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So here goes my first step away from the blog format and into a thread. As stated in my blog I have become somewhat unhappy with my current layout...Gloucester Road; so plans are a foot for my next layout. Real estate has been allocated, 151 inches by 42 inches and planninng is in the early stages. The current idea is for a point to point design, in a large u shape. Four seperate boards so that it can be moved easily, either outside or to some local shows.

 

Some thoughts for the new design

  • code 55 track
  • large radius curves
  • large radius points
  • curved backscene
  • do i paint or use photo backscene? like the photo ones
  • concrete ties
  • static grass
  • an elevated two track mainline with an elevated station (along the line of the GRESBY topic) with a freight avoiding line
  • a lower level and completly seperate freight line (with some shunting opportunities) leading to the obligatory fueling point/stabling point and engine shed
  • I envision the right side of the u having a country scene gradually blending to an urban scene on the left side of the u with the fueling point.
  • keeping in mind that i dont want things to get to "cramped" as i like the look of openess that can be achieved in n. Something missing on Gloucester road.
So those are some initial thoughts.

 

Have purchased some Atlas code 55 track for my test board peco 55 has been ordered and should be here next week. Love the look of code 55 and much to my relief, have heard stories of Farish and Dapol locos and wagons not running, all except for the short wheel base class 08/03 worked. Now i did have to open up the guides on the points with a Dremmel to get the Dapol locos to pass. Also once power was conected and the frogs on the points had power all locos including the 08/03 moved under their own power. So we have a small Atlas double mainline and awaiting the peco track to compare. The obvious advantage to the peco track is...it is correct for Dapol and Farish stock no dremmel needed and has concrete sleepers, except for the points.

 

Here is the track loose on "the board"

 

post-7403-004032300 1285376303_thumb.jpg

 

Track has been clued and dremmeled (is there such a word) to fit

 

post-7403-043609000 1285376458_thumb.jpg

 

post-7403-012214900 1285376533_thumb.jpg

 

Points wired and soldered

 

post-7403-096095400 1285376633_thumb.jpg

 

Dapol class 156440 makes a first tenative run

 

post-7403-046062800 1285376749_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

So we wait for a delivery.

 

Stephen

Edited by Gloucester Road
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That looks like a nice flowing formation that you have there.

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Yes looks good. I've been put off the Atlas track by the close sleeper spacing but it doesn't look bad on there, and the point blade gap is much better than the Peco. Which bits exactly need the attention of a Dremel?

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I like the look of the atlas track, but the points do need work to get them to work. It will be interesting to compare to the peco track; not sure about the sleeper spacing on the atlas track as it seems alot closer than that on the UK prototype, Used the dremmel to open up the space between the track and the guides on either side of the frog.

 

post-7403-081974000 1285420468_thumb.jpg

 

Stephen

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have heard stories of Farish and Dapol locos and wagons not running

The problem with Atlas track is the clasps that hold the rail in place can foul older pizza cutter wheels. Modern Farish and Dapol have a finer flange so should not cause a problem. The flange clearances are based on NMRA standards which are finer than UK being based on a large back to back dimension for the wheels. So you either increase the back to back, or channel out the groove as you have.

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It will be interesting to compare to the peco track; not sure about the sleeper spacing on the atlas track as it seems alot closer than that on the UK prototype,

 

Yep, Atlas is based on American prototype track with their very closely spaced sleepers and to 1:160 scale - and it looks it.

 

Peco track is more generic with regards to sleeper spacing and as a sop to the Continental and American markets consequently is also closer to 1:160 scale making the sleepers shorter and closer spaced than British prototype track and British N gauge 1:148 scale - but not as close together as scale American practice.

 

EasiTrac is probably the closest you'll get to N gauge scale British track sleeper spacing and size, but Peco can, with proper deep balasting and careful weathering, look like and represent British track quite well.

 

G.

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So on Saturday I returned from a week of flying to find a package containing Peco code 55 with concrete sleepers and two points had arrived :) . That was the good news; whilst away my missus had said the boys had been rather naughty. They had been messing around and had done some damage to Gloucester Road and New Street. Not enough that it could not be fixed and as Gloucester Road is probably moving on its not a huge deal, but the damaged locos, well.... All is fixed and forgiven now, with sorries all around.

 

Today fixed down and trimmed off the Peco track alongside the Atlas stuff. Like the look of the concrete, it does raise a question that i cant find pictures to answer. Do the sleepers under the points need to be concrete or are they wood on the "big" railways? It still needs to wired up before the Peco track sees any action, that is a job for tomorrow.

 

Here are the bits spread out on the floor

 

post-7403-031382600 1286158681_thumb.jpg

 

Here we are glued down and trimmed

 

post-7403-013855800 1286158771_thumb.jpg

 

post-7403-090297000 1286158811_thumb.jpg

 

 

Stephen

 

 

 

 

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Points on modern UK railways can be either wooden or concrete, so there is no problem using the wooden points that you have.

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Points on modern UK railways can be either wooden or concrete, so there is no problem using the wooden points that you have.

 

 

Thanks for the info, as this is a test board i mighht try and paint one point and see hoe it looks>

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Had a productive day today. One 4x8 sheet bought and cut into 4 as follows

 

  • 1 at 24x42
  • 1 at 24x34
  • 2 at 51x20

Pictures tomorrow of how they will look.

 

Finished up wiring and slodering track today and ran some trains on the peco track. Also painted one point to look like concrete, not good me thinks. Will stick with the concrete flex track and wooden points, There will only be six points on the mainline so it will be ok.

 

dont think much of the painted points, but it was worth a try

 

post-7403-097872000 1286247381_thumb.jpg

 

my shunter doing some work

 

post-7403-027697500 1286247424_thumb.jpg

 

66705 arrives light engine

 

post-7403-066248200 1286247472_thumb.jpg

 

and departs with a short container train

 

post-7403-051494000 1286247514_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks for looking

 

Stephen

 

 

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I agree that the painted point doesn't quite look right. It might look better when it is ballasted as this will disguise the slight differences in the sleepers.

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Hi Stephen,

 

Is this a scenic diorama or will this board be part of the completed layout?

 

My reason for asking is that for running purposes I would be wary of having such oblique track joins as you appear to be having at one end of the board. Generally speaking it can be tricky getting smooth running over anything more angled than just a few degrees either side of 90 deg.

 

Having said that, I like the flowing trackplan you have created!

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

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Ben thanks for the concern. This is literally my board to make mistakes on. It will have no place on the new layout. I wanted a quick place to test the different brands of code 55, to practice my skills with a dremel and soldering iron and to test different techniques.

 

It will probably be"sceniced" but only because I will test different scatter material and my home made static grass applicator here too.

 

I would prefer to make mistakes here and learn here rather than on the final product. Case in point the concrete points.

 

I must say I too like the sweeping curves and as this will be the first time I have used flex track almost exclusively I want to try and mimic those lines. Will keep that join problem in mind as planning continues. I have made some cuts and joins on this test board to see how easy making joints is. Certainly not as simple as set track but you sure can make some nice lines.

 

Will try and ballast the point to see how it looks, but i am not conviced.

 

Thanks for reading

Stephen

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Messed around with AnyRail track planning software today and came up with plans I am pretty happy with.

 

Board 1

 

Engins shed and town scene with a cureved backscene (missing at the moment)

 

post-7403-064648900 1286329297_thumb.jpg

 

post-7403-088868900 1286330291_thumb.jpg

 

The locos would arrive from the lower right and come to the first facing point. Here straight ahead would be to the fueling point or off to the right they would enter the shed area. Having made the right and pulling ahead they would reverse up the line taking the left. Having taken the left there are two parralel roads that would be the loco shed. Loco storage is at the top right . The curved siding at the bottom is for wagon storage and engineer stock that arrives in the shed area.

 

Behind the engine shed area I envision an industrail/ street scene area. There will be a curved backscene behind that scene with the double main line track behind it. Passenger and freight stock running on the upper level will be set out / removed back here and enter the scenic area somewhere on the curves. Wherever the backscene ant track meet.

 

Comments happily taken.

Night all

 

Stephen

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Quiet a lot done today as it was tipping it down with rain. Took out pen and paper and fiqured out cuts for building the base of Board 1.

 

post-7403-098086800 1286417451_thumb.jpg

 

After dropping my 8 year old off for the school bus and with diagram in hand my four year old and I headed off to the local lumber shop. We found three pieces of 1 x 3 x 6 and had them cut to the right length. We headed home for a test fit.

 

post-7403-087518000 1286417678_thumb.jpg

 

They seem to fit so now to test my glueing and drilling skills. Jordan was itching to get it built as he wanted to use the sander, but first things first. With tools in hand and Jordan ready to help we started.

 

post-7403-063814100 1286418062_thumb.jpg

 

An hour of drilling and gluing and we came up with this.

 

post-7403-085623100 1286418152_thumb.jpg

 

post-7403-017597700 1286418207_thumb.jpg

 

It was then allowed to dry and set, and then sanded with screw heads being filled in with wood filler. By this point my oldest boy was on his way home, he was a liitle upset that he had to be in school while his brother was playing with power tools. So he had a go with the sander and then we played with pages from AnyRail and taped down the plan.

 

post-7403-067983800 1286418459_thumb.jpg

 

Next came the move up to the "train room" as our guest room is known and the board fit through all doors and hallways with no problem, a good sign if i plan on taking this to shows or outside for pics. Gloucester road was/is a pain in the neck to get out of the room so it never made it to local shows or outside. We then had the customery adding of stock to check on fit of locos and wagons. I rather like the look of the Voyager coming around the shed so might move the backscene behind the mainline so that it is visible. not a hidden entry point. Any way thats it for today. Next up buliding of legs for Board 1.

 

post-7403-089998400 1286418856_thumb.jpg

 

post-7403-098755900 1286418926_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks for looking

 

Stephen

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It might be too late for this but if you made the bend on the main line a larger radius the results would look better. It seems as if you have the space to do this.

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Not to late. My original plan would have had this line behind the backscene but I quite like the look of it coming around the shed area. So if its going to stay in front then I agree a larger radius would look good. As this entire mainline is going to be on a viaduct/embankment I am liking this idea even more of a gentle curve around here.

 

Will work on this later.

 

Kris thanks for the sugestions.

 

Stephen

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Or keep the curve tight and hidden behind the backscene and have the trains emerge onto a visible section on the straight bit. Even with the radius a bit larger the proximity to the straighter tracks on the lower level may draw too much attention to it?

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My original intention had been to have the mainline emerge from behind the backscene, but having seen trains on plan and per suggestions have tinkered with it a bit. I couldnt get the flex track function to work on AnyRail so fudged it a bit and then set down some flex.

 

Some imagination is needed to see the backdrop as it is temporaily being done by off cuts. Here we are with the original plan coming through the backscene

 

post-7403-058304500 1286503537_thumb.jpg

post-7403-017426200 1286503592_thumb.jpg

 

Then moved the backscene back and opened up the curves radius.

 

post-7403-060026700 1286503712_thumb.jpg

 

Then added the flex track.

 

post-7403-008391400 1286503799_thumb.jpg

 

Trains were then added to see what the radius looked like.

 

post-7403-049099600 1286503905_thumb.jpg

post-7403-069299900 1286504285_thumb.jpg

 

That looks much better to my eye. Now in my imagining so far,looking across the shed area you would see, first a road and entrance to the shed followed by the fueling point and locos, 2 a town area sepearted from the shed by a low wall and security fencing, 3 a 2.5 inch high retaining wall with some arches and business in said arches, 4 the mainline running above the retaining wall with low relief buildings/ warehouses behind and then 5 the backscene. As you move to the right the mainline curves toward you still riding on the reatining wall; in the apex of the curve i see an arched bridge passing under the mainline, this road comes toward you and into the town and away from you under the mainline possibly ending in a mirror. The mainline continues onto board 2 still sitting on the retaining wall.

 

Thats my musings for tonight.

 

Stephen

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It looks so much better like that.

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post-7403-089998400 1286418856_thumb.jpg

 

Stephen - Interesting project taking shape here - I do like this photo showing the context with the rolling stock...don't think my wife would be to keen on me laying out my boards on the bed though...that would tip her over the edge :O Keep posting - Pete

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Pete

 

The missus has been away all week so we (the 2 boy and I) are having a mad clean up before she comes home. As long as she doesn't look on here all evidence will be removed. Hopefully.

 

Right back to cleaning

 

Stephen

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Right back from another week of flying. All in all not a bad way to make a living; back on Friday we were walking out to our Piaggio only to find this sitting next out plane. Usually we are the best looking thing at the airport, not to day.:blink:

 

post-7403-063080700 1287367478_thumb.jpg

 

Anyway back to modelling. Did some work on tracks for boards 2 and 3. Here is what i envision here. Along the back is going to be the two track mainline (still to be planned)runnning above the lower level. Somwhere along here is going to be an elevated station and a freight avoiding line around the station. On the lower level the line curves in from engine shed and runs past a small container laoding terminal (will be some hardstanding and container loading vehicles) the line then continues past an area for running around trains and three rail served industries. The line then curves off and onto board 4. As the lower level freight curves to the back I see the upper level slowly curving crossing over the freight only line before it joins board 4 (this is still be planned). Down on the lower level one of the industries, probably the two track spur will be a spot for loading and unloading my VGAs and the single sideing might be a virtual quary. Lots of planning and messing around to do so here are the pics so far.

 

post-7403-000169800 1287369105_thumb.jpg

post-7403-017824300 1287369161_thumb.jpg

post-7403-095902700 1287369199_thumb.jpg

post-7403-006428400 1287369230_thumb.jpg

 

Today purchased some more lumber so we can play carpenter tomorrow and do up boards 2 and 3. Right need to get back to minding the fire as its a cold night here in New Hampshire.

 

 

 

Stephen

 

 

 

 

 

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