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GWR/Western Region Island Platform Station Layout


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This is a track design I have come up with. My first layout, therefore I have kept it fairly simple. Gauge is 00, using Peco Streamline, code 75, electrofrog, DCC wired. Size is 6 x 4 feet, Two boards of 6 x 2 feet joined on the horizontal. Station is bottom of layout with an island platform and a couple of sidings. I have not mastered 'AnyRail', so the curved single rail towards top running from edge to edge of layout is supposed to represent scenic break. The top loop is for running a couple of trains in opposite directions, maybe a short freight hauled by a pannier, and the other a 14xx with a single or couple of coaches. Probably largest loco working this line a 2251 class tender loco. I have separately posted in Prototype Questions, means of passenger access to platform for suggestions and advice. Likewise I would be obliged for your comments and constructive advice on this design.

 

6x4.jpg

Edited by puffingbilly51
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Hi, puffingbilly.  I think this looks great - sensible use of a very compact space, with a theme and plan for operating that should work really well: the opportunity to build a very nice layout.  I went through a similar planning process for a small GW Branch line Layout a few months back, and was very happy with the plan that emerged  (though I did have the luxury of a bigger, 8’ x 4’ space).
 

I’ve had a read of your companion thread about island platforms - while they weren’t all that common on the GWR there are a good number of examples mentioned in that thread - plenty to have a look at.  If you go for a footbridge, I think there would have been a barrow crossing as well - for the barrows (used by porters, not for public use).
 

If I might make a couple of observations on your layout scheme - recognising that the space inevitably requires compromises of course?
 

The first is to check you have access round at least three sides of your baseboard - possibly only the left hand side doesn’t need it? Also, do you have somewhere you can keep the layout in place: even with the split baseboards it could be very difficult to move (unless you are very tall and have plenty of space to manoeuvre the boards).  It could also be very heavy (depending on what it’s made of).  I’ve tried layouts with four 4’ x 2’ boards which are still at the upper end of what’s portable.  Note you have two of the points across your proposed baseboard joint: an alternative if it’s not too late might be 3 boards, each 4’ x 2’ but placed side by side: while you have more tracks across the joints with that option, none are points.  Curved lines across baseboard joints are inevitable - if the layout has to be portable, do plan these carefully: there are plenty of people who can advise on the track laying on RMweb when it comes to that bit of the job.

 

As for the track layout, you mention Code 75, but some of the curved points look to me like Setrack ones - which I think are Code 100 and tighter radius - rather than Streamline ones  (I’m going by the shape)? I could be wrong of course.  Might be worth double checking.

 

The two sidings don’t overcrowd the space, but I would probably shorten the top one a bit so road vehicles can get to the lower siding to unload wagons.  The sidings are correctly positioned running off trailing points from the anti-clockwise running line (I caught myself out by trying to have sidings in all directions at first, as I’d copied an American track plan!).  The only downside is that the loco shunting the Goods Sidings has to disappear into the Fiddle Yard.  My view would be that’s unavoidable in this small space - if there is a nice road bridge over the entrance to the Fiddle Yard loop it’s could look OK, and if you can get round that end of the layout when operating it should be fine.  For added authenticity, there would be a trap point at the entrance to the sidings.

 

I think this could be make a very good compact first layout.  Keith.

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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The bottom siding is not accessible by road traffic, slightly reducing the length of the top siding would solve this. 

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I agree with Keith that the curved points look like Setrack parts. Redraw using Streamline Code 75 parts to find out if the plan still works. You may need to do something clever to achieve the tight curves in Code 75 flexitrack. I'm sure it can be done but it won't be as straightforward as laying to the typically larger radii used with flexitrack.

 

P.S. I think having one siding without road vehicle access is fine because you need somewhere to store your empties and generally shuffle wagons around during loading and unloading.

 

Edit: I don't think there's room between the tracks for an island platform. The minimum width for an island platform should be 48mm but you can fiddle that a bit. With the tight curves you may need to leave ~25mm between the platform edge and track centre to allow for the overhangs of long vehicles - you need to test that. That adds up to ~100mm between track centres either side of the island platform for most of its length.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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Thanks guys for your useful advice. Yes, you caught me out, (well observed), using set-track radii for layout and totally agree with your views. I would like to use Streamline code 75, and I guess if I use this, then a few compromises will be needed. Will have a re-think here, but I would like to try and keep the spirit of this layout workable.

I know my two, 6x2 feet sections are on the large size, but the layout, which will go underneath my double bed, hopefully will be lifted out and turned at 90 degrees to sit above it with end on legs.  I will also have easy access from three sides of layout, restricted side will be top of layout, where the off-scene loop will be. Your advice Keith of 4x2 sections is the sensible way to go, however the layout will be up and down on a regular basis, so I thought just two sections would make it quicker. TBH the exercise will do me good!

Will also use your advice and shorten top siding for vehicle access. Will also use a road bridge as scene break, and yes I did wonder Harlequin about width of platform, again will try re-tweaking.

I'm still at the planning stage, so will have a re-think and I will, in due course, re-post a revised plan for your perusal. Thanks again for your input, and more input would be most welcome.

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3 hours ago, Harlequin said:

I agree with Keith that the curved points look like Setrack parts. Redraw using Streamline Code 75 parts to find out if the plan still works.

 

I strongly suspect it won't and that you will have to live with Setrack if you want to build this layout.  This is not a disaster as some very fine layouts have been built in small spaces using Setrack (there was a particularly beautiful LBSCR layout in Railway Modeller a yearor two back).  The only potential issue is the curved points, but they seem to have mixed reviews with some people reporting problems and others none at all.

 

To throw a rock into the design pond, I would leave out the two points on the left and just continue the station loops offstage.  This would perhaps make it easier to fit in the platform and should work fine if you are operating no more than two trains and not wanting to do anything complicated in the station like terminate and run round.   Lymebrook Yard shows how the lines might disappear on the left - it's an N gauge layout (one of my favourites) and very similar to yours, though in a relatively larger space.

 

If you are happy with the curved Setrack points, using one in the sidings would also make your life a lot easier.

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Thanks Flying Pig for your input. Yes, the more I think about it, then I'll just accept, and go for Setrack.

As I have mentioned before this is my first serious go at a layout. It will be a learning curve for me, and I hope if successful enough, bigger things for the future. My modelling skills are quite good, so no problems with scenery, buildings and modifying rtr locos and rolling stock. My carpentry skills are adequate, so shouldn't be too bad in constructing boards, (I have purchased most of the wood for frames and top).

Track laying will be a first to me, and electrics, I don't have a Scooby Doo! However, one thing at a time.

Liking Flying Pig's suggestion of getting rid of two points on left and continuing loop off-stage. Going to have a look at suggested layouts and get more inspiration.

Thanks again for valued advice.

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9 hours ago, puffingbilly51 said:

I have a further question, can I mix Setrack with Streamline code 100?  I would prefer, if possible to use the larger radii points from Streamline if possible. If not then I will have another rethink.


Hi again puffingbilly.  I don’t know if this will help, but this is a photo I took last year of a Cakebox model I made.  Both pieces of track are Code 100 Setrack, but after ballasting and painting the rails of the piece on the left I felt there was quite a difference:

 

2288384B-9D34-4880-B1AA-68B6C2ABBF8F.jpeg.09658e3dead18ad160e3b06e9daa4887.jpeg

 

It’d be easy to do a much better job than I did too, as my ballast pieces were too big and the rails just painted in a colour I had to hand.

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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19 hours ago, Flying Pig said:

The only potential issue is the curved points, but they seem to have mixed reviews with some people reporting problems and others none at all.

 

I agree.  I had some helpful responses when I asked about Curved Setrack Points, if you have time for a read: Curved Setrack Points - a variation on the question .  In the end, I didn't need to use them but it gave me a good insight. 

 

Finally, I've been working on a design for a portable layout in a bedroom.  Two things I've learned:

 

1.  The question of dust has been raised - one place it likes to gather is under a bed.  I'd suggest some kind of cover (even if just an old sheet?) over the layout when stored.  You've probably thought of that already.

 

2.  Every time I go into the room to check my measurements I think of something I've not measured before.  For this plan, you'll need room around the bed to slide out the boards and swing them into position.  It's worth double checking every measurement and even practising: a 6' x 2' board is big and could do some damage! 

 

Hope this helps,

 

Keith.

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Keith, thanks for taking the time to answer my queries, you have made some valid points.

 

First your comparison of Setrack rails, certainly looks more realistic on the left, which I think you have made a very commendable job. This allays my fear of code 100 looking too toy-ish and I would be quite happy with that if I could meet your standard. Have read else where also to use n gauge ballast on 00, as this size is more realistic.

 

1.  Have thought about dust issue, having cleared under bed in preparation for the layout, did notice quite an accumulation of dust. Thinking about some kind of light frame, covered in a polythene sheet to slip over when being stored. There is quite a clearance under this bed, so should allow room for some sort of cover.

 

2. Yes, totally agree with measuring and re-measuring. I am shortly about to begin assembling the boards, once I have completed one I will test it out. Appreciate that it will be without track and scenery, so will be lighter, however I do have ample access to underneath from both sides and bottom of bed.

 

I will also later have a read on the article concerning Setrack curved points. I was considering using the code 100 Streamline points, as I liked the more realistic radius on their curved points. As I've mentioned before, still at the planning stage, the only thing concrete at the moment is the 6 x 4 feet layout size.

 

Will report back later and thanks for helpful hints and tips.

 

 

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A viable basic idea and some good suggestions for improving it.  I will make a few general comments; you are going to be using a mix of setrack and flexible code 100 streamline which is fine, but I would suggest that the sharper curvature should be the setrack, which was probably your intention anyway.  Curving flexi below about 2' radius risks straining the chairs and possibly pulling the rail out of gauge.  The setrack curved turnouts are great space savers, but my impression is that Peco are better quality than Hornby and will give better service.  I am of the view that conventional rather than an island platform will be a better use of space; island platforms need to be wide enough to allow 6' between any waiting room and the edge.  

 

Look up a plan called 'Bredon', which will I think tick a lot of your boxes and is very satisfying to operate; this is a single platform with goods passing loops and a similar goods yard to yours.  You can retain the length of the back road and maintain road vehicle to the goods shed (assuming that is what's going on the front road) by having a road crossing or inset track that vehicles can cross on your back road; of course this crossing must be kept clear except for during shunting operations.  

 

Further operational interest can be provided by a small factory, dairy, brewery, or anything that comes to mind with a private siding.  There is room for one in one of the front corners and the siding is a kickback from the outer road.  But if the layout is to live under a bed the building will be vulnerable and is probably better removable for safe keeping.  It's obviously a double bed and thus sometimes used for double bed related activities which might mean that any detail that stands off the surface a bit is prone to damage, as double bed related activities can sometimes result in 'heat of the moment' stuff, you lucky devil...

 

I am concerned that 2 6x2 boards with delicate models on the top is going to be lumpy and awkward to handle, and something you are soon going to get fed up with.  Before you commit to this layout, take some time to consider the possibility of a fy>terminus setup about a foot wide along a wall or maybe in an L shape along 2 walls.  If parts are in the way, perhaps they can be hinged to fold, and if the fy is 'permanent' as a shelf the stock can live on it, which will mean that the layout can be very quickly set up and in full operation, and there will be no need to set the stock out and put it away at the end of each session, something else that does not take long to become a chore.  My own layout is in a bedroom, but permanently erected, and I can operate by performing a move or two during the adverts while watching the tele; it's a 2 room flat!  I find end to end layouts more interesting operationally than roundyrounds, though these are much better for train watching!

 

Spend some time cogitating (I've got an old X04 motor that does this) on what you want from the layout, what interests you need to have satisfied with it.  A roundyround is space consuming in a small room and ideally needs a dedicated railway room that it can hug the walls of; it is difficult to reach more than 2 feet from the edge baseboards if you are to do delicate work like uncoupling tension locks, and your curves are too tight for scale couplings.  You need 3 side access to the layout you've drawn. as has already been said.  Do you want to watch trains running through scenery?  Do you want realistic operation?  Is your main interest making buildings and scenery?  Rural, Urban, Heavy Industiral?   Different forms of layouts are more suited to each of these requirements and may be 'mixed and matched' if there is enough space; space is clearly you big problem, and the hardest to solve.  It is of little comfort that you are not alone...

 

Each of these scenarios has advantages and disadvantages.  Urban and industrial layouts have a built in excuse for restricted track plans; land is expensive and the railway hemmed in.  Similarly, river/canal/harbourside layouts are constrained between the water and a hillside which conveniently forms the backdrop.  Have a look at Oakhampton station, still extant and a very model-like situation, everything compressed on to a shelf in the slope leading up to Dartmoor, typical of railways in hilly areas; it has a double track main line, 2 platforms, a goods yard and shed, and once had a loco depot with a turntable as well, all on a site about 100' wide, tops.

Edited by The Johnster
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13 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

A viable basic idea and some good suggestions for improving it.  I will make a few general comments; you are going to be using a mix of setrack and flexible code 100 streamline which is fine, but I would suggest that the sharper curvature should be the setrack, which was probably your intention anyway.  Curving flexi below about 2' radius risks straining the chairs and possibly pulling the rail out of gauge.  The setrack curved turnouts are great space savers, but my impression is that Peco are better quality than Hornby and will give better service.  I am of the view that conventional rather than an island platform will be a better use of space; island platforms need to be wide enough to allow 6' between any waiting room and the edge.  

 

Look up a plan called 'Bredon', which will I think tick a lot of your boxes and is very satisfying to operate; this is a single platform with goods passing loops and a similar goods yard to yours.  You can retain the length of the back road and maintain road vehicle to the goods shed (assuming that is what's going on the front road) by having a road crossing or inset track that vehicles can cross on your back road; of course this crossing must be kept clear except for during shunting operations.  

 

Further operational interest can be provided by a small factory, dairy, brewery, or anything that comes to mind with a private siding.  There is room for one in one of the front corners and the siding is a kickback from the outer road.  But if the layout is to live under a bed the building will be vulnerable and is probably better removable for safe keeping.  It's obviously a double bed and thus sometimes used for double bed related activities which might mean that any detail that stands off the surface a bit is prone to damage, as double bed related activities can sometimes result in 'heat of the moment' stuff, you lucky devil...

 

I am concerned that 2 6x2 boards with delicate models on the top is going to be lumpy and awkward to handle, and something you are soon going to get fed up with.  Before you commit to this layout, take some time to consider the possibility of a fy>terminus setup about a foot wide along a wall or maybe in an L shape along 2 walls.  If parts are in the way, perhaps they can be hinged to fold, and if the fy is 'permanent' as a shelf the stock can live on it, which will mean that the layout can be very quickly set up and in full operation, and there will be no need to set the stock out and put it away at the end of each session, something else that does not take long to become a chore.  My own layout is in a bedroom, but permanently erected, and I can operate by performing a move or two during the adverts while watching the tele; it's a 2 room flat!  I find end to end layouts more interesting operationally than roundyrounds, though these are much better for train watching!

 

Spend some time cogitating (I've got an old X04 motor that does this) on what you want from the layout, what interests you need to have satisfied with it.  A roundyround is space consuming in a small room and ideally needs a dedicated railway room that it can hug the walls of; it is difficult to reach more than 2 feet from the edge baseboards if you are to do delicate work like uncoupling tension locks, and your curves are too tight for scale couplings.  You need 3 side access to the layout you've drawn. as has already been said.  Do you want to watch trains running through scenery?  Do you want realistic operation?  Is your main interest making buildings and scenery?  Rural, Urban, Heavy Industiral?   Different forms of layouts are more suited to each of these requirements and may be 'mixed and matched' if there is enough space; space is clearly you big problem, and the hardest to solve.  It is of little comfort that you are not alone...

 

Each of these scenarios has advantages and disadvantages.  Urban and industrial layouts have a built in excuse for restricted track plans; land is expensive and the railway hemmed in.  Similarly, river/canal/harbourside layouts are constrained between the water and a hillside which conveniently forms the backdrop.  Have a look at Oakhampton station, still extant and a very model-like situation, everything compressed on to a shelf in the slope leading up to Dartmoor, typical of railways in hilly areas; it has a double track main line, 2 platforms, a goods yard and shed, and once had a loco depot with a turntable as well, all on a site about 100' wide, tops.

Okehampton :smile_mini:

 

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3 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

Okehampton :smile_mini:

 

 

Ignoring the spelling mistake, how is Okehampton relevant? It needs about 25' length in 4mm scale, not very adaptable to a 6' x 4' trainset board.

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Relevant as an example of a 'hillside' station on a 'shelf'; I wasn't suggesting the OP tried to model it, simply trying to show him how real railways cope with restricted sites and how this approach can be adopted to our needs.  Okehampton (spelling duly rectified in hindsight; I should know better, I've stayed there twice in the goods shed building, the river is spelled Okement, come on Johnster you can do better than this, oh Yes Tor indeed) would make an excellent layout for anyone who had the room. You could probably condense it down to about 20' between the end curves without losing credibility, and if you are into the LSW it's a box ticker.  

 

Mea culpa for not making the type of relevance clear.

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St Agnes station in Cornwall will give you a GW branch line with island platform. It was originally a typical single platform station, but remodelled into an island configuration with the signal box also located on the platform, so visually appealing too.

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Again, thanks guys, plenty to think about here. Space is tight, and I do have a bit more room if I was going end to end, probably 8 x 2 feet scenic, with an extra 18" to 2' for a fiddle configuration, but would still have to be taken up and down on a regular basis.

 

I'm looking at building this layout as a tester and learning curve, (joke); hopefully from this project I can move on to bigger and better things. I have a spare room (kids flown the nest), which I could utilise; that is my ultimate goal. Even like, (when I have learned to run), the idea of open framework, would love to build a viaduct traversing a valley!

 

I would prefer to keep this (tester, learning) layout as a roundy. As I've already mentioned, my track laying and electrics are very basic. Maybe start with the continuous loop and installing points in readiness for loops and sidings, so I can have something up and running, while I tear my hair out (what is left) with wiring.

 

I've purchased wood for the frames and plywood for the tops and about to apply a third coat of varnish to these. Really, thanks again for all your useful advice and suggestions. I'll be back!

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The Tavistock club built an exhibition layout based on St Agnes, which was called Walkham and featured in the RM at around the mid 80's, my memory isn't good enough to be more specific. The layout was an end to end, the original dimensions were 8ft by 1ft 6ins for the station later extensions increased it to 24ft, including fiddle yards. One extension was a Brunnelian timber viaduct.

 

 

Edited by Siberian Snooper
I have been able to narrow the date a bit.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I have attached a revised plan of my layout. Some changes as you will note from the original plan. As I have previously mentioned this is a test and learn project. I've enlarged the bottom loop to allow island platform and added an extra siding for added play value. The top 6x2' section, I have removed loop. Originally this was going to be off-scene. Will now make this open frame construction and have a small viaduct or bridge traversing a valley. Track, as I have previously mentioned is Peco. It will be a combination of Setrack and Streamline, code 100. I have all the wood now to hand and have made a start on the frames. Would be grateful for any comments and suggestions from 'my learned gentlemen' (and ladies of course)!

 

385172574_6x4rev1.jpg.8083c7ca9633a3c794fc6097ec7c4828.jpg

Edited by puffingbilly51
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I prefer the first design.   I would use the same radius curves for inside and outside loops and straighten the middle of the platform to minimise width.  A couple of spurs on the back loop lets you use one long train and or makes shuntig easier.

Screenshot (17).png

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9 hours ago, puffingbilly51 said:

I've enlarged the bottom loop to allow island platform

 

The curves on the inner loop where the flexi meets the Setrack look a little tight to me, especially on the right where Anyrail is warning you with a red line.  I suggest you continue the Setrack with another half curve (Peco ST-227) at each end to give the flexi an easier time (assuming you don't follow DavidCBroad's suggestion and use Setrack throughout).  That will give you a more realistic idea of the space you have for a platform.

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