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Tony Wright

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15 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

 

You are only jealous because you have only got one signal box and your trains, which always goes North or South and never return, just go round in a circle!

 

All model railways are absurd to some degree!

I said the 'situation' was absurd, Tony.

 

Not the model railway.

 

And what have I do be jealous for, or of? I have the railway I've striven years to obtain, over which run the things I've built over the last 40+ years. The things which bring back personal memories. Real memories of real trains at real places. It's been a privilege to be part of a great team (of which you're a member, remember?) which has created Little Bytham. 

 

Not for me the 'absurdity' of stations so close together that it would be quicker to walk between them by the time you'd bought your ticket, boarded a train and waited for it to depart. I accept the 'absurdity' of a roundy-roundy situation, but is it any more 'absurd' than a terminus to fiddle yard layout? And actually, there are two sets which go both north and south. 

 

To have two signal boxes on the GN bit would be absurd. They'd be far too close together. And, since you built the signals for it, there is a second 'box at Bytham; on the MR/M&GNR bit. 

 

We enjoy our differences and rejoice in the absurdity of it all. I assure you, I'm jealous of nobody in railway modelling. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony.

 

P.S. Sent in the same tongue-in-cheek manner as your post. 

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On ‎30‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 18:50, t-b-g said:

 

No A4s pulling 14 carriages at 90mph on Southwark Bridge so it doesn't count!  All it has is a collection of the most superb kit and scratchbuilt locos and stock, a fantastic lever frame, it is great fun operationally and some super (although unfinished) scenic modelling.  Having said that, it did suffer a bit from derailments when we visited.

 

SB lives in a garden shed and is sensitive to changes in the weather.  The impact of a derailment can be affected by a number of factors - how quickly did the driver react, was it under 'A' box.  I'm sure we had to wind over a few point motors (pulling out the tray requires a slim Loco Yard operator) but I don't think any points actually failed during your visit. Points #65 and #79 have a bit of a reputation.   So SB is not  an exhibition layout, but it is an operational layout and we are delighted to receive visitors on six Saturdays a year.

 

Bill

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4 minutes ago, bbishop said:

 

SB lives in a garden shed and is sensitive to changes in the weather.  The impact of a derailment can be affected by a number of factors - how quickly did the driver react, was it under 'A' box.  I'm sure we had to wind over a few point motors (pulling out the tray requires a slim Loco Yard operator) but I don't think any points actually failed during your visit. Points #65 and #79 have a bit of a reputation.   So SB is not  an exhibition layout, but it is an operational layout and we are delighted to receive visitors on six Saturdays a year.

 

Bill

 

When I saw the track on SB I was very impressed. It looked lovely and well built. All the points worked well. I think any problems were down to the stock, especially the close coupled sets. When a "normal" rake of screw coupled carriages negotiates complex track with no problems and a close coupled set derails going into the same platform, with one particular bogie coming off more than once and the rest of the set going through nicely, I would be looking at the stock rather than the track.

 

It certainly is an operational layout and a lovely one to operate.  

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56 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

I said the 'situation' was absurd, Tony.

 

Not the model railway.

 

And what have I do be jealous for, or of? I have the railway I've striven years to obtain, over which run the things I've built over the last 40+ years. The things which bring back personal memories. Real memories of real trains at real places. It's been a privilege to be part of a great team (of which you're a member, remember?) which has created Little Bytham. 

 

Not for me the 'absurdity' of stations so close together that it would be quicker to walk between them by the time you'd bought your ticket, boarded a train and waited for it to depart. I accept the 'absurdity' of a roundy-roundy situation, but is it any more 'absurd' than a terminus to fiddle yard layout? And actually, there are two sets which go both north and south. 

 

To have two signal boxes on the GN bit would be absurd. They'd be far too close together. And, since you built the signals for it, there is a second 'box at Bytham; on the MR/M&GNR bit. 

 

We enjoy our differences and rejoice in the absurdity of it all. I assure you, I'm jealous of nobody in railway modelling. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony.

 

P.S. Sent in the same tongue-in-cheek manner as your post. 

 

There were real stations withing easy walking distance. The entire Sutton in Ashfield branch was less than a mile long, probably 60ft in 4mm scale. The two stations at New Holland were at either end of a pier.

 

That is the thing with the LB signal boxes. In real life, the signalman would be offering the train to the next box. Perhaps you could rig up a dummy box at either end of the fiddle yard, like Steve Hall has on Drighlington and Adwalton (not sure of the spelling). He has the facility to send trains round but treats the fiddle yard sidings as destinations. You could have a few fiddle yard loops for Leeds, York, Newcastle etc.  and Peterborough and Kings Cross the other way and you could rearrange the trains at each end, change locos and send them back. You could drive yourself potty, or even more potty, with the tinkling of bells.

 

Or I could just shut up and let you enjoy your lovely layout as you designed it.

 

As you say, all tongue in cheek.

 

I forgot about the M & GN box but I doubt that any signalman on the GN would be calling attention there!

Edited by t-b-g
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On 30/10/2019 at 17:03, Tony Wright said:

The architectural work is that of Bob Dawson, Ian Wilson and myself, and the scenic work is that of Rob Davey, Richard Wilson, Gilbert Barnatt, Ellen Sparkes and me. 

 

Wow, Tony these photos are stunning. That's fantastic modelling. I really had to check to see if it was a period photo of the real thing! On first impressions it looks real and then you dig into the detail... and it still looks absolutely like the real thing. You and your team are setting very high standards.

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7 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

In that case the signalman rang the wrong bells! You should know what type of train is coming. 4 bells for the express, 2 pause 3 for the light engine and brake (on the GCR that would be the code, they did vary).

 

I see it time and time again on layouts. One operator will ask the other, often quite loudly to be heard above the background sound of an exhibition, "Can you take a pick up goods?".

 

The real railway had a perfectly easy to reproduce method of offering and accepting trains. To be fair, we use a simplified system and only use about 10 different codes but it is just so much more railwaylike than shouting from one end of the layout to the other. Of course if you are sending trains to yourself, or just running them round a circuit, it becomes a bit daft unless you have an "Automatic Crispin"! For a layout with multiple operating positions and operators, it is as good a way of passing rains from one to the other as any. I have seen it done with lights rather than bells. That works just as well and if anybody is offended by a few bell noises, they could always do that instead.

Inform, educate and entertain again. The signalman probably rang the right code but the viewers didn't understand what was going on. Perhaps now they have a better idea or were at least encouraged to go and find out more.

 

On the Mid-Cornwall Lines we don't use bells, as I don't like to hear the bells in all the other signal boxes. Instead, we use a simplified form of "line clear" request and accept system with lights. Drivers, signalmen and yardmasters know the type of train from the sequence and the train describer display screen. There'll be more details of this on the MCL thread once it's fully-commissioned.

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6 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

I get all the sound I need in my imagination. Although once or twice, I have been known..........

Barry O of this parish used to do very good Deltic and HST impressions...

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14 minutes ago, St Enodoc said:

Barry O of this parish used to do very good Deltic and HST impressions...

 

... but has grown in wisdom as the years go by?

 

I think, on the whole, I'm glad that RMWeb doesn't come with a sound chip fitted.

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46 minutes ago, St Enodoc said:

Inform, educate and entertain again. The signalman probably rang the right code but the viewers didn't understand what was going on. Perhaps now they have a better idea or were at least encouraged to go and find out more.

 

On the Mid-Cornwall Lines we don't use bells, as I don't like to hear the bells in all the other signal boxes. Instead, we use a simplified form of "line clear" request and accept system with lights. Drivers, signalmen and yardmasters know the type of train from the sequence and the train describer display screen. There'll be more details of this on the MCL thread once it's fully-commissioned.

 

That sounds a perfectly workable system and I can genuinely understand how some folk might find too many bells intrusive. Hearing both ends of the exchange is less than ideal. I am happy to live with it as I didn't design the system and I am reluctant to alter what Peter Denny did.

 

I came to appreciate them from long days spent in the school summer holidays on the platform at Stainforth and Hatfield in the 1970s. The signal box was on the platform and I would hang around, stretched out on a bench nearby, dozing in the sun with the old warm Tizer and sarnies. The "ting" in the box was a wake up call and then you could listen to see what type of train it was. Then the swish of the wires and the wonky old wooden signal post would sway as one of the arms raised. How I wished I could be the one in the box ringing the bells and pulling the levers!

 

I was very impressed when the signalman was offered, accepted and then offered on to the next box three trains at once.

 

I would have preferred working a signal box to being a driver as I don't really remember steam and thought that driving a diesel cannot have been half as much fun, though it probably was.

 

Well, I got my wish in the end, in a small way.

Edited by t-b-g
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On Long Preston trains went either to Hellifield North (Up line) or Settle Junction (Down line) And were offered forward to the next box using a system of push buttons and LED's. This worked well with operators who knew and worked with the system as trains could not be dispatched until the next box had accepted them. Green Ayre uses the same system and again works well. I've even modified the system to cope with the single track branch to Castle. 

 

Jamie

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We used the same system on Bob Essery's 7mm Dewsbury - worked perfectly and didn't take a lot of learning so new operators could get to grips with it easily.

 

Dave

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Interesting discussion re operational interest versus entertainment at exhibitions. We're in a rather interesting situation at the moment with two large exhibitions layouts now on the circuit (Grantham and Shap). Both roughly the same size, both depicting premier mainlines (ECML and WCML respectively) - but there the similarities end! We can have some sort of ad hoc controlled experiment over the next few years - but I can confidently predict the outcome right here and now.

 

Shap is largely a 'parade' layout, not unlike LB (it even features two former LB locos!), with trains running past one after another. Only the banking arrangements provide something of a relief from the onset of boredom for the operators.

 

Grantham is an operational layout, recreating pretty faithfully the station as it was in c,1938 with trains terminating, stock being shunted, locos coming on and off depot, continuous shunting in the goods yards, all fully signalled (more or less), controlled from three busy signalbox lever frames ... the sort of thing that made it a magnet for trainspotters in its heyday

 

But I'll put money on Shap having the bigger crowd around it. The sort of person that hangs on the barrier at Grantham is someone who appreciates the more detailed aspects of railway operation and from those types of person we have had many complimentary comments. But they are in the minority. The layout probably only holds its own because there is the potential for movement all along the layout and it's not unusual to have three or four locos / trains moving at any one time. Plus we now have the working roadway system to add additional 'entertainment'.

 

So yes - the roundy-roundy with a good selection of trains is always like to win out; but hopefully there can always be a place at a show for one or two operationally based layouts nonetheless?

Edited by LNER4479
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40 minutes ago, LNER4479 said:

But I'll put money on Shap having the bigger crowd around it. The sort of person that hangs on the barrier at Grantham is someone who appreciates the more detailed aspects of railway operation and from those types of person we have had many complimentary comments. But they are in the minority. The layout probably only holds its own because there is the potential for movement all along the layout and it's not unusual to have three or four locos / trains moving at any one time. Plus we now have the working roadway system to add additional 'entertainment'.

 

So yes - the roundy-roundy with a good selection of trains is always like to win out; but hopefully there can always be a place at a show for one or two operationally based layouts nonetheless?

Interested to know if you think this outcome might change/be different at a 'scale' show as Tony describes them? - without barriers etc etc.

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If you’re worried about signal boxes being too close together, consider Belle Isle on CF where there were five boxes almost within sight of one another!  Our latest addition is Belle Isle Down, made by Matthew Wald. 
2961E8D3-6040-404A-B9DF-ED3166CD6CFE.jpeg.153c463cd4f4fd612e9bf179617af5f8.jpeg
 

Five Arch box is being made in Belgium and the big one, Goods & Mineral Jon., has some etches already made for it by Jim Watt.  I don’t think bells would be that useful on CF, although we definitely do need a system of communication between operators. 
 

Tin
 

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2 hours ago, jamie92208 said:

On Long Preston trains went either to Hellifield North (Up line) or Settle Junction (Down line) And were offered forward to the next box using a system of push buttons and LED's. This worked well with operators who knew and worked with the system as trains could not be dispatched until the next box had accepted them. Green Ayre uses the same system and again works well. I've even modified the system to cope with the single track branch to Castle. 

 

Jamie

That's what we'll be doing too. The key feature will be an electric lock for each section signal released by the "line clear" from the box in advance. The future single-track branch will run under what I rather grandiosely call "first-come-first-served tokenless block".

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There might be other reasons Graham as to why Shap may appear more popular, one, Grantham has been around some time ( I've seen it 3or 4 times), whilst Shap is new to the circuit, two, they are based on different companies ,and finally they are based on different eras, Shap may be more interesting as it's based on the last couple of years of steam and therefore is  BR transition layout, which we are told is the most popular era.

Edited by westerner
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8 hours ago, CF MRC said:

If you’re worried about signal boxes being too close together, consider Belle Isle on CF where there were five boxes almost within sight of one another!  Our latest addition is Belle Isle Down, made by Matthew Wald. 

Hi Tin, I'm not worried about boxes being too close together but what I am worried about is how Matthew has made his window frames so much finer and more convincing than those in the one I'm scratch building at the moment (not too well obviously!)  ..... and that's in 2mm and I'm in 4mm!!!  Could I please enquire how he made them?

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9 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

Interesting discussion re operational interest versus entertainment at exhibitions. We're in a rather interesting situation at the moment with two large exhibitions layouts now on the circuit (Grantham and Shap). Both roughly the same size, both depicting premier mainlines (ECML and WCML respectively) - but there the similarities end! We can have some sort of ad hoc controlled experiment over the next few years - but I can confidently predict the outcome right here and now.

 

Shap is largely a 'parade' layout, not unlike LB (it even features two former LB locos!), with trains running past one after another. Only the banking arrangements provide something of a relief from the onset of boredom for the operators.

 

Grantham is an operational layout, recreating pretty faithfully the station as it was in c,1938 with trains terminating, stock being shunted, locos coming on and off depot, continuous shunting in the goods yards, all fully signalled (more or less), controlled from three busy signalbox lever frames ... the sort of thing that made it a magnet for trainspotters in its heyday

 

But I'll put money on Shap having the bigger crowd around it. The sort of person that hangs on the barrier at Grantham is someone who appreciates the more detailed aspects of railway operation and from those types of person we have had many complimentary comments. But they are in the minority. The layout probably only holds its own because there is the potential for movement all along the layout and it's not unusual to have three or four locos / trains moving at any one time. Plus we now have the working roadway system to add additional 'entertainment'.

 

So yes - the roundy-roundy with a good selection of trains is always like to win out; but hopefully there can always be a place at a show for one or two operationally based layouts nonetheless?

Whichever of your two layouts proves to be the more popular, Graham, what cannot be denied is that they are both supreme examples of the modellers' craft! 

 

1802984639_Grantham1503A1instation.jpg.226625728842e74bc21d2ec2e9587e05.jpg

 

1624714887_Grantham15041888FS.jpg.26c321891e35962b86134b67b41b9759.jpg

 

Grantham. See this at Spalding this weekend. 

 

528590180_Shap21646245atSummit02.jpg.5bf7938d99c80c9962bcb6c7fca8df2e.jpg

 

1800780844_Shap22046248atSummit.jpg.c7562199927598cb0591ef96e2420b7c.jpg

 

And Shap. See this at Peterborough in December. 

 

It's a privilege to be able to photograph both.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

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Clem, the window frames and bars on our signal boxes are drawn directly on to clear glazing material with a ruling pen and Humbrol paint.  That way they are to scale and not overstated, the secret of good 2mm modelling. 
 

Tim

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9 hours ago, jamie92208 said:

On Long Preston trains went either to Hellifield North (Up line) or Settle Junction (Down line) And were offered forward to the next box using a system of push buttons and LED's. This worked well with operators who knew and worked with the system as trains could not be dispatched until the next box had accepted them. Green Ayre uses the same system and again works well. I've even modified the system to cope with the single track branch to Castle. 

 

 

That 'sounds' more like it. The signal box on the layout I'm building has been replaced by a huge 'powerbox' that controls swathes of the lines to the south. Presumably there's no dinging bells in that (maybe ringing 'phones and flashing lights thou). And the signals all seem to be CLS. Here's a couple of pics of my unfinished model:

 

DSC_6418.JPG.8a0fae33c3de990ac30301416b988b86.JPG

 

DSC_6417.JPG.1aa4be53c5e292ad584cac459ce3b90c.JPG

 

 

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7 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

That's what we'll be doing too. The key feature will be an electric lock for each section signal released by the "line clear" from the box in advance. The future single-track branch will run under what I rather grandiosely call "first-come-first-served tokenless block".

 

My tired eyes read that as electric shock for each section - I guess that would be one way of replacing bells but probably wouldn't be silent?

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Perhaps the chaps with the bells don't like talking to each other...….

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Grantham and Shap are indeed superb layouts of iconic locations.

 

I was thinking of somewhere "local" (200 yards away) on the West Coast mainline as perhaps a suitable layout location - Rylands Sidings where my dad took many photos (some already posted here) half way up the stiff (1:105) two track climb northbound out of Wigan came to mind.

 

I've just come across this wonderful flikr site of both railway paintings and models. There are some paintings of the Wigan area and Boars Head Bank - Kings Cross and Grantham shed also. Take a look - tons of atmosphere. How to turn images and memories like these paintings into a model ? - Well we all try our best to do so I'm sure.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/page3

 

Just south of Rylands Sidings the WCML crosses Walkden Ave. Note the bridge abutment was made for 4 tracking (that never happened). I hope the dog doesn't get electrocuted !!

 

While waiting for the bus...

 

And this atmospheric painting

 

Night Traffic

 

Same location 1967 - Dad's photo - Plodding north to Standish jcn and a respite at the 4 track section a couple of miles away. Some heavy diesel freights struggle up here even today but the double headed electric hauled container trains fly up at 70+ and accelerating.

 

Wigan to London for less than a fiver - Bargain !! Does anyone model such posters ?

 

1294208711_WALKDENAVEWIGANNDNBDBLACK8002.jpg.de60e23620a187c9cff3c563aaf27161.jpg

 

Brit15

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16 hours ago, queensquare said:

Thanks Brian,

I shall be running a weekday timetable. Much as Id like to, I don't think I will live long enough to build the stock required for a summer saturday!

Jerry

 

Hello Jerry

 

I fully concur with you again there.

 

Bath (Green Park) on Summer Saturdays has much to commend it, but the weekday service is every bit as interesting, albeit in a different way.

 

You have fewer express passenger light engine movements between shed and station but that is more than compensated by freight locos to and from the yards. And you still have to change locos on the through trains, even though those locos might be more 'local' in nature as opposed to coming from distant sheds.

 

The Pines still runs and there is no reason why you can't have a pre-Bank Holiday Special or a pigeon train. The Leicester Parcels and 2.40am Down Freight & Mail run and you have the Co-op Sidings trip. Add that to a Midsomer Norton and return coal train, the Binegar local and the 8.25pm Templecombe-Derby Perisher, you have more than a wide variety of stock to match with operational planning and interest.

 

Brian

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8 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

That's what we'll be doing too. The key feature will be an electric lock for each section signal released by the "line clear" from the box in advance. The future single-track branch will run under what I rather grandiosely call "first-come-first-served tokenless block".

I did think of doing that on Green Ayre and did make one alteration compared to Long Preston.  As the fiddle yard on Green Ayre is now single manned I wired it so that the main li e operator can niw drive trains right into the tard once they have been accepted. There is an overide that allows the fiddle yard operatorto stop trains if necessary. The electrical sections do conform to the signal spacing so it us possible to hold trains at signals and bring others up to the signal behind. This does need operator familiarity and unfortunately we never really had the chance to have good training sessions. Ironically now the layout us up all the time that would be a doddle but the team us in England.  

 

Jamie

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