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Swanley Junction - Large four track 4mm Southern electric DCC (30' x 12')


Greengiant
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Swanley Junction is the latest 00 layout build of the Orpington model railway club.

Aims of the layout are to give a large continuous circuit for the running of the latest offerings from Bachmann and Hornby.

Utilise DCC control along with MERG CBUS system for the operation of points, colour light signals and train on track indication, long term allowance for the use of tablet devices and smart phones for control.

Track plan has taken inspiration from Swanley, being reasonably near to Orpington, reference visits don't take too long, plus the layout of four tracks splitting into two pairs after the station should give an interesting visual appeal.

Baseboards are to be built using plywood and foam, supported by steel frames, this enables us to keep the boards fairly shallow below track and to aid storage in the club room racks in addition to allowing more depth above baseboard for scenics.

Track is to be hand built code 75, copper clad in the storage yards, C&L and Exactoscale components for the scenic sections.

Track plan and templates were drawn out using the excellent program Templot. Overall size of the layout is 30' x 12'

 

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This is the prototype board we made to test the construction techniques and the viability of the methods.

 

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The legs fold under nice and neatly and held in the storage position by one wing nut.

 

file-1.jpg

 

That's it for now.

 

Martin

Edited by Greengiant
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Each board will have it's own set of legs with a brace that will hinge up and store under the board.

 

file_zpsde413feb.jpg

 

A jig was made to ensure consistency in board frame construction.

 

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We had the box section steel special rolled for the outside frames of the curved boards at the ends and along the front.

 

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Again jigs were used for drilling the end frames to ensure accurate alignment frame to frame.

 

The jig was designed in such a way that each board can be attached to it's neighbour during construction to again help with accurate alignment.

 

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Three curved frames ready for the next stage.

 

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Being part of a club team has lots of advantages, various members have a number of workshop facilities which comes in handy in large production projects like this one. Their skills can be shared with others. Plenty of manpower enables factory like production to speed up construction.

More later.

 

Martin

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This looks grand, with space and design parameters to ensure success. Choice of prototype location is good too. The confusing thing about Swanley was/is the nomenclature of the 4-track lines. Those leading towards Sole Street, where the speed limit through the junction is high, are the Slow Lines, while those leading towards the Barley Mow, with the 20 mph round the corner, are the Fast Lines. When we re-signalled under the Victoria scheme in the early '80s, we looked at transposing the names - but the risk of a wrong description of a line when the current was required to be discharged was simply too great.

 

13/14 car boat trains used both routes, as well as 12-car fasts down Sole Street Bank, so there is ample scope for some very impressive trains, and the 2-BILs will look fine, even though HALs were the stock for both Gillingham and Maidstone routes from 1938/9.

 

Keep us posted with progress!

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This looks grand, with space and design parameters to ensure success. Choice of prototype location is good too. The confusing thing about Swanley was/is the nomenclature of the 4-track lines. Those leading towards Sole Street, where the speed limit through the junction is high, are the Slow Lines, while those leading towards the Barley Mow, with the 20 mph round the corner, are the Fast Lines. When we re-signalled under the Victoria scheme in the early '80s, we looked at transposing the names - but the risk of a wrong description of a line when the current was required to be discharged was simply too great.

 

13/14 car boat trains used both routes, as well as 12-car fasts down Sole Street Bank, so there is ample scope for some very impressive trains, and the 2-BILs will look fine, even though HALs were the stock for both Gillingham and Maidstone routes from 1938/9.

 

Keep us posted with progress!

We have quite a few CEPs and 2-EPBs between us! I just happen to have acquired a kit for the Bulleid-type 2 HAL too ;-)

 

GG will no doubt add some more photos soon of the build, but I don't think he'll mind me saying that all the track is down on the four straight fiddleyard boards (each of the 14 sidings is at least 16 feet, some are nearer 20) and point construction has started (we are building all the points - all 39 of them :-(

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As someone who has travelled through Swanley more times than he cares to remember, and who started his working career at Chislehurst 'box, I'll be taking a very keen interest in this one!

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As Paul has said we are at the track laying stage so to bring things up to date here we are connecting some panels upside down, these ones are the front station board frames showing a gentle curve.

 

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Now the first of the end return frames gets connected up.

 

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And now the complete front frames with a return panel at each end.

 

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Part of a return curve showing three of the five panels of each end.

 

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Birch ply tops now being fixed with self tapping screws.

 

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Templot printouts being positioned and glued into place.

 

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Fiddle yard tracks going down.

 

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Some of the fiddle yard points being constructed.

 

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This is a prototype for the proposed control panel.

 

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This is one of the racks we have built to store the layout in the club room.

 

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This is were we are at present with the build.

 

Martin

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Hi Martin,

 

That's looking great. smile.gif

 

Something a bit puzzling though. The turnout at the centre of this pic:

 

file_zpsb41847f5.jpg

 

appears to be a rather odd size. Counting timbers I think it is an E-8 or something similar. That's a very unusual size because normally a B switch would be natural with a 1:8 crossing. I can understand going perhaps to a C switch for a faster approach speed, but to go all the way to a long E switch with a 1:8 crossing produces a very unbalanced design. Those very long slender switch blades will be difficult to model and will likely require several stretchers and drives. To no real advantage, because of the radius of the turnout curve beyond. An E switch is natural with a 1:16 crossing and wouldn't normally be used with anything shorter than 1:12.

 

May I suggest using a shorter switch for that turnout? That needn't upset your existing track plan geometry -- in Templot put the peg on FP (CTRL-4) and then change the switch size. Besides producing a shorter, easier to build turnout, that would actually give you a larger radius:

 

E-8 is 1456mm (57.3") radius.

B-8 is 1734mm (68.2") radius.

 

(For 00-SF with regular-pattern V-crossings.)

 

Alternatively if you attach your .box file here it may be possible to suggest a longer turnout for that location which is a more balanced size. For example a C-10 or perhaps even a D-12 could probably be arranged to fit with some adjustment to the exit track.

 

(The same considerations may apply to the lower turnout obscured by the screenshot printout.)

 

I notice in the background that you have printed the diamond-crossings as overlaid plain tracks. It's very easy to convert them to proper diamond-crossing templates -- see Method 3 at http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=2080&forum_id=19

 

regards,

 

Martin.

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The turnout at the centre of this pic appears to be a rather odd size. Counting timbers I think it is an E-8 or something similar.

I notice in the background that you have printed the diamond-crossings as overlaid plain tracks

 

Hello Martin

 

Yes it is an odd size. When I originally drew the plan, the facility to convert the diamond crossings wasn't there and I baulked at the prospect of doing the half diamonds - there's a slight reverse curve to enable the "branch" to curve round within the space available, and the centres are a bit odd too. Nearly all the templates are B8, which makes building a jig for the vees easier ;-). The E8 fitted the space and linked up nicely with the plain track. I probably should have redone it: in fact I still can as we haven't got to that stage yet :no: - and I might do the diamonds too. Incidentally the prototype points that the layout is based on are very long.

 

I make no claims for the templates to be 100% accurate - my "templot" skills are not superb. Some of the templates have had to be drawn to fit the space rather than the other way round. The main thing will be getting the vee/common crossings wight and making the finished article look as though it flows.

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This is a picture of the actual point complex, not a great picture it is taken through a very scratched perspex window of the footbridge.

 

file_zpse9c37316.jpg

 

Today we put the layout up to get a feel for the project as a whole.

We need to tweak some lines and seeing as Paul has posted about redoing the template this will be ideal.

Paul also we need to move the crossover at the London end so ideally both points are on the same board, this will also help with the wiring (see pic below).

 

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As can be seen here the underpinnings are quite slender.

 

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We now have a tweaked plan of action to progress the build. What it did bring home was the sheer size of the layout.

Looking forward to getting this one done.

 

Martin

 

 

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and you need to make that "facing trap / trailing crossover / facing junction turnout" combination in the Down Slow as rough as the prototype - always scared the hell out of me at high speed - sitting over 4-CEP motor bogies probaly didn't help !

 

Interestingly ISTR that there was a group of modellers who used to meet in the brick buildng in the LHS of the photo at the platform end (mostly BR Swanley based drivers ??) - but I may have a very defective memory on this............

 

I spent many a happy hour in the ECR overlooking this junction in the early 80's

 

Looking forward to seeing this layout develop.

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Having been to the Orpington club several times, either their open weekend show in January or when they have held quiz nights, this looks like another project to follow carefully (future layout for Tonbridge show!!!!!!)

 

Colin

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Having been to the Orpington club several times, either their open weekend show in January or when they have held quiz nights, this looks like another project to follow carefully (future layout for Tonbridge show!!!!!!)

 

Colin

Colin,

Yes we would be up for Tonbridge, not sure on completion date yet, but the way things are going it may be sooner than we originally thought. We have a good team on this one with lots of new ideas. If there is anyone in or around the Orpington area who fancies joining in and giving us a hand at the club they would be very welcome, we are going to need a big exhibition team to call on when it hits the roads!

Full coverage will appear on here as it happens, which reminds me I have an update to do.

 

Martin

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So THATS what you needed all those decoders for...

Terrific project Martin, I shall be following with interest.  I must have a closer study of those baseboard methods as well.

Many thanks,

Dave.T

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Been mulling over the track on the scenic section of the layout. We have about 40 feet on the outer pair and 36 feet on the inner pair to lay. One idea floated was one pair made of FB rail on concrete sleepers (exactoscale "fast track" bases) and the other pair FB rail on baseplates on wooden sleepers (C&L). Another is to have the second pair of tracks in BH rail on wooden sleepers. Another is to make the points with BH rail (easier - but perhaps not too prototypical). Decisions, decisions :no: 

There will be some super-elevation built in to the four-track section to the right (west) of the station.

 

As the track plan/station is based on Swanley, but won't be called that, we have a little licence to play with (a Modeller's one, which the team all hold...)

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I like the idea of metal frames. Do they help prevent warping better than the normal sandwiched ply method?

With just the ply top screwed on they are extremely rigid. Once the scenery formers are on they will be rock solid. They slide very well on our metal storage racks, each board can be handled by one person. That will change when the scenery is on, height of the board then becomes a factor and it will be safer with two people handling.

 

Martin

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So THATS what you needed all those decoders for...

Terrific project Martin, I shall be following with interest. I must have a closer study of those baseboard methods as well.

Many thanks,

Dave.T

Thanks David.

Decoders are all for narrow gauge Whiteoak and Theobald's Yard :)

If you ever want more detail on the baseboards just shout.

We have some interesting stuff going on with the electrics, one advantage of having club members well versed in the sparks side of things.

 

Martin

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Wiring is coming along nicely on the fiddleyard boards.

 

file_zps50ee7ef7.jpg

 

Testing times with the first ever loco to run on any part of the layout.

 

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This is the power supply box that has been made.

 

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Points are now going to be controlled by servos, this is our test rig we made to test it all out.

 

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They will be mounted using these.

 

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These are the perspex parts for one servo mount and switches, I now need to get some Plastic Weld so they can be assembled.

 

file_zps8997ded3.jpg

 

Martin

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Popped over to Kent Garden Rail today to pick up some Plastic Weld.

 

Basic assembly done with the servo mounted in place.

 

file_zps7bb23fb0.jpg

 

Operating arm from the servo, the third hole from the top was the right one to drill out 1.5mm to enable the bolt to be fitted in the right place to locate into the mounting frame operating arm.

 

file_zps50d206f5.jpg

 

Now refitted to the servo and the operating arm now bolted to the mounting frame. Instructions say fit wire to hole 'C' but don't indicate where hole 'C' is located!

There is a hexagonal hole in the server spacer to take the lock nut for the pivot bolt, unfortunately the hole is too big to hold the nut from spinning, to prevent it spinning I jammed a screwdriver down the side of the nut.

 

file_zps2a3577da.jpg

 

Here it is complete with the two microswitches installed, they have plenty of adjustment travel so should be easy to set up.

 

file_zps3f023fa6.jpg

 

Next stage is to take this to the club tomorrow night and make up the rest once we have checked it all out.

 

Martin

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