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Holcombe S&DJR


slow8dirty

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  • RMweb Gold

Mmm, ok here we go again!

 

The last couple years have been "horrible annises" as far as model railways have been concerned. Real life has been very real and really forced a lot of armchair activity across all my various Hobbies. Apologies to all those who contributed to my long running planning and signalling threads for "Cannington", circumstances forced abandonment of the boards at a very early stage. Cannington remains the the layout I want build "one day", this is the "lessons learnt" portable layout I can build now.

 

As an adjunct to the Bath extension, the Somerset and Dorset sought an act of parliament to build a branch from the vicinity of Binegar towards the Nettlebridge Valley, specifically to tap into the traffic from the West Mendip Colliery. This never came to fruition, until you look at the map through Rose Tinted TM glasses and see that the line indeed reached West Mendip Colliery and, later was planned to drive further into the Nettlebridge Valley, construction started but ultimately failed and the temporary terminus nr Holcombe and Edford became Permanent for the rest of the lines history.

 

This then will be an attempt to model that little known Mendip Terminus that Ivo never seemed to manage to visit.

post-2109-0-51003700-1358688037_thumb.jpg

 

The layout was originally planned to be 12'x2' and operated in my garage opposite my North Devon "Fremington Pill" layout, alas a fairly major pipe burst that wrecked Fremington Pill killed any desire to use that space for modelling activities. (Silver lining=A space now filled by a cossetted 19yr old MKIV Supra :sungum:)

 

The solution was to place the layout in the Spare room, unfortunately that was 9' by '7 with an airing cupboard taking up a large chunk of that space.

The impossible mission has been to reduce the scenic length from 9' to 8' thus losing the less model railway cliche type fiddleyard entrance that was planned. The fiddle yard has been cut down in width to be just a support for cassettes and is a quick attach/remove affair that sticks out into the landing when the layout is in use. One of the scenic boards has to be removed to close the door, but this is a quick procedure. Support for the layout has come from a set of shelves and the timber from Fremington Pills' (RIP) legs.

post-2109-0-83811200-1358689089_thumb.jpg

 

The boards are Model Railway Solutions Plywood kits( very good, VFM) Cork underlay has been laid down and work is underway on the tracklaying now.

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  • RMweb Gold

Some further points,

 

as this layout comes from the end of a period of relative inactivity, the crucial point is to finally get something up and running again. With that in mind:

 

  • Track is Peco streamline 75, I have been toying using C&L or similar with Peco points, but for now will settle with trimming down Peco points and live with the streamline flexi.
  • Layout will be DC but wired with future DCC in mind. (I have a Powercab but not fully convinced I need it on a small steam layout.)
  • A lot of the buildings will be RTP, if these can be adapted and weathered to suit I will be happy to use these, results by Black Rat and others are a key influence here, and the results will probably exceed what I can do in my minimal spare time.

So deliberately planned to be a bit of an out of the box layout, for reasons of time and also to see if I can do something original but satisfying to me with those materials, and also I have a sneaking suspicion that extended time in the armchair has led me to believe I am a better modeller than I am with nothing to show for it. :jester:

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  • RMweb Gold

Tracklaying has continued on and off all this weekend.

 

Had a few issues to fine tune regarding board alignment and finishing off which took longer than planned.

post-2109-0-13204500-1359315021.jpg

 

This view shows the overall view of the layout and demonstrates 1)how it fits into the room it was never intended for, 2)how it intrudes into the living space when in operation( the missus can squeeze by without issue? check!), 3)the layout room still has a lot of tidying required and 4) I'm in trouble if I dont hoover up all those cork and wire offcuts that seem to be spreading from the worksite. :O

 

Below is the last of the points now wired up and "streamlined" prior to laying. It still doesnt look much like a prototype to the discerning eye I'm sure, but its an improvement over the standard. Details of how to can be found here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13627 and here:http://www.dccconcepts.com/PDF_Downloads/cobalt_instructions.pdf just in case you haven't seen them before.

post-2109-0-87872800-1359315706.jpg

 

And so the current state of play is just a bit further than this;

post-2109-0-21463900-1359315789.jpg

 

So much more to do!! :fie: :training:

 

Cheers,

 

Matt

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  • 1 month later...
  • RMweb Gold

post-2109-0-62868200-1364129896_thumb.jpg

 

Finally, all track laid. To be honest bar one siding, I was pretty much done about a month ago, just things got in the way. But part of the reason for delay was deciding to go DCC from the outset and dusting off the Powercab, fitting of the first 2 locos went ok (7F, 3MT), though learnt some lessons about dirty wheels and tracks with the 4F! Learning curve ahead for the dcc I feel but I just couldn't face wiring up all those sections and switches between panel and layout.

 

Have also gone with Cobalts for the point motors rather than latching Seeps as originally planned. I wanted a gentler action on the tie bars after my surgery efforts and having finally seen them in the flesh realised how small they actually are compared to Tortii(?). A mate bought a load and whilst he had troubles I was impressed with the customer service he got from DCC Concepts.

 

That's it for changes to the plan, still S&D, still late Fifties (maybe occasionally earlier when the Doodlebug I got for my birthday wheezes under the over bridge :secret: ). I did think long and hard about maybe putting a milk siding in on the headshunt and using the dairy as a scenic break as the headshunt is shorter than my ideal but I felt that would be look too contrived.

The boards are now on their side as I try to make sense of the snakes wedding with my soldering Iron.

 

Then maybe I cant start a period of comprehensive "Testing". :smoke:

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Very nice start Matt. I will be modifying Code 75 turnouts too as per DCC Concepts advice because I want better rail heights and good visuals. My big fingers will probably prevent the creation of anything of a silk purse but Code 75 gives me a fighting chance from the outset and I would not have to clean up a lot of (pretty old) Code 100 for reliable operation. A couple of questions if you don't mind:

1   What thickness of cork are you using for underlay?

2   Are you going for something like a HexFrogJuicer to manage the frogs?

My plan (boards not yet started) will include Tortoises rather than Cobalts as a supplier to the north and east of my location advised at a recent show I visited that Tortoises were never returned to them but sadly Cobalts were.

Keep up the thread p[lease,

 

Tony

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Tony,

 

Thanks for your comments. If I can do the points anyone can, I must admit for the 3-way and double slip I just cut down the big sleepers/ tie bars and removed the springs tho I reckon its perfectly possible for someone braver.

 

I think its 1/16" Cork, as didn't want too high a ballast shoulder in a station area, and in fact I will level off the goods yard area. I did consider the HexFrog Juicer but decided against it, didn't see a problem with traditional frog switching.

 

As far as the Cobalts go I actually agree with you that the Tortoise seems to be the better option and if you can get hold of them use them. From research and my friends experience of them, it seems to me DCC Concepts have had some Quality control issues along the way with some batches (only an opinion I have formed not stating it as a fact), but their customer service seems second to none, they were readily available at a good price. My Friend had a 25% failure rate but they were only minor issues and after correspondence with Dcc Concepts all are running fine with no returns needed.

Not a great situation and hopefully its a problem they will solve ( or may have already?). Their small comparative size was the clincher for me in the end. As my adventures with Cobalt are soon to begin I shall soon see for mself.

 

Cheers,

Matt

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Thanks Matt for all that info. My original plan - and out & back loosely based on Penzance - was to fit the station within the longest dimension of my shed (3,500mm) I struggled as I had platforms, then the station throat and then the entry and exit curves. A very capable RMW'r suggested using curved turnouts as part of the throat and drew up a plan for me. Thanks to his work, I now have platforms for 6 coaches & tender engines and the whole looks much more integrated and almost realistic than my original piecemeal solution. Your plan certainly looks very likely so congratulations.

 

1/16" cork was what I had hoped to use, much for the same reasons you suggest. I also have some multi-level running so wanted to be as careful with gradients and every 1/16" helps! I have 17 turnouts in the plan so will need reliability from my Tortoises and will hide as many as I can within structures or scenery. I do not anticipate any completion for th enext couple of years, it is a pretty arge challenge that I have set myself.

 

Good luck with your efforts and keep them posted,


Tony

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  • RMweb Premium

Looking good :)

 

Glad the S&D got to these quarries and kept the ESR and later the "other railway" at bay.  I presume the station site is at the bottom end of the village near the Duke of Cumberland?  I used to work in Holcombe and remember going swimming (and being chased out by the local constabulary :nono:) in the quarries after they closed down. 

 

Cheers

 

Tim

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  • RMweb Gold

Oh no, I'm in trouble now someone knows the place :swoon: .

 

Thank you Tim, yes your right,

 

the original act of parliament just mentioned ending in a field adjacent the coal workings or similar, whilst my imagineering certainly did bring the line in towards that general vicinity, I must stress it isn't to any great level of "accuracy" and will always be open to change either due to evolving over time or another "site" visit to get a feel of things.

 

Cheers,

Matt

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  • RMweb Premium

All totally plausible and great that the S&D gets it's fair share of the Mendip stone, the G :sarcastic: R won't have the monopoly anymore !

 

Watching with interest.

 

All the best

 

Tim

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Chris,

 

Thanks for popping in,now my flight of fantasy's in real trouble, ;)

 

The act of parliament was passed in 1873 according to-http://lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/docs/slr_railways_(abortive_projects).pdf (p293-294) (A goldmine of might have beens for any modeller) 

 

So I imagine within a few years of this. I realise the timing of this in reality probably explains why it never progressed off the paper.

 

As regards trackplan, yes the bay is intended for occasional passenger departures.....?

 

Cheers,

 

Matt

 

 

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>>>Thanks for popping in,now my flight of fantasy's in real trouble.....

 

That'll teach you to put 'S&DJR' in the title then :sungum: .

 

Looking at your pix, I noticed what I assume is probably a Bachmann kit for the Shillingstone signal-box??  I'd be cautious about using a SDJR Type 1 box for Holcombe, as only one example is known north of Evercreech Jcn, tho' given a construction date of mid/late 1870s and assuming no subsequent upgrade, then you might be alright. Of course, for anything else then you'll have to build one from scratch!

 

If you are going to use the bay line for passenger traffic, then you'll need a trap point at the exit from the engine shed siding :O

 

Cheers!

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  • RMweb Gold

Thanks for that, just noticed my schoolboy error with the engine shed half hour before you posted, fortunately still easily solved at this stage, so thanks again.

 

Very interested by your thoughts on the box. Just been looking in the books, I take it Highbridge B is the exception that would make my use of a timber base type 1 plausible given the period but unlikely?

 

Cheers,

 

Matt.

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Given the rarity of known Type 1 boxes north of Evercreech Jcn, and the fact that others which may have existed elsewhere on the line (eg West Pennard) but were replaced before ever appearing on film, it would be difficult to make any sort of reasoned judgement on the matter. However, if I were doing it myself and wanted a Type 1, then my preference would be a brick or stone base (as per Highbridge 'B', Pylle or Bailey Gate).

 

Of course, a liberal application of modeller's licence works wonders :no:

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  • 5 months later...
  • RMweb Gold

Oops!

 

just realised its been 6 months since I posted anything on this project  :swoon:

 

I have been working on the layout, just didn't want to post anything till I had some results from the electrics, that covers the first 3 months, 

 

The last 3-3 1/2 months all spare time has been robbed by this little project;

 

turning this;

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Into this;

post-2109-0-62456000-1379360979_thumb.jpg

 

there's a lot of similarities between restoring cars and building layouts. Certainly similar levels of frustation and achievement, and stress when you commit to a show and the thing's in bits! :offtopic:

 

Yes well, anyway back on topic, a new 4f has restored modelling mojo, just got to sort out point indication on the control panel and wiring is done.

 

I was never happy with the headshunt on the plan, especially as I need to trim a 1/2" on it to make some planned bridge abutments lie logically. Inspired by the facility next to Wells station yard and a certain GWR BLT on here I rather like  :O :secret:, a small oil facility will live here to give some purpose to it whilst still sitting right with the overall scheme.

 

Culm Valley club exhibtion will get in the way of persoanl work this next week but things should resume course from then on.

 

Cheers.

 

Matt

 

 

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  • 4 months later...
  • RMweb Gold

Right,

 

its taken another 3 months  :blush: but finally I have finished all the wiring, I won't lie I haven't been slaving constantly on the layout in that time, but since New Year my modelling mojo has returned. In fact I've made good progress in all my various hobby interests. The secret seems to be to just get off me proverbial and step away from the computer screen!

 

Got a bit more tidying up to do and then the boards can be put the right way up again for some "testing" and then modelling commences.  :locomotive:

 

Matt,

Still here honest!

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  • RMweb Gold

Well, 

testing has included dusting off the dcc and getting things running, I've learnt one thing, forget Hornby and Bachmann chips, a new lenz standard + has just transformed a ropey running 3MT. To be fair the issue may have been the storage conditions of the 3 decoders I did have. But regardless, I have several more new decoders on order rather than doubting whether DCC was even worth it (It is by the way, Ladies and gentlefolk! ).

Yeah, I know it shouldn't have taken this long!

post-2109-0-13675000-1391377302.jpg

 

Testing underway  :sungum:

post-2109-0-09126500-1391377481.jpg

 

Sorry bout the poor pic quality, there's not much to see yet anyway, the signal box has moved position from previous mockups because I'm still debating it's postioning and point rodding runs etc, more of which later....

 

Which brings me somewhat tenously to the real reason for posting tonight..

 

found this whilst looking for information on point rodding, An Institute of Railway Signal Engineers "sort of beginners" guide to mechanical point actuation, i.e point rodding.

http://www.irse.org/minorrailways/publicdocuments/PA01%20-%20Mechanically%20Operated%20Points%20v2.pdf

 

Stupid questions soon to be asked on a web forum near you folks.  :blind:

 

Cheers Matt

 

 

 

 

 

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  • RMweb Gold

Nice to see another S&D layout evolving Matt.

This has made me think about my over grown test track. S&D terminus. I too am using the Shillingstone signal box along with the Bachmann Sheffield Park waiting room as the station building giving a vaguely Edington Burtle feel to it.

 

I might have today do something now.

 

Cheers Matt.

post-14122-0-53217900-1391379717_thumb.jpg

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attachicon.gif

 

This view shows the overall view of the layout and demonstrates 1)how it fits into the room it was never intended for, 2)how it intrudes into the living space when in operation( the missus can squeeze by without issue? check!), 3)the layout room still has a lot of tidying required and 4) I'm in trouble if I dont hoover up all those cork and wire offcuts that seem to be spreading from the worksite. :O

:training:

 

 

 

Realiy liking what you have done, great use of space and of course compliance with the Minister for everything!

 

I look forward to this developing in the future. great work, goood luck.

 

PS. Is that the Scenecraft engine shed you have used? Looks very effective. :sungum:

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  • RMweb Gold

Nice to see another S&D layout evolving Matt.

This has made me think about my over grown test track. S&D terminus. I too am using the Shillingstone signal box along with the Bachmann Sheffield Park waiting room as the station building giving a vaguely Edington Burtle feel to it.

 

I might have today do something now.

 

Cheers Matt.

Yes, you must, and make sure you tell us all about it as that single teaser shot looks very interesting.   :biggrin_mini2: (Like the thoughts for the station building.)

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  • RMweb Gold

Realiy liking what you have done, great use of space and of course compliance with the Minister for everything!

 

I look forward to this developing in the future. great work, goood luck.

 

PS. Is that the Scenecraft engine shed you have used? Looks very effective. :sungum:

Thanks,

 

yes it is a cracking model, as with all these buildings the doors are a bit thick but I can tweak something. Very atmospheric, the thinking in my fiction that it was originally built as a temporary building before an extension that never happened, could be taken as an excuse to use it!

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Matt,

 

I'd agree about using the Lenz decoders. I've used a few with my locos and do work very well. I will eventually replace the Bachmann decoders with Lenz or TCS when funds allow ....

 

Keep up the good work.

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