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TEAMYAKIMA

Twickenham MRC builds large OO gauge SR (3rd rail) layout

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Twickenham & District MRC are building a large SR (3rd rail) layout set in 1961 but based on the old LSWR station which was demolished in the early 1950's.

 

Called 'Twickenham Junction' this painstakingly researched new layout will eventually become TDMRC's new flagship OO gauge layout.

 

Club members have been running a 'blog' on MRF for some time and we will try to bring this new blog on RMweb up to date as soon as possible.

 

For the moment here is a photo showing parts of the scenic section on display at Hampton Station during a recent local event.....

 

post-4476-0-46149200-1414240408_thumb.jpg

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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Always nice to see more SR 3rd rail layouts :)

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I hope that they have remembered to incorporate the disused tram tracks in the roadway over the over bridge at the end of the station. They outlasted the trolleybuses so were definitely still there in 1961 even though the old station had, of course, gone in reality.

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I hope that they have remembered to incorporate the disused tram tracks 

 

It's probably more polite to enquire if they are to be included.

 

Anyway; given the detailed levels of research this group includes in their projects I'm sure they will have taken into account.

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It's probably more polite to enquire if they are to be included.

 

Anyway; given the detailed levels of research this group includes in their projects I'm sure they will have taken into account.

 

Since the layout is an amalgam of the 1950s/early 1960s period and I can see two trolleybus models on the bridge, the tram tracks are a feature which should be included since the trolleybuses disappeared before the bridge was rebuilt. I remember being told by a SR civil engineer that the tram tracks were thought to be contributing to the stability of the bridge structure and that was why they were retained when all the other tram tracks in the area were lifted in the mid-1930s after the introduction of replacement trolleybuses.

 

I have done plenty of historical research myself and consequently I know just how difficult it is to confirm, and particularly date, features like this. Someone half-remembers them, so they were probably there post-war but they can't date it more accurately than that, and photos looking along a roadway over a railway bridge tend to be as rare as hen's teeth and, even if you find one, precise dating can be difficult - when was that car registration issued or when did that car model first appear?

 

In fact, I can clearly remember being very surprised to find them in situ when I used a "Red Rover" to do my personal farewell tour of the Kingston area (and last London) trolleybus routes in late-April 1962; when I next travelled over the same road in 1967/8 I looked out for them but they had gone because the bridge had been rebuilt. So, there is definitive dating information that they were definitely in situ at the period(s) the model is set in. My memory suggests that, by that date, they were just set in surrounding tarmac rather the more traditional granite setts and there would be some logic in that, but I wouldn't wish to be definitive on that point as I know how fallible memory can be when it comes to detail.

 

Given the quality of some of the modelling projects that I know Andy York has been personally involved in which must have required a lot of sometimes frustrating research, I would have expected him to be encouraging anyone who has definitive information that can help an ongoing project to come forward.

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I've not discouraged anyone; just highlighting an etiquette of approach.

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I hope that they have remembered to incorporate the disused tram tracks in the roadway over the over bridge at the end of the station. They outlasted the trolleybuses so were definitely still there in 1961 even though the old station had, of course, gone in reality.

We weren't planning to include the tramlines as the few photos (and a video) of the bridge in the period being modeled appears to show that the tramlines were not there (or at the very least had been tarmacked over).  If you (or anybody else) has any evidence to the contrary we would be more than happy to alter our plans.

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Well, since I had no idea that they were there, I only got to know about them by seeing them. In fact, they extended some way south of the bridge as well as over the bridge itself and the only photo I have was taken from the front of the upper deck of a northbound 667 trolleybus en route for Hammersmith early afternoon (perhaps between 2 and 3pm) on Saturday 14 April 1962. The tracks had been tarmaced over but were quite visible and would make a charming feature on the layout.

 

Incidentally, I was really surprised to see the tracks as I believe that they were the last remaining running tracks in situ in a road still used by public transport anywhere in London at the time despite the fact that they had been abandoned well before WWII, the last remaining remnants of the remaining post-war network at Peckham and Woolwich had gone by this date. I made enquiries a week or so later of knowledgable acquaintances at the MRC Central Hall Exhibition which is where I picked up the story of them helping to stabilise the railway bridge.

 

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photo copyright: David Woodcock

Edited by bécasse
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I am sure that I recall some tracks in the road at Woolwich well into the 1970s. And there was still a short stretch coming out from the north end of the Kingsway Subway as well (I broke down there once).

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Some further checking of background information has revealed that there was a "statutory restriction" on Twickenham Railway Bridge and only one trolleybus was allowed to be on the bridge at any one time (so it was effectively, but not actually, single track for trolleybuses). A similar restriction had previously applied to trams.

 

Such a restriction on public transport vehicles is rare, because their axle weight distribution is usually optimised, and would seem to confirm that the bridge suffered from some weakness that led to the decision to retain the tram tracks within the road surface. That road surface, incidentally, would seem, from the absence of granite setts around the tram tracks, to have been laid with tarred hardwood blocks (with their grain vertical), albeit, by 1960, with a thin layer of tarmac added on top to compensate for wear. Wood block roads weren't uncommon in town centres in Edwardian times and seem, in particular, to have been commonplace along the routes of the London United Tramways, (they were relatively quiet in the days of substantial horse drawn traffic), but had become rare by 1960. I do, though, remember seeing them being lifted outside Charing Cross railway station in London when The Strand was widened in the 1950s.

 

Note that the restriction means that it would be wrong for the model to show two trolleybuses actually on the bridge, the southbound one would wait north of the bridge for the northbound one to finish crossing it. Doubtless the local inspector would spend a reasonable amount of time here to ensure that drivers always obeyed the restriction.

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Some further checking of background information has revealed that there was a "statutory restriction" on Twickenham Railway Bridge and only one trolleybus was allowed to be on the bridge at any one time (so it was effectively, but not actually, single track for trolleybuses). A similar restriction had previously applied to trams.

 

Such a restriction on public transport vehicles is rare, because their axle weight distribution is usually optimised, and would seem to confirm that the bridge suffered from some weakness that led to the decision to retain the tram tracks within the road surface. That road surface, incidentally, would seem, from the absence of granite setts around the tram tracks, to have been laid with tarred hardwood blocks (with their grain vertical), albeit, by 1960, with a thin layer of tarmac added on top to compensate for wear. Wood block roads weren't uncommon in town centres in Edwardian times and seem, in particular, to have been commonplace along the routes of the London United Tramways, (they were relatively quiet in the days of substantial horse drawn traffic), but had become rare by 1960. I do, though, remember seeing them being lifted outside Charing Cross railway station in London when The Strand was widened in the 1950s.

 

Note that the restriction means that it would be wrong for the model to show two trolleybuses actually on the bridge, the southbound one would wait north of the bridge for the northbound one to finish crossing it. Doubtless the local inspector would spend a reasonable amount of time here to ensure that drivers always obeyed the restriction.

One "senior" family member told me that when the trams were abandoned between Hounslow and Shepherds Bush around the same time in October 1935 that all the kids in the area were sent out by their parents to collect the tarred wooden blocks in prams etc for the fires that winter, and that they burned nicely too, keeping many a family warm that christmas down the Bush.

 

Kevin

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Thanks ever so for the information on the tramlines on London Road Bridge, and especially the photograph.  We have two pictures and, amazingly, a very short piece of film of a trolleybus coming over the old bridge in the late 50s/early 60s. 

 

We always knew that the tramlines were in situ but buried beneath tarmac (we have some 1964 images of the old bridge being demolished).  Your post has prompted me to go back and look again at our images and you are right that the rails are visible in places particularly on the bridge approaches.

 

I suspect that it will be a matter of wear and tear and the date you pick to look at the bridge - in other words because the tarmac wore very quickly (as it doesn't adhere to steel) the rails will have come and gone under a flurry of repairs for the best part of 12 years!

 

We are debating how to replicate the tramliines, probably on the crown of the road - most likely using a 'B' pencil.

 

For those interested, we're also just beginning to create the trolleybus o/h using aluminium tube, beads and wire - more to follow...

 

Anyone got any good pictures of the goods yard at Twickenham?  An elusive subject. I have a follow-up article in Southern Way 29 due out in January 2015 which includes some information but not alot.  We're doing the research for that part of the station at the moment so anything new would be great!

 

Thanks all

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Certainly in April 1962 all four tramlines right across the bridge were visible from the front of the top deck of a trolleybus. The fact that they were to all intents and purposes flush with the road surface probably tends to hide them when photographs were taken by someone standing at road level. The spectator view of the layout is, of course, much closer to that "trolleybus" view.

 

I think my approach to reproducing them when the road surface is already in place on the model would be to use thin nickel-silver or brass strips (from Eileen's, for example - a query on the "tramway" section of this forum will give you an idea of the correct strip width and spacing) chemically blackened and glued to the existing model road surface. I would then use ready-mixed filler (e.g. Polyfilla) to build up the road surface between and either side of the new "rails", smoothing off with a scraper made from scrap plastikard. Finally, I would use a matt grey acrylic paint (sample pot from B&Q?) to paint the whole road surface including the "rails" - and then add any "weathering" effects desired. Probably not much more than a couple of evenings' work to bring a real touch of historic detail to the model, just wait 'til you exhibit it locally and start hearing those very satisfying "Cor! - I remember those" comments.

Edited by bécasse

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We've built London Road Bridge, but not fully finished it - it needs further painting and a whole host of details (drain covers, the tramlines, fencing, trolleybus o/h, downpipes etc) added to it.  I'll get an image uploaded soon as, but they're too big just at the mo

 

I keep threatening to arrange an exhibition date as a deadline to work towards for the group but haven't done so yet but I guess that we are looking for a first outing in 2016 - so please do come and look at our rendition and say cor! I remember those!

 

Back to the model - we're in the process of re-fitting Tortoise point motors using C&L adapter bases.  Time consuming as there is quite alot to do to get these fitted and working smoothly, and we have just under 30 points to do.  Alongside Twickenham is a 14-road fiddleyard being built too

 

I the meantime, I am continuing with research for Twickenham Junction so just to ask again; anyone got any good pictures of the goods yard at Twickenham? An elusive subject. I have a follow-up article in Southern Way 29 due out in January 2015 which includes some information but not alot.  We're doing the research for that part of the station at the moment so anything new would be great!

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This looks jolly interesting - and as Kelly points out - substantial third-rail layouts are always welcome.

 

OT - but do I not recall the Twickenham Club having a very large layout previously? In the mid-60s? Generically termed the Monster at the time, I think it was exhibited on a number of occasions - and put years on the members responsible for getting it running on occasions. No doubt modern materials and techniques will avoid that peril.

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Here is the latest work in progress picture of our model of London Road bridge.  As bécasse has already mentioned, the sight of 2 trolley buses/omnibuses on the structure would be technically not allowed due to the structural integrity of the bridge.  

 

This is of course, only a tiny part of the layout so we will be starting to concentrate on the other aspects of the layout soon.post-20561-0-33567300-1415714717.jpg

Edited by sbduck

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I have analysed the photo, to produce the diagram below which shows the spacing of the visible features which are basically the running surfaces of the tram tracks, the flange being lower and hidden by the thin tarmac surfacing. I have shown the statutory limits for that part of the road surface which was the responsibility of the tramway undertaking (London United Tramways), but on this particular road there is nothing to show for this limit (elsewhere - within the LCC area, for example - this area was often paved with granite setts), and the road is wider, perhaps around 24 feet between kerbs. The diagram shows the road flat but in practice there would have been a camber.

 

post-10038-0-62659900-1415746680_thumb.jpg

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Moving us on to something more prosaic but very important - This is the underside to board 3 (of 4).  This is the busiest board in terms of turnouts, boasting 16 of our total of 27 and also needed yet more carpentry in order to refit the Tortii. The important milestone passed when this photo was taken in late December 2014 is that all of the layout point motors are now reinstalled using C&L point motor bases and all are working mechanically; the next job is to check that they all switch electrically and then to wire-in their looms.  So, sorry to all of you who have been watching progress, but there's going to be loads of wiring going on in the next few months!  Oh and some buildings, some loco and rolling stock preparation and some scenic items including trolley-bus overhead wiring - watch this space!

post-20561-0-01889700-1420411670_thumb.jpg

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The same board but now a few weeks further on with the point motor wiring looms fitted and attached to the underside of the board awaiting wiring for track feeds and for point motor feeds...

post-20561-0-14886700-1428449413_thumb.jpg

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Illustrious T&DMRC members working on both Twickenham Jct and the Common Fiddleyard - the 14-road fiddleyard destined to serve TJ and hopefully many other projects too.  Both projects are at the wiring phase hence so many shots of boards on their sides and lots of wires.  AND this is DCC....

post-20561-0-24797700-1428449711_thumb.jpg

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 AND this is DCC....

 

 

Easy, it's only 2 wires then!

 

Mike.

 

PS. Looking good, nice to see a big 3rd rail layout.

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Success at last!  The Albany in raw and basic form.  One of the Terrys has been beavering away with a laser cutter on 2mm MDF and produced many of the main components to create this key Twickenham Junction building - the real pub is still there of course altho' the eagle eyed will spot that the parapet has changed since the 1950s

post-20561-0-34652700-1431391503.jpg

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