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chris p bacon

Sandy, GN & LNWR, Sandy & Potton Tramway.

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<SNIP>This is the start of ballasting.......oh joy of joys..... this is not something I was looking forward to. I have a tool which lays about 90% but there is still cleaning up to do, so much is left on top of the sleeper and when it is brushed off it also picks ballast out from between them, there is then too little between the sleepers so you have to try and brush more back in, which then means there is some on the sleepers, which then has to brushed off.....you get the picture !! round and round I go.

I have yet to find a method I am happy with and am open to suggestions.<SNIP>

 

The 2mm Association have a new book out called "Track How it works and how to model it". I posted a review on the books section and there is a link for you to buy it from the society.

They have an ingenious suggestion of mounting a brush inside an offcut of softwood with a nut to set the height. That would allow you to run the block over the rails and the tip of the brush just touches the sleepers without going below them. Its on p116 Fig 9.4.

 

Hope that helps. I like the layout.

You could try using a brush(thick about 1/2inch) to brush along each rail so that the chippings are away from the chairs then use a finger along the center. 

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Hi dave

 

Good to have a chat with you yesterday, the layout looks excellent. Wish I had that amount of space. Now  if I converted the Council chamber to a model railway room that would do the trick! :no: Would only have a year to complete the layout before the next Mayor ripped it all up.

 

See you at Madam Mayors quiz night in April

 

Regards

 

Nick

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Cheers Nick

 

I'll post an update with some pics soon, but as it's only been ballasting, ballasting and yet more ballasting things don't look that different.

 

It feels like I'm doing community service........ but more soul destroying.....

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I've just uploaded a set of pics from a school vist to Sandy in 1963

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/unravelled/sets/72157632593868526/

 

I hope they are of some use

 

Thanks

 

Dave

Lovely set of pictures, Dave! Having grown up about 5 miles away (and still an occasional user of Sandy station), they certainly struck a chord.  And did the sun ALWAYS shine in those days?

 

Look forward to seeing more progress Chris P, hope you soon get over the ballasting!

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Hi Dave

            Thanks for PM reply, I think this is going to be a marvelous layout when finished, pity it comes under the heading

of private,stay at home etc That footbridge is out of this world which proves the old adage that it is not what you know but

who...hope you have stored it somewhere safe !  Good luck with the ballasting, surly you must be nearly there.. Not sure

if it is my fault but you might be loosing viewers cos although I knew this thread was here I had a job to find it cos the tiny

print on the link that comes up when you post doesn't seem to work,,as I said it might be me.

 

Cheers

John

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I'll check the link out later.

 

Progress is happening but very slowly, the ballasting is not an unenjoyable task but a bit of a long one, so what I am doing is splitting it up into boards, this should mean I don't lose the will to live..... I've redone a few sections as I wasn't happy and now seem to have found a system that (sort of) works for me.

 

I have also been putting together some sketches for the buildings that need making, I do enjoy the research part of this hobby as much as the practical, but again there isn't much to show for it when it comes to posting some pics.

 

As for the "private, stay at home" there is a plan...................only a plan mind you..and very loooonnnngggg term one at that.....

 

Madam has 2 engagements today then I might actually get some work done on it !

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Lovely set of pictures, Dave! Having grown up about 5 miles away (and still an occasional user of Sandy station), they certainly struck a chord.  And did the sun ALWAYS shine in those days?

 

Look forward to seeing more progress Chris P, hope you soon get over the ballasting!

Hi Steve

 

What? The sun shine and Sandy together? My mates and me would cycle from Bedford (the Bedford and Cambridge railway having closed just before I started to trainspot) and many a time ended up sheltering form the rain in the old LNWR signal box on the island platform. We would then go on to the RSPB place at Sandy Lodge...only to be moaned at by the grown ups because we were making a noise, sheltering in the hides.

 

I use to enjoy spotting at Sandy.

 

I am looking forward to seeing how Dave (called Chris) progresses. 

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Having heard the odd muttering about this layout from time to time in the club room, it is great to see it in the flesh ;-). It is a great looking layout and a huge round of applause in modelling a real place, I don't think I could ever summon up the courage to do a real place (well apart from Finchely's fiddle yards lol).

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Are you sure it wasn't swearing rather than muttering ?

 

As you know progress is a bit slow as Madam now has the Mayorial chain for an unprecedented 3rd year, and I can't go to club tonight as we have to attend a function.... :cry: so trying to find time for Sandy is a bit difficult, at least the research continues and I have found a bit of time here and there to make up some sketches of buildings I have to make. All enjoyable stuff.

 

It could be worse....I could be rewiring the club layout........Oh Hang on...I am :crazy:

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We persuaded ours to do a second year. His wife agreed at the time but I think she is regretting it already.

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I thought it time for an update, Lots happening at home with things like the mayorial chain and a Burglary !

 

On the surface not much looks to have changed, I've managed to get some ballsting done but to be honest I'm really not happy with it. I think the main problem stems from the Peco sleepers being too deep, to try and get the shoulders of the ballst to look good is so difficult as you have so much ballast to get it near the top of the sleeper. I have this nagging feeling in my head that the only way I am going to get the look I want is to use SMP/C&L.......

 

post-4738-0-05214100-1376853736_thumb.jpg

This is the North part of the layout, as you can see the ballasting just does not look "correct" there is still a lot of remedial work required to clean it up and "shoulder" it, but this took 2 attempts to lord knows how any hours.

post-4738-0-46614200-1376853752_thumb.jpg

from a slightly different angle.

 

After much messing about the best method I could find was to temporarily lay the track, mark it and then remove, paste the baseboard with PVA and then stick the track down and sprinkle ballast over it, wait a short while and hoover the excess off then weight the track down until the PVA sets. On the test pieces this worked the most consistantly, far better than the results that I achieved by brushing it in and using a glue dropper.

Another thing in the mix is the code 75, I have had 2 point failures already, not the end of the world but to change them I noticed that one will not fit  and there is a slight difference in the geometry, so what should of been a simple task took several hours.

 

So what do I do ?

Continue as is ? I don't think this is an option for me, if I am unhappy with the way the track/ballast is going it isn't going to get better.

 

Change the plain track for SMP and leave the Peco points ? Although this is a hlaf way house as regards cost I think it will look a bit cr*p.

 

Bite the bullet and change the lot to something finer...? I'm starting to think that this is going to be the one to do, I'm going to investigate just what the options are for this and have a think.

I really enjoy building and operating the railway but I need to change a few things,OO is a compromise but I wonder that I am compromising a bit too much from what I want to achieve.

 

Anybody got any thoughts on this or had the same experience as me ?

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Anybody got any thoughts on this or had the same experience as me ?

 

If you don't already follow it, probably the best thing is to take a look at coachmann's "Greenfield (Standedge) in the mid 1950's" thread. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/58427-greenfield-standedge-in-the-mid-1950s/

 

Larry's trials and tribulations with trackwork and his various combinations and experiments with Peco, SMP, C&L and others have achieved almost legendary status on here, but you'll be able to see what he has finally achieved (even highlighting the difference in appearance between SMP and C&L).

 

It's OO and you'll be able to judge for yourself what will work for you.

 

Andy

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Well I've had a think and yes........it's going to change. I slowly realised that the reason the ballasting was taking too long to do was because I kept putting it off, other things got done even if a bit piecemeal (time rather than impetus) but the track has bugged me for too long, I blame the club, Peterborough North and Eastwood town .....rotten B*gg*rs ! have they any idea of the anguish they cause  :O

 

I'm happy with the size of the layout and what I can get out of it operationally but to me the one thing that lets it down is the track, it's  just not the look I want to achieve, so It's time to change things, because if I don't do it now I think this will just nag away at me and I could get disillusioned.

 

So what are the options I'm looking at ?

 

handbuilding all the pointwork myself ? probably not going to happen, I will probably look to get the more complex pointwork made for me in 2-3 batches, I will put together a plan for a professional builder and take it from there, I'll try and build some of the more simple pieces but there are series of slips in the plan.

The club uses C&L which looks good but copperclad is so much more robust, I think the copperclad will lend itself more to the complex nature of the GN track (they seemed to love slips).

 

I just have to decide what to do with the old.......I am probably going to make new boards for the station and yard area as I have to accomodate tortoise (or similar) and the bracing will need to be changed, so it's easier to just make new (it's my job).

 

Anybody have experience or can recomend a track design software (I just don't get on with templot...try as I might but it confuses me and I get in a temper..)

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So a new start. I've had a few minutes inbetween work this morning to get the drawings out and start planning.

post-4738-0-16654100-1377251270_thumb.jpg

 

I shall be incorporating many of the lessons learnt from "mark 1", the trackwork will not necessarily be less complicated as that will lose the look I'm after but with the compression I shall try and design it  to "flow" better.

 

The first time I tried to include as much of the embankment to the flyover at the North end extending the track beyond Cambridge Road bridge, I know realise that this is impractical and will use the bridge (already built) as the scenic break, this gives me a bit more space to play with and means I can move Station road bridge giving more room in the Station area which is the area I really wish to model rather than the approaches.

 

A compromise in the goods yard is to leave out a siding near the coal stacking area, this doesn't sound much but gives me 75+mm to play with on the width and means I can try and introduce a gentle curve to the main Up and Down lines which I couldn't first time around, the siding didn't contribute much operationaly so I can live without it.

 

I'll post a plan when I've worked one up and the original that it comes from.

 

 

 

 

 

Anybody want to buy some boards..............

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Looks like you're using the same 'track design software' that I use - a pencil and a piece of paper (I use graph paper once I'm into the serious business of working out what will fit in the space available).

 

Also looks like you're up against the conundrum that is faced by many a modeller when it comes to trackwork - do you want to be able to take a close up photo that shows every chair and fishplate 'just so' or do you want to be able to enjoy the sight of a 7-8 coach train sweeping through your station in a believable fashion? Perhaps you want both!?

 

I toyed briefly with the idea of making my own track when I was younger but then decided that it wasn't what was important to me and therefore I'm comfortable with working with the Peco streamline range, adapting their products slightly to achieve as realistic/prototype looking p-way as I can (and note that this includes use of the foam underlay to 'get round' a large part of the ballasting problem!). Each to their own, and I am comfortable with the fact that there are probably as many viewers (probably more!) who move swiftly on from a brief glance at my thread as there are those who post kind comments.

 

At the other end of the scale, if you can afford someone to build the trackwork for you as you want it then go for it if it will get you to where you want to be.

 

Good luck with the re-design/re-build whatever you decide because it does seem a good prototype to base a model on and I was looking forward to see it develop.

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Looks like you're using the same 'track design software' that I use - a pencil and a piece of paper (I use graph paper once I'm into the serious business of working out what will fit in the space available).

 

Also looks like you're up against the conundrum that is faced by many a modeller when it comes to trackwork - do you want to be able to take a close up photo that shows every chair and fishplate 'just so' or do you want to be able to enjoy the sight of a 7-8 coach train sweeping through your station in a believable fashion? Perhaps you want both!?

 

I toyed briefly with the idea of making my own track when I was younger but then decided that it wasn't what was important to me and therefore I'm comfortable with working with the Peco streamline range, adapting their products slightly to achieve as realistic/prototype looking p-way as I can (and note that this includes use of the foam underlay to 'get round' a large part of the ballasting problem!). Each to their own, and I am comfortable with the fact that there are probably as many viewers (probably more!) who move swiftly on from a brief glance at my thread as there are those who post kind comments.

 

At the other end of the scale, if you can afford someone to build the trackwork for you as you want it then go for it if it will get you to where you want to be.

 

Good luck with the re-design/re-build whatever you decide because it does seem a good prototype to base a model on and I was looking forward to see it develop.

Yes 4479 the trusty drawing board comes into play for this, I've tried templot and I guess it's a really good programme but I just can't get the hang of it and it starts to drive me nuts.

 

With the look I'm after, yes I want it to look good as well as work, I love what you've doneand keep an eye on progress and Peco seems to work for you, but for me something is just not right. Some of the mistakes are mine in either the design (compression) or the laying and even if I had not decided to change then I would have to do something about these problems, there are not masses of them but the cons are outweighing the pro's.

Another influence is the club I belong to (EBMRS) we are in the process of building a new layout (Finchley Central) and I realised that my standard of modelling has improved since starting this project and my own should reflect this, we have an enjoyable time during club nights but I have also been encouraged by the progress that we make to change and improve.

 I am fortunate that I have the means to fund this change as I seem to spend more hours at work than modelling, I also recognise my own limitations, although capable of building simple turnouts I will get someone with more experience to carry out the more complex, which is essentially how I run my business.

 

It's funny but I find that since making the decision to change I have a renewed impetus, I always enjoyed making bits off board and was in the "railway room" but didn't get on with finishing the track, I know know why.

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I have a few minutes while I'm in the office so did a few minutes on the latest plan.

This is the existing plan (taken from the control panel)

post-4738-0-72206500-1377604547_thumb.jpg

The limitations the Peco gave me were that most of the pointwork had to be on the main straight boards which meant the platforms and yard had to be compressed (platforms were by approx 1/3rd and the yard by more than that), I've found that the compression of the yard is what I find the hardest to work with, the limitations of the siding lengths has meant that train formations have had to be kept short so as to run around and through the transfer sidings.

Moving to a different standard should mean that I can get a more realistic look and a nearer scale yard length.

 

post-4738-0-17062500-1377604566_thumb.jpg

This is the new plan as drawn from the GNR plan I have, now whether it is feasible is another thing ! It is quite complex in places and it will be run through Templot to see what can be done and what has to be left out, just being able to extend the yard and transfer sidings onto the curved boards will make a great difference though. The station platforms will remain compressed by approx 1/4, most services that stopped were not exactly 10 coaches so shouldn't be the end of the world, Station road bridge has also moved onto one of the curved boards with the consequent moving of Cambridge Rd bridge, this then becomes a natural scenic break in the North cutting.

 

A bit more work to do to the plan and then get some copies done.

 

Back to work...

 

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That looks a great deal better Dave, and I'm sure you have made the right decision. As to length of stopping trains, a look at my 1958 WTT and official carriage formations shows that the 1040 Buffet Car train to Grantham was the longest, and that loaded to just eight coaches, except Mondays when it had nine. Almost everything else that stopped would be made up of the 1939 Artic 5 sets, with the odd strengthener, so I don't think you need to worry about platform lengths. Oh, and just one Quad Art set made it as far as Sandy on an afternoon working, which terminated there for some reason.

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That looks a great deal better Dave, and I'm sure you have made the right decision. As to length of stopping trains, a look at my 1958 WTT and official carriage formations shows that the 1040 Buffet Car train to Grantham was the longest, and that loaded to just eight coaches, except Mondays when it had nine. Almost everything else that stopped would be made up of the 1939 Artic 5 sets, with the odd strengthener, so I don't think you need to worry about platform lengths. Oh, and just one Quad Art set made it as far as Sandy on an afternoon working, which terminated there for some reason.

Thanks Gilbert.

 

This time around I should be able to include the crossover which was to the North of the Station rd bridge which the terminating services used (also in timetables from the 30's) I couldn't have it first time around as the Peco point geometry precluded it.

I am currently sourcing Birch ply for the new boards, rather than adapt the existing I am making new, I shall use a different method of construction  so I can facilitate the mounting of the Tortoise motors more easily, I did think of using this method for the first boards but for some reason opted for the 300mm cell, both work well, in fact the club is using the same method for its new layout "Finchley Road", I now have to clear the workshop in readiness to make them up, a job which will be harder than making the boards themselves!

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Well the planning progresses....

 

I've now worked out the optimum board sizes and drawn a plan up so that I can have some (well quite a lot..) of the pointwork made profesionally, I'm realistic about my abilities and I'd rather concentrate on something I'm good at (just have to figure out what that is though!),  The main boards (4) are 1200mm X 1100mm giving 4.8M with the end boards being curved (Inner radius of 600mm and board width of 750mm) this allows me to get around the ends which has proved quite usefull.

The main boards are up against a wall and so can only be accessed from one side but at 1200x1100 they are manageable to be removed and turned on their sides for wiring etc.

 

I have obtained some 9mm Birch ply for the tops and some 6mm to rip into 100mm strips to make the beams from.

post-4738-0-44461100-1379018948_thumb.jpg

Here they are in the workshop cut down to approximate size with the 6mm ripped into 54 pieces.

The curved boards are not made from Birch but a good quality hardwood throughout ply, the reason for this is that I want to do  each quarter circle board in one piece and Birch does not come in anything bigger than 8'x4' and to get the size I want I needed a 10'x5'.  The first time around I made them from several pieces and it proved to be a mistake, I did think of amending the board size  but this defeats the object of changing.

 

Hopefully over the weekend I shall get some more cutting done and start to piece together the beams (weather depending and some decorating to do)

 

I intend to get some samples to make a final decision but I may be using Exactoscale for plain track, this is not something I would of considered before but after some discussion this may be the one I'm looking for,

 

 

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Hello chap,

 

As you suggested I have now caught up with this thread, and indeed there are some big changes afoot, but I think they are for the better and you will be far far happier with the end result!

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Been a bit of time since an update so thought I'd put fingers to keyboard.

 

So what's been happening ? Well been on holiday and busy with Madams commitments as well as work which has had a few problems, so not as much time as I would of hoped for. Any way been a bit of progress I am tidying the "railway room" ready to re-decorate it before making changes, because of its size it is not a quick process but needs to be done, thinking of painting the walls in a really light blue so it has a sort of 'backscene' look to it, I'll investigate further what paint I can get mixed, if not it will be good old magnolia.

 

On the track planning front Itook Gilberts (Peterboro Nth) advice and have been in discussion with Norman Saunders of Just tracks, Norman has run my scheme through Templot and made a few changes which will make it more workable, He will also be building most (if not all) the pointwork. I intend to lay the completed pointwork and plain track myself but should I get into trouble then I can call on him for expert help.

 

Below is one of the Peco samples I did many moons ago for ballasting.

post-4738-0-48725800-1383313441_thumb.jpg

It was laid straight onto PVA and ballasted with some masking for the shoulders, although it looked ok, the track just did not look right.

 

now compare to this

post-4738-0-53861000-1383313452_thumb.jpg

This is a sample that Norman popped in the post to me, it is Exactoscale, something I have never thought of using. It is painted which the Peco is not but you can see the difference in standard/look.

It's a no brainer really !

 

Norman has also run the scheme through Templot

post-4738-0-75618100-1383313461_thumb.jpg

I just can't get my head around it but luckily he can. He tweaked it a few times to allow for tight radius in slips etc, I've looked at it running stock move scenarios through it and they can all be accomodated, (why didn't the GN use templot, would've been easier for them ...) so this is looking like the final version to me, unless anyone sees something I haven't......

 

I now have to think about what to do with the old, do I break it down into individual components or leave as boards and run it through the classifieds ? anybody any thoughts ?

 

 

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Another week has passed by, a bit more progress but is it the right sort of progress.... well I've packed away what seems like endless amounts of "stuff" as when the paint rollers come out there can be as much on the floor as on the walls !

 

The boards have been cleared of anything loose and ready to seperate, what remains is what will be disposed of which is namely the Peco track and the point motors (Seep) as the new track will have Tortoise.

post-4738-0-21533400-1384112779_thumb.jpg

I thought I would be a liitle down hearted about taking this work apart but the thought of the better standard is driving me forward.

post-4738-0-99542800-1384112792_thumb.jpg

 

There hasn't been any progress on the new boards as I have to do the final cuts outside and the weather has not been very good this week.

 

I will put an advert in the classified section for anyone interested in either the track/motors/boards or all of it,  Hopefully by the end of the week a start will be made on painting but the calendar is full so I will have to see how it goes.

 

 

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Progress ? Is there any progress I hear you say.......well the voices in my head say it...

 

Yes, sort of, with a somewhat enforced spell in the office and home I managed to get on with the decorating in the railway room, I did have an idea of painting the walls a light blue but in the end opted for good old Magnolia as it keeps the room bright.

post-4738-0-42524900-1385736387_thumb.jpg

With painting underway everything had to be packed away and the layout disassembled.

post-4738-0-61950800-1385736400_thumb.jpg

With the room decorated attention turned to making up the baseboards, I thought it would be easier to make up new boards than try and alter the existing so a cutting list was prepared and a large pile of sawdust was made.

post-4738-0-41508700-1385736413_thumb.jpg

This time I made up some ply beams from 2 pieces of 6mm and a 20mm pse spacer, it was much easier than last time which was the ply cellular construction (300mm boxes) The beams were made up and glued with a small tack to keep them in order then placed in the clamps 2 at a time (5 mins with the glue), A small RSJ  and a box lintel from the workshop were used to keep them straight and true while in the clamps, this works a treat.

post-4738-0-64915300-1385736428_thumb.jpg

When assembling the boards each one was "mated" to the next before screwing together (there must be a double entendre there somewhere) bit of a squeeze in the workshop but it was damp outside which is the only area large enough to lay them on trestles to work on.

post-4738-0-05672700-1385736444_thumb.jpg

This is one of the  four straight boards, with the side beams and just one diagonal brace it is extremely stiff and stable, I could add more but I am wary of adding things that may have to come out when there is a proliferation of Tortoise's 's's's's (yep loads of em!) so this is enough for now and then see how they fare.

post-4738-0-67029900-1385736456_thumb.jpg

This is one of the curved boards and again it is simple but stiff and robust. They will all have a simple leg frame of 2"x2" bolted on to them, most of which has been recovered from the old boards.

The new boards are now in the decorated room and being fitted together, of which  some more pics will follow soon.

 

:victory:  

 

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