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Rob T

Time to tune the Piano

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I have decided to start a new project. I have a 6' x 1' board ready which is the maximum size I can accommodate - I live in a small London flat.

 

I am particularly taken with Rev. Heath's Piano Line (as shown on Carl Arendt's excellent site). However, before I fix the track in place I wonder if anyone has any thoughts or improvements for the plan? Is there scope for an additional siding, or will this make the plan too complex?

 

So far, I have the relevant track sections for the plan attached, but am prepared to buy extra if it will improve matters.

 

post-10098-077046500 1288529768_thumb.jpg

 

Any thoughts or comments are gratefully received.

 

Thanks, Rob.

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There is scope for an extra siding, and I think that this would make the plan more interesting. I'll pop something up later to expand on this.

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That reverse curve at the bottom left looks really ugly, and might cause problems with long wheelbase stock. Could you ease it a bit?

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Right, I've lost the reverse curves that were in your plan and have added to sidings. The down side to what I have done is that I have also lost some of the length of the loop. I have used medium radius Peco points, along with a curved point.

 

 

post-163-020431200 1288534963_thumb.jpg

 

 

The short siding is an end loading dock. These were often very short - 2 or 3 wagon lengths so this does not look too bad. I have not suggested what the longest siding would be for. Possibly just a milage siding or maybe for coal. I had initially thought to put the goods shed on this but it looked very cramped. The goods shed is shown next to the road bridge. I has assumed that you can only see the rear of the shed as there is not space to for lorries to access the shed from this side for collection of goods.

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Depending on where it was set, could the front siding be coal cells? I was just thinking it would give purpose to the siding without taking up extra space.

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Right, I've lost the reverse curves that were in your plan and have added to sidings. The down side to what I have done is that I have also lost some of the length of the loop. I have used medium radius Peco points, along with a curved point.

I had thought something on those lines when I looked earlier, but your loop is down to about 1 1/2 wagons that can be run round. If you take the engine release turnout up towards the end a bit (i.e. restrict the length of the loco to about six inches) and move the crossover towards the end of the baseboard you'll get another few wagons in. I'm thinking the 'traditional' GW BLT here. Other geometry could stay the same-ish.

 

Whatever way the OP chooses to do it it will be interesting to operate.

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My first ever layout when I was about 15 was on a 6' x 1' board using a similar idea. Off to try and find a 'trial' track plan bit of software so I can post up the plan.

 

Andrew

 

 

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I have decided to start a new project. I have a 6' x 1' board ready which is the maximum size I can accommodate - I live in a small London flat.

 

I am particularly taken with Rev. Heath's Piano Line (as shown on Carl Arendt's excellent site). However, before I fix the track in place I wonder if anyone has any thoughts or improvements for the plan? Is there scope for an additional siding, or will this make the plan too complex?

 

So far, I have the relevant track sections for the plan attached, but am prepared to buy extra if it will improve matters.

 

post-10098-077046500 1288529768_thumb.jpg

 

Any thoughts or comments are gratefully received.

 

Thanks, Rob.

 

Hi Rob

It was my article on early microlayouts for Carl's site that included the Piano Line and it is a plan I keep coming back to.

I think the easiest addition would be a siding on the right hand side and that keeps the original length of the loop.

This is P.H. Heath's original plan with that second siding added.

post-6882-084733400 1288549355_thumb.jpg

 

I actually preferred a second version of the Piano Line inspired by Heath's original that appeared a couple of years later. The tunnel and hill on the original looked a bit unnatural and having the platform at the rear avoided the sharp S currve. I liked the overbridge as a scenic break as it reminded me of the situation of the Bristol dock railway.

I've also added an extra siding to this.

post-6882-003895200 1288549604_thumb.jpg

 

I think that either version would be quite good fun to shunt as with sidings in both directions there's plenty of scope for problem solving while in say a quayside setting you'd have at least three places to park wagons.

 

Heath's ingenious "Piano" plan is by the way far more prototypical than it may appear. I'm looking now at a trackplan almost identical to the second one at Saint-Mard Nord on the metre gauge Meaux-Dammartin tramway in Seine-et-Marne SE of Paris and a very similar arrangement also used to exist at the Valmondois terminus of the Chemin de Fer de Valmondois a Marines north of Paris where the MTVS museum now lives and that definitely handled both passengers and goods.

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My first ever layout when I was about 15 was on a 6' x 1' board using a similar idea. Off to try and find a 'trial' track plan bit of software so I can post up the plan.

Try XtrkCad - and the Support Wiki

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My first ever layout when I was about 15 was on a 6' x 1' board using a similar idea. Off to try and find a 'trial' track plan bit of software so I can post up the plan.

 

Andrew

 

 

 

I use AnyRail trial version

 

http://www.anyrail.com/index_en.html

 

Dave

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I had thought something on those lines when I looked earlier, but your loop is down to about 1 1/2 wagons that can be run round. If you take the engine release turnout up towards the end a bit (i.e. restrict the length of the loco to about six inches) and move the crossover towards the end of the baseboard you'll get another few wagons in. I'm thinking the 'traditional' GW BLT here. Other geometry could stay the same-ish.

 

Whatever way the OP chooses to do it it will be interesting to operate.

 

The loop was quite a sticking point I felt. The other option would be to use smaller points, you wouldn't gain much space this way though.

 

 

 

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OK, 45 minutes later and I have had a play with XtrackCAD...seems OK.

 

Hopefully the plan is now below.

 

 

post-8087-061028600 1288554992_thumb.jpg

 

I'll try to find some pictures, but for now the top right was the 'fiddle yard'.

 

Sidings from left to right.

 

1. Had small goods shed, capacity 3 SWB wagons.

2. Siding with crane (between siding 1 and 2), capacity 5 SWB wagons.

3. Coal siding, capacity 3 SWB wagons.

4. Oil siding (with facility in space above siding, capacity 5 SWB wagons.

 

Headshunt on far right had a coaling stage for the loco.

 

Entry / exit line also had a platform so lots of operational options.

 

The use of setrack meant it was not too prototypical, but you did get a lot into the small space available.

 

Regards

 

Andrew

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You could even squeeze another siding in there if you wanted to...

 

post-7489-070751800 1288603449_thumb.jpg

 

...although in this case I'd remove the one I've marked with a red dot just to make it a little less cluttered. It does also strike me that you could get a point + siding in the fiddleyard too to cut down on the amount of manual handling required.

 

Having said that... I actually prefer Kris' earlier version with the medium points. That just seems to flow a little bit better, probably helped by the slightly curvy nature of the whole thing. Feels more realistic. If it were me building that (and I'm tempted!) then I would probably end the headshunt on the right going under a bridge so as to suggest the line continues on - that's about the only part of the plan that might be difficult to get looking right/realistic. It would also provide a neat viewing 'hole' between the two bridges into the little goods shed area.

 

post-7489-027708200 1288603541_thumb.jpg

 

Couple of other thoughts - it might be possible to fit in a kickback siding coming off the long siding, although a question would be if the added operational interest it provides makes the overall scene too crowded. The other thing I note is that having the goods shed backing onto the fiddleyard means a hole could be left in the backscene and open wagons could be filled with something suitable before they are shunted out again.

 

Very much an urban scene, I think. Closed in with retaining walls, warehouses, space at a premium, that sort of thing.

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I like the idea of the second bridge Dave. It would defiantly frame the view nicely. I think that this would work quite well in N if you had a space of 4ft x 8in. You could then replace the single fiddle line at the back with a traverser of some kind, and the extra length would allow for the extension of the platform and loop area.

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Dave - I don't think your pointwork actually works out - you need the loop to be about the same length as the platform so you can run around a train matching platform length minus small loco.

 

This is the piano line I built - it's about 3ft long. With 4ft you'd be able to extend enough to run around a B set and maybe add another siding.

 

http://www.rmweb.co....2&hilit=llanast

 

As it is it can handle a two car 57' DMU, a 14xx + autocoach, and just about a terrier + 2 x 48' ex SECR push-pull set. With hindsight I'd have made it the 4ft and added an extra siding.

 

 

The neatest twist on the Piano I've seen is this rather neat layout http://kidmorengauge...dmore-yard.html

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Dave - I don't think your pointwork actually works out - you need the loop to be about the same length as the platform so you can run around a train matching platform length minus small loco.

 

 

 

I think Dave's does work, but it's mine that does not, well not it you want a train that is the length of the platform anyhow. When I designed it I made a decision that the trains were to be shorter than the platform, and to have a much longer platform than then maximum train length for aesthetic reasons.

 

 

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I nearly wrote yesterday that the loop probably wasn't long enough to get two coaches into and still be able to run round, but I wasn't sure if the OP was just going to trundle a DMU in and out. If it were me I'd probably ditch the platform altogether and go all freight, but that's not really what the concept is about.

 

I noticed this morning that you could actually make it into a junction layout with a fiddleyard on the left and a traverser on the right (would need to angle the line at the front 'in' a bit more to reach the traverser). Lots of traffic passing through with the odd thing stopping off, BUT... getting even further from the concept now!

 

post-7489-049566100 1288689567_thumb.jpg

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Wow - thanks to everyone for the various replies! I am bowled over by the response. To be honest, I think it says a lot about the simplicity and charm of the original.

 

Kris - I absolutely love your revision of the plan, it is exactly what I was after. I am keen to take the Piano Line but to update it a little. I really like the fact that your plan is still recognisable, to my eyes at least, as the Piano Line. However, as several have also pointed out, I am worried about the short length of the run-around.

 

Pacific231G - thanks very much for the input (and the PM - I will respond properly to this separately). As the author of the original article on Carl's site you must take credit as my original inspiration. Etched Pixels, I am a huge fan of your interpretation too and you proved to me that it is possible to build the plan.

 

I have been mulling the various permutations around in my mind (and on AnyRail) and have come up with version 1.2. It is based very strongly on Kris' plan but I have also taken into account the revisions to the original plan as posted by Pacific231 and reversed the points at the end of the loop. I have kept the over-bridge, but sadly, it has lost the goods shed. I'd be grateful for any thoughts.

 

post-10098-000374600 1288738027_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks,

 

Rob.

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Rob

 

I'm still seriously concerned over the length of the run round and hence what you can do with the yard - It'll only take a couple of 4 wheel wagons at most so your shunting will become very difficult. Your original would take 4 wagons.

 

If you move the platform point left by a foot or more (depending on your maximum loco length) and take the 3-way point out substituting with a left and right hand you'll get a load more in the run round. If you have track (I think you have) plug it together and push some stock around to see what you come up with.

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Hey Rob,Thanks for reminding me of that plan-just the one I`m looking for for a winter project.......:D :-I seem to have a memory that the original was wider at the left end by several inches ...made space for the siding turnout to be a `Y` and the siding to be a smooth extension of that.....Either way,just the job:-I can see both of my 14XX`s sharing the Autocar & my old open cab pannier on there too Equally,a J72 & J83 with either teak or B & C stock,,An M7 & 2 Maunsells plus a 33 with freight, Old Tri-Ang night-2 jinties & a 3f-Just the ticket :D

 

ATB

 

Nick

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If you move the platform point left by a foot or more (depending on your maximum loco length) and take the 3-way point out substituting with a left and right hand you'll get a load more in the run round.

Care! One feature of Piano plans is that you must have sufficient headshunt at at least one end of the runround to shunt wagons to and from the front road where all the sidings are. The other headshunt can be reduced loco length of course.

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You can still keep the goods shed, just change the siding that it is on.

 

post-163-007388500 1288772909_thumb.jpg

 

 

It's here in red.

I would suggest that keeping the road on an angle as this helps to hide the fiddle area.

 

As far as the length of the loop. This is still an issue but I can't realistically see a way of getting a longer one in. I feel that this does makes the operational side of the layout more interesting as you will have to consider the shunting that you can perform to get the wagons where they need to be.

If you wanted to make the shunting more complex I would have a coal merchants on the long siding and possibly a provider style shed for some form of private enterprise - possibly a local farm supplies cooperative. (this last part might be stretching the location a little.

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Kris, what about re-doing your version with short radius points to see if that works? Perhaps it's the usage of the medium radius that's snarling things up a bit.

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That would work Dave, but I try to avoid these. They look so wrong to me.

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That would work Dave, but I try to avoid these. They look so wrong to me.

 

 

Using medium radius points only increases the total length of the loop by about four inches and IMHO looks so much better than short radius points.

I had a go at my suggested plan based on G. Howell's "imitation is..." layout with an extra siding in Xtrkcad

post-6882-007814700 1288982511_thumb.jpg

 

The loop will hold a two foot train without loco and the maximum train length is two foot six with the loco. Although I've assumed a six inch long loco I've made the loco release eight inches long to give flexibility but ideally that should be long enough to take the longest piece of rolling stock you intend to use in a shunting situation (probably but not necessarily a loco) and there is a bit of wiggle room to make the loco release a but longer at the expense of a couple of inches off the loop. I've just tried it in Xtrkcad's operating mode and with a five wagon train (European short wheelbase wagons) the loop was longer than it needed to be so the loco release could be lengthened a bit to accomodate a small tender loco or a BoBo Diesel so you'd have the flexibility to use a short loco and more wagons or vice versa on different occasions.

I think that for shunting layouts having sidings facing in opposite directions does make life more interesting.

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