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


young37215
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10 hours ago, young37215 said:

I need to master the WS 'build your own' trees so that I can make the plantation bigger.

Rob,

 

Have you considered the trees from AliExpress, for example at https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33043150454.html

 

I gather they do need a little painting of the trunk/branches, but that should be no harder than airbrushing for track weathering?

 

Ian

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On 15/12/2021 at 17:49, ISW said:

Rob,

 

Have you considered the trees from AliExpress, for example at https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33043150454.html

 

I gather they do need a little painting of the trunk/branches, but that should be no harder than airbrushing for track weathering?

 

Ian

 

I have'nt seen the ALiExpress before and they look rather nice. That said I already have a number of the Woodland Scenics 'DIY' pine trees and just need to improve my construction technique to make the trees usable.  

 

Today I spent some time building the two base's for the rocky cuttings and glueing several rock moulds to the bases. Both bases will be removable so that I retain access to the hidden sidings and the track that leads to the upper section. The glue should harden overnight which will enable me to fill the gaps with additional plaster tomorrow. Once this is complete and all dry I can start painting the rocks.

 

Rock moulds are glued to the base on the workbench.

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Bases are tested for size, fortunately they fit.

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Edited by young37215
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The issue of cable trunking and why it was installed continues to occupy my mind. I continue to favour the trunking being for power supply intially for signal lighting and subsequently RETB lights but the evidence from pictures is inconclusive in supporting this. For example:

 

Ardlui 1978, has trunking

 

Ardlui

 

Wheras Garelochead as late as 1984 had no trunking 

 

37178

 

By August 1986 trunking had been installed, the picture below shows signs of disturbance in the ballast around the trunking indicating recent activity.

 

37xxx departing Garelochead, AUG86

 

I dont suppose that power was installed at the same time which may explain some of the time variances. However all things considered I am no clearer a definitive answer to the reasons for the installation of trunking. 

 

 

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I hope I can help with the trunking situation.  I think the trunking appeared when the lineside telegraph wires were put underground and the poles removed, mid seventies from memory, purely telegraph wiring as Ardlui's signals were oil lit to the end.

Great modelling of the West Highland, you've certainly captured the character of the stations

James

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1 hour ago, young37215 said:

The issue of cable trunking and why it was installed continues to occupy my mind. I continue to favour the trunking being for power supply intially for signal lighting and subsequently RETB lights but the evidence from pictures is inconclusive in supporting this. For example:

 

Ardlui 1978, has trunking

 

Ardlui

  

 

I dont suppose that power was installed at the same time which may explain some of the time variances. However all things considered I am no clearer a definitive answer to the reasons for the installation of trunking. 

 

 

 

Morning Rob,

 

I'm afraid that signalling isn't one of my strong subjects but the top photo of 27 010 led me onto the flickr album by Peter James where there is another photo of 27 040 at Ardlui facing South awaiting the arrival of a snowplough train. Behind the the loco are the semaphore signals and on full magnification you can make out the cable running up to power the light behind the signal aspect, would these be the reason for the trunking ?

 

I'm not sure when oil lit backed signal lamps were phased out as opposed to electrically lit ones and regarding which stations were upgraded when may be in connection with staffing at the time, Ardlui having lost it's station building may have also lost it's staff and so been an early contender for upgrading ??

 

Only guesswork on my part, you understand, hopefully somebody who understands these things will provide the definitive answer. Does anybody know if the book on Scottish Signalboxes by Allen Jackson contains much WHL information, please ?

 

Seasons greetings,

Ian.

 

 

Edited by 03060
(Written at same time as @Glen Sloy was replying.
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The next to last photo in the Peter James flickr album (Arrochar, Ardlui and the Oban line) shows the trunking ending level with the Southern end of the station platform, almost reaching the signal post there, whereas the point rodding continues further South.

 

A great set of 19 photos that I don't believe I've seen before, so thankyou for that.

 

(Signalling book now ordered ...for education purposes !)

 

Regards,

Ian.

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Interesting thoughts on the reasons for the trunking installation. As 03060 has identified, the trunking that I have seen only extends as far as the signals which is one of a number of reasons that I favour the power for replacement oil lamps hypothesis. Glen Sloy's assertion also makes sense and it should'nt be too difficult to test as it should be easy to identify where overhead cabling has disappeared. Any excuse for another wander through Flickr!

 

I have the Allen Jackson signalling book which is good reading with a decent chunk of WHL signalling albeit focusing on the post RETB era. I have made progress with the rock cuttings. Starting with the moulds already glued down, I added liquid casting plaster using a plastic jug to infill the variety of gaps. This was easy enough with a very satisfying outcome. I then applied leopard spotting using Woodland Scenics acyrilics and finally added a wash of their slate grey to finish. I may add some more slate grey or black washes depending on how dark the dried cutting faces turn out. Irrespective of this the results are fantastic, I am delighted with the outcome which was so easy to achieve and gives me confidence I can produce that the larger areas of rock I have planned to an acceptable standard. Most importantly I was able to clean up the utility room after painting so that my wife is blissfully unaware of the work.

 

Infilled rock moulds

 

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Simple plastic jug used to mix and pour the plaster

 

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Painted and largely completed rock faces

 

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Edited by young37215
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Those rock faces look the business Rob. I agree that it is reasonably easy to achieve and I found the process very enjoyable. Don’t be scared by having a go folks. Since you first showed a photo of your cutting I’ve been pondering the possibility of a hidden microphone and small speaker to get an echo effect but maybe that’s taking it a bit far. Looks really nice and fair play to you for managing to keep the domestic authorities blissfully unaware.

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Cutting placed into its position and initial guaging undertaken. All seems to fit, one tight spot adjacent the left hand cab door in the first picture was easily trimmed back and painted over. In addition to cleaning up the cutting bases and painting them, I additionally hope to fill the gaps between the track bed and the base of the cuttings with a water effect to represent the drainage channels so often found in a cutting. This will have to wait until last, the rails need another coat of sleeper grime before I fix anything in place. The activity for today is extending and linking the existing scenery to complete the new area up to the removable sections. 

 

 

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Edited by young37215
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Further progress with the area surrounding the cutting created with Sculptamold and painted. More Woodland Scenics rock moulds have been used in an effort to blend the rocky area into the background where I want to link up with the existing scenery with a seamless join. What will look best for the removable 'roof' over the hidden siding was not obvious to me. I do'nt want anymore height otherwise it will make accessing the cutting difficult. Hopefully a solution will become clearer today. The painted areas should be dry enough to dress with Woodland Scenics materials today which will break the back of the work and allow me to tick it off of the 'outstanding work' list. 

 

Sculptamold added to join the cutting to the existing scenery

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Sculptamold painted and the newly added rocks darkened

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Looking north through the cutting

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the new scenic area joins the existing scenery

 

 

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The 'roof' where I am undecided on how best to cover the area.

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Edited by young37215
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3 hours ago, young37215 said:

What will look best for the removable 'roof' over the hidden siding was not obvious to me. I do'nt want anymore height otherwise it will make accessing the cutting difficult. Hopefully a solution will become clearer today. The painted areas should be dry enough to dress with Woodland Scenics materials today which will break the back of the work and allow me to tick it off of the 'outstanding work' list. 

 

Hi,

 

the first thing that came to my mind regarding this is a levelish area with a few hummocks, a mixture of short grass, as grazed by sheep, tussock and cotton grass, with some bog myrtle and the odd tussock of heather, with, maybe, some lowish rocks showing.  Maybe a hidden burn or small pools of water.  Very Rannoch moorish but also found all over the west and north of Scotland.

 

Roja

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  • young37215 changed the title to West Highland Line V4, a 1980's West Highland Line layout
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On 21/12/2021 at 10:19, 37Oban said:

Hi,

 

the first thing that came to my mind regarding this is a levelish area with a few hummocks, a mixture of short grass, as grazed by sheep, tussock and cotton grass, with some bog myrtle and the odd tussock of heather, with, maybe, some lowish rocks showing.  Maybe a hidden burn or small pools of water.  Very Rannoch moorish but also found all over the west and north of Scotland.

 

Roja

 

I have something along these lines in my mind, particularly some low exposed rock to break up the area. This requires more rock casting which meant I left the roof section alone yesterday and focused on dressing the remaining newly created area. Using Woodland Scenices coarse turf materials I covered the new areas between the cutting and exisiting scenery trying to match the colours to blend them together. As ever the transformation created by dressing an area is spectacular and largely completes the work I intend doing here for now. More trees and bushes will get added over time and a small area of additional rock is required at the end of the cutting to blend it into the landscape but otherwise I am done with this activity. Back to running some trains for the next few days before tackling Mallaig where I have set myself a year end deadline to get this activity done.

 

Looking south from Garelochead

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Small area that requires an additional rock casting.

 

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Looking north

 

 

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Edited by young37215
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Great minds and all that! 

 

You've really caught the essence and atmosphere of a line I knew well and still travel along when I get chance, which is all too infrequent nowadays.  Hopefully that will change in the next couple of years!

 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Hogmanay!

 

Roja

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I am currently running the 1983 WTT with a few tweaks for operational reasons which all seems to work well. 37081 is seen on departure from Garelochead passing through the new scenic area with 1245 Mallaig to Glasgow.

 

 

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Christmas eve has arrived once more and I wish everyone a merry christmas and a happy new year. Lets hope for a virus free 2022!

 

37011 approaches Garelochead with 1B15, 1823 Glasgow to Oban 

 

 

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On the basis that I have hardly been out of the house for the last few months other than on essential errands, my spending has been lower than usual. Consequently Father Christmas was able to buy me some more pine trees to finish off the south end at Crianlarich. Before the addtional tree planting, 37011 continues its journey to Oban with 1B15.  

 

 

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Rather than start a new running day I decided to get on with a few of the small jobs that have been outstanding at Crianlarich for a while. The additional pine trees were planted and a light and water column were added at the south end of the platform. The water column is a simple affair with 4 x 2mm square pieces of Plastruct glued together with a small offcut of 2mm silicon pipe glued into it; from a distance it looks fine although as the picture shows on close inspection it's limitations are clear. A 5mm hole drilled in the baseboard and filed square creates a friction fit for the column which allows me time to decide on the best way to present it. The pipe should face the track but it fouls the line if I do. After trying several angles, I decided that the pipe facing the platform looked best.

 

First up is the larger forest to the south, the water column lies on the ground waiting for work.

 

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Water column and light temporarily planted

 

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The light is left over from those I used at Mallaig and when repainted it is a decent copy of the real thing. It is not secured it in place yet but when it is it will be connected to the platform lights network so that it illuminates when required. Reality below, 37022 arrives Crianlarich in 1984 highlighting I need to paint the water column in a concrete colour

 

23/05/1984 - Crianlarich, Perthshire, Scotland.

 

 

 

 

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More tidying up at Crianlarich where at the front of the baseboard I finally got around to finishing the embankment on the roadway that connects the car park to the yard. This had never been completed and had a 15mm open gap that I filled with Sculptamould and dressed the area with scenic materials. I also did the same to a similar small gap at the edge of the car park and a layer of Decorators cauk was spread over a wooden joint in the car park which had several visible saw cut marks. Finally I added another coat of paint to the fascia boards at the front of the layout. Modest jobs in isolation but a big improvment visually.

 

Roadway before works, gap is on the extreme left of the picture

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Sculptamoulded

 

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Area dressed with bushes and weeds added to the roadside

 

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Edge of car park filled

 

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Cauked area which needs sanding and painting once dry

 

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One of the challenges in running a timetable is that it is very easy to overlook additional services such as engineering trains and the like. I am considering how I might insert a couple of paths in the WTT to run such trains on an 'as required' basis. 27032 did get a recent outing with a rake of loaded Dogfish seen arriving at Ardlui.

 

 

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3 hours ago, young37215 said:

The end of 2021, lets hope for a better 2022. I have again delayed lifting the Mallaig section for work because I decided that it would be easier with 2 people. Having added rock moulds to the side of the section it will not simply be a case of dropping it onto the work bench hence a second pair of hands will make this easier and reduce the chances of damage. At least this leaves me free to start another days operations.

 

One of my favourite pictures of Crianlarich from 1983 is a regular source of reference and something I am constantly trying to replicate on WHL4. Apart from sanding the newly cauked car park which is proving slow to dry out, I have finished with the recent tweaks. I may choose to tone down the weathering of the fence in time but otherwise this mini project is complete.

 

Crianlarich Station 22/10/83

 

843261769_291221(1).JPG.bff4828df5f51b5ab810ee6e1fcc41df.JPG

 

I’ve sat in a car in that car park a few times waiting to collect visitors . You’ve caught it really well . It’s almost like being there . Thanks for the updates in 2021 . Happy New Year ! 

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