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Having abandoned an experiment in 11mm gauge, I decided I really ought to try a small test track in 9.42mm gauge instead. I really am keen to get something moving in 2mm scale, no matter what!

 

I always wanted a serious challenge and seem to have found one again here. The track plan is quite complex for such a small space, incorporating a 3-way point and a scissors crossover in a space about 0.5m long by 6cm wide. I had already tried this idea in 4mm scale, but ran into problems with clearances through the pointwork. The original plan I was using had the track centres drawn too close together, I believe. For my new attempt in 2mm scale, I found a 1:500 OS map showing the track plan in good detail, even including the position of the hand levers for some of the pointwork. It places the tracks at the left-hand end of the formation around 8ft apart between the rails, as opposed to something like 6ft in the original plan.

 

 

 

Ignoring the wobbly line of the rails - (engraving the subtle curves of railway track in 1:500 scale would be a challenge for anyone) - the plan ties in well with the only photo I have. Normally, I would not recommend using OS maps for exact track formations. They often contain omissions and the position and scale of trackwork may not be very accurate. Careful observation of a number of 1:500 and 1:1,056 scale maps does however suggest a better picture. Depending on the cartographer, some even show interior details of railway buildings. Such maps were only drawn for some major towns and cities though. My model will be of a fictitious location, Basing it on a real situation will, I hope, make the end result much more realistic.

 

In 4mm scale, I had used standard templates, which did not quite match the length and curve of the real pointwork. For my new attempt, I decided to try and get things as close as possible to the original. That has proved to be quite a challenge. The plan is from the 19th Century, so the pointwork profiles commonly used by modellers are not really appropriate. I briefly experimented with Templot. As a new user, I quickly decided the learning curve was too steep to achieve anything complex in a short period of time. Instead, I printed out some LNWR templates from around 1900. I cut these up and stuck them onto a full-scale plan from the OS map. By cutting the switches from the crossings I found I could mix and match things to get more or less what I wanted. The only exception was the 3-way point, where I used a drawing of a GER 3-way switch from the Web.

 

This is the result so far-

 

 

 

As you can see, the plan does not show the position of all the sleepers and rails. There are also a few temporary discordancies between the switches and crossings. Everything that is important has been very carefully aligned though. I have managed to establish the position of at least one side of each track more or less right through the formation. I plan to fill in the gaps when I lay the rails, using track gauges and straight edges. My experience of building the 4mm version should help a lot.

 

Even the plain track is a bit out of the ordinary. I am planning to lay the sidings with wider-spaced sleepers to represent older track. Sleepers need to be a scale 9ft long, so Easitrac is not suitable. I found some "typical" plain track templates and joined sections together in Photoshop to make longer templates about 300m long.

 

The whole thing will have to be assembled on a sub-baseboard This is because I will need to install a special integrated operating mechanism for the 3-way point, in-situ, to give a realistic movement. I need something that pivots under the baseboard to reproduce the proper blade movement. On the real thing, the point blades were straight. They pivoted on the fishplate at the blunt end. The tie bars went through holes in the web of the adjacent point blades. It would be next to impossible to use conventional scale tiebars to get everything to look realistic.

 

It took several hours of careful work to get this far, but I am relatively pleased with what I have done. Comparing my photo, the map and my results, I reckon it is just about as close as I could reasonably get to the real thing. One very subtle curve is in slightly the wrong place, I admit. I will probably be the only person to notice, so I shouldn't worry too much about it, I guess.

 

I plan to use PCB sleepers and soldered construction for all the trackwork. I am very familiar with this form of construction. It will give me a lot of flexibility in aligning the very complex formation. It will also mean a consistent appearance between the pointwork and the plain track. I have so far done a quick experimental length of plain track. For this, I used short lengths of 0.3mm brass rod between the rails and the sleepers. Using a 12W iron with a small tip, I have been able to sculpt reasonably convincing chairs - certainly better than the usual solder blobs I get with other methods. Time will tell if this was just beginner's luck or not.

Edited by Tequila Sunrise
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With the Heel Switches the swotch rail was tied to the closure rail by a fishplate. Its rather difficult to do this in 2mm but a way has to be found to stop the switch blades from moving away from the closure rail and merely pivot. An inverted bras pin through the sleepr to which the end of the switch blade ( i.e the fat end) is soldered might be an option. I think you are wise to adopt PCB construction for such a complex bit of trackwork. Interesting project.

Don

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With the Heel Switches the swotch rail was tied to the closure rail by a fishplate. Its rather difficult to do this in 2mm but a way has to be found to stop the switch blades from moving away from the closure rail and merely pivot. An inverted bras pin through the sleepr to which the end of the switch blade ( i.e the fat end) is soldered might be an option. I think you are wise to adopt PCB construction for such a complex bit of trackwork. Interesting project.

Don

 

Ta Don! The 3-way point is going to be very difficult at both ends of the point blades, I think. Conventional tie bars won't work as the blades for each switch are staggered. Each tie bar operates one short and one long blade.

 

Here is a linked image from the Templot site...

2_280950_180000000.jpg

 

Flangeways might be a bit of a problem too. I may have to extend the pivot point for the switch blades back a bit to get sufficient clearance.

 

The rest are much more straightforward, but I will probably end up using a similar operating mechanism under the baseboard.

 

Regarding PCB construction, I did think about using Versaline components. In the end, I decided they were a bit expensive for a mere test track.

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The last 2 evenings have seen progress. I was too enthusiastic about laying sleepers though. I really only needed to lay the ones in the critical area around the pointwork for the time being. The sleepering in the middle is deliberately messy - I want to model track that has been down for a long while, so replacement timbers have been inserted from time to time.

 

I have also started laying rail. A 500mm length has gone in on the right of the formation. I have just soldered every 4th sleeper for now. I adjusted it slightly against an aluminium metre rule to make sure it was dead straight.

 

 

 

I am likely to be working in another scale for the next week or two, so won't have much time for this little project.

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I seem to remember that with a true three way it would have to be out of gauge at the blades if they were not staggered a little. I dont think a tie bar passing through the rail is quite on in 2mm. You seem to be making good progress.

Don

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Sometimes adding all the sleepers is a good moral boost and it allows you to see things that might not have been as evident on a plan.

 

Is it normal to have moral problems with 2mm modelling? Oh dear!

 

I suspect you meant morale problems with an e on the end? Assuming you did then your logic certainly sounds good to me, Kris. I am sure the clearance issues I had with the 4mm version have been sorted, for example, to prove your point. Not sure I needed a morale boost though - much too early in the project for that, I hope!

 

If I hit big problems and have to recover the unused sleepers though, I will have a lot of unnecessary work scraping off the glue and paper so I can use them again. I would definitely need a morale boost after that!

 

I seem to remember that with a true three way it would have to be out of gauge at the blades if they were not staggered a little. I dont think a tie bar passing through the rail is quite on in 2mm. You seem to be making good progress.

Don

 

Ta, Don! Even a slight stagger will be out of gauge to some extent, I suspect. I seem to remember reading somewhere that 3-way points weren't allowed on passenger lines, but am not really sure. Mine are just sidings, so not a problem in that respect. Cosmetically, I wonder if tiebars could be made as per prototype, but using them operationally could not be done reliably, I feel. The 3-way will certainly be an interesting challenge - but that is why I want to have a go!

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Nice project - I think your first layout has more turnouts then I have built in my whole 2mmFS life to date... :O

 

Keep at it...it's moving along nicely... :yes:

 

Ta Pete!

 

I have built trackwork in 2mm and other scales before. This is my first 2mm track for 2 or 3 years though, apart from a brief experiment in 11mm gauge last month.

 

It is not really a layout; just a test piece at the moment.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It is not really a layout; just a test piece at the moment.

 

I am now back on the case!

 

I decided to eat my words. Returning to the work piece after a couple of weeks away made me realise that it could be turned into an interesting little mini-layout. I will just need to add a small fiddle yard to make it fully operational as a 2 platform passenger terminus.

 

I have already laid the remaining sleepers. Fortunately, I just had enough left to finish the task. I hope to recommence soldering rail over the next few days. It will be quite a long job laying all the track though. I expect track laying to take a couple of months, at least.

 

The "baseboard" I have laid the sleepers on can easily be widened to allow me to model station platforms and a bit of scenery - though I don't envisage anything too elaborate at the moment.

 

I will report further once I have made significant progress. As a sign of optimism, I have this evening re-wheeled my solitary Farish diesel loco with 2FS replacement wheels. This proved to be a very easy task.

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  • 1 year later...

It has been 15 months since I last wrote anything. :scratchhead:

 

Just to fill you in on "progress" - the 3-way point was impossible to build due to clearance problems through the point blades using 2mm standards. One big snag with building in-situ is that if one part does not work out, the whole layout is compromised. I did briefly experiment with rebuilding the 3-way point with the blades a couple of sleepers nearer the frog, but this created other complications, including a very short point blade.

 

I gave up! :banghead:

 

All that is left is a small turntable-style fiddle yard. This, I can use on any future project.

 

All is not quite lost. I don't want to give up on 2mm finescale modelling altogether. I took to learning a bit about Templot. I have drawn up 2 or 3 ideas for a new, small layout with sightly less ambitious trackwork. :mail:

 

I quite fancy a Southern Region layout, early 1960s, especially now Dapol have announced a new N gauge Class 33 and Farish their N Class 2-6-0 Mogul.

 

I have drawn up 3 plans based on real stations. The grid has 500mm squares. Orange lines show the possible boundary of my model.

 

Here is the most complicated, but without the impossible problems of the 3-way point I was building before. This is based on Sheerness Dockyard, assuming it stayed open for passenger traffic. It is a pretty accurate copy of the station before it closed to passengers and became just a goods yard.

 

post-14136-0-60209800-1369994717_thumb.jpg

 

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/sheerness_dockyard/index.shtml

 

The goods yard area at the bottom of the plan is a bit nasty, with a 3-way interlaced point and 2 diamonds, but the overall area is very compact. I could simplify the track a bit, but fear it would lose some of the atmosphere. Wiring the goods yard would require some careful thought!

 

Another idea is based on Lymington Town, but with an added island platform so 2 passenger trains could pass.

 

post-14136-0-56531200-1369994719_thumb.jpg

 

http://www.lymington.org/history/railhistory.html

 

I can see this one with an M7 on a pull-push, or even third rail with a 4-CEP emu. There are quite a few points, but at least they would all be relatively simple to build. The branch is limited to very short trains, so the station itself is quite short. The approach tracks at the ends make the design a bit longer than I would like though.

 

Finally, if I can't find the courage to do either of those, here is North Greenwich. I am pretending it stayed open until recent times, instead of closing in the 1920s. This would be Eastern Region, rather than Southern. Farish are supposed to be bringing out a new Class 31 diesel (one of my favourites), so it would not be a bad move. The track is much easier to build than the others. It is scenically the most interesting of the 3. There is no denying though - it would be the most boring to operate, by far.

 

post-14136-0-51638700-1369994718_thumb.jpg

 

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/n/north_greenwich/index.shtml

 

Apologies that the images of my original model were deleted last year - they were linked images to a photo host I no longer subscribe to. In future, I will import all my images here.

 

I probably won't be able to start anything until the autumn at the earliest. By then, I may have even crazier ideas. :crazy:

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I'd favour the Lymington plan for a number of reasons including:

- Flowing trackwork

- Through station for watching the trains. 

 

If you want to play shunting about and don't have the space for the second fiddle yard or roundy then the dockyard may better.

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Just a comment on the lymington plan. Rather than an island platform wouldn't a second platform be more likely outside so the passing loop is between the two. Island platforms were more commonly used to serve both sides of the loop and where access could either be from an over or underbridge. Merstone on the Isle of Wight is a fascinating Island platform junction station.

Don

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I do love a bit of complicated trackwork and personally would go for Sheerness dockyard, just for the challenge

However for a first attempt I think Rich is right, Lymington would be a better choice for all the reasons he listed

Plus as its a lot easier, chances are you won't get fed up half way through and therfore will have more a a chance to finish it

Good luck

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Ta for the encouragement Stuart. I too like a challenge - it is just that the 3-way point I was trying to build earlier was near-impossible with 2FS clearances. I have built 2mm trackwork before, so this would not be a completely new start. Too much of a challenge though and I would never get it finished, on past experience.

 

I did get a bit carried away with Templot - it kind of takes on a life of its own once you grasp a few basic principles. I drew up about half a dozen other ideas, from simple ones, to some I just did because they would be a good way of challenging my limited abilities with the software. I still can't draw a 3-way tandem point properly, but I have had a go at some complicated stuff, like the junctions at Alloa

post-14136-0-59597700-1370181637_thumb.png

 

or a variation on the Penzance theme

 

post-14136-0-41248300-1370181685_thumb.jpg

 

.......but never had any serious intention of modelling them.

 

A Southern theme is getting quite attractive with the new announcements, including Bulleid and Maunsell coaches. I reckon I will go for Lymington.

 

 

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I can draw a double slip in Templot but I can't draw a 3way turnout, despite spending several hours watching the video over and over again,

so I resorted to pencil and paper and an artist's bendy ruler, This method allowed me to draw a 3way turnout in less than a minute. it might not be right, but I'm not a rivet counter.

Sometimes you just can't beat simple

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I find it easy to set out the turnouts with a few measurements but if you do not feel up to it. Trace over a turnout template onto either clear plastic plastic or greasproof paper and then place it over the other turnout and you should be able to work it out. Unless you are following a particular prototype true three ways are probably not worth the trouble saving just a little space compared to a tandem. Of course for the masocistic I think there was a fourway at Kempton Goods yard.

Don

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t.b.h. it is easy in Templot to overlay 2 points to give the basic outline of a 3-way interlaced point. Laying out all the sleepers properly is the difficult bit.

 

If I wanted one, I think I would sort the sleepers out in 3D when I build the points. The sleepers Templot draws for the 2 points would probably be a good enough guide.

 

Messing around for a long time in Templot, just to get all the sleepers to look nice and tidy on screen, is quite possibly unnecessary in 2mm scale in my humble opinion.

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Messing around for a long time in Templot, just to get all the sleepers to look nice and tidy on screen, is quite possibly unnecessary in 2mm scale in my humble opinion.

Possibly. We all make compromises. I tried to make sure my timbers were in the right place according to the GWSG publication on GW switch and crossing practice but I didn't draw every sleeper for the whole layout in CAD when I was planning because the poor thing would have ground to a halt. Whilst it might not be worth doing it in Templot I think it is worth putting them in when transferring to the work bench or actually laying the timbers during construction. If you can do it right then why not 8)

Edited by richbrummitt
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I try to place the timbers under the crossing nose and the blade points and then fit the others inbetween as close to the proper spacing as I can manage. It seems to me that is how it would be done full size.

Don

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Returning to my plan based on Lymington, there would of course be no 3-way points of any kind, so I guess we should get the discussion back on track ;)

 

post-14136-0-96279100-1370346482_thumb.jpg

 

I have now printed out the plan full size. I am very impressed with the way the tracks curve through the station. Even more encouraging is the fact that a couple of baseboards I had built for a previous, failed project will be near ideal for the main station area. These were built open-plan. I would just need to widen the trackbed slightly in a few places and build a third board to cover the exit heading towards the Quay and an extra fiddle yard.

 

Originally , I was thinking of making the layout L shaped by building the extension to Lymington Quay, but I think that would definitely be a step too far.

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