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Venture Park


Heinz57
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Posted (edited)

27/05/2021 - Revisiting an old idea

 

Hi all,

 

Some of you will be aware that I have recently put my other project, Gresty Bridge, on hold for a bit to work on something else. This is my new project, Venture Park.

 

When I say 'new idea' I'm actualy revisiting an old idea and will be doing something similar to my previous layout, Eleveden Road. The theory of it is simple, a modern day maintenance depot servicing HST stock. Mostly coaches but power cars and DMUs will also be present. As with Elveden, rakes of coaches will be bought in by loco where they will be dropped off, and then shunted around the layout by a pair of 08 shunters. Other coaches will then be shunted into short rakes to be taken away by loco. Most of the stock on the layout will be Midlands. So we're talking East Midlands Trains, Midland Mainline etc. However there will also be east coast examples such as LNER, Virgin East Coast, GNER etc. Similar to what you might see at Neville Hill. Of course my layout isn't situated near the East Coast Main Line so perhaps they've just been bought over for servicing.

 

Many people will question why I'm going back to an old idea, surely I should do something completely new and fresh? Well anybody who knows me will tell you that the HSTs are my favourite trains, I currently have seven full sets and I am constantly expanding my HST fleet. I also have five hundred quids worth of custom EMT 08s that I originally purchased for Elveden (and will only run on a layout of a similar idea) sat doing nothing. So these reasons combined it’s a no brainer really. Also, the HSTs have recently been retired from the Midland region so that gives me all the more reason to do it.

 

Elveden didn't have a specific setting, just 'somewhere in the East Midlands'. For Venture Park I am doing it differently, I am giving it a set location. This will be next to the Midland Main Line in the south east corner of Kettering, Northamptonshire. The red square in the screen shot below shows the location of my layout. Venture Business Park, the name sake for the layout, is situated just to the north, on the other side of the A14...

 

Untitled.png.58450c12742eb78d72958203f06a9227.png

 

The plan is actually one I created back in 2017 when I still had Elveden Road. I was looking for something to replace said layout and this was a contender. Of course I instead went for Gresty Bridge...

 

762084976_VentureParkv6FINAL.jpg.b542f7734f1daf5391e4404d3b3c9a7b.jpg

 

So that's the plan and idea for now. I am going to be quite clever in the way I build this layout. I'm going to do it in such a way that allows me to change the era between the early 00s and today with minimal changes. And run it as a normal TMD for my DRS stock should I wish to, again with minimal changes.

 

I hope you like my idea,

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Matt

Edited by Heinz57
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Not bad mate, I think that you should take the opportunity to make a step forward and this looks a bit 'samey'.

 

I'll spend a few hours on Anyrail and see what I can come up with to hopefully improve it :good: and email the plan over. (I won't put the pic on here I'll let you decide if it's any good! It's your thread)

 

Simon

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Posted (edited)

Hi Matt,

 

It's quite clear that you very much, Like a Challenge, and I fully understand your reasons for building a New layout, so that you can utilise your vast range of stock.

 

I agree with Simon, that your current plan does look a bit "samey"

 

As they say, it's all in the planning !!!

 

Let Simon come up with a plan for you, thats gives your layout some "oomph" and creativity 

 

I'm sure you won't go wrong, and you will be on the "Right track" (Pun intended)

 

Regards,

Paul 

Edited by Perfect Paul
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I like the idea behind it , but I think track plan falls into trap of too much track and too many back and forwards shunts required maybe 

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31/05/2021 - Change of Plan

 

There's been a change of plan. So true to his word above, Simon sat on AnyRail until the small hours of Sunday morning coming up with a new plan for me. It was waiting for me in an email on Sunday morning. I was absolutely blown away by it! A few minor changes were made on Sunday and a few emails and WhatsApp messages were fired back and forth until the plan was finalised to something which is ultimate perfection...

 

2062161600_VentureParkv12extend(23.5ftx2ft6in).jpg.5f8724ebe6ec15d950edcd5f714765a3.jpg

 

The plan is based on the track layout at Derby Etches Park, straight away eliminating the 'back and forth' that Eleveden Road seemed to have. Look, don't get me wrong Elveden did have a good track plan and was great for the knowledge and space available at the time. To this day I still stand by it was a good plan, and so is the one above. But this new plan just stomps all over it!

 

It is actually bigger measuring a grand old 23.5ft by 2ft6 deep! First off, I'll say I don't have that space available to me at home, so what we actually have is two layouts in one. Let me explain, the first three boards from the left create a smaller 13ft version that I use at home. The two entrance tracks above the central shed create a scenic fiddleyard. The next two boards create an extended layout for at shows. The first version of this plan Simon sent to me was 17.5ft and just had the extra scenic board creating two headshunts. I then suggested what about adding a proper fiddleyard and added a 4.5ft traverser. Simon then extended this to the final version which is a teeny bit over 6ft in length. This will now allow me to run a shortened HST into the fuel tracks at the front of the layout. I'm thinking East Midlands Trains (ex Grand Central) buffer fitted sets.

 

The plan features a couple of subtle nods to my original Elveden Road plan, such as the shed in the top right corner (although it will probably be low relief on this layout). It will also operate the same as Elveden or indeed my plan above. However it will also allow for a lot more movement. The smaller shed will be used for DMUs and power cars whilst the main shed in the middle of the layout will be for coaching stock. There's a couple of CET and fuel tracks, plus a lathe shed. The entrance to the fiddleyard will be disguised with a road bridge (again a nod to the original layout) which in the case of this layout will be the A14 approaching J9 from the East setting the location of the layout.

 

I could sit and type all day about the plan but I will probably bore you all to death. I think this plan is that good it speaks for itself. I am beyond happy with it, cheers Simon!

 

Thanks everyone for looking, hope you like the new plan as much as I do!

 

Matt

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Thanks chaps, glad you like the idea!

 

Nick, the layout will be 00 built using bullhead points and SMP track.

 

I thought I'd post this too, its just a closer up view of the three boards that will create the shorter 'home' layout...

 

938790281_VentureParkv12shortend(13ftx2ft6in).jpg.b00c3ab7c9b245d2e26676f08e5a8796.jpg

 

I'm really looking forward to getting this project started. I have already orderd my baseboard materials with my local woodyard!

 

Cheers,

 

Matt

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

26/06/2021 - No Going Back Now!

 

Good evening all,

 

Construction has finally started on Venture Park! I have built the four scenic baseboards over the past couple of weeks. I have constructed the frames from 3x1 planed PSE timber with 9mm Plywood tops.

 

20210626_182822.jpg.f62d11855af44d56ebf815cfd20149c0.jpg

 

This shows the three scenic boards that I will use at home sat on the bench with the extension board lent up to the right.

 

Next job is to tidy up the screw holes with filler and give the boards a lick of paint top and bottom, then fit legs after. I am in no rush to do this as I haven't got any track yet.

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Matt

Edited by Heinz57
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Interesting place to build a depot.

make sure you sort your drains out, it floods down there.

Any OLE planned for the second hand EMUs?

Edited by ess1uk
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Funny you should say that but I have been thinking about adding OHLE on some of the tracks, perhaps just the back two tracks and some of the top left sidings, I haven't fully decided yet. However, I am more torn towards not adding them to allow me to back-date the layout and run it in a pre-wires period (I have loads of MML stock to create this alternate period). I also know how much of a pain in the behind it can be on a transportable layout!

 

Cheers for looking,

 

Matt

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Still here

 

Just a quick one to say we're still here! Since my last update progress on the layout has pretty much stalled. I have painted the boards, but thats not worthy of an update. But that is about as far as I can get because I am still waiting on my points to arrive. I am using the Peco Bullhead points which are, like most track at the moment, in short supply. I have them on back order so its just a case of waiting for them to arrive. Sadly I can't do much else to the layout until they arrive! Hopefuly that will be soon!

 

Stay tuned...

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2 hours ago, Heinz57 said:

Still here

 

Just a quick one to say we're still here! Since my last update progress on the layout has pretty much stalled. I have painted the boards, but thats not worthy of an update. But that is about as far as I can get because I am still waiting on my points to arrive. I am using the Peco Bullhead points which are, like most track at the moment, in short supply. I have them on back order so its just a case of waiting for them to arrive. Sadly I can't do much else to the layout until they arrive! Hopefuly that will be soon!

 

Stay tuned...

AC Models Eastleigh had 3 Bullhead Points and some Track in stock a couple of weeks back if that helps.

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