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West Highland Line V4, a 1980's West Highland Line layout


young37215
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  • RMweb Gold

The last few days have resulted in progress at Garelochead in that the points have been motorised and the platform finally constructed. There are still a couple of tight areas on the platform edging which need filing down to avoid contact with trains but otherwise the platform is complete. Scenic work on it will have to wait, I want to concentrate on Crianlarich for now.

 

Half built platform

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Guaging of Garelochead platform

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Garelochead platform progess to date

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My Megapoints network to control Garelochead, Arrochar and Ardlui has been extended to over 21m and all works perfectly. Crianlarich and Garelochead points are motorised which means I can operate one side of the layout standing at the Control Panel. I will motorise the points at both Arrochar and Ardlui in the near future so that all 4 stations can be centrally controlled. The semaphores still need automating but that has to wait for now; laziness means I get a lot of SPAD's!

 

Running continues to prove the track and electrics. At the last count, I have soldered in excess of 200 wires to the track so far; I do hope this pays a dividend in the long run because I find it a thankless task.

 

37039 crosses the first bridge north of Crianlarich with 7B02

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37022 waits at Arrochar with southbound 1T24

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27032 shunts an engineers train at Crianlarich

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  • RMweb Gold

Nice to see more progress.

Can I ask what you are using for your platform edging. I'm guessing one of them is Slater's or Wills coarse stone.

Edited by BoD
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  • RMweb Gold

Nice to see more progress.

Can I ask what you are using for your platform edging. I'm guessing one of them is Slater's or Wills coarse stone.

Your guessing is pretty good, Arrochar is Wills coarse stone and is the only platform that is not made of Peco concrete edging. Neither of these are truly prototypical but they are close enough for my liking.  

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  • RMweb Gold

I have begun the re-numbering of my Bachmann coach fleet to Scottish Region numbers. I have also decided to remove most of the ScotRail transfers because this style of branding only started to appear towards the end of my 1980 to 1985 timescale. One rake will be left with ScotRail transfers and the revised coach numbering that was implemented on from 1983 onwards, the remainder will be unbranded with original numbers. Stripping the old numbers and transfers with a fibreglass pencil was easy enough but on the weathered coaches this also removed the weathering which now requires re-blending. Using RailTec transfers, I have renumbered most of the fleet with coaches based at Glasgow Cowlairs or from pictures of the WHL where I have identified the coach number.   

 

24 coaches in total to do, 18 await renumbering.

 

post-24755-0-09076500-1529835311_thumb.jpg

 

BSK with old number removed awaits a new SC number

 

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Weathered SO renumbered with patches for blending very evident

 

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SK renumbered as SC 25296

 

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So far my efforts to re-blend the weathering have proved unsuccessful. I am not sure if this is down to applying acrylic paint on top of enamel or simply my lack of experience/competence at this activity.

 

post-24755-0-24009500-1529836714_thumb.jpg

 

Railtec state that their numbers are best sealed using acrylics rather than enamels which I am more familiar. Clearly I need to test out a few different solutions to find which works best.   

 

 

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I have begun the re-numbering of my Bachmann coach fleet to Scottish Region numbers. I have also decided to remove most of the ScotRail transfers because this style of branding only started to appear towards the end of my 1980 to 1985 timescale. One rake will be left with ScotRail transfers and the revised coach numbering that was implemented on from 1983 onwards, the remainder will be unbranded with original numbers. Stripping the old numbers and transfers with a fibreglass pencil was easy enough but on the weathered coaches this also removed the weathering which now requires re-blending. Using RailTec transfers, I have renumbered most of the fleet with coaches based at Glasgow Cowlairs or from pictures of the WHL where I have identified the coach number.   

 

24 coaches in total to do, 18 await renumbering.

 

 

BSK with old number removed awaits a new SC number

 

 

Weathered SO renumbered with patches for blending very evident

 

 

SK renumbered as SC 25296

 

 

 

So far my efforts to re-blend the weathering have proved unsuccessful. I am not sure if this is down to applying acrylic paint on top of enamel or simply my lack of experience/competence at this activity.

 

 

Railtec state that their numbers are best sealed using acrylics rather than enamels which I am more familiar. Clearly I need to test out a few different solutions to find which works best.   

Not wishing to be a 'pain', .... but ....

 

SC25296 was numbered as such [1], but had modified (I wonder how?) B1 bogies [1] not the commonwealths on your model, and was withdrawn by 1983 [2]. It seems that none the SC prefixed Mk1 corridor seconds in [1] had commonwealths.

Unbelievably, there were no SC prefixed Mk1 corridor seconds at all in 1978 [3].

However, you have a selection from 1974 [4] that were SC prefixed and had commonwealth bogies, vis SC26039 to SC26054 inclusive. These had all been transferred to the eastern region by 1978 [3].

 

SC4251 was also numbered as such [1], but had B1 bogies [1] not the commonwealths on your model. Again, it was withdrawn by 1983 [2], and none of the SC prefixed Mk1 open seconds in [1] had commonwealths.

You could use SC4076 [3] that had commonwealths but which was transferred to the southern region by [1]

 

[1] - RCTS coaching stock book of 1981

[2] - Ian Allan coaching stock book of 1983 

[3] - RCTS coaching stock book of 1978

[4] - RCTS coaching stock book of 1974

 

Now I don't know if historical accuracy of coach numbers really bothers you, (it's 'your' railway after all) but at least I thought I'd let you know.

 

Ian

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The last few days have resulted in progress at Garelochead in that the points have been motorised and the platform finally constructed. There are still a couple of tight areas on the platform edging which need filing down to avoid contact with trains but otherwise the platform is complete. Scenic work on it will have to wait, I want to concentrate on Crianlarich for now.

 

Running continues to prove the track and electrics. At the last count, I have soldered in excess of 200 wires to the track so far; I do hope this pays a dividend in the long run because I find it a thankless task.

 

 

27032 shunts an engineers train at Crianlarich

attachicon.gifOps 007.JPG

Just back from Scotland and the layout looks good except the usual problem that the platforms are much too high, maybe 3mm too high. The peco platforms marginal for modern image (1970s) England even when used with underlay but yon scots are nae soft sassenachs and dinnae mind a wee step up intae yon carriages. West Highland Platforms should be about level with the bottom of diesel loco buffers. Sassenach ones a wee bit higher maybe level with the buffer centre line.   Highland ones are so low they need boxes for people to stand on to step up into trains.

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  • RMweb Gold

Not wishing to be a 'pain', .... but ....

 

SC25296 was numbered as such [1], but had modified (I wonder how?) B1 bogies [1] not the commonwealths on your model, and was withdrawn by 1983 [2]. It seems that none the SC prefixed Mk1 corridor seconds in [1] had commonwealths.

Unbelievably, there were no SC prefixed Mk1 corridor seconds at all in 1978 [3].

However, you have a selection from 1974 [4] that were SC prefixed and had commonwealth bogies, vis SC26039 to SC26054 inclusive. These had all been transferred to the eastern region by 1978 [3].

 

SC4251 was also numbered as such [1], but had B1 bogies [1] not the commonwealths on your model. Again, it was withdrawn by 1983 [2], and none of the SC prefixed Mk1 open seconds in [1] had commonwealths.

You could use SC4076 [3] that had commonwealths but which was transferred to the southern region by [1]

 

[1] - RCTS coaching stock book of 1981

[2] - Ian Allan coaching stock book of 1983 

[3] - RCTS coaching stock book of 1978

[4] - RCTS coaching stock book of 1974

 

Now I don't know if historical accuracy of coach numbers really bothers you, (it's 'your' railway after all) but at least I thought I'd let you know.

 

Ian

Thanks Ian

 

From my perusal of the Platform 5 Coaching Stock books I was aware of the issue. Whilst I have not checked I suspect that most of the steam heat, vacuum braked coaches in operation on the WHL during the early 80's were B1 fitted. RailTec's transfers also limit the my re-numbering choices and given that I only have 6 B1 bogie fitted coaches out of 20 and a reluctance to buy additional B1's, I have little choice but to accept the anomaly. I have a number of other compromises such as:

  • running trains as load 4 rather than the typical summer loading of 6 coaches,
  • using CK's rather than Mk2 BFK's to provide first class accommodation,
  • a lack of buffet facilities

None of these cause me any loss of sleep, my aim is to represent rather than precisely replicate WHL operations. If there are people out there who want to swap their B1's for my Commonwealth's then I would happily do some swapping. Failing this I have plenty of other tasks that are causing me greater headaches!

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  • RMweb Gold

Just back from Scotland and the layout looks good except the usual problem that the platforms are much too high, maybe 3mm too high. The peco platforms marginal for modern image (1970s) England even when used with underlay but yon scots are nae soft sassenachs and dinnae mind a wee step up intae yon carriages. West Highland Platforms should be about level with the bottom of diesel loco buffers. Sassenach ones a wee bit higher maybe level with the buffer centre line.   Highland ones are so low they need boxes for people to stand on to step up into trains.

 

David

 

I completely agree with your point and recognise that ideally I need a solution to the platform height issue. I don't want to use cork as a track underlay but it appears to be the easiest way to eliminate the platform height issue. However it causes me additional work that with everything else going on I do not feel inclined to undertake. The perfect solution is to find a way to trim 3mm off of the Peco edging but I cannot see an easy way of doing this so, at this time, I have the issue unresolved.

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Hello.

 

With regards to platform heights, there are wildly different examples around the whole rail network - however, from the official Standard Structure Gauge information diagram, the correct height from the "top of rail level to the surface of the platformed area should be - 940mm"

 

That translates to 37" in old money and just under a metre in new. Scale wise in 4mm, it calculates to a smidgeon over 12mm from rail height to platform surface.

 

I think the Peco platforms and their separate walling allows for some sort of track support - more than likely their own underlay. Personally, I've laid all the trackwork on Glasgow Queen Street down onto cork tiles, so when I've been looking at using some of the Peco concrete platform walling, I've had to trim the bottom of it down by a couple of mm, to get the right height. It's fairly easy to cut down using a small saw, but I used my Dremmel with a plastic cutting blade - pretty easy to do and saves a load of time on scratch building.

I did also measure a prototype on the network and that worked out to be bang on 3ft, so I reckon you would be somewhere near around those measurements.

 

I have seen photos, as no doubt most of us have, of platforms in various parts of the country, where steps are needed to get into a train, so it's always well worth visiting the prototype or looking at photos to gain an impression of platform height.

 

Hope this helps

 

cheers

 

Andy

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Thanks Ian

 

From my perusal of the Platform 5 Coaching Stock books I was aware of the issue. Whilst I have not checked I suspect that most of the steam heat, vacuum braked coaches in operation on the WHL during the early 80's were B1 fitted. RailTec's transfers also limit the my re-numbering choices and given that I only have 6 B1 bogie fitted coaches out of 20 and a reluctance to buy additional B1's, I have little choice but to accept the anomaly. I have a number of other compromises such as:

  • running trains as load 4 rather than the typical summer loading of 6 coaches,
  • using CK's rather than Mk2 BFK's to provide first class accommodation,
  • a lack of buffet facilities

None of these cause me any loss of sleep, my aim is to represent rather than precisely replicate WHL operations. If there are people out there who want to swap their B1's for my Commonwealth's then I would happily do some swapping. Failing this I have plenty of other tasks that are causing me greater headaches!

That's all fair enough ... We can't be 'totally' accurate, that's just being silly.

 

As I have a number of the 'earlier' RCTS coaching stock books I thought I'd at least give you the 'option' of alternate numbers.

 

Ian

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Hello.

 

With regards to platform heights, there are wildly different examples around the whole rail network - however, from the official Standard Structure Gauge information diagram, the correct height from the "top of rail level to the surface of the platformed area should be - 940mm"

 

That translates to 37" in old money and just under a metre in new. Scale wise in 4mm, it calculates to a smidgeon over 12mm from rail height to platform surface.

 

I think the Peco platforms and their separate walling allows for some sort of track support - more than likely their own underlay. Personally, I've laid all the trackwork on Glasgow Queen Street down onto cork tiles, so when I've been looking at using some of the Peco concrete platform walling, I've had to trim the bottom of it down by a couple of mm, to get the right height. It's fairly easy to cut down using a small saw, but I used my Dremmel with a plastic cutting blade - pretty easy to do and saves a load of time on scratch building.

I did also measure a prototype on the network and that worked out to be bang on 3ft, so I reckon you would be somewhere near around those measurements.

 

I have seen photos, as no doubt most of us have, of platforms in various parts of the country, where steps are needed to get into a train, so it's always well worth visiting the prototype or looking at photos to gain an impression of platform height.

 

Hope this helps

 

cheers

 

Andy

 

The maximum figure is 915mm with a tolerance of 25mm for existing platforms and 915mm +0mm -25mm for new.   Buffer centre line is between 3' 3" and 3' 4 1/2"

so around 1mm in 00 above the maximum height of the platform.  The underframe of coaches should be above the platform even on maximum height platforms, the little wooden steps by coach doors should be above platform height. See pic of Ft William taken last week.   Many West Highland platforms are lower than this, plenty of pics on on Google show this, level with the bottom of the buffers.  Many Highland platforms are even lower.  see pic of Inverness last week.

post-21665-0-15124100-1530019110_thumb.jpg

post-21665-0-54527500-1530019115_thumb.jpg

Edited by DavidCBroad
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  • RMweb Gold

There is no question in my mind that I need to reduce the platform heights on WHL4 by about 3mm. How I go about this given that the 4 station platforms built to date are all heavily glued I am not clear. Nevertheless I have to find a way; whilst I can live with some licence on coach numbers, this is a step too far.

 

One more issue added to the seemingly never ending list of 'to do's'.

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  • RMweb Gold

Evidently I could not live with incorrect bogies as I have purchased 6 B1 sets from Hattons to replace most of the Commonwealths. Hopefully I can recover some of the B1 costs by selling the Commonwealths on Ebay where they seem to command a decent price. Whilst replacing the bogies I have taken the opportunity to add a few passengers and paint the table tops in the SO and TSO's. The passengers are only the cheap Chinese HO ones from Ebay but at about £10 for a 100, they are excellent value and their being undersized is not noticeable once they are hidden away inside the coaches. Fortunately pre-Sprinter WHL trains in the 1980's were rarely full and standing meaning that I can get away with just a few people in each carriage.  

 

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In addition a little more work has ben completed with sealing the new transfers using Railmatch acyrillic matt varnish on the re-numbered coaches. This is not yet perfect on all coaches but with the numbers secured, any visible imperfections should be sorted by a further layer of weathering.

 

post-24755-0-98478200-1530617323_thumb.jpg  

Edited by young37215
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Evidently I could not live with incorrect bogies as I have purchased 6 B1 sets from Hattons to replace most of the Commonwealths. 

 

Now you are making me feel ever so slightly 'guilty' at pointing out that the commonwealths were incorrect ...  :O  I hope I've not cost you too much!

 

I had the opposite problem, Mk1 Buffet Restaurants (Lima) with B1 bogies that should have been commonwealths! I bought some from Replica Railways, but fitting was more difficult than I anticipated as it was necessary to 'raise the floor level' inside the carriage ends to clear the wheelsets. Hopefully yours will be plug-n-play.

 

Ian

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  • RMweb Gold

Now you are making me feel ever so slightly 'guilty' at pointing out that the commonwealths were incorrect ...  :O  I hope I've not cost you too much!

 

I had the opposite problem, Mk1 Buffet Restaurants (Lima) with B1 bogies that should have been commonwealths! I bought some from Replica Railways, but fitting was more difficult than I anticipated as it was necessary to 'raise the floor level' inside the carriage ends to clear the wheelsets. Hopefully yours will be plug-n-play.

 

Ian

Ian

 

You have no need for guilt, I feel pretty sure that the commonwealths would have worn me down over time. All that this has done is accelerate the timing of changing them which was financed by the savings against my expectations of the cost of airbrush repairs. I also feel confident that I will recover a sizeable proportion of the outlay by selling the commonwealths on Ebay where they seem to command a decent price. With a bit of luck selling commonwealths will finance the remaining B1's that will be required to finalise the fleet with historically correct bogies. An additional unplanned benefit is that the new bogies have new wheel sets whereas the commonwealth wheels were in need of a good clean so I should avoid that fun task! 

 

Unlike your experience, Bachmann bogie's are very much 'plug and play' where the job is a simple undoing of a single screw to release the bogie and then re-screwing the new one in place. 

Now I need my airbrush back so that I can start weathering the B1's.

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  • 1 month later...
  • RMweb Gold

There is no question in my mind that I need to reduce the platform heights on WHL4 by about 3mm. How I go about this given that the 4 station platforms built to date are all heavily glued I am not clear. Nevertheless I have to find a way; whilst I can live with some licence on coach numbers, this is a step too far.

 

One more issue added to the seemingly never ending list of 'to do's'.

 

Reducing platform heights by around 3mm has been occupying my attention because it needs sorting before I go further with point motorisation and ballasting. I have two potential solutions, firstly cutting down the platform walls by 3mm and secondly raising the track height by 3mm with cork.

 

The platform at Ardlui has been lowered. It has been a major challenge to find a way of doing this; fortunately a good friend let me borrow his oscillating saw which generates less heat when cutting meaning that the plastic melts less. Melting still occurs and the plastic needs cleaning up with abrasives once cutting is finished. Cutting accurately by hand is an imprecise science and I would not win any prizes for achieving a straight line of cut. Nevertheless I have managed to hack off sufficient to recreate the more typical height of a WHL platform whilst only having to replace one panel of platform walling through over cutting. The rough melted edges look crude but should mostly disappear when I get around to ballasting.

 

Original platform height, 37026 pauses at Ardlui

post-24755-0-70670100-1534171182_thumb.jpg

 

Lower platform height, 37039 at Ardlui

post-24755-0-35952800-1534171063_thumb.jpg

 

At Arrochar I raised the track level which will work better than cutting the platform walls because raising the track helps create the correct gradient profile of the station. Initially I have just pushed the cork under the track; now that I can see that it works I will trim the cork to fit and glue it in place. 

 

Original height, 37192 pauses with an Oban bound service

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Lower height, 37026 plus ETHEL 1 with the northbound sleeper service

post-24755-0-00204300-1534171980_thumb.jpg

 

 

Crianlarich is next up on the workbench for cutting down.

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  • RMweb Gold

In an effort to keep up my motivation and avoid stalling when I hit obstacles, I usually have several projects on the go at once. One of these at present is the weathering of 3 Flangeway Mermaids I bought a few months back where aside from a final layer of matt varnish to seal everything down, I am largely finished.

 

In my searching for reference material I have found several pictures of Mermaids on the WHL typically in sidings at places like Ardlui and Arrochar. I have never been that clear as to why Mermaids were used on the WHL given that the single line working meant that they could not discharge directly on to the rail whereas Dogfish or similar wagons could. If someone can educate me on this point I would be grateful.

 

Ex works mermaids at Crianlarich

 

post-24755-0-83373800-1534681917_thumb.jpg

 

Frames airbrushed with frame dirt

 

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Wagon bodies with several layers of grimy washes

 

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Wagon with additional dirt and dust/ballast residue added

 

post-24755-0-96114600-1534682160_thumb.jpg

 

Completed rake of weathered Mermaids sit at Arrochar

 

post-24755-0-67713000-1534682162_thumb.jpg

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold

According to Platform 5's 1982 Coaching Stock book, the oldest Scottish region TSO still in service was 3881. 1954 built at York and apparently still running as originally out shopped being vacuum braked and steam heated. The coach must have been withdrawn during the year as it disappears from the 1983 book. As part of my re-numbering activities I decided to model this in a dilapidated state as part of the rake used on the daily, round trip teatime service between Fort William and Mallaig. Apart from running a black wash into the door seams, I am finished with the work.

 

 The teatime rake, BSK, TSO and SK 

 

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3881

 

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post-24755-0-23093700-1535453489_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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  • RMweb Gold

In between the time I spend modelling, I volunteer on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway. Amongst the various coaches awaiting refurbishment at Winchcombe is an old Scottish region CK, a model of which I have on WHL4.

 

post-24755-0-61690900-1536171595_thumb.jpeg

 

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I am not sure when the coach will get into the workshop for what will be an extensive re-build but I look forward to the day when it is restored to its former glory

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  • RMweb Gold

Back to running again to see how the line has settled during the summer months. I have discovered problems at Crianlarich with several of the servo driven point motors where the pin that moves the tie bar has come loose at the point the servo arm attaches to the servo causing the arm to detach. I am not sure why as yet but need to sort this because the servo arm also drives the frog polarity switch. Otherwise nothing else seems to be wrong so I will now start weathering the track at Crianlarich. 

 

37192 arrives at Crianlarich with the northbound sleeper

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37264 departs Crianlarich with the first Oban service of the day

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37039 awaits departure from Garelochead with the first Oban to Glasgow train of the day

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37027 arrives at Arrochar with a Fort William bound freight

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37027 awaits departure from Crianlarich

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27034 departs Crianlarich with Grampus loaded with spoil

post-24755-0-59127400-1536483105_thumb.jpg

Edited by young37215
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  • young37215 changed the title to West Highland Line V4, a 1980's West Highland Line layout

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