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Norgrove - A 4mm layout based in the 1970s in South Birmingham


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Welcome to Norgrove the new exhibition layout Redditch Model Railway Club members are now constructing.

 

This new project builds on the experience we have gained from constructing our other exhibition layouts.

 

Norgrove is set in the same mid 1970’s era that our Smallwood layout is. This new 4mm scale layout is based in south Birmingham where the real station of Northfield is. It will feature an island platform, a parcel depot and oil terminal. All this will be in an urban setting with many planned buildings for our club members to scratch build. This concept is very similar to our existing Oakenshaw and Dagnell End exhibition layouts though they are both set in the 1960s steam/diesel era.  Covid has slowed progress down but we are currently at the baseboard construction stage and we will bring you progress over the next few years whilst we construct this exhibition layout,

 

Attached is a track plan for the layout  

Norgrove Plan.pdf

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The layout is set in the mid 1970s so will be blue diesels class 25s, 47s, 50s, Westerns and Peaks on a mixture of passenger and freight workings. All will be DCC fitted with as much with sound as possible. Some of the more relevent locos and stock on our Smallwood layout will also see service at Norgrove

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We have spent the last few months refining the design for our Norgrove layout.  We started with an eight board configuration that would have been very similar to what we have previously used for our Chilcompton and Oakenshaw exhibition layouts. This arrangement gives boards three feet long which makes it difficult to fit self contained folding legs to them to support the layout. We revised the board design to use four boards two 5ft x 21/2 ft and two that are 4ft square. This also cuts down the numbers of baseboard track joints to hopefully make the eventual layout operate more reliably. The attached shows the differences in the baseboard design and how much extra scenery we will be able to create    

layout configuration.pdf

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  • 4 weeks later...

To start the process of constructing the new layout we had the opportunity to make use of some 8ft x 4ft sheets of otherwise scrap 12mm MDF to construct a full sized mock up of the layout in terms of baseboard design. This has allowed  us to refine the layout design. The picture shows a view down the layout

IMG_4609.JPG

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  • 1 month later...

We have moved on significantly with the layout and have now made the permanent boards out of plywood and are preparing to do some track laying.These two views show recent progress. As we gone along we have painted everything in a grey base coat though the white areas in the pictures are the roads which we have formed from hardboard 

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No crossover anywhere between Up & Down main lines.  That must be unusual, but I suppose it helps reliability by avoiding any issues with  autoreversers and at least you can run in one direction if there's an electrical fault on the other.

 

I used to live and work in Northfield in the early 70s.  The train service was abysmal - one or two in the morning or evening.  No booking office of course, but I used to get proper Edmundson tickets from Northfield at Longbridge station (closed, but the booking office was still open as it made up staff wage packets for a large area)

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Hi Micheal

 

Yes there will be no physical connection between the up and down lines. At exhibitions we have found with our other exhibition layouts having on operator in each direction means they are effectively running two self contained layouts. Both our Chilcompton and Oakenshaw layouts use Midland Railway practise of having a trailing cross over where freight trains were reversed into the goods yards. At exhibitions most of the spectators just want to see trains running and are not interested in movements that bring the rest of the layout to a stand.

 

There will be a single island platform just like Northfield used to be in the mid 70s pre Cross City line with a bus shelter on the platform. On our layout the end with the station building will look more like a mirror image of the arrangement at Bournville. The plan is for a Midland Railway building like the one that used to be at Bournville not like the current 1970s rebuild   

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The platforms start to take shape. On the left is the one for the parcels depot. This modelled with concrete sides and tops. Whereas the one on the right is the main station platform. As yet to gain a top and sides. With both platforms we have used the peco platform sides. We file the back of them flat and glue them to a timber frame 

20210423_181040.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

With all of the track laid we are now staring to look at some of the key structures. The station will have a single island platform with a subway at each end to access it. We have made a start on one of the subways

 

We have made the stairs from strips of MDF  that have been cut to size as shown in picture 1.

 

Picture 2 shows the hole in the baseboard where the stairs fit on the platform end

 

Picture 3 - the hole in the front of the baseboard where the subway from the stairs will end up

Picture 1 - The hole in the baseboard where the stairs fit (2).jpg

Picture 2 - The hole in the baseboard where the stairs fit (1).jpg

Picture 3 - The hole in the baseboard where the subway that conects to the stairs wuill come out.jpg

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Another project we are working on are the oil storage tanks for the oil terminal we are creating for the layout. The tank on the left is the raw plastic pipe and the one on the right has been clad in plasikard to for the tank detail. Getting information on how these tanks are constructed is proving difficult and we would welcome any detail readers might have 

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