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Ray H

Virney Junction - Scenery ongoing

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Ta.

 

I can see that even that garage appears to have a corrugated iron roof, brick pillars and a roller shutter door. I wonder how much is an artist's impression?

 

I know of one garage that was a large Terrapin building. The walls were had been painted at some time and the roof had several layers of felt.

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I've been working in the rolling stock range over the last few weeks with numerous Parkside & Cambrian kits having their various parts painted and, more recently, the relevant transfers affixed thereto - although there are still several more that await the latter.

 

I use a fold-away "bench" when working on things aligned to both the layout and other (railway) modelling activities. I'm adjacent to the goods yard at Virney Junction station when I sit at the "bench". That and a yard of track loosely laid on the edge of the layout originally for decoder tweaking has set me thinking.

 

This was the original track placement in the yard.

 

post-10059-0-20088700-1529783031.jpg

 

And this is how it became what it is now although I later added a second platform between the left hand siding and the loop track.

 

post-10059-0-21072700-1529783050.jpg

 

This shows what the track placement presently is and an idea that is currently floating around in my head i.e. to move the left hand siding (in the image below) as near to the baseboard edge as I can. The loosely laid yard of track shows where the existing siding would be moved to, it does not represent an extra siding.

 

post-10059-0-03780300-1529783066.jpg

 

I must admit that I'd forgotten how the track was originally planned and laid until I found the first of the above images a few minutes ago.

 

The "land" between the two sidings is currently two layers of 3mm foam with a relatively thin layer of plaster/PVA mix on top. It is susceptible to damage due to my clumsiness and the lack of a firm base upon which the plaster can lay. I could also do with at least one extra pair of (uncoupling) magnets in both sidings and reworking the plaster would provide the opportunity to add them.

 

For some reason the space between the two sidings looks significantly wider in the last of the above three images than it did in the first image. Looking more closely I think this is because the track in the (currently) suggested re-alignment swings much further towards the edge of the baseboard than it did when the siding was originally laid down.

 

I'd probably remove all vestiges of the grass bank alongside the siding until the track starts to curve round.

 

I think the revised track positioning will result in a more prototypical space between the two sidings.

 

I'd welcome any comments.

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Would you Adam & Eve it? The Civil Engineers chose the warmest day of the year so far to make a start on the re-arrangement of the Goods Yard at the Junction.

 

I managed to recover the yard of SMP track reasonably easily but I then had to reduce it to several component pieces as part of the cleaning process. These can just be seen to the right of the soldering iron at the far end of the disturbed area.

 

post-10059-0-66422600-1530089921.jpg

 

I'm planning to use a different method for laying the siding, the alignment of which can just be made out on the 3mm thick plastic that I'm aiming to use as the base layer.

 

The vast majority of the remainder of the track was laid atop two layers of 3mm thick foam. Track & foam layers were all fixed down using a latex adhesive which made removal far simpler than it would have been had I used PVA.

 

This time I plan to use two thicknesses of the 3mm plastic, probably topped with some 1mm thick plastic where land fill is required. The track bed will comprise an initial 3mm thick layer of plastic which I'll fix to the baseboard with the minimum of adhesive (to aid future recovery if necessary). The track will then sit on a thickness of the 3mm foam with both layers being affixed to the one below with latex adhesive.

 

The breaks in the (white) ground cover in the image are at the baseboard join and again where there is a length of copper tube for the wire in tube operation of the point at the foot of the platform ramp. The reasonably straight  length of plain track on the left hand side of the image was the piece that I used for the mock-up. I'm hoping that I won't have to use it during the relay because it is portable and makes a useful test track sometimes.

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It is amazing how long it takes to sort out the landform when trying to (more or less) match what already exists. Nonetheless the basic ground work is now done. The track will go down next, probably early next week.

 

post-10059-0-00904700-1530263100.jpg

 

The plan is to cover the raised area to the left of the newly positioned siding with plaster impregnated cloth although I have a sinking feeling that I exhausted my large roll the last time I did any ground work - although I can't remember exactly what I was doing to use it all up!

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post-10059-0-64756500-1530563694.jpg

 

The siding has been relayed and has been connected to the track power bus.

 

The ballasting needs a bit of tidying up on the shoulder to the left of the siding - the right hand side of the siding is part of the yard and the ground area will be brought up to sleeper top level at least.

 

I've tracked down my supply of plaster impregnated cloth which I hadn't exhausted after all. This will be used to cover the ground between the baseboard edge and the cess alongside the siding as the siding curves away from the baseboard edge. The seemingly random shaped pieces of plastic are there to provide some (minimal) relief variation in the ground level and (hopefully) won't look quite so regimented as the plastic does in the picture.

 

The rest of the "white" ground will receive a coating of a PVA, plaster and tester pot (emulsion) paint mix.

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post-10059-0-58138300-1530906497.jpg

 

I've long felt that the ultra dark ground surface in the Goods Yard at the junction station was perhaps out of keeping with a rural yard so I decided to (re)start with something lighter.

 

The area between the tracks is a plaster/PVA/emulsiion/water mix, laid down with what I can but describe as a painter's trowel. The ballasted areas were treated to a more diluted wash of the same mix applied with a ½ inch paintbrush.

 

Everything will now be left for a few days to dry and to give me a chance to decide how to "finish" it off. The greeny/white plaster area will also be left to dry out completely before it (probably) gets a thicker undercoat, possibly more brown than green, and further scenic coverings.

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Well I'm back from a holiday today and it - the layout - has had more than enough time to dry out whilst I was away.

 

I need to formulate plans for the next stage(s) and then crack on and progress them.

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One of the next tasks is to press on with the Buckinhum signalling installation. I know where the signals are to go (roughly) and the signal types that I will need. However, I have a few queries about the signal style. All these signals will be upper quadrant.

 

post-10059-0-74078600-1532336206.jpg

 

Signal A in the above drawing is the Up (inner) home on the descent into the station from Banbury - the outer home is the other side of the road bridge (and off-scene). My original intention was to have a more conventional signal here (i.e. a bracket with just two arms) but I recently saw something akin to signal A in a magazine I was reading save that the small arm/post combination was to the left of the main post. My divergent route is to the goods loop, hence the smaller arm.

 

My query is whether the divergent arm needs to be repeated higher up the post or whether, as the main arm will be kept at danger until the approaching train is at or nearly at a stand, the small (i.e. subsidiary?) arm doesn't need repeating?

 

Signal Bis the up platform starter with the left hand arm applying to the bay and the right hand arm applying to the main platform. The bay platform doesn't have a dedicated trap point. Instead the (platform) exit point leads to a private siding which necessitates signal B2. It would be easier (for me!) if the shunt signal - B2 - was not in the vicinity of the starting signal - B1 - as this will save me having to mount three servos one above the other in the limited space that is available under the baseboard.

 

The best but not necessarily prototypical solution would be to mount signal B2 on the other (left hand) side of the bay platform track. However, it wouldn't necessarily be seen from the platform although the driver would be able to see it.

 

My original intention was to mount the up platform starters at the bottom of the platform ramp. These are easily seen from the platform but the shunting disc signal might be too low to be seen as easily. I don't think my skills run to mounting the disc signal on a (prototypical) raised staging either attached to or independent of signal B2s main post. I fear my brain may not have been engaged when I built the platform because I've just realised that the toe of the points from the bay is very slightly in the rear of the foot of the platform ramp. This option is therefore a non starter unless I can persuade the civil engineer to shorten the platform slightly!

 

I could mount both the main post and the disc signal individually at the top of the platform ramp but like my original idea this would involve reducing the usable length of the platforms by nearly a wagon length.

 

The length of the crossover from the bay to the main line is such that I could gain at least a tender loco length of usable main platform (track) length if I positioned the platform's starter (individually) in advance of the foot of the platform ramp and had the bay platform signal(s) immediately prior to the toe of the bay exit point. Could the bay platform signals be positioned to the left of the bay platform track i.e. remote from the platform?

 

Finally, signal C is the (sole) down home signal with the lefthand most signal reading into the goods loop. The signal needs to be on the righthand side of the track (which is on a curve as it approaches the station) for sighting reasons. There's no need for a higher repeating arm as the curve is not that severe and there are no bridges or other obstructions to block the loco crew's view of the signal.

 

The signal box is located between the main platform and the bay tracks - middle and righthand signal arms apply thereto respectively - alongside the the toe end of the (first) divergent point. Therefore the signal is on the approach side of the end of the signal box. Is it in order for the signal to be located somewhat remotely from a position immediately adjacent to the track so that the signaller can see the backlights for the signal arms from the signalbox's operating room window or would the signaller be expected to routinely go outside to check the signal lamps were still alight?

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Wow, managed to catch up at last! What a fascinating account. Well done and I look forward to future updates.

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I have been building up the freight rolling stock over the last few months using Parkside and Cambrian kits - anything to give me some variation in wagon and van body shapes in freight train compositions and away from just the few basic shaped RTR models.

 

post-10059-0-60377100-1533724483_thumb.jpg

 

post-10059-0-98362200-1533724499_thumb.jpg

 

All have been made for some time and have been sat on the layout awaiting weathering. I had the airbrush out yesterday for other purposes so just dusted each of the kits with a couple of different colours that take away the pristine wagon look - I'm not sure my actions fall into the true category called weathering.

 

They'll now get a shaped/coloured vinyl tag added to each side - tags that translate into the vehicles destination and siding when in a train - and be allowed to take their place on the layout. However, with my layout's stock storage racks already bursting at the seems I'll need to cascade the vehicles that are not currently in use (but I won't dispose of in case I need them for a future layout). All I need to do is find the requisite box for each item and that will definitely be harder than it sounds!

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The layout has had a timetable for quite a while and I/we have run through it on several occasions. It still throws up some surprises with the goods train formations - which, I suppose, is not down to the timetable but the way I have organised the train loading. The timetable is held in an Excel spreadsheet.

 

Anyway, until a few days ago we have been working off A4 printed sheets which have tended to lay on the layout with the next move being highlighted by a ruler or other straight edge. That has to change if I am to avoid damaging the scenery.

 

post-10059-0-82718400-1534792991_thumb.jpg

 

I did investigate using ring binder mechanisms liberated from ring binders but I never put enough thought into how they could be used and the idea didn't get pursued. That is until a few days ago when I suddenly realised that I was looking at the problem from the wrong angle.

 

As a result, I've come up with the following idea.

 

post-10059-0-65912100-1534793016_thumb.jpg

 

And here is one with the cards that I'm hoping to use. I've produced the cards in Word from the Excel timetable.

 

post-10059-0-35798200-1534793004_thumb.jpg

 

The only down side at present is that the rings aren't big enough to hold the 92 cards that the timetable requires but I have some mechanisms with larger rings on order which I hope will solve the problem.

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I managed to source some 43mm diameter rings for the card holders. They are (possibly a bit too much) bigger and hold the cards comfortably aided by me combining some moves to reduce the total number of cards required from 92 to 76. The wooden part of the holders now need to be a little larger height-wise because the increased diameter of the rings means that flipped cards now rub on the scenery behind the holders.

 

There has been time over the last few days to make a start on the station building for Buckinhum. It is based loosely on the Wills kit sans the Station Master's house, which will be built on the other side of Station Lane.

 

post-10059-0-16955700-1536428231_thumb.jpg

 

Hopefully the rain will keep away until the roof is on (and the cold weather until the windows, doors and chimney are in place).

 

A carcass of 0.040" white plastic card forms the shell. That has been covered with Slater's embossed brick. Both were cut on the Cameo Portrait with the relevant measurement adjustments made between the two materials to allow for the corners. In truth I didn't make all the right adjustments and had to resort to re-cutting some of the openings in the brick layer by hand.

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That last shot with the Backscene looks superb Ray, you seem to be really enjoying this build.

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Thanks Andy. It's keeping me amused as they say.

 

We're just back from a holiday and there's quite a few things to catch up with before I get back to working on the layout. The booking clerk in the new station building will have to wait a little longer before he gets a roof over his head.

 

The backscene is the ID BackScenes version and I needed all 4 sets of the Hills & Dales group to go round the entire layout (with only about twelve inches to spare). I also had to play around with the start point to get a more appropriate "scene" at the lowest point of the scenery midway between the two stations.

 

I've attached the (vinyl) backscene sheets to the back boards with small squares of double sided sticky tape without removing the protection sheet on the back of the printed sheets so that I can re-use the sheets on a later layout if I so choose.

 

Glad you're enjoying my slow progress.

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I came across something in one of the mags that I read whilst I was away that got me thinking of yet another modification to the layout.

 

The Banbury fiddle yard comprises two sidings connected to the layout with a single yard of track alongside that is not connected at either end because this saved me building another point that would have then reduced the plain siding capacity.

 

The track bed climbs up from the main layout level by a couple of inches upon leaving Buckinhum station in order to clear the wall mounted radiator under Banbury. That raditor now provides the only source of heat that the garage normally needs. The Banbury yard is shown in the following image with the top of the radiator just visible.

 

post-10059-0-94926000-1537803849_thumb.jpg

 

The limited available length of the Banbury site/yard precludes its change into any kind of meaningful station. However . . . . .

 

post-10059-0-55335900-1537803862_thumb.jpg

 

The closeness of the main fiddle yard (left) to the Banbury yard can be clearly seen in the above image - the door is usually kept open (for safety reasons) whenever the garage is in use

 

post-10059-0-44596900-1537803887_thumb.jpg

 

post-10059-0-78051100-1537803874_thumb.jpg

 

The next two images (above) show the main fiddle yard extension in folded and open positions. The extension has to be folded so that the garage door can be closed and is generally only unfolded/open when the timetable is being run as it allows the passenger trains to have a loco at each end when required, without fouling the exit end of the adjacent sidings.

 

I have occasionally wondered whether it would be possible to connect Banbury with the main fiddle yard across the doorway by the simple expedient of adding a "drop-in" 90º curve to link them.

 

The downside of this idea is that the fold-over extension to the main yard would take a pounding to accommodate the "drop-in" curve - which I reckon would have a radius of around 24" (which is 3" greater than the curve between Buckinhum and Banbury.

 

post-10059-0-68689500-1537803837_thumb.jpg

 

The other idea that I've come up with since I got home is a kind of development of the first idea. This would entail adding a small terminal station over the top of two or three of the sidings nearest the garage wall in the main fiddle yard. These sidings are only used for passenger/parcel trains. There are uncoupling magnets near to the siding ends which minimise the amount of stock/loco handling.

 

The current incline up from Buckinhum would probably need to be extended until the (new) station throat to provide clearance above the aforementioned fiddle yard sidings. Whilst the linking curve would be removable, the (new) Banbury station would normally be left in situ.

 

I seem to recall seeing a picture of Newport Pagnell station where the goods yard was beyond the station platform. Buckingham's goods yard was also removed from the nearby (through) station.

 

This style of arrangement would allow me to minimise the board width over the fiddle yard tracks below where the (new) station would be and have widened boards to accommodate the (new) goods yard where there are no tracks beneath as the main fiddle yard tracks are merging to become the single line to the junction station beyond.

 

This scheme would probably benefit from a change to the "story so far" which states that the River Ouse between Buckinhum and Banbury can only be traversed by a four wheel railbus or short diesel hauled goods train. Instead and as an echo to what occurred in real life on the branch, trains along the branch were terminated at Buckingham in both directions with those to/from Banbury limited to a railcar albeit a Derby Lightweight instead of the Park Royal railbus that I currently use.

 

Alas there isn't room to add a second through platform at Buckinhum without a major layout re-build so I'm thinking of adding a second (short) bay platform at the Banbury end of the station. This would require a new point between the bridge and the (existing) temporary signal seen in the following two images.

 

post-10059-0-28341400-1537803903_thumb.jpg

 

post-10059-0-39166200-1537803917_thumb.jpg

 

A change of this nature would require several signalling changes at Buckinhum and as I'm hoping to start on the signalling sooner rather than later I'd prefer to get any track changes sorted first.

 

Ho hum!

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Looks like more planning and thinking Ray.

 

All the best mate.

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I'm still undecided about the above alterations although subconsciously I think I'm heading towards leaving well alone.

 

Talking of leaving things alone . . . .

 

post-10059-0-02255100-1539629168.jpg

 

Aside from a few rows of tiles, the station building has been largely untouched for a couple of weeks whilst I've been doing a bit of spreadsheet work for a local charity.

 

And then on Sunday I went to the Great Electric Train Show as it was literally within walking distance. The only trouble was the rain was too heavy so I went by car!

 

Anyway I wandered past the Skytrex stand several times and having seen some of their "models" on other layouts in recent months I finally succumbed the their north light factory/warehouse.

 

post-10059-0-57045900-1539629179.jpg

 

It was always going to be a low relief building so I bought the parts rather than the kit and have spent some of today working on the shell.

 

I shall be adding a loading/unloading platform of my own because the Skytrex one is a bit narrow.

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Further work on the layout has suffered from work on fitting sound decoders and speakers to some O gauge diesel locos for a colleague. However, I was recently checking one of the signals at the junction station and was reminded that the signal post moved quite a bit when the signal was operated.

 

I attempted to add some UHU glue between the foam and plastic layers on which the signal's base plate is mounted and succeeded in getting so much glue on the operating rods when the layers were pressed together initially that the operation of the shunt signal affixed to the same base was severely reduced.

 

I removed the assembly from the layout, broke it down into the relevant component parts, most of which I re-glued together before the signal base (and its operating wires) were refitted. The repaired assembly is now back on the layout and there is no unwanted movement from signal post or base when either signal is operated.

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I'm hoping to return to work on the layout this week - my attention of late has been sidetracked by this "little" thing:-

 

040219_1.jpg.954e37f588346a69654076078632148c.jpg

 

. . . . Little may not be the right word as she is 75% larger than the stock on Virney Junction.

 

The first job is to (assemble and) fit the power district cut-outs that MERG sell as kits. These will replace the dual frog juicers that I have been using for short circuit protection.

 

The "juicers" were used originally because the MERG kits were out of stock.

 

The main difference between the two is that the MERG kits include a piezoelectric sounder as well as an LED indication when a short occurs. The "juicers" only have an LED (and a very feint buzz) so when a loco stops or won't move the tendency is to blame the loco rather than check initially to see if a short circuit has occurred.

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I can't believe it is nearly 4 months since the last post. My how time flies when you tinker with 7mm stuff as well!

 

Anyway the MERG district cut-out kits have been built and installed for what seems like ages. And there things rested yet again as my attention was drawn to things 7mm for which I'm (also) trying to arrive at a small layout test track plan. Said layout will have to fold and stand on end in an inside corner of the 4mm layout when not in use. But that's in the future.

 

The current 4mm task is to assemble and then install the 20 lever frame for Buckinhum followed by the construction (and fitting) of the relevant signals.

 

So far the frame of the frame has been assembled and the main lever parts have been sweated together. Amazingly things seem to be coming together a lot quicker than when I made the 15 lever frame for the junction so who knows, there might be a picture of the new frame on here before too long.

 

 

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Good to see your back here as well Ray, I thought you might be just going to let this one die off naturally, to concentrate on the Big Boys Toys.:o

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Not the current plan.

 

The 4mm layout can accommodate 4-5 people for a good operating session whereas any garage based O gauge layout is never going to accommodate that number of people or provide the operational challenges of the smaller gauges.

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Buckinhum is currently short of signals but the points are worked from this temporary switch panel.

 

050719_1.jpg.540e05514d4e972ca450ea3c622dca6d.jpg

 

It has been a long time in the making - well I've had the bits for at least two years but I only started the actual build a month or so ago and this is what will replace the switches - eagle eyed viewers may note that some of the points will be re-numbered and a new trap point will then be connected to the frame. That trap point is currently un-worked at present. 

 

050719_2.jpg.fb312d3fafc8ea52b997fc24580d6c91.jpg

 

It is currently just sitting in a rough position at the front of the layout. I'm hoping to fix it in place and at least make a start on the wiring tomorrow. Then it's just down to building the signals hopefully a bit quicker than I built the frame.

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Looking good...... even better when the signals goes in

 

Jim

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Ray, You've done a good job with the Lever Frame; I wonder how you got on with Laminating the Levers? 

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