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Blackwell Lane TMD

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So, ive built a test track, got the point motor working, tried my hand at ballasting and weathering track and weathered a couple of locos so i guess its time to start a layout thread.


This will be my first layout and ive decided to build a small depot with a scratch built maintenance shed. I'm sure I will do some things wrong but be patient it's my first attempt!.


The layout is entirely fictitious and is set around late 1970's to early 1980's. It will be powercab DCC with a mimic panel and cobalt point motors.


Track is peco code 75. Thought long and hard about hand building track but for my first effort i though i would be better off keeping it simple.


here is a few pics of progress so far.




overall view




class 25




mimic panel started




shed under construction



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Just trying to contemplate how to put the track down, or at least the best order which to lay it. Do I weather it first or when laid?


Need to get the plan on the board and work out where droppers, isolation section etc go first I guess.

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Well some like to give the track a light coat of grime first then lay the ballast.i dont do it that way as i like to ballast first then give the sides ofcthe rail a coat of sleeper grime to get rid of the shine and on the surrounding ballast.i then givecthe center of the rails a coat of wearhered black.you can also add various other colours if you wish but you should do fine with just the two colours.

And it also depends on you how much and how thick the weathering is to be.


Check out my thread and you will see some close up photos of my ballast and see what i mean.


Good luck mate.


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Thanks terry, I'll have a look. I've managed to achieve the look I'm after on a test plank but that was much easier to access. I think I'll weather the track insitu, I want to get all the electrics working before I lift a paint brush....





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  • 2 weeks later...

BIt more progress on the mimic panel, should be done soon!






using 3.5,, jack sockets for point motors/isolated sections of track.


xlr connections to track and programme track.


track laying/wiring is next, originally planning to use peco oo code 75 track. Based on the layout below



this is where i'm having abit of a wobble with what direction to take.

I am toying with the idea of going down the em/oo finescale scale route, however this is my first model railway and whilst am competent at most things involved, soldering etc.  and have most of the required tools I am wondering if I would be taking on too much to go down this route. However the last thing I want to do is build it in peco and forever wish I had used hand built track.  Another option mi am also thinking about is c + l flexitrack with peco points to save on cost but may be better just adjusting the sleeper spacings on the peco track as im not sure how the difference in sleeper width will look. I am doing a tmd however so most of the sleepers will be hidden in general muck.



So i would like to know whether it is possible to use oo or em handbuilt track with my current track plan? i understand that the tolerances/radii are less forgiving.


from research it seems my modern image locos will be fairly straight forward to swap to em.


there is also the cost factor. the peco route is much cheaper.


decisions decisions....





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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...

right, its been a while since an update. started again in the new year and aim to keep going a bit more this time, not easy with work and young kids.

Ive got the majority of the track laid and recently been concentrating on scratch building my depot shed out of styrene. beginning to think it would of been a lot cheaper to by the bachman one, but really enjoying building it so i guess thats the main aim!

taking me a while to get things done as this is my first model railway everything is trial and error but slowly getting there!


spent quite while messing about with electrics but got my head around that now









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really pleased with the mimic panel.


i when for handbuilt track in the end although i didn't build the majority of the points myself. i did manage to damage one though and had to buy a couple of gauges and rebuild it so next time i think i'd have a go myself.


the cobalt motors have been interesting to install, especially the 3-way turnout which need the oposing paths deactivating one of the motors but eventually figured out how to do it.


i could definately of made thing easier for my first build but room is tight so i want to make sure i have plenty to do on such a small board.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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