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Stockrington - From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)

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Why does anyone start a layout thread on RMWeb? It’s a question I have been pondering for weeks, if not months, and in figuring out my answer to that question, I hope I can set the scene for how this thread evolves.

Here’s what I do know:

  • I enjoy writing a story, but in the flesh and blood world, I guess I am a little shy. I admit I am not a “club” person. I would struggle with the compromises of doing what the group wanted, if it was not what I wanted to do.
  • I’m not posting to grandstand, or solicit fawning praise. I am incredibly lucky to have access to the space I have available to use as a home for my railway, but I’m also just an average modeller. Our hobby is one where we need to be jacks-of-all-trades, and there are still many things I am learning.
  • Being a civil engineer by trade, it’s bridges and buildings that matter more to me than operation. Timetables aren’t my cup of tea, nor shunting puzzles, or super detailed showcase pieces. There are some brilliant examples of those crafts here on RMWeb, and they have (and deserve) a strong following. At this point in my modelling life, my “end game” is to be able to watch trains in an environment that evokes reality, but is not a slave to it. That is made all the more harder because;
  • I’ve spent a grand total of under 100 days of my life in the UK, the last of which was more than 15 years ago. I was born the same year mainline steam died. So to “model what I see” (a very valid starting place), I need to rely on photographs and 1st hand accounts of others. This dovetails into the next idea;
  • There will be times as I progress, I will need help, and I’m adult enough to ask for it. But they do say the best mistakes you make are your own.
  • I cannot please all of the people all of the time. I model for my own amusement and relaxation. I’m not a slave to prototype – yet. That may change over time. So some of the ideas I have, will go against the grain for those modellers who get passionately enthusiastic about details. I don’t apologise for that – it’s a broad church we share, and there’s room for many different persuasions.
  • I want to improve, and help others improve themselves. Many of the other layout threads here on RMWeb have been very inspiring, and the community here has been supportive and constructive in their commentary. I’d like to do my bit in giving back a little, by adding to the content here.

So if that’s what a Layout Thread means to me, then what is Stockrington all about?

I started out with a list of wants, and it looked something like this:

  • A North Eastern theme: I’m 10,000 miles away from Darlington, but something about apple green, garter blue and teak has always held my interest.
  • A steam loco shed: I’ve too many locomotives, and the only way to justify that is to have an MPD.
  • Bridges: When I was 21, I travelled around the UK, looking at Victorian Civil Engineering from Brunel, Stephenson and Harrison, and was captivated. I want to capture a taste of that.
  • A station with an overall roof, and platform length for a six coach train: William Bell’s designs for the NER always seem so majestic to me.
  • A long run: I knew I would have a dedicated room for this project, and that the layout would be permanent, so a long run was desirable. That means a mainline.
  • I’m a sucker for black sheep. P2’s. the W1, GT3, Lion, Deltic, 89001… even The Duke of Gloucester.
  • And then there was some of the nuts and bolts stuff: 4mm, OO, Code 70 bullhead track, 850mm mainline radius, 2 1/2% maximum gradients, DCC for train control, slow motion point motors…

To tie that all together, I came up with the concept of Stockrington. A fictional large town somewhere in County Durham/Tyne & Wear, with connections to Darlington and Newcastle, justifying both ECML diversionary traffic, and running in turns for locomotives coming from Darlington Works. An MPD of NER heritage in the style of Stockton/Haverton Hill/Scarborough, called Northmoor (the other name I had considered for the layout, itself inspired by the TV series Edge of Darkness). Stockrington is served by a station that is a distinct relative to both Stockton and Darlington in style. A industrial river valley, with viaducts bridges inspired by the crossings of the Tyne and Wear. By now, it all starts to sound like megalomania? Quite possibly. I certainly had to stop and question myself a few times, as the ideas began to gel into something tangible. But with a room perimeter of 22m to play with, even a span of 1200mm such as that at Sunderland is not putting a quart into a pint pot. That being said, when I stopped to look at the platform space needed for an eight or nine coach train, I met my match – it would have swallowed up too much space, and so a dose of reality set in, and I accepted that Master Cutler-esque formations would be more comfortable than a full Queen of Scots.

Clearly, a lot of people when faced with a good amount of space to build a permanent layout, would do things differently. And that’s great. A nice wide, open single track branch line with passing loops and Pendon-esque rolling hills? Maybe model of Ribblehead, and open moors? A computer based timetable operation, or fully interlocked signalling? All worthy pursuits… just not for me.

Another concept I wanted to embrace was that of smaller cameos within the larger canvas, or Layout Design Elements. If I planned to build a level crossing, then I wouldn’t start with fiction, but rather, try and adapt a locale from real life; Grove Road, on the EMCL, for example. Likewise, where my plans call for the equivalent of a flyover, then by basing one on the plate girder crossing on Holloway Bank, or the Hexham route duck-under at Bensham, I continue to anchor an East Coast theme, if not a strictly North Eastern one.

So ends the philosophy of Stockrington, as it were. Which seems to be a good place as any to pause, before discussing the space I available, and the plans I have for it, which are still very much a work in progress.


Welcome aboard!

post-8688-0-76217500-1351041994.jpg
Stockrington's home taking shape.

Edited by jukebox
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Welcome aboard and will watch with interest.

 

Mark in OZ too.

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Well, I've finally managed to convince you to get a thread going! And I reckon it'll be a cracker! Your setting-the-scene post whets the appetite - tons of potential there. Funny, isn't it, that you live 10,000 miles from me, yet model something less than 10 miles away. Great stuff!

 

I'll watch this develop with great interest.

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

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Hi Jukebox.

 

I started to read your thread and was amazed to find I was mentally ticking off every one of your bullet points in your post. I'm sure there are many others with similar views, so you won't be short of followers.

 

Keep the updates coming!

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Will be watching this one with great interest too. Stockrington might be on the other side of the country to mine, but I've been inspired by your work in the past and I know you'll provide some great solutions as your build progresses.

Best of luck!

 

Iain

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Mark, Jeff, Gordon, Ian - thanks very much for visiting!

 

Mark - great to have a local perspective (even if it's 3,500 km away!); I've always felt modellers here in Oz have a very unique set of problems, in that we can't always get the materials/products UK modellers use (no Railmatch or Phoenix Precision paints sold here in Perth, for example) - but that we are exposed to a lot more US and Japanese hobby supplies than our British brethren, which can sometime be a plus, not a minus (Mr.Surfacer 1200, anyone?).

 

Jeff - I owe you a special hat tip, as it's only through your persistant encouragement that I eventually commited to a Stockrington thread. We've had some brilliant PM exchanges on matters such as Great Comets and NASA TV live feeds from space - now you're a visitor here, we can pollute my thread with all sort of tangents, and offend no one!

 

Gordon - I'm glad my rambling resonates with you! It felt rather hard to decide how to actually start to write about all this - so I thought it best to run through the process that has got me to where I am. It should be no surprise that Eastwood Town has been of great interest to me - as I bring everyone up to date, you will see where some of the questions I asked on yours and Tetley's threads in the last 12 months come into play at Stockrington.

 

Iain- thanks for the kind words. I have been following both your and Gordon's threads for some time now, and only hope I can deliver something as satisfying and enjoyable as you gents have. Despite the NE foundations of my layout, I suppose it is as good a time as any to confess to having a soft spot for Princess Coronations ~ the Cuneo print of City of London on The Caladonian leaving Primrose Hill has pride of place in our lounge room. There may even be...ahem... one or two (!) Duchesses hidden amongst the impulse buys of the last 10 years. But I am getting better at being strong-willed about that sort of thing now I have resolved a theme for my layout... :wink_mini:

 

I'll be back here on the weekend, to post some photos of the progress on the room build (the one in Post #1 is from much earlier this year) and talk a bit about track plans and where I have progressed to there.

 

Cheers,

 

Scott

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Sounds like this is going to be a cracker of a layout Jukebox. I feel civil engineering isn't usually at the top of ones priorities for a layout, so should also make interesting to watch the progress.

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Yes, we're waiting for the second instalment... Will the wooden-framed walls have progressed, or will a tropical typhoon have inundated sunny Perth and washed all of Scott's efforts away!! :O Lol. All will be revealed in the exciting second episode, coming to an internet screen near you this weekend!

 

It'll be great to follow what's already been done and conjecture about possible future developments.

 

Jeff

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Jeff: let's just say my builder's choice of biblical punishment for our family was "floods"... :O (yes, as in plural... :banghead:)

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Sounds like this is going to be a cracker of a layout Jukebox. I feel civil engineering isn't usually at the top of ones priorities for a layout, so should also make interesting to watch the progress.

 

In that department, I'll be invoking the name of Ron Heggs of this parish, not too soon, 69843.

 

I don't think anyone who has seen his work would not agree he's a Civil Engineering Master.

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Hi Scott,

 

Normally great long opening posts do not hold my attention, but I too found myself nodding in agreement with the bullet points. Good luck with the project, I will be following your journey.

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So, if my first post was what Stockrington is all about; this one is about making the space it will go in.

 

Around 18 months ago now, I engaged a builder to construct a second story extension to our home. It meant we would gain an upstairs lounge looking out across the Indian Ocean, my wife would have a hobby room of her own… and I would have a dedicated room for a model railway. It was a serious commitment financially and socially, as a project of this size could not just be binned in 18 months if I got bored ~ and I haven’t had a “train set” since I was 18. But trains have been a life-long interest, and I soon realised it was something that I would indeed be comfortable spending 5, 10… 15 years on, that it would be in the house so would be shared with my family, not in a shed out the in back yard where I would be in exile.

 

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Timber frame, brickveneer.

 

The limitations of the existing building dictated the end result: a space 7m x 4m. That width would prove to be something of a curse, being too short to allow for the curves needed to go around the walls and run into a peninsula in the middle, but so wide that just an around-the-walls layout left a lot of unused space in the middle of the room. But those are 1st world problems, as they say. The reality is, I have been able to dedicate a room bigger than I ever could have dreamed of, with the blessing of my wife, and that it still is a massive area for one man to populate.

 

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Drywalling fixed, still needs fittings

 

Knowing it would be a dedicated room, I specified the door to the room be outward opening. I had four sets out twin GPO’s fitted low on the walls, and also asked for two large twin tube fluorescent light fixtures. The manhole to the roof was shifted so it lies in line with the doorway, not at some point potentially above the layout proper. One of things I missed in my planning was the window locks – the new windows have locks on the lower sill ~ the locks on the existing ones downstairs are halfway up. How that will work when I have a backscene in place is something I need to resolve; I may be able to reach them from under the baseboard, depending on how high I make ground level. At least the opening clasp can be slid up to the top of the frame on the new windows.

 

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How do you know if your roof is leaking? Your light bulbs start to fill with water... Not shown: the 60 litres we caught in a bucket underneath it.

 

The building work commenced in January of this year, and honestly, has been one massive head-and- heart-ache after another. Taking the roof off an existing house is fraught with risk, and this is amplified when your builder turns out to be borderline competent. In April we had early rains, and tarpaulins that should have kept our home downstairs dry, were woefully inadequate. At one point we had water damage to almost 100 square metres of ceilings. There is something fundamentally wrong with being woken by your 12 year old son at 3am to be told the roof in the hallway was leaking, and seeing water flowing – not dripping, but flowing in rivulets – from behind cornices and down walls into your carpets. I found it criminal that events of this nature continued for three months, but the standard building contracts we have here offer no recourse to the owner. Eventually, the rain stopped, the builder patched the roof and the ceilings, and this week has packed up his caravan and gone. I don’t believe he’s actually solved all the problems, but it’s spring here now, and we probably won’t get any serious rain till next April, so all I can do is wait. At least the new roof upstairs is water tight, and that is why Stockrington can now move forward. The room is painted, the floorboards will go down shortly, and early next year, layout construction will commence in earnest.

 

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About as up to date as you can get: last night, waiting for floorboards.

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An impressive looking train room, Scott. I hope the ceilings are ok - the last thing you need is water dripping onto your hard-earned railway landscape - let alone the rest of the house!

 

If all works out well, you certainly have the basics for a layout with tons of operating potential. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but did you once send me an outline layout plan for Stockrington? Maybe I was dreaming!

 

Keep the details coming...

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

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Sorry to hear of your builder problems.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing this one too. Although I'm not a civil engineer by trade, I like bridges (and other structures). How I would have liked to see Belah before it was demolished. Travelling often in France, I have seen some of the greats including Garabit and Fades.

 

So many otherwise good layouts are let down by bridges that are simply in the wrong place or would not stand up in reality. Modelmakers most important tool is eyes - to study the real world out there.

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permission to have room-envy please. Looking forward to reading of your progress and thank you for lifting your head above the parapet to share your story with us

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Jeff - shhhh, I was building the suspense! (about the only thing I am building, right now). Yes, there's a draft trackplan floating around - I will include it in my next post. I promise to make that one about the track planning. No water issues in the layout room - it doesn't face the coast, so gets only 1/10t the weather that the western side of the house does, and only the morning sun, so isn't as hot as the other new rooms (it's 31C here today...)

 

Joseph - welcome aboard. I'm not a civil designer, but certainly have seen enough to know my way around, and agree a lot of model spans grab my eye as being too deep, or out of place. I guess the flat earth layout is my Bête noire; hence my decsion to use L-girders for Stockrington.

 

twa-dogs - permission granted! When the walls first went up, Mrs Jukebox kept walking in muttering "but your room is so BIG..." I tried to laugh it off, and eventually she stopped saying anything; I'm not sure that's a good thing. But yes, trust me, I am very aware that I am incredibly lucky to be able to commit such a big space to a model railway. It does make you feel a certain unspoken responsibility towards using it wisely, and that may even be another reason I feel the need to blog about it - to do it justice through guidence and advice here?

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I'm glad there was a layout plan a few months back as I'd started to think I was imagining it. Maybe the plan was in a PM - I'll have a look.

 

Yes, keep the suspense going. Photos and plans are always interesting to see - especially stuff you've already done.

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

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So I’ve covered off what I think I want to do, and where I want to do. Here’s where I am, so far.

 

Many moons ago – more than 10 years - I saw a trackplan in Model Rail by Brain MacDermott, that he referred to a “special looped eight”. I liked it the first time I saw it, and it just seemed to tick the boxes in terms of the sort of things I was trying to achieve with my own layout. I wrote to Brian, and he was very generous, being happy for me to appropriate his plan, pointing out that it has been printed as a mirror image, with facing crossovers that should not have been. It was essentially a thrice-around-the-room layout, but with the tracks arranged at differing elevations, and crossing over one another at the short ends, so that a train did not pass the same point on every circuit of the room, but once every three circuits. Sorry, but as it was printed in Model Rail, I can’t reproduce it here without infringing copyright - here's a rough sketch:

 

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Brian MacDermott's "Special Looped Eight"

 

When I looked at the space I would have for Stockrington, and started to adapt it, the biggest hurdle was Brian’s plan made no allowance for a doorway. I needed to have a section of layout with simple trackwork that could either be lift out or hinged for entry (although I must confess, both Gordon S and Tetley Dave have advised me against this. Time will tell if I can indeed make a workable entry section. If not, my fall-back position will be to re-lay these section as continuous track and have a duck under at the doorway). The other thing that became apparent that I needed to manage was how to incorporate three double tracks at any given section of layout, without things being too toy like.

 

When I looked the railway room, it divided itself into four obvious zones: two similar “short” ends of 4m, a long wall of 7m, and a short section of 4m along the wall that the entry door is on. The long wall was the key to the planning: I wanted to maximise the open-ness of this section, as it was the payoff from having a large room. So very early on, I decided that wall had to represent a rural or countryside motif. That then steered me towards using one of the short ends for a moderately sized station – a residential, but not urban theme. It made no sense to place large models of bridges immediately next to the room opening, so the opposite short wall then became a substantial river valley, which left the short wall adjacent to the door as the locale for the MPD, these last two seasoned with thoughts of the rivers Tyne and Wear, and black and white images of Lambton Coal Staithes, the dockside railway at Newcastle, and the unpolished world of Michael Caine’s Get Carter.

 

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The Planning Work In Progress. Many details still to be resolved.

 

I won’t have fiddle yard off scene, but will have storage tracks that run the length of the long wall, approx. 8” below the level of the scenic section. That will allow access in case of derailments. This yard will more than likely be strictly directional: by using a 5% down grade, I can get down to it running anti-clockwise, and then use the additional length available along the short wall to have a much more manageable 3% to come back up to ground level. Part of my operating brief is to use Deltic/Kestrel to shunt the yard, as they are much more sure footed on gradients.

 

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Hidden Storage - rising up behind the backscene on the left in blue, and dropping down into a cutting in red on the right (this is a slightly earlier revision; the layout plan is the current one)

 

Dividing the room up makes the whole exercise a lot more manageable, and also helps me focus my planning. In essence it make the layout scenery four separate layouts, and if I can be disciplined enough – and with help from the RMWebbers who live in these areas to guide me in my ways – try to model locale appropriate scenery, the of stated goal of “knowing what area the layout represents before you see a train” should be within my grasp.

 

It’s important to realise this is still very much a work in progress. I need to add some crossovers and sidings to enable locomotive changeovers at the station – I’ll cover off on this in another post, as I have some questions about operation and how it might have been done in the real world. Those platforms are undernourished, too. I also admit to contemplating a small station in the double rural section, with a short siding or goods shed, to justify running suburban trains, but I need to review the space and if that would cramp the area unnecessarily. The area between the abutments of the two bridges also is not fleshed out yet, other than being zoned urban industrial. The trackwork within the MPD area is also still fluid.

 

The reality is that I've brought these plans to the RMWeb table a little earlier than I'm comfortable with, so bear with me on this one. It may take a few more posts to flesh out what I am trying to achieve.

 

Cheers

 

Scott

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With the broad plan sketch out there now, and some problems still to be solved, now is as good a time as any to start canvassing opinions. I’d like to start with the trackwork around the station, as it’s still a blank canvas that needs some experienced input. So I’ll turn the focus to the right hand, or Southern, end of the room.

 

Here’s the constraints. I have two double tracked mainlines entering the area from the bottom, at different but converging levels. Using a flyover back near the doorway, I have tweaked the way these tracks enter the station, so they take the form D(slow)-D(fast)-U(fast)-U(slow), and are all at the same elevation by the time they enter the station. I had not planned to have platforms for the fast tracks, the logic being that it would help avoid the “once around the room and back to the same station” feel of a normal roundy. You’ll also notice that on the third lap of the room, the track is diving under behind the station, so the platforms are only reached once in three laps.

 

post-8688-0-59963100-1351596026_thumb.jpg

 

 

In this view, that station is located off beyond the upper right of the page. The MPD serving this station a short distance away, with access coming off the Down (slow) line to the left of this diagram. ECS workings from the storage yard also join the circuit from this same area. Complicating matters, the entry down to to the storage yard is via the double slip off the Up (Fast) line, but is also in the down direction - it ducks off the bottom of the page on the plan above.

 

Now to slightly confuse everyone, these schematics are shows as if you are facing south. looking directly at the short wall with the station on it. The double slip mentioned above is shown as a pair of turnouts (D) in these schematics:

post-8688-0-80125700-1351596069_thumb.jpg

As previously mentioned, I see Stockrington as a station where locomotives would be exchanged, and some trains terminate. So I think that translates as needing the ability to have locos come off shed and be positioned to be able to replace incoming locos. Crossovers A and B are needed to get engines coming off trains back onto the down track, to then reverse back to the MPD.

post-8688-0-52620400-1351596096_thumb.jpg

So, do I do that using short holding sidings, as in the first schematic, or by having additional tracks that run the length of the platforms, like the 2nd version?

Would it be unthinkable for the fast tracks not to have platforms?

I have no bay platforms for suburban traffic – whereas Stockton-on-Tees did. Thoughts on if/how this could be incorporated?

 

Space – in terms of width for extra tracks – in this area is not overly constricted. The biggest issue the is grade separation on the down side of the station (location C on the plans) making it difficult to find a suitable place to fit crossover in to get light engines from the up (Slow) track back to the MPD. On the up side of the station, I have room for large radius curved crossovers, and plan to have the track centres represent a 1-2-1 configuration as they enter the tunnel up track from here, all at the same elevation.

 

So if there are any master track or layout planners out there who would like to have a play with this 4m section, I’d be very grateful for your suggestions!

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So, with such a frenetic start, what’s the hold up?

 

Well let’s just say I think I have used the builder from hell – although I am hearing that right now, good help, as they say, is hard to find. The floorboards that should have been going down haven’t, because the village idiot HIA licensed professional who built our extension had something of a bubble in this spirit level – how else do you fit floors beams with 25mm of dip over 3m? I know you can't lay timber floors over them, that's for sure.

 

So, in what is rather a drastic move, our floor-board man (who is, I have to say, brilliant) is applying concrete levelling techniques to a wooden sub-framed floor! He’s ground down low areas with a heavy grit, and applied and epoxy levelling compound. Then, 85% of the floor has been skinned with 6mm plywood, which then has to be planed down so that the rises and falls come back down to within allowable tolerances. And the builder’s response to this? “Wood is a natural product, you have to expect some flexure!”. Muppet.

 

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North-floor: not quite the wood finish I had expected by now...

 

What it translates to is another two weeks of delay. But realistically, December was just going to be spend corralling the boxes of supplies and materials that I have been accumulating for 12 months and hauling them upstairs into the layout room, and fitting curtains etc… so it’s a PITA, but not unexpected.

 

In the meantime, I have finally cleared off the bench-top in my study after 9 months, extracted the P2 parts and part-built bits, and intend to spend a bit of time working on The Bruce . I also have a few more Shinohara turnouts to make DCC ready, and pre-wire droppers to – including a couple of double slips. Come to think of it, I have a box of Peco turnouts to dropper as well. I am also thinking about pre-droppering some of my flex: I have not seen it done before, but it seems to make a lot of sense: lay the track, drill the hole next to where the dropper is, feed it through: end result, no need to try and solder in situ. We shall see.

 

All in all, it’s been an interesting fortnight. With my desk clear, I fitted a set of lighted dining tables to a Hornby Brake Third Pullman. They came up rather nicely, too.

 

post-8688-0-83015400-1352286966_thumb.jpg

Hornby Pullman upgrade - before and after

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Guest Linthorpe
Why does anyone start a layout thread on RMWeb? It’s a question I have been pondering for weeks, if not months,

 

I hadn't seen this a few hours ago when I asked 'How' rather than 'Why' :blind:

 

I thought at first that you were going to be just along the road, not on the other side of the world. Very impressive start however, I will continue to follow.

 

David

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Thanks for stopping by David - hopefully when I get cracking in the New Year there will be plenty to see and talk about.

 

My Marri floorboards have been going down this week - the stairs are next, and then the railway room gets done last. I will take some photos of the blank canvas before the real work begins.

 

In the meantime, as I hinted at in the photo above, I completed an upgrade to a bog standard Hornby Pullman Brake 3rd, using some DCCconcepts lighted tables. Despite the need to do 90% of the work under an anglepoise magnifier lamp, it was a relaxing and rewarding effort.

 

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Wedgwood for the Pullman? Cruel extreme close-up: those wires are 0.1mm

 

Richard's shop is just up the road from me, so I offered to take it up and show him the result (he spends a lot of time shipping stuff in boxes, but not seeing how they get used, I think!). He mentioned he was off to China and the UK, and so I offered to loan the coach to him, which means whilst I'm not able to get to Warley, my coach will. :imsohappy:

 

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I need to add another resistor to the circuit - with individual 5Kohms fitted, the lamps are still a little too bright for me. I did remember to fit some simple curtains before I packed her up, though.

 

The biggest problem with these lamps is that if I use these cars to make up a Master Cutler-esque set, they make the Bachmann MK.1 Pullman lamps look rather ordinary:

 

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It's a rather neat demonstration of the need to try and set a consistant standard to your modelling - improve just one part, and it shows up the deficiencies elsewhere...

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Wow! That is a fantastic space you have, and what seems a very good idea of what you want (and that is definitely a good start to have). When I saw the first post I thought you might be trying to emulate Physicman's attempts success at layout room building. Sorry to hear you've had so much trouble with the builder - it does seem to be a worldwide problem - and I hope it's all sorted now!

 

Glad to see you took his advice to get a thread started - he's been trying the same on me, and it really does make a difference to attitude for the build. Keep the story going, I will certainly be following this one with interest.

 

Just a thought on the plan, on the bottom wall, you have a nice wide baseboard, and all the track confined into about a third of the width - would it be possible to wiggle one or two pairs of tracks towards the front of the boards? I think it might look better to have some scenery between them, and then the join into the station will look more like a junction? Just a thought...

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Fantastic job with the instalation of the lamps. The extra effort to paint all the plates and adding the people has really paid dividends.

Im lucky enough to have seen this in the flesh at richards, and the addition of table lamps and people completley change the feel of the railroad pullman.

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I see my name mentioned in today's posts - thanks Michael for your positive comments. I think Scott has a superb environment for his layout. One advantage he has over my bunker is that it's part of his house, rather than an externally converted building - so it'll be warmer. The last is a given anyway - we're talking Perth, Australia here!

 

Must admit, Scott, the tale of woe you've been having makes me very angry. I'm not a professional builder, but care and attention - I suppose measurement should be fundamental to a physicist - meant very few problems in converting my garage. You seem to have hired at least one incompetent. How do they get away with it? The thing is, think positive - your floor layer will get you sorted and then you'll be flying ahead. There is going to be so much to enjoy in Stockrington!!

 

I saw some reports/video of the eclipse in northern Oz on the BBC website this morning. Jealous I am!

 

It's good to see you already have an established bunch of "groupies" watching your thread. Much better to watch the complete build than a "here's one I made earlier" presentation. The trials and tribulations really do help the viewer - who, of course, has the same problems and often doesn't know what to do.

 

Jeff

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