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George Hudson

Aldersgate

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Aldersgate

 

The following is an updated version of a post which I made some time ago on the old RMWeb . Since that post I have done most of the woodwork for the main boards and am working my way around the loft to finish. There is a bit of cutting and pasting in the description below so apologies if it doesn??™t read perfectly. I am particularly looking for help with the track plan at this stage but all comments welcome. (please note I am an infrequent visitor so if I don't reply quickly it is not because I don't value to advice)

 

The layout is inspired by Liverpool St Station in London, the main terminus of the GER. As you might guess, I grew up in East London and hence Liverpool Street was my principal influence as a mainline terminus.

 

The idea is to model a corner of a larger terminus giving the possibility for mainline services without the need to show a full main line station itself plus the necessary extensive carriage sidings and locomotive facilities etc. Anything inconvenient or just too large takes place ???offstage???. Being GER in London, suburban services are a must.

 

Like Liverpool St the track is below street level and the main view of the railway is as if the observer is at track level. Hence there are retaining walls at the back but none at the front to hide the action. It will be as if one is looking from the current Bishopsgate side into what is left of the station after development and ignoring the fact that the lines which were once in the Eastern train shed now run under part of the Bishopsgate office development.

 

 

 

Apologies for the diagram quality,

 

I don??™t really know much about track plans: just what I have absorbed over the years without particularly studying the topic. Adrian/???Buckjumper??? sketched me a small plan and I have tried to keep true to this as I have developed the above. I wanted to have platforms either side of the suburban tracks but instead opted for generous platform widths to give the final version a spacious feel. I guess my main concern is that all platforms are accessible for incoming and outgoing trains so the obvious answer is two scissors crossing at the end of each platform per the original. These are not available in Peco 75 and I don??™t want to mix track systems.

 

The train movements are quite simple: lots of suburban trains and one or two expresses/ fast on platform 1+2. Goods are really confined to the import of coal into the spurs with typical primitive GER coaling stages. I might have the odd parcels on no. 4 platform since this is open to a service road but of course it??™s not a proper parcels depot.

 

There will be a large station canopy not unlike the Western train shed (the only one remaining now) at Liverpool Street. I am going to make this out of 5mil plexiglass as a basis to its very strong for lifting on an off.

 

Trackwork will be Peco fine scale and using whenever possible long radius points. The ideal thing about using a terminus (which is not a terminus) is that one can be fairly relaxed about facing points and other no-nos on a mainline. Electrics will be digital, which will be an entirely new area.

 

Although shown straight, the scene will really be a gentle ???S??? curving first to the right in the second half of the platforms taking the tracks to the front of the board and then curving to the left away before entering the back scene under another bridge.

 

There will lots of compromises ad cheats because life is too short and my modeling skills too limited. For example; ideally I would set it pre WWI but availability of readily made items means my second period of choice mid 1950s make more sense. In another life I would also model the original Bishopsgate terminus of the Eastern Counties Railway!

 

A major cheat will be that the terminus is not a terminus at all but will continue on below some sturdy footbridge and go on to turn the layout into a continuous oval so that I can give trains a run and sometimes simply sit back and relax. My file of ???inspirational photos??? which I have used to help develop a mental plan of the layout contains a shot of platform 1/2 under whose footbridge the line appears to continue. At one time it was intended that there could be a link with the Metropolitan Railway but this was never carried out.

 

The layout is a long and thin (baseboards 50cm wide with a total length on the scenic part of about 7.5metres) because that is the shape of the loft which I have available with a steep sloping roof which necessitates that the baseboards be about 60cm off the ground to ensure that I have at least 1meter radius curves at each end. There is not one square surface in my house and so the whole thing is on a crude but effective floating support system.

 

Buildings around the layout will be scratch built to represent those in the Bishopsgate area or I will use chopped-about kits. The construction will be traditional card and brickpaper which whilst it has its disadvantages is the method with which I am comfortable and I don??™t want to struggle with new techniques in such a large project. I will attempt a few crude sketches to illustrate certain view which I am looking for but I anticipate that these will not be finalised until I have the boards up and I can play with some mock ups of buildings and photocopied points to sort out the final position of the track work.

 

All comments and references to source material would be most welcome. I particular, I would welcome hints on track plans or even full planning suggestion if anyone is that enthusiastic.

 

 

 

George Hudson

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That facade looks magnificent.

 

That's kind, it's supposed to be inspired by Liverpool street rather than a copy but perhaps it's inspired more by the modern version than the original!

 

The whole thing is a very long oval. I have now completed one curved end and am working my way down the other side where the fiddle yard will be situated. It now looks a little less like the "world's longest plank".

 

Will post some pictures but recognise that other people's woodwork is far from riveting unless it's the often superiour kind seen on this forum: mine is more servicable than elegant!

 

Andrew

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I think the classic trackplan for this sort of layout in this area is Cyril Freezer's Minories, set only a short walk away, as you will know. I don't have a copy to hand, but someone may point you to a legitimate source. I think the Aldersgate name disappeared from the original Met station more than 30 years ago when the Barbican development reached serious proportions, and no doubt the City Fathers & LT wished to hype the station's proximity. John Betjeman was moved to write a poem at the time, bemoaning the loss of various old features - the City will have approved their demise, no doubt. Now Thameslink no longer serves the station, either.

 

I don't care what medium you use for your brickwork - the result is stunning, as has been said. This forum has several modellers using brickpaper to such good effect that one wonders whether embossed brick sheets will fall from favour!

 

As for scissors crossovers, I recall much breast-beating about the perpetuation of such a layout when Fenchurch St was remodelled in the early '90s. The maintenance issues and ultra-high reliability required in such locations make them a slightly iffy choice in the prototype. '50s Jazz operations would have had the same priorities, certainly.

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I think the classic trackplan for this sort of layout in this area is Cyril Freezer's Minories, set only a short walk away, as you will know. I don't have a copy to hand, but someone may point you to a legitimate source. I think the Aldersgate name disappeared from the original Met station more than 30 years ago when the Barbican development reached serious proportions, and no doubt the City Fathers & LT wished to hype the station's proximity. John Betjeman was moved to write a poem at the time, bemoaning the loss of various old features - the City will have approved their demise, no doubt. Now Thameslink no longer serves the station, either.

 

I don't care what medium you use for your brickwork - the result is stunning, as has been said. This forum has several modellers using brickpaper to such good effect that one wonders whether embossed brick sheets will fall from favour!

 

As for scissors crossovers, I recall much breast-beating about the perpetuation of such a layout when Fenchurch St was remodelled in the early '90s. The maintenance issues and ultra-high reliability required in such locations make them a slightly iffy choice in the prototype. '50s Jazz operations would have had the same priorities, certainly.

 

Thanks, I have seen this referred to many times on the forum and will try to get this plan. I've got plenty of time to mull things over since I am only half way there with the boards.

 

 

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I thought I would write a quick update particularly for those who took the trouble to give me some input previously.

 

I have made a strategic decision to relocate the layout from the loft which I considered just broad enough for me to operate but on reflection too narrow a space in which to build a layout without a lot of (or more than usual amount) of frustration and swear words.

 

The other decision has been not to wait until track laying on every board is completed before progressing onto scenic areas but to treat the project as a modular layout which means that I can enjoy doing buildings and scenery on a board by board basis: it’s supposed to be fun at the end of the day!

 

With this in mind, I have started on the key board which will be the base for the main station building and will develop this as a diorama to be connected to the full layout in due course.

 

Here are some basic shots to kick off with.

 

Andrew

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And just to show that I can't stop messing about, here is the front of the electricity building on Bishopsgate which will be part of board 2!!

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That is one TASTY piece of work! The station is really impressive, but I think you have captured the 'Light' really well. I'm looking forward to seeing this progress!

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Very nice buildings and I agree that there is no need to complete all the trackwork before scenic work begins, a change of job every now and then helps keep you sane :blink: , as long as you are sure that you won't need to re-align any of it later on! :O

 

Keep up the good work.

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Hello George,

 

your pictures are great. Please show us more.

 

Markus

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I would really like a quick how-to on the building construction. I see you are using brass angle to hold up walls which indicates something more substantial than foamboard? Please don't tell me it was all done with card and careful cutting with a sharp scalpel!!!!

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George,

 

in which scale did you built your layout?

 

Markus

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I would really like a quick how-to on the building construction. I see you are using brass angle to hold up walls which indicates something more substantial than foamboard? Please don't tell me it was all done with card and careful cutting with a sharp scalpel!!!!

 

It looks like he used a foamboard sandwich for the main section and two pieces of solid mouldings for the ends.

 

Has a nice mini Liverpool Street feel to it. However Liverpool Street in the fifties was black (with soot and grime) the lovely brickwork only became clear to me when they cleaned it up 30 years later......

 

Best, Pete.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the comments chaps; it’s always great to have some feedback.

 

Ian,

 

I am afraid it is mostly cardboard and disposable DIY knives. The upright columns are some bits of Ikea shelf units which were surplus to requirements. I used the angle irons rather than screwing and gluing from beneath the boards (which would have been more elegant) for several reasons: nothing I build is ever perfectly square so this gives me the opportunity to re align them fractionally, and believing in Murphy’s Law, I expect that they will get knocked about when moving the boards and again, this way they can be re set without too many tears.

 

I am going to make it so the sides are always removable for easy access, another painful lesson learned over the years.

 

I was the last person in the world to discover foam board, the electricity building is made from cornflake packets. I guess I am part of the Blue Peter generation (d.o.b 1959!)

 

Markus,

 

it’s 00, not N like Stratham. When is IoS on tour again?

 

http://en.wikipedia....i/George_Hudson

 

Ian,

 

spot on re colour; as I have said before, it currently owes more to the station after its makeover and as you rightly say it will need to be black at the end. This will be a challenge for me but there’s some good advice on RMWeb about weathering brickpapers and I will have to practice.

 

Andrew

 

(expectations management: progress will be slow even snail like compared with many on this site!)

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Just caught up with this - superb structures!

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If the station facade is anything to go by, I look forward to seeing more of this as it develops.

 

Colin

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Hi

 

I thought that would do a quick photo update since I have managed to snatch a few hours and make some progress. As you can see the main tracks are down on the first board and look suitably filthy to represent 80 years of steam operation! Apologies also for the quality of the photos.

 

I think the scale is right and the station has a suitable level of grandeur even if it is only on a 50cm wide board. Although I am a fan of brickpapers, the jury is out on the paving stones. They might have to become tarmac in the future. This would fit better with the platform profile since I have opted for no lip which would fit better with a later re modeled platform surface.

 

Andrew

 

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The height and scale of the buildings certainly disguises the width of the board.

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Hi George,

 

Fantastic work with the station. I used to drive into Liverpool Street and I recognised the style of your buildings immediately. Almost seems a shame to make it dirty.

 

Keep up the good work, Andy

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That's coming along very nicely Andrew - it certainly does have that 'sense of grandeur' for what you are aiming to represent, even if it is a bit faded by the 50s! Abit like what Crystal Palace High Level became on the other side of the river.

 

I'll be keeping tabs on this one.

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Hi George,

 

I just stopped by to have a look as the title sounded interesting. Having now looked through the thread I will be popping back regularly to see this progress. Your skill and eye for producing the buildings is amazing.

 

This really does capture the architecture of the area very well.

 

Cheers

 

Andy

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