight stays of small kids and the other for our large kids.

However, I have managed to get the garage after selling my car which I was hardly using and costing me loadsa money. Refurbished said garage and had the baseboards built and installed.

Since last year I have been trying to come up with a layout design. I have changed it so often that it is driving me nuts!

It will be 00 gauge and operated by DCC, sometime around 1965/7 with GWR steam but with some modern oil burners coming out at night when nobody can see them

All curves are a minimum radius of 20” but most are 22” plus.

I have put in 3 tunnels as ordered requested by SWMBO. She has a thing for tunnels – do not ask!

It has been ‘designed’ using SCARM.

Now I am stuck in Cyprus. I should have gone home 17 days ago but the flight was cancelled. My next flight is 6th July (?) so I thought I would try and get the layout design finished by the time I get home. Then full steam ahead!

It is obvious that many on this forum have a level of knowledge that I will never attain so would be grateful for any suggestions/brickbats. I will not be offended in any way.

Pete

IMG_1866.JPG

Layout 10_6_20.JPG

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Hi Pete,

 

You've got a great space there and you can certainly do something wonderful with it.

 

If you were designing from scratch you might not make the baseboards exactly like that but, fair enough, they are what they are and will do a good job. You might have trouble reaching into the corners, though.

 

If the fiddle yard really is for fiddling then you shouldn't cover it up because you'll need to get at it. If it's just storage loops then you could cover it but you will still need access somehow to clean the tracks. rescue derailments, etc. Covered tracks also need a bit more infrastructure so that you know what's in there.

 

You can probably make some of the curves wider and if you make everything more plausiibly railway-like you're onto a good thing.

 

My initial suggestions:

  • Remove the outer light blue track and connect the FY loops to the two main tracks, dark blue and purple so that traffic can reverse
  • Remove the scissors crossovers and bring the two main tracks together as a parallel pair of main running lines, as far as you can. Add simple crossovers as needed.
  • Rationalise the yellow line so that it' serving a clear non-passenger role, maybe a goods-only line, maybe a long neck connecting the main station with it's goods yard and/or engine shed. (Maybe not forming a full circuit.)
  • And then maybe make the passenger station more interesting - make it longer with maybe some more platforms. (You can start the platform loops in the curve.)

 

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Hi Harlequin

 

Many thanks for your comments. Appreciated.

 

I intended to make high level scenic sections in one piece for the 2 right hand corners and lift them into place. Should not have to move them again. Then it is only around 30" to the outside track from the well.

Perhaps I should not have said fiddle yard. Yes, storage yard for the 'night trains', fixed rakes. I thought that I would put open arches at the top to hold up the houses and road. I have to investigate how big the openings are to get my hand in if required.

 

I think (?) I know what you mean regarding your first suggestion.

I assume you mean the north and east scissor connections in your second suggestion.

I am not clear about what you mean in your third suggestion.

I am quite happy to have longer and curved platforms although I cannot see where I can put in more platforms.

 

I was hoping to get 3 running lines.

If you have some time could you mark up my layout to show me what you mean please? (A bit cheeky I know)

 

Many thanks

Pete 

 

 

 

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Hi Harlequin

 

Many thanks for your comments. Appreciated.

 

I intended to make high level scenic sections in one piece for the 2 right hand corners and lift them into place. Should not have to move them again. Then it is only around 30" to the outside track from the well.

Perhaps I should not have said fiddle yard. Yes, storage yard for the 'night trains', fixed rakes. I thought that I would put open arches at the top to hold up the houses and road. I have to investigate how big the openings are to get my hand in if required.

 

I think (?) I know what you mean regarding your first suggestion.

I assume you mean the north and east scissor connections in your second suggestion.

I am not clear about what you mean in your third suggestion.

I am quite happy to have longer and curved platforms although I cannot see where I can put in more.

 

I was hoping to get 3 running lines.

If you have some time could you mark up my layout to show me what you mean please? (A bit cheeky I know)

 

Many thanks

Pete 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

GWR Steam ended on 31 Dec 1965, Kings ended in 1962 which is why I try for 1957-62, pre blue grey and pre yellow warning panel.   LMS steam soldiered on until August 1968.   

3 Running lines is very unusual in the UK and 3 with one of them bi directional is even more unusual especially in steam days, The signalling got very complicated and you needed passing loops on the Bi directional  lines.  Much more a North American thing.

You could tidy up your design.   Was it done is SCARM?  If so try AnyRail.  Those scissor crossovers are sods to source or build  in OO  (though Peco do them in N)  and if you use ready to lay track end up 3 tracks wide not 2.  Basically if you hope to use Peco OO forget them.

The FY design is not great. All trains leaving clockwise do so round a reverse curve which is not a good idea.  Shift the pointwork to the right and have the right most point a left coming off the curve and you eliminate the reverse curve and gain some length. [ Edit  You can also save space on non visual areas by having all your curves the same radius, all 3rd maybe instead of 3rd/ 4th/ 2ft/ 2ft 2" etc End]

The layout needs somewhere for trains to run to and from. Not in your imagination but physically. 

Stations with two platforms and separate through roads between, were an early 20th century innovation and I often wish I hadn't modelled one as so often a passenger train stops and a goods overtakes, that almost never happened on the full size railways.   I would look at some of  Harlequin's designs for inspiration if I were you.  Edit  Forgot the doodle.

 

Screenshot (366).png

Edited by DavidCBroad
Forgot the doodle
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36 minutes ago, DavidCBroad said:

GWR Steam ended on 31 Dec 1965, Kings ended in 1962 which is why I try for 1957-62, pre blue grey and pre yellow warning panel.   LMS steam soldiered on until August 1968.   

3 Running lines is very unusual in the UK and 3 with one of them bi directional is even more unusual especially in steam days, The signalling got very complicated and you needed passing loops on the Bi directional  lines.  Much more a North American thing.

You could tidy up your design.   Was it done is SCARM?  If so try AnyRail.  Those scissor crossovers are sods to source or build  in OO  (though Peco do them in N)  and if you use ready to lay track end up 3 tracks wide not 2.  Basically if you hope to use Peco OO forget them.

The FY design is not great. All trains leaving clockwise do so round a reverse curve which is not a good idea.  Shift the pointwork to the right and have the right most point a left coming off the curve and you eliminate the reverse curve and gain some length.

The layout needs somewhere for trains to run to and from. Not in your imagination but physically. 

Stations with two platforms and separate through roads between, were an early 20th century innovation and I often wish I hadn't modelled one as so often a passenger train stops and a goods overtakes, that almost never happened on the full size railways.   I would look at some of  Harlequin's designs for inspiration if I were you.

 

Thanks David, (and Harlequin). 

It was done in SCARM.

I have looked at all of Harlequin's designs and very good they are too.

Perhaps I am asking too much with 3 roundy round lines. I will go to 2.

I think I need to go back to the drawing board.

Here we go again with revision 23,567!

Thanks to you both for taking the time to review it.

Cheers

Pete

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You can have 3 circuits if you want but to make it more plausible you could either:

  • treat the third track as a long goods loop, keep it close to the double track and have some simple crossovers.
  • or make it more distant and say that it's a completely separate line - almost a branch line.

I'm sure people could suggest other ideas.

 

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24 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

You can have 3 circuits if you want but to make it more plausible you could either:

  • treat the third track as a long goods loop, keep it close to the double track and have some simple crossovers.
  • or make it more distant and say that it's a completely separate line - almost a branch line.

I'm sure people could suggest other ideas.

 

Many thanks Harlequin.

I might scrub the lot and start again bearing in mind David's and your comments.

At least I don't have to redesign the baseboard - as you said it is what it is.

There is at least nearly 4 more weeks here.

Once again, thanks.

Pete  

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I'd suggest you start by looking at some real life locations that interest you, and see what you can take from them. 

 

If having 3 circuits is essential to you then there will be believable ways of having that, for example, but it might clash with something else you want. It's usually not the way to satisfaction if you start playing in anyrail (or similar) before you've decided what you must have and what you can compromise on.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Pete, from the photo it looks like you’ve got a good inventory of Streamline track and points (and some track spacing gauges) ready to get off to a flying start when you get home, as well as some boards just waiting to be built on.

 

From the photo and the draft plan, it looks like an engine shed scene / Motive Power Depot may also be something you’re interested in - there are some great layouts where that’s either the main focus or a key element if you want to go down that route (and there’ll be folk around who can help design one to fit your GW / mixed steam-diesel preference - NB: I’m not one of them).

 

Three things I hope may be helpful if I can pass them on:

 

1. Don’t worry -  the people on the Forum are enthusiasts who want to see you enjoy the hobby - as well as knowing loads about the subject.  There’s some good advice in the posts above already for example.
 

2.  When it comes to planning, I’d really support the view that “less is more.”  Having a simpler plan with room to breathe (ie: making good use of Streamline track), can be the key to sustaining interest throughout the build phase and afterwards - from what you say, you want this layout to last.  It looks like you’re already set up to build a nice layout - building something that may look less convoluted on paper may turn out to be more enjoyable too, and bring the day when trains are running a bit nearer.

 

3.  Keep that fridge / freezer well-stocked with suitable refreshments when you get home.  Have fun, Keith.

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
(Autocorrect)
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1 hour ago, Zomboid said:

I'd suggest you start by looking at some real life locations that interest you, and see what you can take from them. 

I appreciate what you are saying Zomboid. As I said in the beginning I have no experience either in the railway real or model worlds.

I'm not looking for somebody to design a layout for me.

Looking again at my design again I suppose it does look a bit like a trainset rather than a layout.

There are many pictures on my computer of real and model railways that I look at. Perhaps too many.

As you, Harlequin and David have said maybe 3 circuits are too much.

I will start a new simpler design.

38 minutes ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

Hi Pete, from the photo it looks like you’ve got a good inventory of Streamline track and points (and some track spacing gauges) ready to get off to a flying start when you get home, as well as some boards just waiting to be built on.

Thanks for the kind words Keith.

 

1) Yes, I have seen this over the last year or so of lurking on this forum. I suppose I am guilty of being a newcomer of trying to get as much track on the board as possible. You should see some of my early ones!

I am not trying to replicate any real life situations. A fictional one will do me, bits of which will probably be plagiarised from other people's efforts.

 

2) Yes, I see that suggestion repeated over and over. Less is more.

This is now what I shall follow.

 

3) This has already been done, (unless my wife has drunk it all).

 

Once again, many thanks to all.

 

Back to the drawing board.

Pete

 

 

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What I meant about rationalising the yellow line is that:

It passes through the main station but without making any connection to the main running lines.

Even though it makes no connection there is an engine shed complex connected to the yellow line so there's no direct way for locos on the main running lines to access the shed - they have to run up the line to the crossovers on the other side of the room and then round or back again.

On the other side of the room (North) the yellow line seems to have a passenger platform for itself but no traffic on the main running lines can access that platform.

 

It's OK to spread the elements of one station around the room but they need to be connected in a practical way.

 

(Your goods yard is bit too minimal, BTW.)

 

It's a difficult puzzle to solve but as others have said the first step is to work out exactly what you want - the things that you are not willing to compromise on.

 

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1 hour ago, pgcroc said:

There are many pictures on my computer of real and model railways that I look at. Perhaps too many.

 

Is there a theme, or anything common, to the pictures that you like - something that perhaps you would like to attempt on your model layout?

 

If there any particular images that really provide inspiration, can you post links to them (or something similiar) that are online so we can get an idea of what you want?

 

Are you more into passenger, more into goods, or both?

 

City/rural?

 

Do you want an emphasis on putting trains on to run in circles and sit in a chair and watch, or do you want to do more like emulate the real railway working a goods yard?

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6 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

What I meant about rationalising the yellow line is that:

It passes through the main station but without making any connection to the main running lines.

 

This is where I am obviously wrong. I considered the yellow line to be one of the 3 running lines. Yes, for any of the other 2 to access the north station they would have to run around the layout one and a half times. I see that now.

However, I have now decided to only have 2 main lines.

 

20 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

Even though it makes no connection there is an engine shed complex connected to the yellow line so there's no direct way for locos on the main running lines to access the shed - they have to run up the line to the crossovers on the other side of the room and then round or back again.

Yes, once again you are correct. I was aware of this but thought it would a bit more interesting.

 

22 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

(Your goods yard is bit too minimal, BTW.)

I knew that the goods yard was minimal. I left it like that so I could do something with it once the rest has been done. I've had a look at CJF's small booklets I have with me but other books that have been delivered on goods yards are at home. No access at the moment. 

 

Really, other than the tunnels, OO gauge, and DCC I am not too bothered what I have as long as it's interesting.

 

I will start on a new layout tomorrow.

 

Many thanks

Pete

 

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Posted (edited)
On 10/06/2020 at 17:54, pgcroc said:

 

 

 

I knew that the goods yard was minimal. I left it like that so I could do something with it once the rest has been done. I've had a look at CJF's small booklets I have with me but other books that have been delivered on goods yards are at home. No access at the moment. 

 

 

 

Many thanks

Pete

 

Now you have mentioned the CJF booklets there are a couple of plans that spring to mind if you have the booklet.

In 'Track Plans' (I have 2nd edition from 1974) plans P7 and P8 are two that might be worth expanding as you have much more room.

P7 has 2 running circuits for passenger, and a third circuit that serves as a goods relief.

P8 has 2 running circuits for passenger, another circuit for goods. Also a 4th relief line which forms a half circuit to link the station with the loco shed area.

Both plans would let you leave two trains running while you either shunt the goods, or move locos to and from your shed area.

 

Good luck whatever you decide.

cheers

Edited by Rivercider
spelling

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27 minutes ago, pgcroc said:

Really, other than the tunnels, OO gauge, and DCC I am not too bothered what I have as long as it's interesting.

Good luck with the planning, it can be fun in itself.

 

Don't get stuck on being 2 dimensional, twin track main circuit with a branch line climbing to a higher level station could be fun and give interesting operation together a reason for cuttings / tunnels. 

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There is a tendency for modellers to build big stations with lots of platforms which become scenic fiddleyards  with lots of stationary trains awaiting their turn to take a turn around the layout.   The real steam age railway was linear with trains following  one another at varying speeds necessitating  overtaking  moves,  Goods giving way to passenger, slow passenger to fast passenger, slow goods to fast fitted freight, but its almost never modelled.  Its more likely to see a slow goods overtaking an express passenger stopped in a station.  Quite often one would be backed to the other line to allow the second train past. You just need double track and a trailing crossover.   Its how Britais worst railway disaster Quintinshill happened.  Very many if not most passenger trains started or terminated at through stations in through platforms.  You just need a pair of trailing crossovers to allow running round. The point being you can do an awful lot of operating on a very simple layout, less is more, to quote Harlequin.

It is fun to watch a fast train overtake a slow so your yellow line had uses but instead of a goods line many people have a branch paralleling the main line for a short distance, as happened at a number of full size locations.

Its also fun to shunt while trains circulate especially if you are running in a new or rebuilt model.  I have a fan of 7 marshalling sidings which I enjoy shunting.

The use of DCC as at 2020 means you really need to be able to see your trains while operating. With DC you can use isolated sections and just rely on switching points, so the hidden fiddleyard under raised stations which I use very successfully doesn't  really work  with DCC, hence many DCC layouts have large non scenic fiddle areas.  Doodles of bog standard passing station, GWR 1895/1900 branch stations and DCC FY/ Scenic follow.

Screenshot (366)f.png

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23 hours ago, JimFin said:

Don't get stuck on being 2 dimensional, twin track main circuit with a branch line climbing to a higher level station could be fun and give interesting operation together a reason for cuttings / tunnels. 

I did have a high level through station over the FY/Loco storage area in a previous incantation with the line coming down to grade on the south of the layout and connecting to the purple line but it was getting a bit complicated!

 

On 10/06/2020 at 20:10, Rivercider said:

P7 has 2 running circuits for passenger, and a third circuit that serves as a goods relief.

P8 has 2 running circuits for passenger, another circuit for goods. Also a 4th relief line which forms a half circuit to link the station with the loco shed area.

 I don't know if I have the same book but I am assuming that you mean TP7 and TP8? I can see the goods area in them both. Thanks.

 

22 hours ago, DavidCBroad said:

The use of DCC as at 2020 means you really need to be able to see your trains while operating. With DC you can use isolated sections and just rely on switching points, so the hidden fiddleyard under raised stations which I use very successfully doesn't  really work  with DCC, hence many DCC layouts have large non scenic fiddle areas.

I have started redesigning the loco storage area, (no more FY), by pinching part of a design by Harlequin.

 

Full redesign in progress. I will post it when I 'think' it is done.

Good news - my local bar opens on Monday. Yippee.

Thanks to everybody.

Pete

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Pg, don't despair. I am on design #20 and finally have something I think will operate well and that can be built. Try and come at it from a few angles with a clean sheet for each, and then take the best bits from each and create a new whole. You have a good size area to work with there, with the assistance of the members here you should get a nice model railway at the end of it.

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On 10/06/2020 at 18:10, Rivercider said:

Now you have mentioned the CJF booklets there are a couple of plans that spring to mind if you have the booklet.

In 'Track Plans' (I have 2nd edition from 1974) plans P7 and P8 are two that might be worth expanding as you have much more room.

P7 has 2 running circuits for passenger, and a third circuit that serves as a goods relief.

P8 has 2 running circuits for passenger, another circuit for goods. Also a 4th relief line which forms a half circuit to link the station with the loco shed area.

Both plans would let you leave two trains running while you either shunt the goods, or move locos to and from your shed area.

 

Good luck whatever you decide.

cheers

You can buy digital copies of the Peco track plan books on Pocket Mags 

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Hi All

Spent the last couple of days on the loco storage area.

Pinched ideas from one of Harlequin's designs. Not as good as his though but better than I had before.

Never used curved points before. Shame they are insulfrog. Can you get electrofrog? Can't find any on the Peco website.

513687869_Layout13_6_20.JPG.3f44e0c7fe6d7edf550d6845bcb0b41a.JPG

I'm trying to keep points off the lift up section.  

Anybody have any comments before I try and carry on trying to get a goods yard and loco shed area?

Cheers

Pete

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Hi Pete, I just happen to be online at the moment (ie: others will know more, but here’s a quick response for starters):

 

In the PECO Streamline Code 100 range the curved points are available with either insulfrog or electrofrog:

 

Right Hand: SL-86 (Insulfrog) or SL-E86 (Electrofrog).

Left Hand: SL-87 (Insulfrog) or SL-E87 (Electrofrog).

 

Looking at your diagram, the curves look quite sharp, so I’m wondering if you’ve used Setrack points? (These would be ST-245 and ST-246).  I think they are only available as Insulfrog.  Early in May I asked the question here on RMweb about curved Setrack points as I’ve not used them myself (“Curved Setrack points - a variation on the question” May8th - May 10th, now on about page 3 of this Forum), and you can see there the advice I received.  They can work satisfactorily, but I decided against using them.

 

Looking at the photo in your opening post, the points in the packets look like Streamline?  I’ve used a Streamline curved point before with no trouble, but it does have a large radius (which is why it was no trouble).

 

With regards to the diagram, just one thing to note which may help as you progress - the arrows showing direction of travel in your fiddle yard are pointing the wrong way round - the blue line trains will go clockwise and the yellow line anti-clockwise.  The two crossovers you have between the running lines are shown as they would usually be in really life - as trailing crossovers.   Keith.

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Hi Keith

Many thanks.

On the layout I first posted, all the points were Electrofrog Streamline points.

 

On the above revision you are correct, I used Setrack curved points.

The reason was was that's what they looked like on a Harlequin design I was using as a guide.

Perhaps I have got this wrong and he used Streamline. I will revisit this.

I was just trying to get long flowing curves of the maximum radius I could.

Will change the arrows.

 

One day I might get this right!

Cheers

Pete

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Posted (edited)

Thought I'd have a little go at an outline suggestion ...

 

477743569_pgrocjpg.jpg.b81055a0470617e1bb66e68237da6337.jpg

 

So we have a double track roundy-roundy with a station which is a junction for two single track branches, one diverging at the station itself and the other just beyond the MPD access point.

 

One result is there is a main line behind the goods yard area and in front of the wall hiding the storage loops - I like the idea of shunting the yard while two trains thunder by on the main.

 

The storage loops are only served by the branch lines, which will be a bit weird when your big expresses disappear down them, but something I could live with.  All the storage loops are reversible, which I always think adds flexibility.

 

The goods yard is set up for trailing access from both main lines, i.e. trains stop on the main and reverse in - that's the way it's done, which I didn't know till I started on here …. :unsure:

 

I haven't attempted to design goods yard or MPD, as I'm no good at those, especially not MPDs.  The goods yard probably needs to feature a run-round loop and a fan of sidings at each end.

 

The crossing at the east goods yard access is a simple diamond, the one by the MPD access is a double slip, and the one in the station area is a single slip giving a trailing crossover between the main lines.

 

And you can have your missus' tunnel in the south-west corner :)

 

I've already thought of other possible tweaks, but others will doubtless provide lots of criticism :sarcastichand: and alternatives shortly!

 

Edit to say tightest curves are 3rd radius set-track.

 

 

Edited by Chimer

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My alternative suggestion would be to have the eastern junction a conventional double junction, which can become a single line feeding the loops once it's hidden.

 

I like the idea of a junction at a station, though the design something like that is not something I can speak about with any knowledge.

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