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North Quay - Test Plank!


Satan's Goldfish

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Current effort starts at post #14

 

This is at least my third attempt to start this thread… Welcome to North Quay, my overly elaborate test-plank and test-bed construction. The layout is 12ft x 2ft built on 3 4ft long boards running OO scale stock roughly between 1985 and 1999. Now my projects for Warren Lane are nearing an end my thoughts are turning to somewhere for me to be able to run stock outside of shows and use as a test facility for various different wiring and operations ideas I have. Some of you may have been familiar with the uncompleted ‘Adventures in Octagons’ which went to a watery grave, I’m still letting my thoughts tick-over on circular layouts and want to see full length trains sweeping through open country side, but layouts like that take up a lot of space I don’t have at the moment and I’d like something a little easier to put up for now. Space and money no object, I’d like a layout that has everything, stations, freight yards, industries, TMD, carriage sidings, etc, so I can operate to whatever mood takes me. With just 12ft to play with, that’s a tall order, but I still want more than simple platform with TMD along side. I like ‘minories’ but that didn’t really meet my satisfaction for this, so combining a lot of my previous plans and ideas has produced this: (Those who don’t like layouts filled with track may want to look away now) post-9147-0-00899100-1372206777_thumb.jpg I’m afraid this will be quite a long introduction to the plan as there is a lot to take in. What we have here is 1 end of a through station serving a cross channel ferry port in an un-named fictitious town by a Quay side with some in-use and some out-of-use tracks on a fictitious loop of the GEML. The trick with looking at this plan and working out operations is to remember it’s a through station, not a terminus, even though what’s planned can only be operated as such. It’s very open to future expansion (as the fact the measurements at the bottom running from 6 to 18 rather than 0 to 12 show!) All track will be a equipped with OHL apart from rails coloured yellow. The green and blue lines are the main lines through the station and down the mainline. The station has 4 platform faces for passengers (1-4) and a bypass line (5). Platform 4 and the bypass line also have access to the RfD yard for freight operations and shunting. Then from the RfD yard the docks can be shunted. Most of the ground is covered with either concrete or ballast so scenically it should be very simple with only the Station, Ferry Terminal, and road bridge as the major structures. Taking cues from Harwich Parkestone Quay, the station is joined up to a passenger ferry terminal with plenty of covered walk ways about. The station will be a large enough structure over the tracks to hide locomotives under as they can’t pass through the through station (more on operations later). The RfD yard is the remains of what used to be a much larger yard serving the dock railway but is now just a loading and unloading point for various wagons. There will be a non-operating gantry crane over the tracks, but the rails laid for the crane will be operational for tests and repairs on Heljan Container Terminals as it’s a lot easier to setup 1 stand alone 4ft board to test them on than at least 2 6ft Warren Lane boards for the same task. Train length is up to 4ft 6inch long, all the points on the layout are in the centre of the middle board which should help a lot with wiring. The points hidden behind the words ‘Fiddle Yard’ on the plan are representative of the trailing crossing that would be needed on the mainline to fully complete the station approach point work if the layout were to be extended. Again if extended, the purple line running into the fiddle yard would be reduced to a stabling siding. Operationally, the idea is that a train leaves the fiddle yard and enters a platform or the bypass line at the end of which the loco is automatically uncoupled. Another loco then appears light engine and couples onto the other end of the train to take it back to the fiddle yard. At the end of the fiddle yard that loco will automatically be uncoupled, and the engine left in the scenic area runs back light to the fiddle yard to collect it’s next train. Because it’s supposed to be a through station, the main line should be directional (green down, blue up) but for the sake of this everything is Bi-directional just to keep it simpler. On top of fiddle yard to station operations, if the freight and shunting mood takes me, trains in platform 4 and bypass can be moved into the RfD yard or onto the docks (as required). 1 idea that has been put to me with this plan is to have the option of moving the backscenes to all along the length of the road bridge (placing the RfD yard off scene) which changes the way the docks can be shunted and adds the option of a ‘diesel’ line also running off scene. (Part of the 'grand master plan' was the 2 tracks that here lead into the RfD yard were instead a freight-only line to a larger yard elsewhere in my planning abyss. Looked at like that the track layout makes a bit more sense too.) Yes, the fiddle yard is only 3 very limited tracks, but there is still an awful lot of track for a single operator to manage on the layout. Control will be DC from my old H and M Duette, with green and purple lines being 1 control, and blue and yellow being the other with some overlaps in places. The point layout itself is based on a combination of a couple of different prototype locations that have always looked appealing to me, but squished together. It may not be what the prototype would have done in a similar situation but it’s pleasing to me eye and maintains the busy main line illusion. I feel that loosely covers most of my ‘everything’ criteria, apart from a TMD but it already needs 2 locos per train on the layout so that makes up for it a little. If I find I’ve missed anything I’m sure I’ll add it later. I don’t expect there to be rapid progress on this layout, but it gives me something to do :-) progress pictures hopefully follow soon. Feel free to throw in any comments or questions, and once again yes I know that’s a lot of track in a small space!

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So's not to be a one-hit-wonder, some Peco medium radius points arrived today for the project courtesy of the classifieds here. More wood has also arrived so the boards can have back scenes. I'm going to attempt to build the station and junction boards as 2 parts of a box so they can fit together for easy storage, and the RfD/fiddle yard board can sit on top when it's not in use.

 

I'm already wondering whether i can tweak the plan a little to include some curved points left over from 'Octagons' to save some money, but i think it will depend how wide the platforms are when i start laying pieces on boards. As this is just a quick test layout the platforms are most likely going to be ready made clip together plastic Hornby jobs. Not the most realistic things in the world but it will do to start plus canopies will drop straight in!

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Slight set back before i've even begun, the 3 sheets of wood i've got for the base-boards have just been sidelined for something else. Not the end of the world, they were a compromise as our local orange themed DIY didn't have the wood in that i'd have ideally liked so i can go back and get that instead, plus it gives me a little time to try and tweek the plan to get some of the curved points in and save some expenditure on track. I've still got the back-scene boards which can quickly be laid down for checking full size track geometry and some gratuitous stock posing shots.

 

I also need to start drawing down point control wiring before it slips out of my head. Even though i said i'd never want to build another control system like the one created for 'Warren Lane' again, i have a different plan for this which is probably going to be just as annoying as i'll be using Peco or Seep motors so 'passing contact' signals to the motors is required rather than constant voltage. The whole track layout should be controlable from just 2 switches when completed however...... If it works!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Cheers guys,

 

It's still ground to a halt at them moment with all the WL work going on, and the fact most of my building materials have been sacrificed for the end boards on that. When things quieten down hopefully this will start making little bits of progress beyond planning again.

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Some spontanious carpentry will break out soon honest!

 

The idea/plan may have to change. I've always wanted to start building bits of Norwich and i've just found a picture with some containers in the background which would vaguely justify intermodal services running there:

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rivercider/6910356050/in/set-72157631819991482/

 

The 'docks' part of it will probably go but the rest of the layout concept will remain. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

North Quay hasn't been forgotten, infact i apart from 1 set of points i think i have all the track now......for it's revised format!!!

I'm about to re-enter 'hardware mode' for some other projects so I figure I should benefit too by making the boards for this at the same time. In the interests of time and space i'm reverting to an older 'Minories' inspired plan on 15inch wide boards. A lot of the earlier waffle still applies but the quay side itself will no longer be on the model.

 

I'm using diagrams i drew up much earlier so not all the detail will apply. The is still for 3 4ft long boards (It show's 6ft boards in the plan below) for easier transport and storage. There's some track alignment issues i would like to address to keep a smooth flowing look but i'll start to tweak these when there's points sitting boards.

I do have a question i would like the RMWeb community's thoughts on though; the layout is still to represent one end of a through station, but i'm torn between 2 different platform layouts. Plan 1 is the more traditional 'Minories' terminus style, and plan 2 is the 'Ipswich' style through station with centre avoiding road. Which do you all prefer? I'm torn!

Plan1:

post-9147-0-59233600-1385900680_thumb.jpg

 

Plan2:

post-9147-0-82106100-1385900678_thumb.jpg

 

 

Bare in mind despite how it looks this is representing one end of a through station.

 

There is an added twist to this plan that will be worth looking out for, but I'm keeping that to myself for now and seeing how it develops ;)

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  • 1 month later...

A new year brings a new goal, to actually get something running! With that in mind, 'North Quay' has shrunk again down to a single board which i did actually go out and buy today! The new single board format is following on from this planning thread:

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/79493-small-operational-oo-that-isnt-a-tmd-idea/

 

which has been adjusted slightly to be able to make use of track i already have. The layout plan is 5'4'' long (which coincidentally happens to be the same length as Mrs Satan's living room side-board) and 18'' wide. The idea behind operation is detailed in the link above:

 

post-9147-0-91664000-1388782725_thumb.jpg

 

The plan of the design is to make use of a combination of ready-to-plonk items i already have in my bits box and some scratch built buildings. For example, the station will be made up from Hornby platform bits i still have from when i was young along with their overall roof, but the back of platform 1 will have some scratch built low relief parcels offices for that side of the overall roof to sit on.

 

The points are already laid out on Mrs Satan's side-board to check clearances, they consist of 3 Peco medium radius and 1 Hornby Y. They will end up motorised with either peco or seep units so i can try a control design i have floating around my head.

 

The sector plate will be a fun challenge, the different coloured lines in the plan show it's rough alignment to different positions. It will have 3 tracks and hopefully the scenic tracks will be spaced just right that the sector plate is never 'slightly off' one track when aligned with another. Only the centre track with be able to access all 3 scenic tracks, the outer tracks will only be able to reach 2 each. Electronics for running trains on and off scene is again something i currently have running around my head as this will be all DC for now.

 

Scenically, there's a couple of hard-standings at the front of the layout that road vehicles/containers can be posed on. A main road on a bridge will cut across the middle going front to back to hide the entrance to the sector plate and allow more vehicle posing. On the front two tracks at the right hand backscene will be a non-descript 2 road shed with it's doors closed. By keeping it unlabled it could either be the entrance to a goods shed or wagon works when wagons are outside it, or a TMD when a couple of engines are outside it. The head shunt will just be surrounded by waste land. The station as previously mentioned will be mostly Hornby, platforms 1 and 2 are bays, and platform 3 and the adjacent freight track will be designed to look as if they go off further to the right behind the shed.

 

I think that covers everything, i've almost everything needed to build this so i have no excuse not to start. It's a lot smaller and simpler than the original North Quay plan so it has more chance at completion! Happy New Year all!!!

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Missed this one earlier, just an odd thought having read through the related layout and track design thread ....... 

 

Looks as if you are planning to use a yard shunter to pull an arriving goods back into the headshunt to release the train engine to return to the sector plate?  You might just be able to squeeze in a crossover to enable the train engine to run round a train of 3 wagons and a brake using platform 3, and do its own shunting instead ......

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Missed this one earlier, just an odd thought having read through the related layout and track design thread ....... 

 

Looks as if you are planning to use a yard shunter to pull an arriving goods back into the headshunt to release the train engine to return to the sector plate?  You might just be able to squeeze in a crossover to enable the train engine to run round a train of 3 wagons and a brake using platform 3, and do its own shunting instead ......

I'd planned on simply propelling the wagons in from the sector plate as if the 'running around' had been carried out a little further down the line so no loco release is required. When being used as a shunting puzzle there will probably be nothing bigger than an 08 pottering about anyway with DMUs in the station.

 

When track meets board I'll do a quick operations pictorial.

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Track meets board for a little full sized planning.....

 

I've spent the evening drawing lines in permanent black pen and working out dimensions for the sector plate. The one going across the end of the board marks where it needs to be chopped to bring it down to 5'4'' in length.

 

post-9147-0-31430500-1388867482_thumb.jpg

 

 

A pair of Lima mk3 carriages used for checking platform spacing. No fine-scale detailing here!

 

post-9147-0-13592500-1388867492_thumb.jpg

 

 

Platform 2 track is to be in a dead straight line with the sector plate so this was marked at 2ft in from the end to start working out all the other dimensions from.

 

post-9147-0-16362400-1388867501_thumb.jpg

 

 

The station is the old Hornby 'London Road Station' and a few extra bits. Built to Hornby's dimensions with set track spacing it would be far too wide so some of the end spacer parts have been removed and the platforms at the back of the layout will need cutting in half. A low relief structure also needs to be created for the back of the layout the length of the overall roof to support that side of it. A lot of tweaking is going to be needed with the roof to get it to fit in the space i have!

 

post-9147-0-27809900-1388868357_thumb.jpg

 

 

With the platform, track 2, and track 3 positions roughly worked out the crossing point of track 2 and 3 in the sector plate could be worked out. Remembering Peco points curve 12 degrees, 6 degree increments were marked from these first 2 lines to work out the other sector plate track angles.

 

post-9147-0-62500400-1388868377_thumb.jpg

 

 

Then for a little play time, 3 loose bits of track were put side by side to represent the sector plate and moved through the 4 positions :) Obviously the ends of the outer 2 tracks should be curved out slightly.

 

post-9147-0-25110000-1388868420_thumb.jpg

post-9147-0-54043700-1388868387_thumb.jpg

post-9147-0-60323800-1388868411_thumb.jpg

post-9147-0-69663100-1388868401_thumb.jpg

 

 

Next up, I did some measuring at the other end of the board, marked where the edge of platform 3 comes 2 then used that to leave enough space for the 2 passing tracks before drawing on the low relief shed. this picture isn't very accurate because the track connected to the turn outs is all straight so the shunting tracks aren't curving to be in line with where they should be by the end of the board.

 

post-9147-0-41037500-1388868673_thumb.jpg

 

 

Built one of the station roofs up to see what they will be like, the result is nice big and airy! Only thing i'm not sure on is the green colour, i know if this was to represent NSE then red would be a good choice but in my head this is more 'regional railways' and i'm not sure what their infrastructure colours should be. 

 

post-9147-0-91223300-1388868684_thumb.jpg

 

 

Sector plate length check......2 mk3s is the same length as a class 158 isn't it?!

 

post-9147-0-92874800-1388868694_thumb.jpg

 

 

And finally an overall shot to give a bit of a layout idea.

 

post-9147-0-17179000-1388869274_thumb.jpg

 

 

Operations

 

As i said i would yesterday, here's a quick little guide to shunting operations. I only had 5 wagons to hand and a class 20 to act as super-shunter, but this should give an idea of what's going on.

 

Shunter and 3 wagons start on the sector plate.

 

post-9147-0-32099400-1388869285_thumb.jpg

 

 

The shunter pushes the wagons onto scene and into the 'freight bypass track' (well it would be if there was more layout length!)

 

post-9147-0-32713600-1388869297_thumb.jpg

 

 

The train fits nicely in the loop.

 

post-9147-0-34381400-1388869308_thumb.jpg

 

 

The shunter then draws back into the head-shunt, dropping any wagons it does want to take as it does so.

 

post-9147-0-15216900-1388869321_thumb.jpg

 

 

Engine and 3 wagons could fit in the head shunt if required.

 

post-9147-0-40752400-1388869331_thumb.jpg

 

 

The wagons are then shuffled around all the sidings as required.

 

post-9147-0-74737000-1388869341_thumb.jpg

 

 

For normal 'challenge time' operations there would be 7 wagons out front to make the shunting more difficult. A second shunting engine with 3 more wagons (so 10 wagons in total) could be added to the sector plate so each time a short freight runs off a different one takes it's place for the next round of shunting.

 

The other method of operation is to pretend the shed is a TMD building for when i want operations to be a little simpler!

 

post-9147-0-16000600-1388869352_thumb.jpg

 

 

The Sector Plate

 

As Mrs Satan was still glued to watching the darts, i started the next phase with the sector plate. The wood used is the same thickness as the main board, it's the old posing plank there's various shots on threads around RMWeb!

 

post-9147-0-75812000-1388869361_thumb.jpg

 

 

A bit of measuring up and drawing based on the stuff already worked out resulted in this ready to cut with guide lines ready for track fixing.

 

post-9147-0-47940100-1388869371_thumb.jpg

 

 

Lots to do before anything is running, but i hope this gives anyone reading an idea of what's going on. Budget is virtual 0 for this with it being post Christmas so i've got to try and plod on with what i've got. In a stroke of good luck, i found my old stash of Peco point motors in the bits box with the station parts :) Again working with what i have available, they may need to be fitted directly to the bottom of the points rather than under the board :(

 

Until next time......

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  • 2 weeks later...

After reading through this page from the link from the Layout design topic brought me here, you have a great plan which perfectly combines both passenger operation (DMU's) & freight shunting in a small space. Keep up the good work and I will be following your work with interest.

 

Sam

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  • 2 months later...

I actually did some stuff!

 

Trimmed base board to right length, cut out sector plate, and drilled a little hole all the way through to see how it lines up.

 

Unfortunately i've used most of my support batten supply on the 2014 challenge, so i've not cut the hole out and made the support frame for where the sector plate should properly sit. But still, progress!!!!

 

post-9147-0-53171300-1395610315.jpg

 

post-9147-0-63473900-1395610316.jpg

 

post-9147-0-62924000-1395610317.jpg

 

post-9147-0-20772700-1395610318.jpg

 

post-9147-0-36221600-1395610319.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Slight plan change (no, not a complete re-design!) I managed to get hold of a Peco 3-way point at a price too good to miss so this will replace the 2 medium radius points in the shunting puzzle turnout fan. This will make the 2 sidings in front of the low relief shed longer which should allow another couple of wagons on scene. Plus when it's pretending to be a tmd, 2 loco's can be fit on each shed track rather than just 1.

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Slight plan change (no, not a complete re-design!) I managed to get hold of a Peco 3-way point at a price too good to miss so this will replace the 2 medium radius points in the shunting puzzle turnout fan. This will make the 2 sidings in front of the low relief shed longer which should allow another couple of wagons on scene. Plus when it's pretending to be a tmd, 2 loco's can be fit on each shed track rather than just 1.

thats a nice addition to north quay. more space is always good

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  • 3 months later...

I wonder how big your baseboards would be if this layout was built in N Gauge? Probably small & compact enough to if invited to an exhibition with it, you could walk into the show venue hall with it tucked under your arm!

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I wonder how big your baseboards would be if this layout was built in N Gauge? Probably very small & compact!

Don't tempt me......this is about to be shelved in favour of some 'modules', but this plan will not be forgotten as I've always fancied an indoor g scale layout.

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