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Theory of General Minories


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One of the features of Minories is that, as the platform roads cross the board joins at 90 degrees, it's easy enough to slip an extra baseboard in to increase platform length. Likewise, depending on the type of fiddle yard used, an extra board can be slipped in there as well. So it can be used in short form at home/smaller shows, and in extended form with longer trains at bigger ones.

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42 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

 

But what about length? It seems to me that one can easily create a layout where 40% of the length is non-scenic, which seems like a waste.

 

 

Not necessarily completely non-scenic. Provided a traverser isn't being used(*) it would be possible to have goods sidings or some scenic feature such as a canal or street scene in front of it - possibly with working trams or trolleybuses. Or even an Underground station, with its fiddle yard underneath Minories!

 

Maybank had its loco depot over the fiddle yard, at least in its earlier versions.

 

(*) even a traverser isn't completely excluded provided the scenic section is high enough for the traverser to slide underneath it.

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45 minutes ago, Zomboid said:

Length is a personal preference thing.

I think I said earlier that I would be happy with a maximum train length of 3 carriages and a CCT. 4 would be better, but going beyond that wouldn't make operating the layout any more enjoyable for me. Many (most?) would disagree whole heartedly with that much compression, but for me the fun lies in recreating the operation rather than in visual fidelity, and I could believe in a 3+CCT train representing a medium distance service on a secondary main line.

 

Number of carriages depends. Suppose one takes the benchmark as a 4-VEP or 4-CEP - 42". That will only give you three Mk1s plus locomotive, or three plus a 4-wheel van if it's a short tank engine. But it's a Terrier and eight Stroudley 4-wheelers, which will certainly look like a decent-length train, or a 1P 0-4-4T and four Ratio Midland suburbans - an authentic formation - with space to spare for a fruit and milk van or a horsebox.

 

Edited by Compound2632
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Good point, I'm thinking post grouping with things like the Hornby Maunsells. Something like an N class or Schools with 3 mk1ish length carriages and a CCT would be the kind of thing I'm thinking of. With shorter carriages 3 might not be as convincing.

 

I suspect it would be different in N gauge too.

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1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

Do you want a dimensionally accurate set-up, or a reasonable representation compressed in length?

 

Cos if you want the former it gets very long and dull, which I guess is why people tend to go for the latter; certainly the layout was designed specifically for the latter.

 

Of course, pre-1900 on the ‘subsurface lines’, or Broad Street in its death throes, yield very short trains while remaining realistic, but they are somewhat niche themes.

 

I think that these are very good points.

 

In many ways, I think that Minories works best as a diesel/electric era layout with DMUs/EMUs and the occasional short parcels/newspaper train. The platforms still need to be long, but the fiddleyard can be a lot shorter. 

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It would look cracking if done as the Met. & District c1900, but by golly would that need a lot of scratch/kit building.

 

The one early Met layout that was in prospect, a really ambitious representation of Edgware Road while it was still dual-gauge, seems to have gone silent since one of the key team members passed away, which is a real pity - When I was still at TfL, I tried to persuade them to bring it to London, even in part-built condition, for the Met-150 Celebrations, but  they felt it was still too nascent.

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12 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Or, you could go the other way and have a really rough train, for when Minories are playing away, or an exotic, but still rough, train coming from somewhere like Accrington when they are playing at home. Mind you, Minories isn't really well located to have even a fourth division team. Maybe the ground is actually a couple of stops out, like Millwall (now they needed/created really rough trains). The club probably started as the works team of a frozen meat import dock, and they are nicknamed The Freezers.

 

Oi!!  For accuracy, Stanley fans usually come in one taxi (but we're louder than you!)

 

Life may have taken me out of Accrington, but .... :jester:

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1 hour ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

Do you want a dimensionally accurate set-up, or a reasonable representation compressed in length?

 

Cos if you want the former it gets very long and dull, which I guess is why people tend to go for the latter; certainly the layout was designed specifically for the latter.

 

Of course, pre-1900 on the ‘subsurface lines’, or Broad Street in its death throes, yield very short trains while remaining realistic, but they are somewhat niche themes.

I think that these are very good points.

 

In many ways, I think that Minories works best as a diesel/electric era layout with DMUs/EMUs and the occasional short parcels/newspaper train. The platforms still need to be long, but the fiddleyard can be a lot shorter. 

I'm not sure, even though Cyril Freezer often suggested it when extolling the virtues of "modern image".  What you lose with MU or push-pull trains is the key operational feature of turnover locos making intensive operation challenging. I've operated a Minories that was mainly EMUs with the occasional loco hauled parcels train . It was great for showing off a range of such trains (the builder's main interest) but I didn't find it all that interesting to operate for any length of time and I was running the parcels train rather too frequently.

 

On the other hand, main line termini layouts based on or roughly equivalent to Minories such as Bradfield (Gloucester Square), Tower Pier, or Minories (GN), based mainly or entirely on loco hauled trains, are the layouts I've found myself watching for the longest periods at exhibitions.

 

The other point about compression is that, in an urban setting, you're far less likely to be able to see more than three or four carriages of a train than you are in more open country. The overbridge on the original plan is therefore IMHO a key scenic feature that most versions of Minories leave out though an overall roof or equivalent  scenic break can fulfil the same function. Geoff Ashdown used both for  his EM gauge Tower Pier as this end on view shows 

1721451528_TowerPier1(DT).jpg.3d206551f2193c213c88618558f821d8.jpg

This isn't the normal operator's or visitors' view of the layout and from the side you're simply not aware of just how short the layout is. The goods sidings are completely separate from the passenger side, which is operationally equivalent to Minories, on a slightly higher level and represent the final yard serving a line into the very cramped St. Catherine's dock.

When Geoff told me that Tower Pier occupies just two metre long boards (the same length as the original Minories in OO) with a cassette based fiddle yard on a third board the same length I was totally amazed.

 

 

 

Edited by Pacific231G
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4 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

What you lose with MU or push-pull trains is the key operational feature of turnover locos making intensive operation challenging.

 

 

Multiple unit operation is just "in-out in-out". With turnover locos you get that extra "shake it all about".

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2 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Multiple unit operation is just "in-out in-out". With turnover locos you get that extra "shake it all about".

 

It does not have to be quite that simplistic. Trains can be formed of two units and split/joined. Parcels vans can be conveyed as tail traffic and shunted.

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18 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

It does not have to be quite that simplistic. Trains can be formed of two units and split/joined. Parcels vans can be conveyed as tail traffic and shunted.

 

Indeed, there's some of that in The Laird's Bradfield Gloucester Square, which is if not in detail but in spirit a Minories, showing how it can be worked as a provincial city terminus with workings from a wide variety of routes. My comments above were very much with a mind to it being a London terminus - not a main line one but an overspill suburban terminus - per CJF's original inspiration. In fact, if one thinks of it as Moorgate-lite in the pre-Grouping or even Grouping eras, the fiddle yard needs to be vast, with Met, Midland, Great Northern, LCDR / SECR suburban sets and locomotives. 

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While I would be hesitant to make sweeping statements for EMU vs steam hauled it does seem a little fallacious to compare them. I imagine the process for EMU arrival departure would be:

 

  • Set signals for arrival (if not automatic)
  • Set points for arrival
  • drive EMU to platform <wait and/or couple with existing>
  • set signals for departure (if not automatic)
  • set points for departure
  • drive EMU from platform

Whereas the equivalent with a tender loco in the steam era would be:

  • Set signals
  • set points
  • drive train to platform <wait>
  • re-set signals for pilot
  • re-set points for pilot
  • pilot attaches
  • re-set signals for shunt
  • re-set points for shunt
  • pilot pulls off coaches and places into sidings
  • re-set signals for train engine turn/service
  • re-set points for train-engine service
  • train engine departs <and is turned>
  • re-set signals for shunt
  • re-set points for shunt
  • pilot pulls off coaches and places into platform and then back to pilot pocket
  • re-set signals for train engine return
  • re-set points for train-engine return
  • train engine returns
  • re-set signals for departure
  • re-set points for departure
  • drive train to staging

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, which is why railways in places like this with intensive services electrified as soon as they could!

 

But, what is a real railway’s poison is very often a railway modeller’s meat.

 

Inefficiency is interesting; efficiency usually isn’t.

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As railways moved have moved on so has activity within a station.

 

Traffic today is simply train in, train out and apart from some splitting no actual shunting.

 

Any station using DMUs/ EMUs would have been like this for many years with only any residual parcels traffic remaining to shunt declining as traffic declined.

 

I quickly realised this when I bought some EMUs - they simply slid in and out of the station, nothing much else to do with them unless I stuck in a carriage siding so that some units could shunt out of the way whilst another unit arrived/departed.

 

Typically with model railways we engineer problems or unnecessary extra moves to generate interest because that in reality it wouldn't be there on a railway.  When I was a spotter I used to go to Manchester Victoria - it had more interesting moves than Piccadilly which mainly involved DMUs and EMUs in and out, most of the parcels traffic was out at Mayfield and the electric trains didn't tend to be shunted, a new loco was simply attached at the front.

 

Bradfield offered nice shunting puzzles which made it interesting to watch, it was probably also convoluted by design to make it more interesting but at least back then there was a lot more going on in a station than a similar station in the 1970s and in the case of Bradfield it was well executed.

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25 minutes ago, Lacathedrale said:

While I would be hesitant to make sweeping statements for EMU vs steam hauled it does seem a little fallacious to compare them. I imagine the process for EMU arrival departure would be:

 

  • Set signals for arrival (if not automatic)
  • Set points for arrival
  • drive EMU to platform <wait and/or couple with existing>
  • set signals for departure (if not automatic)
  • set points for departure
  • drive EMU from platform

Whereas the equivalent with a tender loco in the steam era would be:

  • Set signals
  • set points
  • drive train to platform <wait>
  • re-set signals for pilot
  • re-set points for pilot
  • pilot attaches
  • re-set signals for shunt
  • re-set points for shunt
  • pilot pulls off coaches and places into sidings
  • re-set signals for train engine turn/service
  • re-set points for train-engine service
  • train engine departs <and is turned>
  • re-set signals for shunt
  • re-set points for shunt
  • pilot pulls off coaches and places into platform and then back to pilot pocket
  • re-set signals for train engine return
  • re-set points for train-engine return
  • train engine returns
  • re-set signals for departure
  • re-set points for departure
  • drive train to staging

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please have a serious word with your S&T department about the interlocking between your points and signals! :wink_mini:

 

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12 minutes ago, RJS1977 said:

 

Stockport County's entire supporrt travel on one bicycle....

Were they the club that someone called to ask what time the match started? The reply was "what time can you get here?".

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4 hours ago, Zomboid said:

Good point, I'm thinking post grouping with things like the Hornby Maunsells. Something like an N class or Schools with 3 mk1ish length carriages and a CCT would be the kind of thing I'm thinking of. With shorter carriages 3 might not be as convincing.

 

I suspect it would be different in N gauge too.

 

Consider Mk1 suburbans , at 57' . That gains you 3" , and a 4MT 2-6-4T would gain you some more length. 

 

I'd suggest you are talking about 3 x 64' coaches + van + tank engine or 4 x 57' 

 

North of the Thames the general theme suggests big tanks - the Fowler/Stanier/Fairburn/Riddles 2-6-4T family , V1/3 or L1, and medium /smaller tanks (N7, N2, 61xx, even J69) with shorter suburban coaches (quad art set, LMS or GW non-corridors, 57' Mk1 suburbans)

 

Tender locos are awkward because you have to turn them - hence the strong preference for tank engines on suburban work.

 

I feel that two suburban sets out of five (Nearholmer's suggestion) seems just too low . The goods train and the parcels would do 2 round trips a day between them - extravagant for them to be 40% of the fleet , same as the bread-and-butter suburbans 

 

2 inner /1 outer suburban sets would be more suitable, and the distinction between the 2 is probably best demonstrated by the inner suburban sets being 4 non-corridor coaches , and the outer suburban being 3 corridors plus a van. The "posh train" might be more modern corridors, for a longer working - some northern conurbations had their "club" commuter trains for more distant posh residential towns like Southport (The Met's Aylesbury Pullman is a London version of the same concept)

 

That gives 6 trains - arguably the parcels could be stabled in the terminus overnight. Assuming that the station is shut to the public and the boxes unmanned between 00:00 and 05:00, the parcels would be loaded in the platform overnight , and go out as first departure of the day at 05:15 - probably ok for getting newspapers and post out to places within 60 minutes of the terminus. (Those who actually worked on such railways will be able to comment how realistic this is , but a last suburban departure about 11:30 pm seems credible for such a place in the 1950s) You would also need to consider that the CCT on the outer suburban set is in fact part of the parcels network and should  interwork with the parcels 

 

This gives a 5 road fiddle yard, with one train always in the station and two platforms free . A second set of wagons will be stabled in the goods depot , to be changed over when the freight comes in.

 

My own layout , Blacklade  is 3 platforms , feeding a 3 road fiddle yard and a fuelling point. Maximum sensible train lengths 3 x 23m vehicles or loco + 2 Mk1s. That in practice means 5-6 sets on the layout and an open slot to be filled , like one of those solitaire games with 9 positions and 8 tiles.

 

In the "normal" periods the passenger trains are DMUs and extra activity can be generated by joining and splitting (must finish the 128 and the Pacers to facilitate this). In the 1980s period there is one Loco-hauled substitute (2 Mk1s and 31) and a parcels (2 x 50' vans). In the steam period ("funny trains") this becomes 3 two-coach sets plus a parcels

 

The parcels set is removed after it's done its work , and reinstated at the end of the day, but it is the second arrival, after a DMU with a parcels CCT as a tail "swinger" - this is then picked off the back by the loco of the parcels , and shunted onto the outward parcels train. The process can be reversed in the evening.  (There is also, in all periods, an engineers train which comes in, runs round and goes out)

 

Something like an inspection saloon or Test Coach Iris , or a weedkiller set can also fit in here - it may only appear once a day, but it could potentially appear on any part of the network , and you always depict the day when it ran

Edited by Ravenser
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9 minutes ago, Ravenser said:

I feel that two suburban sets out of five (Nearholmer's suggestion) seems just too low . The goods train and the parcels would do 2 round trips a day between them - extravagant for them to be 40% of the fleet , same as the bread-and-butter suburbans 


That’s because I’m working on the basis that one suburban rake looks much like the next, so suggest using two rakes to make c90% of the moves ........ no point buying/building twenty rakes if they all look the same.

 

And, yes, I do know that not all suburban rakes really look identical, but in a given place at a given time the distinctions tend to be subtle.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:


That’s because I’m working on the basis that one suburban rake looks much like the next, so suggest using two rakes to make c90% of the moves ........ no point buying/building twenty rakes if they all look the same.

 

And, yes, I do know that not all suburban rakes really look identical, but in a given place at a given time the distinctions tend to be subtle.

 

 

 

If a balloon loop is used, two inner suburban rakes become four by virtue of renumbering, so long as set numbers painted on the ends aren't a feature of your chosen company / period.

 

Suburban sets do indeed tend to look the same in a given area. Contrast the highly uniform appearance of a LNWR suburban train with the hotch-potch of carriage profiles seen in a long-distance LNWR express, at least in the 20th century.

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3 hours ago, Lacathedrale said:

While I would be hesitant to make sweeping statements for EMU vs steam hauled it does seem a little fallacious to compare them. I imagine the process for EMU arrival departure would be:

 

  • Set signals for arrival (if not automatic)
  • Set points for arrival
  • drive EMU to platform <wait and/or couple with existing>
  • set signals for departure (if not automatic)
  • set points for departure
  • drive EMU from platform

Whereas the equivalent with a tender loco in the steam era would be:

  • Set signals
  • set points
  • drive train to platform <wait>
  • re-set signals for pilot
  • re-set points for pilot
  • pilot attaches
  • re-set signals for shunt
  • re-set points for shunt
  • pilot pulls off coaches and places into sidings
  • re-set signals for train engine turn/service
  • re-set points for train-engine service
  • train engine departs <and is turned>
  • re-set signals for shunt
  • re-set points for shunt
  • pilot pulls off coaches and places into platform and then back to pilot pocket
  • re-set signals for train engine return
  • re-set points for train-engine return
  • train engine returns
  • re-set signals for departure
  • re-set points for departure
  • drive train to staging

 

 

 

 

 

Set points before signals, they would be interlocked on the real thing!

Shunt and release is very time-consuming, not a problem on a model, but would be in the real thing, hence a turnover loco is provided.

 

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