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Michael Edge

Herculaneum Dock

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Nothing wrong in getting yourself comfortable. I have been known before to-day to grip baseboard sections either vertically in a very large bench vice or horizontally with a couple of cramps onto a table.

I leave struggling to those who seem to enjoy it.

Any chance of seeing photos of Barry "working"?

So do I .. see the Grantham layout thread.....me doing electricary strangling....

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Back to work on the new fiddle yard now, with the Worsbrough incline experiments successfully concluded the boards have now been dropped back to level and tracklaying started.

 

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Templot prints laid out for new pointwork, this will be to 16.2mm gauge (EM - 2 or 00 SF), a new departure for me but it seems to work very well so far. The curves where the dock tracks go off stage look viciously sharp (down to 17" in places) but this is no tighter than some other places on the layout. Only MDHB locos (all with flangeless wheels on the centre axle) and short wheelbase wagons will use this track and test with 10 or so loaded coal wagons have been successful.

The fiddle yard track layout will look a bit strange in places, notably the diamond crossing at the left, but some of this is for future plans and not intended for Herculanum. Easier to lay it in now than add it later.

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That looks good. 

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More progress this week, the Templot drawings have been turned into pointwork.

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Up and down CLC at the right, with the very long curved crossover. At the top the sharply curved lines from the dockside lead into the far side of the fiddle yard. If the track layout looks a bit strange here the wagon underframe is standing on what will be the up line down the Worsbrough incline (on the next layout of course) and the diamond crossing is for the down line.

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Close up of some of the pointwork, built on C&L 1.6mm sleeper strip which matches the height of C&L track. Other than in the crossing area half the timbers have been omitted. As I said earlier all new pointwork is to 16.2mm (EM -2) gauge with 1mm flangeways. The Templot drawing is done to this gauge and normal EM roller gauges set the running rails - EM running rail + the checkrail position at the other side. From other EM work I have a set of these from the EM gauge society and I machined a check gauge (essential for setting checkrails) myself. The 16.5mm C&L track joins on with fishplates (Peco N gauge, crimped up on the BH rail), no noticeable change in gauge here and everything runs smoothly. As usual I test with all the varieties of wheels likely to be used (mostly Gibson, Romford and old Jackson), all run smoothly with no drop in the frog. Tiebars are from the same sleeper strip, most of these will have Seep motors fitted in order to be controlled from the Herculaneum panels but purely fiddle yard ones will have Tortoise motors.

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Looking the other way the length of the curved crossover is apparent - down line radius is 33" here and the up line comes down to 30" (minimum on the BR sections of the layout is 28"). This is the lifting section, sleeper strip glued down either side of the join for the rails to be firmly soldered. When it's all in place the gaps will be cut with a slitting disc.

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At the other end of the shed all the redundant cassette track connections have been lifted, also the wall at the back of the MDHB loco shed. The LOR turnback siding has been lifted and placed in its new position, it should be much easier to work the Overhead trains with the new terminus positions. One baseboard left out at the moment for better access.

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The long curved crossover is very impressive 'in the flesh'.

 

Fiddle yard looks very large so trains can be more like the correct length.

 

Great work!

 

Baz

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subtle hint for mr E

 

 

 

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how about the early photos sans LOR?

 

Baz

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Track over the lifting section is now finished and tested, no real problems but the radius is rather tight at this end. Temperature at track level reached 39 today but no track buckles.

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MDHB 32 is standing on the sharpest curve - 17" radius, two test passenger trains on the link sections - about 30" radius here. The track seen going to the end of the lifting section will be the down link from Wentworth junction, up line will be the one next to it (the other one far right will not be used.

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Different view of the same trains, the LNER articulated twin is on just about it's minimum radius here, the two coaches are almost touching.

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Much longer trains can now run on the layout, this is a train of 25 coal empties behind an O4/8, just about the maximum that can be assembled in the departure sidings at Brunswick goods. It has left on the up line through Dingle tunnel and crossed to the down line off scene to get to the outside of the fiddle yard via a short stretch of wrong line running. The down link switch on the main panel is routed through an extra microswitch on these points to select which link it connects to automatically.

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Coming back the other way - these would be full coals of course, the loco is still well inside Dingle tunnel with train clear of the fiddle yard pointwork.post-1643-0-53393300-1435757467_thumb.jpg

63805 has come to a halt on the signal at the end of the arrival loop but the back end of the train is still fouling the main line.

So the train is drawn forward until the brake van is clear of the points

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and ends up here.

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The loco has ended up here, just past the box and will now split the train to back into the exchange sidings.

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63805 has drawn forward with 8 wagons

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and set these back into the fulls road before going back for the rest.

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After propelling the rest of the train into the exchange sidings, using the track normally set aside for tank wagons, back for the brake van on the arrival loop. Alternatively all this could have been done with a shunting loco but the main line would have been blocked for longer. 63805 would now leave the brake van in a convenient siding, possibly the back of the next train of empties, before going off to shed for coal/water/turning. From the dock operator's point of view the new fiddle yard without cassettes allows these fulls to be easily shunted to the weighbridge roads, in practice the fulls can be sent down any of the three exchange tracks rather than being restricted to just one.

 

 

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bets on who is the first operator to leave the brake van hanging over the mainline????

 

 

Looking good though. Now for the Liverpool Central to Nottingham train.... including a diner!

 

Wonder how my CLC artic set will  fare on the corners??

 

Baz

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Thanks to Barry O., I have only just come across this thread Mike. Weird how much is missed on RMweb until someone provides a clue or a link. Looking good and you are certainly filling the space with railway thanks to the ultra sharp curves, something i have been at pains to avoid. They certainly do have their uses...... I bought a circle of Hornby third-radius yesterday.

Edited by coachmann

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The ultra sharp curves are only on the MD&HB and they are only a little underscale here, dock railways used very tight curves(corners?) to get round the quaysides and all MD&HB locos had flangeless centre driving wheels. I didn't really want to go this far but I couldn't fit a bigger shed in the garden. The main line curves only go down to 30" radius which is an improvement on the 28" minimum of the original layout - although this is only in Brunswick shed and part of the goods yard

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A long time has passed since the last update. Is all the track down now? When can we come and have a play?

Lots of stock to be tested including some more coaches.

Baz

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Tracklaying proceeding, rather slowly. Two photos from today showing current state of play.

 

 

 

View from door, 17 empty coal wagons on way to Herculaneum. The unconnected track in the foreground is the future down line from Wentworth Junction. All this pointwork is wired and working.

Second photo down the other side, all pointwork in place for the loops. Tracklaying proceeding down the two main running lines in the centre, far end pointwork next (or at least some of it) so that I can get two tracks running all round. When that's done we should be able to operate the layout in some fashion. Modifications to LOR will have to wait until the fiddle yard is complete as I can't reach over to put it up at the moment. I'll have to take the fiddle yard down and move the rest of the layout into the middle of the shed to do this.

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I've now got to the pointwork at the other end of the fiddle yard, plan at the moment is to get two running lines completed to properly test through running before going back to complete the sidings.

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Templot print out for the next bit laid on the boards, there will be a small loco yard here with a hand powered turntable for the goods locos. For Herculaneum goods trains will be mostly using the two tracks at the far right. Crossover between up and down sides just past the brake van, there is another crossover at the other end as well.

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Various lines drawn on the boards to check the curves round the corner, making sure everything fits before I glue any more pointwork down. The circle at top leftt is 65ft diameter, big enough to turn anything.

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Print out for the last chunk of pointwork in place, complicated again by the need to allow for future use with Wentworth Junction. The line through the diamond crossing won't be used for anything at the moment, it will be the down line from Wombwell on the next layout. The future up line is going to be used as a connection from the MDHB system, representing the rest of the Dock system north of Brunswick. The trap point is essential here since this will be a link between DC and DCC systems, as at the other end wagons will be propelled over the link. The lifted LOR turnback siding (used to be behind Brunswick MDHB loco shed) has been placed in its new position. It will be permanently fixed here and possibly extended to hold two trains.

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Plywood infill done where the cassettes used to go, this was all hidden track but it might be worth modelling a bit more of the cutting towards Central station here. The three tracks ran all the way up to the terminus, the outer ones being the running lines, centre one mostly used for loco movements.

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Herculaneum project Mike. To save me wading back through many posts, is the dock section DCC and does it also have sound?

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The MD&HB system is DCC now but none of the locos have sound - not much room for speakers in most of them. I started with DCC for the Overhead railway as i couldn't see any way of wiring it conventionally, that's cpletely separate from th erst of the layout anyway. After the experience of working this the dock railway was converted to DCC, mostly by just switching all the sections on. There are several connections between the dock system and BR in this area but none had locmotive movements across them at the date the layout is set in (early 1950s). All wagon transfers were done by propelling them up to or across the dock road and there is an electrically dead section on each link (both rails). We have mostly used borrowed Digitrax equipment to run all this but I use NCE at home, mainly because that's what I'm using on the Carlisle layout and I'm familiar with it.

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Full length passenger trains are on their way!

 

Lots of stock to check though. the layout is coming together really well.

 

Baz

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Nice to see more progress on the layout today. Even better that the two artic sets don't run into each other around the main line curves.

 

Looking forward to having a play when I get back from holidays.

 

baz

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Much progress recently and I now have trains running all round in both directions. No control panel yet so just two tracks working with temporary wiring, this is mainly for stock testing. Some of the newer locos have probably run more miles this week than ever before in the old end to end format. One of the most persistent problems was bad running on and off the cassette sections, all now eliminated and trains can run through the layout at full speed (but should be restricted to 60mph). No rolling stock problems with the EM-2 pointwork (I'll stick to this or 16.2mm to avoid unwelcome attention) but some of the older locos are not happy, mostly the ones with K's wheels which have very thick flanges. These are heading for the lathe, or replacement with Gibson if they break up in this process. The locos with Sharman wheels, set at a back to back of at least 14.7mm, give no trouble, nor do Gibson and Romford. All the modern rtr wheels I can find (not many in my stock) run very well.

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This is where the cassettes used to be, the 5MT and train are standing on the middle road which ran all the way to Central station where it was used by the station pilot. At this end the exit to Brunswick is controlled only by a ground signal so it is connected only to the down line, we will mostly use it for loco movements from the fiddle yard to the shed. I have no idea what this was actually used for apart from the station end which normally had an N5 and a rake of coaches standing in the tunnel as our train to Manchester left - proably waiting to back into the platform just vacated. Eventually the bridge at the left hand end will be removed and Caryl Street (the one over the running lines) and Park Street (at the end of the goods yard) will be extended, I need to go and have a look at Park Street bridge first, I've never photographed it before as it was well off the layout.

I'm a bit concerned about the acute angle where the tracks cross the baseboard joint (the rails have not been cut yet) but only time will tell if it's going to be reliable.

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This is the junction for the next layout, up track won't connect to anything at the moment but the down track will make an end on connection to the MDHB system for transfer of wagons with the goods side of the fiddle yard. The short spur is a trap for the dock locos which are DCC operated, the middle of the crossover has both rails dead, wagons will be propelled across as on the visible parts of the layout.

The up line nearest the junction needs relaying, it has come out below the minimum track separation just here. I've left it for the moment with only one train running at a time.

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This is one end of the fiddle yard in its normal state, not tidied up for photos, some essential track laying tools on view here. No More Nails invisible for glueing the track down, Xuron rail cutters, various steel weights, 1m straight edge (it's quite difficult to lay straight track - curved is much easier), meter for electrical checking as I go and just visible is the home made jig for drilling the holes for fixing Tortoise point motors.
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Looking the other way with more track in place, the point at far right will lead to two dead end sidings not needed for Herculaneum so these probably won't get built just yet. The main running lines are the left and right ones in the distance, the track in the centre is actually a long trailing crossover. This will be a siding for returning bankers to Wentworth Junction but it will be handy for now in conjunction with the facing crossover at the other end making one road bi-directional.

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The 4 coach set in the last shot looks tiny in the new fiddle yard. Plenty of lines to use...this could lead to some great operational opportunities.

 

Baz

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Looking through photos recently, not many trains were more than 6 caches anyway but each fiddle yard road will only have two sections in it.

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No problem there! Looks like ex clc suburban sets were multiples of 3 coach sets so 6 is just 2 pairs of 3.

 

Just realised that the 4 coaches are a pair of articulated twins anyway.

Baz

Edited by Barry O

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Just been searching some photos and....

 

A Mersey Docks and Harbour Board engine shed picture appeared.

post-7650-0-28196600-1446055061.jpg

 

Baz

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Called into see Mike yesterday and the new fiddle yard looks very impressive. Almost time to go and play trains do some training and testing.

Baz

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Some photos of recent progress, nearly all the fiddle yard track is now laid, just a few bits missing which are not really required for Herculaneum anyway.

 

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Looking in the down direction, all tidied up now with a few test trains which seem very small now. The control panel is in the middle within easy reach from the main panel at the other side. Only one controller position here which will be used for local stock movement, the trains will continue to be run from the main panel at Brunswick.

 

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Not quite so tidy looking the other way.

 

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The control panel, this includes some tracks and junctions for the next layout as well as Herculaneum. The new fiddle yard has Tortoise point motors which are worked by the switches with red rings round them. The track diagram is drawn like a signal box with a normal/reversed setting for each turnout. The switches are on-off-(0n), the on position reverse the points, holding down the (on) position returns them to normal, the equivalent of putting the lever back in the frame. This system was developed for Carlisle to allow points to be controlled from multiple locations around this vast layout, not so important for mine but it works well. The tortoises are set to keep the point blades closed even when the power is off.

Each loop is divided into two sections, the gap towards the end where the loco will be, point switches set both ends of the loops together. There are two crossovers, the long one will be a siding for returning bankers to Wentworth Junction and has two sections in it. For Herculaneum the far two tracks are for shunting goods (particularly coal) trains, hence the crossover in the middle.

The long handled switches are for the uncoupling magnets, an alternative to rather unreliable push buttons.

The sections shown in black have simple on/off switches to the next section, the coloured ones are 3 position - centre off, down to link to the fiddle yard controller, up to link through to each end. This combined with the usual link switches allows the Brunswick panel to drive through the fiddle yard. The turntable will just be a push round affair, to avoid lifting locos off the track as far as possible.

 

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Close up of part of the panel and the dual gauge track on the inside of the fiddle yard. This takes advantage of EM-2 gauge to give me an EM test track as well. The EM society track gauges are ideal for this, using one running rail slot and one check rail slot gives 16.2mm gauge, if I laid another rail inside I would have a 14.2 gauge as well - but I very rarely get to build to this, most of my TT locos are 12mm gauge.

 

 

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