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


young37215
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WIth the help of others on RMWeb I appear to have found a solution to planting WS trees. A hole created using a suitable size drill bit and a little bit of pressure when inserting the tree creates a friction fit that feels reasonably secure. I have made a start at planting, at this stage I am looking to get a blend of trees and bushes which will take a bit of time to determine. For a first step I am delighted with the effect adding trees has, Ardlui is beginning to look how I want.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, young37215 said:

 For a first step I am delighted with the effect adding trees has, Ardlui is beginning to look how I want.  

 

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Wow, that's looking superb, Rob !

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Having got to a position where the Ardlui section is usable, albeit still incomplete, I decided to start another days operations. I am sure readers will understand that this is purely to test Ardlui of course, nothing to do with being an 'I want to play trains today' day. If time permits I aim to fix the servos to the signals today as this will complete the automation of Ardlui and leave just further scenic work to complete the section. Scenicly the main outstanding area is the freight platform in the yard which is being delayed because I cannot find the plasticard brickwork I want to use for the platform facing; I know I have some but I just cannot find it in the rather large collection of storage boxes I have accumulated.

 

37081 has charge of the down sleeper seen as it calls at Ardlui.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A week or two ago I set myself a list of work that I wanted to do, as at todays date I am happy that I have done the 50% of it scored out below. 

  • Garelochead south end of scenic section. Rocky cutting leading to the main fiddle yard needs completion
  • Ardlui scenery continued development
  • Mallaig section needs lifting onto the workbench for the scenic work to be completed and the extension to the station constructed
  • Mallaig Junction fiddle yard needs lifting onto the workbench for 3 servo controlled point motors to be relocated

By the end of yesterday I had 1 of 4 servos that will control the signals at Ardlui working correctly, 1 being a PIA and the other 2 in the first stages of installation. With a few hours work I aim to finish these today and will move to the rocky cutting at Garelochead next. Limited play time as a consequence of the signaling work although 27105 did get to move its engineering train south where it is seen arriving at Ardlui.

 

 

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Looking good, Rob.

 

Have you worked out why there is a combination of mechanical point rodding and concrete trunking?  Were the points/signals further away motorised?  There was a similar arrangement at Crianlarich which I am trying to get my head round.

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On 20/11/2021 at 11:01, BoD said:

Have you worked out why there is a combination of mechanical point rodding and concrete trunking?  Were the points/signals further away motorised?  There was a similar arrangement at Crianlarich which I am trying to get my head round.

 

I am confident that all WHL station points apart from at Fort William were mechanical until the signal box closures and changes made on the RETB arrival. Available pictorial evidence indicates that trunking arrived late in the 1960's or early 70's. My current hypothesis on the trunking is that it was most likely to be for electric cables to feed lights which replaced oil lamps in the signals. Several of the JM Boyes pictures from in Ernie Bracke's wonderful collection support this, the one below of Crianlarich dates from the 1960's which shows a lack of trunking.

 

022 D5356 Crianlarich Upper station 22-08-64 (John Boyes)  022

 

A stiff neck from Friday's gardening limited my activity yesterday, crawling under baseboards connecting servos to signals was not an option. I managed to make a start on the yard platform which will be low relief being right on the baseboard edge and shunted the engineers train into it to test the gauge. Having bought far too many wagons I need to use the sidings at the various stations along the line for storage so it is good to have the 3 at Ardlui back in service.    

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Ernie picture shows the trunking stopping alongside the signal with the mechanical point rodding extending onto the point.

 

b18 Ardlui 37412 21apr86 a356

 

At Garelochead a 1950's picture shows no trunking which had been installed by the 1980's

 

NBR 1952-04-21 Garelochhead 61781 HCC76749

 

o Garelochhead 37404 nb goods 29apr87 a849

 

 

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Some great photos there Rob,

 

I particularly like the last one of the TTA tanks. Now that Dapol have announced an O gauge version I’m trying to work out which livery I should buy. Most of the pictures on the WHL seem to show black BRT tanks with a few grey/ red solebar examples as in this photo. Whereas Dapol seem to have gone for the more colourful schemes. Has your research determined exactly which liveries worked the WHL in this period?

 

Regards

 

Andy

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22 hours ago, thegreenhowards said:

I particularly like the last one of the TTA tanks. Now that Dapol have announced an O gauge version I’m trying to work out which livery I should buy. Most of the pictures on the WHL seem to show black BRT tanks with a few grey/ red solebar examples as in this photo. Whereas Dapol seem to have gone for the more colourful schemes. Has your research determined exactly which liveries worked the WHL in this period?

 

 

There was discussion regarding the most appropriate tankers for 1980's WHL a while ago but I cannot recall where is it was and my searches have not found what I want. Others may have better memories than me! I did come across the thread below which provides a good background to oil tanks, their colours and hazard markings. There are plenty of pictures on the internet (I favour Flickr)  showing examples on the WHL in a range of colours.

 

I am not that familiar with how freights containing vacum and air braked wagons were marshalled. I believe that the rules and regulations were quite complicated although I have never looked closely at them. I have seen pictures showing vacum braked wagons to the rear of mixed consists behind the air braked wagons which is what I have always understood to be a partially fitted freight. I use Bachmann TTA's which are not strictly correct because TTV's would have been required for the tanks that were tripped between Fort William and Mallaig as the coaching stock was vacum braked. In contrast the freights on the main WHL were all air braked which means that somewhere along the way there would have been an unfitted element. At this point my eyes begin to glaze over and it gets to complicated hence I just stick to the TTA's and blissful ignorance.

 

Not a great resume but it is the extent of my knowledge. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, young37215 said:

 

There was discussion regarding the most appropriate tankers for 1980's WHL a while ago but I cannot recall where is it was and my searches have not found what I want. Others may have better memories than me! I did come across the thread below which provides a good background to oil tanks, their colours and hazard markings. There are plenty of pictures on the internet (I favour Flickr)  showing examples on the WHL in a range of colours.

 

I am not that familiar with how freights containing vacum and air braked wagons were marshalled. I believe that the rules and regulations were quite complicated although I have never looked closely at them. I have seen pictures showing vacum braked wagons to the rear of mixed consists behind the air braked wagons which is what I have always understood to be a partially fitted freight. I use Bachmann TTA's which are not strictly correct because TTV's would have been required for the tanks that were tripped between Fort William and Mallaig as the coaching stock was vacum braked. In contrast the freights on the main WHL were all air braked which means that somewhere along the way there would have been an unfitted element. At this point my eyes begin to glaze over and it gets to complicated hence I just stick to the TTA's and blissful ignorance.

 

Not a great resume but it is the extent of my knowledge. 

 

 

 

I think that it was touched on in @mallaig1983's thread about his Mallaig layout but also a quick 'Mallaig oil tanks' search brings up several other threads with related comments and photos which will give useful information ....but could lose you most of a morning !

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On 20/11/2021 at 08:09, young37215 said:

A week or two ago I set myself a list of work that I wanted to do, as at todays date I am happy that I have done the 50% of it scored out below. 

  • Garelochead south end of scenic section. Rocky cutting leading to the main fiddle yard needs completion
  • Ardlui scenery continued development
  • Mallaig section needs lifting onto the workbench for the scenic work to be completed and the extension to the station constructed
  • Mallaig Junction fiddle yard needs lifting onto the workbench for 3 servo controlled point motors to be relocated

By the end of yesterday I had 1 of 4 servos that will control the signals at Ardlui working correctly, 1 being a PIA and the other 2 in the first stages of installation. With a few hours work I aim to finish these today and will move to the rocky cutting at Garelochead next. Limited play time as a consequence of the signaling work although 27105 did get to move its engineering train south where it is seen arriving at Ardlui.

 

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Wow . You've certainly captured the atmosphere there , having driven past Ardlui on Saturday!  Brilliant modelling

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My stiff neck/shoulder has not improved sufficiently to progress the signal motorisation at Ardlui. So far I have only managed to complete the work on one signal; it's frustrating but there is nothing I can do but wait for an improvment. Automating points and signals using a Megapoints network has proved more straightforward than I ever expected and unless shunting is required I can manage the entire layout from the control panel located alongside the fiddle yard. The only tricky part in the servo installation is the accurate location of the servo bracket to the point/signal that is being controlled. Get this right and it is a matter of just a few minutes to set the servo to move the point/signal as required. For signals I use a 0.35mm piano wire connecting the servo to the MSE manufactured hole on the arm of the point. 

 

Motorised signal looking south

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Under baseboard mounted servo which controls the above signal

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27105 sits in the sidings at Ardlui, like me, it's awaiting a return to action

 

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Yesterday I managed to complete the bulk of the work on the freight platform at Ardlui. Being on the edge of the baseboard the platform is formed in low relief and made out of Wills coarse stone for the facing and plasticard cut to fit for the platform itself. 

 

Initial cut of plasticard to form the low relief platform surface

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Platform glued down and painted in undercoat. The gauge is not quite right yet and the platform surface will get detailing once the paint is dry 

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Bushes added to fill in the remaining gaps in ground cover

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Looking south towards Ardlui station, I want to motorise the 2 signals to complete this phase of development

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On 24/11/2021 at 06:53, young37215 said:

Yesterday I managed to complete the bulk of the work on the freight platform at Ardlui. Being on the edge of the baseboard the platform is formed in low relief and made out of Wills coarse stone for the facing and plasticard cut to fit for the platform itself. 

 

Initial cut of plasticard to form the low relief platform surface

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Platform glued down and painted in undercoat. The gauge is not quite right yet and the platform surface will get detailing once the paint is dry 

1795129451_231121(6).JPG.8e151737dfcb99b87f4ac791c800c948.JPG

Bushes added to fill in the remaining gaps in ground cover

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Looking south towards Ardlui station, I want to motorise the 2 signals to complete this phase of development

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That looks fantastic now. Fort William has more or less disappeared behind the trees and the overall scene is very convincing.

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On 25/11/2021 at 09:47, scottystitch said:

You've certainly come a long way from February 2, 2017...

 

Best


Scott.

 

Indeed, its been quite a journey through lockdowns and Covid with still a long way to go. I managed to complete the Ardlui signalling earlier today which left me free to start running trains again. Part fun and part further testing before I start on the cutting at Garelochead, 37043 heads the Alcan hoppers at Ardlui with working signals at long last.

 

 

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A short video showing Ardlui with its operational signals filmed from a northbound train. My cheap and cheerful sugar cube camera struggles to capture detail and does not do sound. I can't decide whether I like this because it replicates what by todays standards is the typical low grade 1980's film quality or whether I have become adicted to todays HD standards and want a better camera. For now it is the best I have at my disposal.

 

 

 

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I managed a few hours of running trains yesterday before a Megapoints network problem arose with 2 of the points at Fort William. Hopefully I have determined what the problem is and can solve it with modest effort later today. My next scenic project/activity is the rocky cutting between the north end of the main fiddle yard and Garelochead. Woodland Scenics rock molds will form the sides of the cutting, it will be interesting to see how 'workable' the molds are as they will need cutting and shaping to join them together to create the cutting. It is a bit fiddly because I need 2 removable sections to retain access to hidden storage sidings that are adjacent the running line.

 

37033 heads 7B01, 0520 Mossend to Mallaig Junction Yard through the cutting and onto Garelochead.

 

 

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1 hour ago, young37215 said:

37033 heads 7B01, 0520 Mossend to Mallaig Junction Yard through the cutting and onto Garelochead.

 

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Rob,

 

That cutting is going to look awesome once you've performed your scenic magic on it.

 

Ian

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It took longer than I expected, most things usually do, but I managed to sort the servo controller problem. I am not certain but suspect that a fat finger on adjusting one of the servos was the cause of my problem which caused the controller to reset itself. This meant I had to re-programme all 12 servos again. By the end of the day I had everything running smoothly again although there was only limited running time. 

 

37043 passed through Crianlarich heading north with the Alcan hoppers, 6S56. 

 

 

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A trouble free day of running trains was the reward for Saturday's patience in sorting out the Ardlui servo controller. Not only does this cover the Ardlui section but because there are only 9 servos at Ardlui and the controller has 12 outputs, it additionally operates 3 of the points at Fort William. Whilst not yet complete I am happy with what I have done so far at Ardlui and apart from adding the station sign, I intend leaving the remaining work. Not only does this approach let me play trains, it allows me time to digest what has been done and decide on what further work is required.  

 

37033 continued its journey north with 7B02 seen passing through Ardlui.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Scott said:

Excellent thread to read through and captures the WHL so well. One small thing I've noticed, at Garelochhead trains run on the opposite platforms from whats on your photo's. 

 

I am sure Rob will give you all the info, but it sounds like you are looking at more modern (post RETB) images there Scott. This layout is set/operated prior to RETB signalling so northbounds take the left platform and southbounds the right.

Now were it to be operated in post RETB mode, your observation would "generally" be correct and the opposite apply ie northbound using the right platform and southbounds the left.

Points are generally left set for this to happen with the point crossed exiting the station being opened by the loco/coach  wheels and returning to how it was set via spring action.

I hope that makes sense.

 

Scott

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23 minutes ago, Scott B said:

 

I am sure Rob will give you all the info, but it sounds like you are looking at more modern (post RETB) images there Scott. This layout is set/operated prior to RETB signalling so northbounds take the left platform and southbounds the right.

Now were it to be operated in post RETB mode, your observation would "generally" be correct and the opposite apply ie northbound using the right platform and southbounds the left.

Points are generally left set for this to happen with the point crossed exiting the station being opened by the loco/coach  wheels and returning to how it was set via spring action.

I hope that makes sense.

 

Scott

I have a feeling you are correct, more likely to be post RETB.

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

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