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Stewarts Lane/Westhouses adaptation


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Following on from my 'depot in a cutting' thread and the suggestions there, I've come up with a very rough track plan and would appreciate your feedback on it. Please feel free to be extra critical, I prefer honesty to niceties!


The 00 gauge layout is based on a depot with a main line passing at a higher level, and fellow members here pointed me to Stewarts Lane Depot and Westhouses depot/stabling point as prototype locations. Looking at their layout, and modifying it to suit the space I have and the picture in my head I have come up with the following idea.....






Starting at the back of the layout working forwards-


A double track main line curves above the depot. Only 1 track will be visible along the rear of the layout, but I'm planning on using a thin mirror along the back to show a reflection of the 1 track to make it look like 2 tracks. There are 2 tracks entering the layout on the right hand side, with (potentially) a signal box just visible.


The depot, accessed by a tunnel under the main line. A reception siding sits between the depot building and the main line embankment. The depot is a 4 track building, which looks more prototypical than most of the 2 road depots I've seen. The depot building will be the new Scalescenes card kit of a fairly modern (sectorisiation onwards) building, which suits my era. In front of the depot is another reception siding giving access to the fuelling area and the stabling sidings. At the front of the layout is 2 stabling sidings, 1 of which may become a scrap line, something I've always wanted to model having walked past the 1 at Allerton TMD so many times! On the right is the fuelling area, a single road leading to a fuelling point. This area will be fenced in, and also contain the fuel storage tanks inside their bund.


How the layout will operate-


The main line is under a possession, so will usually have some form of Network Rail train working up there. The depot will be a typical diesel depot, providing fuel and exam services to any and all TOC and also some rolling stock as required. Loco's will enter the depot from the fiddle yard and take 1 of 2 routes - loco's in for exam will enter the top reception siding and await depot space. Loco's in for fuelling and stabling will drop into the lower reception siding and enter the fuelling road. Once fuelling is complete they will either leave the depot area or head into the stabling point to await their next turn of duty.


So there we are, that's what's in my head. I'm looking forward to all your feedback on this, and hopefully answers to some questions....


The main line sits above the depot, but on what? My 2 options are a grassy bank leading up to the higher level, with a concrete tunnel entrance into the depot area. Or a brick viaduct type construction with an arch to enter the depot, a bricked up arch that the fuel road would have gone through in busier days, and possibly another open arch towards the front of the layout allowing road vehicle access to the depot. So which would be more like the 'common prototype' and which would look better?


The depot area looks like it suffers from 'too much track' syndrome, but looking at both Stewarts Lane and Westhouses they both have a lot of track and points everywhere. Does this translate well into scale form, or is there something I should remove?


The area at the front right of the layout, what belongs there? A car park for depot workers? An area for the NR staff working on the main line? Something else?


Again I look forward to all your help and comments on this.


Thanks, Mark

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Stew Lane manages to have not just one line crossing over on a viaduct (the Ludgate Lines from effectively Clapham Junction to Factory Junction) - but another crossing that one, too (the South London Line from Battersea Park to Wandsworth Road)! The depot is in a maze of lines, although fewer these days than in steam days. That is very hard to make real in model form - at least in the sort of space most of us have - so going with what looks right to you is best.

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I'd go with brick arches for the urban look. 

Like your planning "software". Very flexible and easy to use!

I'd prefer brick arches. Looking at it every time I walk into the man-cave I'm trying to picture how it would look, and if I went for a grassy bank I would have to lose the upper reception siding to create enough slope. With brick arches I can have a vertical wall which also offers plenty of space for those little cameo pieces, and allows me to keep the upper siding.


As for planning software, I find it great to see what will fit into available space but that's it. The best way to find out if something 'works' is get some rough track down, as this also allows you to see everything in 3 dimensions rather than lines on a screen. I work from CAD drawings every day in work, but nothing beats seeing the actual yacht to find out if your colours and ideas work in the real world (and a 'corner' on a table in a drawing could be the corner that breaks your leg while out at sea if the corner is too sharp or the table is the wrong design or shape!)


Also I was bored and wanted to see some track on the board, but the technical explanation sounds better ;-)



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I can't see how the mirror could work.  That is, I can see how you would see a reflection of the track, but surely it would only look right from one exact downward angle, and then there might be lots of other stuff reflected in there looking very odd - like the wheels of a second Network Rail working train?

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I can't see how the mirror could work.  That is, I can see how you would see a reflection of the track, but surely it would only look right from one exact downward angle, and then there might be lots of other stuff reflected in there looking very odd - like the wheels of a second Network Rail working train?

I will admit that the mirror idea is something that I will need to play with to make it work like I want it to. I've seen a mirror used as a scenic break at the end of a layout (I forget the layout name, but it was very well done) and from the pictures it looked to work perfectly.


My idea is to use a very small piece of mirrored material, approx 1cm high, along the rear back scene. This should only reflect the track, and nothing much above track height. The angle from the vertical of this mirror may need to be adjusted to get the right reflection, but as the layout is static I can get it set and not worry about it, unlike an exhibition layout.


As for the mirror reflecting anything on the track, yes it will happen but the mirror will be obscured by what's on the track so you won't actually see that reflection. The mirror will only be in play when nothing is actually on the track due to its low height.


Another idea I'm toying with is making the mirror even lower, 3mm maximum height, and cutting track in half lengthways and laying it as a second running line. This way the mirror will reflect half of a running line, and should give the right visual representation. But this is space-dependant as this 'half line' will mean the upper level will have to be 3cm+ wider than having a single running line! and that 3cm could have too much of an adverse affect on the rest of the layout when I've only got 2ft total width to play with.



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Well that was quick! Made the changes Tom recommended and it now looks like this.....







Then I decided to alter the high level line slightly, so it matches the curve better.....





And then I had another thought. Perhaps the siding at the top of the stabling point on the right could be a building that houses a wheel lathe? Then I really got thinking.....


What if that upper siding had insulated rail joiners at the points, and became my DCC programming track? A toggle switch could be used to either have it live with the rest of the layout, or on a separate circuit.


As for the wheel lathe, why not make it as realistic as possible? Obviously I can't shave the wheels of my models, but I could install a rolling road inside the building? This would give the impression of a wheel lathe and also allow me to run in any new loco's I might purchase in the future.


I really need to stop thinking, it's getting expensive!! Anyway, I would love to hear your feedback on all of the above.



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  • 2 months later...

Just searched "westhouses depot" and found this great thread,


At first I thoght Stewarts lane and Wessthouses that's an odd combination, but I see how you've combined the two.


Although it might not look so good, the fuel roads at Westhouses were under the lean to cover of the former Steam depot building and thus were there were no fuling apron/canopies visable.


Check out my site for a few pics on westhouses http://www.westhousesdepot.co.uk/

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