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Katharine St. - A BR(s) suburban terminus in fiNescale


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I would appreciate some thoughts on the following.


I do really like XtrkCAD for laying out simple problems such as siding lengths and testing train routes/etc. - but templot it ain't. I've sketched up the precise buildings/platforms and roadway details - as you can see, it's much skinnier than the plan above:



Katharine St. v3.2 - CAD render


While the width of the platforms is at the station building end is as per the prototype, the original of course didn't have a parcels bay. Due to the zig-zag alignment of Katherine St - if straightened out It's just about possible to a minimum width single-sided platform infront of the bay, and then quite a narrow GPO platform behind it.  I'm finding it hard to figure out how the GPO platform would fit - being in a cutting it would make sense for there to be an overhead conveyor to an adjacent building, but Katharine St. is directly behind the station on both a hill and a bus route, so a conveyor would need to be 25' above that too and suddenly with the limited available width too - it all seems a bit contrived.


The alternative is to omit the GPO platform, and as per most suggestions of the prototype's expected behaviour, effectively dedicate P1 for parcels and mail traffic for portions of the operating session. This is what the original platform and road alignment looked like:


Katharine St. v4.0 - CAD render without GPO


I like that we've broken up the schematic-like parallelism.


In both diagrams the dotted lines show the original platform extents - beyond this I'll be modelling SR concrete platform extensions. We could further break up the linearity by extending P2 (bottom) in a curve around the neck of the throat as shown in the 1896 drawings.



This is what the retaining wall looks like now:



This is the original section by the tunnel, you can see the lighter coloured brick where the road was straightened as part of the town hall / garden construction some time around 1890. In my v4.0 plan above, the retaining wall would kink angle out towards the office buildings in the background. Of note, the SEGAS building is pictured right - looking fairly boring here - the good stuff is on the rounded corners and arched ground floor. Also noting the interesting railings.


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Is there room for the postal trolleys to go under the road? Maybe even a slope down to an underpass? Or, an interruption of that nice retaining wall with some horrible 1960/70s steel and concrete underpass having low construction depth - just the sort of self-harm that Croydon specialised in at the time.


I wasn’t too enamoured with an earlier computer-sketch that you showed, with a high-level conveyor, because it seemed to muck-up the visual balance.


Personally, I think it’s worth finding a way to keep the dock, because it makes good excuse for more shunting!

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Interesting thought - having it cut into the wedge at the throat end would give a tunnel with about 9' head height - enough for a postie? Or maybe just have the conveyor  + maintenance access door going this way?




This picture shows a 'minimum island platform' width for the passenger platform, and the imagined depth of the GPO platform. The dashed corner shows the theoretical path of the connection. 


Presumably if this were a conveyor, then anything on trolleys would have to go the long way around down Katharine Street, through the side entrance and clutter up P1...

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I wasn’t thinking of a conveyor in this context, more lots of trolleys behind tow-tractors rattling to and fro through a low underpass - 9ft clear would be more than ample, even 7ft.


Mind you, a ‘baggage conveyor’ type set-up would also work, and be more efficient. 

You clearly need to study sorting-office design c1970: there’s probably a Ladybird book about it if you can’t find something deeper!


Yep; I knew it! http://beingmrsc.com/being_mrs_c/2018/01/ladybird-tuesday-postal-service.html


Rather randomly, the image search also threw-up this, which seems to be The Ladybird Book of Molotov Cocktails.




Edited by Nearholmer
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My method to draw up the station building is inspired by @Nick Holliday - using GIMP's perspective tool to get one of the building faces looking broadly orthogonal in one axis, then measuring the pixel length to known real measurements to calculate a given px/ft ratio on that axis, then simply measuring from edges and corners. Here's what the distorted picture looks like:



Clearly, it's foreshortened - but I don't care what the actual widths are, just their relative proportions to each other. For reference, this is the original unmodified photograph:


This is what I've come up with, it feels about right to me:



Central Croydon Station Building Frontage v1.0


I now need to figure out the chimneys!


I think we can determine that the leftmost chimney sits in the middle of the two storey station master's house - three flutes in the chimney imply four pots on top, one for each of the four rooms sited centrally.



Photograph of Central Croydon station likely >1886. In 1851 Hammond was an ironmonger situated in Croydon  specialising in Ploughs, Stoves, etc. - and Hussey was a gentlemen. Presumably they went into business together for the depot shown!


The other well known picture shows the platform side, and the silhouette of the middle chimney - emphasis mine because it's horridly over exposed:



It looks like the north waiting room chimney has two pots, and is not hard up against the butt gable. Without a floor plan it's impossible to know what the purpose of these two pots are, any ideas? Both for a fireplace at one end of the waiting room?


Lastly, the south chimney appears to be positioned against the theoretical line of the booking office wall underneath the cross gable and has three pots - one for the booking office and two for the south fireplace? One must remember the double windows of the booking office are offset towards the waiting room and I believe the cross gable would be roughly where the sawtooth canopy sits - and is just blown out by the exposure.


It is after looking at this platform view I wonder if the main doors were double - likely - rather than the single I have drawn. I will also assume the brick stripes on the front of the building carry on around to the rear, giving a good datum. This view also highlights how the booking office is flush with the waiting room on platform side.


Edited by Lacathedrale
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It might be worth looking at a few LBSCR stations from the late C19th to get general style, typical dimensions etc. There are a fair few still about.

This one is dressed with lightly classical styling, but my gut feeling is that dimensionally it probably isn’t far different from, say, Hever, Cowden, and Ashurst.


My memory is that main doors are typically double, but with the leaves fairly narrow in proportion to height.

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Buxted was built in the same year and has a similar frontage, albeit a narrower waiting room and in parallel to the tracks rather than as a terminus.




Though superficially similar however, it's quite different in detail!





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  • 2 weeks later...
On 07/09/2021 at 17:27, woodenhead said:

When do we get to see the actual mock up :lol:


First I need to get the ground levels set up properly, which after some musing I think I can achieve - the distance from the top of retaining wall to the backscene is 80mm at its narrowest, and I have some 80mm strip left over from the original ply sheet. This will mean I can kick the can of the GPO platform question down the road a little further.


I feel that this GPO platform is rapidly becoming a textbook case of "killing [my] darling" - though it is an interesting modelling opportunity, I can't really get over the demands it will require scenically to the rest of the layout. Operationally, I think it might be MORE interesting to use P1 for off-peak parcels/newspaper usage, as it will require shuffling carriages around from inbound trains, those on the platform and any of those in the runaround - while dodging outbound services from P2. Additionally, I was really hoping to avoid the high degree of parallelism which is anathema to a natural-looking diorama, and the inclusion of the GPO platform forces even more straight lines into what is already quite a linear layout.

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Don't overthink it - I just spent a week and a half preparing to alter my own layout because I thought it would be more aesthetically appealing to make the change, only to realise it might make operations a little difficult.  The current layout of track that I want to change does everything it needs, but I felt I'd done it wrong.  Last night I realised it was best to leave as is and move on because I'd only regret the change later - but in the meantime I've lost a week and a bit conjugating a change that hasn't happened. 

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Katherine Street cut out and about to be glued up - due to the gradient it's a little more tough to see the zig-zag of the road but I'm sure it'll become more evident as the retaining walls/etc. come up.



This must have been some time later due to the trees in Queen's Gardens, which wouldn't have been permitted while the railway operated - I would imagine no earlier than the WW1-period?



An opposite view in the 1950's - a view seen by the chimney sweep upon scaling the booking office roof?


Retaining wall

My next task, after I all this setup is dried is to create the jigs for the angled retaining wall - thanks to borrowing a compound mitre saw I shoud be able to get them all the same 6 degree angle to form a carcass for applying plasticard sheet. In the above picture it looks to me like there are railing supports that bow out over the retaining wall capstones and are fixed into the brickwork underneath - very ornate! I'm assuming stone capstones about 18" wide?  A picture from Wikimedia Commons handily shows the bond and bricks of the retaining wall still in situ:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Croydon_Central_Station_5.jpg  - it looks like English Bond to me, and very sooty red bricks?



Katherine St. in the 1980's



Not many shots of Katharine Street online, but here's one from 1982 showing  a similar angle as the first. Just about the only thing the same are the two buildings on the High Street at the far end. Croydon Coke& Gas Company Showrooms was rebuilt in 1939 as SEGAS House, and the the rest obliterated (including the Kings Arms Hotel and Pub, and a series of buildings similar to those seen on the High Street) in the 1970's.


Croydon Segas 3606


Here's a wider shot of SEGAS House, showing the junction and railings between Park Lane (foreground) and Katharine Street.  I'd model the side profile of this building for the BR Blue era.


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I rather like the idea of platform 1 only being used for passenger services during the morning and evening peaks and being used for parcels the rest of the time. That way it might suggest the gradual running down of the terminus on it's way to possible closure or a rebirth in future years that could tie in with the tramlink and/or Thameslink.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Checking back on a discussion thread in the Brighton Circle, I was pleased to find that Mr. N. Holliday and Mr. A. Budgen have dredged up a little information around the Katharine St. bridge - courtesy of Mr P. Beeston who went scurrying down there during the construction of Fairfield halls, while it was excavated:



The original 1875 OS Map shows the details in situ:



The latter image also validates my idea of the throat for the original 1868 track plan (i.e. the layout which I'm modelling).


Included in the discussion are some more drawings of the station building which are mostly similar to the ones I made myself, but more refined - I'll save those for another post when I'm a bit further along on the construction - so far, nothing has stirred and my time has been taken up with a Gauge 3 LBSCR H2!

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