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Anthony Ashley

North Welsh Coast Railway - Welsh Dragon Rail

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Stu,

 

I have found that many of the pairs of rakes while being identical for the up and down line. They were just uncoupled at the terminating station and recoupled without being turned around. eg If the train rake comprised the following:

 

 

BSK, 3SK, CK, CK, BSK. The return train would be BSK, CK, CK, 3SK ,BSK. ie the order is reversed menaing there is only a need to move the loco from what has become the rear of the rake to the front. This is not always the case but applies to some.

 

For the other rakes the very large turn tables enable me to turn the whole rake around including the loco. This is a deliberate design for operation. I have posted an earlier thread with contains the full plan and explains the operation of the layout in detail. This is on the second page of the thread. If you have not seen it you may be interested. Thanks for the question they are appreciated. I may post the complete time table but it is in excel and I am not sure if it will be transferable to the RM web site. 

 

Regards,

 

 

Anthony Ashley

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USING TECHNOLOGY TO CONSTRUCT A LAYOUT

 

I have at last come ton the stage of laying the horizontal surfaces for the track are. This has taken about 6 months. I was concerned with the accuracy of the levels comprising the track area, as it is dependent on the relative height of each ply wood former. These are in turn are dependent on the pieces they are resting on. I wanted to ensure the main line and goods area in Conwy was level or very close to it. I determined that a laser level would be the most accurate means of determining how level the tops of the ply formers were.

 

The photo below shows the technique used. First of all I ensured the laser was flat and level. I then pointed it about 3 ml above the ply formed. I marked the base of the laser circle on a flat based piece of ply which I could move between the flat topped ply formers.

 

post-15340-0-23374300-1370078786.jpg

 

In the photo above there are two red dots. The one on the left is a reflection. The one on the right is shining on the board resting on the top of the former. I have marked a pencil line immediately below the red dot.

 

post-15340-0-66094200-1370078843.jpg

 

Second former back and I have moved my board to that former. The red dot is within 1 Ml of the line with the centre of the dot actually going through the line. The dot is 2 Ml, meaning that this board is 1 ml lower than the first. The distance between bards is approx. 300ml. I am within my margin of error. Max gradients on the layout are 1%.

 

 

post-15340-0-98999000-1370078919.jpg

 

The next ply former and the board is in the same position re the red dot. Success with my levels so far.

 

post-15340-0-73420900-1370078961.jpg

 

Next former back and again the red dot is in the same position re the line on the board. I checked all of the formers and all were in the same position relative to the board with the pencil line.

 

Levels are good and I can therefore lay the ply with no height adjustments required.

 

 

Please add any comments to this thread as it is good to get feed back

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

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BASE FOR CONWY TOWN

 

I have been able to lay the base for at least a part of Conwy. The other task for the weekend was to ensure the main line surfaces were properly supported. 

 

Shots below show a Britainnia with the Welshman rake. It looks like it might be sunset, but it is actually my reading lamp from about 12 inches!

 

post-15340-0-29844600-1370161264.jpg

 

Medieval town wall on the background. There is meant to be a castle somewhere

 

post-15340-0-68178400-1370161310.jpg

 

Wider shot featuring the back scene

 

post-15340-0-89309700-1370161352.jpg

 

 

post-15340-0-59776600-1370161382.jpg

 

 

 

post-15340-0-72274400-1370161409.jpg

 

post-15340-0-07987800-1370161463.jpg

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FEEDBACK PLEASE

 

I would like to know if you like the train rakes in the photos above or would prefer just the advances in the layout building.

 

Let me know what you think. The surfaces shown above are the first few for Conwy itself. Only 3 or so to go and the surfaces are complete. It is then on with marking out the track and scenery locations.

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley  

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This layout is coming on very well looking to further

instalments well done

David Wexford

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Anthony,

Any and all photos you choose to take and show are fine by me. As you've said, seeing a train on the layout is motivational, even if it's static !

Stu

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A train lost in a landscape and only another 10 boards to build!

 

When I leaned on that board at the last meeting I never thought a full train would look so tiny. Are you planning to build more boards to check that the track fits before getting stuck into the scenics etc? I am sure people on here would love to know.

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Ian,

 

Thank you for your question. I appreciate the time to be able to answer and look forward to more questions from those interested.

 

The whole  plan shown on page two of this web is an Any Rail track plan. This computer planning tool enables the drafter to create exact track replica using the scale track points including the relevant code from specific manufacturers. In this case the track is N gauge Peco Code 55. Each point should be an exact match in terms of the size and connections on the plan.  The other facility which Any Rail offers is the ability to reduce of increase scale from 1:300 to 5:1. 

 

My plan is to print the track on the edge of the current layout boards where they depart those boards, using 1:1scale on A4 paper. Such detail will allow me to place those 1:1 scale diagrams directly onto the base boards and to draw onto the board the exact angle and point of departure for each track. I know that the plan will match exactly the required track layout, given the ability of the program to provide for maximum gradients and minimum radii. I can also ensure that the page is positioned exactly on the layout by replicating the plans 100ml grid onto the layout horizontal surfaces. I think this method should be accurate enough. I may leave the last 300 ml of the tracks on the completed boards which need to connect to the uncompleted boards unsecured to allow more flexibility in completing this part of the project. 

 

If any one has any other ideas to ensure the matching of the track areas for the uncompleted boards I am interested to hear from you. I am keen to engender further discussion through this thread for any other questions regarding the layout prototype issues and photos of modelling techniques.

 

Just one last comment where you indicated there were only 10 more boards to go. That was incorrect as there are actually 11, but who is counting! Please be patient as I may take some time to get to the last of these. 

 

Once again any questions or comments are appreciated as your feed back keeps me going.

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley 

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This is epic.  That train looks brilliant just with the backscene.  It also gives perspective to the whole build and the size of it all/how much work there is to do.

 

Re the track laying.  Could you work on two boards at a time?  i.e. scenics on the first board and loosely lay the track on the second.  Once you have got the bulk of the scenics done on the first move onto the second whilst erecting and loosely laying the track on the third.  This will give you enough wiggle room each time to ensure things match up.

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Jon this is a pretty good idea and one I will consider. I want a bit of a rest from carpentry, but marking up the horizontal surfaces will give me that change, at least for a while. By then I might be ready to return to the wood working fray. I was going to start the laying track on the Conwy side of the Tubular bridge as I need to connect two pieces of flexitrack in the middle. This will provide a good point of reference for the track through Conwy.

 

Today I spent the day moulding stone wall sections in preparation for the sea wall sections and the castle I need to construct. I have in the order of 11 types of stone wall in different finishes and scales. There are plenty of them.

 

Comments are always welcome.

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

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QUESTIONS ON THE WELSH DRAGON RAILWAY

I have received the following three questions on the layout.

For instance,
(a) what is the distance between the lower edge of the upper baseboard
supports and the track level of the lower deck?
( B) you mention a spiral - where is it located and does it in any way
eliminate the two 'transition areas'? I interpret the two 'dots' in the diagram of the lower deck as being at the mid-points of the transition areas' - am I right?
© where are the two 8 ft. turntables located? Are they replacements for
what appear to be two traversers?

For those who are confused by the plan the following is offered in answer to the above questions.

1. The lower edge of the top section of the layout featuring Conwy is set at 45 inches above ground level. The frame work has a width of 65 ml. Therefore height above ground level is 45inches minus just over 2 inches or approx 43 inches. The hidden track plan has a series of purple or black lines. These show the layout board sizes I need to build. The top section constructed to date comprising the area above the operational area and featuring most of Conwy there is made up of, going from left to right a 6X6 foot board and two boards 5X6 feet each. The distance across is therefore 16 feet.

In my most recent hidden track plan the sea areas finishes 10 feet down from the top of the layout on the edge of the second board down on the right side of the layout. Similarly the low flood plain to the south of Conwy just above the creek line extend to the edge of the second board on the left. All of this area is approx 43 inches above the ground from the bottom of the base board. There will be scenic divides between the second and third board from the top on either side of the layout. In fact there are two pairs of lines of hidden track at the top of the layout on the left. One joins into the transition area at the circle marked on the left of the layout at main line track height and the other continues down at a continuous 1:100 gradient to terminate at the turntable on the right. In summary the first three boards are already built and the next two, one on either side of the layout need to be at the same height to accommodate the sea on the right and the low flood plain in the vicinity of Conwy station ie 45 inches on the left side of the layout.

I believe my next part of the layout is clever. Once I get to the third board from the top, on either side of the layout, my minimum height will rise to the actual main line track height ie 48 inches. In Conwy and nearly all the rest of the layout is at a height of 48 inches from ground level with a clearance taking into account the width of the base of approx 46 inches. With the scenic dividers in place I can therefore raise the height of the remainder of the layout to 48 inches. This will mean the use of less ply to create the elevations required, the hidden track going down to either turn table will suddenly be below the base board height or very close to it by raising the base boards by 3 inches. I shall need to create a narrow but long lower area to construct the sea at 45 inches elevation above the ground,down the left side of the layout(this may be detachable not sure yet). This also provides more distance between the bottom of the main layout and the two large turn tables.

I think for my first layout this is a neat engineering solution as it minimises the amount of ply for the elevations required, minimises any cutting of the framework and supports to accommodate the lowering of the hidden track and provides more room for the turn tables.

You will note that the hidden track has an entrance flap marked. This raising of the second board with be facilitated by a pivot point on the third board below the second board. I will use a rectangular metal frame with a handle sticking through the exterior of the middle of the second board, going from the front to back of the second base board. This will then be lifted and pivot over the third board to rest on 45 degree chocks secured to the third board on the top of the layout. The third board as indicated above will be 3 inches above the second, but if I cut the join between the two as a wedge shape and allow the support second board to pivot around the supporting metal with the handle, as it is lifted, this should work.

2. The question about the distance between the lower edge of the base boards and the track level of the lower deck and the spirals are related. As stated above the hidden track around the top of the layout is at approx 45 inches or sea level. The sea wall on which Conwy is resting is 3 inches high. I have raised the northern section of the town of Conwy to create a larger distance between the top of the scenic area at the northern edge of the layout and the hidden track which goes underneath the town (the gap is about 6 inches). My plan is to use Perspex to protect this northern edge of the hidden track hinged to the top of the layout and hidden by the buildings of Conwy. Once the hidden track at the top of the layout bends from the east west direction to the south on the left of the layout it starts to go below the 45 inches. This will mean I shall have to trim some wood off the top of the supports for the frame work to allow the track through it. I will only need to do this for a distance of 8 feet (the distance from the top of the layout to the end of the second board down. In this distance using a 1:100 gradient the track will only drop 24ml. My supports are 70 ml in height meaning I still have 50 ml of timber support.

Once the dropping track reaches the third board it is 76 Ml higher than the second board from the top. I shall probably need to cut 25 ml for the bottom of the frame work and supporting boards where the hidden track crosses them for some distance until it drops further. The large hidden loops on the left and right of the layouts are relatively new. I had not properly considered the clearance required to operate the huge turntables on the left and bottom of the layout. By inserting the loops I gain more distance to drop the track further while retaining my 1:100 gradient. I have described them a giant helixes. What I mean by this is that the loops are large enough to run a lower track below the one above. By dropping those threaded steel rods used to create a helix from the top of the layout I can thread ply supports through them and create as many levels as I want at whatever height I want depending on the length of the rods. It also leaves free the underneath of the layout for storage. All I need to do is cut as many duplicate pieces of ply as the number of levels I want to create.

The length of the loop on the left is approx 5feet by 11 feet. This gives a distance of approx 32 feet in length. Using the 1:100 gradient this provides a distance between levels of approx 96 ml or nearly 4 inches. Certainly enough room for the single line to be spaced apart. On the right the loop is approx 8 feet by 19 feet given a distance to drop of approx 54 feet. In one loop the track can drop a maximum of approx 162mls. I am interested in opinions as to the desired clearance between the top of the turntable and the bottom of the base boards. As you can see it will be determined by the number of levels I incorporate into the loops (or giant helixes if you like to call them that). I thought that at least 12 inches or 300 mls would be preferable but perhaps 6 inches is sufficient.

3. The two giant turntables are on the hidden plan on the lower left and bottom of the plan. You will note there are circles around then to show the diameter of turning them. They are not traversers. They will be mounted on wheels and will therefore be accessible from the ops area marked in grey. They will be manual and comprise two metal circular plates in the middle with a approx 6 inch diameter resting on each other. Candle grease should facilitate the rotation between the two. I have seen two of these on another layout and they work well (it is a OO Gauge layout). This will enable all of the rakes to be rotated through 180 degrees if required for the return journey.

I have recently got access to a Summer 1960 passenger time table and been able to complete a Sunday passenger operation for this period, Listing every coach in every train rake. There are approx 45trains in the 24 hour period. Some 14 of the rakes are identical in terms of travelling up and down the line. This reduces my coach requirements to 31 rakes, including DMUs and suburban trains. I require something like 88 SK and 55 BSK plus a myriad of other coaches to simulate this level of traffic.

The area at the bottom of the layout will hold the mountain to the west of Penmaenmawr. In recreating this feature I shall need to build the mountain to within 2 inches of my garage ceiling. The mainline runs around the base of this mountain going through a tunnel and appearing at the Pen-y-clip viaduct. I have this in the layout where the track is over the top of the sea area.

I value all opinions re the distance between the baseboards and the turntables, so jump in and provide an opinion. Please feel free to ask any other questions as it may prompt me to reconsider an area I may have slipped up on due to my lack of experience.

Thank you very much for your interest.

Regards,

Anthony Ashley

 

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You've given me serious 'shed envy' Anthony, what an amazing venue for what I'm sure will be a superb layout

 

I'm also struck by how many modellers there are on far flung shores modelling bit's of Britain - can I take it that you have emigrated ?

 

Please keep the posts coming....

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I think for my first layout

 

 

 

What ?!? - you're planning another one ???

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Another layout? Well, there is more room on the block of land for another shed or three!

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WELSH DRAGON RAILWAY A REALITY CHECK

 

In answering the three entries above in order.

 

I am a many generation Australian although my forebears were English on both sides of my family. My interest in the British railway system partly sprung for the locos belonging to my great uncle. I have also had a few trips to the UK and have really enjoyed the country and British history.

 

My reason for modelling Conwy, Penmenmawr and Bangor are listed on the first page. In summary Conwy has fantastic scenery including the 12th century castle and medieval town and wall. Penmenmawr has a granite quarry with light rail, is a pretty sea side holiday town and has Pen-y-clip viaduct and the large mountain adjacent to it, which I shall model. Bangor is ideally placed with a substantial track infrastructure and rail facilities with a great location in a valley.

 

The quote that this is my first layout is correct it is, but it may well be the only one I ever make. I was pleased with the ingenuity for the first layout, although it may not work, hence the requests for critical, incisive and informed comments! Estimated completion time is 25-20 years for the whole thing, although I may be quicker.

 

Yes there is lots of room on the block, but the council are unlikely to approve another shed and the budget would not go that far!

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

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WELSH DRAGON RAIL LAYOUT DEVELOPMENTS

 

Another two boards have been cut and secured using ply plates to fit under the adjacent sections for added security. Only 2 of three to go! At least for this section.

 

post-15340-0-14262700-1370705916.jpg

 

post-15340-0-23299500-1370705937.jpg

 

 

Does any one have any ideas on the required distance between the turn table further down the layout and the bottom of the base boards. Given the width of the turntables at 4 feet how much clearance is required?

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

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The suspension bridge between Telford's suspension bridge and the railway bridge actually carried a water main and there was no public access to it.  I'm not sure when it was removed, possibly early 1970s although that is a guess.

 

Early 70s rings a bell with me too, so looks like you will have to do all 4 bridges.  Was the water pipe routed via the 1958 road bridge ?

Merf.

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FEEDBACK PLEASE

 

I would like to know if you like the train rakes in the photos above or would prefer just the advances in the layout building.

 

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley  

 

Notice the coaches in your pictures are all Mk.1 stock.  As you are going to such lengths to have the correct train formations, bear in mind that at your period probably about 50% would be LMS design , with possibly only the Irish Mail and Welshman sets having gone over to standard stock completly by then.

Merf.

 

Very recognisable, coming on nicely.

Edited by Merfyn Jones

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Merf,

 

I am modelling the 60s so the 4th bridge would have been there for some of this time but unsure how much. I prefer the 3 bridge look and will go with that. In regard top the Stanier coaches I have a fair number of them and the rakes are mixed Mk1s and Stanier in most cases. Given the number of coaches required I shall get more Staniers and Mk 1s.

 

Thank you for your input as I was not on the mix but had the LMS coaches anyway.

 

I spent most of today trying to work out the heights on the left side of Conwy while giving clearance to the hidden and declining track. It is a little complex but I have worked it out now. Should get more doen tomorrow with e public holiday.

 

If any one can assist with a recommended clearance between the 4 foot wide turn tables and base of the boards I would appreciate the assistance.

 

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

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FEEDBACK PLEASE

 

I would like to know if you like the train rakes in the photos above or would prefer just the advances in the layout building.

 

Let me know what you think. The surfaces shown above are the first few for Conwy itself. Only 3 or so to go and the surfaces are complete. It is then on with marking out the track and scenery locations.

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

 

I like the photos with the train rakes as they give an even greater sense of the immense scale of your layout. I have just read your thread from start to finish and am truly amazed at the ambition level as well as the progress you have made so far. As a fellow overseas based N Gauge British Outline modeller (US east coast in my case), I will follow your thread with interest.

 

Mike

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Love the scenic background, the hills, the clouds, and the incorporation of the doors. The business. Absolutely full of personality. I suspect the scenic detail when you get to it will be rather superior too. Worthy of an artisan. Expecting some nice steep little up the valleys scenes. Also looking forward to the castle. |Any chance of squeezing in some Portmeirion-esque features?

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FEEDBACK PLEASE

 

I would like to know if you like the train rakes in the photos above or would prefer just the advances in the layout building.

 

Let me know what you think. The surfaces shown above are the first few for Conwy itself. Only 3 or so to go and the surfaces are complete. It is then on with marking out the track and scenery locations.

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley  

I Like to see tha trains as well, helps to give it a sense of scale, especially with an eight coach mainline train lost in a landscape.

 

All the best,

Dave.

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When you talk of the clearance between the turntable under the layout and the board above - are you asking how much room to get your hand in, in case of trouble, or just to get clearance for rolling stock? I forget now, but is the turntable removable in case of disaster?

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Artizen,

 

The turn tables will be on casters and can be moved to the outside of the layout or into the operational area giving hopefully good access.

 

The advice I am seeking re clearance is what is a safe clearance between the bottom of the base board and the top of the turntable. I don't want to know the distance sufficient to put a hand in as this will not be sufficient to fix problems on the turntable. Given the "helix" style loops on either side of the table within the hidden area I can go as low as I like by adding additional loops. So my questions still stands what is an optimal height. Is 12 inches considered enough or should I go for 18 inches? Or is less enough?

 

With all the expert modellers reading RM web I am sure there must be plenty of opinions. Please share them.

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

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