Jump to content

Rodents' Vale


BluenGreyAnorak

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

 

I originally started this thread on the last incarnation of RMWeb and then as a blog on this one, but progress has been slow and blogs aren’t much fun, so here I am again - third time lucky.

 

I’m fairly new to the hobby, having last owned a train set when I was at school and my Hornby HST set was my prized possession (was that really over 30 years ago?). A couple of years ago I was re-introduced by a friend of mine who has a large garage sized layout and I started to buy a few locos and wagons for when we ‘play trains’ every couple of months.

 

I then decided that I really needed a layout of my own but as space was at a premium I restricted myself to a simple plank shunting yard. This was as far as I got before a house move put a stop to further progress:

 

post-7013-128286332303.jpg

 

The new house came complete with this outbuilding, which is all mine for train related activities :)

 

post-7013-128286332499_thumb.jpg

 

With much more space to play with, I can now indulge my railway fantasies and have a layout that I can watch trains go by on. However, I should probably point out at this stage that I’m not, by any stretch, a fine scale modeller. My interests lie more in the operational side of railways so my locos and rolling stock will be RTR and my track will be Peco code 75 points and flexitrack.

 

The era I’m aiming for is the 1970’s – blue diesels are my ‘thing’ with a big emphasis on the western region.

 

The biggest influence on my layout design was the introduction of Hornbys’ new HST power cars. I think they’re superb models and, coupled with a set of five Joueff MkIII coaches, they really capture the feel of the prototype. The length of this train has therefore determined that I wanted a mainline terminus station of appropriate size and also a long enough fiddle yard. Those constraints, and the physical space available, have pretty much dictated the general form of the layout.

 

The design that I’ve settled on, therefore, comprises a twin track main line oval with a branch to a terminus station and a triangle junction (part scenic, part hidden) to a traverser fiddle yard representing the rest of the world. This arrangement will allow me to run as either a terminus to fiddle yard or as a continuous run, with a variety of route options.

 

post-7013-128286332076_thumb.jpg

 

Apart from watching the HST cruise by, I really wanted lots of operation interest. I’ve therefore got two yards – one that’s a wagon works, giving the excuse to run a wide variety of stock and the other will probably be a small permanent way depot of some description.

 

The station, which was refined with the help of many on RMWeb HERE, is located above the fiddle yard and provides four platform faces, one being for parcels, and a small loco servicing depot.

 

The back story that I’ve concocted to justify it all goes something like this: the station serves a decent sized fictitious town on the north coast near the Devon/Cornwall border. The town has a busy port, hence the main line status of the station, which will see holiday traffic including motor rail (I hope) and other services direct to London.

 

When first built, the line to my town was the ultimate destination of the railway, however, some years later the railway was extended further west, the legacy of which is the slightly odd arrangement of the resulting junction and the two almost parallel viaducts immediately after.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks chaps. The forum was a bit flaky last night and I wasn't even sure if my post had gone through.

 

Anyway, there were a couple of hitches to overcome with my new building, like the fact that the roof leaked and that there was a bit of a livestock smell to the place (the previous owner built it to breed chinchillas in – hence the planned layout name) but, apart from the time it’s taken, they’ve not been insurmountable. Inside, it’s gone from this:

 

post-7013-128289390681_thumb.jpg

 

Not my junk - pics taken before we moved in.

 

post-7013-128289390864_thumb.jpg

 

Note the occupied chinchilla cages!

 

To this:

 

post-7013-128289391121_thumb.jpg

 

post-7013-128289390989_thumb.jpg

 

post-7013-128289390495_thumb.jpg

 

The ceiling has been insulated with mineral wool and finished with plasterboard over a moisture barrier membrane. The block walls have been battened out, insulated with polystyrene and again finished with plasterboard over a moisture barrier membrane.

 

The origin floor had a step in it half way along, so I’ve raised the level of the lower part with timber joists and chipboard decking. There isn’t any flooring at the moment, but I plan to finish it with 12mm rubber safety tiles, as used for childrens’ play equipment. I’ve chosen this because it’s warm, resilient to stand on and easy on the knees when crawling around on the floor!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Baseboard structure for my new railway empire has been completed, consisting of 2 x 2 legs (on adjustable feet as the floor isn’t level), 2 x 1 framing (formed into ‘L’ girders front and back) and 9mm ply tops. There’s also lots of shelf storage underneath, which will come in handy.

 

post-7013-128289436178_thumb.jpg

This picture just shows the baseboard structure partially complete to illustrate how its' put together.

 

Work is now progressing on the baseboard top itself, with the first level formation completed and covered in cork tiles. The second level will be constructed later to allow access for track laying on the first.

 

post-7013-12828943636_thumb.jpg

This is the ‘duck under’ and the traverser fiddle yard is accessed from the bottom right of this picture.

 

 

post-7013-128289436519_thumb.jpg

This shows one end of the room with the bridges across the window on the left and the branch climbing up and over the main line at the end. The part of this branch to the right of the picture isn't fixed in place yet and is on temporary supports.

 

 

post-7013-128289436668_thumb.jpg

A better view of the twin bridges. These are essentially a device to allow the layout to cross the window without the baseboards being too low, but they will work as quite a nice feature in their own right. Haven’t decided on how they will be finished yet though.

 

 

post-7013-128289436043_thumb.jpg

This is the other end of the ‘L’ shaped building, with the door to the outside, my workbench on the right and the traverser fiddle yard on the left. There will eventually be a test track above the workbench across the window that will have a link to the main layout. Some clever switching will, hopefully, allow it to serve as both a DC test track, a DCC programming track and an extension of the main DCC layout!

 

With the cork laying on the first layer all but complete, the next task is to clear out the dust and general rubbish that’s accumulated during construction and then I can finally begin track laying. Woo hoo!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

Loving the progress of this room and to see the Layout in full working running order... in time of course. Love the photos and the track going round the far side to a lower level.

 

Love the Track Plan, and I will watch this layout come to life.

 

What Era will you be running and will there be DCC Sound Loco's on this layout.

 

Regards

Jamie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

Loving the progress of this room and to see the Layout in full working running order... in time of course. Love the photos and the track going round the far side to a lower level.

 

Love the Track Plan, and I will watch this layout come to life.

 

What Era will you be running and will there be DCC Sound Loco's on this layout.

 

Regards

Jamie

 

Thanks Jamie. It's nominally late '70's, although I've got interests in both the HST era and Western hydraulics, so I foresee two distinct stock eras of around 1971 and 1980-ish.

 

No sound loco's as yet, although a friend of mine has a couple that will visit. It's only amatter of time, though :)

 

 

Nice bit of woodwork you've got going their....

 

Is the Zulu nameplate original?

 

Ha, I wish! No, it's a replica made of wood. I bought it from a guy selling lots of different ones, all hand made by himself, on the platform at Minehead at a recent West Somerset Diesel Gala.

 

 

Ah!!!! A man and his cave. Such a warm and inviting spot too. Love the touches like all the power points and the electric heater. A wonderful space to indulge in a little SMB. laugh.gif

 

I do like to be comfortable :)

 

I'm almost afraid to ask, but what's SMB??

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've made a bit more progress over the last couple of days - I've now built the baseboard structure for the test track above the work bench:

 

post-7013-128345703344_thumb.jpg

 

post-7013-128345704001_thumb.jpg

The chamferred corner is to allow the track to curve round and join up with a siding to provide access to the main layout. The junction between the two will be disguised with a shed of some description that loco's can emerge from.

 

post-7013-128345702984_thumb.jpg

Just for a bit of scale, a Deltic and my recently acquired TPO are posed on a couple of lengths of flexitrack.

 

I've also had a quite a sort out behind the scenes and all that's needed now is a hoover up of the dust and track laying can commence!

Link to post
Share on other sites

What a fantastic 'playroom' - I'm highly envious !!! (I can't but think how much of a 2mm layout could fill the space.... :P )

 

Seriously, you've done a great job of converting the 'outhouse' and the baseboards and supports look substantial and well crafted. Looking forward to see how this develops - keep up the good work :good_mini:

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

After a huge clear out of the sawdust and debris that accumulated during the baseboard construction, and a severe thinning of the 'useful' plywood off-cuts, I've finally managed to clear the decks and lay some track! Wahey!

 

This first picture shows the link between the layout proper and the traverser fiddle yard, the deck of which is just visible in the top right. This is the tighest curve on the layout, at about 500mm, but eventually will enter a tunnel just in front of the coach and so will be mostly hidden. It will also form one side of a triangle, which I was quite keen to include because of the route versatility that it provides. Ultimately, only one corner will actually be visible though unfortunately.

 

Incidently, my test coach is an Airfix Mk2D that's been re-wheeled and had new couplings fitted, and it runs very nicely.

 

post-7013-077204000 1285275364_thumb.jpg

 

This picture shows the full extent of what's been laid so far, which is frankly not much. Even the point in the foreground isn't actually fixed yet. Although it may not look it, this part is the most complicated on the layout due to the fact that it includes two junctions and a very slight but intentional change of direction all springing off from the fiddle yard. I'm starting to get the hang of it now, though, so I'm hoping that progress will be slightly quicker from here onwards.

 

post-7013-033036600 1285275362_thumb.jpg

 

I've also been modifying my Peco points to link together the outer stock rails and the adjacent switch rails by soldering links between the two and cutting the factory links between the switch rails and the frog. I must confess though that this picture isn't of my handiwork. My friend Steve, who's much more proficient at this sort of thing, all but snorted with derision at my rubbish attempts at soldering, and then took pity on me and set about re-doing them properly :rolleyes:

 

post-7013-003969200 1285275366_thumb.jpg

 

Preparing this picture, I must remember to check that all of the factory links are cut before fixing the points down!

 

Eventually, all of the points will have the little plastic manual operating knobs trimmed off to improve their appearance, but that can wait until the point motors are set up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Premium

You have a wonderful space here, and the plan looks very interesting. As a thought would it be worth putting a couple of blinds over the windows to prevent the sun hitting any models and damaging them. It would also stop people looking in and seeing what is there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I've also been modifying my Peco points to link together the outer stock rails and the adjacent switch rails by soldering links between the two and cutting the factory links between the switch rails and the frog. I must confess though that this picture isn't of my handiwork. My friend Steve, who's much more proficient at this sort of thing, all but snorted with derision at my rubbish attempts at soldering, and then took pity on me and set about re-doing them properly :rolleyes:

 

post-7013-003969200 1285275366_thumb.jpg

 

Preparing this picture, I must remember to check that all of the factory links are cut before fixing the points down!

 

Pardon my ignorance, but why the modification? What does replacing the Peco links accomplish over leaving them as bought?

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny that you should ask as I only discovered this myself recently by reading this thread. Essentially though, it's a recommendation in Pecos' instructions when proposing to use DCC. It doesn't specifically say why but I'm assuming it's because it avoids the possibility of metal wheels bridging the gap between the running and adjacent stock rails and shorting out the controller.

 

The frog and sections of running rails immediatelty adjacent will still have their polarity switched by the point motor, which in my case will be a Tortoise.

 

Hope this helps.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Blimey, is it really over a month since I updated this? Ho hum. Real life seems to get in the way of my layout building far too often. However, progress has been made and, in fact, something of a milestone has been reached. I've finished laying the first main running line and, with suitably lashed together electrics courtesy of my friend Steve, the first train has run!

 

I'm so excited about this that I've even taken some video and edited it together into a little film (which is also a first). A class 25 'rat' seemed the most appropriate loco to use for the inaugural run :)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp5O7rP_czo

 

I appreciate that this level of progress is small beer to many on here, but it's taken me so long to reach this stage that I'm over the moon :)

 

Next job is to complete the other main line and then make the wiring a bit more permanent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Frogs, Tortoises, Chinchillas and Rats... that's quite a menagerie you have there! :D

 

Seriously, I really like the smooth flowing plan you have there...as you say, ideal for watching the trains go by.

From the looks of your avatar, you've got a bit of a rodent thing going on too :)

 

Looks like this is going to be one great layout! i realy like the space you have to play trains in, i realy wish i had something like that in my back garden. (realy jelous :rolleyes: ) keep it up.

 

Chris

Thanks for the kind words, Chris.

 

Looks like this is coming on very nicely. The track work you have laid so far seems to flow very nicely.

Thanks, given that I'm using off-the-shelf Peco track, I'm pretty pleased with it myself. I'm especially chuffed with the junction and the way the lines curve off into the distance :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

I really hoped to update this thread much more frequently, but such is life that that I fear progress will often be in fits and starts. There has been progress though: since last time I've completed the second main line and also completed the DCC power bus that feeds them both.

 

The power bus is formed from 1.5mm mains wiring and forms a complete 'ring main' beneath the main lines. The complete ring is connected to the base unit with a very short link cable. The smaller pink/grey wires will eventuall feed the programming track.

 

post-7013-0-67598100-1300051013_thumb.jpg

 

Droppers from each rail are joined to the power bus at connector blocks:

 

post-7013-0-38344600-1300051040_thumb.jpg

 

The mains wiring works really well, as it's stiff enough that it doesn't require a huge amount of additional support between the baseboard cross-battens and the connector blocks.

 

It all works too. I can drive trains around both main lines, although with no point motors installed to switch frog polarity, I can't do much in the way of route setting yet.

 

The next thing I want to complete is the smaller yard on one side of the layout. I'm currently planning this with bits of track, Peco turnout plans and the one building that I currently own! My original idea was for this are to be a permanent way yard, but the eventual position of the main line connection means there isn't quite as much space as I thought there would be. I've therefore decided to turn this area into an MPD, which doesn't need such a long headshunt. This area also includes the link to my test track across the window in the top left of the picture, which I'm keen to make operational.

 

post-7013-0-27548400-1300050989_thumb.jpg

 

I'm also working on the traverser. I've now covered the surface with cork in preparation for track laying:

 

post-7013-0-03922200-1300051072_thumb.jpg

 

Finally for now, I've got an old PC power supply in bits on my workbench, which I'm trying to adapt as a 12v general purpose power supply. If that works, I'll start playing with some point motors!

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Premium

Good to see the progress that is being made here. The use of the mains cables for the bus wire is interesting, I'd thought of doing something similar but went for a smaller gauge wire.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...