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Thought RM Web readers might be interested in my latest OO layout, "Portwey", which was shown at the Weston-super-Mare exhibition on Jan 12. The layout is very loosely "inspired" by Weymouth (what, in 4ft???), but only in that there's an island platform, a canopy over it plus a row of terraced houses on the backscene! The overall dimensions are 49" x 10.5", narrowing to 7" wide towards the scenic break and the integral FY. The scenic section is just 30" long. Track is C&L, with 3 Peco code 75 turnouts and a sole Peco set-track point in the FY. I use Spratt & Winkle couplings on freight stock so there are under-track magnets a-plenty on the layout. Operation is basically a single ex-GWR railcar (Lima) or a

14XX/autocoach shuttling into Platform #1 (nearest the backscene), with freight wagons being shuffled, as per an "Inglenook" shunting game, for some variety, on the other tracks and using Platform #1 when the passenger service is in the FY. Other motive power used is a Hornby M7, Bachmann Ivatt 2-6-2 and a couple of Panniers. The canopy is Dapol (still with Airfix embossing on the ends), whilst the building underneath is detailed Superquick, off their island platform kit. The actual station building is merely shown on the bachscene as a paste-on (Brian Sherrif) building. The signal box, in (extremely) low relief is scratch built and is based on the austerity, wartime box at Portland station. The lattice signal is Ratio, with MSE white metal finials. I've added shunting discs to the signal's platform, as the run-round loop is assumed to be where the FY is located, beyond the scenic break. Hope it might inspire a few others - you really don't need much space in which to build a very viable, operationally worthwhile layout, I reckon. 'Hope the late Carl Arendt would approve. I'm going to try to attach some photos to show the layout minus stock: I'm not hopefull I'm up to the task though, despite looking at the guidnace on RM Web.I can (try to) add some more if anyone is interested. Comments always welcome. Thanks.

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Julian:

These are the things I love: just 49 inches, a well thought out track plan, an interesting backscene, S&W couplings with undertrack magnets, etc. etc. Really smart, well done!

 

Yes, I'm sure, 'the late Carl Arendt would approve'.

 

Atmospherically your pictures would even be better if you could avoid using the flash and go outside to photograph in the sun...

And there is a short tutorial How To Change The Size Of Your Images with the aid of Irfan View – btw. a little program with surprising abilities to improve the photos.

 

Keep up the good work – will follow with interest!

 

Regards

  Armin

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Armin (and others): many thanks for your kind comments. I didn't use flash at all with my (very) cheap digital camerafor these photos - they were all taken indoors in natural light.

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Julian. What a smashing little layout. Just a 3rd rail short of perfect!( just teasing) I would love to see some piccies with stock. This has definitely sparked some ideas for my next project.

Andy

P.s. what make is back scene?

Edited by puck
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Well thanks for starting this thread.

I saw this lovely little layout (mounted on its ironing board) at Weston, and we had a chat about it.

 

To me it really captured the 'Southern' atmosphere very well.

The terraced backscene, behind the fence, works nicely creating a believable scene.

 

I remember that you were thinking that an extra 2 or 3 inches in the fiddle yard would have been useful.

 

cheers

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Thanks muchly, folks. I'll add some more photos with the stock on it over the next week or so. AndyJH - the layout description at the top of this page details the stock used. The backscene is nothing more than the very old Brian Sherrif terraced houses sheet, one of several he does and still available from Freestone Model Accessories by mail order or at the occasional exhibition. The trees are cut out from the Brian Sherrif "Farthingwood" tree sheet (careful with the spelling of that...). I reckon they're as good as I can get these days in the UK, short of the photographic backscenes from the likes of Int'l Models which seem just that bit too "real" for my liking, the detail on which can detract from the layout itself. Just my opinion. As for going 3-rail, SR electrics on a layout like this - well, a resounding "yes" to that concept! It won't happen on this layout though, I fear, for all manner of reasons. Nice thought though.  Keep looking for more pics if you can be bothered. 

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Julian, I think this a fantastic layout that is truly inspirational. I have a few questions, if you don't mind. Do you operate any kind of timetable? What do you do about loco release, without a run-round? What made you decide to have points in your fiddle yard, rather than have a traverser or sector plate? Does the fiddleyard design cause you any limitations, operationally?

Nigel

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Julian, I think this a fantastic layout that is truly inspirational. I have a few questions, if you don't mind. Do you operate any kind of timetable? What do you do about loco release, without a run-round? What made you decide to have points in your fiddle yard, rather than have a traverser or sector plate? Does the fiddleyard design cause you any limitations, operationally?

Nigel

Nigel  - thanks for the praise. Glad you like it. The layout was only finished on Jan 11 this year, a day before its first exhibition outing. Yes, I tried to draw up a timetable at one stage but there's the inevitable problem of the fidle yard operation, to make up a train. At shows, as I operate on my own, I think the real operational use of the layout is to keep something running for the paying public as much as possible. To that end, I use a Lima ex-GWR railcar or a 14XX/autocoach shuttling between the fiddle yard siding and Platform 1, nearest the back of the layout. On Platform 2 road and the goods bay siding I simply shunt a few wagons back and forth. This can then turn into a full-scale "Inglenook Sidings" game if you then use Platform 1 road when the passenger shuttle is safely out of the way, back in the FY. So the public sees a bit of goods wagon shunting using (mostly!) hands-off, Spratt and Winkle couplers, interspersed with a passenger train in and out from time to time. Were I able to call on the services of a second operator, I might try a limitied timetable: typically, this would see around 7 or 8 return trains a day going between "Portwey" and the major town station (suppose "Portwey" links with Weymouth mostly); 3 return cross country services a day to/from, say, Yeovil, via Dorchester; a very short morning parcels/mail/newspapers train from Weymouth, bringing with it a station pilot loco for the day. This would return late afternoon to Weymouth. Next, a morning and an afternon goods to/from Weymouth (the goods yard access is assumed to be where the FY is now, off-scene). For variety, I'd run maybe an engineers/PW train once a day, with a couple of ballast wagons and  brake van. To continue with your questions - no run round meens you only run push/pull or single-car diesel units on passenger OR ...you use a station pilot to couple onto the back of the passenger/goods stock and so "release" the train engine at the buffer stops. For that reason, I put isolated dead-end (switchable) sections at the end of Platform 1 and 2 roads, against the buffers, long enough to isolate a 2-6-2 tank or smaller. However, it'd look a bit much to do such a manoeuvre on a one-coach passenger train on "Portwey", I feel.   Why no sector plate or traverser? Because I wanted to build something quickly (joke..ask my wife about my interpretaion of "a quick layout") and I wanted the Peco panel for the turnout/section switches to be mounted rigidly on the board, with all wiring, CDU, connectors etc  neatly contained below the framing. And I'm not that good at making moving FY boards in terms of getting the level of the tracks to tie-up, in the vertical plane, from bitter experience.  Is the FY a limitiation, as-built? Yes, I suppose so but NOT if you stick to my concept of operation, as described above. The FY is 18 inches long so will hold a railcar/14XX & autocoach or a 2-6-2T and 3 wagons, when shunting, which is what the "Ingelnook" shunting  model requires, in the headshunt. I added a Peco set-track (self isolating, dead frog) point to the headshunt in the FY so I can vary the type of locos used to shunt the goods stock without having to use the "scale hand" to crane-shunt one of them off the layout.  In this case, it's one of two Panniers, an M7 or an Ivatt 2-6-2T. That way, the public gets to see another loco in use without any delay in rerailing it in the FY.     

 

One of the advantages of this track plan and urban layout design is that it lends itself to all manner of UK prototypes: think "Midland/LMS", with a 3F Jinty,  a new L&Y 2-4-2, a Pug,  a 3F or 4F 0-6-0 goods loco and a push-pull train (maybe with a bit of licence if you want a suitable coach and loco unless you can kit-build). Think "Eastern/LNER" with a J72, J83,  J39, N2, Heljan railbus, Drewry 04.  Think "Western/GWR" with the stock I'm using and a Prairie, a 22XX, Dean Goods etc. Think "Southern Electrics" with any of the current 2-car EMUs available and some 3rd rail, albeit the layout may need to be extened a bit to 5 feet or so in length. Think "modern image" (sorry if that term offends... I've read the letters page in the  latest '"Modeller too!), and use any of the suitable  DMUs available, with an 08 on parcels/newspapers/pw vehicles to be shunted about.  And the list goes on IF, and I stress the word  "IF", you are happy to build a layout which others may deem "operationally constipated" (ie lacking in size, scope, variety and long-term satisfaction). I can live with that as I get bored quickly with my layouts and so have built quite a few one-board, micro efforts over the past 25 years, almost all of which have subsequently been sold within a year of seeing completion. As for "cornering the market" in these silly little layouts (my description), well maybe - but others can- and have done so much better, I know (see under "Rushby/Shell Island"  or "Rushby/Abergwynant"- are those perhaps the ultimate in awesome British micros?). Thanks though, Jack!

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Fantastic layout, really stunning. It may be only 4 foot long but it oozes atmosphere, plenty going on without it being too crowded, just absolutely fantastic. I've currently lost my appetite for modelling at the moment and I'm taking a break, but this is seriously inspiring me to do a mirco-layout before I tackle my bigger one, which I've been stuck on for months and lost enthusiasm for as it stands. I mean, after all I still have some spare insulation sheets... I think the mark of a good layout is inspiring others, and it's even better that it's so small but yet operationally interesting. I think I'm going to go away and have a little fag packet doodle...  

 

Absolute corker of a layout Julian. 

 

PS, I'm presuming it's 49 inches including the fiddle yard? And more photo's with rolling stock pretty please!

Edited by NXEA!
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