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


young37215
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This scratch building lark is time consuming, I am glad that I dont have any more plans for similar buildings. I spent several hours yesterday on the building but have little to show for it. Having re-fitted the internal bracing, I added the extension flat roof to the front using plasticard sheet painted with Railmatch worn tarmac. This enabled me to measure accurately the required height of the window in the original building. Having worked this out I extended the original building height to fit and started on the hipped roof. Being in low relief this is taking some time to measure accurately and I have yet to determine how to support the roof, the result being that I made slow progress. In between whilst waiting for glue to harden off, I ballasted the station throat area. This still needs scenery adding and the newly ballasted areas require blending in to the existing. 

 

extension flat roof added

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Original building walls built up and braced. 

 

 

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Front part of main roof cut to fit

 

 

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When viewed from a distance the building in situ is begining to resemble the real thing although there is still plenty of construction to do and detailing required. 

 

 

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Station throat ballasted

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Rob,

 

4 hours ago, young37215 said:

This scratch building lark is time consuming,

No kidding, although I seem to spend more time 'designing' and 'drawing' the building than I do actually 'building' it. I think that's because I work in cardboard and inkjet printed paper and need to get most of the details right first time.

 

4 hours ago, young37215 said:

Being in low relief this is taking some time to measure accurately and I have yet to determine how to support the roof, the result being that I made slow progress.

That's a problem I really don't want to come across part-way through a build. Hence oine of the reasons I draw/design the building beforehand. If I can't 'draw' it I assume I can't 'make' it.

 

4 hours ago, young37215 said:

Station throat ballasted

Nice to see the ballast not 'tidied' and over the sleepers in places. Much more realistic and prototypical.

 

Ian

 

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A few days off and I returned to complete the outstanding Malliag work which was mostly in the area of the station throat. Here the builders blasted through rock to access the area on which they built the station. The result is low level rocky outcrop on both sides of the line. On the seawards side I combined several Woodland scenics moulds and infilled the gaps with more plaster before painting. On the opposite side the land rises up to a road which I dont have space to include, using more rock moulds and infilling with Sculptamould I created the embankment which was painted and dressed using WS materials. 

 

The newly ballasted track needed weathering. My air brush was happily spraying away when it decided that it would not stop the flow of air when I released the trigger. I had planned to do more but having done the essentials at Mallaig, I decided to stop. Once cleaned and tested the trigger functioned normally again, I can only guess that a paint blockage somewhere in the mechanisim was the cause. Net result is the newly ballasted areas have been weathered which allows me to start adding a little detail. There are a few tasks to finish off loose ends on before the section is returned to the layout which I aim to complete in the next few days so that I can reinstate the section by the weekend.  

 

Fuel tanks need more work but a coat of grey primer improves their appearance

 

 

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Station throat area after rocks are added

 

 

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Station building is largely finished, one or two tweaks still required and the nearest platform lamp requires re-gluing yet again!

 

 

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The view from outside Mallaig station looking south, I have not yet found a suitable railing to join the walls together.

 

 

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Looking south from the end of the platform, the backscene needs attention but otherwise the area is largely complete.

 

 

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Mallaig is looking amazing Rob. I’ve really been looking forward to the big reveal. You’ve done a lovely job on the station building in particular. 
 

I hope I can make a contribution albeit tiny. For the fence between the walls this is what I am using. 
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it’s not absolutely 100% bang on but it’s close enough and I was happy enough with it. I hope this helps.

 

 

3941A49F-DE5C-463D-BA41-78141EEA68B5.jpeg

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With assistance I managed to return Mallaig to the layout this morning. On re-connecting the power a frantic 5 minutes arose because the Megapoints network would not work; after a close look at Mallaig which was the logical place for a problem to have occured, the cause of the fault was traced to a wire that had come loose elsewhere. When this was re-connected everything worked perfectly.

 

37043 is seen in charge of the 1840 to Fort William awaiting departure from Mallaig alongside the lamp that does not want to be glued down!. The bracket starter signal that should be on the end of the platform is away for adjustment, I hope to have this installed and working before too long. Whilst there is still a modest amount of detailing work to finish off, I now have a fully functioning layout to play trains with again. 

  

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With Mallaig restored to the layout it was back to some running yesterday. Still on the 1983 timetable 37264 with 6E46, 1519 Fort William to Blyth comprised of empty Alcan hoppers arrives at Ardlui. 

 

 

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Further south at Garelochead, 37039 arrives with 8D09, 1455 Oban to Mossend. 039 is on restricted workings at present, the loop coupling that replaced the tension lock is too narrow and prone to causing derailments on 3rd radius curves. It will be a challenge to remove the loop which is well and truly glued in place which is somehat ironic given how difficult I have found it to glue other loops in place. 

 

 

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One of my long term ambitions is to install lighting in my coaching stock to compliment the working lights on station platforms. Given that I run summer time trains and how light it is in Scotland during the summer months, any lighting will be of limited use. Nevertheless I like the idea and have watched others undertake lighting projects with interest, Mr Everard Junction in particular did a recent video on Youtube which showed how he went about it. 

 

I checked out that the platform lights were still working at Mallaig. It is the early hours of the morning with 37011 slumbering before heading south on the 0700 to Glasgow. 

 

 

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Having tested Mallaig, it seemed only right to check the lights at Fort William were all OK. Apart from a spider attack highlighting that I need to do some cleaning and at some stage fix the lights in an upright position, they are fine revealing 37049 stabled at the head of the empty steam hauled stock.

 

 

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9 hours ago, young37215 said:

Having tested Mallaig, it seemed only right to check the lights at Fort William were all OK. Apart from a spider attack highlighting that I need to do some cleaning and at some stage fix the lights in an upright position, they are fine revealing 37049 stabled at the head of the empty steam hauled stock.

 

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Rob,

 

Lovely lighting on those stations, very effective and atmospheric. Are the LEDs cold white or warm white, it's hard to tell from the photos?

 

How deep are the 'foundations' on your lights? I'm assuming they are off-the-shelf designs. By the looks of it, the mast needs to be embedded into the ground by ~10mm by, say, using a tube (or hole) that has the same inside diameter as the outside diameter of the mast, and is well attached to the platform and/or baseboard. 

 

I'm going to have the same issue at my planned station (and in the MPD), so am curious to learn the pitfalls.

 

Ian

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Hi Ian

 

I have 3 stations with lights currently installed which were all fairly easy to complete. I plan to add lights to the other stations but have not yet found  way that I might model the distinctive telegraph pole style that was used at several of the stations along the WHL. I have a thread running on this but have yet to get any meaningful information about the lights; if anyone reading this can add to the discussion I would be grateful.

 

 

Fort William

 

The lights are from Kytes Lights whose advert describes them as being warm white. I bought these because they were the nearest thing I could find to the actual lights at Fort William. They were easy to install with a hole drilled into the platform surface and the wiring hidden underneath in an area with a height of about 15mm. I power them using the same 12v supply as I use for my Megapoints network and will glue them in place once I have finished the remaining work I plan for the station.

 

https://www.kyteslights.com/product_info.php?products_id=241

 

Mallaig

 

At Mallaig I used cheap Chinese lights from Ebay which were the best representation that I could find of the real thing. Here I created a brass tape power BUS which again sits under the platform of similar 15mm height and uses the same 12V power supply. The power BUS was an experiment which made fitting resistors to each light easier.  

 

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Crianlarich

 

These are comprised of Woodland Scenics twin lamps JP5676. Much more expensive but a good representation of the real thing requiring their own power supply although I suspect I could have used the Megapoints supply had I any confidence in messing around with electrical stuff. Again these are fitted into a hole in the platform with wiring hidden underneath.

 

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2 hours ago, young37215 said:

At Mallaig I used cheap Chinese lights from Ebay which were the best representation that I could find of the real thing. Here I created a brass tape power BUS which again sits under the platform of similar 15mm height and uses the same 12V power supply. The power BUS was an experiment which made fitting resistors to each light easier.  

 

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Rob,

 

Many thanks for the explanation and 'link'. Now I see that you drilled a hole through thin plywood (?), used for the surface of the platform, I can understand why they get a little 'drunk' at times. I'll learn from that and ensure I glue a small timber block under each lamp, and drill through the full thickness to, hopefully, avoid the drunk look.

 

As to powering the lamps, I too will be using my MegaPoints 12v bus. As it's rated at 14amps (a secondhand XBox power supply), I can't see a few LEDs troubling it too much!

 

Ian

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Back to operations and running the trains. 37017 is seen at Garelochead with 1B15, the 1823 Glasgow to Oban where it crosses a down freight.

 

 

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20184 departs Crianlarich with an engineering train comprised of tool van and 3 wagons of consumables destined for Mallaig where Permanent Way are about to start working on some routine maintenance.

 

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I like to have a few mini projects ongoing as a means of maintaining my interest. One of the current projects is the creation of a mobile or portable Permanent Way gang that can be moved around the layout from time to time rather than sit in the same position for ever and a day. Using the Bachmann 1970's/1980's Lineside Workers pack I have glued 4 of the 6 figures to a sheet of clear plastic as a working party. At present the gang are located at Mallaig working on some minor maintenance tasks with supplies and tools from a support train. I am considering adding more workers to the gang as I have an ancient set of the Merit track maintenance workers that I have owned since childhood making them over 40 years of age.  The workers do'nt have hi viz vests but I suspect that in such out flung places like the WHL, enforcement of the wearing of PPE was not given much attention back then. 

 

Work has just started on the S&C in the station throat and 20184 is seen arriving with the support train which it runs around and shunts into the oil terminal siding.

 

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54 minutes ago, young37215 said:

I like to have a few mini projects ongoing as a means of maintaining my interest. One of the current projects is the creation of a mobile or portable Permanent Way gang that can be moved around the layout from time to time rather than sit in the same position for ever and a day. Using the Bachmann 1970's/1980's Lineside Workers pack I have glued 4 of the 6 figures to a sheet of clear plastic as a working party. At present the gang are located at Mallaig working on some minor maintenance tasks with supplies and tools from a support train. I am considering adding more workers to the gang as I have an ancient set of the Merit track maintenance workers that I have owned since childhood making them over 40 years of age.  The workers do'nt have hi viz vests but I suspect that in such out flung places like the WHL, enforcement of the wearing of PPE was not given much attention back then. 

 

Work has just started on the S&C in the station throat and 20184 is seen arriving with the support train which it runs around and shunts into the oil terminal siding.

 

1969404804_290122(1).JPG.7c343c38e476239cb0dfb738873787ed.JPG 

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I like the idea of the moveable workforce but that clear plastic does stand out on the photos. Have you considered some .45mm brass wire in their feet and some tiny holes in the baseboard?

 

Andy

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2 hours ago, thegreenhowards said:

I like the idea of the moveable workforce but that clear plastic does stand out on the photos. Have you considered some .45mm brass wire in their feet and some tiny holes in the baseboard?

 

Andy

Or a 'grid' of brass wire to which the workers could be glued?

 

Ian

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On 08/02/2022 at 08:51, thegreenhowards said:

that clear plastic does stand out on the photos

 

It does stand out on the pictures but is much less noticeable in reality. The plastic makes it easy to move the 4 figures around meaning I am reluctant to change it. I have thought about a coat of sleeper grime to help it blend in, I'll see how it looks once I have finished the area,

 

37026 continues south with IT52 passing through Ardlui.

 

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You've certainly captured the 'feel' of Ardlui there Rob, that last photo of 37 026 setting off is particularly reminiscent of a lot of the photos that are out there on Flickr. Great stuff.

 

Regards,

Ian.

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Thanks Ian, I am pleased with how Ardlui has turned out so far and if I can find away to recreate the platform lights I will be very happy. My current thinking is a bit of a last resort but I am pondering having a go at a scratch build. I need to find some wooden batten about 6mm thick to act as a pole which needs to be predrilled so that I can run wires through it to power the lights. I am also thinking about making a start on the scenic section leading away from Ardlui down to the viaduct, an area about 2 metres in length which should be straightforward. The viaduct area itself looks like being more of a challenge and with the nights beginning to draw out at last I am hoping to get out and about a bit more which will reduce modelling time. That means making a start on the viaduct and the last main scenic project of Arrochar with the mountaneous area above will have to wait until the Autumn.

 

For now trains continue to run, 37051 heads south at Crianlarich with 7D20, 1513 Corpach to Mossend

 

 

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Into the early evening and 37264 with 6E46 departs Garelochead on its journey south. I am not totally happy with Garelochead but cannot put my finger on what it is that I dont like. The only obvious thing I can see is the lack of backscene so I might get the emulison out and slap some paint on the walls to see how that looks.

 

 

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