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Hi All,


I thought that finally, with a bit of free time, I would post some photos of work so far on Hassop.


Before I describe what I've done, I think that i need to say thanks to so many of you who've helped over the years of planning and the last year of building. So thanks to greatnorthern, Coachmann, Maxstafford, Chrisf, Davidw, trains12, AndyC, Beast and Gordon S and many more. Without your help and encouragement, and wisdom about not using gradient I wouldn't be where I am. I don't think that I would have been able to have the confidence or ideas to get where I am without you guys. so a big thanks to Andy Y for giving us the forum!


Anyhow, basically for the past year I've been building a layout in the loft that is based on Hassop, which is a small station about 1 mile northwest of Bakewell. Now it's a cafe / bookshop on the Monsal trail http://www.hassopstation.co.uk and it's difficult to think that jubilees and blue pullmans thundered through. http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/h/hassop/index.shtml will give you a taste.


I like the location because it's small, has semaphore and colour light signals, and has a little goods yard and a lie-by on the down (Manchester) side.


The plan has been to build this on one side of the loft. Because of this, I've had to slightly modify the plan a bit. Hassop itself is on a big sweeping curve; mine is on a straight. Also the goods yard is at a 45 degree angle which because we still need to store stuff in the loft Ive straightened out and reduced from 3 to 2. But hey ho. The basics of the Midland station are there. The single slip, the good shed loop, cattle dock are all there, along with the lie by. The Midland didn't like facing points which is why things are the way they are.










I've found out a lot of things on the way. One of the main things, is that I'm not very good at judging the colour of grass. I bought a tester pot of green as my original plan was to use paint and scatter. However, it looked more like someone had sneezed over the boards, so I've decided to go with autumn grass mats instead. I kind of like the paler colour the autumn mats have so I'm going with them. Hopefully that will come out on the photos below.


What I've been mainly doing of late is trying to work out ballasting. I started out by spraying sleeper grime from the can over the rails and sleepers, then painting the track with dark rust. I've tired to do some practice in the 'fiddle yard' area. You can see the results below. I'm not sure that properly painted on it looks too orange. The other paler shot is of it drybrushed on. Looks a bit subtler and better. It's fair to say that in the loft things aren't quite as colourful as in the photos.







Finally, the thing that is really a pain for me at the moment is the ballasting. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I just can't seem to get it right (or to a place I'm happy with). Shown below is woodland scenics grey mix straight, and also oversprayed with sleeper grime. I'm just not sure I'm happy with it straight - it looks a bit like snow, and lacks the 'yellow / brown' tinge limestone ballast has. I don't think the sleeper grime quite makes it either. but I can't quite say why. I'm tempted to try geoscenics limestone...Would appreciate your thoughts...because it's driving me crazy!


Next job is to finish the wiring, and also to sort out the insulated fishplates on the points. Schoolboy error, but I didn't realise that I needed to put insulated joiners on the inside tracks of the points and feed from the toe. I take it that you treat 3 way points and the single slip the same way?


Anyhow, that's all for now, hopefully post some more in a few days!

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Have ordered a small amount of the geoscenics limestone ballast to test what that is like. I will try to post some photos when I get it as time allows. Hopefully it will have the right brownish grey shade that limestone has rather then just being plain grey. I've also seen on eBay there is something called polak ballast. Trying that is also an option.


Aside from the dull world of ballast I'm trying to work out what coaches I need to create authentic train formations. Operation midland by xpress publications has been a big help in showing what passenger trains were made up of. I've been able to work out what I need to run every train that went through the peak line with about 18 carriages. The great thing about the trains is that not only did they contain lms stock from each of the three periods, but gresley and thompson coaches too so you get a good but of variation.



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Will be following this with interest as I have the same difficulty when it comes down to the different shades of green that you find in the countryside, rail rusting and the dreaded ballasting. I've got two small layouts on the go at the moment and on one the rails have been rusted but appear to be a bright shade of orange. I'm thinking of giving them a thin was of dark brown or something similar. As you've mentioned there's a huge amount of help on this website and I'm sure you will get the various colour shades and textures right.


Don't think you've mentioned the era you propose to model? It has great scope to go from pre-nationalisation to the present day, so look forward to more photo's in due course.






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Been working on finishing my Metcalfe platforms. I've had one done for a while but neede to get the second one done. I have found the Metcalfe kits very pleasant to out together though this platform one was a bit duller.


Made sure that they have got some decent support underneath with some trussing using the card and what I've found to be a great help to modelling in card - pegs




I then added the coping stones which I think make them look a lot better. The end result:




So in the end I have two platforms to out on the layout at a cost of less then £20 so I don't think I can really complain. And they go well with the metcalfe buildings that are pretty much finished. I've repaired the doors in crimson lake on the buildings to give them a more midland feel. However for my time period I'm not sure whether it should actually be a lighter red. It matches the Hornby signal box though.






I'm not too sure of the buildings as prototype. On the plus side, they do look like some of the south district line buildings such as a Didsbury. The main building even resembles peak forest in style. But really it's based on a Cheshire lines / GC kind of design. It looks very similar to Woodhouse Sheffield in my view. The biggest the though is the stations are brick, not stone. I have thought of cladding them with stone paper but I'm not too confident at that. I might try to have a go at building Hassop station itself out of card using the plans in Bill Hudson 'through limestone hills'. We'll see.


The final piece in the puzzle so far is Midland fencing which I got from Slaters. I've been told it was mostly painted brown so since taking the photo have done that (which in my book is a shame as i think th white looks nice) However I've still got to work out how to fix the fencing to the platform




That's all for now! Thanks for reading!


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Hi Phillip. Thanks for your message. I'm going to model the late 50's but with a bit of wiggle room so I can have a blue Pullman and a garratt!


I think I've decided rail wise to go for the dry rushed rust on top of the sleeper grime, then to lay the ballast. The other option is to mix the rust with some matt black. I did try that ad didnt think so much to it.


ballast wise, still looking forward to the geoscenics stuff coming. hat could all change when the My hope is that it will just have the slightly brown look of clean limestone ballast without any weathering necessary. It seems to on the website pictures. If I don't like that, I think I will just go woodland scenics. But whatever, I think that I will use n gauge stuff whatever.

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Hi all. Got hold of the geoscenics limestone ballast and am very impressed so far.here is my bit of test ballasting. It seems to have a little of the creaminess of real limestone whereas the woodland scenics stuff is very white / grey. I guess that's because it actually is limestone!






It did leave a white residue in the sleepers so after consulting with Michael I washed the ballast. As michael said, this washed away some of the dust and has left me something darker. This is the difference between the two. It's fair to say it is a bit darker in the picture then in real life.




Not sure whether to just wash it all or use a blend.


I was planning on laying it using the klear method. The klear I have though is the new stuff. Will it still work? And do you use it neat? Any help on this one.

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I spent a lot of time experimenting with different colours of fine ballast some years ago and so it was an easy choice of Woodland scenics dark brown when it came to ballasting Greenfield Mk.III. A short section is ballasted with the lighter brown to represent recently laid track. From what I've seen on the real railway, new ballast is chalky white to light grey. It's not attractive (to me) and I prefer ballast that has been down for years with that rich rust colour, but each to his own.


Re wiring a single slip, mine is an Insulfrog so it does not require any special treatment in the way of insulated fishplates. It carries current in all directions and so this needs to be watched for....some sections may need to be switched out! Good luck with the layout, it's coming on fine.

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Hi Larry. Thanks for the thoughts on the ballast. I agree with you that fresh ballast is just not that attractive. Looks too white. And what it looks like is something that I'm really bothered about.


Thanks for the encouragement too. It is my first go at a layout really so it's rather a learning curve. I've had some particular frustration tonight in that I keep getting a short and I don't know why it's happening. I've isolated the inside loop and made sure the inner rails of the points have isolated track joiners on them but it still keeps shorting. I just don't get it and its a little frustrating really.


I wonder whether I might just check all the droppers from the inner circle to the track ate going the correct way even though that means getting all the baby clothes and other loft junk out. Then I start snipping wires. I'm going to have a beer and watch some NFL before bed.


The other annoying thing is that my soldering iron tip seems to have been corroded away after about 20 mins use. This is also a mystery!

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HI Coach, thanks for the comments. I always wondered what the little sponge was there for at school! It does seem the tip has been eaten away by acid, so maybe as I'm not using flus the solder I got from our local hardware shop has gone a nasty flux in it. Happily a good mate of mine Caleb works near maplins so can pick me up some new tips tomorrow. Soldering does seem to be rather an art in itself, and I lack flair!


I had some time off in the day today, so I have been up in the loft. My stated aim was to get to the bottom of these electrical problems that I've been having which I've managed to do. The basic issue is that I didn't snip those little wires which go from the frogs to the point blades so having sorted that out I have managed to solder up the inside loop to the bus and hey presto I ran my first local service on the line - not quite prototypical being a Jinty - Mk 1 BTK, Stanier TK, Mk1 TK and Stanier BTK. I'll have to wiat until the portholes and maybe next year one of Bachmann's period 1's in BT livery to make it better, and chip my Mickey Mouse! I'm guessing that Mark 1's would have been rare in the four coach locals, but hey ho. Progress has been made which is good :-)


The second good thing was that I finally got my Dapol signal working...noisier then I thought, but very impressive! I'm very happy with the push button things, as is my three year old who enjoyed seeing it go up and down!

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A quick update today as I've trial installed my first Berko signal using a rail room rotary switch and 12 v supply. Hassop down starter was actually a semaphore but I decided because I wanted a colour light to replace it with the Berko 2 aspect. This is what you get:






I'm no good with electrics but was really impressed by how easily this was together to work using the wiring diagram supplied with the switch. It was just of chopping off the resistor as the pcb switch has one built in then screwing stuff into terminals and away we go! Here is red:




This shows green. Not sure about the positioning of the signal though!




The view down to Manchester from the Dapol home signal




And a night view :-) how did they ever see.




Next job is the 4 aspect up signal!

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I wasn't satisfied with my soldering and I also didn't like the way that when I soldered the wires onto the side of the track it didn't look that good. My friend told me that he soldered his droppers to the bottom, but i wasn't confident i could do that because I'm new to soldering and after pinning down the track I would have to take it all back up again and drill holes again. By the perfectionist in me was never happy so I did a bit of google searching and found this article from dcc concepts:




The discovery and use of flux and a pencil tip on the iron has made things so much easier too.


I have been used this excellent info to do a bit of practice. Here are the results which I don't think are that bad for a first effort :-) see what you think!




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  • 1 month later...

It's been a while since I have updated this, but much had happened since! I have managed to wire up the track with the help of a few people so I now can actually run trains around the 2 tracks! Also a Blue Pullman has appeared! I'll go up in the loft later and take some photos!


For now, I'm struggling to wire my 4 aspect Berko signal - I seem to get red, yellow, green and yellow, and green...that's not right!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sometimes this is a very frustrating hobby. Today is one of those days.


I was hoping to be able after not doing much to be able to write about how all the track was live and working. However I admit I am flummoxed by the wiring for the various turnouts. I just can't seem to get things to work! Originally I put insulated fishplates on the inner rail next to the frog like in the various diagrams I found on the Internet. I found that this worked in preventing shorts but the loco would always stall on the frogs it traversed




In an effort to get power on a ladder of points I removed one of the insulating bits on one of the rails, (the power on the three way comes from feeders on the toe of each point. but this just resulted in shorts. I don't use switches on the single slip or the three way points or any of them in fact. I was hoping not to. I see that using them will mean that I can keep the insulation I have and power the frogs. And I'm wondering whether this is the only way it's going to happen.




I realise that all of this is down to my own ignorance. But I just don't know how to solve the problem :-( just to cheer me up. Here is the star of the show




Sometimes I just think having 2 running lines might be simpler!

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OK - with the help of a friend, problems have been solved.


Some things just seem to require a couple of insulators, and the 3 way needs switching. I see that clearly now. Why didn't I yesterday!


On the down side, my test engine - Super D - seemed to have blown it's DCC chip during testing. Maybe it didn't like continually being shorted out. Just like normal - LNW clunkers break! I should have tested using a fine Midland loco ;-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Took a few photos as I went into a surprisingly temperate loft to put my new engine out of the way of the reach of small children. Nice to be able to line up a few generations of peak line express power next to each other :-)




Nice front view of the compound




As a Trafford Park engine she would have been a regular on the peak line. I wouldn't have wanted to get so close to her if moving.




This would have been safer methinks! Finally a gratuitous front end shot vaguely summarising crack express power thorough the peak between the 20's and 60,s. though to be fair, a scot and a Brit should feature too but I don't have either!



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Looking at tho pictures, I wonder about whether some sky might make things look a bit better. Blue card a la great northerns supremes efforts? And may cover the back beam of the loft too...


So would scenery, painted sides of the rails, ballast, etc. But it's work in progress and should be observed as such.


When a backscene is added it should be remembered that Hassop is in a valley and the skyline will be quite high above the railway, so dense trees, rolling hills or just a hazy mist background might be more fitting than the "big sky" sort of scene associated with flatter countryside.

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Thanks for the comment. You're right. Need to keep things in perspective. A the end of the day there is only so much I can do as well as it is a loft that we need to use to store stuff in as well..


I have got hold courtesy of eBay of a couple of LMS 57ft blood and custard coaches now to go with the set. While not up to the standard of the Mark ones or Hornby staniers they aren't bad and do add a bit of variety for local trains.


While on the subject if coaches I found it interesting to see a Thompson CL suburban at Gowhole sidings in a picture in the Xpress Peak District book. Also in the same book there are Gresley Subs (albeit Maroon) on the hope Valley. I'm guessing that these would have come in from the Eastern. There also seems to be a good number of Gresley and Thompson stock appearing in the

London trains too. I was surprised about that! Pleasantly though!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold

Thought I would return the complement and actually put a post on your thread!


I've watched this since you first posted, for the obvious reasons, next station along from mine, etc, but you are much further along with your layout than I am, and I really like what you are doing. I may just have to pinch a few ideas, as well :nono: For one thing, I notice you used a curved point off the three-way for your goods sidings, and it looks more "right" than my use of a straight turnout, so I may have to follow your example.


Looking at your long shot through the station it looks absolutely spot on, completely reminiscent of the prototype.


I like the ballasting you've done so far, and the colour of the rails and sleepers. One thing I've noticed whilst researching Bakewell is the very marked difference between the main running lines and the goods loop and yard, the main lines have very well maintained clean looking ballast, with nice shoulders, and the goods lines are all sunk in a layer of ash and coaldust with no defined ballast layer at all.


To pick up on what Salopian said about scenery, Hassop is in a fairly open area compared to Bakewell as it sits in the junction of three different valleys, however there is quite dense woodland on one side, and the skyline rises in the distance. I could probably get you some photos of the general scenery which you might be able to cobble together as a backscene if you want.


All the best.


(Us Peak line modellers should stick together - well it worked for the Lunesters, why not us? :jester: )

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Thanks for the kind comments Al - it's encourgaing as sometimes I wonder whether I'm ever going to get anywhere!


At the moment I'm just getting towards the end of the wiring. I think that I've worked out that I need switches to make the 3 way points work even without point motors.


What I still haven't worked out is how to wire points leading off points - I guess in a yard they would be called Queen points (???) 


The curved point came to me from the picture of Bakewell that I have and the Hassop books I own, because in both the curve away from the station is very apparent. The curved point seemed to be a good solution I think. The only sad thing is that I could have a curved 3 way, as there really should be 3 sidings not 2, but I just can't fit them in.


As for the lie of the land, I know it should be open country...I might try to put a bit of Limestone outcropping in the fiddle yard though :-) I think that I'm going to mainly use trees as the background though. At the end of the day there is only so much I can do as it's just a loft, so I'm going to have to compromise.


Re Ballast - I wasn't happy with the woodland scenics ballast. It looked to grey to me - not the creamy brown of limestone. However, I then found out about geoscenics and am really happy with their 2mm lst stuff. I washed it first, because it was dusty, and the small dust particles refract more light and make it lighter, but I'm very happy with what I've got. The great thing about it is that it is just crushed limestone. If you're in Bakewell, then that's freely available not too far away - top of lathkill dale at monyash - or there is a nice old spoil heap at Youlgreave. Still - you've got to be able to crush it mind! I don't know if it will need fixing differently to 'normal' ballast as it's real rock.


You're right though, this only seems to be used on the manline. You'll see in pics of Bakewell that at the connections from the main down line the ballast changes very quickly to grey ashy type stuff. To represent this I went to Slaters at Darley Dale (near DFS) and got some of their limestone. Hopefully this will work :-)

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I'm on paternity leave this week due to my latest addition to the fleet - Peter Benjamin




I was painting his 2 sisters bedroom today when I found myself wondering about painting the loft. It's very dark up there, esepcailly at the ends due to there being one strip light in it.




So I was wondering having found half a tin of magnolia whether I could make things a bit lighter for myself by pairing the end walls, rafters and felt. Is that a plan? Or is it just madness? I'm not sure... 




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  • RMweb Gold

Congratulations, he looks very contented!


Re the painting , I agree it would lighten it up a lot, but I would be tempted to put something over the felt - hardboard for instance - rather than painting directly on to it.

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Thanks Al. That sounds like a good idea. I did look at sheets of hardboard at b and q with a white surface which would do the trick. Not the cheapest though. I wonder about just getting some white card. That might work. Could staple it onto the rafters?


I think I might add in a line on the fiddle yard for locos so I can store them on the layout as well as I'm a bit worried that only 4 storage lines would be enough. Then I started to wonder about changing the station for a shed based on Rowsley...I must not do anything rash!

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