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It is with some degree of excitement that I am able to announce the start of my new layout project.

 

The idea has been under discussion here http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/59010-beer-anyone/page__fromsearch__1 and with the back-story and general concept already set out.

 

Today saw the first steps on the way to turning the talk into reality.

 

The first two of what will eventually be four baseboards arrived today along with the slotted steel required for its in-build storage racks. The new layout will live beneath the old one while it is under construction.

 

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Here is where it will live - underneath Treheligan station on the current layout

 

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With the new racking built (though not yet fully squared up) the two boards now rest on it awaiting paint. As a statement of intent the first train has been posed alongside the future Beer station building. A small diorama can also now be stored out of harm's way as shown.

 

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In fading light the long view down the railway area is shown with the new storage arrangements for Beer and the existing Penhayle Bay layout above and around it.

 

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More from this project as it develops.

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An excellent choice for a new layout ,Beer is a lovely village with a range of beautiful buidings looking forward to seeing this layout develop.

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Hi Rick,

Great to see the new project taking shape. Let me know if you want a hand building boards or anything.

 

Cheers Peter.

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Looking forward to see this one develop. I spent many happy years as a child staying at the caravan park in Beer during the school summer holidays. Must get back there one day and see how it's changed over the years. I still have it in the back of my mind to model Seaton (just around the corner) one of these days.

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Beer has stayed remarkably unchanged over the many years I have known it. The caravan park is still there (perhaps not the same static vans as they used to be - depending on when you were last there) and shops in the village change hands and use from time to time with some now being art galleries. But it's still very much a character village which grew up on fishing and a little piracy, plus the varied fortunes of the stone quarries. The beach is still as divided as it ever was if you are a true local with family (Westlakes or Chapples) determining whether you use the left or right hand side and the respective cafes; visitors wouldn't know the difference!

 

The unstable nature of chalk cliffs has seen the closure of the coastal footpath beneath the outcrop known as Annis' Knob and huge sections of cliff have collapsed into the sea around Seaton Hole. The coastal path towards Seaton is now therefore diverted up through Jubilee Gardens and onto the road to Seaton beyond Old Beer Hill.

 

The dark-flint faced buildings still stand and the David Carr-designed art-deco style of numerous properties still adds to the unique flavour of this little community.

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The dark-flint faced buildings still stand and the David Carr-designed art-deco style of numerous properties still adds to the unique flavour of this little community.

Ah, was was too young at the time to appreciate 'art-deco' and such like, although now it is one of my favourite architectural styles (Just have to watch those Agatha Christie 'Poirot' episodes, especially the ones with Southern steam trains). Now I see where the Deco station building fits in.

Edited by tender

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The deco station is the easy part! Scratch-building Carr arches and getting them to look the part might be a greater challenge! Flint-faced buildings with stone lintels don't come out of Scenecraft boxes ;)

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For some reason I've only just found this thread.

 

As this is an area I know extremely well (I've been going there at least once a year since I was 6 months old), I'm looking forward to seeing this develop.

 

Duncan

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It's developing very slowly owing to the need to also get on with some house renovations and other projects but the woodwork is being assembled now and the track is here.  Foam for creating the geography has also been offered as surplus to a friends' requirements and is on its way.

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Board 2 (Beer station) is the first to have its woodwork glued and screwed into place.  That occupied a couple of hours this morning.   With the board out in the open for working on I also placed a few more bits and pieces and have the points more or less in their intended positions.

This is a proof-of-concept to ensure I don't fit a bracing strut where a point motor is needed and also to check on the available platform lengths.

The two longest platforms 2 and 3 will only hold a tender loco and four coaches (and then only just) which is fine but I had hoped to get five in.  Platform 1 (on the right of this view) just holds a 4-car EMU which is all it is intended to do and the future higher-level platform 4 will only need to hold a small loco and 2 at the most.

The aerial view of the layout with as much plain track as I have available loosely positioned; there will be a loco-release crossover between platforms 2 and 3

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Looking east from the buffer-stop position at Beer with the station building on the right.  An electric train occupies platform 1, the Devon Belle waits on 2, an M7 has arrived with a single coach train (no doubt the branch connection from Seaton Junction) on 3 and pending the arrival of a Thumper unit the 2-car electric EPB unit waits with the connection to Branscombe and Sidmouth.

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Looking west from the signalbox end showing the throat point work; there will be more points on board 1 meaning the 'box will be positioned mid-way along the station throat giving the "bobby" maximum visibility of all movements.

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A single 4-wheel van and an SR pill-box brake occupy the Agent's Siding.  In the station yard two buses wait for passengers before departing in opposite directions.  The red and cream Devon General AEC Reliance conveniently displays the nearby destination Sidmouth while the green Southern National Bristol MW shows distant Taunton as its destination.  There is - however unlikely it might seem - a direct bus between Seaton, next door to Beer, and Taunton to this day which Southern National used to run though it never came the extra mile or so to Beer in reality.

Beer itself was something of a no-mans' land.  Neither of the major companies regularly reached the village which for many years only saw the occasional small independent operator's buses.

DSCN7555_zps170eedc3.jpg

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It's good to know that someone understands the transport history of the area which makes this a more reasable layout in my mind.

 

The art deco station is entirely appropriate for Beer, I'm going to be interested in seeing the style of station for Branscombe.

 

I'm also looking forward to the representation of the cliffs.

 

I'll be going down there later on in the year, so if you require more photos just let me know what you need.

 

Following this with great interest.

 

Duncan

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Hi Gwiwer.

 

Love it - 4 car EMU, Thumper, Devon Belle, M7 Pull/Push, SR Pill Box, Southern National buses and Deco architecture what more could you want. Bliss.

 

This has inspired me to do a Photo line-up on Camel Quay although I don't think I'd get away with the EMU's.

 

Ray.

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I'm going to be interested in seeing the style of station for Branscombe.

 

SR "Exmouth Junction" style concrete halt a scale 100' long.  That will fit a tank plus one coach or the non-engined part of a 2-H Thumper.  The signal cabin and platform shelter will be from the Bachmann "Shillingstone" series.   A box is required at Branscombe because despite very light passenger traffic it will feature a couple of sidings which can be shunted between passenger workings.  It will also feature a three-way point in the tunnel mouth inspired by the prototypes at Ventnor and Brighton Kemp Town and therefore shunting will be permitted within the tunnel as it was at Ventnor at least.

 

 

 if you require more photos just let me know what you need.

 

A kind offer thanks however I spent two days last May clambering over the village and cliffs and collected over 1000 reference photos!  

 

 

I'm also looking forward to the representation of the cliffs.

 

So am I !!!   I'm hoping the cliff scene will become one of those which causes drawn breath among viewers.  I'm setting myself a huge challenge using a mix of natural and man-made features and will place a curved viaduct across the cliff face beneath Beer Head using this "back door" into the quarry caves as one tunnel portal.

 

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what more could you want.

 

Breakfast at Ducky's on the beach followed by a lunchtime pint at the Anchor :)

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Dropping in to record the completion of both the Phase 1 baseboards and the arrival of all the track.  I'll do a "rough set out" of the rails on the boards at some time over the next few days.  The Thumper unit is in the mail and might even arrive in time to be featured.

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Look forward to some more pictures as this develops, I ordered the sound 'Thumper' so have a little longer to wait but judging by the youtube video it should be worth it.

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I like the sound on Chris's video; you have to allow a little leeway for it to be synthesised electronic sound reproduction and the recording being done inside a garage but it's very close to the actual effects you get standing alongside a unit as it starts, ticks over and departs.  Even the wheel squeal is authentic.

 

I'd like to add sound but have to bear in mind both the fairly significant additional costs and the conversion to DCC which I haven't made and which would have to be applied to a sizeable rolling stock collection.  Sound at even quite modest volume travels a long way outdoors and I also don't want to annoy the neighbours nor to attract any unwanted attention to the presence of a valuable collection of rolling stock.

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Today I set out the two boards now constructed and placed track where it is intended to be laid.  This allowed me to then mark out the position of points and where the motor holes need to be drilled out in order that I can do that job before finalising the bracing strut positions.  Track laying itself is still quite some way off despite appearances.  I need to understand wiring and isolating arrangements for electrofrog points first and build in what ever sections I then require rather than trying to do it after the fact as I did on Penhayle Bay.

One problem arose.  I don't have the space to match my paper track plan and allow trains to shunt directly from platforms 1 and 2 to the siding.   In order to have that long enough to be of use the entry point has to be on the station side of the double-slip rather than the shed side.  I could include a second double slip and overcome the problem but I doubt in reality that a country terminus would run to two such beasts.  As well it has proven difficult to get a four-car length on the carriage siding without requiring a very sharp run-off curve from the main lines into the tunnel.  

As I can only reasonably fit three carriages onto that siding and that matches or exceeds the length of a typical SR branch line steam-hauled train there will be no electric berthing at Beer and just the one double-slip.  That saves a lot of electrical and other complications. Locomotive-worked trains will be able to shunt out, berth the coaches, have the loco run forwards again and then set back into the coaling / fuel road.

An overview looking west of the two boards now placed end to end.  Trains approach from the tunnel (and will have run in from a return board to be added at some future time from a small holding area) and can enter one of four platforms or the agent's siding.  On the right are a carriage siding and a locomotive siding.

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Looking west over the Beer station board showing the now-raised station building sitting above the buffers to platform 1 and that this will now hold at least 4 coaches and (if I signal it correctly) 5 will fit but will sit astride the point to the Agent's Siding.  That however remains protected by its trap point and will have a ground signal as well.  The 2H Thumper unit now sits in platform 4 (or where it will be when built!) forming the connection to Branscombe and Sidmouth.

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Looking back eastwards we see that a goods shed has been placed over the end of the Agent's Siding.  I'm not fully convinced it will stay there but it shows what could be done.  Careful positioning has ensured that no point straddles the board join and neither is there any unrealistic gap - the track appears to be a normal small terminus layout without the artificial interference of having to be dismantled at its mid-point.

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And as we leave towards Seaton there is the carriage shed and a water crane for the locomotive road beside the main lines which curve into Hollyhead Tunnel.  The packs to the right of the board contain "Individulay" rail destine to become conductor rail for electric trains.

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No construction work has taken place since the photos above were posted.  I do however have numerous items ordered or on the workbench ready to go and which will make the actual build quicker when it gets under way.  I intend to get the track permanently laid during the next few months of our winter which will also allow me to cut out point motor holes, fit the motors, brace and paint the bare wood and pin down the rails.  I can then finalise signal positions and fit the control systems.

 

I have yet to build and test the proof-of-concept panel required to test the proposed live third-rail electrification and also still have to fit funtional pick-up shoes to the electric stock involved which will be very challenging.  However there should be more to show over the next few weeks as the current layout is hibernated for winter allowing work time on the new one.

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I have yet to build and test the proof-of-concept panel required to test the proposed live third-rail electrification and also still have to fit funtional pick-up shoes to the electric stock involved which will be very challenging. 

 

May be stating the obvious but I assume you've seen the "St Mary Hoo" layout thread which has working third rail?

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May be stating the obvious but I assume you've seen the "St Mary Hoo" layout thread which has working third rail?

 

Fully aware thanks and I don't consider any comment made in good faith to be stating the obvious.  The two biggest issues I have are not so much the technicalities of it but the dexterity (or lack thereof) of the fingers and the small size of the parts which are involved such as the pick-up shoes.  After that I'll cope with the difference between Hornby and Bachmann shoe positions ;)

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No movement in terms of construction to report but a few key decisions made which will permit significant construction to go ahead over the next few weeks or months.

 

Firstly the operation will be conventional two-rail DC using code 75 points powered by Peco motors and frog-switching via Peco accessory switches plugged into those motors.

 

Secondly the panel will comprise of a Modratec frame controlling points and signals all of which should be fully functional via wire-in-tube arrangements.

 

The live third rail will require functional pick-up shoes on both sides of every electric unit / EDL to be wired to the same side of the motors so that no matter which shoes are in contact with the live rail the train continues to move in the same direction.  At present the intended electric stock comprises four 4-Cep units, one MLV, one each 2EPB and 2Bil units and with an intention to source another MLV, 2EPB and depending upon what Hornby releases up to three more 2Bil units.  I'm also looking at acquiring a 5Bel form the next batch but not for operation on the layout; this would only be a display unit.  One EDL is due and another may follow.  The majority of workings will be SR diesel or steam types appropriate to the early - mid 1960s.  The use of electrics so far into the south west is of course purely fantasy and will be governed by the terms of my Modeller's Licence ;)

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 The use of electrics so far into the south west is of course purely fantasy and will be governed by the terms of my Modeller's Licence ;)

 

Probably stretching it a bit yes, but there have been a few occasions over the years where electric units have been wrongly re-routed at Worting Junction towards Salisbury and ended up sitting on non-electrified track waiting to be rescued.  It'd have to be going some to get as far as your layout without stopping though :)

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No electrics down the main line!  That will be reserved for steam and diesel traction and this will become another in the queue of layouts hoping for an Adams Radial.  The setting is factual but the railway presence fictitious.  As is the assumption that the SR managed to forge west from the original Dorchester South station as planned and found a way to come through very hilly and unstable terrain but ran out of money before finally reaching Exeter via the coast.

 

As electrics are well-suited to hilly work the third rail will be laid only on the assumed route from Dorchester (and hence back to Waterloo via Winchester) via Lyme Regis.  So hilly, in fact, is that route that some workings will be formed of Cep+MLV for additional luggage capacity to holiday destinations and a boost to the power : weight ratio over the west Dorset banks!

 

OK I'm past being amused by the spell-checker and now I'm bored with it.  "Hilly" did not need changing to "Holy" no matter how religiously the code-monkey worships the LSWR ;) 

 

 

While I'm in edit mode I'll add a couple of views of the first weathered 4Cep coach cross-posted from my weathering thread

 

 

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Edited by Gwiwer
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No electrics down the main line!  That will be reserved for steam and diesel traction and this will become another in the queue of layouts hoping for an Adams Radial.

 

One more here... I have plenty of books on the Lyme Regis branch and have a track plan worked out ready for a Radial to become available.  Ok I could bring it forward 30 years, imagine the line didn't shut and use existing stock but as my mother and grandparents, living in Axminster during that period, would have frequently used the "Lyme Billy" as it was known, it just has to be done.  However much I'd like to model Cannington Viaduct though I just don't have the space! 

Edited by cromptonnut

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