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Hi Chimer,

I followed with interest the plan you developed for Halsey, which I thought a good one!

 

I think Phil's idea to use a looped 8 plan is a good use of your space, but it is dependent on you being happy to build inclines.

 

However, before you commit to any plan I think there is a basic question you need to answer. And that is, are you a builder or an operator? If, like me you are an operator then building the layout is a means to an end and if you get the plan right then it will give you many years of happy operation. If you are a builder, and get your pleasure from that, then the long term use of the layout may not be too important, if you loose interest, you can scrap it, or sell it, and build another!

 

However operation, if it is to satisfy long term, before finalizing plans and starting building, I suggest need several other questions answering:-

What sort of operation do you want- that based on a real location at a particular period in time, or one following the operation of a particular line, but in a might have been location, or just using the models that you like in a feasible operating plan but not following a particular prototype?

Have you a large stock of models, do you want to run these, or are you going to sell and start again?

 

For instance, there is little point in planning a large goods yard if your thing is intensive suburban passenger operations!

 

The above may sound a bit heavy, and at the end of the day this is a hobby, so we need to minimize the aspects we enjoy less, but none of us can these days afford to not plan well enough and live to regret it!

 

I will be interested in where this plan goes.

Take care

Cheers

Paul

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Hi Paul, thanks for your interest,  I suspect the plan will go nowhere like many others, but one day, following planning approvals, something will get built, probably!  Am I an operator or a builder - no, I'm a planner, but the intention is to build one layout over a long period when I do get going.  And operate it moderately realistically ....

 

To actually see @halsey build something I planned was very satisfying, though I couldn't persuade him to implement all my bright ideas about scenery - I just hope he's happy with it!

 

I set out my own "musts and druthers" in another thread many moons ago, but it's worth repeating the exercise without checking back to see what I said then, then looking to see what's changed.  So to answer your heavy questions:

 

The main idea is to represent timetabled operations through a junction station with an associated goods yard.  Period is mid 1960s, still more steam than diesel, region is north-east Lancashire and the line is (sort of) Blackburn-Hellifield, busier than reality due to a fictional extension north-east from Hellifield, providing a direct route from Liverpool to the Newcastle.  The station is somewhere near Clitheroe, but I have no interest in trying to replicate a real location.  The stock I own all fit this scenario within my elastic limits - if the class of loco could be seen in the area, that's good enough for me, I'm not worried if the example I've got never worked north of BIrmingham.

 

The second thing I want is a stretch of line out in the country where I can occasionally watch a Stanier Pacific hauling at least 7 coaches pass a Black 5 on a similar length freight working without looking too silly.  So a second scene, which does not necessarily have to link to the station operationally.  But that uses both sides of the space, so poses issues regarding fitting in a fiddle yard / storage loops which can hold enough trains of the required length.  There isn't a lot of space for extensive storage loops, so there is going to have to be fiddling (a couple of basic 5 coach rakes are going to need to be strengthened or otherwise adapted regularly, to make the different services at least slightly distinctive, and the fiddle area needs to be easily accessible.  The two designs I've shown in this thread are different attempts to address this issue,  In the past, my wilder dreams have involved multiple levels and traversers but realistically I'm not skilled enough at D-I-Y to pull that off.  I'm not even confident about constructing the simple gradients I would need to make the latest plan work.

 

To answer your goods yard query, I like shunting puzzles, so trip freight ops will be governed by some sort of card system which dictates which wagons have to be dropped off or picked up from the yard on each visit, and rules on which wagons go to which siding.  I envisage leaving trains to circulate on the main lines while I shunt, so the timetable will be sequential not driven by a clock.

 

I think I can claim to have thought things through pretty thoroughly (well railway-wise I've done nothing but thinking for for years, apart from a little 6' x 5' test track to prove I could lay flexitrack and wire a layout for cab-control).  But that doesn't mean I've arrived at all the answers .....

 

Cheers

 

Chris

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I've just had a brainwave that might solve some problems and be simpler to build! I'll try to draw it up but I can try to describe it, if you prefer.

 

What's your minimum acceptable scenic radius and minimum acceptable non-scenic radius?

 

Edited by Harlequin
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4 hours ago, Harlequin said:

I've just had a brainwave that might solve some problems and be simpler to build! I'll try to draw it up but I can try to describe it, if you prefer.

 

What's your minimum acceptable scenic radius and minimum acceptable non-scenic radius?

 

 

Phil, I'm intrigued :scratchhead:...... non-scenic, 3rd radius.  Scenic - 2' in goods yards, 3' for preference on main lines for anything more than say 10 degrees of arc, 5' if possible through stations.  I've tried many variations on 3 tight corners and one long sweeping curve round two adjacent sides, if that's where your thoughts are going ...... waiting with impatience to see :)

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On 12/08/2020 at 11:49, Chimer said:

 

 

To actually see @halsey build something I planned was very satisfying, though I couldn't persuade him to implement all my bright ideas about scenery - I just hope he's happy with it!

 

 

 

 

 

Hi there - nice to see I'm being quoted when I'm not even participating let alone modelling...............

 

I suffered quite a bit with Railway "fade" at the beginning of lockdown and lost interest big time ...... so I consciously locked the door and walked away as I would have done in previous years had we been off boating for 7 months - then we sold our canal boat and bought a smaller river boat for lots of complicated but sensible reasons to do with time, accessibility from home, health etc - that is now turning into a nice project which has served us well so far ............

 

This spell of poor weather finds me wondering what is going on and thinking railway and the onset of winter months - wasn't it v.dark early last night?

 

Chris you should definitely go/try DCC - yes my layout continues to satisfy (and more) I do need to think about how to get back in to it and what to focus on - lift out bridge sections continue to be my bugbear but I MUST have a "roundy-roundy" aspect so I think they (lift outs) are inevitable and the current one is the best I have "made" so far.

 

Probably general weathering is where I will head next  but I do find that is very much a task which should only be attempted when you are in the "zone" other thoughts are my first stratch-build - loco - any suggestions (worried about how much new "kit" I will need to achieve a good result) - I might get this out of my system by building an R/C trawler/tugboat instead

 

I have organised an eye test for this week to improve my glasses anticipating more close work coming up soon....

 

So all good but not quite ready to get the steam up just yet.

 

Re the layout at the heart of this thread I like the figures of eight idea as I did like the gradient on my last layout and I recall the woodland scenics instant gradient kit was fantastic making it a much easier task to get it right than you might think.

 

I will not be back here daily but will watch with interest the development of your "Swansong"...........I think we all have aspects of this hobby we prefer and I definitely prefer building rather than operating - but my working life was the same always preferring starting something afresh and getting it operational to running it thereafter!

 

BFN

 

Julian

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Hi Julian, good to hear from you - I am definitely not the person to advise you on loco kits as I wouldn't dream of attempting one.  No hand-eye co-ordination and a tendency for hands to shake if doing anything delicate!

 

Cheers, Chris

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On ‎12‎/‎08‎/‎2020 at 11:49, Chimer said:

Hi Paul, thanks for your interest,  I suspect the plan will go nowhere like many others, but one day, following planning approvals, something will get built, probably!  Am I an operator or a builder - no, I'm a planner, but the intention is to build one layout over a long period when I do get going.  And operate it moderately realistically ....

 

To actually see @halsey build something I planned was very satisfying, though I couldn't persuade him to implement all my bright ideas about scenery - I just hope he's happy with it!

 

I set out my own "musts and druthers" in another thread many moons ago, but it's worth repeating the exercise without checking back to see what I said then, then looking to see what's changed.  So to answer your heavy questions:

 

The main idea is to represent timetabled operations through a junction station with an associated goods yard.  Period is mid 1960s, still more steam than diesel, region is north-east Lancashire and the line is (sort of) Blackburn-Hellifield, busier than reality due to a fictional extension north-east from Hellifield, providing a direct route from Liverpool to the Newcastle.  The station is somewhere near Clitheroe, but I have no interest in trying to replicate a real location.  The stock I own all fit this scenario within my elastic limits - if the class of loco could be seen in the area, that's good enough for me, I'm not worried if the example I've got never worked north of BIrmingham.

 

The second thing I want is a stretch of line out in the country where I can occasionally watch a Stanier Pacific hauling at least 7 coaches pass a Black 5 on a similar length freight working without looking too silly.  So a second scene, which does not necessarily have to link to the station operationally.  But that uses both sides of the space, so poses issues regarding fitting in a fiddle yard / storage loops which can hold enough trains of the required length.  There isn't a lot of space for extensive storage loops, so there is going to have to be fiddling (a couple of basic 5 coach rakes are going to need to be strengthened or otherwise adapted regularly, to make the different services at least slightly distinctive, and the fiddle area needs to be easily accessible.  The two designs I've shown in this thread are different attempts to address this issue,  In the past, my wilder dreams have involved multiple levels and traversers but realistically I'm not skilled enough at D-I-Y to pull that off.  I'm not even confident about constructing the simple gradients I would need to make the latest plan work.

 

To answer your goods yard query, I like shunting puzzles, so trip freight ops will be governed by some sort of card system which dictates which wagons have to be dropped off or picked up from the yard on each visit, and rules on which wagons go to which siding.  I envisage leaving trains to circulate on the main lines while I shunt, so the timetable will be sequential not driven by a clock.

 

I think I can claim to have thought things through pretty thoroughly (well railway-wise I've done nothing but thinking for for years, apart from a little 6' x 5' test track to prove I could lay flexitrack and wire a layout for cab-control).  But that doesn't mean I've arrived at all the answers .....

 

Cheers

 

Chris

 

 

 

 

Hi Chris,

I hope you do get to develop your layout.

I know from my experience over the last couple of years since I have been in a position where I had a sensible space that was ready to receive a layout,t that things rarely go to plan!

 

Because I don't have the skills to build my layout myself I am in the hands of professionals, who in turn have been affected by the Lockdown and still are dependent on manufacturers who are not yet back to normal! A second wave could still upset things further!

 

Anyway, I know that Phil will come up with practical "outside the box" ideas for you as he did last year for me. The only reason I am not having his plan built was that I came to the conclusion that what he proposed was just a step too far away from the geographical reality of the area I wanted to model, even though his track plan was a sensible interpretation of the real track layout.

The plan that I am having built is perhaps slightly more "train set" than Phil's, but was better geographically and is also a sensible interpretation of the real track layout.

 

Where I probably am most different to you is that  I want to minimize the hand shunting so I need a largish amount of storage. Luckily, I have the necessary stock!

Phil's plan for me had an incline up to a storage yard for the branch over the main storage yard, which started in the scenic area and was one of the geographical problems, whereas my plan has a non scenic incline down to a storage area under the main boards.

In my plan shunting is probably less versatile than in Phil's plan but limited shunting was a compromise I was prepared to accept.

 

I agree that it is sensible to be flexible in the loco department, and the only ones I will be renumbering are one or two local freight/shunters which it is difficult to justify a welsh allocated 0-6-0T in the home counties, whereas  a Welsh mixed traffic or express loco is a much more reasonable sighting in the home counties.

I am also playing a longish game by using locos of the right sort of power class but of the wrong class until a better fit is available. While the layout is essentially 1960 ish Western Region, because I like them more Southern locos and trains than really were seen will be run!

 

So this gives you some idea of where I am coming from and I hope we can have conversations beneficial to both of us.

 

Take care,

Regards

Paul  

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Chris,

 

Here's what I've come up with so far. It's not fully worked out and some things might be a bit awkward but I think this is a good point to show it to you.

 

One of my big ideas came to nothing so it's no less complicated than your clever plan, which it is heavily based on.

 

The major concept of this plan is to combine the elements of your plan wherever possible so that there are fewer separate parts and more open running.

2047923439_Chimer9.png.f28874a761bc0849a2849319304bc03f.png

  • The goods yard headshunt continues into the countryside scene. It won't look too "urban" out there because it's just a parallel track with a rusty buffer stop at the end!
  • I've broken the rules slightly with a short bit of 2ft main line radius between the station scene and the country scene. It isn't fully covered, just obscured by the road overbridge.
  • Helices are purple and they cross in the top right corner. (I know they look close to the walls but that's because of the backscene boards. May need some adjustment.)
  • The station scene can be wide because you have access from both inside and outside.
  • Goods yard can cope with long trains but the layout could probably be improved!!! Note that pulling forward on the main line before setting back into the yard is all done in the scenic area - great fun!
  • There's a passing loop around the branch platform for a bit of extra flexibility.
  • The "implausible junction" is hidden under the high level station and associated town scene. This allows the countryside run to be really simple with nothing untoward going on.

Here's the top level and the helices with all the scenery removed:

2025565492_Chimer9topandhelices.png.56eb018c447878767bb124bab859e7c7.png

  • I imagine that the scene above the "implausible junction" would lift off somehow for access.
  • The "implausible junction" is like yours but swapped over and the take-off lines are allowed to cross to make the formation more compact.
  • By putting the junction in the curve there are no reverse curves in any of the routes through - they all just keep turning the same way.
  • Note that because there's no visible running between station and junction you can make both main line and branch line trains disappear and appear like magic now!
  • You can see that one of the crossovers for the junction is combined with a trailing crossover that was already in your plan, between the platforms. So anticlockwise movements up from the storage level appear on scene briefly running wrong-road. There are various ways to justify this and I hope its an acceptable compromise. (Actually I think that crossover could be hidden with a bit of fiddling.)
  • I've used R3 and R4 curves in the hidden junction area and the helices.
  • Point motors for the junction would be surface mounted to avoid possible interference withe the storage level below. This can be done because the junction is hidden... :smile_mini2:
  • Baseboard shapes are just indicative sketches, need to be rationalised.
  • The helices (purple) descend from the junction, clockwise and anti-clockwise down to the storage level.

Here's the storage level:

1495781727_Chimer9bottomandhelices.png.f2d0fbf9601e60e4e1ee7fb399257d93.png

  • The same helices (purple) are shown on this plan as well.
  • Simple set of 7 long storage loops. (I know the turnout fans could be better!)
  • The loops are offset and use the corner curve to help even out the helix lengths a bit.
  • Long loop at the front for easier fiddling.
  • The helices can be used as headshunts for reforming trains without them appearing on scene.
  • Nothing really done yet about turning locos...
  • Very simple baseboards at this level!
  • The thin baseboard on the North side makes the duck under a bit easier.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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Posted (edited)

Ay yai yai!  It's going to take me some time to get my head round that lot, I think I'll have to render it into XTrackCad to make sure I understand it fully, but it looks fabulous.  The narrowing of the boards round the duck-under is really helpful from the practical viewpoint, given that I'm not going to get less creaky over time.  And the overall scenic treatment hangs together very nicely.  Might try to avoid the helices crossing one another though, could be worth losing a couple of inches of visual width to ease the gradients.  Turning locos will be by locolift from the inner loop in square H2 (counting from A1 bottom left) if the layers fit together the way I think they will .......

 

Many many thanks.  I'll be back, but it may be a few days!  In the meantime, comments from anyone else with an interest will be most welcome!

 

Edit - disregard comment about helices crossing, they always did, just in the opposite corner ....

 

Chris

Edited by Chimer
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I do like this - it is ambitious, but it’s for a last great project, so that’s only to be expected - and also builds in a degree of helpful “future-proofing” with the easier duck-under (nice touch):

 

6 hours ago, Harlequin said:

Hi Chris,

 

Here's what I've come up with so far. It's not fully worked out and some things might be a bit awkward but I think this is a good point to show it to you.

 

One of my big ideas came to nothing so it's no less complicated than your clever plan, which it is heavily based on.

 

The major concept of this plan is to combine the elements of your plan wherever possible so that there are fewer separate parts and more open running.

2047923439_Chimer9.png.f28874a761bc0849a2849319304bc03f.png

  • The goods yard headshunt continues into the countryside scene. It won't look too "urban" out there because it's just a parallel track with a rusty buffer stop at the end!
  • I've broken the rules slightly with a short bit of 2ft main line radius between the station scene and the country scene. It isn't fully covered, just obscured by the road overbridge.
  • Helices are purple and they cross in the top right corner. (I know they look close to the walls but that's because of the backscene boards. May need some adjustment.)
  • The station scene can be wide because you have access from both inside and outside.
  • Goods yard can cope with long trains but the layout could probably be improved!!! Note that pulling forward on the main line before setting back into the yard is all done in the scenic area - great fun!
  • There's a passing loop around the branch platform for a bit of extra flexibility.
  • The "implausible junction" is hidden under the high level station and associated town scene. This allows the countryside run to be really simple with nothing untoward going on.

...

 

  • I imagine that the scene above the "implausible junction" would lift off somehow for access.
  • The "implausible junction" is like yours but swapped over and the take-off lines are allowed to cross to make the formation more compact.
  • By putting the junction in the curve there are no reverse curves in any of the routes through - they all just keep turning the same way.
  • Note that because there's no visible running between station and junction you can make both main line and branch line trains disappear and appear like magic now!
  • You can see that one of the crossovers for the junction is combined with a trailing crossover that was already in your plan, between the platforms. So anticlockwise movements up from the storage level appear on scene briefly running wrong-road. There are various ways to justify this and I hope its an acceptable compromise. (Actually I think that crossover could be hidden with a bit of fiddling.)
  • I've used R3 and R4 curves in the hidden junction area and the helices.
  • Point motors for the junction would be surface mounted to avoid possible interference withe the storage level below. This can be done because the junction is hidden... :smile_mini2:
  • Baseboard shapes are just indicative sketches, need to be rationalised.
  • The helices (purple) descend from the junction, clockwise and anti-clockwise down to the storage level.

Here's the storage level:

...

  • The same helices (purple) are shown on this plan as well.
  • Simple set of 7 long storage loops. (I know the turnout fans could be better!)
  • The loops are offset and use the corner curve to help even out the helix lengths a bit.
  • Long loop at the front for easier fiddling.
  • The helices can be used as headshunts for reforming trains without them appearing on scene.
  • Nothing really done yet about turning locos...
  • Very simple baseboards at this level!
  • The thin baseboard on the North side makes the duck under a bit easier.

 


Viewed from above in diagram form, the somewhat elliptical swoosh had me doing a double take when I first saw it, in case it was still a concept sketch (the curves have of course been properly plotted, I get that).  
I think it could look fantastic at ground level and this freedom adds to the whole concept: the whole thing just looks so much bigger, smoother and really original (while staying faithful to the original idea).

 

Could be a prize-winner.

 

The scenic headshunt is clever - put in a crossover and it’ll look like the end of a refuge siding?

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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That crossover in the platforms and consequent wrong road running would bug me, but otherwise it looks pretty good.

 

I'd probably put a double junction to the left of the station and two platforms on that arm, making that the primary access to/ from the helix.

 

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Phil's plans look good to me especially once the points he raised are ironed out.

 

I do wonder if the hidden crossover could be altered to make it run from the up incline from the low level across to the up main and then put in a connection from the down main to the incline, so that the trains off the up incline no longer have to run visible wrong road to reach the down to up crossover? (I hope you can understand what I mean?)

Cheers

Paul

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I was looking for ways to combine things and the trailing crossover that was already in the station plan looked like a good opportunity to do that so that the main lines could turn sharper under the high level station building.

 

I did have the "implausible junction" completely symmetrical at one stage but it throws the main lines in a very different direction, like this:

1800679414_Chimer3IJ.png.0640382d6dc80ca84b6c6d2867390782.png

 

I think that's the tightest it's possible to get that formation to turn without relying on the turning routes through slips in the main line, which I really didn't want to do! (It's a short crossing, two small radius turnouts and six curved turnouts.)

 

It might still work. There's enough room above. It would mean more hidden running and less room for scenery behind the low level part of the station. Then Chris would have to decide if he wants to keep the crossover in the station as well as the one in the junction.

 

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Funny old thing Phil, I spent most of yesterday playing with almost exactly that, except using 6 curved points.  The station does still work, if a bit less elegantly.  And with that, I don't need the crossover between the platforms, it's more naturally placed in the throat beyond the platforms, i.e. beyond the road bridge, i.e. out of sight, i.e. as part of "implausible junction".

 

Oddly, in my first attempt with XTrackCad, I couldn't reproduce the section between implausible junction and the crossover between the platforms without using impossibly tight curves, presumably because I didn't place them accurately enough.  But then I decided I didn't like the wrong line running issue, so changed tack. 

 

@Tallpaul69, I'm afraid I can't get my head round your suggestion - "up incline" doesn't mean anything as both inclines and the storage loops are bi-directional, and "up" and "down" mains haven't been defined - for future reference if required, let's say "up" is anti-clockwise (towards Blackburn in my modified geography).

 

@Zomboid, you'll gather I agree with you about that crossover, and I suspect you're right about the slips too - in any event, I wouldn't be keen on having two slips hidden, even if uncoverable in emergencies.

 

@Keith Addenbrooke, I agree with all you say - but even if I reproduced Phil's plan exactly in XTrackCad, his would still look miles better if they were compared side by side.  As CAD packages, they're chalk and cheese.  I'm a bit jealous, to be honest, but couldn't face the learning curve a second time .....

 

Cheers all.  I won't waste people's time with any versions of mine until they're (a) complete and (b) I've had time to look at least twice at them in search of bloopers!

 

Chris

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43 minutes ago, Zomboid said:

I'm guessing you already tried, but does the reduction in length that slips would allow compensate for the fact that they don't curve?

I tried all sorts of combinations! I found the formation with slips was just too straight and the curves at the ends that were needed to get the same net angle made the overall radius much larger.

 

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Hi Chris,

I should have said instead of just assuming you were using the convention of "up" as anticlockwise!

 

Look forward to your next posting once you have digested and played with all that has been suggested!

 

Cheers

Paul

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7 hours ago, Tallpaul69 said:

Hi Chris,

I should have said instead of just assuming you were using the convention of "up" as anticlockwise!

 

Look forward to your next posting once you have digested and played with all that has been suggested!

 

Cheers

Paul


Must admit I was confused when I read it too (sorry).  
 

When I remember, I try to use “Up” for Londonbound and “up” for climbing an incline.
 

However, I was near Ayr on holiday and drove past the Electric Brae - a hill where up looks down, and down looks up (it’s an optical illusion because of the shape of the surrounding hill formation).  Perhaps Chris could try including that - the inclines are on the side with external access?

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48 minutes ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

However, I was near Ayr on holiday and drove past the Electric Brae - a hill where up looks down, and down looks up (it’s an optical illusion because of the shape of the surrounding hill formation).  Perhaps Chris could try including that - the inclines are on the side with external access?

 

I suppose as I'm 69 it doesn't really matter which way up I am - whatever, given my practical abilities my flat stretches will probably be on an incline and the inclines may well be flat ......

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12 hours ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:


Must admit I was confused when I read it too (sorry).  
 

When I remember, I try to use “Up” for Londonbound and “up” for climbing an incline.
 

However, I was near Ayr on holiday and drove past the Electric Brae - a hill where up looks down, and down looks up (it’s an optical illusion because of the shape of the surrounding hill formation).  Perhaps Chris could try including that - the inclines are on the side with external access?

Well, as they say - Life is full of ups and downs!

 

And as Chris said, single track inclines can be confusing as they are both up and down?

 

Never mind so long as each of us is consistent and explains their logic to everyone, we will get there in the end.

 

Cheers,

Paul

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On the Moretonhampstead branch, and I suspect many others, the track rose from the mainline at more or less sea level to the town on the moor.

 

So down was Up and up was Down.

 

:smile_mini:

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4 hours ago, Harlequin said:

On the Moretonhampstead branch, and I suspect many others, the track rose from the mainline at more or less sea level to the town on the moor.

 

So down was Up and up was Down.

 

:smile_mini:


I think the Lickey incline may be Down going up and Up going down, too?  (I may be wrong on that of course)

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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Hi Chimer

 

Yours will be finished before my layout still awaiting track :haha:

 

Three single arch bridges built however that will span both corners of the left hand side of layout, perhaps I could run a ghost train.:senile:

 

Chilly

 

 

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